Digital Comics Tools

eComic Concept Art Sylen Benevolen V2H
eComic Concept Art Sylen Benevolen V2H

As I travel along the digital comics path, I am keeping a list of the useful Digital Comics Tools and resources that I find.  Useful gems that if not of use immediately, may come in handy later on.

Digital Comics Creation

  • Gimp:  This is an awesome piece of free software for digital drawing, painting and image manipulation.  It is distributed for free and is hugely popular.
  • Blender:  This is an incredible piece of free software for 3D modelling, animation and more.  One of the advantages of creating a comic using 3D models is that you can re-use these models.  If you want to draw a scene from a different angle, you just change the position of your camera instead of having to re-draw the whole scene from scratch.
  • Manga Studio:  This digital art package is specifically geared towards comics creation.  My experience with it so far has been fantastic – all of the features for digital drawing and painting along with comic book functionality such as word balloons and paneling. Please note: the following link is an affiliate link so I would make a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you end up making a purchase through it, but please do not feel obliged.

eComics Packaging

  • 7-Zip:  The various eComics formats such as cbz and cbr are simply zip and tar archive files containing a collection of images.  I use 7-Zip, an open source file archiver to generate my cbz files.

Digital Comics Viewing

  • Comic Rack:  This is a feature-packed piece of free software for reading and organizing eComics.  It can read the following formats:  cbz, zip, cbr, rar, cbt, tar, cb7, 7z, pdf, cbw, djvu.
  • Comixology:  This is an online company that sells digital comics in their own proprietary format.  They have digital comics viewing apps for Kindle Fire, iOS, Android and web browsers (including Windows).   Built into these viewers is Comixology’s Guided View technology.  They are biggest player in the digital comics game at the moment.

Digital Comics Distribution

  • Selz:  This is an eCommerce site that allows the digital comics creator to sell their work online.  If you intend to sell to people in Europe, it even handles the new European VAT reporting and record keeping for you.  Selz will take a 2% commission (plus any credit card fees of 2.5% + £0.30 for UK accounts).
  • Comixology Submit:  This is the Comixology Self-Publishing feature.  Digital Comics creators can submit their work which then undergoes an approval process before it can be sold on the Comixology site in their proprietary format.  Backups can also be offered using other formats e.g. *.cbr or *.cbz etc.  Comixology will take a 50% commission for this service.

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