The thing about writing comics and the reason I love it is that there are no set rules!
Sure there are guides, suggestions and best practices but comic writing at its heart is a no hold bars cage match of literature!
You don’t have to be an expert in a field to write comics. In fact, when I started Resurrection Men I was naive to believe that I could write a four issue series easily. Why not, right? Wrong. You may not need to be an expert but you need to able to create a plot, characters and drama.
When I write Resurrection Men I think of a scene. The scene often comes from some form of media I’ve seen or heard along the way. In the following examples taking from the upcoming issue 2 of Resurrection Men I’ll break down what I do and why. Let’s go write ahead.
So first things first, write Page 1 on the top of each page where you are writing for page 1. For example, this page stretches over a couple of pages in the script. When I hand this over to Rory it needs to be clear what page I am referring to.
Next Panel 1. A panel is the place where the art the reader will see is placed. Pro tip; don’t hide details from artists. Jeez did I learn that quickly. Sure hide it from the reader if you need to but don’t hide stuff from the artist ever!
If you have references of what you mean fire that over to the artist. They are not a mind reader! Also when you introduce characters for the first time in your script, capitalise their names. It helps the reader who is really the artist know if someone is important.
On that note lets just highlight one of those pro tips again. I once read that your script is only actually for one person, the artist. Write it with them in mind. What do they need to know to make their job smoother. I can’t remember who wrote that piece of advice but follow it!
Right, the numbers before the dialogue. This is something for not only the artist but more importantly the humble and overlooked letterer. By having these numbers, first the artist can leave enough dead space for the dialogue to be placed but also lets the letterer know the order of the dialogue. Now if you are your own letterer, artist, writer and editor you can ignore this advice but if not please use this number system.
Lastly for today, keep your dialogue tight and not overly verbose. The old adage of show, not tell is paramount here. Think of all the comics you love and the ones you get bored with and you’ll probably see sharp dialogue. Also, want to stress something? Make it bold.
Check the art by Rory Donald below based on that first panel.
I hope you enjoyed this break down of the writing game and this wee teaser of Resurrection Men Issue 2.
See you soon,