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How Professionals Create Manga

Updated on June 27, 2012



The Long Paper Road

Manga and comics are fun to read. However, Most people don't realize all the steps involved in creating such works of art. I will be going through the steps that most professionals go through to create manga and comics. Manga can be made by using fewer or more steps, I will be going over the standard. All artwork posted is original!

Step 1: Storyboard

Before anything gets written in stone, an idea must first exist. This is where the storyboard comes into play. A rough sketch of the story is sketched on the page. The page layout begins to take rough form. Speech bubbles, panels, and characters are added to the sketch. Panels are the divider lines between each picture. Paneling can prove to be a as challenging of an experience as the actual drawing. This step takes me the longest because trying to come up with the poses and position of the page is very difficult.

Step 2: Pencil Sketch

The pencil sketch is a vital step of any comic. The sketch is usually drawn using the type of pencil the artist is most comfortable with. The lead number or darkness doesn't matter because this will get erased later during the inking. If the pencil sketch is poor, then the final product will most likely be poor as well. The pencil sketch may be laid over the storyboard sketch or drawn out on a different piece of paper. I would show a pencil sketch for the picture below, but I already erased it. =)

Step 3: Inking


Inking the comic is almost essential. The only exception would be if the artist chose to use a dark permanent lead pencil. Inking is basically tracing. The goal of inking is to get smooth, dark, “printer friendly” lines. The pencil drawing underneath is erased and only the ink will remain. If inking is sloppy, then the next step takes a lot longer to finish.

Step 4: Computer Editing

After the inking, the picture is then scanned into the computer and edited with an editing program. The editing program is obviously up to the artist but some popular ones are Manga Studio and Photoshop. Photoshop is very powerful but has a bigger learning curve than Manga Studio. Before any effects are ever added, the artist touches up the artwork to get it as clean as possible. Once he/she is happy with the comic thus far, effects can be added. Effects can be added by using screen tones. Screen tones can be purchased as a physical product or can be added digitally. (If purchased as an actual product, adding them would occur in a step in between inking and computer editing).

I hope you enjoyed learning how Manga and other comics are made. If anyone wants me to make a tutorial on how to draw or create anything please let me know.


Finished Picture



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    • Carlton88 profile image

      Carlton88 5 years ago

      Thanks alot! Ya, I remember the first time I bought one I said to myself, "all this work for 7.99 a copy!?"

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

      Super introduction - the artistry in graphic novels is so often under-rated, yet the images are so amazing.