Ok, so here's the deal. Any program you use have it's good and bads. It depends on how well you learn the program or learn to abuse it. I've been able to use a REALLY crappy program and have continued to do wonders with it, even tho it's probably 10 years old.
WHen I got a scanner way back when, it came with Arcsoft Photostudio. It doesn't have word balloons, but it does have text. Now, I can do a shot like the one above with it. The program has a glitch in that if I use the line tool, it'll shut the program down AND if I don't save every few seconds, I'll lose everything. Which has happened a lot.
Now, there ARE other programs that have the word balloons; some good, smoe not.
Let's take example 2. This was done using MS PhotoIt. If it didn't come with the computer (XP Home), then it came with the 1st digital camera we had (an absolute POS, but I did a lot with it). This had word balloons and pretty much had the usual stuff. The key here is to resize your shot and make the word balloons and text work with a smaller shot. It doesn't work so well to take your 1200xWhatever shot, do the balloons to what looks right and then, well, check out the Photos page for some improper use.
WHEN you use a regular program, you can size your shots however you want. 800x600 is the norm. But when you read a comic book, you see that the frames change sizes. While you CAN do that with any fotoediting program, it's hard to show off the differences in a regular dio. Chances are, if you are doing your dio like this, it'll be viewed thru the equivalent of a viewer or slideshow so you the reader won't understand why 1 shot is bigger or smaller than another. That's when the CBC comes into play.
Comic Book Creater (aka CBC) is a wonderful program IF you know how to make it work in your favor. Which is incredibly hard. Here, you can set up your dio(s) to have a comic book look. You can have a large frame on top, 2 smaller frames, and then a slim rectangular frame and another large frame. Or whatever you really want since it all comes pre-packaged. It gives dios an awesome look.
Except for some 'problems' that have caused me to be more frustrated than not.
1. You gotta do all the pre-work (ie; fotoshopping) beforehand. Worse yet, you gotta keep ALL your shots at a pretty big size (which eats up space). You can't take an 800x600 shot and hope it'll work as your COVER PAGE cuz it won't fit right.
2. CBC resizes the shots to fit the frames, which more often than not, is NOT to your advantage. You have no idea how much was cut out of my pictures when I plugged them into the CBC. You can have the greatest shot and then BAM! it resized into something small, not even YOU know what the picture was of.
2a. The ONLY way to make sure you get the full shots in the CBC is to learn how big EACH frame is and then resize your stuff to match properly. But to do that... well, it's not like EACH frame is measured in the program. So you won't know what is 220x342 or 458x983 or whatever. So, you can lose a lot of your action if the shot doesn't fit right. Very frustrating.
3. The word balloons are rather pixelated.
4. Worse yet, while the text is cool and all, the programming for the text leaves a LOT of open space. With your OTHER programs, you can make the text match up to the word balloons better so you aren't stuck with mad white space.
Those are my beefs with it. The CBC will NOT load on my new computer so I'm going back to the old style (viewers will use the average picture browser) which means I can do most of my shots at 800x600. Save a lot of HD space that way. Now, if you happen upon Luke Ellison's works, I think he might use the Fireworks program to do what the CBC does. Except, his looks better and a bit more stylish.