Whether you are web-comic creator publishing for fun or a professional manga artist who wants to create an amazing panel that would rival the early work of Tite Kubo, comic book software can help you reach your goal. The best comic makers offer the artist an intricate drawing system, while providing a deep library of templates and artwork to inspire you.
To find out how functional these comic book makers are, and what value it will add to your creations, we found a bunch of artists and picked their brains to help us find the best comic book makers. If you’ve ever wondered whether comic book software would enhance your creative process, these reviews and buying guide will help you answer that question.
We have tested comic book software for the past six years. In our most recent round of testing, we compared eight comic book makers, looking for software that provided the best combination of creative freedom, ease of use and drawing capabilities. We determined that Clip Studio Paint is the best comic book creator overall because it provides a wide range of brushes, markers, pencil and pen tools to help you create your art while also giving you a large library of pre-made characters and objects. Clips Studio Paint also lets you work with vectors as well as raster layers, so you can easily select and edit various parts of your comics. The advanced painting and line tools make it a great comic maker for experts, but not too daunting for comic book artists who are comic book software beginners.
Clip Studio Paint Pro
Clip Studio Paint Pro, previously known as Manga Studio, comes with the most illustration tools of any program we evaluated. It gives you considerable freedom to personalize your comic creations.
ComiPo! offers creative freedom to manga enthusiasts who don't have time to draw or don't feel confident in their drawing abilities, and it’s inexpensive to boot.
Clip Studio Paint EX
Clip Studio Paint EX is a bit pricey compared to other programs, but it gives you all the script and drawing tools you need to create professional-quality comics.
Clip Studio Paint Pro, previously Manga Studio, is the best comic book software on the market due to its impressive selection of illustration tools and features, as well as, its wide file compatibility.
This comic creating program comes with pencils, paints, markers,several airbrushes and shading tools.This large range of drawing tools means you are given a lot of creative control to produce character and background exactly the way you have visualized them. It even allows you to create your own brushes if you want a different stroke from the provided ones, maximising creative control.
Clip Studio Paint Pro is compatible with graphics tablets, allowing you to use a graphics pen so you to produce more complex and natural shapes and strokes. You can import your previous artwork and use the comic maker to readjust it. This intricate control means Clip Studio Paint Pros is great for experienced artists who want to control the drawing experience.
This comic book software is not only good for artists, but it is also a good choice for people with little artistic ability. In addition to the illustration tools, there are several character and location templates, including 3D models that you can pose and then draw over. This means it’s great for people who are still learning to draw, as you can create page layouts, characters and scenes from the inbuilt library with minimal drawing. Even beginners can jump right in and create their story.
You can select and edit specific layers, which makes it easier to make changes or enhance certain areas of your comic. You can even use this comic maker to create animated stories. The script tools in this program allow you to insert word balloons and choose various fonts to match your story. It is compatible with the most common image file types, including JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, TGA and PICT, so you can work in the file format you prefer. However, it doesn’t work with PDF files. When you are done creating, you can share your art directly to Facebook.
ComiPo! is a comic book maker that used to be known as Manga Maker. It is an inexpensive piece of comic book software that provides great value for the huge amount of creative freedom it provides.
This comic book maker is a little more basic than other pieces of software we reviewed - which is reflected in the price. This comic book software is for PC only, and isn’t Mac compatible, limiting its use. The basic design means it is geared more towards comic software beginners, as there are no drawing tools in this software. Most of the design work is based on dragging and dropping premade imagery.
The 3D props and characters in this software are made to look like 2D images. This means you can rotate them to any angle you want and they will still maintain a simple manga look. This software is perfect for children and manga enthusiasts of any age since it makes comic creation fun and easy. I was able to create my own characters and create an entire comic within 10 minutes.
This manga creator only comes with five preset characters, but you can change everything about them, from their hair color to their shoes, and truly make them your own. Once you create new characters, you can save them to the preset toolbar so they will be ready to use whenever you need them. You cannot manually pose the figures, but the program does come with over 100 preset poses and expressions, which gives you a lot of options to work with. You can also purchase additional props and clothing kits, but the options and prices for these kits differ depending on where you purchase them.
This program is highly recommended to beginners who struggle with the artwork but want to create who want to create manga style comic stories.
Best for Serious Creators
Clip Studio Paint EX is the upgraded and more expensive version of Clip Studio Paint Pro. The main difference is EX has far more script tools and no limit to how many frames you can have in your animation projects, allowing the creation of more complex comic books.
The new scripting tools allow you to have a page manager, which helps you arrange your pages, add page numbers, batch process and export documents, and create more than 100 pages of writing. Unfortunately, there is no spell checker included with this comic book maker so you'll want to type carefully or copy and paste from a word processor. These extra tools aren't necessary for the average comic artist, but they are crucial for anyone who wants to create complete and professional comic books. We tested this comic book software using a Wacom graphics tablet and discovered that the brush strokes and curves looked organic and natural.
The sketches on the digital canvas looked as though we had drawn on paper using graphite and had scanned the images in. You can adjust the drawing tools to create the look and pressure you want, which is great for experienced artists, though novices might find this software somewhat hard to master. We also appreciated the large library of preset graphics that came with this software. You can easily import props or backgrounds to complete your scenes.
The 3D models are not only completely poseable, but also respond to gravity. Which means that even if you place them in a difficult position, the figures will look accurate. For artists, this means that you won't constantly need to pose in front of a mirror or get someone to hold a pose for you since you can create it yourself and then either reference it or draw directly over it to get the proportions right.
We recommend this comic book software for experienced comic artists who run a web-comic or want to start submitting their artwork to publishers.
Exclusive for iPad
Comic Draw is an easy-to-use comic making app that is exclusively for the iPad. The 14-day free trial gives you a chance to try the comic creator app and all its tools, and the base program is less than $10 if you decide to purchase it – an excellent value compared to other comic software.
Comic Draw is perfect for beginning artists and professionals alike. Our testers appreciated being able to find brushes, ink colors and other tools easily and commented on how nice their drawings came out with the digital pen. It also includes many advanced tools such as perspective guides to help you accurately draw landscapes and buildings. Comic Draw doesn’t include a library of pre-drawn panel templates, characters, props or backgrounds. This means it is designed for comic book artist who loves to draw scenes, opposed to the storytellers who love to create plots. An additional tool our testers liked is the script maker, which helps you create and format your dialogue.
We highly recommend this comic book creator to any comic-book artist who want to improve their drawing skills, and own an iPad.
Best for Beginners
Comic Creator is comic book maker for beginners, regardless of talent, as it allows you to frame a storyboard quickly and effortlessly. Making it a great planning tool for even experience comic book artists.
Comic Creator has 36 comic panel layouts and 50 characters with five poses for each. Additionally, there are over 600 premade props, backgrounds, and background elements like trees and city skylines you can drag and drop onto the page. This makes Comic Creator a great place to learn how to lay out comics without having to draw.
Comic Creator does come with basic illustration tools, but they are very limited and don’t offer the greatest creative freedom. It is a great place to learn how to draw a comic book using software, but moving on to the more complex programs like Clip Studio Paint that offer greater freedom. . Fortunately, you can import TIFF and PNG files created in other graphic programs if you want to create your own characters.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Pricing||Comic Book & Manga Tools||Digital Painting Tools||Tutorials & Support||Skill Level||Performance Score||Ease of Use||Comic Panel Layouts||Character Templates||Word Balloons||Painting Performance Score||Pen & Graphics Tablet Performance||Layers||Trial Version||Online Community or Forum||iPad||Android Tablet||Windows 10, 8, 7||Mac OS X 10 or higher||1 GB RAM or more||Less than 1 GB RAM||Internet Connection Required|
|Clip Studio Paint Pro 1.3||View Deal||5/5||$49.99||10||10||10||Experienced||100%||95%||36||✓||✓||100%||100%||✓||30 Days||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||-|
|Clip Studio Paint EX||View Deal||4.5/5||$219.00||10||10||10||Experienced||100%||95%||36||✓||✓||100%||100%||✓||30 Days||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||-|
|Comic Draw||View Deal||4/5||$9.99||6||10||9||Medium||85%||90%||0||-||✓||90%||85%||✓||30 Days||✓||✓||-||-||-||-||-||✓|
|Manga Maker ComiPo! 3.0||View Deal||3.5/5||$29.99||9||0||6||Novice||100%||95%||4||✓||✓||N/A||N/A||✓||None||-||-||✓||-||-||✓||✓|
|Comic Creator||View Deal||3.5/5||$29.99||8.3||1.8||2||Novice||95%||95%||36||✓||✓||N/A||N/A||✓||None||None||-||-||✓||-||-||✓||-|
|Pixton||View Deal||3.5/5||$72/yr||8.3||0||9||Novice||90%||85%||0||✓||✓||N/A||N/A||✓||7 Days||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||-||-||✓|
|Poser Pro 10||View Deal||3.5/5||$349.99||6.5||6.8||8||Experienced||95%||80%||0||✓||-||95%||95%||✓||None||✓||-||-||✓||✓||✓||-||✓|
|Comic Life 2||View Deal||3.5/5||$29.99||6.8||0||9||Novice||90%||80%||313+||-||✓||N/A||N/A||✓||30 Days||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||-||✓||-|
Why trust us about comic book makers
We have tested and reviewed comic book software for the past six years. During the most recent test, we spent more than 35 hours searching for the best comic maker. We choose testers who work in or come from an artistic background, so they could note the important features and would be able to compare them to less specialized drawing software. This experience allowed our testers to determine if the comic book software was for beginners or professionals. We tried to compare the similar features against each other to see which comic creator performed the best in this aspect. It was important to us to find programs that were easy to use and provided the most creative freedom. We also wanted to find comic book programs that worked well for beginning artists.
How we tested comic makers
We initially chose nine comic creators that had positive user reviews. We then downloaded and tested these comic book software and compared them against each other. Our testers used each program to create short comics, which let them gauge the capabilities of each product. After testing, we realized that one of the comic book programs we choose wasn’t a great t fit with this review, and deleted it from our list. .
When comparing the comic book creators we made lists of the features and tools they used, so we could compare specific features. We found that the software provided a deeper library of pre-drawn illustrations, character tools, text options and design features typically gave us more creative freedom and therefore scored better. We also paid attention to the cost of these comic book programs and gave more points to more affordable options.
There are two types of comic book software on the market. One type expects you to draw every aspect of your comics and is designed for aspiring or talented comic book artists. The other kind requires little to no drawing skills and simply has you dragging, dropping and placing premade characters in premade scenes. Both can be fun and can provide hours of entertainment. We covered both types of programs in our testing.
We gave higher scores to comic book software that also provided graphic libraries for characters, backgrounds and page layouts. We also rated comic book creators that made it easier to draw and paint the panels. The best comic makers in this category allowed you to connect to a graphics tablet and pen to create a more natural and original designs. Programs that allowed deeper designs, and greater flexibility also scored higher.
Since the types of files you can work with greatly affects your finished project, we scored programs higher if they were compatible with the most common image file types including JPEG, PSD, TIFF, PDF and PNG. We also tested the sharing capabilities offered by each comic book program by emailing our artwork or posting it through Facebook. Programs that shared our creations without a hitch scored higher.
The cost of comic makers
The price of comic book software varies depending on the type of tools, the amount of tools the creator has and the features you want. Your skill level is an important factor to consider when purchasing a comic maker, as the more expensive programs are designed for high skill levels and maybe daunting for a novice. Another important consideration is how far you want to progress as a comic book artist - as the more complex programs will let you grow without limits. We found there are plenty of comic book makers for beginners that cost anywhere from less than $10 all the way up to $50, while professional programs can cost up to $400. If you are shopping for comic book software for a child, we recommend starting with a cheaper program, so they can try out comic book creation before you dig deep into your wallet. If you want professional software to grow into, we recommend Clip Studio Paint. It comes in two versions, with Pro costing around $50 and EX costing from $90 to $150 – depending on the deal you can find.
Questions to ask when buying a comic maker
When buying comic book software there are many features that you have to consider. These features are important aspects of the software you’re buying for both experienced artists and novices who love creating comics for fun.
What drawing tools are included in the comic book maker?
The most important illustration tools are the brushes that come with a comic book program. This includes mediums like markers, pens, and pencils. The best comic book creators also allow you to create your own brushes so you can achieve your desired effects. The best comic book software allows you to import outside sources so you can use sketches, characters, and backgrounds that you have created in other programs or scanned. If you aren’t much of an artist or you want to save some time, look for software that comes with vast character libraries, making it easier for you to jump into creating comics.
Does the comic maker include a spell checker?
Most comic book makers allow you to add text to your comics. A few of them provide additional tools like font choices or word balloons to enhance your scenes. If you’ve already written your dialogue in another document, it is nice having a program that can import text. Spelling errors and poor word choice can seriously detract from your narrative, which is why it is best to choose a program that comes with a spell checker and a dictionary. Unfortunately, only a few programs offer this last feature. We recommend using a word processor program to write and spell check your dialogue, then copy and paste the text into your comic.
Does the comic maker have digital painting tools?
Creating comics digitally is more convenient than traditional methods, especially when you factor in the ability to work in layers and compatibility with graphics tablets. Layers allow you to view, select and enhance specific parts of your art so it is easier to edit. If you are planning to create your own characters from scratch, choose programs that work with graphics tablets – they make it easier to create backgrounds and characters. Premade page templates and special effects can inspire story ideas, as well as help you frame your scenes quickly.
The best programs allow you to work with many file types, as well as export your creations to a variety of image file types. The more options you have, the more you can do with your artwork. The most common image file types include JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TGA, PICT and PDF.
Does the comic book software have good tutorial and support?
If you aren’t sure about a program, check to see if it offers a trial version. Most of the programs we tested do, and it is a great way to see if you like using a program before you spend your hard-earned money on it. Since computer programs tend to offer so many features and tools, it is best to choose a program that offers strong customer support. The most important tools when you start using new software are an active user community or forum and plenty of written and video tutorials, whether they were created by the company or devoted users. Sometimes, devoted users know more about the software's uses than the company’s support staff does.
Does the comic maker have an in depth template library?
Most comic book software comes with deep library of artwork and templates that can help you create a comic book quickly. This is an important aspect to consider, especially if you are looking for a comic book maker for beginners. These programs let you focus on crafting the story, and are great for writers who are still developing their art skills.