Pixton is easy-to-use comic creator software (opens in new tab) with pre-made templates and characters. It's initially free, but you have to pay if you want to access the full version. For a small monthly fee, you can access hundreds of features, layouts and character templates – everything you need to make your own comic book. Since you don’t have to be an artist to use this software, it is enjoyable for a wide audience - perfect for kids and their parents - but isn’t a good option for anyone who wants to draw their own imagery. If you'd prefer a program that offers more illustration tools, you might be interested in Clip Studio Paint EX (opens in new tab).
First and foremost, since you cannot draw characters or backgrounds, Pixton is all about pre-made templates. It’s not as customizable as some software, but it still gives you plenty of freedoms. You can choose your character’s gender, hair color, facial features and other personal details, even deciding body shape and weight. The figures are posable too: you can turn the head to face forward, backward or to a 3/4 turn, which makes character interactions more believable. The limbs, neck, hands, feet and torso can all be moved around, kind of like playing with a puppet. There is a decent library full of pre-designed poses to search through. For instance, to create an action scene, you simply type 'run' into the search bar and several running poses will appear. It's a little like Manga Maker ComiPo! (opens in new tab) but with less stylized artwork.
One thing that is likely to frustrate is that whenever you decide to change the background, the program automatically adjusts the poses and facial characteristics of any characters that are already within the panel. In one case, we had taken some time to choose and arrange every detail of our character’s expression – from his pose to the way his eyes looked – but then that was all changed when we added a beach scene in the background. A frustrating oversight, for sure, but if you’re willing to work with some of the program’s quirks, you’ll be able to create fun customizable comics in little time.
If you choose to import an image from your computer, you can only resize that image in the square panel. You can add elements on top of the image, but you can’t make any other changes. With Pixton, you can add word balloons and the program gives you 30 font options so you can give your characters emotion and expression. Once you’re happy with your comic and storyline, you can download your images or save them to Pixton’s online community where other users can view and vote on your work, or you can email it to yourself. In emails, the image will attach as a PNG – the only file format this program offers for export.
Something else to like about Pixton is that you don’t have to download it onto your computer; the entire program is online. All you need is an internet connection. Pixton’s online community is vibrant and thriving. You will find that people post comics regularly for others to view. There are even contests you can enter, and you can create contests for others to submit their works into. The website features a FAQs section and video tutorials in case you need assistance in creating your comic. There is also a phone number and email for technical support.
Should you choose Pixton?
Pixton isn’t the type of comic book software that allows you to create a graphic novel from scratch. You can insert images from your home computer (opens in new tab), but the program itself doesn’t have any original drawing functionality. Pre-made templates and characters are its bread and butter. This format, however, makes it easy to create a humorous comic strip in minutes to share with your friends and family. But if you’re looking to create and publish a full-fledged graphic novel, this isn’t the right comic book software for you.