Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Do It Yourself Comic - Scripting

If you're following along you'll know I loosely plotted a comic I'm working on making myself, and that I've also briefly worked on the design for how the art will look. The plotting was definitely loose, since I'm going to be creating a mini-comic. That doesn't mean there has to be a simple plot, but that's the path I chose.

Now that I know what I want the theme of my comic to be - the idea of giving and taking, and how anger can affect both of those - I can start in with the actual scripting. Normally I would focus a lot more attention on creating characters, and that would play a huge role in the plotting. I've spent less time doing that here since there will only be two people in my book. In actuality I've most likely thought about these two guys more than I told myself I would, imagining their back stories, their demeanor and why they do certain things.

Here are the first two script pages. Click them to see them better.

I knew I wanted to start the comic with the main character's hand just lying there, to show inaction and how that plays a role into who this guy is and how he feels most of the time. His hand is lying there limply, almost like he's dead. That easily led to my wanting to show him shutting his alarm clock off, another action which can be used to show what kind of thoughts and feelings we're going to be seeing from this guy.

After I wrote that first page I knew I wanted to do something unique with page two, possibly a two-page spread. The first image that popped into my head was a long panel, one where we saw the main character lying there looking dejected and not at all happy to be awake. I wanted it to be more than him simply not being a "morning person." I wanted there to be a sense of doom, or depression. As my head went through all of this I started thinking about depression, and I remembered a story my mom told me once about a family member dealing with depression. She would see him constantly lying back, with an arm draped across his face, and it struck me as a very sad pose. I thought of this person desiring darkness, doing all he could do to push the light away, and it made me feel for him. So I wrote that into the script. 

Next, I thought about how to lay this page out, and whether I would write it into a two-page spread. Using the theme of hands, how they are pulling us through our days, I tried to think of where I could go, and how to use my theme to get there. I really liked the idea of trying to play up this character's sadness. The more I thought about the sadness the more it started taking on a new form, and started seeming like this guy wasn't just dealing with a job he hated, but a life he wasn't sure he could live anymore. It started to become about despair.

Thinking of layout, searching for an interesting way to move the reader's eyes through these pages, I thought about how I wanted to show the character reaching down for something, basically for the simple reason of I thought it would look cool to have the panel be defined by the outside of his wrist and hand, and have him reaching down into another panel. It would make for a short page, but hopefully the layout and emotions/story implications presented would make it stick in the readers' minds. After I thought that, my mind shifted quickly to what he could possibly be reaching for. The first thing I thought of was a prescription pill bottle. My thought process went like this: "Yeah! Wait, no. That's way over-dramatic. How bout some Tylenol or something. Well, wait. Yeah, it might not be so bad for him to be reaching for a prescription pill bottle. And yeah, how 'bout he grabs it and discovers it's empty. Ooooooh. Yeah. I like that." So that's what I wrote in.

It put a nice little fire under my ass, and got me excited to write the rest of the script as quickly as I could, so that's what I'm going to try and do. I don't really think there needs to be an entry on editing, but ya' never know. Maybe I'll come across something I think I should write about, and how I made the decision to alter dialogue or some other small part of the whole process/product. Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment