November 12, 2013 - No Comments!

How comic books can inspire for the web


All illustrations are by the author, Jason Robles

Before I became a web designer, I was a comic book illustrator. To develop my craft, I frequented local comic book stores to pick up my favorite titles and spent countless hours locked in my room learning the discipline. My early work even attracted the attention of Marvel Comics; I was invited to its HQ at the age of 13 for a position as a penciller (the experience was awesome but I turned down the job).

In hindsight, I realize some skills I honed as an illustrator translate to my new passion—creating digital experiences through design.

Designing for the web (if on a team) generally involves multiple disciplines in collaboration with one another. The comic book field is also a collaborative one. There are pencilers working alongside inkers (who, minus coding, are akin to developers in the web world), copywriters, colorists, letterers, and editors. The work dynamic is essentially the same; everyone knows it takes a super team to create a comic book.


Responsive design
Yes, comic books are responsive. For instance, grid-based web design creates a more dynamic asymmetrical variance of sizes to make for interesting displays in hierarchy, and is very similar to today’s modern comic. Open a comic and you'll notice that no two pages are alike. While you do have the implementation of grids, each is laid out differently. Couple this with responsive design and the possibilities for amazing content are endless.

Comics have been dynamically created since the 1837 advent of The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck. Web designers share similar rules of visual communication, such as breaking the grid, the use or lack of borders, and even creating splash pages (a la your hero page) to convey a message.

If there’s one thing us web designers definitely share with comic book creators, it’s our mutual love for exploration and innovation:

"I try not to do anything that's too close to what I've done before. And the nice thing is we have a big universe here. It's filled with new ideas. All you have to do is grab them."
—Stan Lee

For web designers, our universe isn’t just big—it’s ever-expanding. Always evolving. In one word: it’s infinite. And the best part is, it’s ours to create.

Published by: Jason Robles in Blog