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Topic: Storytelling Q for JB (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
Brian Miller
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Joined: 28 July 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 26387
Posted: 25 November 2007 at 11:51am | IP Logged | 1  

JB, when a comic is produced in the manner of using a full script from the writer, how much storytelling does the penciller actually do? The writer pretty much dictates pacing, layouts, setting and such, don't they?

If a book's storytelling is described as being poor, and it is done full script, how much of that would actually be the penciller's fault?

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John Byrne
Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 25 November 2007 at 12:17pm | IP Logged | 2  

A problem to be found, ofttimes, with even the best writers, is that they simply do not think in pictures. Archie Goodwin used to do little thumbnails of his pages, for precisely this reason. And he recommended the technique to other writers. Even if the skill is nothing more than an ability to draw stick figures, use those stick figures to find out if the shots being asked for are really possible to draw. (Many of the writers we see working in comics today come from movies and TV, where they have moving actors and moving cameras, and they very often insist on writing their comicbook scripts as if those features were still available to them. I've mention before the script I was given a while back in which on panel's art description actually used the word "tracking".)

These problems are mostly solved, of course, if the writer is willing to work "Marvel style" and actually let the artist do his/her job!

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Aaron Smith
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Joined: 06 September 2006
Location: United States
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Posted: 25 November 2007 at 2:43pm | IP Logged | 3  

I find people being surprised by how quickly I can write something, even in full script. I wondered why this was, until I began to look at some scripts by other writers. Some of these guys seem to think that every single detail and nuance of a scene must be described in excrutiating detail to the artist.

I usually write in full script, but give only the ESSENTIAL information, assuming that the person who is actually drawing the thing is more than capable of adequately drawing it.

There's no reason that any writer needs to try to exercise that much control over the artist. Comics are a clloaborative medium, and the artist is at the very least equally, and in many ways more, important to the finished product than the writer, despite what many writers would have you believe.  Any writer who has to write so much that it overwhelms any input the artist might have into whyat the scene looks like is simply creating more work for himself, and wasting his own time. 

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Greg Woronchak
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 04 September 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 1631
Posted: 26 November 2007 at 8:29am | IP Logged | 4  

There's no reason that any writer needs to try to exercise that much control over the artist.

I would guess it's an ego thing; some writers might feel that their contribution is diluted if the artist is given too much creative freedom.

I'd also guess that there are artists who take too many liberties with scripts, adding unnecessary stuff (or changing sequences altogether) for the very same reason..

I think 'Marvel style' is very cool, resulting a a true collaboration based on the strengths of both writer and artist.

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Lars Johansson
Byrne Robotics Member

Joined: 04 June 2004
Location: Sweden
Posts: 6114
Posted: 26 November 2007 at 9:29am | IP Logged | 5  

I always drew "stick figures" or likewise in my comic book scripts. You can see how you pot points will work and where to place everything on the page. I got the idea from a Curt Swan interview about a former fan who wrote all his scripts this way. However, Curt Swan was not that impressed by what that young writer accomplished, but he liked the idea. Sometimes my "art" got good reviews as well by the CEO, once she said my art was fun, and she had laughed (where itt was supposed to) at some facial expressions, and still it was not much more than stick figures and there I was surrounded by Sweden's best comic book artists so it was a good review for my stick figures. Later I heard she had taken some drugs because of she was going to the dentist that day.

Added: i have not exactly a college degree in English which is noticable.

Edited by Lars Johansson on 26 November 2007 at 9:31am
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