Creating Comics

Ashley McKee

March 28th, 2007

Since Kevin Cheng reignited my interest in comics (ya, I love X-Men), I’ve been interested in finding out how people incorporate comics into their usability and design practices.

Livia Labate, over at I think, therefore IA, wrote a post on her experience creating a comic strip to demonstrate the core elements of a movie plot to other people. She got the idea for the exercise from Scott McCloud’s book, Making Comics, and thought she could use the technique in her information architecture practice.

I bought Scott McCloud’s Making Comics as soon as it was published and dug in right away. It’s always a joy to read his stuff, but this volume in particular struck a cord since it’s exclusively about storytelling and using comics format and techniques to convey a story. I love comics and graphic novels, and have long been interested in how I could use comics’ storytelling techniques in the information architecture practice.

You can read Livia’s entire post here.

If you have any experience using comics in your work, I’d love to hear about them.

6 Responses to “Creating Comics”

  1. Lisa Says:

    Have you seen Martin Hardee’s Design Comics?

    http://designcomics.org/

    Cheers!

  2. Dave Says:

    Ashley, this doesn’t exactly answer your question, but it is an interesting resource for people interested in using comics for design research modeling. http://blogs.sun.com/MartinHardee/entry/new_design_comics_web_site

  3. Matt Says:

    I use techniques from comics to make storyboards, but instead of drawing them, I like to use photographs and Comic Life to create “fotonovela”-style stories. These aren’t quite as polished as drawn comics, but they’re much faster to generate and can be just as engaging.

    Storyboards like this are particularly useful when you’re trying to illustrate a design that’s dependent on environment and context, e.g. mobile devices. I don’t think it’s quite worth the effort if, say, you’re designing a web page that will primarily be used in an office environment.

  4. Darren Says:

    This is pretty mundane, but we sometimes use comic book-type iconography in our collateral material, or for clients. Here’s an example

    http://tinyurl.com/36xcsj (PDF)

    The best comic book I’ve read in years is “Y: The Last Man”. Not about super heroes, but fascinating and funny nonetheless.

  5. Ashley McKee Says:

    Design Comics is a great resource. I had never seen it before. Thanks for pointing it out!

    I’ll have to check out Y: The Last Man…there seem to be quite a few of them. Any favorites?

  6. Martin Hardee Says:

    Thanks for the mentions of http://DesignComics.org ! The images and slides are in the public domain, so feel free to use them in your design projects.

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