ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Comic Writing: A Laugh, An Invitation and A Story

Updated on August 2, 2012

Laughing. The giggles, out right haha-ing and a smile are, at some point, a part of life. Entertaining someone in making them laugh is not uncommon, whether goofing off with friends or preparing jokes for a larger audience. A comic strip is a form of this, the art of making someone laugh on paper. From a crazy doodle to drawing quirky characters based off of real people (like the famous strip Zits), comics can come in many forms.

Writing comics isn’t just about Superman, Spiderman and other comic book heros. Humor, in the form of comics, can be used as a way to criticize or report on news in a way that will invite people to think more about it. A kind of journalistic artwork.

"Humor helps readers enter that otherwise big gray mass of type that is the news,” says co-author of Zits comic Jim Borgman. “I spent 32 years as an editorial cartoonist and I always felt that by approaching subjects graphically and with a bit of humor I was inviting readers into the debate who might otherwise not participate.”

Comics, which were often used as a tease to bring readers to newspapers, have seen big changes in recent years. Most changes are because of diminishing comics in newspapers and have caused simpler art and less character development.

“William Randolph Hearst felt that if his newspapers carried comics that readers developed a loyalty to, they would continue to come back to the same newspaper to read them every day,” says Borgman. “Comics can still serve this purpose, though many newspapers seem to have forgotten their role as a reader magnet, shrinking, distorting and burying the strips.”

Despite diminishing roles in newspapers, there is still room for comics and their writers. With the widespread use of the Internet and smart phones, the comic industry, like the newspaper industry, will continue to move forward in whatever direction consumers demand.

"I believe that comic strips are a wonderful and timeless art form that people just plain enjoy,” says Zits co-author Jerry Scott. “Cartoonists will adapt and find their audience through whatever means are available.”

The true form of laughter not only comes from lovable characters from the narrative they tell, often offering insight, humor and exaggeration.

“Readers care about characters and stories, no matter how they're delivered,” says Borgman reminding us of the beloved characters Charlie Brown, Pogo or Calvin. “The digital world, of course, invites motion and sound, so the art form will likely gravitate in that direction. Cartoonists with a story to tell will always find a way, I believe. I think the future will reward the flexible cartoonist who can adapt to any medium or forum as technology evolves and the paths become clearer.”

In adapting to current trends Borgman advises future comics to always keep an eye out for inspiration and encompass all tools available.

“Carry a sketchbook, daydream, be an observer of life, study the work that has gone before you, develop a healthy sense of humor and master your tools,” advises Borgman. "The set of tools is broader now — instead of just ink, pens and brushes, the toolbox contains animation, interactive web stuff, social networks and graphics programs. It's still all about conveying a vision to an audience, though.”

As the world around inspires, keep in mind what the end result is — a smile, laugh or just brightening up someone's day.

“Now and then we realize we might be on a higher mission, when we hear from kids or their folks that Zits helps them talk to each other or realize they're not alone in their challenges," says both authors of Zits. But, "most of the time, our goal is simply to drop a smile into everyone's busy, hectic day.”


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Kimberly Turner profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Quevedo 

      8 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you TToombs08! I'm glad you liked the hub!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      8 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Kimberly, you did a great job in running through the world of comic strips, from why they came into existence to some great advice for would be comic artists. Nicely done.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Humour is a really effective way to engage readers, I have always loved comic strips...interesting hub. Thanks for sharing:-))


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)