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ryan_ellsworth
06-02-2014, 12:38 AM
Hey guys, first time comic-writer here. I wanted to post the first 5 (out of 22-ish) pages of my story here, before I submit for a royal reaming at TPG. Which has been very helpful by the way, but I'd like to get the story as good as I can before submitting. This would be the first issue of a multi-volume sci-fi graphic novel. Really appreciate any feedback!

OFFCELL
VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1
BLACK START

Characters

Hal: White, male, 48 years old. 6 feet tall, medium build with short greyish hair. Hal is calm, methodical, educated, and often has a menacing air about him. He has an ex-wife and 11 year old daughter. He and Ray are partners in various exploits, which are often morally ambiguous at best, and lead to results that get them in a pickle. Ray looks up to Hal as sort of a father figure.

Silva: A Brazilian prison guard, male, middle aged. Acquaintance and co-worker of Dominguez. Medium build, 5 foot 8. A guy that likes to be thought of as a straight arrow and commanding but is secretly quite lazy. Likes crossword puzzles.

Dominguez: A Brazilian prison guard, male, middle aged. Slim to medium build, 5 foot 6. Passive aggressive and not really cut out for the job, he only took it because he needed the money and has few skills.

Ray: Ray is male, 32, white, dark hair, slim to medium build. Partners with Hal. Lives with his girlfriend and 7 year old son. Ray is an under-achieving smart ass who sometimes forgets to think before he acts. He likes to read, a habit he picked up from Hal.

Carter (Big C): Male, 29, Afro-Brazilian (black), 240 lbs, 6 foot 4 - a big guy, head shaved and a few tattoos. Big C is scary looking, but a nice enough jokester if you’re on his good side. Don’t get on his bad side.

Little C: Male, 24, white and skinny, with lots of tattoos. Longer, dark hair. Gang banger. 5 foot 10. A bit of a belligerent dick, and likes to think of himself as a tough guy.




PAGE 1

Panel 1 - EXT. prison, night: Manaus, Brazil. Extreme long, tall shot from behind a close-security prison. The main prison building is around half the size of an average high school. Two stories. The power is out in the prison, although backup batteries are powering what’s necessary. The exterior and interior are old, worn out, in a state of disrepair. A few small structures surround the main building. Tall grass and forest growth creeping in. Rainforest surrounds the complex. A Brazilian flag hangs from a flagpole. A windy, paved road extends into the distance. The road is also in poor shape, with forest growth and grass taking over. Down the road, headlights can be seen approaching the prison complex, about a half mile away.

Caption: First off, we needed a van that looked legit. The garage would help with that. A uniform would make it more official. An elevator service manual, though...that was tough.

Panel 2 - Worm’s eye view from the side of the road, around a 5 o’clock angle behind the van. A utility-sized, beat-up, solar-powered van drives past. No tailpipe, double back doors. Slightly futuristic, European style. (Steering wheel on the left.)

Caption: If power was restored unexpectedly, we were boned.

PANEL 3 - INT. van: medium shot from passenger seat. Hal drives. He has a calm expression. He is wearing a blue repairman uniform. A small black phone rests on the center console. From it come the voices of two men chattering about a fixing a hydro turbine.

Caption: A well-placed listening device at the hydroelectric plant would ensure real time updates.
Man 1 (elec): ...turbine pit is totally flooded.
Man 2 (elec): Okay, uh...intake gates are closed.
Man 1 (elec): Starting pump.


PAGE 2

PANEL 1 - EXT. guard post. This is a color feed from a security camera, slightly grainy. The location is labeled on the bottom left - “ENTRADA”. There is a timestamp in the bottom right, 19:44:09. The guard booth sits in the middle of the road, with one of those security posts that can be raised/lowered. A guard can be made out sitting in the guard post, looking toward the approaching headlights. The van is about a quarter mile away.

Van, Man 1 (elec): “This is what, the third time this week? Kksshtst... going to keep happening.”
Van, Man 2 (elec): “Figure out the problem, then.”
Van, Man 1 (elec): “You’re the plumber. I’m just... ksthtsshhhhh...yourself.”

PANEL 2 - INT. prison, library. Another security camera feed, timestamp 19:44:20. The location is labeled on the bottom left - “BIBLIOTECA”. A library with no one inside. A few rows of bookshelves with books, some desks and tables. Some books are lying around. Some playing cards on a table, board game on another. The room is dark with no light.

Caption: They say put a chimp at a typewriter and eventually he’ll write somethin’ worth reading. Same deal with these guys. Hydro engineers, by chance. But when you lose most of Earth’s population, you work with what you got.

PANEL 3 - INT. prison, cell block C. Another security camera feed, timestamp 19:44:34. The location is labeled on the bottom left - “ALA C”. A large area with two floors. Each floor has around 15 prison cells and a thick concrete catwalk with railing. The cell number is painted on the catwalk under each cell. One wall has a row of small, barred up windows about 6 feet from the ground, and another row of windows near the ceiling. The center of the room is an open area with a few round tables and chairs. The area is dim with a few lights on. All inmates are inside their cells. See end of video here http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/cell-blocks-typical-prison-have
for rough idea of size/layout.

Caption: Now, some of this you know. Regarding how many are left, you’ll hear conflicting opinions on that particular point.
Caption: Twenty percent. Ten. Four. No one’s really sure. No one left to keep track.

PANEL 4 - Close on a widescreen monitor, displaying four separate, color, security feeds. Three of these are from the previous panels. The fourth looks down a dim hall, lined with doors. Close to the camera, on the right wall, are an elevator and a room to its right. This feed is labeled “CORREDOR PRINCIPAL”. All four feeds have a timestamp in the right corner, 19:44:57.

Caption: Anyway. Back to the plan.

PANEL 5 - INT. prison lobby, front desk. Dimly lit with a few lights on. Silva and Dominguez sit in a 10x12-ish booth at wooden desks. Wearing guard uniforms, utility belts with handguns. They are sitting about six feet apart. The top half of the booth is lined with bulletproof glass. The desks are old and dinged up. Silva is at the front desk doing a crossword puzzle. Dominguez sits opposite Silva, watching two widescreen monitors mounted on the wall. Both monitors are showing four separate security feeds.

Caption: We had one. At first glance, some might say it was well thought out. Even clever. We knew it wasn’t our best work. But within the constraints of time, we did the best we could.



PAGE 3

PANEL 1 - Med. front shot of Silva. He is concentrated on his crossword puzzle. Dominguez is behind him, turned around in his chair toward Silva, with a slightly annoyed look.

Silva: What’s “an instrument held between the knees” that starts with “H”? Four letters.
Dominguez: What? Like a musical instrument?
Silva: I guess so. Just says, “instrument.”

PANEL 2 - Close on Dominguez, who is back toward his desk, looking annoyed. Over his shoulder, Silva is halfway turned to Dominguez.

Dominguez: Uuuuh...horn.

PANEL 3

Silva: What kind of horn do you hold between your knees?
Dominguez: I don’t know...one of those jazz horns. Saxophone.

PANEL 4 - Silva has a mildly annoyed expression.

Silva: A saxophone isn’t a horn. It’s a woodwind. And you don’t hold a saxophone between your knees.
Dominguez: No? They call it a horn though.

PANEL 5 - Close up on Dominguez. Silva isn’t in this panel. Dominguez’s face is buried in his hands. Frustrated.

Silva (OP): What are you talking about?
Dominguez: Whatever man, just put horn.
Silva (OP): It doesn’t fit there!

PANEL 6 - Over Silva’s shoulder. Silva is turned around, facing Dominguez. Dominguez is turned facing Silva, holding his chin, mock thinking. Making a mocking face.

Dominguez: Hmmm, the mystery of the unsolved crossword puzzle. Detective Silva, reporting for duty!
Silva: Vai se foder, Dominguez.
Silva: We’re fine, don’t worry. Backup batteries are on, all the doors are locked tight. No one’s getting out.

PAGE 4

PANEL 1 - EXT. prison cell, looking in: Three convicts share a cell on the second floor: Ray, Carter (Big C), and Little C. They are wearing orange jumpsuits. Two bunk beds, a sink, and toilet are in the cell. The cell is dimly lit by the backup lights from the prison block. Ray lays on his bed, top bunk, reading. Carter is standing next to him, bored. Little C sits on his bed, back against the wall, across from them.

Carter: What’re you reading?
Ray: A book.
Carter: You don’t say. Ray, you’re so educated. We’re nothing next to...

PANEL 2 - Close on Ray, amused. Looking at the front cover of the book, saving his spot with his hand.

Ray: “Rage Against The Machine: The Second Industrial Revolution”.
Little C (OP): Heh, that communist propaganda?

PANEL 3 - Carter and Ray look at Little C. Ray looks entertained, Carter has a cocky expression.

Ray: Do you even know what a communist is, Lil’ C?
Little C: Yeah, bitch. Like Hitler and stuff.
Carter: Hitler? Dude, you’re retarded. Nah, that book is all like, fascist.

PANEL 4 - Ray is reading from the back of the book, deadpan.

Ray: What? This is a New-York-Times bestseller. It’s “a haunting, eye-opening dredge through the past, an expedition which shows us careening into our sorry state of affairs.”

PANEL 5 - Carter and Little C are both smiling.

Carter: So it’s about why we’re in prison?
Ray: Yeah. And robots.
Little C: Communist robots.

PANEL 6

Carter: Yo, that’s depressing right there. Like you need any more of that around here.
Ray: I know. Depression, here? That’s like oil and water.

PANEL 7 - Long shot on the outside of the cell, looking in.

Carter: verdade, cara. Go out, get some sun, skip through the flowers! Pet a little puppy. The world is your oyster.
Ray: Yeah...

PANEL 8 - Little C is looking at Carter with a hostile look on his face. Carter appears indifferent.

Little C: Flowers and puppies? What are you all chipper about?
Carter: Huh? Power’s out, man. Anything can happen.



PAGE 5

PANEL 1 - INT. prison, front desk: Both guys still at their desks. Dominguez looks nervous. Silva is calm, holding a walkie talkie.

Dominguez: I tell you what, if the power keeps going out like this, they’ll figure something out h…
Silva’s walkie (elec): Hey Silva, I got the electrician out here, Hal Holbrook. Here to look at the elevator. Should I turn him around?

PANEL 2 - Silva is talking into his walkie.

Silva: Yeah, tell him it’s a bad time.
Silva’s walkie (elec): His schedule is full for the rest of the month. He says Herrera wants it done ASAP. Annnd...uh...what? It might...the elevator might be causing issues on the power grid.

PANEL 3 - Dominguez and Silva are looking at each other. Dominguez looks anxious.

Dominguez: Herrera’s not the one sitting here in the dark.
Silva: I don’t know... he’s been in one of his moods.

PANEL 4 - INT. guard post: Hal is stopped at the post, driver’s window rolled down. View from inside the guard post, behind the guard, looking out at Hal in his van.

Caption: When Herrera happened to meet someone that could repair his broken down elevator, he jumped at the chance.
Guard’s walkie (elec): Alright, send him through.

PANEL 5 - Wide angle of prison parking lot. The lot is cracked and old, in poor shape. Five to six other cars are parked. Some cars are modern looking by our standards, some slightly futuristic. But all look worn and pretty beat up. The lot is mostly empty. Grass and forest growth covering the edges of the lot and coming through the cracks. Hal’s van is parked, lights still on.

Caption: A man with that specific skillset? Hard to come by, as you could imagine.

PANEL 6 - Over the shoulder, Hal has opened the back doors of the van. He is obstructing most of the view inside, but some/all of this can be partially shown: two toolboxes, a blanket, some trash, and a couple random tools.

SFX: ERRREEEE

PANEL 7 - Long shot behind Hal. He is standing at a door to the prison marked “ENTRADA DE PESSOAL”. He’s carrying two toolboxes.

Caption: Herrera insisted on getting it repaired immediately. No problem...for double the price.
Caption: Paid up front.

paul brian deberry
06-02-2014, 11:13 AM
OK. Not bad. BUTT, unless you are getting a world class artist to draw these pages, there is NO WAY a letterer will be able to drop all the balloons you are asking him on to the pages.

Rule # 10 (after all those basic writing and drawing rules) No more than three balloons to a panel and most balloons can fit about 25 words.
Rule #10.A Keep the word count for each PANEL (NOT PAGE) around 140 words, which doesn't seem like a lot but it is...

and read this... http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=36639

good luck, keep writing.

ryan_ellsworth
06-02-2014, 10:26 PM
Thanks for your input. That's interesting, it looks like there are different opinions on the subject, maybe depending on the artist then? On comixtribe here:

http://www.comixtribe.com/2011/03/01/bn-week-9-pacing/

it was suggested 35 words per panel or 210 words/page if you have 6 panels?

Schuyler
06-03-2014, 02:11 PM
OK. Not bad. BUTT, unless you are getting a world class artist to draw these pages, there is NO WAY a letterer will be able to drop all the balloons you are asking him on to the pages.

I might be guilty of this as well.

Paul Brian Deberry, will you please say which panels you see as problematic. I will admit that I read the script very quickly, but I only saw places where there are three balloons and a caption. I realize that is still breaking the rule but seems far easier to accomplish than four balloons. Also the balloons did not seem too wordy to me. Perhaps some of the captions are but they can easily be broken into two boxes. Please, clarify.

Also I believe there are different schools of thought on how many words. I think it is hard to know what you want without some experience. Not that I am experienced. It seems like Paul Brian Deberry knows what he likes, though. That probably means that he has seen enough of his own pages to recognize when too much is too much. That is why I have asked for clarification that way we can really see what he means.

Schuyler
06-03-2014, 02:38 PM
I would also like to add that 35 words in one balloon seems like a lot to me. Three balloons with 25 words seems like a lot as well. I have seen people called out for having 75 words on a single panel in TPG.

I am hoping Steven will come in and set me straight but I think it has a lot to do with how much detail you want on the panel vs. how many balloons you want.

I had to put four balloons on a single panel in an issue that I am working on. It had a lot to do with the art, and I realized that I would rather clutter one panel than another. So, when the artist began the page I made that clear to him.

The end result is that my four balloon panel is actually bigger than any other panel on the page, yet it has no background detail. Did I make the right choice? I have no idea...

Have you ever read Marvel's 1602? If you want to see a cluttered book that clearly ran out of room, check it out. Despite the clutter I love it.

Do you ever read any of The Dark Tower series? This book has made fitting huge amounts of words into an art. The panel count is low and the words are not in caps. I like this book, I can't say I love it.

Paul Brian Deberry, said something about a world class artist. Both the above books are definitely drawn by some awesome artists. I guess what I am saying is that their are some conflicting rules. Rules that are sometimes ignored. Is that a good thing? No, I don't think so, but we do what we have to.

Schuyler
06-03-2014, 02:41 PM
Also check out my TPG coming up on July 4th. I have no doubt in my mind that too many words per page is going to be an issue.

Steven Forbes
06-03-2014, 03:13 PM
Don't forget the cardinal rule, folks:

While 25-35 words per balloon/panel may be a "rule," the real rule is about space. When talking about space, it's whatever the panel/page can comfortably hold.

The more panels per page you have, the fewer words per panel. The fewer panels per page, the more words per panel.

Just try to keep that in mind as you write.

Hope that helps.

ryan_ellsworth
06-03-2014, 03:49 PM
Thanks for your comments guys. I'm going to go through it and make sure the word to panel ratio is ok. Besides format though, I'd REALLY appreciate any thoughts on the writing itself - story, dialogue, pacing, etc.

Schuyler
06-03-2014, 04:09 PM
Okay. Here is what I think.
I love your character descriptions. They made sense to me and I actually felt a connection with the lazy guard. Haha!

Page one- Is Hal the only one in the van? The reason I ask is because I assumed Ray was with him often. That would mean Ray is riding shotgun and thus might be in the shot. The camera might have to pull all the way back to the window to get all the dialogue and the phone. If it still doesn’t fit you can move the caption box to the previous panel.

Page two- I believe “Entrada” must also be written below in the dialogue section. This is because your letterer will actually be responsible for writing that word on the panel. You do not want them to have to hunt for it in your panel description. This is also true for your time stamp. This is no doubt one of the things Paul was referring to. The fact that you asked for it to look like a security monitor means it is probably a square panel as opposed to rectangular. There are two stamps at the bottom and three dialogue bubbles. This could fit well on a wide panel but that might take away from the security screen look.
I like that you are including the language thing and I think it will make the book look cool.

Page three- I like the convo between the two guards. I am screaming harp at them but they are not listening.

Page four- I see that Ray was not in the car.
Here is what Paul was talking about. Eight panels is a lot and there are a lot of words here.

Page five- Future + Prison break, I am interested. This page seems more reasonable as far as words go. I know that the SFX are for the back door of his van, but I might go silent on that panel.
Good luck!

ryan_ellsworth
06-03-2014, 05:31 PM
Schuyler, thanks for taking the time to read the script and for your comments. And nice job on solving the crossword, haha. You are right on with what you said about page 2 and 4, I'll have give em the 'ol spit polish. Thanks again.

paul brian deberry
06-04-2014, 12:03 AM
I might be guilty of this as well.

Paul Brian Deberry, will you please say which panels you see as problematic. I will admit that I read the script very quickly, but I only saw places where there are three balloons and a caption. I realize that is still breaking the rule but seems far easier to accomplish than four balloons. Also the balloons did not seem too wordy to me. Perhaps some of the captions are but they can easily be broken into two boxes. Please, clarify.

Also I believe there are different schools of thought on how many words. I think it is hard to know what you want without some experience. Not that I am experienced. It seems like Paul Brian Deberry knows what he likes, though. That probably means that he has seen enough of his own pages to recognize when too much is too much. That is why I have asked for clarification that way we can really see what he means.


Don't want to beat on this guys script, but, all of them. The problem is space. Steven said it perfectly.

While 25-35 words per balloon/panel may be a "rule," the real rule is about space. When talking about space, it's whatever the panel/page can comfortably hold.

The more panels per page you have, the fewer words per panel. The fewer panels per page, the more words per panel.

You are giving the letterer zero room to drop the writers pretty words onto the page. An effective lettering balloon is roughly the size of nickle. A cardinal lettering sin is covering art. page four has eight panels and 18 balloons. That's a lot of art getting covered. Panel 4 has 29 words and is going to be the middle panel of this page. Page four is also "a turn to page" page (meaning, most even number pages will be the page you turn to....) as well, so your eye is going to go immediately to the center of that page. You want that panel to be your money shot, not your panel with a big balloon. You're pretty telling your artist to forget about, any background images with an eight panel page.

Again see Steven little quote.

paul brian deberry
06-04-2014, 12:16 AM
I would also like to add that 35 words in one balloon seems like a lot to me. Three balloons with 25 words seems like a lot as well. I have seen people called out for having 75 words on a single panel in TPG.

I am hoping Steven will come in and set me straight but I think it has a lot to do with how much detail you want on the panel vs. how many balloons you want.

I had to put four balloons on a single panel in an issue that I am working on. It had a lot to do with the art, and I realized that I would rather clutter one panel than another. So, when the artist began the page I made that clear to him.

The end result is that my four balloon panel is actually bigger than any other panel on the page, yet it has no background detail. Did I make the right choice? I have no idea...

Have you ever read Marvel's 1602? If you want to see a cluttered book that clearly ran out of room, check it out. Despite the clutter I love it.

Do you ever read any of The Dark Tower series? This book has made fitting huge amounts of words into an art. The panel count is low and the words are not in caps. I like this book, I can't say I love it.

Paul Brian Deberry, said something about a world class artist. Both the above books are definitely drawn by some awesome artists. I guess what I am saying is that their are some conflicting rules. Rules that are sometimes ignored. Is that a good thing? No, I don't think so, but we do what we have to.

Unwritten/word of mouth rules are the worse. These things always come down WHO is telling you these "unwritten/word of mouth rules."

As the writer you need to self edit (the hardest damn thing evah!) and work within the strength of your team.

Another wordy bastard is Bendis, specially his Powers books. The job Oeming does on those books is incredible. But, Bendis knows Oeming strengths and his strength are great panel designs and interesting panel angles.

If you're scripting to just script, then the writer should write his story for the person he wants to draw it. You want Jim Lee to draw your story then understand that persons strengths and write for him.

ryan_ellsworth
06-04-2014, 04:15 PM
Thanks for your comments Paul...I'm not sure I'm following you though.

Don't want to beat on this guys script, but, all of them.

By "all", do you just mean on page 4? I agree with 8 panels, the 29 word balloon is probably too much. The rest of the balloons are pretty well under 25 words. For the page, I'm sitting at around 157 words.

If you follow the example Steven gave here,

http://www.comixtribe.com/2011/03/01/bn-week-9-pacing/

210 words for 6 panels. So, I'm not seeing a huge issue with 157 words for 8 panels...? Especially if I just cut a few words? Thanks for your time.

Steven Forbes
06-04-2014, 08:35 PM
Unwritten/word of mouth rules are the worse. These things always come down WHO is telling you these "unwritten/word of mouth rules."

As the writer you need to self edit (the hardest damn thing evah!) and work within the strength of your team.

Another wordy bastard is Bendis, specially his Powers books. The job Oeming does on those books is incredible. But, Bendis knows Oeming strengths and his strength are great panel designs and interesting panel angles.

If you're scripting to just script, then the writer should write his story for the person he wants to draw it. You want Jim Lee to draw your story then understand that persons strengths and write for him.

Personally, I hate this type of advice.

All advice is only as good as the person giving it, and is only as good as the specific needs of the person seeking advice. All advice is given through the prism of the person giving it. That goes for everyone, myself included.

However, I hate the "write to the strengths of your artist/team" kind of advice. Most of the time, the writer has a story they want to tell, and they have no idea as to whom their artist is going to be. So they write the story to the best of their abilities, go out and find an artist/team, and continue to work from there. The artist will either adapt the script to their style, or they won't.

If you're a new writer, "writing to the strength of the artist/team" is useless advice, because the new writer doesn't know their own strengths, let alone will be able to write toward someone else's.

It takes years of writing and getting the work produced to be able to write to an artist's strengths.

paul brian deberry
06-05-2014, 12:48 AM
Advice is like assholes everyone has one.

I couldn't disagree with you more, Steven.

It takes years of writing and getting the work produced to be able to write to an artist's strengths.

If you look at an artist portfolio and they enjoy drawing tits and ass with a slice of zombie fun. You know right away what there strength is.

The second you think about putting a team together on a story you know EXACTLY the strengths you're looking for in an artist.

If you don't know who you want drawing (style-wise) your comic book then you need to stop writing comic books and write a novel.

I knew from day one that I wanted Will Esiner or Bob Brown drawing my crappy stories. I didn't need years of writing experience to know their strengths.

If you're telling me Steven that you never said to your self when you were a wee lad writing your crappy stories you didn't envision Ditko or Kirby (insert favorite childhood artist here) drawing your stories. Then I feel sorry for you.

Steven Forbes
06-05-2014, 01:13 AM
That's fine. Disagreement is what makes the world go 'round.

When I write, I don't have much of an artistic style in mind, because I don't know what I'm going to get.

Writing to an artists' strengths means you know that some artists like lots of action, some like lots of drama. Some don't like to draw animals, while others don't like drawing feet. Some want sci-fi, while others want fantasy.

If you want the fantasy artist to work on a drama book because you like the way they draw women and frame their panels, then that's what you want, but you aren't going for that artist's strengths. The story you want to tell may not speak to those strengths.

While I try not to treat the artist as an artmonkey chained to their desk to do my bidding, I also have a story that I want to tell, within a budget.

We all have personal opinions. Thinking that someone should go write novels because they don't have a "style" in mind when they write their comic is yours. Doesn't make you right or wrong, it's just your opinion. One that I happen to disagree with.

And no, I've never envisioned my stories in any certain style. I'd read too many books (novels and comics), seen too many movies, watched too many cartoons, seen too many commercials, watched too many music videos to try and nail it down to any one particular style. Too many views and styles and influences to choose from.

paul brian deberry
06-05-2014, 01:14 AM
Thanks for your comments Paul...I'm not sure I'm following you though.

By "all", do you just mean on page 4? I agree with 8 panels, the 29 word balloon is probably too much. The rest of the balloons are pretty well under 25 words. For the page, I'm sitting at around 157 words.

If you follow the example Steven gave here,

http://www.comixtribe.com/2011/03/01/bn-week-9-pacing/

210 words for 6 panels. So, I'm not seeing a huge issue with 157 words for 8 panels...? Especially if I just cut a few words? Thanks for your time.

If Steven wrote it then it must be right.

Yes ALL of it, nothing wrong with the format, don't care about the gramma or speling. I am looking at the sample you posted from a letterer/artist point of view. If you are happy with zero background detail, balloons taking up a third to a half of your small panel, then congratulation you win.

You are more than welcome to tell me to take my "advice" and shove it up my ass. Please do... I mean who the fuck am I to give you advice. I am in the same boat, looking for the same answer on how to be an awesome creator of super amazing comics.

I shared my simple opinion. Be mindful of your artist and letterer.

Rule #10.A Keep the word count for each page (SHOULD BE PANEL) around 140 words, which doesn't seem like a lot but it is...

PS: I'm a dumbass. I said PAGE it should be PANEL -- around 140 words per panel - not page. :slap:

paul brian deberry
06-05-2014, 01:21 AM
That's fine. Disagreement is what makes the world go 'round.

When I write, I don't have much of an artistic style in mind, because I don't know what I'm going to get.

Writing to an artists' strengths means you know that some artists like lots of action, some like lots of drama. Some don't like to draw animals, while others don't like drawing feet. Some want sci-fi, while others want fantasy.

If you want the fantasy artist to work on a drama book because you like the way they draw women and frame their panels, then that's what you want, but you aren't going for that artist's strengths. The story you want to tell may not speak to those strengths.

While I try not to treat the artist as an artmonkey chained to their desk to do my bidding, I also have a story that I want to tell, within a budget.

We all have personal opinions. Thinking that someone should go write novels because they don't have a "style" in mind when they write their comic is yours. Doesn't make you right or wrong, it's just your opinion. One that I happen to disagree with.

And no, I've never envisioned my stories in any certain style. I'd read too many books (novels and comics), seen too many movies, watched too many cartoons, seen too many commercials, watched too many music videos to try and nail it down to any one particular style. Too many views and styles and influences to choose from.

Right here is GREAT advice. I disagree a little bit with what you're getting at but I am 89% on board.

My jumping off point is... If you're looking for someone to draw a great slice of life story, then you don't want the T&A guy. He might do a fine job but you're not writing to his strength.

Come on! Are you telling me that you never thought it would be cool to have Will Eisner draw your story, EVAH! Never wrote that awesome Spider-man story to have Ditko draw it.

Steven Forbes
06-05-2014, 01:24 AM
Wow, Paul. Was that necessary?

You have an opinion, someone asked you to clarify it because it goes against something they read, and you fly off the handle.

(This is coming from me, who has been known to blast writers for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.)

You could just clarify your position for the new writer without having to attack them.

Steven Forbes
06-05-2014, 01:34 AM
Right here is GREAT advice. I disagree a little bit with what you're getting at but I am 89% on board.

My jumping off point is... If you're looking for someone to draw a great slice of life story, then you don't want the T&A guy. He might do a fine job but you're not writing to his strength.

Come on! Are you telling me that you never thought it would be cool to have Will Eisner draw your story, EVAH! Never wrote that awesome Spider-man story to have Ditko draw it.

None of what I just wrote was advice. It was just an example. Basically, write the story you want to write, and think about who's going to draw it later.

And of course I thought it would be cool to have Eisner drawing one of my stories. Who hasn't? But it would be a story that I wanted to tell, not something that necessarily fell within his style. And no, I've never written a Spider-Man story, nor had any artist in mind for any Spidey story I wanted to tell.

Don't forget, I'm not one that gets star-struck. There are only three people I can think of in all the world whom I'd stumble over people to meet: Stan Lee, for everything he's done for comics; Jim Shooter, for his writing and editing acumen; and Prince, because I absolutely love his music. Presidents, actors, actresses, religious figures, sports figures...none of them phase me. (I'd also pay good money to sit and talk comics with Mark Waid for an afternoon.)

I say all of that to say that generally, I'd love some original art from certain artists, but I'm not going to go gaga over them working on a story of mine.

paul brian deberry
06-05-2014, 01:36 AM
Wow, Paul. Was that necessary?

You have an opinion, someone asked you to clarify it because it goes against something they read, and you fly off the handle.

(This is coming from me, who has been known to blast writers for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.)

You could just clarify your position for the new writer without having to attack them.

Did I attack them? Honestly, that was NOT my attention. If it came off that way color me embarrassed.

Steven Forbes
06-05-2014, 01:39 AM
Yep, that's the way I took it.

(And it's saying something when I'm the voice of reason. Have you read some of the things I've said in TPG?)

paul brian deberry
06-05-2014, 01:42 AM
My gaga list is a little longer. Stan Lee I met, Jim Shooter I kinda met and I would die to jam with Prince, he's such an underrated guitarist. I would throw, a guy like Samuel L Jackson and Spielberg on my list.

I'd like to punch Bendis in the throat... but that is a different list.

paul brian deberry
06-05-2014, 01:44 AM
Yep, that's the way I took it.

(And it's saying something when I'm the voice of reason. Have you read some of the things I've said in TPG?)

Sure. Big fan. I'm more a fan of the older stuff. I have a couple articles saved and read a few times a year.

Lovecraft13
06-05-2014, 06:39 AM
I agree with Paul on knowing various strengths when constructing a book. I wouldn't shop a swords and sorcery concept to an artist who excels in modern technology, but if I really wanted to work with the person, I'd tweak my concept into something akin to steampunk. But I wouldn't just take a script and expect any artist to develop it. At the very least, understand what the artist draws. It goes both ways. I once turned down an offer from a friend to write his political thriller concept simply because I know nothing about that genre. So why would I waste his time?

Schuyler
06-05-2014, 11:30 AM
If Steven wrote it then it must be right.

Yes ALL of it, nothing wrong with the format, don't care about the gramma or speling. I am looking at the sample you posted from a letterer/artist point of view. If you are happy with zero background detail, balloons taking up a third to a half of your small panel, then congratulation you win.

You are more than welcome to tell me to take my "advice" and shove it up my ass. Please do... I mean who the fuck am I to give you advice. I am in the same boat, looking for the same answer on how to be an awesome creator of super amazing comics.

I shared my simple opinion. Be mindful of your artist and letterer.



PS: I'm a dumbass. I said PAGE it should be PANEL -- around 140 words per panel - not page. :slap:

Paul. I am not trying to pick on you. I just want you to explain yourself more clearly.

Page one only has three panels. You cannot be serious when you say that he has too many words on that page.

I think you have many good points and I am not arguing the artist strength point. However, we cannot take you seriously if you refuse to be more clear.

Is it really every single panel in his script that has too much dialogue?

If you are saying that, I am choosing to disagree.

Steven Forbes
06-05-2014, 12:35 PM
I agree with Paul on knowing various strengths when constructing a book. I wouldn't shop a swords and sorcery concept to an artist who excels in modern technology, but if I really wanted to work with the person, I'd tweak my concept into something akin to steampunk. But I wouldn't just take a script and expect any artist to develop it. At the very least, understand what the artist draws. It goes both ways. I once turned down an offer from a friend to write his political thriller concept simply because I know nothing about that genre. So why would I waste his time?

The artist would always have the opportunity to turn down the work, based on interest.

As for turning down your friend, that was simply you not having any interest in the genre, therefore you didn't want to do the work/research in order to write it.

I was offered to get onboard a project doing a semi-autobiography of one of the first black stock car racers. I have no interest in races (unless they're foot races). NASCAR does nothing for me. I'd rather watch golf. However, I wasn't going to turn the opportunity down. (The racer was very sick, and the project never materialized.) I was going to do the work to understand as much as I could about racing.

I don't know much about writing mysteries, but I'm learning, because I have a story to tell.

Lovecraft13
06-05-2014, 01:12 PM
As for turning down your friend, that was simply you not having any interest in the genre, therefore you didn't want to do the work/research in order to write it.

Ah, so you knew what I wanted or didn't want to do, eh? That's cool.

Lovecraft13
06-05-2014, 01:16 PM
I was offered to get onboard a project doing a semi-autobiography of one of the first black stock car racers. I have no interest in races (unless they're foot races). NASCAR does nothing for me. I'd rather watch golf. However, I wasn't going to turn the opportunity down. (The racer was very sick, and the project never materialized.) I was going to do the work to understand as much as I could about racing.

That's fine. I also get opportunities that I turn down simply because I don't want to do them. After all, the artist would always have the opportunity to turn down the work, based on interest. Right?

Steven Forbes
06-05-2014, 01:44 PM
Ah, so you knew what I wanted or didn't want to do, eh? That's cool.

If you wanted to do it, then you would have done the work to understand the genre. Not knowing anything about the genre is an opportunity to learn, if you wanted to tell the story. So, to my mind, the most logical reason for passing was that you had no interest in the project.

ryan_ellsworth
06-05-2014, 11:41 PM
If Steven wrote it then it must be right.

Yes ALL of it, nothing wrong with the format, don't care about the gramma or speling. I am looking at the sample you posted from a letterer/artist point of view. If you are happy with zero background detail, balloons taking up a third to a half of your small panel, then congratulation you win.

You are more than welcome to tell me to take my "advice" and shove it up my ass. Please do... I mean who the fuck am I to give you advice. I am in the same boat, looking for the same answer on how to be an awesome creator of super amazing comics.

I shared my simple opinion. Be mindful of your artist and letterer.

PS: I'm a dumbass. I said PAGE it should be PANEL -- around 140 words per panel - not page. :slap:

Alright buddy, I'm going to go ahead and not load up my reply with snide remarks, unlike this here.

I am sorry to keep comparing you to Steven. With the words to panels ratio, I just didn't know how much is a rule and how much is opinion. I see now there's a good amount of preference. Myself, I like the wordier stuff, like Watchmen. That was my first graphic novel and will probably always be my favorite.