pentacles, magic

A nice cup of rabies

Rantings with occasional art.

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national graphic novel scripting month
pentacles, magic

For a couple of months, I’ve been saying that I’m going to spend Nanowrimo writing a first draft of The Drowning City. Well, it’s the first of November, so it’s time for me to put up or shut up.

And so far I have, indeed, put up – I just wrote 1250 words, which comprise the script to the first nine pages and some brief notes about how the chapter plays out, which should probably be another 3-4 pages.

I’m working with some pre-existing notes and dialogue fragments, so it’s debatable if this “counts” – NNWM is supposed to be about writing a bunch of new content. But that’s 1250 new words on top of stuff I already had in Evernote, so I’m saying that yes, it damn well counts for me. Hopefully I will be able to plow through to new territory, as well. My brain is offering interesting suggestions now.

Originally published at Egypt Urnash. You can comment here or there.

Question for you. I'd been thinking "hey maybe with it being NaNoWriMo I should try putting together something" too. I'm not sure of the best way to script comics if you're primarily an artist and thinking first and foremost in terms of how things will look. I'd been thinking of writing an outline, then drawing out thumbnails on larger paper than I usually work, and scribbling dialogue notes with panels, then drawing bigger thumbnails to work out problems including where to best put the dialogue. Sound like an okay procedure or is there something else which you usually reccomend/do?

That's pretty much my process when I'm drawing stuff on paper!

IIRC the exact workflow on Absinthe was like this:

1. outline
2. textual breakdown of pages (1-2 sentences apiece)
3. Nick wrote dialogue - here's a typical page. It should be noted that we were developing this in tight concert; I think a lot of this script was hashed out sitting around at a cafe, as I drew the thumbnails - hence the lack of any notes as to what people are actually doing.
4. I drew 4.5" square thumbnails on 8.5x11 paper, paired up by spreads - here's an example.
5. I taped a piece of paper onto my drawing table, aligned with my page template. Ruled out the panel borders, did the lettering, started drawing. Pages were about 11" square.
6. Scan, process into lettering and pencils, dump in Illustrator, do that Illustrator thing.

In placing lettering, I follow the theories put forth by Eddie Campbell (Bacchus, From Hell) in this blog post.

My scripts for Rita are a lot more freeform as they're just for me and are usually about stuff about 4 pages out; I'll have messy thumbnails in my sketchbook interspersed with broad plot notes, as well as text in Evernote - sometimes broad "this is what's happening" outliney stuff, sometimes free writing on "okay what happens now", sometimes fairly tight drafts of dialogue. I usually write the final dialogue directly into word balloons in Illustrator.

I'm experimenting with explicitly doing this Drowning City script as text only; I want to concentrate on the story. Not that I'm not thinking visually; I've called for pages 6-7 to be a 2-page spread, with a big panorama of New Orleans stretching across it, with some inset panels showing various aspects of things going on in the city; I've dropped some reference images pulled from the web in amongst the text. But I want to make myself focus on the story and the dialogue, so I'm being more… writerly… in my approach - I feel like part of my goal with this experiment of writing the whole script first is to have something that I could almost hand off to another artist to draw. Not that I would given how personal it is, I just want to find out what it's like working that way.

Edited at 2012-11-01 09:32 pm (UTC)

And here's the finals of those pages I linked to thumbnails for: 20 21