Showing posts from January, 2008

Mandy Ord on Writing...

"So here is a go at talking about my methods of going about doing a comic. In terms of auto-bio of course I watch closely life events that particularly resonate as a good story to me. Usually it is something a bit quirky or poignant that I find myself telling repetitively to my friends/family/acquaintances. I will tell the story so much that I will get it down to a fine art form in that way (though not ALL stories are told, but I will go over it myself in my head). Once I am hooked on the story I will attempt to put it down in writing. Usually in a point form, free form writing/very messy .. I will throw in appropriate dialogue on the side. I usually don't take this part too seriously as I know it will be reworked...this allows a space to not feel pressured to have to write anything perfect first attempt. I am doing this I will get mental pictures and if some are particularly interesting I will do a quick doodle of them to capture expression and background... I get a lot of m
Childings writes: "Basically I am doing it as a script but I am reading books about drama and playwriting and using that as my model rather than screenwriting because I think it's closer to what I want to do with my comic. Although honestly I think comics (longer ones, like graphic novels or whatever you want to call them) are closer to cinema than anything else. I mean a storyboard is basically a comic book. Now I just have to write each scene so I can start drawing the chapters. I'm leaving the very end of the story a little open-ended and I plan on working on the first chapters as soon as I have the scripts done, because I know certain details, etc might change along the way and in that case I'll have to revise scripts and change dialogue, etc. Dialogue is pretty difficult but I keep a voice recorder and get my husband to read scripts outloud with me or just create the dialogue -- then I type it out and edit it so it reads better. Actually, this is the hardest part
DaveMahler writes: "I started out doing comics with drawing up panels and dividing the conversations/narrative. Then I started trying to script it out before hand with Word, writing Panel 1: person 1 does this and says "bla bla bla." and so on until I had my comic, then I divided the panels into pages. I've tried storyboarding, using stick figures to show the action, but I find it confusing, and I only use it occasionally. As far as little quirks go, I usually get inspired by things that happen to me, or snippets of conversation I hear. So I always carry around a little notebook and pen. I refuse to work with any pen but fineliners, unless I have no option. As far as pencils go, I need hexagonal pencils. Can't stand circles...I know its weird, but I guess that's just me, ha ha!" Thanks Dave for your insights into your own different comic writing methods. I especially liked how you added the part at the end about fine liners and pencils, they’re the kind

Jeff Smith

Thanks to comics aficionado Greg Gerrand for sending me this link to Jeff smith's process. You can view the full thing here . But it's the very first step that I'm interested in the most, that initial getting the ideas down part and as crazy as it sounds I especially like how he says Mechanical pencil on copy paper : "Step 1. Bone script pages Mechanical pencil on 8 1/2" X 11" copy paper This first set of four pages comes from the script of a Bone story from later in the series. The sketches are loose and fast. They have to convey where the characters are in the panel and what they are feeling, so I can remember later when drawing the real pages. And since they are only meant to be seen by me, the scripts are often very rough." More comic artist writing methods coming soon...

Chester Brown on Writing 'Louis Reil'

This snippet from an interview by Chester Brown on how he wrote 'Louis Reil': Interviewer: How did you go about constructing "Louis Riel"? Was there a script, or did you work on it chapter by chapter? Chester: There was a complete script for it. It was done in pretty much the same manner that can be seen in the American Splendor movie. I would take a piece of paper and divide it into six panels, write the dialogue and indicate with stick figures where the characters were supposed to be positioned. Then I went back and did the finished book.

More on writing comics

I got some really good quotes from the net on writing comics. The first one is from a comics artist called Matt Madden and the second is by Chris Ware (and even makes a comment on Clowes work!) Interview one: " X: Speaking more specifically about your own work... how would you define your approach? MM: This is a hard question to get a handle on. Let me try to work from the inside out, that is, starting with the basics of how I write a comic. Like many writers/artists, I have both a sketchbook and a small memo pad and I am constantly gathering sketches and notes, some of which are eventually collected and arranged into a story. When I write comics, I write in thumbnails; that is, I try to write the verbal and the visual simultaneously, allowing the two elements to play off each other. I find that this method produces ways of expression that would not be possible through writing a script in screenplay format first and then breaking it down visually. As for drawing and writing style,

On writing

Continuing the topic of writing I thought I’d write about methods of well known creators and how they go about writing. I think this is an interesting topic due to the specific concerns and constraints of writing comics. If the art and writing go hand in hand then surely the only way to write comics is in story board like format or maybe you could say that drawing comics takes so long that you should script the story first to get it exactly right before you start sweating it out over the pages. I’m not saying that if you use the right brand of note books or pens your writing will be better I just find it interesting the little quirks in the way different people approach creating. I’ve read somewhere that Crumb writes his stories as he draws them and only works on 2-3 panels at a time until moving onto the next. He uses a stencil for the borders. Harvey Pekar I'm sure still uses the page dividing and stick figure method. Most mainstream comics where the work is divided between many

Writing Comics

I was sitting at my computer thinking about the craft of writing comics. I always find it interesting to read about how different aritist’s go about scripting their work. No doubt we’ve all seen Pekar’s method of dividing the page into 6 panels and using stick figures. Whilst other comic writers develop their story line as they go along. When I first started doing comics years ago I preferred stories that I made up starting from one single panel or one single story idea and seeing where it went. I did this as any time I tried to script or flesh out a story it died fairly quickly and never made it to paper. It’s one of the reasons I now write autobiographical stories mostly trying to capture the story as it happens. I have recently had ideas for some narrative non-fiction pieces which is forcing me to review my writing techniques. I would like to script the stories, essentially producing drafts that I can refine and polish but I’m hitting a brick as how best to do this, I can’t figure o

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