Budget software and tutorials for webcomic creation
March 25, 2013 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Asking for my wife - she's working on creating a webcomic using her new Wacom tablet and needs recommendations for affordable drawing/image-manipulation software as well as tutorials in their use.

Right now she has Sketchbook Express, which came with the tablet, and also a copy of GIMP on her computer. She's been watching tutorials by Scott McCloud showing how he works with Adobe Illustrator, but we don't have hundreds of dollars in the budget for that.

What she's looking for are inexpensive (< $100) tools for drawing and coloring the comic and laying out panels and word-balloons and such in an efficient manner. Professionals like McCloud seem to use layers a lot for an effective workflow, so she's trying to get a handle on that aspect of the process.

Any recommendations for webcomic-specific tutorials in the use of these budget tools will be gratefully accepted as well.

Any additional bits of advice for a new webcomic artist are also welcome. She does have copies of McCloud's Making Comics and Kurtz, et al's How to Make Webcomics already, but additional resources are always good.
posted by tdismukes to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
While a little old, Illustrator CS2 is available from Adobe's site, and it should probably work just fine.
posted by GenericUser at 8:06 AM on March 25, 2013

If you're on a Mac, Pixelmator does a lot of what Photoshop does as far as comic artists are concerned (relatively flexible pen and paint tools, layers, text layout), has good Wacom tablet support, and costs $15.

On the PC side, I know PaintTool SAI is pretty popular. It costs about $50.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:20 AM on March 25, 2013

I forgot to mention, she's using a PC.
posted by tdismukes at 8:22 AM on March 25, 2013

Also forgot to mention, Windows XP.
posted by tdismukes at 8:30 AM on March 25, 2013

Magna Studio might do it, and if you sign up for the Smith Micro mailing list they often have sales.
posted by Sophont at 9:19 AM on March 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm on a phone or I'd link to a few, but if you google "Inkscape comic tutorial" you'll turn up numerous examples of doing this with a free alternative to Illustrator.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 9:54 AM on March 25, 2013

Artrage. It's pretty amazing (they've even been packing it with some wacom tablets)...full paint physics, watercolor tools, you name it...there's even a free demo version to try out
posted by sexyrobot at 10:26 AM on March 25, 2013

We picked up a copy of Manga Studio and she's really happy with it. Thanks for all your suggestions
posted by tdismukes at 9:27 AM on March 28, 2013

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