Dear reader,

When I was a kid growing up in a tumultuous family, the only place I could escape to, to ease my anxiety and depression and to find some peace was by losing myself in the wonderful, colorful world of comics. There, I could enter the world of imagination where everything is possible. 

Many years later, when a greatly loved relative became emotionally ill, I became distraught and agitated. To help me cope and deal with some of the pain I was feeling, I engaged in make-believe and began creating  graphic writing prompts which I called ‘’makebeliefs.’’  I still remember writing the very first one: "Make believe you could dance on the moon.  What music would you dance to?"

Creating these makebeliefs allowed me to catch my breath and to imagine a better world with all kinds of possibilities for joy.  Thus, it makes some sense that I began creating this special series, “MakeBeliefs 2 Help U Smile & Feel Joy,’’ with artist Tom Bloom to help preteens and teens open up, mine the richness within them, and express their worries and pain as well as their joy. 

I hope you will share these activities with your students and encourage them to try them. Teachers and therapists can do this activity together with students and use what youngsters write or draw as a jumping - off board to discuss pressing issues. The prompts gracefully force new thinking.  Working with them will bring joy and hope, too.

The “makebeliefs’’ shown on this page, and scores of others, can be found in our printables section under the category SMILE.  To print, click on the ones you like.  You can also find a digitally interactive version of each printable under the category INTERACTIVE PDFS; you can write directly on the screen using your digital device.  I hope you will save what you write so that you can see that there always are moments of fun, joy and clarity in life to be experienced, too. 

May these ‘’makebeliefs’’ bring a smile to your face, along with greater self-understanding! You can send your own writing or drawing prompts for new ‘’makebeliefs’’ to



Bill Zimmerman

Creator of MakeBeliefsComix 


The comic resources found throughout our web site can be valuable for your efforts to teach social and emotional learning (SEL) skills to students to help them become more caring, confident individuals who can succeed in school, work and life.   These interactive creative tools can be used to encourage self-awareness, self-management, social awareness or empathy, relationship skills and responsible decision making.

Please take a look at our sampler page to see some of the resources found on MakeBeliefsComix which you can explore for your SEL work. The printables shown here are from the Printables page where special categories are marked (SEL). 

For added fun and help for encouraging self-expression, take a look, too, at our All ABOUT ME Comic Starters here.


We welcome your comments on the features mentioned on this page, as well as your suggestions for new prompts or ideas that you have used with students.  Please send them to and give us permission to use your ideas in the future.

As always, thank you.

Bill Zimmerman