Family Time Calendar: Create Your Own Comic Strips

Comic strips in daily newspapers bring joy to young and old alike. Everyone has their favorite characters who hold our attention with their assorted antics and adventures. The first comic strip -- a narrative told in several panels -- was published this week in 1896 in the New York Journal.

With just paper, pencil and a few pointers, kids can become budding artists. For even more fun, provide rolls of paper for very long comic strips.


What you'll need:

  • Sheets of paper, or a roll of cash-register tape (found in office supply stores)
  • Pencils and black fine-line markers
  • Markers or colored pencils for color comics
  • Ruler
  • Book about basic cartoon illustration, if desired


What you'll do:

Use a ruler and pencil to draw squares or rectangles to hold each frame of the comic strip sequence. Help the kids visualize the scenario, and then pencil each sketch in a box. Use a fine-line black marker to go over their completed pencil drawings. If they want to make a color comic strip, show them how to use markers or colored pencils. Draw "speech balloons" over the figures to hold their conversations.

Need inspiration? Look back on your family's "legendary" stories and reminisce about favorite family vacations and special times with friends. You can learn basic cartoon techniques from a wide variety of art books. But stick figures are fine too!

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