Comic Master

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Comic Master Website Poster Image
Graphic novel design tool has some serious limitations.

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational Value

Kids can learn language and storytelling skills like chronological order and characterization. They'll get experience writing and using techniques to engage an audience such as tailoring language to convey tone. The site encourages creativity and self-expression through both words and pictures. However, only a few character, background, and other design options are available; users essentially can make a series of one-page comics as opposed to an extended, graphic novel-esque story. Comic Master is fun to play with for a while, but, with limited options and no feedback, there's not much potential for lasting learning.

Positive Messages

The site's central activity encourages kids to be creative and use their imaginations.

Violence

Special-effects words shy away from common punching sounds.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Comic Master is a website where kids can create their own comic or short graphic novel. Kids can play around on the site, but they have to enter an email address and password to register if they want to save their cartoon creations. Once logged in, they can view pages they’ve previously created. It's fine for a few hours of fun, but there aren't enough options to warrant many return visits. Plus, the fact that it's marketed specifically to boys is a real bummer, as girls could enjoy the comic experience just as much.

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySergio1313 March 14, 2016

What's it about?

Kids can use the COMIC MASTER site, originally designed for British boys age 11-14, to design a short comic or graphic novel. Kids can't customize their comics with uploaded photos or other personalized elements, but the site's drag-and-drop functionality lets them select visual elements from a limited number of backgrounds, posed superhero characters, props, and other elements. They also can add dialogue bubbles and captions. Registered users can save their work or print pages.

Is it any good?

Comic Master is easy to use. In fact, it's almost too simple. Kids can't customize comics with uploaded photos, and the limited amount of characters and other visual elements may not maintain their interest for long. Users can't easily flip through multiple pages to review their work. They also can't share their creations with others on the site, which makes it a safer experience -- but it also makes getting any feedback difficult. The design is simple, and graphics are colorful and charming, in classic comic style. Comic characters also are pretty traditional; you choose from two muscle-bound guys or two busty female heroes (although it's nice to see female representation at all!). Kids can print out pages to show them to family and friends, but the site would be a stronger resource if it involved a secure, straightforward way to share graphic novels.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about telling stories using pictures and dialogue instead of only text. What recent family event could your child turn into a graphic novel?

  • What are the biggest challenges when you're telling a story using mostly pictures instead of text as in a book? Are there certain items that can be conveyed better with images or written words?

  • Discuss how chronological order is used in stories. Can your child identify a clear beginning, middle, and end of a favorite movie or book?

Website details

For kids who love comics

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