If you’re a fan of comic books and have artistic skills, you may have thought about becoming a comic creator or making your own graphic novels. Although creating your own graphic novel takes effort and persistence, the reward of telling your story through visual elements can give you a big payoff.
Learn how to become a graphic novel creator, including what elements make a graphic novel unique and tips for drafting, illustrating, and printing your graphic novel creation.
What Makes Graphic Novels Unique?
A graphic novel stands between classic comic strips and text-based written novels, using the best of both mediums to weave a compelling story.
Quality graphic novels typically feature a thematic central story or narrative, the A-plot, optionally supplemented by one or multiple stories of lesser importance called the B-plots. The stories told in graphic novels are self-contained, meaning they have a beginning and end and are typically longer than comic book narratives.
A graphic novel must give equal and balanced attention to text like dialogue and narration and visual elements like artwork, imagery, characters, and strip designs.
Types of Graphic Novels
The term “graphic novel” encompasses various formats and art styles. Knowing the type of graphic novel you want to create will influence many factors, including the kind of story you want to tell, the characters, the novel’s length, and the art style.
- Superhero stories: Character-focused adventures, often featuring highly stylized protagonists with superpowers.
- Non-superhero stories: Same focus on characters as superhero stories, but the themes are usually more grounded and realistic.
- Author narratives: Memoirs, autobiographies, and similar works told through the graphic novel format.
- East Asian: Includes manga, manhwa, and manhua. These graphic novels have specific aesthetics and storytelling codes.
- Non-fiction: Retells stories based on real-life or historical events. The famous graphic novel Maus is a perfect example of a historically-based work.
Tips on How to Create a Graphic Novel
If you intend to create your own graphic novel, you will take on the roles of both a writer and an illustrator. The following tips can help you create a graphic novel:
- Study other graphic novels, especially in the genre you want to create yours, to best understand the visual and written techniques employed.
- Pick a setting that helps you sustain a story of the same length as a written novel.
- Choose a visually appealing environment that readers will enjoy in addition to the foreground elements like characters and scenery.
- Understand your audience and write the kind of stories graphic novel fans enjoy. Graphic novel readers have different expectations than comics and text-based novel fans and typically expect long, involved storylines with high emotional stakes.
- Ensure your graphic novel is printed on high-grade materials like glossy paper and color-rich ink and uses the correct square bound format. Due to its visual nature, the final look of your graphic novel is just as important as the content.
Print Your Work on Quality Materials with Comix Well Spring
Are you ready to prepare your graphic novel project for printing? Comix Well Spring has the high-quality printing products and materials you need. We can help you create a comic or graphic novel and walk you through the formatting and printing process to achieve a professional final result to share with your fans.
Browse our comprehensive selection and choose the paper size, type, thickness, color settings, and binding options to suit your exact needs. For more information, call us at (734) 927-0044.