Monday, February 20, 2012

Process: Writing

Prior to this past year, I had either written and drawn all my comics, or drawn comics while working from a script. For the work both written and drawn by me, most were mini comics, or short (2-12 page) stories for anthologies. I had never really given much thought to separating writing and drawing, but a number of opportunities presented themselves...like writing a one-page story for Mike Allred's Madman: 20th Anniversary MONSTER! Actually, he asked both Joe and me, so we worked together (awwww). In this post, I'm going to outline the process that I used to write the script. I'll be doing this with future posts as well, since I've recently written some other comics-y things.

BRAINSTORMING...or IN WHICH MARIS AND JOE TALK ABOUT NERDY THINGS OVER COFFEE



This might be my favorite part. Joe and I spent many walks and coffees discussing what may happen in the story. We do this for each other's respective projects as well; sometimes it's good to just talk stuff out.



FIGURING IT OUT...or IN WHICH I MAKE ILLEGIBLE MARKINGS WITH A WRITING UTENSIL ON A FIBROUS SURFACE


I should mention that I wrote a brief synopsis to send to Mike before we started laying out the panels. Also, I re-read o bunch of Madmen comics to get my head in the story. Research = fun! (Especially when it involves reading comics!)



THE ROUGH PANEL LAYOUT...or IN WHICH I MAKE ILLEGIBLE MARKINGS WITH A WRITING UTENSIL ON A FIBROUS SURFACE (part 2)


I guess this would be the second draft (but who's counting); scrapping things that don't fit, and tweaking the dialogue and settings to make sure it flows.



THE SCRIPT!!
or LOOK, MA! I'M USING A COMPOOTER!!




Yup. Looking a bit more...professional? I really like using a pen and paper (stubborn and old-fashioned, I know), but typing it out is nice. I can make those final edits, and even scribble on the script some more. After looking at the final script, Joe combined a few panels/lines of dialogue. When you look at his layout sketch, you can see how ridiculously dense it is (sorry, Joe):


If you'd like to see more about Joe's process (including some very silly reference photos), they can be found here and here and here.

Mike Allred's Madman: 20th Anniversary MONSTER is out now! I'll be posting more about my writing process for other projects, as well as my pencilling/inking/coloring process. Until then...bye bye!

3 comments:

Christina Rodriguez said...

This is great! It's rare for me to see the process writers go through for comics. Fascinating stuff.

maris said...

Thanks! I'm excited to post about my other writing projects, since I've done some more science-y ones.

Jesse Farrell said...

I agree, it's great to see the thinking that goes into making comics like these, which often seem to fully-formed when a reader sees it on the page. You make it look easy (although, clearly, it isn't)!