What does a Comic Book Creator do?

Susan Grindstaff

A comic book creator is someone who creates a story and illustrates it using hand-drawn, cartoon-like characters. Comic books can have any type of storyline, but often feature heroes of superhuman powers who are fighting against villains intent on destroying the world. Sometimes comic book creators develop the drawings first and then build a story around the images. It is usually more common, however, for story creation to come prior to the artwork.

A comic book creator illustrates a story with cartoon-like characters.
A comic book creator illustrates a story with cartoon-like characters.

In some instances, comic books are created using both an author and an illustrator. One person writes the storyline, while another person does the artwork. This type of collaboration is common, and has been the basis for many famous comic books. People who believe they have a great story for a comic, but do not feel capable of illustrating the story, should consider hiring an artist to work with them on their project.

Catwoman was a comic book villain.
Catwoman was a comic book villain.

Anyone with some time on their hands and a story to tell can become a comic book creator, however, finding success in such a field is usually quite a bit more difficult. Once a comic has been created, the writer must then find someone to publish his or her book. This is often very difficult and time consuming, and even a very good work often goes unpublished.

Iron Man is a comic hero.
Iron Man is a comic hero.

For people who would like to become a comic book creator, an education background in art and writing may be beneficial, but in most cases, natural ability plays a bigger role. Many successful comic book creators do not have formal training in either writing or drawing, but most of these artists have natural talent. As children, they may have exhibited early ability for sketching and storytelling.

Those who are thinking of a career as a comic book creator should probably start by studying the work of successful cartoonists. This should be done not to copy the work, but to learn from it. It is possible that in examining successful comic books, a new artist might find some inspiration for their own work. In addition, studying the work of a successful comic book creator might offer some insight into what types of comics are more likely to sell.

Practice kits can be purchased that have just about everything necessary to create a starter comic book. The sets usually come with printed comic templates that are ready for text and artwork. Some of the more expensive kits come with reusable storyboards. Storyboards are used as mock-ups to illustrate how the actual comic book would look when complete.

Comic book creators often create their own heros to overcome challenges they might face in everyday life.
Comic book creators often create their own heros to overcome challenges they might face in everyday life.

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Discussion Comments


When people think of comic book creators they probably think of long running series of super hero comics. But graphic novelists count as comic book creators too.

One of my favorite is Charles Burns. He has produced several amazing comics but his best is called Black Hole. It is a strange kind of sci-fi story about a sexually transmitted disease that causes horrible mutations. It is spreading through the kids at a high school and the infected become outcasts who set up a map in the woods.

It is amazingly imagined and illustrated. He has a very stark drawing style that fits the content perfectly.


Being a comic book creator is not as easy as you might think. Comic books have been around for a long time now and there has been literally thousands of issues dedicated to certain characters.

Quite simply, it is hard to think of an original scenario these days. Almost every super power has been explored, every dramatic twist has been tried, every character flaw has been mined for tension. You are almost doomed to repeat other people's ideas if you try to start your own comic. But don't let me discourage me. There are stories yet to be told.

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