I’ve taken a one-week diversion from the < recent story arc, about fighting for the 1970s, into a page that I’ve wanted to do for ages now. All about how to make comics – or perhaps how not to!

(Sorry if you were wondering what horrors the bullies would unleash on our heroes! Normal service will resume next week)


“So, how do you make comics?”

It’s a question that I get asked all the time. Actually, I just made that up, to flatter my ego. However, I have put some articles up on my Blog ^ about my comic production process ^, and they were also featured on Irish Comic News’ own website. My process is probably a bit idiosyncratic – but it suits me for now.

So, if you’ve always really badly wanted to make comics – or always wanted to make comics really badly, let young Jack be your guide today, as he puts together his very own Star Wars comic! (I probably need not tell you that this is largely autobiographical). Check out the Star Wars comic ^ that I actually – really – honestly – did, back between 1977 and c.1983: Star Wars age 9! Do you know that Mark Hamill said “I love it!?!”


Comic Lab poster by John White

My own treatment for the April 2016 Comic Lab poster



Oh, for a long-armed Stapler!


Long reach stapler

This would have been so lovely to have. Sigh…


Yep, that would’ve been nice. Instead, this was how I did it:

  1. I opened out the ordinary stapler that we had, and bashed the staples though the spine of the comic – into the floor.
  2. You then had to pull the staples out of the floorboards, with the comic itself
  3. Then turned it over, and tried to bend the staples flat with your fingernails – so it looked just like a real comic.

Chipped nails usually resulted from this, but it was worth it. If you were unlucky, very unlucky! – you might get the point of a staple up under your nail – EEK! Thankfully, I don’t think this ever happened to me.

Then you closed over the comic again and admired its professional quality spine with its 2 or 3 staples: just like you’d see in the shops!

Things like this meant a lot to us as kids. I recall hearing about (very expensive) colour photocopiers in the 1970s and lying awake at night dreaming about seeing one of my comics reproduced with one! It’d just look so… real.

What were your own comic – or creative adventures, when you were a kid?

Let us know in the comments, below 😉

– John

Home made Star Wars comic form 1977

My own Star Wars comic adaptation of the film, from 1977!

↓ Transcript
LESSON #4: Presentation is Everything

Jack knelt on the floor of his bedroom working on his own comic adaptation of that fab new Star Wars film. He'd been drawing it for many months and now it was finished. He had the office stapler which his dad had borrowed from work and brought home so he could do extra work at weekends and in the evening. Predictably, it had ended up in Jack's room, when he realised its magical power for transforming home-made comics into real ones - like the ones in the shops - with staples... and EVERYTHING!

"And now... for the professional touch." he thought, confidently.

He opened out the stapler - because long-armed, or long-reach ones where something he knew nothing of, even if he could afford one. He then opened out his comic, flat on the floor, back and front outside cover facing up. Placing the stapler 'nozzle' for want of a better word - roughly on the crease of the spine, he bashed the stapler with all of his might to drive the staple through several pages of his comic book. BLAM - BLAM - BLAM! he went went. Some staples went through, others just bent or only partially went through on one side. The faulty ones would have to be removed.

Next, satisfied that two or three staples had gone all the way through, he sized up the next delicate part of the operation - but only for an instant - and grabbed his comic, which he'd laboured over for months, very roughly and pulled both sides of it, to tug the staples out of the floor.

"Pull - staples - out - of... floor!" he grunted.


The paper tore and he fell backwards. He sat up and examined the large hole where the spine had been torn out and left behind on the floor.

"Oops." He whispered. Then though, "Okay. I can fix this. I can definitely fix this this."

He grabbed the big roll sticky tape - also from Dad's work - and concentrating hard, pulled great lengths off it, getting it tangled around his fingers and twisted around itself. "Sticky tape. The solution to aaaaaaall of life's problems." He then started the stick it all over the cover in a hodge-podge mess, to patch the torn out spine back into every page of the comic book. "Precision - precision." he cautioned himself, "No need to rush."

Job done, he lifted to ungodly mess and examined it - deemed it good - proclaimed it to be "Perfect!" Then fantasized dreamily:

"Cor... just wait until Stan Lee gets THIS through the post." Then getting a little more starry eyed even, "In AMERICA!"