Of all the important items to check off your list when creating your own comic book, coming up with a unique idea or concept is not only critical, it’s really how the entire process begins. So fire up your computer or get your thinking pen at the ready, because Biowars is going to walk you through what many pros consider the first step in the comic book evolution.
Last week we taught you the basics of drawing your own comic book character, offering a few tips for anyone interested in the creative side of the industry. Yet, there’s another key aspect behind comic book creation that’s sometimes overlooked by fans admiring the beautiful artistry displayed in a comic’s panels – yes, it’s the writing – and it usually started out with a brainstorming session by an artist and/or imaginative writer.
Step 1: Power + Weakness = A Great Comic
First, let’s begin by taking a moment to think about your superhero’s or villain’s origin story. What is it about this particular character that has helped them endure over time, or at the very least, made them your favorite character? If you said their super power, then you’re halfway there. Super powers and abilities are one of the core reasons fans seem to flock to a specific comic book character. Whether it’s superhuman dexterity, speed, intelligence, strength or enough money to build an arsenal of incredible weaponry, heroes and villains bring more to the table than the average Joe.
On the other side of the coin, however, is their relatability. Whether you know it or not, there’s usually something about a comic book character people can connect with. As much as a character might be from another planet or in a position of high authority, there are often at least one or two traits we as comic book fans and readers relate to, and it almost always comes down to being “human.”
Step 2: Be Passionate
Speaking of endurance, coming up with a comic book concept that’s going to stay interesting over a long period of time means more than just having a powerful but relatable character – it means coming up with an idea that both your readers and you will stay interested in. If you can’t even stomach writing it for more than a few issues, then your readers are probably going to have the same feeling while they’re reading it.
Nothing is going to come through more than your passion for what you’re creating in your comic book, whether it’s the art itself or the writing, and both of these are birthed from the original idea. As such, don’t feel like you have to rush through the process of building your brain child quickly. Take your time, knock around a few winning ideas, and soon you’ll find yourself really inspired to move things to the next stage.
Step 3: Build a Big Universe
Okay, so you’ve likely got your hero and villain all picked out. You may even have a tantalizing storyline about their origins and what kinds of interactions they’re going to be having over the course of several issues. Great job. Now it’s time to take the concept a bit further and add some complexity to the story – otherwise you might be scrambling for ways to keep things interesting once your comic starts gaining traction among readers.
Why have so many movies featuring a gang of superheroes and villains taken off in recent years? Because their solo projects, while interesting, weren’t going to carry the franchise as well as a whole slew of crusading or criminal individuals. While it’s good to start your idea, and your story, with a single character who you will focus most of your attention on (along with their evil counterpart), you’ll also want to make sure to introduce new people along the way that either play off of a hero’s defects, add a new spin your bad guy’s villainy, or just make everything a bit more intricate and fun.
Alright, future comic book creator, get those ideas flowing. You could very well become the next Stan Lee.