Me and a friend of mine has been thinking about joining forces and make a comic. She is an excellent drawer/illustrator while I perform better in the story/character/writing part of things.

I guess the best way to start would be to throw ourselves into it, but I like to read about things first, to get some inspiration and hints about common pitfalls.

So, are there any good books (or online resources) about making commics? Would be particularly interesting if they focus on collaboration between writer and drawer.

  • I can't recommend it as I haven't read the book, but I'm surprised there's been no mention of Will Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art. Commented Dec 18, 2010 at 16:30
  • @neilfein: Haven't read C&SA either, but I've liked to do so for a long time. Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 16:21

5 Answers 5


One of the best books you can read on the subject is Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. The book itself is written as a comic, so it can illustrate the techniques it discusses. One of the topics covered is word-picture dynamics, which seems pretty close to what you're looking for.

  • This is one of my favourite books... He also wrote Reinventing Comics and a new one (well 2006 but I'd not heard of it) called Making Comics.
    – One Monkey
    Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 17:17
  • 2
    I'd get all of them, but most importantly in your case Making Comics, which seems to cover just what you need. Caveat: I have only read Understanding Comics (multiple times), but I have no doubt the other two are excellent too. Commented Dec 14, 2010 at 19:25
  • 1
    +1 It's a good book for basic story techniques as well. I re-read it every year or so.
    – Alan
    Commented Dec 15, 2010 at 5:42

Scott McCloud is a good starting point in terms of understanding the potential of what comics as a hybrid medium can accomplish.

That being said, in response to your interest in writing, as opposed to drawing or inking, I would recommend:

  • The DC Comics Guide to Writing - Dennis O'Neil
  • Alan Moore's Writing for Comics - Alan Moore

Both provide interesting insight into the work habits and philosophies of two very successful (and very different) comics writers.

I would also suggest:

  • The Ten-Cent Plague - David Hajdu
  • Do Anything - Warren Ellis
  • Comic Book Culture - Matthew J. Pustz

These three provide some fascinating context for the history and culture of comics; they have helped make me aware of the tradition in which I am writing, an awareness I believe to be invaluable to any person interested in writing comics.

Best of luck to you and to your friend!


As with any other application of "writing", it's recommended to read voraciously. The more I think about it, the more I think that reading is at least as important as practice.

So... you do love comics? Have a large comic collection? Or at least read lots and lots of (different style/genre preferably) comics? Know whatever genre you want to do in your comic inside and out (or at least pretty well)?

If you answered "yes" to all of these, then jump right in. If not, then, well, I think you know what to do.

Hope this wasn't too harsh...


If you're looking for a book on writing comics and graphic novels, this is the one to get: The Working Writer's Guide to Comics and Graphic Novels


The Eisner books, while excellent, are written for the artist, talking about structure of panels, anatomy, etc. The Graphic Novels and Sequential Art book has the most information which would be of use to writers, since it deals with story. That said, I am sure that any writer in the genre would do well to read them, since they must collaborate with artists.

The advice given before to read like crazy, especially comics, is very sound, I would add to this, "Write like crazy!" also. Take a page from storyboard artists: nothing is precious, do not be afraid to throw work out and start anew. Keep a file of ideas (see the BlueBook Screenwriting series), make mood boards to inspire you, along with art, joke and writing morgues for more inspiration. Observe life, it is stranger than anything you could dream up.

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