By Keith Nallawalla
Did you ever wish you could draw comics? Now it’s easy, in the form of Comic Book Creator 2 by Planetwide Media. This is a design package that has all the features you would expect for making a comic book, such as pre-set page layout templates, speech bubbles, caption boxes, separate pages and cover art. Not surprisingly for this web-savvy generation, it comes with non-traditional features such as sound and video for online comics.
The program is compatible with JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG and TIF image files; AVI, MPG, MPEG, and WMV video files and MP3, WAV and WMA audio files.
The basic program includes
• 12,000 Art Assets including clip art, word balloons and animated GIFs
• 190+ sound effects
• Over 100 templates
• PD Particles (paint and drawing software)
• Audacity (audio editor)
• Video controller to zoom, cut and loop video
• Image size and rotation controls
• Comic book fonts
• Text and colour editing
• Step-by-step instructions
You can also buy dozens of picture packs and customised comic creators such as:
• Marvel Heroes
• Speed Racer
• National Geographic Kids Silly Pets
• TOKYOPOP Manga Creator
• Charlotte’s Web Storybook Creator
When installing the program, make sure that you install the Art Assets packs or else you won’t have much to work with. These extras give you many more speech bubbles, caption boxes and clip art. The clip art is not necessarily useful, as many pictures may not work well with your drawing style, but the huge range of text boxes should cover most of your needs.
The program was initially a little tricky to work out how to use it. Fortunately, there are online tutorials, but they seem to be from the previous version of Comic Book Creator, as the interface looks a little different – but the principles are still the same. I found the tutorials a little slow to load, but once I got the hang of it, the program was easy to use. I also found that my projects took a while to load; however, my computer is four years old and in need of an upgrade.
in the frame
When I was in high school a couple of years ago, I used Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to make comics. Comic Book Creator comes with some cool templates to frame your page, which saves time compared to the Adobe programs. Each frame panel hides the edges of the picture, so you don’t have to worry about cropping your images or making a clipping mask the way you would in other programs. The images are made to fit within the predetermined box sizes that you have chosen in your layout. You can choose the size of your page so you can print your book on various sizes of paper.
This program seems to work best in conjunction with other image-editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You wouldn’t want to try making a comic using only what is available within this program.
It is possible to have animations and videos in your comic book for publishing and viewing your comic online. You can share comics you have created with the rest of the comic creator community on their social network www.hypercomics.com, on YouTube, or Facebook. I’m having fun using this program.
Buy from: www.amazon.com
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