Link: Comics Template and Script Tutorial

I know, it’s shocking, a post that isn’t about the London Scriptwriter’s Festival! And yet I still managed to get a reference in for it! Anyway, I do often get asked what to use for scripts, whether it be software or templates, and I’ve never been fully satisfied with what I’ve used. However, this is beautiful, unambiguously clear, easy to read and I recommend it to you if you’re writing comic scripts.

Comic Script Basics by Nate Piekos which describes how to use the template and;

Comic Script Template by Fred van Lente, the template in question.


Comics: September 2013 Pull List

Following up on my August Pull List, I’ve managed to learn my lesson and wait until the end of the month to post September’s haul from Comixology:

Young Avengers #9 and #10 – While Gillen and McKelvie’s YA has been consistently excellent, #9 was a little disappointing, if I’m honest. There wasn’t anything wrong, there just didn’t seem to be anything outstanding; no stunning McKelvie double-page spread, no jaw-dropping cliffhanger. Solid, necessary, but somewhat workmanlike.

The follow-up issue though, that was a return to form. This time not for its action-packed double page spreads, so artfully constructed by Jamie McKelvie, but for its subtext, its plot implications. Oh Loki…

Thor: God of Thunder #12 – I’d been recommended Jason Aaron and Nic Klein’s series before, but issue 12 involves a mopping up of the previously concluded storyline, an overview of Thor through the ages dealing with the aftermath of a grueling trial. It was sold to me as an excellent jumping on point to the series. Sadly, while the art was good, the story left me utterly cold.

Lazarus #3 – This post apocalyptic tale of corporate greed continues its metamorphosis into a tale of inter- and intra-family conflict of Shakespearean proportions. Rucka’s story goes from strength to strength, and I’m looking forward to the conclusion of the first arc next month.

Saga #14 – Beautiful, in all it’s parts. Three strands of narrative keep this family… saga… high in the ranks of excellence: The dialogue and main plot, the captioned voice-overs wryly alluding to the greater story, and Fiona Staples’ wonderful visual narrative.

I would have liked to have been able to add Greg Rucka’s Queen and Country, soon to be made into a movie with Ellen Page, or Gillen’s Über, but sadly they’re not available on Comixology.

Update: Über is now available on Comixology!

Link: Vertigo Comics Scrivener Template

Scrivener is great for writing comics, but every comics company or imprint seems to have its own standard layout for comic scripts, similarly to how every TV show and production company has its own screenplay format. To help, Sean E. Williams, co-creator of Artful Daggers and writer of Fairest #15-20, has shared his template for writing Vertigo Comics.

Vertigo Comics Scrivener Template

Comics: August 2013 Pull List Part 2

With hindsight, I really should have written the previous article at the end of the month, instead of half way through. You never know when something new is going to catch your eye. In this case it was:

  • Lazarus – Written and drawn by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, the creative team behind the excellent Gotham Central, this futuristic, post-apocalyptic tale of powerful families that rule the world is centred on their protector. The nigh-immortal sword and protector of the Family, their Lazarus, who may have just enough self-awareness and freedom to be a danger to the people she is built to slavishly obey and protect.

Comics: August 2013 Pull List

The launch of Comixology properly launched the age of the digital comic. Ingeniously easy to use, it succeeded in getting comics into the hands of comics readers. While comic shops fear the digital revolution, it turns out digital sales don’t cannibalise physical sales they add to them. So since a friend recently asked me what I was buying from Comixology on a monthly basis, I decided it was time for a new regular column.

  • Ten Grand – I’ll be honest, I’m mostly a follower of writers in comics. I know the art is important, and the artists’ ability for visual narrative can make or break a comic, but for me the characterisation, the dialogue, the storytelling comes first and foremost from the writer. There are two exceptions to this, two artists who would make me pick up a comic even without seeing who wrote it. The first of these is Ben Templesmith, the artist of the excellent 30 Days of Night. In Ten Grand he collaborates with J. Michael Straczynski on a spellbinding tale of urban horror of an ex mob enforcer, become heaven’s hit man, making an angels bargain to capture short glimpses of his true love. Even the best of intentions can lead to hell…
  • Young Avengers – The second artist I would always go to, is Jamie McKelvie, mostly known for Suburban Glamour and Phonogram. And it is with his Phonogram collaborator, Kieron Gillen, one of my current favourite comic scribes, that he creates Young Avengers. This is the Marvel book that’s okay to like; it’s the comic book aimed at teens, written for teens, and thereby managing to make this book a more mature superhero book than pretty much all its contemporaries.
  • Saga – Written by Brian K. Vaughan, famed for Y: The Last Man, with art by the sublime Fiona Staples, this science fiction family tale is nigh-perfect. High emotion, high adventure, action, darkly funny… and yet it’s in its minutia that Saga excels: Those tiny quirks of feeling, easy to miss but so expressive; the delicate timing; the in-your-face cliffhangers.
  • The Invisibles – Grant Morrison’s tale of magical freedom fighters battling the demonic forces of mundanity is not new, it has run its course. But the series was important to me, even inspiring an article, and so I have taken to re-read it.