Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson responded to a piece of fan mail with these tips on creating funny comic strips. He’d know.
Here are the tips.
1. Materials are not important, so long as your work reproduces and reduces clearly. It’s what you do WITH the materials that counts.
2. I think characters are more important than jokes. Any cartoonist ought to be able to come up with funny gags, but the best strips have rounded, complex characters that readers can care about. Cartoon characters should be more than standing props to deliver jokes.
3. Don’t imitate other strips. Editors are looking for something new and original.
4. Most importantly, have fun with your work, and practice writing and drawing all you can.
Via Letters of Note.