Best Programs and Addons for Creating Comics
Comics have enjoyed widespread popularity for over a century, and even though technology is creating new styles and making 3D art and animation more accessible, comics and cartoons are going stronger than a gorilla with a serious workout routine. A good comic can make fans laugh, change their views on controversial subjects, or even fill them with emotion, such as the lovable panels of Catana Comics.
Whether you’re just getting started, or a comic pro, this list features drawing programs, brushes, and addons that are sure to help bring your characters and stories to life.
Drawing and Painting
Clip Studio Paint
Formerly known as Manga Studio, Clip Studio has powerful natural brushes, 3D objects and figures to help with layouts, screentones, and you can even create animations, comic books, or stunning digital paintings. It’s available for OSX/WIN, as well as iPads and Surface Pro users. Get it here.
This free, lightweight digital painting and comic program is loaded with brushes, fonts, backgrounds, screentones, and much more. It’s available for OSX/WIN, iPhones, iPads, Android, and as they are all cloud connected, you can draw anywhere. Get it here.
Brushes and Addons
Brushes by Ray Frenden
Ray has created over 450 brushes for Clip Studio that simulate paint, pencils, wet media, halftones, shaders, and much more. He also has some available for Photoshop. Get em here.
For those using the Open Source program Krita, David Revoy has created many excellent brushes including painting, charcoal, inking, special effects and much more. They’re all free here.
ProCreate Brushes by Georg
Cartoonist and comic artist Georg Graf von Westphalen has created over 400 brushes for Procreate that simulate inking, paint, watercolor, Copic style markers, and much more. Get them here.
Brushes by Brian Allen
These brushes for Clip Studio and Photoshop, are perfect for comic book illustration or even t-shirt designs. Inking, cross-hatching, distress, splatter, stippling, fur, and more. Get em here.
Addons by Alex Dukal
Photoshop brushes for cartooning, watercolors, impasto, sketching and screentones, as well as addons for creating natural effects and even drawing in symmetry. Check them out here.
No comic is complete without fonts that fit perfectly with the content and style. Blambot has everything you would need from dialogue, sound effects, and design fonts. Paid and free fonts are available. Get them here.
Making It Mobile
Available for IOS and Android devices, this very capable drawing app just got better with the ability to load brushes by Kyle T Webster. You’ll need to be a Creative Cloud member, but that also means you can use the brushes in Photoshop. Learn more here.
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(Header Art: Realista by andrescolmenare)