Creating a Comic style image in Photoshop – with a Free Email Marketing Template

We’ve been busy with our email marketing chores here at Wired HQ, so it has been a while since I last did a Photoshop tutorial. The powers above have set aside some time for me to write another, so I trawled the internet for inspiration. With so many comic superheroes hitting the big screen in the past few months I thought it would be a cool idea to show you how to turn any photo into a comic style cell. So grab your coffee and take 15 minutes to have a go yourself.


Step 1

Find a photo you want to give a comic book style effect to. Give the photo a “warmer” feel by adjusting the levels. Go to ‘Image > Adjustments > Levels’. I used the settings “51, 1.00, 244” This will vary depending on the image. The best way is to just play with the settings until you get a “warmer” image.

Comic image blog 1


Step 2

Use the Grain filter to give the image a textured feel, like an old comic book. Go to 
‘filters  >  artistic  >  Flim Grain‘
 Use the settings ‘Grain: 4, Highlight area: 0, intensity:10.’ Again this may need to change depending on the photo you use.

Comic image blog 1


Step 3

Duplicate the photo layer and on the new layer you will be applying a halftone pattern to give the old dot printer effect. With the new layer selected go to Filter > Pixelate > Colour Halftone. Set the Max radius to 4 and the rest as default.

Don’t worry if the image looks too bright we will now sort it by setting the blending mode to darken. So on the layer with the dots click on the Layers palette drop down set the blending mode to “Darken”

Comic image blog 3


Step 4

Add a paper border around the outside of the dot layer. Right click on the layer and select blending options. Then click on stroke on the next window. Set the size to 20px and position it on the inside. Set the colour to #f5ece3.

Comic image blog 4


Step 5

Let’s get some text areas on the image to add some captions. Add a rectangle in the top left and bottom right. Make them different colours like in the image below. Use the blending options to give them a black 2px stroke around the outside.

Comic image blog 5


Step 6

The final step is to give the image a hand drawn style border. To achieve this you need to create a new layer above the others. Then with this layer selected, use the rectangle marquee tool select around the outside of the image but inside the white border. See image below:

Comic image blog 6


Next go to “edit > stroke” and set the width to 4px, colour to Black and location to center. Then click ok.
Deselect the selection by holding ctrl and pressing D. Then go to “Filter > Blur > Blur More” .
Next go to “Fliter > distort” Ripple set the amount to 20% and the size to medium.
Then sharpen the stroke by going to “Filter > Sharpen More”.


Comic image blog 7

There we have our final comic image.
Check out how we have used this in our free email template which you can use for your email.
You can download this for free here.

Download the comic email template

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