(3DS eShop)

Comic Workshop (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Comic Workshop Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

A work of art

Nintendo platforms have never been strangers to art and drawing applications. From Mario Paint on the SNES to 2013's Art Academy: SketchPad for Wii U, there has always been room for artistic pursuits with Nintendo. It should also come as no surprise that the 3DS is already hosting yet another creation tool after the success of Art Academy: Lessons for Everyone! and Colors! 3D. The artistic among us can now guide our pursuits towards Comic Workshop, a 3DS eShop application aimed directly at the creation of comics and manga.

After selecting your handedness, Comic Workshop allows you to jump right into the creative process; the range of tools at hand is wide and may be daunting at first, but the inclusion of tutorials helps to alleviate the pressure. A common complaint with complicated games or applications with a large number of tools and options available is that the tutorials do too much hand holding and take entirely too much time. Comic Workshop has somehow managed to find a comfortable middle ground in which the tutorials balance explanation with interactivity, making each feel both helpful and concise. There are 28 tutorials in total, all of which can be skipped, repeated, or completed in any order, allowing you to pick and choose the topics that you're having difficulty grasping. Like any artistic medium, no matter how much training you have, there is still a certain amount of necessary trial and error.

Comic Workshop obviously lacks all of the features that a more professional program such as Adobe Photoshop would boast, but it still does a great job of providing users with many useful tools. All of the standards are included, from pencils, line and shape creators, colour fills, and even multiple layers to work with. This app also allows for customization to help make a more personal experience. You can tailor your canvas size and select frequently used tools to be associated with the X and Y buttons as shortcuts or hotkeys. You can also create your own customized colour palettes, roller stamps, and stickers for easy placement of commonly used objects or images in your art. Simply put, if you have an ideal digital toolbox that you would like to use for your creations, there's a good chance that you'll be able to put it together with a bit of time and patience.

One thing that is missing here is the ability to create and display images in 3D. While this would obviously be console specific and limited to being viewed on the 3DS, it's surprising to see that the application remains entirely flat. However, as the intention of Comic Workshop is to create comic pages that can be exported from the hardware, it seems almost necessary to limit the art to two dimensions. The other big draw of the 3DS, its touchscreen, is used to control the entirety of the app, with some features such as zooming and hiding your toolbox also associated to physical buttons. For a program that chooses to disregard one of the handheld's biggest features, it still feels like an intuitive and natural fit on the 3DS, with precise inputs.

The tool set in Comic Workshop is broad and the application is exceedingly user-friendly, even for inexperienced artists, but a notable issue is made apparent when it's time to share your finished art. If you haven't been keeping up with the news on this one, the ability to post screenshots to Miiverse has been removed, essentially destroying your ability to share your work with the community. No explanation has been given for this, but it is safe to assume that the application's allowance for importing photographs from your SD card and thus being able to post them played a major role in this decision. The Japanese version of the application does have its own online gallery however, so hopefully we will see that made available to Western users — as is promised — to share their art sooner rather than later.

Another option is to export your artwork to an SD card as a JPEG, but even that isn't without its limitations. The maximum resolution that you can create and export at is 896px x 896px, a decent enough size for posting work online or on a personal blog, but unfortunately small for those hoping to print out physical copies. The application is for making comics and manga after all, and having a larger export size would have been a welcome addition.


Comic Workshop does well to provide 3DS owners with a comprehensive and user-friendly creative tool, but it's not without its flaws. The main issue that this application faces is the inability to share creations directly on Miiverse, but this potentially comes at no fault of the developers. The hope of a forthcoming English "Workshop Gallery," like the one currently available to Japanese users, is a positive sign, but as of the time of writing this is yet to exist. Despite these limitations — at present — in easily sharing work, if you're looking for a customizable creative tool with an emphasis on drawing comics and manga, you could do much worse. The quantity of creative features and usability make this one worth adding to any artist's toolkit.

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User Comments (22)



snoox said:

Soooo will it teach newbies to draw comics or is it really for ppl that already know how



geordie said:

Dear lord, the world is soon to be flooded with poorly drawn manga, with not an ounce of creativity between them all.



dadajo said:

Looks pretty cool. I like drawing just for the fun of it even though I am horrible at it and don't plan on sharing my work at all. I most likely will eventually get this but for $8 it will have to wait.



GuardianKing said:

I wanna echo @snoox's concerns as well...

I personally can't draw people to save myself, so I'm wondering if this has a tutorial or at least templates of some sort.



Xjarnold said:

You know, I can draw well in real life but I could never translate it onto colors 3d, I assume all the tutorials would make this different, but.... I guess I'm just wondering what the full extent of this apps tools are and if it's worth the $8 price tag.
And on a completely unrelated note, what ever happened to Flipnote Studio?



Sforzando said:

Well, what has happened to Flipnote Studio 3D?
It was delayed at one point. And then they never released it, even after the issues were resolved.
The Friends (SpotPass, like SwapNote) Gallery feature was removed in Japan. But the World (like Hatena) gallery is still alive and active.
The app has received at least 3 updates, adding cool new features.
Nintendo of America and Europe have pretended it never existed since then.



sillygostly said:

Even if this doesn't come to the EU, there is no reason why it couldn't come to Australia as applications such as these do not need an age classification (as the Art Academy titles were among the very few Nintendo titles that were exempt from classification).



gabikun said:

Great tool and great review! I played a demo of this in my japanese 3ds, and I really liked it, but the poor printing resolution.......



alLabouTandroiD said:

One more title that would benefit from cross-play between the 3DS and Wii U. Who wouldn't like to draw on the bigger touchscreen of the GamePad when at home while also having a portable version for on the go.



Sir_Teabag said:

would love to have something like this but i cant draw a stick figure to save my life...



Shotgunryugan said:

I bought this blindly the day after it was released, after seeing positive comments on Miiverse.

It's pretty fun, but like others have said, I can't draw anything wonderful or professional, lol.

I don't really care for the lack of Miiverse sharing, sure it's a bit disappointing, but if you went on Miiverse, you could see how terribly shrunken down the comics were, to the point that you couldn't read what was being said, so I'm happy the SD card importing and the Gallery is an option.

Also it's pretty nice that you can take pictures with the 3DS camera to put on the comics, though this reason was the main reason why the Miiverse closed the screenshot option(Because immature people would inevitably post naked photos).



KeatonTS said:

@snoox Both. the tutorials are really good, but this is being spoken by someone who already makes comics. I still think its pretty easy to understand if you're new



gregrout said:

This is really annoying. Nintendo needs to move into the 1990s already. Disabling the main feature of the software kind of defeats the purpose. Late 90s and through the 00s, Valve was banning grieving idiots. Change your terms and conditions and then cut off all access to the Miiverse or better yet ban their Nintendo Network ID. If someone is going to lose online access or even the use of their eshop purchases, it would go a long way in curbing these idiots. It's so frustrating to see innocent customers get burned for something 99.9999.....% of Nintendo customers wouldn't do. It's not right.



drexegar said:

@gregrout It may suck, but I don't see posting to miiverse as the main feature to this program. The main feature of this program is too make a manga or comic book, and it does just that. I;m very happy with my purchase and hoping for the comic book work shop gallery (coming soon English) to share my work while filling the miiverse void for others.



DemonnPrincess said:

@geordie This is gonna be the only reply I give you(or on this topic period) so no worries, but I don't see why that is even a problem. So what if someone can't draw or that you can't see the creativity(because if someone creates something, it HAS creativity in it regardless if we can see it or not). I draw well(not extreme super-artist well but I can draw), but I have made manga when I was in highschool that I am proud of because I did my best, and also it was a channel for pain from things that were happening to me at the time. So I will buy this because channeling it is one way to somewhat make it not hurt so much. Having talent doesn't give you the right to put down others trying to make it as well. I am also a singer, and yes I have songs recorded, and people like them. But that gives me no right to put down others who try their best to sing as well, especially when I have no idea who they really are or that they are going through which may result in the reason as to why they are trying in the first place. That goes for everyone. You don't get the right to belittle someone for how they choose to express themselves, regardless of how "good or bad" they are by your or anyone else's standards. You'll probably do it anyways, but you have no right to.

Yes, I really think I am going to buy this. It's just the thing. I decided as soon as I knew it existed actually.

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