How to: Publish an online comic without a PC (and for free)

How-to – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

Online Comics - Main Pic

Creating online comics can be costly. Between software like Adobe Photoshop and hardware like a scanner or tablet, you’d be forgiven for thinking a small fortune was needed to enter the game.

However, if you’re just starting out, you’re probably not quite ready to make the next Wormworld Saga just yet.

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Daniel Lieske’s Wormworld Saga (2010)

With practice, that day will come but until until then, let me show you how to publish an online comic with nothing but the smartphone in your pocket and a little creativity.

Before we start, there’s one thing you need to do: Get drawing! You have to walk before you can run, and you need to draw some comics before you start publishing. All you need is paper, something to draw with, and the spark of an idea.

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Randall Munroe’s XKCD

“But I can’t draw that good,” I hear you say. Well, neither can these guys:

None of them have let their artistic shortcomings get in the way of making great comics, and neither should you. Need more convincing? Check out the early work of:

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Matt Groening’s Life in Hell

Yeech! Still, they got better with practice and now each is responsible for some of the most enduring and iconic comic and cartoon characters of the late 20th century.

So stop worrying about not being good enough and just do the thing!

Drawn some comics yet? Good. Now follow these simple steps:

1.      Photograph your work

IMAG0096You need your comics in a format that can be viewed online and photos are perfect for this.

It may take a little time to capture evenly-lit pictures so experiment; take your time and pay attention to what works for you.

2.      Edit your photos

It’s likely that your phone has a photo editing app. If so, use it to: crop, adjust brightness and contrast, and apply effects to improve the photos you’ve taken.

Note: Knowing what your editing tools do before you take your photos will make it easier to capture your comics at their best so have a play and see what you can do.

3.      Publish your comic

social media collageGetting your comic online is easy. What’s hard is deciding which social media platform to use. There’s an ocean of them out there.

Choose the platform that best suits your needs. For comics, you’ll need one that displays images nicely. My recommendation is Tumblr as it’s tailored especially for sharing art. You could also use Instagram (if you don’t mind the square image format) or WordPress.

4.      Share your comic with the world

Once your comic is online, it’s in a public space for everyone to see, but if you don’t tell people about it, you may only get friends and family as an audience.

To grow your audience, put your comic (and yourself) out there by:

  • Finding other comics on the same social media platform. Comment and let them know you exist.
  • Joining an online comics community and making yourself known.
  • Using other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to promote your comic.

Most importantly, keep drawing and keep posting new comics. Audiences love new content and this is the first and most crucial step in paving the way to a loyal following.

The sky’s the limit. Happy creating!

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Wazu the Streetfighting Lemur


Need more help with getting started on creating your own comic? I recommend: