Comic Workshop: Talk about Portability (3DS eShop Review)

Published on January 23rd, 2015 by Dwi Krisdianto


Nintendo 3DS (and its predecessor) is famous for the dual screen invention. Thanks to its dual screen, game developers are doing their best to optimise the use of both screen. Some games and apps heavily count on the touch screen functionality, not to mention the art apps. Comic Workshop is an art app released by Collavier Corporation last year. How does it take advantage of Nintendo 3DS dual screen? Is it even worth to draw manga on your Nintendo 3DS?

You might heard about Miiverse users posting fine drawing which only uses Nintendo 3DS bottom screen and stylus. In case you never visit Miiverse, let me say that it is a fact. It means that the small size of the screen – in comparison to pen tablet – is not really a hindrance. Collavier Corporation saw this opportunity and thus, let the birth of Comic Workshop.


This app is kinda different from, let’s say, Art Academy titles. Keep in mind that this is not your fellow tutor into drawing. Comic Workshop is a media – your workshop to create your own comic, with various tools stretched from panel setting to layer to roller stamping. It does not provide that extensive features like Paint Tool SAI for PC, but you can draw a manga from scratch to finish with Comic Workshop.

For those who are not familiar with manga creation app, or even graphic design software like Photoshop, Comic Workshop provides a set of tutorials you can try one by one. The entire tutorial is lengthy, but it is worth your attention, especially if you are new to graphic design. It explains the basic premises of Comic Workshop: (1) Storyboard, where you arrange comic panels and draw sketches, and (2) Clean Copy, where you add details to your finished Storyboard. The touchscreen is used to draw, and you can view your strokes on the upper screen.


The best part of Comic Workshop is the interface. It might look overwhelming for the first time, since there are a lot of tools you can use in that small screen of your Nintendo 3DS. Collavier Corporation made the toolbar flexible to show and hide, depending on your need. You can also use shortcut for two tools you mostly use, using X and Y buttons. The anti-aliasing feature is available, and switching it on/off will turn your strokes differently, enriching your creation. A set of calm musics will accompany you during the process of drawing.

But before you plan to tinker your idea with Comic Workshop, bear in mind that this app only has the capacity to export your drawing in maximum size of 576 x 896 pixel, .jpeg format. It means that you will have restricted access to continue processing your creation in your PC due to the quality of the file exported.

The other problem I found while working with Comic Workshop is the small size of the text available to be put in the balloons. The Miiverse sharing availability was actually there, but it was closed, presumably due to Swapnote case. Nevertheless, you may still enjoy using Comic Workshop on the go, without taking so much space for PC and pen tablet. Your creation is still enjoyable as online work, either on your own blog or Comic Workshop site. If your artistic sense matches the portability of the app, you may purchase it for $7.99 on Nintendo 3DS eShop.


About Dwi Krisdianto

Dwi always learns to fuse wordsmith and gaming experience together. Also a video game music and book enthusiast.