What Tools Should You Use to Create?

Hey everybody! Ed Kang here. As we have been helping creators, a great question comes up more often than not. It's about the best way to create comics in general. You can draw old-school, pencil and paper, or use digital tools like tablets. Which one is better, especially if you want to produce online like Tabulit?

The answer is whatever will help you balance speed and quality.


As indie comic creators, we simply do not have all day to draw and have to keep on production schedule. As much as many of us would love to agonize over every frame and make it perfect, it just is not possible. In the case of comics, consistency is way more important than quality. In other words, it is better to make all your frames look the same, even if they are no where close to the quality you want, than to have one amazing frame and the rest just so-so.

Quite frankly, this is the reason many artists prefer pinups or covers. The grind of consistency over the course of hundreds of frames, can be just that... a grind. When I was learning traditional animation (drawing 24 frames per second by hand) I quickly realized that I had to reduce detail and quality of my designs for consistency. 3D animation is a different story which we won't get into.


While at the same time, only you will know the minimum quality that will satisfy you and your readers. By rule of thumb, the simpler your art, the better the writing should be. For example, if you want to draw a comic using stick figures, you better have an awesome concept because people see the visuals first.

The best thing about consistency is that your quality will improve over time. Getting the basics down will be a great foundation. Then you can add more detail and take things to the next level; while still being consistent.

Tools for Balance

Back to the tools. If you have the best speed/quality balance output when drawing by hand, do it. If it is digital, go with it. Whatever will help you with consistency should win.

For example, I do everything digital from start to finish. However, I am faster drawing by hand. However (again), digital makes me faster overall because I can correct mistakes faster. My process typically involves fixing as I go (in programs like Illustrator) instead of getting a rough sketch perfect first. Some creators are able to draw by hand and have no issues fixing by hand. It's like how some artists only use ONE layer in Photoshop (which I personally think is crazy). But they do it to keep themselves honest and really commit to their decisions (total respect for that). Not me, I need to be able to wipe whole layers at a time as necessary.

Again, this is just me. You will need to experiment and figure things out. Not one approach fits all here. Just make sure you balance speed and quality. To improve this I do a lot of speed painting where I try and finish a digital piece in less than 2 hours and post whatever the result it. The best way to be a better comic artist is to keep drawing comics.

That's it here. Hopefully for you new creators trying to break into the scene this is helpful. Feel free to ask questions.