Further examination of comic writing.

When I sit down to write, which honestly doesn't happen too often, I tend to start with a few basic ideas. I covered in an earlier post my brainstorming for what my comic would be about, and then I gave a peek at the scenes I would use. Here I want to cover how I came up the content of the scenes themselves.

First, I need to get a view of the bigger picture of my writing. I never have an ending in mind when I start, I do however have an opening arc. A story that needs to be conveyed to give the setting a proper introduction and open up lots of possible story options in case I need to drag it on indefinitely. I don't want to ruin the story, so I can't reveal what the opening arc is exactly, just know that I have it.

Still out in big picture territory, I like to think of what it is I like in movies and comic books. Strangely enough, I actually like cheesy, and over the top movies, Tarantino flicks, Shoot Em Up, Smokin' Aces, but I like them for a particular reason. Movies that know what they are and don't pretend to be anything else, so when I approach the writing I ask myself, "what am I trying to be?" I'm always trying to get across a deeper point, but the vehicle for that needs to be in keeping with my basic genre. I'm using horror, since it isn't thriller it doesn't really have to be suspenseful, but it does need to stray outside of people's comfort zones.

Also since we have a creature we need to lay down some ground rules. For instance, it kind of defeats the purpose of the monster if they can be defeated by an unarmed and/or untrained opponent, also even a well armed and well organized force shouldn't be capable of easy take down, the point is that the creature is significantly more powerful than the human characters. Lastly, there should be no closet popping, it's the inevitability of it's win that is important to our story, we want to clearly introduce it in a scene. Also closet popping doesn't work in a non-real time environment so it would be a waste of panels anyways.

Now I move into an individual scene. First I pick out the most important character in the scene, or a focus object in scenes with no characters. I generally prefer to introduce them with nice long shots that immediately place them in their surroundings, but variety is the spice of life so each scene needs to be examined as to what will have the best effect. The rest of the panels I've alloted them, usually I prefer to devote a page or two, are supposed to be informative, but to show you, not tell you... I want you to have an experience. When the creature attacks the plane for instance, I have to introduce you to the creature as an oddity in these people's lives, and also as inherently dangerous. When the people in the plane react it gives you a good sense that the expectations of this world are much in line with our own, and the human reaction helps give the scene some life on the first page to contradict the third page. Going into the Control Tower removes us from the action, it keeps an air of mystery about the creature, but also builds our human connections, it says to the reader that i'm more concerned with characters than with action. But coming back to the plane on page three we see the carnage, we see the monster in true form, and as little as we understand we make it perfectly clear, the monster's job is to kill things.

In a comic though, we need to worry about pacing, you've probably noticed, but I tend to move things along at a rather deliberate pace. Early on, there isn't really tons of story going on, but everything that happens, and every character introduced has a great deal of significance. By keeping it slow and quiet, I can use few words and expect the reader to attach the proper significance to them.

Anyways, I'm no expert, but I thought I'd share my thoughts on my style. Finally, some more script.

Page 7, four wide panels.

Top panel: Looking at the car from earlier from a rear perspective, empty road in front of them with a billboard off in the distance.

Second Panel: Focus in on the billboard with a Denny's advertisement.

Third Panel: Inside the car, behind the front seats.

Fourth Panel: Same as third but with a dialogue bubble from the girl. ("I'm hungry.")

Page 8, One large panel on top half, two wide lower panels.

Top half: Chopper angle of the car parking in a denny's parking lot.

Second Panel: They're sitting in a booth. The woman and the waitress chat. ("Well thats a pretty darling there, Shelly, where did you get her?")("Found her by the side of the highway, was going to take her down to the sherriff's office. She probably has a family looking for her.")

Last Panel: The front window of the Denny's through which the scene from the second panel is visible.

Page 9, 4 panels

Top Panel: Back inside the plane, with airmen in latex gloves crawling over the seats, while engineers take measurements on the hole.

Second Panel: ("Doctor, we could certainly use your input on this.") A woman in a white lab coat stands in the latrine from earlier with an officer. ("They found her here right?") ("Yes Ma'am")

Third Panel: The woman is rummaging through a purse that was seen on the counter last panel. ("Ma'am?")

Fourth Panel: She is grabbing a woman's suit coat off the floor with one hand while holding up a perfume bottle with the other. ("I may have an idea.")

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