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Free Graphic Novel Software

Are you a budding comic strip artist? Or do you just love the idea of creating your own custom comics? Either way, there’s no better place to start than using free graphic novel software. A good comic-making tool allows you to quickly create high-quality artwork that can make all the difference in the world to your end product.

If you love building comic books, you’ll want to download your own copy of Free Graphic Novel Software . One of the most exciting aspects about creating comics is making characters come to life. These days, artists can really make their comic creations stand out with the help of graphic novel software that comes with tons of features for design, text and dialog development.

Make a comic strip with help from MakeBeliefsComix. Make a comic strip with help from MakeBeliefsComix. Credit: screenshot / make Beliefs Comix is a comic strip creator easy enough for children to use, but there are enough options for adults to get a message across, too. Users can choose from 25 characters to fill a two, three, or four-paneled comic strip.

The pre-set options that make the site so easy to use can also be slightly limiting. Your custom comic strips will look pretty generic. There are only about four different expressions for each character. The upside of this is that you can finish a perfectly respectable online comic in about 10 minutes.

The creator, Bill Zimmerman, is the author of numerous books — including Make Beliefs: A Gift For Your Imagination. “My hope is that by giving you a choice of characters with different moods and the chance to write words and thoughts for them,” he writes on the site, “you will tap into your creativity and explore new possibilities.”

Clip Studio Paint Pro

The best comic maker you can buy in 2021… unless you’re a pro user

Reasons to buy

+Large, and intricate drawing tools+Artwork organized in easy to use layers+Large template library of character, special effects and locations

Reasons to avoid

-Need to upgrade to EX for better scripting tools

Clip Studio Paint Pro is the best overall comic maker software for most users. While it isn’t quite as powerful as Clip Studio Paint EX – which we’ve listed below – it offers most of the same features, and covers almost everything a comic creator could possibly need. It has a staggering range of illustration and brush tools to help you draw characters, backgrounds, and comic cel types from scratch. If you don’t want to spend time making absolutely everything, you can either choose from Clip Studio’s vast library of free and premium pre-made assets, or you can import art from your computer. 

Most graphic artists will be familiar with the Adobe suite of tools, and Clip Studio is very similar in design and layout. Many of the hotkeys are the same too. If you’re completely new to the software it will take a few hours to learn (there are plenty of official and unofficial tutorials online to get you started), but after that you’ll have the resources to create almost any type of art or comic. It works well with drawing tablets and gloves, and is incredibly accurate and responsive no matter what input you illustrate with.

The only downside is that it lacks publishing tools, and doesn’t have the same capacity as the EX version to help you organize your pages for larger comic projects. If you’re serious about publishing your own comics, you’ll need to upgrade to the EX version, which is much more expensive. However, if this is the start of your comic hobby / career, Clip Studio Paint Pro is only $60 and will serve you extremely well.

Clip Studio Paint EX

If you’re serious about drawing and comic creation, you need this one

Reasons to buy

+Great range of script tools+Good library of premade backgrounds, and objects+Great interface with graphics tablets for intricate drawing

Reasons to avoid

-Expensive-No spell checker-Drawing tools too complex for beginners

Clip Studio Paint EX is the upgraded and enhanced version of our top pick (Pro). The tools are largely the same, and this comic maker software borrows heavily from the likes of PhotoShop in terms of tools and layout. Despite being incredibly powerful and versatile, Paint EX is relatively simple to use, and you can create illustrations quickly using the responsive brush and color tools. If the presets don’t work for you, there’s the option to create or import your own.

What sets EX apart from the Pro version is the range of comic publishing tools it has, and the built-in page manager that lets you sort comic pages, number them, and import 100s of pages of text. These features are fantastic if you’re looking to publish, but unnecessary if you’re only crafting smaller comics for yourself or your friends. If you’re an amateur looking to get more involved, we suggest buying the Pro version and upgrading to EX once you’re ready, as all your creations and files will be compatible across both versions. This is also why we put Pro at the top spot, and not EX.

Clip Studio Paint EX is fully compatible with drawing tablets and gloves, and the accuracy you get is fantastic. It’s available on Mac and PC, and you can use it to import and export files of all major image types. It’s a powerful piece of software, and you’ll need a decent PC or Mac to run it, but there’s no better comic maker out there. Expensive, though, so you need to be serious about comics before you buy.

Comic Creator Studio: Best for kids

Ideal for kids (and parents) looking to get started in comics

Reasons to buy

+Hundreds of backgrounds and props+Very easy to use+Doesn’t cost much

Reasons to avoid

-Few illustration tools-Overly simple in places

If you’re looking to get your kids or grandchildren started in comics, Comic Creator Studio is a good option. It mostly uses pre-made characters and backgrounds, so you don’t need to worry about making your own assets. This also makes it really easy to use, and kids will have fun dragging and dropping art into all the pre-designed backdrops. Adjusting text and thought bubbles is easy, as is dropping words into them.

There are more than 600 props to use in your creations, and a vast number of backgrounds to set the scene. You can buy expansion packs too, like superheroes, to give more variety to comics. It doesn’t quite have the same variety as ComiPo!, which lets you design poses with incredible detail, but it does keep things nice and simple. You can even upload photos, so your kids can put themselves into the comic. While the creation tools are simple, you can adjust layers individually, offering deep levels of control over your creation.

Advanced users should stay away – there are so few drawing options, and the simple style of the comics won’t be for everyone. Younger users and families, however, will love this.

Manga Maker ComiPo!: Best for simple manga comics

For manga fans seeking a simple entry into comic making… this is for you


Reasons to buy

+Simple to use+Inexpensive+Huge library of facial expressions, props, and backgrounds

Reasons to avoid

-Few drawing tools-Not Mac compatible

If you love manga, but you don’t feel you have the skill to draw all the wide-eyed characters and backgrounds yourself, then Manga Maker ComiPo! is perfect for you. It deals mainly with pre-made character models and scenes (although you can import your own if you feel up to it), allowing you to simply drop characters into cels, manipulate their pose using the software’s impressive 3D models, and add text. It’s a simple and effective way to create manga.

ComiPo! is cheap and easy to use, but it does often feel a little limited. And if you don’t like manga, well, why are you even reading this far? You don’t get a vast amount of scenes and characters in the base version of this software, and it’s only compatible with PC, so Mac users are excluded. Because there are no real drawing tools, it’s tough to create much variety or unique feels for your comics.

We do like the fact that comics are layered, so you can make changes to specific elements without resetting the whole cel, and there are even sound effects to help enhance your creations. It’s perfect for newbies and youngsters, but more serious artists will find it restrictive.

Comic Draw: Perfect for iPad users

Comic Draw

Works perfectly on iPad, and is great for comic creation on the go

Reasons to buy

+Powerful+Simple to use+Plenty of drawing tools

Reasons to avoid

-Only available on iPad-Easy to make mistakes with touch

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. That’s great value.

Comic Draw is perfect for beginning artists and professionals alike. You’ll appreciate being able to find brushes, ink colors and other tools easily, and if you’re using a digital pen (which you really should be) you can create illustrations on a par with most home computer programs. 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 the comic book artist who loves to draw scenes, opposed to the storytellers who love to create plots. We also like the script maker, which helps you create and format your dialogue.

The downside is that it’s only available on Apple iPads, and you do need a 64-bit+ model to run it. We recommend the iPad Pro. You’ll also really need a digital pen to make the most of it, especially as you can accidentally add marks when you’re using fingers to zoom and rotate.


When it comes to creating graphic novels, comic books, mangas and comics, there are many free programs that you can use. If you are someone who likes to draw or sketch things out and then add your dialogue text on top of the images. This is what a comic book is all about. Therefore, taking a look at some of the free graphic novel software in this article might help you out when you are trying to get your ideas down onto your computer screen.

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