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A question for comic artists.
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:40 am    Post subject: A question for comic artists. Reply with quote

I'm working on a comic script, a story that would probably end up as a manga webcomic (ugh) and I had a question. If you were an artist working with a script and not writing your own, what would you prefer?

That the writer describe the action, tell you everything that's going on and let you decide how to form it on the page, the sequence and placement, OR, the writer give panel-by-panel instructions on exactly how everything should look?

I'm doing 'broad actions' right now while I write by hand, but when I type it up I was thinking of switching to panel-by-panel, and I'm curious about other's opinions on each.
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Eric F Myers
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Joined: 03 Oct 2003
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Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer panel by panel descriptions but leave the action open enough for the artist to have some elbow room. Also don't be surprised if the artist thinks that certain pages might be better with more or less panels on it. The key to collaborations is to keep an open mind to each other's ideas. You have to communicate what is important and why.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No expert, but helps if your artist has some sort of cinematic background. As much as everyone hates the movies/comics comparison I've seen a lot of action pages where it's damn near impossible to work out what's going on because of angles etc....
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:24 am    Post subject: Either Or... Reply with quote

As an artist I have worked with both. Personally I think it depends on the style of the writer. What I mean is, I have worked with scripts that are panel-by-panel in which the writer gave me enough room to be somewhat creative. Now, this is also an issue of preference for the writer. What I mean by that is sometimes certain scenes may need clear and concise descriptions when it comes to something that the writer may be asking for because of either a pacing issue or simply the writer has a vision of what he/she wants the scene to look like. This can be great for an artist because it makes clear exactly what the writer is visualizing.

Now, on the other side I did a piece that was a 5 page script and one or two of the pages were panel-by-panel but there was a scene of a few characters sitting around a table and the writer gave only some dialogue and gave me complete creative liberty to construct the scene any way I wish. Provided it made sense and clarified the dialogue.

I am working on a graphic novel that has been in the works for about a year. Since I am writing the plot, dialogue and scene descriptions all on my own I am using a sort of mixed method. I sort of just write sometimes, giving myself background and action descriptions to follow along with notes of ideas or specific ways in which I want to do a scene or page. Of course this is because I am doing the whe writing, art and all other aspects myself. This would probaby not work if I were writing for another artist.

So, in short, I suppose it really boils down to your writing style and how detailed you want your plot to be described to your artist. Also, this may be an issue you will want to discuss with your artist. Perhaps he prefers to have a panel-by-panel script as it easy to follow and helps him plan out his page layouts according to the story. On the flip side, maybe your story needs to be very specific so in such a case it may be beneficial to do panel-by-panel. On the other hand if things like dialogue are more important than visual content it might be better to go with a more vague script that focuses on the dialogue and leaves the visual execution to the artist. A short description of what is going on both in the back ground and with the characters is still needed no matter how vague.

Well, if you followed all of that I commend you. Hopefully I helped more than confused you. But, like I said before, it really all depends on your writing style and your artist. If you were writing a plot that had to meet a rapidly approaching deadline, though, it may be safer to use a page-by-page, panel-by-panel script to aid the artist in getting the page layouts done a great deal quicker.
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