How to draw comics

One of the simplest ways to create a comic is the comic strip, which is usually 3-4 panels long. The Japanese have their version of the comic strip, called ‘yon-koma‘ manga or ‘4-panel’ manga. This kind of short strip is very easy to create, using a formulaic narrative structure called kishotenketsu. This 4-step narrative division derives from an old Chinese poetry structure of four-line compositions.


4 panel comic- intro

Here is an example by manga artist Susumu Katsumata.


This one below was published in manga artist Yukichi Yamamatsu’s Hindi manga ‘Cycle Rickshaw wale ki Dukaan’. 


An explanation on ‘kishotenketsu’ by the people who run Silent Manga Audition.

Below are some old examples of 4-panel comics in a Japanese manga magazine



Here is a step-by-step process for drawing longer story comics. How to draw comics-01How to draw comics-02How to draw comics-03How to draw comics-04

TIP: Draw on a larger size than the print size. For example, if your print size is A5, then draw on at least A4 size or larger, and reduce the image size after scanning.

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Here is an example of a start-to-finish process of completing a page.

ROUGH DRAFT (A4 size paper)
FINAL PENCILS – A3 Size Bristol Board (Ivory Board) Paper
INKING (Using dip pens and black drawing ink)


COMPLETED PAGE (black areas filled in and pencil lines erased)