Mastering Comics pre-release giveaway online and at MoCCA Fest!

Our new textbook, Mastering Comics, releases officially on May 8 and to celebrate we will be giving away four copies in advance to lucky winners. We have come up with a contest and we will give away two copies here on the website and two in person at our table at the MoCCA Fest 2012!

We’ll be doing some drawings at our table. But in order to qualify, you need to do some drawing too!

To enter, you’ve got to make a doodle comic (see below) and either upload it or bring us a printout.

Online option: For the online contest, upload your comic to Flickr or any other image-sharing site, and post a link to it in comments here. Deadline: April 27 at noon. We’ll do the drawing for the two winners that afternoon.

MoCCA Fest option: To enter to win at MoCCA Fest, just hand us a photocopy or printout of the comic on Saturday with your contact info (cell number and email) on the back. We’ll draw two winners at random on Sunday afternoon. We will  call the winners to pick up (If you can’t pick up within an hour, we’ll pick new winners).

This activity is, incidentally, the “extra credit” assignment from the first chapter of Mastering Comics. There, it has the more sober name of “Drawing Prompts Comic”. But a more appropriate name might be:

Doodle Comic

Som of the kinds of doodles you could develop into a comic

Timed, spontaneous doodling may seem pretty far from serious cartooning, but all drawing exists on a continuum. In this activity we’re going to doodle some more, but then we’ll introduce a sequence to the drawing and improvise a short comic strip from scratch…almost.


  • office paper
  • brush and india ink (or a brush pen)
  • penciling and inking tools


Draw a six-panel grid on your piece of paper (or download the nine-panel grid PDF here and print it out).
Get out your brush, ink it up, and, without thinking too hard or planning in advance, quickly make a single mark in each panel—a line, a squiggle, a blot—in different sizes and densities. Rinse out your brush and let your marks dry.
Look at each panel and try to see shapes or parts of outlines in the marks you’ve made: the curve of a nose, for example, or the drape of a coat, a tree, whatever. Take a pencil (or inking tool) and add to the marks, drawing what you see in your mind’s eye. Do this for each panel.
Now hold the page back and read the six panels in sequence. Is a story implied there? Look for the suggestion of a narrative thread and tease it out by adding to each panel: backgrounds, new figures, dialogue, sound effects. One of your marks may lead to the creation of a character who becomes your protagonist. In that case, you may choose to redraw him in other panels to give the story better continuity and flow.

you can print this grid out and use it for your comic if you like

Matt came up with this activity in his sketchbook a few years ago. He posted an example of his own as well as several variations by other artists here.

a doodle comic of Matt's


Pre-order Mastering Comics now!




16 Comments to Mastering Comics pre-release giveaway online and at MoCCA Fest!

Leave a reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

By submitting a comment here you grant Drawing Words Writing Pictures a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin's discretion.