Every Comic Artist Should Learn The Secret Behind Casting Your Comic Book Characters

Commissioner Gordon and Batman are each a trademark character of DC Comics
Commissioner Gordon and Batman are each a trademark character of DC Comics

As a comic artist, part of the job is also "casting" by designing characters as if you were casting them for a movie. In doing this, a casting agent asks themselves: "What story does this character's look communicate?" 


Freelance artist Aaron Warner used his experience from 30-plus years creating comics to develop www.CartoonistForHire.com, a site which allows any comic artist to connect with paying clients. Here he reveals one of the best tips to developing great comics: 


"The comic reader, like a movie viewer, will believe the backstory of the character based on details of what they see drawn. For example, there's a reason why the traditional Commissioner Gordon wears glasses. The character appears older and wiser than Batman. Along with his white mustache he appears more experienced and is almost grandfatherly with both his advisory role to Batman and his curmudgeonly way of wanting to stop crime, even if it is outside legal perimeters of the law, hence his connection with Batman. The fact Commissioner Gordon wears glasses and has a white mustache communicates to the reader this character is worth learning from, and this character is wise and smart...essentially he can be trusted in his advisory role to the hero," Warner shares, who along with making comics also played a role in making movies, making an appearance as an FBI agent in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. 


Every character must have this much forethought since readers will quickly assess the story and the elements of the story as if they were "The World's Greatest Detective" themselves. 


"The way in which a female comic character is "cast" or drawn will determine the reader's perception of her, as well, which in today's popular culture could not be any more relevant or important. While comics have historically rendered women as eye candy for the predominantly young, male consumers relying on visual stereotypes to set the scene and quickly understand the roles of each character (i.e. beautiful woman in danger needs rescuing from muscular, handsome male), today's comic buyers are much more diversified and look deeper than traditional roles because they have lived lives with non-traditional roles," says Warner. "Also, with the number of television and movie viewing hours increased in today's world compared to more limited viewing in the past, today's typical comic reader has already experienced more ways in which the plot twist relies on character appearances...making them much more skeptical of stereotypes." 


"Therefore it is even more important for today's comic creators to be cognizant of the fact that every element of their character's design mean something to the character's backstory or purpose," concludes the comic veteran, "Each of these elements will be assessed by the reader, subconsciously within seconds, in helping them understand who the character is from what that character's design is communicating about that character that we, as the readers, need to know." 


"Learning the importance of correctly casting the characters of your comic and developing the instinct to correctly design a character's wardrobe, hairstyle, body type and even angle from which they are drawn, will enhance the story and make the comic artist a more successful storyteller."  



Writers and artists seeking paying assignments are encouraged to visit www.CartoonistForHire.com for more tips and leads on current job opportunities from clients hiring creators right now.

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