FEATURES : COLUMNS : REVIEWS : NEWS : FILM & TV : FORUMS : UGO

ABOUT




New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pérez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.
 








Nut In The Shell:
Comic Book Writing 101: Scripting
By Keith Giles

04.23.03


When it comes to writing scripts for comics, I've never done it the same way twice.

Not by design, mind you. But, each little project I write has a personality of its own and demands a slightly different angle of attack.

To begin with, I usually sit down with my borrowed Toshiba laptop computer and write for a few hours each night.
I heat up a nice, strong cup of coffee and lay out all the research material, photo references, and any art pages that pertain to the project all over my kitchen table. I’m a visual person and it really helps to have all of my artists sketches, pin-ups, and ideas in front of me to help inspire my writing.


Article continued below advertisement


Sometimes I'll even cue up a CD on the stereo to add to the mood of the piece I'm getting ready to write. Maybe a little Sigur Ros, or Curve, or a moody soundtrack, depending on the atmosphere required.

But, in the process of scripting my various projects for PlasticAnimal.com, each book has undergone a slightly different scripting process before it reached completion.
For DIGERATI, I simply wrote the chapters for the novel-in-progress and sent them to my artist, Andre Syzmanowicz, who's good enough to turn them into comic pages without requiring me to format the story into an actual script.

I love him for that...

For DURANGO SILVER, I sat down and drew out the panel breakdowns on a scrap pad, scribbled in the major scenes and dialog I wanted, and THEN I started to write the script based on the drawings and layouts I'd done.

For HARD VIDEO I first wrote the prose short story and then I sat down to sketch out the page and panel breaks on the scratch pad, based on the events in the story, and THEN I sat down and typed up the scripted version.

For my reality-bending, sci-fi lullaby, UV:TARGET, I actually just started writing the panel descriptions straight onto the page without writing any dialog at all. Then I stopped to sketch out my page and panel layouts to make sure it was going to look the way I wanted it to look. Then I went back to finish the script.

For THE DEVIL'S RIDING HORSE, a short story I did with artist Kristian Donaldson, I just sat down and started typing out the script without looking at any panel or page breaks first. This one began with tons of research on the real-life work of miniature artist, Nicolai Syadristy and morphed into a story that included nano-tech and some actual Russian history thrown into the mix with a little Steranko-spy action thrown in for good measure.

I tell you this because I care.

For those aspiring writers out there, you need to know that it's ok to do it your own way. And you need to know that it really doesn't matter "How" you do it, as long as you actually sit down and "Do it".

Yes, it's a good idea to sketch out your ideas on a pad to get an idea of how your script will work on the page. But, whether you start off that way or not is up to you.
Just make sure you don't write a script with 22 panels of dialog for your poor artist to squeeze together on a single page.

If you actually take time to draw a stick-figure layout of your page before you submit the final version to your artist, you'll save yourself (and your artist) a lot of grief.

You need to remember you're trying to tell a story. Storytelling is the main thing. If your artist doesn't have room to tell the story, then you don't either.

Of course, you also need to be sure you have outlined your entire story before you get started. We'll cover writing an outline in a future column.

Until next time…

Class dismissed.



Keith Giles is one of the world's greatest enigmas. Ruggedly handsome, and yet surprisingly gentle and compassionate with small animals, Keith actually has a very weak grasp of reality and often talks to himself in the bathroom mirror. He's currently writing his own original sci-fi novels and putting together a few comic books of his own in his spare time. Visit him at PlasticAnimal.com.

 

 
E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend

 

 



 
Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.


CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent