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FREE Comics Course

Index Of Lessons

Lesson 9: World Building

ou designed the pages, you created the characters, but they live in an environment! You need to design that now. How does their environment look? What does furniture and such look like in their world?

Using the same design procedures you used to design the pages and the characters, now try to design elements of the world you think you need for your comicLoading....

Write down anything you can think of about the locales where the story plays out. What does it look like? How is that space used, and by whom? How old is it? Where in the world is it? It doesn't have to be just a backdrop. How do the characters interact with that environment?

As a separate exercise, here you can also think of ways to make the environment more interesting. Can the story be told in a more fascinating and more visually exciting surrounding?

Find photo reference online for inspiration. If possible, go to locations that are representative and take photos yourself.

Make lots of sketches in your sketchbook, try out lots of ideas, and push ideas further. Let the designs simmer for at least a few days.


Do the same three steps you did to create your characters: Write down everything you know about the spaces the characters inhabit, find photo reference, and start making design sketches in your sketchbook. It is okay to take several days for this.

I will do this course along with you, and here are my world-building designs.

The Locale — Written Down

The story is entirely at Schiphol airport. The first three quarters play inside the airport. It's a busy, bustling airport, lots of travelers traversing the sizeable main hall in all directions. Above their heads are many signs for the gates, arrivals, departures, baggage claims, time tables, toilets, et cetera. Jack goes to a bar to have a drink. He is like a businessman who has arrived at the airport too early to check-in.The bar's main parts are the counter where he stands and the bottles behind the bar, which act as texture behind him.

The Locale — Moodboard

Airport Inside: This is where Jack wanders around and goes for a drink inside a bar and where he sees Linda.

Schiphol interior moodboard

Airport Outside: This is where Linda is ultimately arrested.

Schiphol outside moodboard

The Locale — Design Sketches

(I will place my world-building designs for this storyLoading... here soon.)

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