Wikijunior:How Things Are Made/Wood/Comic Books

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The comic books is as dynamic as some of its superhero characters. Comic books offer a visual portal into a world of humor, action, and adventure that can stimulate a reader's imagination.

What do we need to make this thing?[edit]

Dots printed in comics

During the preparation of a comic book, a variety of art materials may be used to create the original hand-drawn page masters and color guides.

These materials include various sizes, weights, and finishes of paper, as well as several different drawing mediums including pencils, inks, markers, and paints. After the master pages have been scanned and colored on a computer, the computer uses the color guides as a reference to generate four pieces of plastic film that are used in the printing process.

The actual comic book itself is printed on a variety of papers using four colored inks : cyan (a shade of blue), magenta, yellow, and black. These four inks are printed in an interlocking pattern of tiny dots, which our eyes perceive as various colors. The printed comic pages are then bound together with staples or glue to form a comic book.

What is the step by step process?[edit]

Step by step (Preferable in bullet point list)

  • Step 1: Although most people think of a comic book as a series of pictures, it is the written plot that gives the story its direction. The writer and artist discuss the proposed story and exchange ideas. At this stage, they may use a number of formal or informal techniques for developing ideas. They may make notes on small index cards arranged on a table or they may outline the flow of the story on a display board. During the course of their discussion, they decide on

the situations, locations, characters, and other details of the story. This helps define the overall plot from beginning to end.

  • Step 2: Because most comics have a fixed number of pages, the writer and artist must then decide how to break up the story to fit each page. They discuss which scenes and dialogue are critical to keep the story flowing and how the characters and action should be depicted to have the greatest impact. Sometimes they follow general industry practices, which define such things as the optimal number of action scenes per page or the amount of dialogue per word balloon, but other times they rely on their own personal style. Once the story has been refined, the writer creates a script. This includes general descriptions of the scenes and characters in the order they appear, the accompanying dialogue or descriptive text, and general instructions to the artist. The result is very much like a script written for a movie or play.
  • Step 3: The artist reads the script and makes a rough sketch of each page, called a storyboard. The thumbnail helps the artist decide how each scene should be depicted, and how the different scenes should be arranged on the page. Some artists sketch each scene on a small piece of adhesive backed note paper and then move them around on a larger piece of paper to achieve the desired effect.
  • Step 4: An editor may review the pencil drawings and make changes. Sometimes the editor may ask the artist to redraw a portion of a scene to correct an error or clarify an item. In other cases, the editor may have to shorten the dialogue or narrative to fit in the space left by the artist.
  • Step 5: The final step in the drawing process is adding the lettering for the dialogue, sound effects, and narratives that appear in the script. This can be done using hand lettering, adhesive labels, or computer-generated digital type. The letterer selects a typeface that not only conveys the actual words or sounds, but also conveys the action or emphasis of the scene with its size, style,and placement.
  • Step 6: The finished pages, including the front and back covers, are sent to the colorists who add the colors and prepare the four-color separation films required for printing. The original artwork is first photocopied and then scanned into a computer. The photocopy is hand-colored using colored markers, pencils, and paints to become a guide when coloring the pages on the computer. The scanned copy becomes an electronic file that forms a digital outline of the page to be colored.
  • Step 7: When all the pages have been colored, a proof copy of the entire comic book is printed from the computer for final review and approval. The computer then prints a piece of plastic film for each of the four component colors on each page. Each piece of film has hundreds of thousands of tiny dots to represent the location and concentration of that color component across the page.
  • Step 8: The individual pages are arranged so they will appear in the proper order when the comic book is assembled. Usually, two or more pages are printed on each side of a single sheet of paper. When the sheets of paper are stacked on top of each other and folded in the middle, the pages appear in the proper order. On some printing presses, as many as eight pages can be printed on each side of a large sheet, then cut and folded as required.