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Script – Chapter Two – Cracking the Code


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.

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