Artists combine drawing with writing to create digital comics

Meghan Dincler | Staff Writer

Worlds are sketched into existence as students draw on their abilities to take advantage of the traditional comic’s modern update.

Artist Larissa Lysko created an original character for their webcomic, “Undaunted.”

Thanks to apps and websites like Webtoon and Tapas, people can publish their comics online, usually drawn digitally and known as webcomics. With so many different artists and styles of art, there are a wide variety of webcomics that people can read for free by doing nothing more than making an account. 

Anna Mullinger, a senior at Mason High School, is in the process of creating a webcomic she aspires to publish herself. She said she has always been a fan of webcomics, and finds inspiration in the variation in art styles showcased on the media service Webtoon. She said she hopes her comic allows her to branch out and explore new styles that she hasn’t tried before.

“Part of why I want to [make this webcomic] is because I think it would be fun to draw, because you have all of these different art styles right next to each other in the same panel,” Mullinger said. “As artists, we all have our little thing that we feel is safe. But if I had to force myself to make it look like watercolor, or like neoclassicism, which is beautiful and super hard to do, it’s partly a really fun thing to do and also a challenge for me artistically, because everyone has to break out of their shell every once in a while, especially with art.”

Sophomore Bron Acosta is developing his art style through his webcomic, “Monsters and Freaks.” He has been working on it since winter of last year, and is hoping to publish it on Webtoon by next October. Acosta said he combined his love of writing and drawing to create a story that allows him to showcase his character’s personalities better. 

“Originally it was just going to be a normal book,” Acosta said. “Then I realized that as much as I do like writing prose, I also really like drawing expressive poses and people talking. I decided that it was going to be easier for me to draw the story I wanted to tell, because it’d be a lot harder for me to get what I’m trying to convey through just words.”

Artist Bron Acosta created an original character for their webcomic, “Monsters and Freaks.”

When she was crafting her first drafts, Mullinger also considered how pairing art and stories could add more depth to the story. She said she is very passionate about art history, and was interested in incorporating that aspect into her story as well, which she was able to do more easily with a webcomic.

“I think marrying the storytelling element with me being able to draw is really fun and cool,” Mullinger said. “I always have ideas for little stories, and I think the best way I would be able to get them out into the world is also putting them with art.” 

Junior Larissa Lysko uses art to aid character development better than she would be able to through just writing. Her webcomic, “Undaunted,” has been a work-in-progress for her for the past two years. She is taking a small hiatus to focus on school during junior year, but hopes to move her webcomic from where it is published now, a website called Tapas, to the more widely-known app and website Webtoon. Along with Acosta and Mullinger, Lysko adds elements of her own knowledge, as well as imagination, into her story. 

“I wanted to implement things that I really like into my story,” Lysko said. “I got on the fix of adventure stories, of characters going on a quest. That’s the idea I’m working with now and tweaking that, trying to find what I wanted the story to be and focusing on world building and the adventure itself.”

With so many different stories and art styles, webcomics are an adventure of their own. But according to Acosta, it’s worth it. He encourages anyone who’s passionate about art and storytelling to start a comic, though they take much longer to make than they do to read.

“Start small,” Acosta said. “Don’t just immediately into this huge trilogy… making [webcomics] can be a lot of hard work, but I found that you actually meet a lot of really cool people through it. We connected over webcomics, and that was a really cool experience. Overall, the community is just awesome.”

Art by Bron Acosta and Larissa Lysko.