Priorities Script - Page Two

Priorities is the third complete comic script I've ever written, so I'm not really an expert when it comes to the ins and outs of crafting a working script.

Before my first script, I did go out and do a lot of research to learn how it is supposed to be done. I spent a lot of time on various areas of the web that 'taught' you how to format a comic script, and I combed through examples from other writers. When all was said and done, there was one thing I learned through my research, and that is that there really isn't a right or a wrong way to create a script ... in the end it really depends on your artist and the working relationship the two of you have.

Some writers put everything on the paper. They meticulously describe each panel from the pose of the characters to the number of coins that are sitting on a bedside table. Some even go as far as drawing basic layouts for the artist to follow.

Some writers throw a very loose plot out there to the artist with all the dialogue written and then trust the artist to come up with the best visual representation for the story.

I did a little of both.

Page Two is a perfect example of the loose plot method. Heck, all eight pages are. I mean, I had this basic idea and outline in my head and then Harold and I just talked everyday and we took it a page at a time.

Most of Page Two was written by IM, so there is very little in the script apart from dialogue, so I thought it would be fun to post the transcript of the IM and you can read along as a page is created:

August 1st, 2012

Steeven: I have the description to page 2 :)

Harold: I WANNA SEE!!!

Steeven: Well, maybe half of the page.

Harold: Sigh...

Steeven: Captain Might grabs Mudfish by his chest plate and flings him out to sea. That's it.

Harold: I'm going to make the chest plate an old diving helmet.

Steeven: Cool

Steeven: I've decided that Mudfish has a history with the city. He attacks and Cap flings him out to sea. Mudfish can breath underwater, but he can't swim, so he spends two weeks walking the ocean floor back to the city, where he attacks again, and then Cap flings him back out to sea. There's no way to kill Mudfish, and he can ooze his way out of any prison, so every two weeks Cap has to fling him out to sea

Steeven: Can you draw like sea weed hanging off of his helmet and stuff?

Harold: Yup.

Harold: I love that he can't swim.

Harold: So the poor guy walks back every time? LOL

Steeven: Yeah.

Steeven: How much of a page do you think it will take to show Cap grabbing Mudfish and flinging him out to sea?

Steeven: Oooh, wait .... I think I have an idea. Let me see if I can break something down.

Harold: OK

Steeven: OK, help me with a break down. I want Mudfish to say something like: "Our enternal contest continues" but is interrupted on the last word as Cap grabs him, so it's like "Our eternal contest continues--ERK!" So. Should that be two panels, or one panel?

Harold: I think a half page or 1/3 page of Cap flying at Mudfish, while Mudfish is saying his thing.

Harold: A circle shaped panel of Cap grabbing him, with the "ERK!"

Harold: Then a quarter or 1/8 panel of him throwing Mudfish into the distance, towards the ocean, or maybe INTO the ocean.

Harold: So I could do that in about a half page, or maybe 2/3 a page.

Steeven: See, I want a panel that then shows the middle of the ocean with a caption that says: "1.5 THOUSAND MILES FROM SHORE" and then the next panel is Mudfish splashing into the ocean.

Steeven: So all that can fit on the same page, right?

Harold: That added could take up almost the whole page.

Harold: But I like it.

Steeven: I almost want a panel showing him hitting the bottom, then a panel showing him getting up and a panel of him starting the walk back .... but that's too much for this story, we can save that for the all Mudfish short story that goes over this happening all the time :)

Harold: NO NO NO NO NO!!

Harold: I LOVE that!

Harold: I think we could fit that in the whole page.

Steeven: If you think we can do it, then let's do it.

Harold: He says his thing. Cap grabs him. Throws him. Ocean panel with how far away it is, he splashes in. Lands at the bottom. Starts walking, with a "Sigh..."

Harold: Some panels would be smaller.

Harold: Want me to try laying it out for you, instead of coloring?

Steeven: What would you rather do?

Harold: Well, you kind of need to know how many pages you'll have, no?

Steeven: Yeah, kinda. I know that I may want a little narration on the page, not a lot, just some slight narration, so we may have to spread it out among two pages if there's going to be text pages as well ... or one and a half. We can take out the first page just being a splash page of Cap. And this page can be the first one.

Harold: How much more narration do you need? It's just him in a fight.

Steeven: Yeah, but he's going to start in talking about setting priorities.

Harold: I thought he did that on the splash page?

Harold: I think (and I know I haven't read it all yet) you'll need to mix it up anyway.

Harold: One page of narration, then give the reader a page of action and fun, and then the next page can can some more narration.

Steeven: I want to spread out the narration as much as possible. I don't want to have too much text in one place. There will be some narration on the splash page, and possibly 2 to 3 short text boxes of narration on page two

Steeven: I'm not going to use a lot of narration, but I think most pages will have some.

Steeven: For example, the page you are working on now, there may be a one line narration box on the first panel, and a one line narration box on the last panel.

Harold: I think you'll have room. I'll send you a jpeg of the layout I just did.

Steeven: ok

Harold: You might need to throw in there somewhere his name, and that he can't swim.

Steeven: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.

Harold then sends me a very rough outline of the page. I take that page and add numbers to it. Those numbers represent where I want the narration and caption boxes to go, and then the numbers themselves correspond to the text on the script.

So, here's the breakdown page with my numbers:

Here is the script that goes along with it:



(2) NARRATION BOX: This is Mudfish.

(3) NARRATION BOX: He’s a priority.


(5) NARRATION BOX: Oh, don’t worry about him.

(6) NARRATION BOX: He can breathe under water.

(7) NARRATION BOX: He’ll be back.

(8) NARRATION BOX: Eventually.

And finally, you can click on the link below and see what made it on the final page and what didn't:

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