Daily Archives: September 29, 2010

So you want to write a comic script

So you want to write a comic book? Well, if that’s what you want, you just have to do it and do it until you know that it’s good, and then dig it out a few years later, unable to believe you thought X and Y were worthwhile ideas, but Z still seems pretty nifty.

If you’re here to figure out how you should format it, though, I can help you with that. I have no doubt there will be an industry standard in short order now that DC and Marvel are both superconglomerate idea factories at the same time that they’re monolithic universes coordinated by a mere couple of creators (that sounds perjorative, but it’s not). Figure in ten years you’ll have Bendis-style vs. Johns-style vying for supremacy. Or maybe not. It doesn’t matter, because here’s how I format a comic script in pure text file, which is the best possible way in all possible worlds.

When I write a comic book, I want it as plain as possible, so that my endless revisions don’t compound the time it takes by changing and fixing formatting. I need a layout that I can look at and know instantaneously who’s doing and saying what. Only when the script is done do I format it to a version with styles differentiating font, color, and alignment for easier reading on the artists’ part. 

You can get the all-purpose (and very nifty) Celtx for free and Andy Diggle has a formatted Final Draft template you can download, but I just want to write in pure text and not be slowed down kicking the formatting around. TAB key? Buddy, you’re lucky if I even press ENTER. 

That said, I think the Final Draft can automatically re-number your panels and pages if, like me, you write pretty tight scripts and often end up pulling a few boxes from one page to another, moving a scene around, and generally making life worse for yourself.

Anyway, I’ll write a page of script like so: (more…)