Special Edition Podcast

Make Comics #26 – Act Structure

Show Notes

Josh (different Josh) writes in and wants to know about act structure. In films, the standard is to use three acts, but does that work for comics? The answer, and many variations on that answer lies herein!

Running Time: 00:14:24

Take note! The Make Comics Podcast is moving to its own feed, which you can subscribe to in iTunes, or here manually.

Andy Schmidt is the founder of the online comic book school Comics Experience, as well as a former editor at Marvel Comics and IDW Publishing. Josh Flanagan has been working on iFanboy.com, talking, reviewing, and thinking about comics for over a decade, as well as writing and creating some of his own.

If you’re interested in going further, you can check out Comics Experience, where there are plenty of classes available in all the disciplines of comic book creation from writing to drawing to coloring to lettering.

Got a question for the podcast? Send it to info@comicsexperience.com and put “MAKE COMICS PODCAST” in the subject line!

“The Last Act”
Gas Huffer


Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. great show once again. So many of these things seem like common sense once you hear them explained, yet before, they never even crossed your mind…like the Luke I am Your Father thing…kinda blew my mind just because as a viewer, i realized the transition, but didn’t put that label on it. Anyhow…good stuff. =)

  2. agreed.
    I learned the 3 act structure while studying animation in college.
    and i thought to myself, that can’t always work, not for everything.
    tv and movies sure… but comics?
    and it’s very unsuited for most comics. acts lose all sense in a long form comic series.
    I’m a strong believer in having a beginning middle and an end, but the act structure is too rigid to work in the way comics can be executed to me.
    i have a tendency to start en medias res, and then go forward from there, constantly dancing about injecting new questions while answering others, and while moving forward going backward at the same time.
    something comics do very well. something that the act structure would tear apart.

    within the many arcs of a series they can be broken down into act like elements, but not true acts.
    not unless we’re talking about a graphic novel, that wasn’t born from say a mini series.
    but that’s the beauty of comics, each creator can define his own flow of reveal in the story, and how it plays out.
    we’re not locked into any one definitive way of executing a story.

Leave a Comment