inked artwork for our superhero

Create your Own Comic

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the seriesCreating your Superhero

Ready to Ride the Thunderbolt?

 

Welcome to our first ever post about where we’ll talk about how you can create your own comic and create your own superhero too. If you’ve just got to this page, you’re probably in the dark about what we hope to be able to do here.

If you have this dream about creating your own comic book or graphic novel about a superhero that you created, this is your place.

So what is this place all about?

 

inked artwork In a nutshell, this site is about how we (Mike and me) went about conceptualizing and creating our own superhero from just an idea right up to the finished artwork for a couple of superheroes we created.

We’re not teaching anything mind you, (we don’t claim to be experts because we’re not…) all we really want to do is to share that passion with comic book fans alike about creating a comic book and their own superhero.

This is the just start of course, but even the Hulk, the X-men and the others had to start somewhere right?

Our ultimate goal (I believe you have the same goals) is to get our superhero published, and get our superhero to other comic book fans which we hope will enjoy our work.


So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to be working on this project from scratch to finish- (in real time!) and you can watch us as we do it- and take this journey together- while you work on your own project too.

This is going to be quite the journey- it’s not going to be easy to put a great looking finished product together as you’re probably aware- we’ve got our job cut our for us!

There are tons of things that will need be done.

Think about it….
    • Creating your superhero
    • Creating your supporting characters
    • Defining the characters
    • Creating a script and penciling your comic book (or put a team together if you don’t want to do these by yourself)
    • Finding someone to publish your comic book or publishing it yourself (there are many avenues to explore though)
    • Marketing your superhero and your comic book..

And the list goes on…..Whew.

So the thing is, if we make a mistake (for example if we hire someone to ink our project and something goes terribly wrong..) you get to watch it (and have a good time watching us fall on our butts..hard!) and learn from those mistakes.

And when we finally put our comic book together, you’re not only going to also watch but we want to invite you to participate when we put our efforts into the marketing of our product.

The keyword here is participation. And sharing stuff about making our comic book.

We have other things planned for comic book fans that visit this site- to get an idea, please check out our about page.


So welcome again, we’re mighty glad you joined us!

Create your own superhero- Bring that baby out….

 

Deep down inside, every one of us comic book fans have sort of an idea about what a cool superhero should be like. Most of us would probably have an idea (Even if it’s vague at this point..) about how that character looks, talks, his powers and all that stuff. (Even the hottie he dates…)

So this was really- how we started out with own creations. And I know, you have a couple of ideas yourself. So let’s bring that baby out from that dark, dusty corners of our minds and talk a little about our superhero.

Modeling after Another Hero

 

If you think about it, what our own idea of a superhero probably is starts with the very superhero that we best identify or like best.

If you think I’m nuts just think about how many heroes there are with “claws” out there in comics. Quite a few right?

Well, maybe the number has dropped a little- but back in the 90s almost everyone and their sidekick came armed with a set of nasty claws, ready to rip apart their enemies at a moment’s notice!

But it’s not only the superheroes that could actually have an influence on our creations- real folks with larger than personalities, other fictional characters and heck- even the latest public obsession and fascination with the latest zombie or vampire craze.

Bob Kane once said that his creation- Batman was inspired by Zorro and Stan Lee said that he based his creation of Tony Stark on real life mogul, inventor and playboy Howard Hughes.

What about you?

Me? I’ve always liked superheroes that had a certain aura of mystery about them, a dangerous secret past, typically quiet, highly intelligent, talks like Clint Eastwood (well, a little) and has his swagger to boot… and always gets all the girls.

What’s your Superhero’s Mojo?

 

Wolverine has his claws. Zorro has his mustache. And his world famous signature- the “Z” mark.

Gambit..uh…his hair? Oh yeah, actually it could be those black, menacing eyes.

Daredevil? Hey, I figure it’s the horns on his mask. They don’t call him Horn head for nuthin’.

Speaking of horns, Hellboy is kinda cool too. Plus, he’s red and has a tail.

And Superman? Folks recognize him from the “S” symbol on his chest.

That tells us that our superheroes has to have a “symbol” or a stamp. Something that people will instantly recognize as unique to our superhero…

Something that sets our superhero apart from the rest.

Want an example? How about this–

If someone made a poster for your character like the poster of Wolverine below, what would be the “calling card” of your readers? What “trademarks” will your character be remembered for?

wolvie and his claws

So what’s your Superhero’s Mojo?

Abilites & Superpowers

 

You know what? That saying- there are no more original superpowers is true.

Whatever you can think of, chances are there’s bound to be some super dude or dudette that already has the claim to the superpower.Originality? Forget it. No such thing. Even coming up with a superhero name can be tough as hell today.

But for the moment, we’re not going to concern ourselves with that.

Your superhero can have powers of the sun, powers like superman or even have a blind alter ego like Daredevil. It really doesn’t matter.

If you have a superhero or character in mind that doesn’t have superpowers that’s cool too. He could have gadgets like Bats.

Of course, your comic book doesn’t even have to fall into the superhero genre.

If you have an idea about making a comic book about a different genre but you kind of feel that the character kind of resembles another character in that same genre- that’s fine too.

Forget about originality about creating a character.

I’m telling you- there’s no such thing.

As I mentioned above, you probably have something already figured out in the corner of your mind.

It may be vague. You may only have a rough idea now about what your superhero is all about and what his M.O is and all of that. Heck, it could even be a carbon copy of another well known character.

Doesn’t matter. The point here? I’m no expert but the first thing to creating a superhero and making your comic book- is to forget about perfection.

And originality. Have something in mind. And that, really- is the first step. Me?

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of a superhero with “lightning powers”. And that was all there was to it. I didn’t have any much more to go with that idea except for that.

But a guy with lightning powers? Why Danny? Don’t you know that there isn’t any superhero with lightning powers that is even remotely interesting…???

I know, I know. With the exception of Storm, DC’s Captain Marvel and Thor, I have to agree.

And Storm is sort of a Goddess while Thor is the God of Thunder and Billy Batson’s powers are sort of magic related.

This is a light bulb moment here folks.

This is where the “conceptualization” bit of your character and his world comes in.

So even if your character’s superpowers are “mundane”, you can make the character more unique (and thus, his powers more interesting ) by expanding on your character and his world.

But for now, let’s put a whole new TWIST and Spin to your superhero’s abilities or superpowers.

 

We’re going to be little creative now and think beyond the powers…

Who is your superhero?

What is your superhero all about?

Put your thinking cap on and muck around with some ideas… go nuts! You’ll need to do that if you want to create your own comic.

For example- Thunderbolt rider doesn’t just throw off some lightning bolts or whatever. He can actually create really cool “lightning” weapons like a shuriken… etc.. You get the idea. So forget about originality for now.

If you can’t seem to expand more about your character’s powers- don’t worry for now. When we get to the part where we “conceptualize” our creations- I guarantee you’ll get more ideas.

That’s where you’ll put two and two together. In the meantime- here’s another thing that will help.

Find someone that loves comics as much as you do and ask for ideas. You’d be surprised just how much you can get from picking another comic book fan’s brains. Heck, your buddy may even give you a whole new dimension or concept for your superhero.

My brother Mike certainly changed the direction of my original vision for the character and his powers!

Visuals…

 

At this point, you may want to get a hold of a pencil and do a rough sketch of your character. This helps you to get an idea about how your character appears visually. No perfection needed…LOL. What we want to do here is to get an idea and that’s about all.

[expand title="I'm not planning to draw my own comic book.."]

If you’re a writer and you’re not planning to draw your own book, you may want to find a collaborator. (which is easier said than done…but not impossible.)

The first place to start is to go over to deviantart.com and find someone that is willing to collaborate with you on your project.

This takes time obviously, and you should always research about working with folks down at deviant.

The other option is to hire a freelancer.

Elance.com is a great place to track down comic book freelancers.

Because I don’t plan to put the whole comic book together by myself- we’ll eventually get to that part ourselves. So stay with us.

[/expand]
 

I started going about with some sketches of ThunderBolt Rider- and trying to figure out what our superhero would look like.

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend spending a whole lot of time doing this. Not until you get a pretty good idea of the CONCEPT of your character. (we’ll be going into Conceptualizing soon…)

It’s just a little something that I like to do and it does help you figure a couple of things out.

Here are some sketches I did at the beginning: I wasn’t thinking about anything else than to create a really cool looking dude with lightning powers… (which is where talking to Mike really helped! Go pick another comic book fan’s mind I tell you…)

I didn’t have a concept for the character. All I had at this point was some dude with powers.

rough sketches for your superhero 1rough sketches for your superhero 3rough sketches for your superhero 2

So start with an idea about your character and his unique ability or superpower.

Again, it’s okay if you can’t think of anything else because our next step will be to go into conceptualizing the premise of our superhero and his world, and that’s where we really get down to business and expand on his powers, personality etc……

So get your pencils out and start grinding out some simple sketches about your superhero.

Writing down any ideas that come to you (you never know when a great idea pops up) about your superhero on paper usually helps..

    For a start, some ideas on what to put on paper would be this: (it helps, trust me…)

    What your vision for the character is

    What his or her abilities are

    A vague or rough idea about his or her costume or uniform or suit… whatever.

Again, personally I feel that it’s okay at this point in time to just get a rough idea of what your character is all about- even if he has powers that are “mundane” or “typical” of other superheroes.

It doesn’t matter at this time.

What we want to do is to start out with a very basic design for our superhero so that you can create your own comic.

That’s what we did for our own superheroes and we’re pretty pleased with the results.

Naming your SuperHero

 

All the good names are taken!! I hear you, buddy.

This could be the hardest part of the whole gig. Figuring out the name of the character or your superhero.

I guess there’s really no easy way around it. Sometimes, you just can’t use a name you really want just because some other super dude owns the rights to the moniker..

So what now?

At first, I wanted to call our character Lightning Rider… you know, like riding the lightning? I thought it sounded pretty awesome and had a nice sort of ring to it. (Mike didn’t think so…)

But when I searched online, I found a website with the same moniker! (who ever thought a book publishing company would go for a “superhero” name like that?)

So I waited for their website address to expire. It never did LOL… they renewed that website address so it was back to square one.

It took a few weeks, going back and forth with names and all of that. Wasn’t a single day that the first thing I asked Mike was “how does Jack Mischief sound?”

Guess I was sort of lucky he’s the patient type.

So it went on and on and on….

I guess what I’m trying to say is- it takes some thinking and some time.

And the most important part?

Forget about perfection. No such thing. There’s no one such perfect name. Don’t believe me? Think a name you dream up is stupid?

Imagine now for a second that you’ve never heard of Hellboy. (yes, I know it’s hard!)

But please indulge me for a bit…

And you’re hearing it for the first time.

And I’ve decided to call my character Hellboy.

I can bet you’d probably go- “that’s your superhero’s name?”

And what about Ben 10?

The only thing that makes these names great today is because these characters are already well known and famous!

So take a couple of weeks and figure out what to call your superhero. Anything that sounds reasonably good is good enough.

Although you may just want to factor in a name that has a commercial appeal to it… you don’t want to call your superhero the PENCILLER or something like that.

Sometimes you don’t even have to come up with a name that describes your hero’s powers. That way -the possibilities are limitless.

Oops..it’s three a.m now and God knows, I need the sleep. Time to hit the sack but like Arnie says: I’ll be back!

Come join me next time because we’re going to take our Superhero to the next level and make him unique even if every boy and his dog has the same “superpowers’. (Even if that superpower is lame we’re going to bring up a notch and level….)

Lastly:

When we think about a design our superheroes, let’s think about creating a superhero that will have a wide appeal to the current marketplace and times. Although there’s no way to know for certain what works or not, personally- I would like to keep this as a simple guideline when I create my characters.

But what are your thoughts?


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