If you happen to live in the USA or Canada, you can get free comic books tomorrow (Saturday, May 4), because it’s Free Comic Book Day! The free ones are a mix of typical American superhero comics and other, alternative comics. You can read a FAQ that explains the idea of Free Comic Book Day. To find a comic book store near you that’s participating, visit the Free Comic Book Day Locator. Salon has short reviews of each free comic (3 pages). Some are for adults; others are for children. So tomorrow is a great day to get acquainted with your local comic book store. Go on in and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Here are three web-based comic strip makers:
has cool black and white graphics
is very cartoony
lets you use your own photos
All three are free, though you need to register. You don’t have to draw anything, just click and drag! StripGenerator and ToonDoo let you choose from their graphics to tell your story. Comeeko lets you use photos from your digital camera.
This is a fun way to practice writing in English, and you can share your completed comic strips with your friends. Here’s a quick one I made at StripGenerator! You can post them in your blog, too. (Warning: Some of the other users’ comics are crude or stupid.)
Here’s a silly one I made just now at Comeeko, which has lots of special effects and other things you can add:
Finding fun things to read in English is important. Trying to read textbooks all the time can make your head hurt and make you want to quit reading.
- The Webcomic List is a list of mostly free online comics. Some may be hard to read, but spend some time looking around for something fun understandable. Even simple things like comics are a good way to learn English speech patterns and vocabulary.
- Comics.com has many popular comic strips that are published in English-language newspapers. I know from reading Chinese comic strips that it can be hard to understand cultural humor sometimes. So, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or teacher to help explain the jokes.
- MangaNews has links to Japanese comic books that fans are translating in English. You can download the translations. (These translations are unofficial, and if a publishing company decides to print the book in English, the fans will stop translating the series.)
When I have more readers, I would like to ask everyone what you like to read (in any language). That way I can post things that you’ll enjoy reading in English, I hope.