Creating Comics Online

These 6 comic editors can help your young writer express himself in words.

By Susan Stephenson
May 09, 2014



May 09, 2014

Just as comics may help reluctant readers to change their minds about reading, online comic editors can offer hesitant young writers a way to express themselves in words. A comic editor will often give children a purpose for their writing. By adding text to a caption or speech bubble, children are communicating ideas briefly, and often enjoyably. School assignments suddenly come to life, too, when kids use the comic format to present information or demonstrate understanding. And just think of all the creative and critical thinking skills they develop along the way!

Children who are confident in their own drawing skills may already be creating comics with pens and paper. Less self-assured kids may enjoy using and customizing pre-drawn digital artwork to tell a story via an online comic editor. Here's a sampling of websites where you and your kids can go to create a digital comic. As with all children's online activity, parental supervision is strongly recommended.

The simplest way for you and your children to make a simple comic online is to take a photo of an object like a toy, and then add a speech bubble and dialogue via an online editor. Creating something for a toy to say or think is not something most kids have trouble with. PhraseIt is quick and easy. At PhraseIt, you simply upload a photo from your computer, then you add a speech balloon and your text. You also have the option to add drama with some filters. Online photo editors like Ribbet offer speech bubbles and text too.

Kids love LEGO. LEGO have a couple of comic editors children adore. LEGO City has firemen, workmen, policemen, and all sorts of vehicles for children to create stories around. Click "+" to begin a new comic, choose a template, then add background, characters, vehicles, etc. from the library. Text bubbles are easily edited and the final result can be printed or saved as a PDF. Check out the LEGO Star Wars comic builder, too.

Creating a comic is a wonderful way to extend the literature experience. Once you've read Charlotte's Web with your kids, why not visit Scholastic's Charlotte's Web: Make-Your-Own-Comics? You'll find all sorts of characters, objects, settings, and speech bubbles to manipulate there. You can even use the templates as prompts for writing with children being asked to create what comes next or before. If your children enjoy the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, it's fairly certain they'll enjoy creating their own tale based on the story's elements at Scholastic's Captain Underpants: Comic Maker.

MakeBeliefsComix is a very popular way for children to create 2-, 3-, or 4-panel comic strips. Again, it's a simple matter of selecting from a diverse menu of characters, scenes, and objects, then customizing. Bill Zimmerman also offers hundreds of free printables via his website.

Myths and Legends E2BN is best used after you sign up for an ID, as that way you can save your work.  It's a great comic editor to use when children are learning about folktales and legends, because there are elements like knights, heroes, animals, castles, and dragons for children to choose. An administrator checks children's work before it appears on the site, and kids are encouraged to experiment with sound and video too.

I do hope you'll find time to explore some comic editor websites with your children. When write o'clock comes around, creating a comic is a great way to sneak a little writing into children's lives. If you'd like more information about using comic editors with kids, check out the free PDF at my website.

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