Computers and Making Comics, Part 3

I have talked about hardware when it comes to using computers to making comics.  What about software?

There’s many choices out there.  All drawing programs come down to two kinds – raster and vector.  Raster-based programs have images depicted as pixels.  Vector-based programs have images depicted as lines.  I cannot comment on which is better; it’s based on one’s own preference.

As for the software out there, those are many.  All programs out there are either vector or raster.  Photoshop from Adobe is arguably the most popular as it is considered an industry standard.  I use Photoshop 6.0 myself.  There’s also Photoshop Elements which is a cheaper and scaled down version of Photoshop.

Illustrator is another popular program.  If you like mimicking traditional media, Painter from Corel may be just what you need.  Like Photoshop Elements above, it comes in a scaled down version called Painter Essentials.

The list of drawing programs out there would be too long to list.  Some of the more well-known ones out there are OpenCanvas, SAI, Autodesk Sketchbook, and Manga Studio.

Unfortunately, these software programs I mentioned have the same issue as the hardware I discussed last time – cost.  Many of these are NOT cheap.  They will run for several hundred dollars or even into the thousands.  You might be able to save money by getting older versions of the software.

There are free drawing programs out there such as GIMP and Inkscape.  As I don’t use these myself, I can’t comment on how useful they are so you are on your own there.

Since drawing software represents a significant cost, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the program and really get to know how to work it.  A trip to your local library or bookstore should turn up several handy books on how to use these programs.  In fact, in the final part of the series, I’ll clue you into various resources for producing comics or digital art on computers.

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Also, be sure to stop over to DriveThru Comics for digital copies of Sunnyville Stories.  Copies of Sunnyville Stories Volume 1 are still for sale on Amazon, both in print and Kindle formats!  While you’re there, be sure to pick up Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and (if you love Gothic horror) Von Herling, Vampire Hunter!  And now available is the latest installment of the saga, Sunnyville Stories Volume 3.  Get them today!

Copies of all the above titles are available to the library trade via Brodart Company and to retailers from Ingram and Baker & Taylor (via BCH Distribution).  Copies are also available direct from the publisher.  For ordering information, contact maxwestart(at)gmail(dot)com or write to:

Different Mousetrap Press LLC, 1100 19th Avenue N, #108, Unit J, Fargo ND 58102-2269 USA  


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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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