How exactly do comics' artists go about creating a series of panels, and how can I, as a beginner, develop a process for creating a comic?

Comics and animation are what got me interested in art, and studying them and reading specific guides are largely how I taught myself to draw. There are hundreds of books alone that are dedicated to teaching comic-style art and various aspects of it, and almost all of them cover storyboarding and panel layout to some extent. My shelves are covered with them, and I've learned a little more with each one.

That being said, if you are looking for a single, easy-to-access guide to learning storyboarding, I highly recommend Mark Kennedy's blog, Temple of the Seven Golden Camels. Kennedy is a storyboard artist who has worked on everything from major Disney movies to his own comics. The entire blog (frequently added to since 2006) is dedicated to teaching people storyboarding and related storytelling concepts through examples of great directors and great artists, passed-on lessons from Disney greats, and Kennedy's own observations. The concepts of dynamic visual storytelling are pretty consistent through film and comics (foreground and background, shading, contrast, the illusion of motion, etc), so every post he makes is valuable.

If you are serious about creating a comic of that quality, I highly recommend reading all of his posts, starting at the beginning of the archive. You will have a vastly improved understanding of what makes a strong panel and a strong page. If you are more on the dabbling end and just want to get to drawing, programs like Manga Studio have panel presets that you can use and fiddle with, and you can order professional comic book pages (with the layout lines in non-photo blue) online (or through a number of comic book stores).

I don't think that just copying pages is going to teach you what you want to know unless you already have a good understanding of the design concepts behind the layout already. It's the difference between looking at a panel of a face and recognizing that's probably to show an emotional reaction and seeing the same panel and understanding why the artist chose the direction that face was looking, the colors, lighting, and shading used, and how much of the face to show, as well as how all of those things fit with the other panels on the page and the opposite page in order to provoke a very specific response in the reader.

Everybody can tell the difference between an artist who has the technical skill to draw a properly-proportioned panel but nothing more (the figures are stiff and lifeless, even with all the motion lines and proper muscle flexing in the world added in, and the panel is lackluster) and an artist who has the (learned) talent to tell a story with their drawing. A practiced understanding of the concepts behind the panel is what makes the difference.

I'm sorry to say it, but that's going to take a lot of reading.

/r/learnart Thread