Lighten Up with Comic Strips
Kristi Reyes, MiraCosta College

Turn Short Writing Projects into Comic Strips

 

Students in literacy classes can showcase their wicked sense of humor, practice computer skills, get creative, and enjoy a good laugh with a variety of Web sites for creating comic strips.

 

Comic strip projects:

 

·         Tell an original joke or come up with new punch lines to old jokes

·         Illustrate a favorite line or scene from a movie

·         Give advice

·         Write problem-solving dialogs

·         Tell a short fictional story

·         Tell a short story about a memorable experiece

·         Create an advertisement

·         Provide a testimonial about a class, program, or school

·         Imagine the future

 

The following list features a sample made with 13 such sites. 

 

Site

Features/ Get Help             

Ease of use

Samples

Bitstrips

Registration required.  Choose layout: add a title, number of panels up to 8 and border colors; drag and drop characters, scenes, props, furniture, effects from the Art Library tab; add speech call-outs or thought bubbles and colors, text from Text Bubbles tab; give facial expressions and dimensions, body poses and more to characters with the Controls tab. Arrange objects in the panel with the camera zoom, pan, angle, rotate buttons on the bottom tool panel. Option to design yourself (a comic strip character that looks like you). Option to edit your own or others’ saved comics. Save, comment on, post to a blog, share by email, embed, rate comics.  Help wiki.

 

2 stars

 

Bitstrips sample

 

Bubblr

No registration required. Select from flickr.com photos by tag or user name (or upload your own images to flickr). Drag and drop speech or thought bubbles and type in text. Add frames. Option to recycle your and others’ saved strips. Rate strips. Save online, print, post to blog with embed code, share by email, or post to del.icio.us account. 

 

5 stars

 

Bubblr sample

 

Pikistrips

 

Registration required. Four steps: 1. Select layout (number of cells up to 9 with horizontal or vertical layout); 2. Adjust layout (border width and color, cell spacing, background color, comic size); 3.Create (add images - upload from a computer or search for flickr.com photos) and position within the cells, apply image effects, drag and drop fun stuff (graphics), drag and drop speech and thought bubbles, edit panel properties (text size, font, item transparency and rotation, order) and Preview; 4. Save with a title, description, tags, make public or private. Strip can be edited later. Text directions provided for each of the four steps or click the instructions question mark. Add comments and rate strips. Get code and URL for posting to a social network or blog.

 

Four stars

 

Pikistrips sample

Benito’s project

 

 

ComicsSketch 

Registration required. Draw a comic strip using the site’s Flash SVG Editor. Draw your comic strip: choose pen color, transparency, and line width. Save and edit.  Embed, post, share with or without drawing animation. For help, post questions or see blog.

2 stars

(if you can’t draw or don’t have a stylus pen or other drawing tool peripheral)

4 stars

(if you have a stylus and/or artistic talent)

Attempted ComicsSketch sample

 

Comiqs  

 

Registration required. Three steps. 1. Photos: upload from a computer, select from the site’s photo library, or enter URLs to add online photos; add styles (black and white, negative, cartoonish) to images; 2.  Graphics: drag and drop bubbles (speech and thought), type in text and choose panel layout. 3. Comic text: add special text. Save and edit later. Publish to flickr, embed, post or email. See blog.

 

4 stars

Comiqs sample

Nancy, Micaela, and Juan’s project

 

My ComicStrip

 

No registration required. Very basic and easy but few options for customization. Select one of 14 subjects (templates) to see characters in three panels.  Drag and drop facial expressions (16 choices) to the characters and text to the call-out bubbles. No online saving for later editing. Sharing only by email. Option to print.

 

5 stars

My ComicStrip sample

 

Kerpoof  

 

Registration required. Only one panel with make a picture option. Choose one of 67 scenes. Choose and resize objects (characters), flip, rotate. Add speech bubbles and captions. Draw objects with SuperDoodle. Save your work when done and give it a title. Print or email. Also make a movie, drawing, card, or story on the site. Many language options. See how to play / make a picture movie and teacher’s page.

 

4 stars

 

MakeBeliefsComix

No registration required. Very user-friendly. Choose 2, 3, or 4 panels. Drag and drop characters (15 choices with four emotions per character). Move, scale, order, or flip items. Choose talk or thought balloons and add text. Choose background colors and panel prompts. Sharing only by email. Option to print. Multilingual:  Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Latin. With story ideas and writing prompts.  See How to Play.

 

5 stars

MakeBeliefsComix sample

 

Pixton

Registration required. Quickie: choose from 16 scene templates and choose characters (42 options). Click a panel to edit: title, character, speech/thought bubbles, props, scene, colors. Choose Advanced to create a scene from scratch.  Add panels, new scenes, characters as you go. Language options. Save online to edit (remix yours and others’ toons) later. Embed, share by email, comment on toons. See the trailer (video) for a demo and the help page.

 

3 stars

Pixton Sample

Alicia’s Safety Advice

Leo’s project

 

 

ReadWriteThink Comic Creator

 

No registration required. The most basic of all the sites. No color. Choose 1, 2, 3, or 6 panels. Choose very basic people (characters and animals) and add to panel by dragging and dropping. Click the plus sign to change appearances. Add balloons and props for each panel. Type in captions. For basic help/directions, click the help question mark. Only printing. No saving online or future editing.

 

5 stars

 

Stripcreator 

 

 

Registration required. Click random comic layout or customize by choosing 1 – 3 panels. Choose a right and left character of numerous characters from 19 themed comics. Add dialog or thought bubbles with text and optional captions (narration). Choose from numerous background scenes in seven categories. Give strip a title and save. Strips are saved online but no future editing option. Print by capturing screen. FAQs and wiki.

 

5 stars

Stripcreator sample

 

Toondoo

 

Registration required. Select a layout of 1 – 3 panels. Choose from numerous characters in 10 categories with a variety of poses and with several emotions. Drag and drop onto panel. Backgrounds and props in eight categories. Text and thought bubbles with foreign text possible. Shrink, enlarge, clone, flip, rotate, and order items in panels. Option of uploading own images and creating unique characters. See teacher training video or Help Wiki.

 

5 stars

Toodoo sample

Alberto’s comic strip

Angeles’ project

 

Toonlet  

 

Registration required. Give the comic a title. Create and save your own characters with torsos (clothing), hair, hats, glasses, props, facial features. Change emotions of saved characters by changing mouths, eyebrows, eyebrows. Scale, rotate, flip, spin layers (features). Add panels. Save and edit later. Comment on toons. Email, embed, bookmark, print. Practice without registering by making a character or take the tour.

3 stars

Toonlet sample