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  • Writer's pictureAlexander King

Learning to Comic

As you are aware I’m completely new to writing and publishing. I decided that producing a comic will be more appropriate for my “target” reading audience of 7-11 year old children. In the UK, at school, we call this the Key Stage 2 (KS2) group. A colleague of mine who I’m updating about the creation of the comic also pointed out having a comic will also be engaging and accessible for reluctant readers. I’m really pleased to learn that. I am hopeful and targeting the comic being an introduction to the growth mindset but to find out it could help children read is really exciting.

But before helping children read, I have to learn how to write. Or more specifically learn how to turn my picture book idea into a comic. As it happens I actually grew up reading comics and specifically have always loved graphic novels. I was also a subscriber of 2000AD for a long time and so as you can imagine not a complete novice to the world of comics. However, it is one thing reading them compared to producing them. First I had to rewrite the rhyming story into a comic format.

Fast forward through trawling through various YouTube black holes and the like I stumbled across two extremely helpful websites. The first one helped me understand how to structure and rewrite the story. I haven’t paid for anything on the site. I received the free email guide and read various articles on the blog which were extremely useful:

The second website specifically helped with the comic book script format. If you are looking to write a comic I recommend reading Antony Johnston’s website and process guide here:

Alongside all the helpful guidance was also an introduction to a software tool called Scrivener. Seeing the app was available for a trial period I downloaded it and begin using it in anger straight away. I have to say I made a mess a few times but once I learned the ropes and really started flowing with the format and system. If you are looking to write a comic, for sure, check it out:

So, that’s 3 websites but the last one doesn’t really count :P. Here's a photo of my finished Scrivener comic script.

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned but as it turns out, I really really enjoyed writing the comic. The freedom and speed you can create from your imagination isn’t something I had really done before. I used to draw a lot and that process is certainly slower, at least for me. So to have the freedom to just write down what I could visualize in my mind was great fun. I rewrote the story several times but I didn’t have an issue editing or drafting either. Because I’m new to all of this I know and expect to do it incorrectly and therefore have to try again. Once again the growth mindset strikes again!

Oh before I go, Caz and Dec are coming. The final illustrations aren’t far away at all and all of a sudden I’ve realised I’m going to have to start “marketing” the comic soon. Could be good timing though because in the UK the Covid-19 lockdown may ease enough for sporting activities and competitions to start again.

Thanks for anyone reading this, please post a comment below if you have any questions or feedback 😊

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