Graphic Novel Programming
5 Quick and Easy Comic Creating Websites (That Are Also FREE)
By Justin Switzer

There are a number of resources available online to aid aspiring comic creators in honing their craft. Here, Young Adult Librarian and contributing writer Justin Switzer highlights five web sites that could be useful to librarians and educators in their comic-making programs.

Make Beliefs Comix (for ages 8+)

With its very simple drag and drop interface, Make Beliefs Comix makes it easy to create an original comic strip. It does, however, only limit you to the number of panels offered to be made for the comic. You are also only given a small set of characters and designs to select from to create a commix. With a little creativity and a well thought out lesson plan, Make Beliefs Comix could be a very useful tool to make something that could be used as a visual aid in a demonstration or presentation. This website is also the only one listed that offers the option of comics in languages other than English.




Create Your Own Comic from Marvel (for ages 8+)

Marvel has always been considerate of its younger fan-base, with the introduction of the many Marvel superhero games, animated shows, and the many games available online. This comic creator website is very easy to use. It utilizes the standard drag and drop of most other comic creator apps. However, this one uses popular marvel characters, so young people can use the characters they know and love to create a story of their own. It is easy and fun. You can even create an entire comic book digitally (22 pages) if you so choose to tell your own awesome story.


Starve Vol. 1



ReadWriteThink Comic Creator (for ages 6+)

A very straightforward approach to comic creating. It utilizes the common drag and drop option for creating panels. Much like Make Beliefs Comix, it is very simple, yet limited in your options as far as characters and comic props. The item selectors get a little tiresome at times when you have to scroll through so many images to get to the one you want, but they at least offset that with only having three options to select from. This is a great way to get kids into making comics of their own and can be used in classrooms and with kids from K-12.




Pixton (for ages 12+)

Pixton is a little complicated. I suggest that you play around with it before you try offering a library program or class project. It allows a lot of customizable features to make the comic your very own, and with the "Beginner" feature, it allows for creation of a quick comic strip or book. You have complete control over the number of panels you’d like in the comic. However, some features of the website are only available if you upgrade to a paid subscription. Also, a huge drawback to Pixton is that you have to create a login. Pixton best for the more advanced digital comic creators, so I suggest playing around with some other programs on this list before trying this one out.




Toondoo (for ages 12+)

Toondoo is very similar to Pixton with its ability to customize the options available through the app interface. The user interface window is very well laid out for ease of operations, once you figure out what everything does. You unfortunately have to create an account before you can do anything with this program. Other than that, ToonDoo does everything an early comic creator may want. It is suggested to get a feel for some of the other comic creator websites in prior to trying ToonDoo.