on Jul 3, 2007
In response to Roxysteve here, I’ll outline the stuff I use to make DMotR. (I’m sure he’s right: I’ve probably done this before, but it was ages ago and I can’t find it now.)
I use Comic Book Creator to make DMotR. The software is not the best. It feels half-finished. I suggest taking a good look at the free demo and deciding if the software will cut it for you as-is. It isn’t likely to improve anytime soon.
The biggest missing feature is the ability to move and resize panels. This is a pretty basic thing, and the software doesn’t let you do it. You have to use one of the existing pre-made page layouts. If you look at DMotR, you may notice certain panel layouts appear over and over. Another glaring oversight is that it can’t fill round bubbles with text: It puts text into rectangular regions within a bubble, which can eat up a lot of excess page real estate.
There are a lot of useless features in there, like adding clipart (yuck) and sound effects (wha????) to your work. It’s an odd bit of software, to be sure.
There are many other small bugs and annoyances. I’ve come this close to running off and writing my own software that can do panel layouts, round text bubbles, thought bubbles, and fancy bubble outlines. It would be a fun project, but I couldn’t do it AND write a comic at the same time, and if I stop doing comics I won’t need it. Hmmmm.
Sorry. Where was I?
I hear there is a program called Comic Life for Macs, but I don’t have access to a Mac so I can’t tell you if it’s any good or not. (Actually, being Mac software, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t intuitive and polished, but I can’t speak from experience. I’d put money on it being a cut above CBC, though.)
The other major tool you want is this: Blambot. Lots of wonderful fonts. Many are free, the others are a reasonable (to me) $20US. The fonts look great and the site doesn’t pummel you with nonsense like many fonts sites do. In DMotR, the king of the dead speaks using their outstanding “Manga Temple” font. Aragorn issued his first decree (and Boromir mocked the Elves) using “Ale & Wenches”. Some of the sound effects use “BADABOOM”. There are a few other gems over there you may recognize as well.
The main font I use is “Pig Iron”, which comes with CBC. Actually, I use “Pig Iron Bold”, because “Pig Iron Medium” wastes miles of vertical space for no apparent reason. On the other hand, “Pig Iron Bold” has a defective Q with too much trailing space, which I have to correct manually using image editing software, after I’m done in CBC. (Although you can probably find a few places I forgot.)
I use Paint Shop Pro 8 for retouching. I use it to color normal word bubbles yellow (for NPCs) because CBC can only do white chat bubbles. I have to do quite a bit of Photoshopping to make the King of the Dead talk in that glowing green text. I also use PSP to do the “photoshoping” on screencaps, in order to make composite images, flip the scene, edit out unwanted characters, or whatever other abuse I need to do to Peter Jackson’s work.
There it is. That’s what I use. Good luck with your project.
Which reminds me: This comic is popular enough that I’m surprised nobody else has done something similar. Harry Potter? Aliens? Spider-Man? X-Men? Star Trek? Star Wars? The Matrix? There are tons of movies which are well known and take themselves very seriously, which are the two main ingredients for good satire. I keep expecting another movie comic to appear someplace, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Shamus Young is an old-school OpenGL programmer, author, and composer. He runs this site and if anything is broken you should probably blame him.