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Student guide chapter 10: Getting into character

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Chapter 10 discusses creating characters, thinking about their personalities, and designing them visually.

Prep guide

Questions to ask yourself

  1. Can you name a character who doesn't change? How about one who does?
  2. What's backstory? What's an antagonist?
  3. How does a spark depend on a character, and vice versa?

Supplies you will need

  • office paper
  • pencils and pens

Optional but recommended

Nothing extra this time


  • Play your cards right
There are quite a few steps to follow in this activity but you will find it fun and rewarding. Many of our students have ended up using characters created in this activity for many more comics (even ones they do outside class!).

Character pin-ups for your short story

Try to come up with very different sketches for your characters. Don't just change the haircut or costume slightly. You're not making a final decision here, you're exploring, so go nuts. Click on the links below to see examples of student homework with some comments by Matt and Jessica.

Finish your short story thumbs

Remember that thumbs are working documents. You want to keep them simple and sketchy so that they are easy to read but also easy to change. We'll be looking at two six-pagers through the next few chapters: "Arid Ignition" and "Ghost Story." In this section, take a look at the preparatory work and thumbnails for both. See Chapter 13 for pencils, and Chapter 14 for inks.

Character mash-up

There is no further reading for this chapter

Character mash-up

Try this one on your own. It only takes an hour or so and it’s a lot of fun! If you come up with something great, send it in to us. We’d love to post a few.