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Comic Scripting for writer-artists

Welcome, fellow practitioners and purveyors of the comic arts! Here is a brief introduction into how I, Ike of Ike Comics, format my scripts.

I script for myself, almost all of the time, so my scripts are notes to myself. This allows me to dispense with a lot of tradition, detail, and polish. I've done it more formally before, and sometimes that structure can help you in some ways. What I recently found is a format/style for my scripts that feels perfect for me. It consists of scene breaks, double page spread breaks, page breaks, and a bullet point list of what happens in each page. This chunk of the script corresponds with the finished pages in the webcomic, so feel free to compare them to the finished product. I'll make a few comments at the end.

By naming each scene, I remind myself of the bigger picture and what the main point is of the scene I'm about to work on.

By breaking it down as double page spreads, I can organize the bullet points in a way that looks more like the finished book.

By using bullet points I can quickly see how many actions/panels I'm thinking I'll need for a page. It is also useful because it: (1) reminds me to be brief and (2) functions more like a list of the actions that need to be on the page, leaving the order of the panels open for decision making in the rough layouts phase.

I try to keep the actions and dialogue very brief so that I can more easily see the bigger picture. The longer the writing for each page and action/panel, the less I can see the big picture.

This is pretty different than a lot of scripts I've scene, but my approach is also different. The script, for me, is a guide that I can change at any time, up until the page is drawn and the dialogue/lettering is done. By doing it this way I can focus on the right thing at the right time: organization, efficiency, and not overworking what is essentially a draft that I'll change in the final page.

Keep in mind, there is still a rough writing phase where I write more freely and try to pick out themes, character arcs, and such. It can look like this...

That's it for this time. I hope you find this interesting. If you want to know how to write traditional scripts, try searching online for finished scripts; I know writer Cullen Bunn has some. Actually, Comics Experience has a webpage where they organized script examples. None of them suit me as well as what I figured out on my own. For those of you writing and drawing your own comics, I say it is worth it to explore your own way of writing and scripting.

Peace and practice,



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