One Simple Thing To Remember When Planning A Comic And/Or Webcomic (With A Gallery Of Examples)

2016 Artwork What's the most important thing when planning a comic

Well, for today, I thought that I’d talk about planning comics again. Although about half of this article will be taken up with examples of my own comic plans, I thought that I’d start by talking briefly about one thing that’s important to remember when planning a comic and/or webcomic.

Your comic plan should be more about the dialogue than the art. I know that this might sound counter-intuitive but, as well as showing you whether a comic idea is viable or not, the main purpose of making a plan for your comic is to get the dialogue right (and to see if it’ll actually fit onto the page!).

Your plans are a space where you can try out different lines of dialogue (you can always change them in the finished comic) and, more importantly, get a sense of how the dialogue flows in your comic. If one panel of your initial plan is crammed with dialogue, but the remaining panels hardly have any dialogue in them – then try to look for ways to move the dialogue around a bit.

Although the level of artistic detail in my plans varies slightly, the only art that I’ll often include in my plans are brief sketches of the characters’ faces, just so that I know who is speaking in a particular panel.

Why? Because, believe it or not, the dialogue is the most important part of your comic. If a comic has well-written and/or extremely funny dialogue, then people will be very willing to overlook slightly more simplistic artwork. If a comic has beautiful art, but terrible dialogue – then some people might still appreciate it on an artistic level but it won’t be anywhere near as compelling to read.

So, don’t worry too much about the art in your comic plans. Focus more on planning the dialogue.

Anyway, talking of plans, here’s the gallery of comic plans that I mentioned earlier. These are a few small selections from my plans for “Damania Returns“, “The Charity Case: A Harvey Delford Mystery” and “The ‘Let’s Play’“. If you want to see a larger version of any of these pages, just click on the image in question.

These are some of my more artistically-detailed and dialogue-heavy plans for two "Damaina Returns" comics. Your own comic plans do NOT have to have this level of visual detail!

These are some of my more artistically-detailed and dialogue-heavy plans for two “Damaina Returns” comics. Your own comic plans do NOT have to have this level of visual detail!

As you can see in this other example from "Damania Returns", there's hardly any artistic detail in these plans. The main focus is on the dialogue.

As you can see in this other example from “Damania Returns”, there’s hardly any artistic detail in these plans. The main focus is on the dialogue.

This is the original plan for page two of "The Charity Case". As you can see, I'd originally tried to change the panel layout shortly after finishing my initial plan. In the end, I think that I went with the original layout, if I remember rightly.

This is the original plan for page two of “The Charity Case”. As you can see, I’d originally tried to change the panel layout shortly after finishing my initial plan. In the end, I think that I went with the original layout, if I remember rightly.

 This is the original plan for page four of "The Charity Case". As you can see, the emphasis is on planning the dialogue, rather than the art. And, you can probably see that I've actually crossed out at least one planned line of dialogue.

This is the original plan for page four of “The Charity Case”. As you can see, the emphasis is on planning the dialogue, rather than the art. And, you can probably see that I’ve actually crossed out at least one planned line of dialogue.

 This is my original plan for page five of "The 'Let's Play". This page actually required a bit of art planning but, for the most part, the planning involved making sure that the dialogue flowed well.

This is my original plan for page five of “The ‘Let’s Play”. This page actually required a bit of art planning but, for the most part, the planning involved making sure that the dialogue flowed well.

This is my original plan for the final page of "The 'Let's Play'". This is probably a more typical comic plan for me. The writing is a strange mixture of cursive and block capitals (remember, always use block capitals in your final comic pages) and the art is nothing more than a few mere scribbles that indicate which characters are speaking.

This is my original plan for the final page of “The ‘Let’s Play'”. This is probably a more typical comic plan for me. The writing is a strange mixture of cursive and block capitals (remember, always use block capitals in your final comic pages) and the art is nothing more than a few mere scribbles that indicate which characters are speaking.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

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