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AUTODRIVE - process

As we all know, writing for comics isn't like writing for prose. Comics are locked to the unit of the page (yes, digital comics aren't, but for the most part, they still pretend they're print comics so they kinda are.) This is neither good nor bad, but it is a thing that you have to work within or you'll be in trouble. Or you're making the comics on your own and drawing it all and you can take as long with a sequence as you'd like. That works, too.

Too bad I'm not drawing this. Can't say who is just yet. Hopefully soon.

But I thought I'd show a little of the page process that I'm working with. See these? Yeah, they're double-page spreads, just like in a printed comic book. Gotta honor the page turns.

I'd written some script pages for what I thought was going to be a sample sequence. It turned out not to be. Then the next ones I thought would be weren't either. Yeah, funny, right? I think I've finally figured out how to open things so I could work from that. Anyways, the scripting that I'd done before didn't really have any page structure to it, and going back to it and trying make it adhere to a structure didn't yield any good results. So I'm going back to basics and just looking at one set of pages after another, enough times to cover six issues worth of story. Which I've just done. Granted, they're pretty airy, which is fine because one of the things I've done in the past was cram too much stuff in.

I still lean that way in comics, and prefer pages to feel weighty. But that's not the style we do things today. It's not the bronze age anymore.

That said, when I'm looking at the pages filling up and getting the rhythm down, I'm finding that a lot of things which I thought were important in the original story notes will either have to be backgrounded or just ditched. Maybe they're not that important after all. I mean, they were, but they're not more important than the story itself. Yeah, I'm one of those narrative guys, not just letting atmosphere be there and letting things happen. Look, when you're paying for all the pages, and you only get so many in an issue, you gotta make sure that they all matter, dammit. I thought that way with STRANGEWAYS and I'm still thinking that way. Just trying to work more closely with the structure of the final book.

Also, weirdly, things work differently when I'm looking at notes written in a computer versus transferring them to imaginary pages. Not sure why, but things just fell into place a lot better.

Of course, I could be kidding myself. We'll know once the artist I'm working with gets the script pages based on all this stuff. Maybe it'll be back to school for me, then. We'll see.

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