The right graphic style for your comics

The best way to explain about picking the right graphic style for your comic book is telling you what happened while working on Niki Batsprite’s comic series. In this comic, anthropomorphic characters portrait different personalities and conflicts we all face in everyday life: a mix of comedy, action and unexpected turning points.

For this project, we chose to rely on non-human characters, a mixed Disney/Manga drawing style and go full-color.
We also decided to use no inks to achieve a “grunge effect” and somehow tell the audience that the comic was not aimed to kids only. In fact, most readers aren’t kids and their age ranges between 16-35.

But, oddly enough, they voted for an “inked & glossy” look, which in their mind it’s the established style for cartoon-like and anthropomorphic characters like Niki Batsprite‘s.
We applied the rule “something new, something old” and followed our readers feedback: our new stories with a “canon & commercial” look. This change -and a rise of quality in backgrounds and colors- helped the comic’s success consistently.

LEFT: grunge effect to detach our comic from kids-aimed stuff. RIGHT: Classic inked effect readers asked us to adopt.

LEFT: grunge effect to detach the comic from kids-aimed stuff. RIGHT: Classic inked effect readers asked us to adopt.

This example proves that readers “confuse” the graphic style with the kind of story and expect them to be consistent to each other, no matter if you’re offering a different kind of content in the end. They perceive such consistency as a guarantee.

Since you matched a certain kind of story and characters with the established graphic style, audience thinks you know what you’re doing.

This doesn’t mean you have to mimic someone else’s style, just don’t be afraid to rely on canonical details and aestethic choices while bringing on your original drawing and storytelling.

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Francesca Urbinati Artist

Francesca Urbinati

Sono illustratrice e fumettista freelance. Ho lavorato su effetti speciali 3D, graphic design e multimedia per RAI, Mediaset, Adobe, ArtOrder LLC, Studio Hamburg, MoveTheGame e molti altri. Pubblico la serie a fumetti Niki Batsprite e aiuto altri artisti e autori a emergere.
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