Archive for the ‘Scripts’ Category

Chapter Three – Script

September 15th, 2009 No comments

Chapter Three

Issue Three is where the story really departed from what I initially intended the book to be. While I was in the outlining stage, I was spending most of my creative energy on coming up with what the ‘mystery’ of the book was going to be. I had the characters all down pat, but, desperately needed a maguffin to drive the story.

As it stood, he found Evelyn in Chapter Two, had the seizure and woke up in the hospital as written. But, the difference is that Evelyn doesn’t come back. He’s seen her, he’s seen how scared she is, and he knows that she’s in trouble. The problem was that there had to be some bit of happenstance that led Frank to get back on her trail, and out of the hospital. Everything that would make him run came off as too forced. I spent weeks wrestling with the story trying desperately to find that missing maguffin.

I was in a meeting with a Hollywood Producer type and was talking about the book. As I was pitching the story, I got to the loosey-goosey second act. The producer stopped me and asked where all my story confidence went. I told him that I was missing the maguffin still, and couldn’t get the story to flow properly. He asked a simple question. “Why?” I went on about the necessity of it for the genre, and how it’s the way these things are done, and so on. He stared at me and said, “He needs to find the girl and do the thing he couldn’t do to his wife. Protect her. That’s the maguffin.”

Sure enough, he was right. This was a story about a man being faced to look at his past mistakes and face them down one on one. As he flashes between reality and fantasy there’s one thing that grounds him in the now. Evelyn and the threat that she faces. Once I had that piece of the puzzle, I had the story.

I think that really comes through in the writing of this chapter, and each of the following chapters. I felt a confidence in the story that I didn’t quite have in the first two, because my story had found it’s driving force, and, Frank had found his purpose.

Script – Chapter Two – Cracking the Code

August 18th, 2009 No comments

Chapter Two

So the thing I wanted to discuss about issue two is something so silly and obvious that I think a lot of writers forget to do it. Your script is meant to be a road map for your artist. It’s extremely important that you convey what you’re trying to do in a way that’s clear, concise, and unmistakable for your artist. Your artist spends ten times more time drawing than you do writing. It’s important to make things easy for them to help them work faster, and need fewer redos.

The example in this script, which took me till this script to include, is indicators of the art style for Noel. Obviously the book is drawn in two different styles. For ‘current time’ or ‘reality’ we have a hard line, clean style. For flashbacks/hallucinations we have an inkwash. In the first script, a couple of things happened. First, Noel figured out the stylistic choice that allows us to have these two feels. Secondly, I made sure to point out in detail when I wanted the style to switch.

What become obvious in writing script two was that there was going to be a lot more back and forth, and a short hand was needed. The short hand changed a bit from script to script, but, by clearly marking each panel or page as either IW (ink wash) or HL (hard line), Noel can easily pick the correct paper and tools to quickly move through the art.

Another example of this is my script for Alibi over at Top Cow, with artist Jeremy Haun. While the art was in a single style, the coloring was used to delineate three distinct locales, all running concurrently. So, on the very first page there was a color code, saying that everything marked with an A should be colored with cool blues, everything with a B should be colored in reds and golds, and everything with a C should be colored neutrally.

It has a very techinical feel to it, but, at the end of the day, a comic script is a blueprint. It’s the same as a shooting script for a film. You want to layout in a comfortable amount of detail what you want, while still allowing your collaborators the freedom to contribute to the greater creative good.

Tumor – Full Script – Chapter One

July 31st, 2009 No comments

Chapter One

Chapter one went through quite a few iterations. The real challenge was establishing the technique for keeping our reality and hallucinations clear. Luckily, Noel’s storytelling skills solved a lot of that for me. By using the ink wash and hard line styles, you get a great visual cue that establishes where we are, and, as you’ll soon see, when we are. This script probably took the longest to get through just because there’s so much information to deliver in such a compact space. Hopefully, we succeeded.

As always, any questions on format or the changes from script to comic are welcome in the comments.