I’ve always loved the Comic Life program that came with my Mac. It’s available on PCs now and I still think it’s a great program, but a drawback is that it leaves you anchored to a specific computer. Since the program has to be loaded onto individual machines to be used, it makes it difficult to work on different computers or from home on a project.
Comiqs is a program that is eerily similar to Comic Life, but web-based (and free). I had each of my students create an account on it and make a comic on photosynthesis. The pictures they used for the comic were shot during class and uploaded to a class Flickr account, which they can then sync to their Comiqs account. Alternatively, they can add web pictures by inserting the url. Here is an example of what we did.
Things to look out for:
1. Make sure students verify their email after registering or use a service like mint email that gives a temporary email address that automatically responds to verification requests. Most of my students did not verify their emails and lost their account (and all their work) since we started the project just before an extended weekend.
2. Definitely use a Flickr account. URL pictures work great and are easy to use but can’t be stored on your account. If you use url pictures you have to lock them to the comic to get them to save. You can also upload them, but that can be time-consuming.
3. If you have a whole class working online on Comiqs, have them save in small waves. If everyone tries to save at once from the same ip address (one lab), several people will lose their work. When I started having students save things one at a time everything worked fine.