Here are some basic page layouts & tips for setting up your own comics!
PAGE SETUP | BASIC LAYOUTS | 3-PANEL TEMPLATE | PAGE TEMPLATES
STANDARD PAGE SETUP:
BASIC PAGE LAYOUTS:
This eye-catching page gives you the maximum page-space to:
- Catch the reader’s eye!
- Share key info about a character (= F.A.S.T. toolbox!)
- Make the reader curious enough to turn the page & keep reading…
Level up your basic 4-panel page by combining those top 2 panels into one HUGE panel!
- BIG top panel = Focus on the story’s SETTING.
- SMALL 2nd panel = Focus on an ACTION performed by a character.
- SMALL 3rd panel = Show the RESULT of that action.
Flipping the SETTING+ACTION+RESULT layout on its head, we get a more aspect-to-aspect approach common in manga:
- PANEL 1: Show a detail.
- PANEL 2: Show a different (seemingly unrelated) detail.
- PANEL 3: Reveal how those details relate (or what connects them).
How many different 3-4 panel layouts can you design?
Which seem to be the most readable?
Use the F.A.S.T. Toolbox to make your pages interesting!
- Try focusing on a single tool in each panel.
- Try combining 2 tools in a single panel.
- Try to NOT use one of the tools for an entire comic. How does that affect the story?
You can experiment with doubling your panel borders to create “gutters” of varying widths between & around panels….
3-PANEL COMIC STRIP (w/ RESEARCH NOTES):
Here’s a blank 3-panel comics page I use in various COMICS WORKSHOP settings:
SOURCES = The artist can use this section to document sources used in researching the story. (This is especially important when drawing non-fiction comics based on history, science, literature, &c.!)
NOTES = This section can document edits, reader feedback, conferences, &c.
ARTIST CHECK = This checklist helps the artist move through the basic stages of classroom comics production.
Here’s a slightly different 3-Panel Template with a more structured source table:
Here are two page layouts for printing & tracing basic comics pages:
1-Sheet Mini-Comics (Format)
Turn a single sheet of paper into an 8-page book.
Quarter-Fold Mini-Comics (Format)
Flexible format for mini-comics of 8-40 pages…
Digest Booklet Format
Digest size = 5.5″x8.5″ page size “Digest” is a great page size for sharing printable mini-comics; It’s TALL, it’s very readable, & it requires…
Thank you for all your free downloads on comics. I am a grade school teacher and have always told parents of my reluctant readers to have their child(ren) read comics because there is less print/page, but all other story elements are there to learn. This year I am moving up from teaching 2nd grade to teaching a 3/4 combo class. Implementing comics into my writing curriculum will help my reluctant writers as well. (This is also the theme of my classroom this year.)
Great to know, Brenda. Much luck to you in your 3/4 classroom this year — that’s a real golden age for comics creation! ~ M
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