Although one of my webcomic mini series is currently being posted on here each night, I actually started making the next mini series shortly before writing this article (expect to see it appear here near the end of the month). Anyway, I thought that I’d talk about one technique I used to start the next mini series, after encountering some writer’s block when planning the first comic in the series.
This is one of the most basic techniques for getting over writer’s block if you’re making “newspaper comic” style webcomics. However, it won’t really work if you’re making a webcomic that tells a continuous story. This technique also isn’t 100% reliable, but it can work quite well a lot of the time.
So, what is this wonderful technique?
Well, draw a quick sketch of one of your characters doing something dramatic, surreal, interesting or out-of-character. Let your imagination run wild and think of something that is either fun to draw, overly melodramatic or even just completely random. If you’re really short on ideas, draw something that is vaguely inspired by your favourite movies, comics, videogames etc…
This will be the first panel of your plan for your next update. So, sketch out the outlines of the other panels around this strange/fun/random/dramatic sketch that you’ve just made. Then ask yourself either “what happens next?” or “exactly how or why could this happen in the ‘world’ of my webcomic?“.
For example, the first update of my next mini series will begin with this dramatic image, which was inspired by all of the vintage American comics art that I’ve been fascinated by recently:
As soon as I gave myself permission to draw a 1940s/50s American horror/crime comic -style panel in a webcomic that is (vaguely at least) set in something close to modern-day Britain, my imagination suddenly set itself to work trying to make sense of it and trying to find a way to make it funny. And, five minutes later, I had finished planning out the first update for the next mini series.
So, you can sometimes jump-start your imagination by starting an update with something really surreal or out-of-place. Your mind will try to make sense of it and try to work out how it “fits” into the ‘world’ of your webcomic series. This can be a useful way of stimulating your imagination.
Yes, it doesn’t always work. But, when it does, you can come up with some surprisingly funny and interesting comic ideas surprisingly quickly.
Sorry for the astonishingly short article, but I hope it was useful 🙂