Designing Comic Strips:


Introduction Step 1: Create a Story Step 2: Design Characters Step 3: Layout Sketch Step 4: Final Piece

So, you want to design a comic strip?


I'm Osamu Tezuka and I was a famous Japanese manga artist. Manga is the Japanese word for comics. Let's start out by defining what a comic strip actually is. "A comic strip is a series of narrative sequences, that usually features a regular cast of characters." (

There are many kinds of comic strips. Please take a moment to think about this question:

Are comic strips always funny?

Generally when we think of comic strips we think of something that is humorous or entertaining. Can you name a comic strip whose goal is something other than humor?

Some comic strips go for the quick punch line approach. However, many comic strip artists see comics as an easy way to convey a wide range of ideas. They can be used to spread a message, to advertise a product, comics can even be used to criticize society or present moral questions. Some comics are short and some can fill entire books (usually called graphic novels).

My comic strips or manga were often serialized in a magazine and then later published as graphic novels. The pictures that I drew in my manga were often humorous, but the stories were not. Often I wrote about society and its problems. Many of my works are about human greed and corruption and the destruction of the environment. Sometimes I wrote about the future and the problems we may face. One of my most famous works "Mighty Atom" or "Astro Boy" as he is called in the US, is about the relationship between humans and machines, the social changes that will need to be made when robots become advanced enough to think on their own, as well as our responsibility to those machines as their creators.

Tezuka and Astro Boy

Pretty heavy stuff isn't it?

Before we get started on comic strips, I'd like to tell you the story of how I became a manga artist. While you listen to my story on the Offical Osamu Tezuka Website: "Tezuka Osamu @ World," please answer the questions on the sheet your teacher gave you or copy them down from here.

Ready? Click on the link below and click on the section titled, "Osamu Star" click on the link to "The Story of Tezuka Osamu," then watch the flash file.

Tezuka Osamu @ World

After you've answered the questions your teacher provided please feel free to move on to Step 1: Creating a Story

Astro Boy is copyrighted to Tezuka Productions

Questions? Please e-mail Sarah Showalter: [email protected]

This page was created on July 21, 2004. © Copyright 2004 Sarah Showalter
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