Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ten for Tuesday: Make Your Own Comic Book

Guest Blogger: Dani Dixon

I love comic books. I love how happy they make adults and children, and I love the stories I get to tell in this medium.

The artists I've worked with are quite talented.

However, one needn't be a professional to illustrate an idea. I've taught children as young as 8 years old how to create their own comics. For the first lesson, I like to start simple. Here's something you can try using whatever art supplies you have on hand (a ruler or straight edge might help with making panels, but even that needn't be perfect). The most important tools will be your child's imagination and your enthusiasm!

Story Challenge: Why did the chicken cross the road?

1) Tell the story in one panel.
2) Use only stick figures!
3) Play with color. Choose a color - yellow, purple, green - for the chicken and color everything else differently.
4) Tell the story backwards!
5) Play with assumptions: What if the chicken is really an ostrich, or a pterodactyl?
6) What if the road isn't a country road, but the Autobahn?
7) Use no words, only simple expressions - think emoticons.
8) Use the same picture, but use different word bubbles in each panel.
9) Play with genres: What if it's a swashbuckler tale or a science fiction story?
10) Make it funny! Create the best visual punch line you can think of for one of the world's oldest jokes.

Some kids will enjoy the art more. Some will get more into weaving a story. Who knows? They might be future artists, or writers - or both!

Dani Dixon is a comic book creator, publisher (www.TumbleCreekPress.com), and filmmaker. Dani speaks around the country on topics such as diversity in comics, preparing professional portfolios and women in sci-fi. She has spoken at the Writers Guild of America on the influence of comics on Hollywood and regularly consults on comic book adaptations.


  1. This is great training for filmmakers Jen! What a great way to tell a story!

  2. OH, I can't wait to try this with my girls - they love to draw and they love to tell stories. This is the perfect combination.

  3. beautiful! Comics are challenging. I don't think people realize how hard it is to tell a story in dialogue and illustration alone.

    Great suggestions!

  4. Our oldest LOVES making her own comics. These prompts here for getting kids going on their own storyline are wonderful! We all get stuck sometimes when we are writing; and these are fun ways to get the writer's block knocked out of the way!

  5. love, love, love this! all 3 of my kids are avid comic readers and makers. I will share this!

    here is a fun picture of my super sweet daughter reading the human torch!


  6. what a great and creative way to get kids imaginations going. Thanks for sharing on Kids Co-op

  7. A great idea! Kids are naturally drawn to comic books, so it makes for a wonderfully creative activity.

  8. good tips for aspiring writers/illustrators! thanks for linking this up to tip-toe thru tuesday!

  9. Great tips! Thanks for sharing with Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  10. Wonderful tips! I can't wait to have a go with my kids!

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!