Comics are stories told through a sequence of images. A sequence is a set of things that relate to one another in a specific order. People have been telling stories with sequences since the first cave paintings, but modern comics are thought to have started in the 1800’s in Japan and Switzerland. They became popular in the United States during the 20th Century.
Today, you can see and read comics in newspapers, online, in comic books, and in longer books called graphic novels. A comic book or graphic novel is composed of spreads and panels. A spread is two pages that face each other in a book. Panels are the small boxes that divide a page. The way panels are arranged on a spread help tell the comic’s story.
Panels can be any shape and any size you want them to! Sometimes, an artist will even show the artwork coming out of the panel. This is called a frame break . Some pages, called splash pages , have no panels at all!
Inside each panel is where the artist creates the artwork. Many comics use dialogue to show what the characters are thinking or saying. Dialogue is often shown inside of shapes called speech bubbles. Other text often included in comics are captions and onomatopoeia, or sound effects. Together with speech bubbles, these elements help clearly communicate the story to the reader.
Think of a story you want to tell with your comic. Will it be long or short? Are your characters humans, monsters, or maybe even objects? Where will your story take place? Will you use captions or speech balloons? Grab a Comic Book Kit and go make stuff!