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If you\'re a fan of drawing or a fan of anime or manga, then it\'s going to cross your mind at the very least once--\'it would be cool if I could make my own comic!\' However, this thought is usually closely followed by another thought that reads something along the lines of, \"Wow...that would be a lot of hard work...I don\'t even know where to start,\" and your ide may have been quickly abandoned or slowly forgotten, depending on how keen you were on the idea in the first place.

And that\'s where this article comes in; so many wonderfuly talented artists just don\'t know where to begin. I will now break down the process of creating a comic, or at least my version of it as i am sure that my methods and opinions will probably differ from those of others.

Now, before I get into a list of tools and methods, I\'m going to start off with the basics of characters and plot and location, etc.

PLOT
Now many of you are probably already groaning, but a lot of people just dive into a comic without any particular direction it seems. Many web-comics are like this, but if you want to make a webcomic, I guess that approach is fine--webcomics are done by the page, and while some have linear plots, or plots at all for that matter, most of them have a single message or joke that is to be delivered in the expanse of one or two pages. If that is your goal, you\'re going to have much less concern for plot.

However, if you are writing a doujinshi, the actual writing part is quite important; while your ideas may still be fuzzy, if you are going to start a comic, it is quite important to have a rough beginning, middle and end for each issue and a rough beginning, middle and end for your story idea that will encompass every issue you do; this will halp you get organized and will fend off writer\'s block more than shooting in the dark when you come to a plothole.

When creating a plot, there are a lot of things you must consider--everything will affect the direction the plot takes, the most notable factors include the set of characters you have created, the setting you have decided on and the limits of your own imagination.

Characters, as the plot is about them, are very important. It is your job as an author to make sure that you work out every little detail about them--you have to know them like the back of your hand, and you have to settle by a personality and stick to it. This is what gives you the ability to judge whether you are making them do something out of character. Here\'s an example to show you what I mean:

\'I have just written a comic book including a particularly evil character. No one knows they are evil as of yet, and in this situation, the protagonist (the hero) walks up to them and hands them a flower. Now, because I want this character to remain mysterious and deceptive, I make him accept the flower...but how does he accept it? If I made him giggle and wink at the protagonist, it would seem very out of character, even if he is trying to fool them, because when i made this character, I decided that he\'s calm and cool and would by no means do something like giggle, even if it was for the sake of advancing the plot. So what I need to do is find a way for him to accept the flower while sticking to his personality. It would be much more in character if he were to smile, give a sophisitcated bow and accept the flower.\'

As for location, a Romeo and Juliet story will be very different if it is set in outer space. You have to consider every bit of technology, language, etc., espcially since you\'re not going to find too many open balconies in space. Location is an important part of the plot, and you have to make sure that your characters are integrated into this location--if they\'re in space, do they wear clothes set for this time frame? Do they eat foods belonging in this time frame? Any small things like these may account for a large part of your plot, and you want to make sure things make sense and don\'t appear out of place to your readers.

As far as your own imagination goes, try and do something that\'s completely you; don\'t add robots or maids just because they\'re popular. If you add them at all, do it because they\'re required for the plot--for anyone whose seen the anime Comic-Party, you\'ll know what I\'m talking about. If you haven\'t, I just have to say that you do this story for yourself, and not for the fans--pleasing the fans does not do your creaticity justice, and people don\'t want to read a mess of popular genres.

On to the next step!

SO I\'VE GOT MY IDEA AND MY CHARACTERS. WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Okay, so you\'re done. You\'ve planned everything out, have final designs for your characters, maybe you\'ve written out what will happen in your first issue in script form, etc.

So what do you do now?

Answer yourself these questions, and we\'ll get started:
1) Do I want to do this in colour or black and white?

* While a full colour comic is always great, they are really hard work and will take a lot out of you. Colour comics can require more OR less tools depending on what medium you want to do them with, and they are more expensive to print--many printshops even charge fees for opening a cd on their computer, and that added to the cost of double sided colour pages is going to make a comic cost much more than it is worth if you intend to sell it and make a small profit (the price you sold it for minus the price it cost it have it printed).

As for tools, often a computer is all you need. Photoshop is a great place to colour your comic, however, it will take a lot of work and time. You can avoid using the computer, but I personally wouldn\'t reccommend doing more than the cover in a traditional medium--this is a good way to really hurt your hands and turn you off finishing something (I know this from experience). If you are going to colour in photoshop, you can choose to ink it on paper before scanning or just colour pencil sketches to save time.

Many professional manga artists sometimes do one or two pages at the beginning of their comic in colour, which might be a good compromise if you still want to do colour but don\'t want your prints to cost too much. At any rate, you will requite paper, pencil, markers if you want to do a marker cover, a computer and a decent program.

* There are several ways to do a comic in black and white--you can simply do pencil sketches, use screentones or use photoshop.

Pencil sketches can get the job done, but depending on your skill with pencil, the pictures may look half done or faded depending on how hard you press. You can also use ink instead of pencils, which is more ideal--the lines are darker and even in darkness, and depending on what kind of pen you use, probably smoother. Some people use calligraphy pens (including professional manga artists), ballpoint pens (my personal favourite because you can shade with them), felt tip markers or a paintbrush.

Tone, what most professional manga artists use, is also a good choice. However, it is easy to waste, easy to ruin and rather expensive depending on where you live. Also, with using tone, there are many other tools that you\'ll have to purchase like feather brushes, exacto knives, special paper, and a whole load of other stuff. If you\'ve got a lot of patience and a LOT of money, I suggest tone.

My favourite method is using photoshop--I learned to make tone in it by messing around, and you can too (or you can read my tutorial, or anyone else\'s tutorials; there are a lot of nice ones out there). Once again, because you\'re doing it on the computer you may have to pay a fee to the printersfor opening the cd, but the price will be much less because they will be done in black and white as opposed to colour.

SO I\'VE PICKED MY METHOD, HOW DO I GET STARTED ON PAGES?
Assuming you\'ve gotten your story decided upon, now ould be a good time to write out the dialogue of the issue in script form if you haven\'t already. This will make it easier on you because you\'ll have an idea of how big word bubbles will have to be in each frame and what shape word bubbles or text boxes will have to be.

If you\'re lost as to where and how to make good layouts for your pages, you can always use another manga for reference when considering where to place frame boxes. I know you don\'t want to copy someone else, and in this scenario you aren\'t really, but this is something even professional manga authors do. When you have a good layout, draw the characters in roughly where they are supposed to be, and carefully improve upon them keeping anatomy and detail in mind. if you ahve touble with anatomy, you can buy those weird bedy dolls or bendy hands to look at, or you can simply ask a friend to sit across the room in certain positions to get the pose right.

SO HOW LONG DOES IT HAVE TO BE?
An issue can be however long you want. The average issue of a manga has a cover page, a back page and from 16 to 24 pages of solid story inside. if you\'ve done the minimum and still think that it is too short, you can liven it up but putting in pages that show character designs, have little joke panel comics on them, advertize the next issue or that have fun little games on it. Do whatever you like, it is your comic afterall!

The most important thing is to make it enjoybale for yourself.

I\'M DONE...WHAT DO I DO WITH IT NOW?

You can give it to friends, keep it for yourself, put it online or sell it. If you want to put it online, I would suggest buying your own webspace or getting a place on keenspot where you can upload and maintain your comic with very little difficulty. if you want to sell it, you have a few options--you can find an online anthology to submitt it into that guarantees you a cut of the pay, you can sell it on e-bay or you can sell it through any number of websites. You could always go to a minor publisher, but the fact that people will buy it is not always guaranteed.


Whatever you choose to do, good luck and happy drawing/writing/colouring/blah blah blah ;) I hope that this article was as helpful as I hoped it to be!
-ran
An essay on how to get started with doujinshi.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconnekolab:
nekolab Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Yeah yeah love it!
Reply
:iconyakysann:
Yakysann Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2016
Hey I have couple of questions about doujinshi
1) Does the text in it have to be readen from righ to left like in mangas?
2) I can mke up my own characters right?
Reply
:iconnichalia:
nichalia Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
Awesome!
Reply
:iconpinkthefucsiawarthog:
Pinkthefucsiawarthog Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think I love you. I needed this so much, thank you Heart 
Reply
:iconulathorne201:
ulathorne201 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I needed to read this. Thank you so much. 
Reply
:iconhideyoshikino:
Hideyoshikino Featured By Owner May 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have a problem: whenever I go to make one, I always say, "Oh, it's too much work!", and that's not what I want. I want to stick with it! But when I go to make one, I can't get through to finishing it, and I never stick with it. how can I stick to it, and make one without going ahead and saying 'it's to much work'?
Reply
:iconversusvenus:
VersusVenus Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2012  Student Artist
first of all,what is doujinshi,is it a style of anime or what?
Reply
:iconmarystormshade:
Marystormshade Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012
Doujinshi is essentially manga created by fans for fans. Typical doujinshi features characters from popular anime, manga or video games reinterpreted as humorous, romantic or even erotic manga artwork or stories.
Usually portrayed in Yaoi works (boyxboy).
Reply
:iconkirisosha:
KiriSosha Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
nice and helpful
Reply
:iconphonemova:
phonemova Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012  Student Digital Artist
can i put one doujinshi/mini manga that one friend wrote and i'm illustrating? xD here is the cover [link] :)
Reply
:iconroadzero:
RoadZero Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Online anthology? Never heard of those. Can you tell me more?
Reply
:iconosomeru:
Osomeru Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you!!!!! This is great information!
Reply
:iconelectroboombass:
ElectroBOOMbass Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hmm This might help. Thanx!
Reply
:iconsparrow686:
Sparrow686 Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2011
Cool! But how do I open it? ^ ^;
Reply
:iconheavenlywing1134:
Heavenlywing1134 Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lulu.com is a pretty good website, that is where I publish mine~!
~Robin Weadon
Reply
:iconsparrow686:
Sparrow686 Featured By Owner May 30, 2011
Sorry I meant the file! xD It wasn't working at first... But that's very helpful also. ^ ^
Thank you!!
Reply
:iconheavenlywing1134:
Heavenlywing1134 Featured By Owner May 30, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your welcome <3
Reply
:icondarth-frank:
Darth-Frank Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2009   Digital Artist
I loved the content, but I lost some of it while waiting for the next \ in those contractions. Its like when you listen to a public speaker who says "um" 1500 times a sentence. Sorry for that.
Reply
:icontwilite-kiss:
twilite-kiss Featured By Owner May 22, 2006
Oh I appreciate this so much.I am stuck on a comic.I am a shoujo manga-ka
Reply
:iconsprech4:
Sprech4 Featured By Owner May 4, 2006  Student
This is just the thing I was looking for. I wanted to start working on a Doujinshi, myself. This will definately come in handy. :)
Reply
:icon4anime:
4Anime Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very well layed out. You explained everything very well.I've known a lot of this stuff, but I still found it interesting to read. I've wanted to do a doujinshi and you are absolutely right that it is indeed a lot of work. When it comes to story/creativity, I'm at a loss. And that's basically what you need to start off with. I'm in a real predicament because I had an idea, but no story to back it up. Sigh... Plus, my photoshop skills are pretty weak. Oh well. Maybe someday...
Reply
:iconakayama-kaoru:
Akayama-Kaoru Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2004
Extremely informative! I've always gotten stuck on page layout and I guess I never really thought of practicing by looking at other manga books. Maybe I should make some and let my friends read it, like you said. Wow... I was thinking about buying screentones and stuff but I never thought about the computer....

Thanks for all the lovely info!
Reply
:icontoxic-teen:
toxic-teen Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2004
This is vey useful for myself cause I've been trying to make a comic myself, but I have writer's block. ^^;
Reply
:iconkatan:
katan Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2003
very useful..:)..I'm working on my own Doujin project...but I'v got problems with toneing...I tried digital toneing...but the results looks horrible X(...I don't want to do it manually so can you write a tutorial ..plz ^_^
Oh...forgot to say ...I love you ^_^ you are the coolest ran
Reply
:iconblinddragon:
blinddragon Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2003  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very interesting..and very well written..ive got my own idea on some of the stuff too but u did a great job covering the basics..methinks its a great article gor anyone whos thinking of starting a comic,webcomic,doujinshi, or even just a doodle comic to read.
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