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jskyba
06-15-2014, 10:42 PM
Hey everyone
New to these forums, was hoping you would be able to give me some feedback and criticism on the first few pages of a comic I've been working on. It will be a parody of your normal superhero comic in that he's tired of the way he's treated in life, wants to change things. So sets out to become the greatest villain anyone has ever seen.

Let me know what you guys think!
________________________________________
Page 1- 5 Panels
Panel 1- Outside view of pizza palace, evening. An average pizza place in a busier intersection on a corner unit. Litter is blowing around; somebody is sitting on a bench as well as a parked car. There is also a lamppost with a bike locked up to it.

Panel 2: A customer comes in and order a large gluten free pepperoni pizza with absolutely nothing else on it, Scott says he will get right on it.
POV from behind customers back so that do not see customer’s face and focus on Scott.

Panel 3: Scott is working in the Pizza Palace where we see him day dreaming while making a pizza.

Thought caption 1: Oh I can’t wait to get out of here….
Thought Caption 2: ….So I can just escape from this…

A radio can be heard in the background.

Panel 4: A customer comes for their pizza, regrettably to find out Scott had made the wrong kind of pizza, and customer isn’t willing to pay
Side shot view of customer and Scott with customer visibly unhappy.
Customer is a very small woman.
Customer dialogue: I specifically asked you for nothing else on here, I can’t eat this, I’m allergic to mushrooms.
Scott dialogue: I’m sor---
Customer Dialogue: You know what just get me your manager.
Panel 5: Frank Brooks, the pizza palace owner steps in introduces himself apologizes to the customer and assures him it won’t happen again. Frank is seen in front of Scott cooling down the customer.
Frank Brooks: I’m sorry for the inconvenience, I overheard you voicing your complaints. My name is Frank Brooks; I’m the owner, how can I help you?
Customer Dialogue: Well I refuse to pay for this, I can’t eat it.
Frank Brooks: No worries I’ll have a new one made and it’s on the house.

Page 2: 4 Panels
Panel 1: Frank brooks hands the customer a freshly made pizza.
Frank Brooks Dialogue: Here ya’ go!
Customer Dialogue: Thanks!

Panel 2: Frank starts telling Scott he has to smarten up if he wants to keep his job, starts to talk down to Scott.
Thought Caption: Oh here we go again…..
Frank brooks Dialogue: How many times do I have to tell you boy?
Scott Dialogue: Sorry sir, won’t happen again.
Frank Dialogue: If it does, it will be the last time from you here!
View of frank talking to Scott from a side view.

Panel 3: Scott is seen looking at the clock that it’s now time for him to go home and starts taking off his apron.
Thought caption: Finally, been waiting all day to get out of here. Time to go home!
Scott dialogue: Later frank!

Panel 4: Scott is seen heading out the door of the pizza palace.

Page 3: 4 panels
Panel 1: Scott is about to head home when he finds out his bike now has a flat tire. His bike is still locked on a lamppost outside of the store.
Thought caption: Oh just great, lucky me, get to carry home my bike.

Panel 2: Scott picks up his bike and suddenly it starts to rain.
Thought caption: Rain? Really thought this day couldn’t get any worse.

Panel 3: Scott is walking home on the sidewalk and gets splashed by a car driving through a puddle.
Scott looks slumped and defeated.

Panel 4: Panel of Scott Continuing to drag his body home

Steven Forbes
06-15-2014, 10:47 PM
Punctuation is king.

You cannot be taken seriously as a writer if you haven't mastered something as simple as a period.

Steven Forbes
06-15-2014, 10:50 PM
Sorry. My fault.

Punctuation and capitalization.

If this were to come to me at The Proving Grounds, you would not have an enjoyable experience.

If you want others to take you seriously and spend their precious time in giving you pointers, then you have to respect them enough to learn the simple things such as spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. This is not new. This is what you learned in elementary school.

And there's your welcome to the boards! :)

jskyba
06-15-2014, 10:51 PM
where in particular you find really didn't use period properly?

Steven Forbes
06-15-2014, 10:55 PM
The very first sentence of your post.

The very last sentence of your post.

I don't have to read the entire thing to know that periods are missing throughout the entire thing. Such as the second sentence of panel 2.

Proof isn't difficult to find.

jskyba
06-15-2014, 10:57 PM
Okay I see it now.

What about the rest? Not even worth getting into? Should I just scrap it?

Steven Forbes
06-15-2014, 11:01 PM
Do as you wish. But you have to remember this:

Writers are readers. If you want them to read your writing, then you have to follow the rules of writing--spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Otherwise, the only thing they'll see are the mistakes.

jskyba
06-15-2014, 11:16 PM
I've fixed the periods, working on the capitalization now.

Had planned on just doing the grammar check once everything was all done for everything all at once after.

What about the formatting?

paul brian deberry
06-15-2014, 11:19 PM
take a look at this articles by Nate Piekos...

http://www.blambot.com/comicscript.shtml
http://www.blambot.com/grammar.shtml

as for the script it's salvageable and as is an artist could draw from it you also did a good job giving your letterer room to letter

golden rule #2 when you post something that you want to be critiqued "punctuation is king" don't get lazy because you never know who is reading (golden rule #1 is have a thick skin)

if you don't you get guys like Steven making you feel like shit because of something as simple as a period

jskyba
06-15-2014, 11:22 PM
He's not making me feel like shit, I'm open to all criticism.

Steven Forbes
06-15-2014, 11:24 PM
I've fixed the periods, working on the capitalization now.

Had planned on just doing the grammar check once everything was all done for everything all at once after.

What about the formatting?

If it's not ready to show, why show it? It's a waste of time.

Steven Forbes
06-15-2014, 11:28 PM
take a look at this articles by Nate Piekos...

http://www.blambot.com/comicscript.shtml
http://www.blambot.com/grammar.shtml

as for the script it's salvageable and as is an artist could draw from it you also did a good job giving your letterer room to letter

golden rule #2 when you post something that you want to be critiqued "punctuation is king" don't get lazy because you never know who is reading (golden rule #1 is have a thick skin)

if you don't you get guys like Steven making you feel like shit because of something as simple as a period

If you take a look at the articles you linked to, Paul, there's a period at the end of every sentence, there's capitalization at the start of every sentence, and there is correct punctuation throughout.

If you look at Fred's script, the same thing goes.

Your examples don't back you up.

jskyba
06-15-2014, 11:30 PM
Okay, I'm sorry I wasted your time. But I appreciate your being blunt. Next time I post something here, will be the final version of something and not still a rough draft.

Steven Forbes
06-15-2014, 11:35 PM
Everything is a rough draft until the script is produced.

Here's what happens: you get used to writing without periods and capitalizations, and then you send a screwed up script to an editor at a company, hoping they'll buy the script and publish it.

Know what they're going to do? They're going to put it in the round file, and you'll never hear back from them.

It doesn't have to be a final draft, but as close to final as you can get it. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation. Without those, you won't get far as a writer.

paul brian deberry
06-15-2014, 11:37 PM
Definitely NOT a waste of time. Keep posting them. Finished or unfinished.

jskyba
06-15-2014, 11:39 PM
Thanks!

Steven Forbes
06-15-2014, 11:39 PM
Oh, and you're not wasting my time. You're wasting your own. If you just post the best script you possibly can, then you're in a position to learn. I cannot imagine that you don't know about spelling and capitalization. Since I cannot imagine that, I cannot imagine that you're in a position to learn.

Make yourself as ready as possible.

You may also want to take a look at the first 12 or so of my Bolts & Nuts columns. There's a link to the ComixTribe site in my signature. There's a lot to learn there.

Robert_S
06-15-2014, 11:58 PM
I've fixed the periods, working on the capitalization now.

Had planned on just doing the grammar check once everything was all done for everything all at once after.


SPaG from beginning to end. From the start until you're pitching it. It's the most basic aspect of writing. You don't want to spend time on your second draft fixing SPaG issues. You'd rather read it over for logic issues, lack of detail, story structure, etc.

I'm going to be blunt: the best way to look stupid is to write poorly. You can learn to write either way, but writing well will get you looked at. Writing poorly will, as Steven said, get you pitched in the trash.

If you're unclear on the rules of grammar, you'll want to invest in a grammar book. I have a couple, but one I really like is "The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need." You could also try "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing."

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:04 AM
This is just how I've always done things. I've always just fixed spelling and grammar at the end. Obviously, that kind of thing is fine but I just have to get into the habit of doing as I go if I plan to post here again in the future and expect anything aside from how someone in elementary school should know better.

Robert_S
06-16-2014, 12:07 AM
This is just how I've always done things. I've always just fixed spelling and grammar at the end. Obviously, that kind of thing is fine but I just have to get into the habit of doing as I go if I plan to post here again in the future and expect anything aside from how someone in elementary school should know better.

Get into the habit of writing properly from the start. Then you don't have to fix it afterwards. You can go straight into the higher level aspects of storycraft.

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:08 AM
Aside from the spelling and grammar, what did you think?

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:09 AM
Will try making it a habit, thanks.

Steven Forbes
06-16-2014, 12:17 AM
I don't understand how that happened in the first place. I mean, leaving capitalization, spelling, and punctuation to last? You might as well rewrite it from scratch.

When I first started writing, I wrote everything longhand first, and would then edit it as I rewrote it on a computer. That got tiresome after a while (but it taught me to slow down and think as I wrote). Now, I write, knowing the general idea of where I want to go. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization don't slow me down, and gets fixed along the way. Hell, if I want to add a word somewhere, I don't even take my hand off the keyboard--I delete the words I wrote until I get to the insertion point, add the word, and then retype what I deleted, because I find it faster than using the mouse.

What Robert said is very true. Get into the habit of writing properly from the start. Then, at the very least, it'll look like you tried whenever you post.

(Look at your posts now. Your first couple of posts? No punctuation or capitalization. Now? Punctuation and capitalization. You look like you're trying. That's all readers ask of from writers.)

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:24 AM
So in your opinion is it beyond Spelling and Grammar bad? Was hoping someone would have said a few other things.

That's just how I've always written. I suppose it is just being lazy and need to get into the habit of doing it first time around. Will save time when look over it second time around.

Robert_S
06-16-2014, 12:34 AM
Hey everyone
Page 1- 5 Panels
Panel 1- Outside view of pizza palace, evening. An average pizza place in a busier intersection on a corner unit. L


You could shorten this to

Panel 1
Outside view of a pizza place, called the PIZZA PALACE, on a busy intersection.

I feel, but it's my opinion, that the capitalization names it and gives it the focus.


Litter is blowing around; somebody is sitting on a bench as well as a parked car.


Main problem, you have an improperly used semi-colon. Those are two distinct thoughts, so they are two distinct sentences. In addition,

somebody is sitting on a bench as well as a parked car.


One person sitting on both a bench and a car at the same time? This is a sentence that needs to get expanded to make it clear.

One person sits on a bench while another sits on a car in front of the shop.

Also, are they facing each other having a conversation?



Thought caption 1: oh I can’t wait to get out of here….
Thought Caption 2: ….So I can just escape from this…


Does your inner voice speak like this? Mine doesn't. Mine would say something like:

Can't wait for this day to be over.


A radio can be heard in the background.


While I don't feel it may be as important in a comic script, passive voice still drags down the engagement of story telling.

A radio plays in the background.

This does two things:

1. It makes it active voice.
2. Since a reader can't hear a radio, it doesn't make sense to say it can be heard.


Customer dialogue: I specifically asked you for nothing else on here, I can’t eat this, I’m allergic to mushrooms.
Scott dialogue: I’m sor---
Customer Dialogue: you know what just get me your manager


Ok, now we're into format issues.

You don't need to write the word dialog. It's implicit in the character cue. Also, capitalize your character cues.

CUSTOMER: I specifically asked you for nothing else on here, I can’t eat this, I’m allergic to mushrooms.
SCOTT: I’m sor--

My particular software puts dialog on separate lines from character cues, but the only real standard is clarity between writer and penciler.

Also, two hyphens for an em dash, not three.


Panel 5: Frank Brooks, the pizza palace owner steps in introduces himself apologizes to the customer and assures him it won’t happen again.


A series of events not separated by punctuation. Which leads to...


Frank Brooks: I’m sorry for the inconvenience, I overheard you voicing your complaints. My name is frank brooks; I’m the owner, how can I help you?


Redundancy. You stated what he is going to say and then have him say it. That is not necessary. Instead, describe Frank's posture, his physical actions, not his speech actions. All you're doing to using up valuable page space being redundant.


I'll let someone else have a go. I want to get onto my own story. I've got a touch section of dialog I'm working on.

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:37 AM
Thanks, really appreciate it!

Lovecraft13
06-16-2014, 07:26 AM
Jskyba, write the way you need to write to get it all down. Then, once it's out of your head, go back and fix the mistakes that dude keeps parroting. Get it down, then get it right. The only thing that matters is the final product. Read a Quentin Tarantino screenplay. His stuff is littered with mistakes. But, for some reason, dude gets praise. It's because of the final product. These things are not meant to be causally read. They're meant to be produced.

Robert_S
06-16-2014, 10:27 AM
Then, once it's out of your head, go back and fix the mistakes that dude keeps parroting.


Well, that's pretty rude.


Read a Quentin Tarantino screenplay. His stuff is littered with mistakes. But, for some reason, dude gets praise. It's because of the final product.


That's because his final product is video/audio that he produces himself. Comics are drawn and written. Lots of words that need to be interpreted by a penciler, colorist and letterer. It's better if the OP is not bogged down with SPaG issues and distracted from correcting story logic and structure problems.

jskyba
06-16-2014, 11:37 AM
What I had been doing before was just saying what would be on that page, then going back and writing dialogue or other things some other time. Which is why looks like everything very redundant. Which I understand, will try formatting it better.

Steven Forbes
06-16-2014, 11:48 AM
Jordan, how much studying of the form have you done? It doesn't look like a lot. (Not trying to be rude, just saying what I see.)

Really, the B&N articles on my site could help a lot. I also recommend books to read.

Comic book writing can be particular and tricky. It's a learned trait and very different from most other writing.

Lovecraft13
06-16-2014, 12:07 PM
Well, that's pretty rude.

Oh, so saying someone is repeating the same thing multiple times like a parrot is rude? Gotcha.

[quote]That's because his final product is video/audio that he produces himself. Comics are drawn and written

I always thought it took more than one person to make a movie. But, heck, what do I know?

Lots of words that need to be interpreted by a penciler, colorist and letterer.

This is good stuff.

It's better if the OP is not bogged down with SPaG issues and distracted from correcting story logic and structure problems.

And it'd be better if every first draft was perfect, but they ain't. First drafts are noise. Second drafts are noise. That's why people keep revising. You may have come out of the womb an award-winning writer, but others need to work at it.

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:11 PM
I've read a few of the B&N articles and also reading understanding comics by Scott McCloud. I've read other articles as well.

It's like you said, comic writing is totally different from any other style of writing. I have been trying to learn, it will just take time I suppose. Whether or not you just think I'm an absolute moron for not getting it really doesn't hurt my feelings. Your still helping by giving criticism on ways to improve which I greatly appreciate.

Lovecraft13
06-16-2014, 12:16 PM
Track down the scripts of your favorite comic books and read them alongside the finished comic. Seeing how a script is produced, from the page to the finished product, will also help you understand the storytelling process.

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:18 PM
I really don't see how saying it felt like a parrot reading it was rude. I appreciate it and will change things around so that next time around you guys won't be really annoyed trying to read it seeing everything twice.

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:18 PM
Track down the scripts of your favorite comic books and read them alongside the finished comic. Seeing how a script is produced, from the page to the finished product, will also help you understand the storytelling process.

Thanks, will do!

Lovecraft13
06-16-2014, 12:20 PM
I really don't see how saying it felt like a parrot reading it was rude.

No, that comment had nothing to do with your work, but a criticism towards the repetition of the feedback. And it wasn't rude. Some people are just sensitive when it comes to critiques.

Lovecraft13
06-16-2014, 12:29 PM
This could help. Lots of scripts to look through.

http://www.comicbookscriptarchive.com/archive/the-scripts/

jskyba
06-16-2014, 12:34 PM
I see what your saying. Will check out those scripts, thanks!

Robert_S
06-16-2014, 02:49 PM
And it'd be better if every first draft was perfect, but they ain't. First drafts are noise. Second drafts are noise. That's why people keep revising. You may have come out of the womb an award-winning writer, but others need to work at it.

I'm not talking about making a producable story on the first draft, but you obviously aren't getting it, even with me having spelled it out for you in my last post, so let's just say you and I have nothing more to say.

Steven Forbes
06-16-2014, 03:12 PM
Let's keep it civil, folks.

Thanks.

Lovecraft13
06-16-2014, 04:13 PM
I'm not talking about making a producable story on the first draft, but you obviously aren't getting it, even with me having spelled it out for you in my last post, so let's just say you and I have nothing more to say.

You're hilarious. Have fun.

Charles
06-24-2014, 09:44 PM
Jskyba,

If Steven Forbes ever authors a book titled, "The Quotable Steve Forbes," know that your script will be responsible for eliciting multiple entries for that book. One retort by Paul Brian DeBerry was priceless.

Technically, you can't waste Steven's time. Only he can do that. That aside, his underscoring of certain things - such as punctuation and capitalization - is attributable to the fact that they are fundamental to communication in modern written form. They impact the flow of what is being communicated and read.

In a nutshell, weak fundamentals yield a weak foundation, a foundation upon which your tale of text is erected atop. Poor capitalization and punctuation also yield deficient aesthetics. The eye of readers will then be drawn to the visual voids that they create, by being absent where they should exist. This will contribute to readers judging your story by its cover (the look of the text, rather than the substance).

Small details can - and do - make for big differences. Consider the empty space between words. What if you were to leave spaces out? It would quickly spawn a visual abomination, where the resulting mass of text is concerned.

The human eye, of course, can often adapt quickly to things such as misspelled words, lack of capitalization, and absence of punctuation. Each of these components play their own respective role in communicating via the written word, though. To ignore them or to simply skip them is to incur certain consequences.

But, you probably already grasp that, so it may well be that Steven is preaching to the choir, on those particular items. I suspect that Steven's criticisms about punctuation and capitalization are duly noted by you, and that his criticisms in those areas conceded, you are interested in knowing what people think about the substance of what you have submitted.

The script on page # 1 of this thread takes three pages to get nowhere. The character sets out to become the greatest villain anyone has ever seen, and three pages into the tale, the character hasn't even managed to make it home, yet. Granted, the full comic book would likely be considerably longer than just three pages, but even still, the progress to date doesn't bode well as an example of efficient story-telling.

Thus far, on the substance level, it's a fairly dry read. In other words, it's boring. Three full pages, and the highlight of excitement or interest is what? A mild ass-chewing by his boss? The fact that the boss changed the gender of the customer (Frank assured HIM - even though the customer in question was a very small woman)?

Scott has had a bad day. In the span of three pages, we are no closer to knowing what the tipping point moment was that escalates a typical bad day to Scott wanting to become the greatest villain anyone has ever seen.

The customer is boring. The boss is boring. Scott is boring. Forget the capitalization and punctuation famine. Why shouldn't the reader put your comic book down, at this point - assuming that they give it the time that it takes for them to read three pages?

Are you banking on the art to captivate them? If so, then which scene or scenes will be the most likely to accomplish that? The one of a screwed-up pizza? Is that the level of pure villainy that under-girds this storyline?

He didn't take Frank hostage. He didn't blow up the pizza joint...er...palace. And what makes it a pizza palace, if it's an average pizza place? Average indicates visual blandness, aka nothing special. It's average. It's ordinary. So, even the location gives the reader no bone of interest to chew on.

Is Scott the star of this bland pizza comic? He doesn't go crazy. He just goes home. He's worked there for how long, now? Has he never plotted mischief nor schemed mayhem? If so, then on what page does the reader finally get a taste of that? More importantly, why hasn't the reader gotten a taste of it by three full pages into the story? How long will the comic book be?

What are you waiting for, in order to grab the reader's attention? Are you waiting for them to lose interest in your story?

What Steven can or cannot imagine is not the crux of the problem. He verbally slaps you around, to drive the point home - to get it through your head. It's not just about punctuation and capitalization that are at issue. Rather, it's attention to detail - and for your script, it's a problem that extends deep into the bone of the material. If you're lazy with the stuff on the surface, that which the human eye cannot help but to notice immediately, then how likely is it that the substance of what you've crafted into your script has managed to avoid being infected in like manner?

You place characters into your story for a reason. You are attempting to do their job for them. Try putting yourself in their shoes. On the one hand, Frank is just about fed up with Scott's pizza incompetence, but as the creator of this fare, you are too stingy to share any verbal gusto with your readers.

You've given us the equivalent of lifeless slugs in human form. What is Scott aiming for? To become a super villain by boring the entire reading world to death? Carnage of that type would require that they actually bother to read their way to an early demise. If they put the book down, then Scott will get foiled.

The worst part of the script, though, is not the lack of attention to detail, nor the sloth-like pacing of the story, nor even the fact that the substance has no meat on its bones. Rather, the core problem with this script, in its current incarnation, is the fact that you, as the writer, chose to keep your imagination under lock and key.

Your script is all the poorer for it.