Tell us a little about your approach to writing a comic book panel.
|Art by Martheus Wade|
The Movie Director:
This writer covers everything from the "camera angle" to the lighting and gives the artist almost no free rein to interpret the panel. Expect to see words like "panoramic" and "bird's eye view" and "worm's eye view" a lot in the script.
The Comic Book Editor:
This writer decides exactly how the borders of the panel will look and whether it will be a full-width panel taking up the middle third of the page, etc. He or she may also provide drawings of the suggested page layout.
|Art by Jim Ritchey III|
This writer uses prose in the manner of the great authors and reveals a character's motivations and past events leading up to this panel and how it matters in the grand scheme of the character's live from this point on. Read any of Devin Grayson's scripts to see this approach. They're amazing pieces of literature in and of themselves sometimes.
The Minimalist: This writer is pretty much bare bones with the panel description. He or she simply tells what happens and leaves the camera angles, mood, tone, page layout, etc. to the artist to decide. Chuck Dixon is a shining example of this approach.
|Art by Richard Kohlrus|
The trick in each of these cases (or for each of these writers, one might say) is to trust the artist to interpret and provide the script as a guideline, regardless of the type of approach, and not as a set-in-stone monument to your ability to create a story. The artists with whom I work often will improve on my scripts and ask me about rearranging page elements or changing the size or panels or using other, far better camera angles. It's my job to trust them and make sure the book is a partnership.