The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Comic Book Writer

Creating a comic book is an exciting and rewarding experience that allows you to bring your stories and characters to life.

Whether you’re an aspiring comic book creator or a seasoned artist looking to self-publish, this comprehensive guide will walk you through (and simplify) the essential steps of making your own comic book, from developing your idea to publishing your finished work.

Step 0: Learn How to Write Comics

Before diving into creating your own comic book, it’s crucial to lay a solid foundation by mastering the art of writing for this unique medium. Comic books combine the power of the written word with visual storytelling, requiring you to develop skills in both crafting compelling narratives and conveying them through sequential art.


When it comes to writing comics, having the right mindset is essential. By cultivating a positive, resilient attitude and committing to continuous growth, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the creative process and bring your comic book visions to life. Here are some resources to help you get into the comics writer mindeset:

Reading Comics

One of the most effective ways to improve your comic book writing is to immerse yourself in the medium. Read extensively and study the works of renowned creators. To get you started, here are some curated lists of must-read stories featuring iconic characters:

Studying Storytelling

While reading comics is essential, don’t limit yourself to this medium alone. Expanding your knowledge of storytelling techniques from other sources can greatly enhance your comic book writing. The five posts below represent a crash course that will take you through storytelling and how to get your story ideas on paper like a pro:

  1. Learn about story telling with these 4 books
  2. Learn about writing comics with these 6 books
  3. Learn about the parts of a comic book
  4. Learn about comic book script formats
  5. Learn about the elements of a comic book script

Taking Action

Of course, the key to mastering any craft is consistent practice. Put your knowledge into action and hone your skills through hands-on experience. For actionable advice and practical exercises, explore our posts:

By dedicating yourself to the art of comic book writing, studying the works of masters, and consistently practicing your craft, you’ll develop the skills necessary to bring your own unique stories to life on the pages of your very own comic book.

Step 1: Develop Your Concept

Begin by brainstorming ideas for your comic book’s story, characters, and setting. Create a premise that is engaging, original, and has the potential for compelling conflicts and character arcs. Consider your target audience and the genre you want to work in, such as superhero, sci-fi, fantasy, or slice-of-life. Here are some of the best tools and strategies for fleshing out your comic book story idea:

Step 2: Write Your Script

Organize your story into a script that outlines the plot, dialogue, and panel descriptions for each page. Break your story down into issues or chapters, ensuring that each installment has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Use proper comic book script formatting to effectively communicate your vision to your artist collaborators.

Obviously, this is all easier said than done. But if you’re looking for some guidance on these topic, check out these posts:

Step 3: Creating Character and Setting Designs

Develop detailed character designs that showcase their unique personalities, abilities, and visual appearances. Create concept art for key settings and props that will appear in your comic book. These designs will serve as a reference for your artist collaborators and help establish the visual style of your comic.

Step 4: Find Collaborators

Unless you plan to both write and illustrate your comic book, you’ll need to find collaborators to help bring your vision to life. Reach out to artists whose style aligns with your story and aesthetic preferences. Establish clear communication and expectations regarding deadlines, compensation, and creative control.

A lot of young and early writers aren’t sure about how to find artists or how to navigate artistic collaborations. If that sounds like you, check out my guide to finding an artist for your comic project and/or these tips for maximizing your writer-artist collaboration.

Step 5: Layouts and Pencils

Work with your artist to create rough sketches and layouts for each page of your comic book. Focus on panel composition, pacing, and visual storytelling techniques that enhance your narrative. Iterate on these sketches until you’re satisfied with the flow and impact of each page.

Step 6: Inks and Colors

Once the sketches are finalized, your artist will create polished ink drawings of each page. These inked pages will then be colored, either traditionally or digitally, to add depth, mood, and atmosphere to your comic book. Ensure that the coloring style complements your story and character designs.

Step 7: Lettering

Add lettering and typography to your comic book pages, including dialogue, captions, and sound effects. Choose a font style that is legible and appropriate for your story’s tone. Ensure that the placement of speech bubbles and captions does not obscure important visual elements.

Step 8: Editing And Proofreading

Review your completed comic book pages for any errors in storytelling, artwork, or lettering. Proofread your text for grammatical and typographical mistakes. Make necessary revisions and corrections to ensure that your comic book is polished and professional.

Step 9: Publishing And Distribution

Decide on your preferred method of publishing and distribution. You can self-publish your comic book through print-on-demand services, submit it to comic book publishers, or distribute it digitally through online platforms. Research your options and choose the method that best suits your goals and target audience.

Final Thoughts

Creating your own comic book is a challenging but immensely fulfilling endeavor. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to bringing your unique stories and characters to life. Remember, the process of making a comic book is iterative and collaborative, so be open to feedback, willing to revise your work, and always strive to improve your craft. With dedication and persistence, you can create a comic book that captivates and inspires readers for years to come.

Table of ContentsToggle Table of Content

The Gentleman’s Agreement

If you read this post and got some value from it, do me a solid and subscribe to my newsletter below. It costs nothing and it’s where I do interesting writing, anyway.

Newsletter | + posts

Frank Gogol is a San Francisco-based comic book writer. He is the writer of Dead End Kids (2019), GRIEF (2018), No Heroine (2020), Dead End Kids: The Suburban Job (2021), and Unborn (2021) as well as his work on the Power Rangers franchise.

Gogol’s first book, GRIEF, was nominated for the Ringo Award for Best Anthology in 2019. Gogol and his second book, Dead End Kids, were named Best Writer and Best New Series of 2019, respectively, by the Independent Creator Awards.