Finally a piece of software that will eliminate those pesky comic book companies!
Comic life 3 by Plasq will put a virtual comic book company in your PC, Mac or iPad. It has everything you need to create any type of sequential storytelling like comic books, comic strips, web comic or if you’re feeling really ambitious a graphic novel. Everything that is except the artist. To be clear, it is not a drawing program nor does it have cheesy clip art. You’ll have to draw your own cheesy clip art. Or better yet, take a some pictures and use the dozens of filters to transform your pictures to comic book style art!
However if you do not have any intentions of launching a comic book company, you can create comic book style flyers, posters, school projects, manuals, presentations…anything that involves graphics, using all its fancy doodads. It’s simply a matter of drag-and-dropping any image into one of the dozens of comic book style templates and then playing around with the filters to make the it look like a comic style drawing. Once you download the software (there is a 30 day free trial! WHEEE!!) and open up the program, you can browse your photos in the built-in photo browser or drag and drop from a finder window.
You get the full version during the trial period, otherwise it is $29.99, but you get plenty for about $30 dollars: dozens of templates, fonts, onomatopoeia, (that’s a fancy word but I’m sure you know what that means!) I think it’s an incredible bargain because, honestly, there’s nothing in here that you could not do in Photoshop…if you were an advanced Photoshop user! And if you shelled out hundreds of dollars for it (not to mention tutorial classes and how-to books.) With Comic Life 3 you’re ready to go!
On this page I used some of my artwork, (and Crystal Greenwood’s drawing of me! Those other drawings are of copyrighted characters and we’re using them for illustrative purposes.) So you can see it can work with any of your digital images whether they be from your camera, drawing program or scanned artwork.
My favorite aspect is the built-in word processor. You can type out a story script within the software itself! Its SmartScript program will recognize words such as panel, balloon, thought bubble, etc. so it will add those elements automatically to your template as you go!
For the beginner or aspiring professional this makes it a great alternative to Photoshop. So if you have another drawing program or can scan your artwork to your computer you are ready to dazzle the world with your brilliant comic book!
Like I am doing right now:
Just a quick note: Those are pictures that I took at a wrestling event a few years ago so they are copyright their own respective copyright holders…and please don’t break my arms for anything I might offend you with, this is just for illustrative purposes. Thanks.
As you can see there are a lot of combinations and filters to create a myriad of looks and styles.
You get plenty of creative freedom with Comic Life 3 since the templates are not static. You can manipulate all the elements on the page, click on any of the elements. panels, balloon tails, sound effects, to select and then move or change its shape from the handles. You can even change its colors including the entire page’s so you can even create your own templates.
For the student, househusband, firefighter, circuit court judge or whomever, the interface is easy and self intuitive. So let’s say you just want to make a flyer, a school project or even an instruction manual using the universal language of sequential storytelling, it’s easy-peasy. You may download Comic Life 3 for just the one-time use of a school project but it’s so much fun, you’ll start making up other uses for it. I wouldn’t be surprised if resumés are submitted in comic book formats.
The iPad app ($4.99) also gives you a bunch of templates, panels, balloons and sound effects (alas, no built in word processor) but takes pictures directly from the iPad camera. Here is something Ed and I did during lunch in just a few short minutes.
So imagine grabbing your iPad during a party and making a comic book with your friends on the fly!
Comic Life 3 has plenty of versatility for practical, professional or entertaining applications. It is so easy to use, imagine the kids picking it up and making comic book adventures with their friends! The user interface even makes cute noises when you pick and choose an element! Honestly it is actually addicting. I personally will use it as part of my creative process. Don’t be surprised if my reviews and articles are in comic book format from now on. So it is a highly recommended app from me, go to plasq.com to learn more and check it out. I’d love to see what you make with it so drop us a line with your comics created with Comic Life 3.
Meanwhile, I’m going to get started on my comic book resumé!
Juan lives the Comic Life everyday….
Follow me on Twitter @JuanCPineda