All the Art Supplies and Technology you need to be a Comic Creator
Here you’ll find all the art supplies and technology you need in order to get going as a self-published comic creator. I personally use all of these tools for comic creation and publishing. I’ve divided the resources into categories for your convenience, and I’ll keep updating these lists as I keep learning.
(Please note, some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after going via my link, I receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate programs are common among internet businesses, and are simply another way to generate income in order to provide more valuable content to you for free.)
Digital Comic Book Creation
Computers and Technology
Software & Services
- 15″ MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 8GB memory : My MacBook Pro my greatest tool. Efficient, powerful, and beautiful, this machine has helped streamline my work process and improve my productivity. I wouldn’t mind some more memory though. Sometimes the 8GB isn’t enough for large photoshop documents. You’re going to need an Apple computer if you want to distribute via iTunes Connect.
- Apple Ipad 2: Beside being an excellent media consumption device, owning an iPad is great for testing own my own ebooks, and even building them. Currently I’m using an Ipad app, Book Creator, to make my Apple-friendly fixed layout epubs.
- Barnes and Noble Nook Color: Another tablet to test on. I prefer the Ipad for personal use, but I think it’s important to see what my ebooks look like on all the devices.
- Kindle Fire: Another tablet to test on. I prefer the Ipad for personal use, but I think it’s important to see what my ebooks look like on all the devices.
- Brother MFCJ6710DW 11″ x 17″ Printer and Scanner: A true do-it-all printer. This wireless printer scans up to 11″x17″ images and prints 11″ x 17″ color. Great if you’re looking to print a few copies of your own comic.
- WD My Book Essential 2TB External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0: I back up my entire computer on my external hard drive every now and then. I’ve never had any problems with Western Digital, so I recommend using them.
- Wacom Tablet: A must-have for digital art. I use an 9″x12″ Intuos3 Wacom Tablet. It’s an older generation one, but still works great. I think they’re currently on Intuos5.
- Adobe Creative Cloud CS6 subscription: Instead of paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you can now get access to all the latest editions of the Adobe software for a relatively low monthly subscription. I got the subscription early and got the price locked in at $30 per month, though I think it’s $50 per month now.
- Adobe Photoshop CS6: Photoshop comes as part of the Creative Cloud Subscription. I use Photoshop to color all my comic pages, make edits, and design.
- Adobe Illustrator CS6: Illustrator comes as part of the Creative Cloud Subscription. I use Illustrator to letter my comic, create graphic styles, and occasionally to ink.
- Adobe Indesign CS6: Indesign comes as part of the Creative Cloud Subscription. I use inDesign to layout all my pages and oversee the comic book as a whole.
- Adobe Story Plus: I use this if I’m writing a comic book script, though lately I’ve gone straight into outlining and rough pencils rather than writing first. Since comics are drawn and written medium, why not start with both right away? (I suppose it’s different if you have a writer/illustrator team. Then a script may be more appropriate.)
- Adobe Acrobat Pro: Comes with Creative Cloud Subscription. A great tool for combining pdfs or jpegs into a single document.
- Manga Studio Ex 4: This is the program I use to ink all my digital comics, and occasionally draw in as well. A phenomenal tool for comic book creation. I color in Photoshop because Photoshop’s magic wand tool is more powerful, and Photoshop has layer modes that Manga Studio lacks.
- MindNode Lite: A great free mind-mapping software. Get all your ideas out of your head and in front of you in a clear visible manner.
- iCal: Basic calendar software, comes free with the Mac.
- Pages: Like Microsoft Word for Mac. I usually write my blog posts in word before transferring them to WordPress. It’s about $20 at the App Store.
- Numbers: Like Microsoft Excel. I use it to keep track of finances. $20 on the App Store.
- Filezilla: An excellent free File Transfer Program to get to the files on your hosting server.
- Glyphs Mini: An excellent tool to create your own font. I used it to create the font for “The Adventures of Chartwell.”
- Hootsuite: A social media management platform. Send your latest content to all your social media with one click. I’m using the free option, but there’s a pro version as well.
- Aweber: An email subscription service, so that people can subscribe to my email lists and get the latest information about creating comics and The Adventures of Chartwell
- WordPress Thesis 2.0 Theme: An incredibly versatile and powerful WordPress Theme that’s optimized for SEO and highly customizable. Though they saw no coding is required, it is rather complex and makes me thankful for my technical background.
- Book Creator on iPad: An app that allows you to easily create fixed-layout Apple-friendly epubs.
- iBooks on iPhone : Where my ebooks show up. I test my ebooks in iBooks before submitting them to the iBookstore.
- iBooks on iPad: Where my ebooks show up. I test my ebooks in iBooks before submitting them to the iBookstore.
- Comics Plus on iPhone: A great app to check on the latest in digital comics. Comics Plus is currently open to submissions.
- Comics Plus on iPad: A great app to check on the latest in digital comics. Comics Plus is currently open to submissions.
- Comics by Comixology: Another good app to check on digital comics. Comixology is not yet open to self-publishing or independent publishers.
- Hours Tracker on iPhone: Whenever I do client work, I keep track of the time with this app.
- Hours Tracker on iPad: Whenever I do client work, I keep track of the time with this app.
- TED: TED lets me see the latest TED talks, which are often highly inspiring and educational.
Traditional Comic Book Art Supplies
Pencils, Brushes, Erasers and Markers
Recommended Art Books: A few books worth studying as you try to perfect your illustration techniques.
Recommended Graphic Novels: These graphic novels are just personal favorites. Maybe you’ll like them too. Thought I’d share.
Recommended Comic Strip Anthologies: If you like comic strips, you probably already know about these. Lately, publishers have been releasing top notch comic anthologies that are a welcome edition to your personal library.
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