The Essence of Good Illustrations in Comics

Comics is evolved around illustrations, illustrations are artistic drawing and sketches that complement text to give it a complete sense.

With good illustrations, an artist and illustrator is spared the stress of long conversations between characters or adding needless dialogue to panel (esp. a one-figure panel), i.e. a panel with only a character; this is possible because good illustrations elaborately portray and convey the intended idea in the mind of the artist or illustrator to the audience/reader. As the popular cliché goes, “Actions speaks louder than words”. A good illustration should be able to throw light on the mood, characteristics and physical appearance of the figure under consideration.

Illustrations cannot be over-exaggerated; the followings stress the purpose for such judgment:

Good illustrations speak loud: A panel portraying a hungry and hardworking child does not need the inclusion of text or dialogue, if the illustration is top-notch. The illustration ought to be able to show a lean child, sweating and working; which completely describes the idea, without the inclusion of header text.

Illustrations save time: A contest is set to determine the effectiveness of illustrations, and the type of contest chosen was a race between a ‘run of the mill’ illustrator, and an equally average writer. A story context is given, and the literati are required to clarify it elaborately; the scene: a football match played on a drenched pitch; the seats in the stands are heavily jam-packed despite the rainy weather. The home team kitted in sky-blue and have a goal advantage but are under immense pressure from the away team in orange shorts and white vest. The illustrator and writer swing into action. Which of the two do you think would more effectively portray the scene and in the faster time? The illustrator of course, because before the writer would finish his first paragraph of introducing the scene, the illustrator would have been drawing the players, which after the pitch the stands have been drawn. The writer would start with, “It’s a football match between… and…, it happens to be a rainy day, the home team. Or something of that sort, the illustrator would definitely beat this one.

– Good illustrations clarify the idea: With good illustrational expressions of the context, the message intended to be passed will be passed efficiently and quickly too.

The effects of illustrations are more spelt-out when the topic discussion involves an historical fact, in form of a myth, classical epic, legend, etc., this is factual since most of this historical tales never got to be seen or experienced by today’s information seekers, but with the ever-assistant illustrations, nothing is left to the imagination, but a realistic and clear comprehension of the context would be created.

Good illustrations as afore-stated are influential to the facade and comprehension of your work as an illustrator/artist, illustrations can break-down or build-up a nicely completed comical expression, it should not be taken ‘with a pinch of salt’, rather with utmost focus and attention for a quality work.

Good illustrations should be made the ultimate goal, after a carefully written story-line or plot.

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