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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Rising Stars: How does one write a comic?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 3/15/2000 1:06:00 PM  

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>Since the comic genre is visual, does it take a "screenplay" or, I
>guess, "comicplay" to put the pieces together? From a certain
>perspective, a comic could be considered a storyboard to a screenplay.
>

I take the same approach to writing a comic as writing a script; I flesh it out
panel by panel, page by page, rather than doing a plot and letting the artist
break it down. Not because I don't think the artist can or should, but because
I just don't know how to write it any other way. I need to see it in my head,
shot for shot, or I can't follow or create the narrative.

>What does what you submit to the artists look like?

Like this. (From Rising Stars #1) Please excuse the weird margins; it came in
odd when I did the text insert from the script.

"Nova Placenta"

PAGE ONE

SPLASH PAGE
Earth looms large in BG. We can see the edge of the North American continent
through a scattering of clouds.

In FG, we see part of a massive ball-shaped energy field with arcs and
eruptions like solar flares. The bulk of it bleeds off the page, we see only
enough of it to know that it's big, and it's heading right for Earth.

CAPTION
Poet's Journal. This is way it
happened.



PAGE TWO

This page is done in soft pastels, an airbrushed feeling, romantic, the faces
of the two people seen here smiling, warm, loving. This and the facing page,
page 3, are meant as parallel pages, so the poses used in one should be
reflected in the facing page. (It may help to read each panel one at a time
across the two pages, rather than straight through.)

PANEL ONE - A BEDROOM, NIGHT

There is a couple in bed: 30s, the man is EVAN, dark haired, the woman
ELIZABETH, with red hair. A vase of flowers is beside the bed. It's night,
and Evan is in bed smiling up at her as she settles into the bed. She is
pulling open a nightgown, clearly on her way into the bed.

His arm is draped across the bed, ready to accept her. A trace of moonlight
filters in the lightly curtained window, which blows gently with the
nightwind.

CAPTION
Not the way I would like to think
it happened.

PANEL TWO

A medium-high shot angling down toward the bedroom window in BG. In FG
Elizabeth and Evan are embracing, their mouths hungry for one another, loving,
passionate.

PANEL THREE

A downshot of Evan's face in the bed, her POV, his eyes closed in rapture,
mouth slightly open, her hand reaching out to him.

PANEL FOUR

A close-up of the Elizabeth's face in the bedroom, his hand on her face,
straddling him, the lovemaking continues. A vague glow backlights her head.

PANEL FIVE

A wide shot again, same angle as the first panel, as the two entwined in sex
look toward the open window, which is now lit by brilliant light from outside.

PANEL SIX

A thin horizontal panel across the bottom of the page, broken into repetitive
sub-panels in which we see the ball of energy coming closer and closer to the
earth, moving left to right, toward the intersection of pages 2 and 3, so that
in the last part of the panel it's about to strike the earth.


PAGE THREE

This page is done in darker, more stark art and colors, the look severe, more
realistic.

PANEL ONE - THE SAME BEDROOM, NIGHT

Evan is still in bed, but dead asleep. Instead of a vase of flowers beside
the bed, there is an empty bottle of beer. His arm is draped across the bed,
but in sleep, where he passed out. Elizabeth is in the same pose as the other
page, but from the expression on her face and her movement, pulling the
nightgown closer, we can tell she's getting out of bed, not getting in. A
trace of moonlight filters in the lightly curtained window, which blows gently
with the nightwind.

CAPTION
Or even the way it probably
happened.

PANEL TWO

The same medium-high shot, angling down slightly toward the window in BG. In
FG, we see a part of Evan's body, still asleep on the bed, and out the window
we see Elizabeth embracing a blonde, muscular man, their faces locked in the
same kind of passionate kiss as on the previous page.

PANEL THREE

A close shot of Evan in bed asleep, mouth slightly open, drooling.

PANEL FOUR

Outside the house, a close-up of Elizabeth's face, the larger hands of the
blonde man touching her face, the house behind her in BG, the stars
above...making love under the stars...as a light begins to appear in the sky
above them.

PANEL FIVE

Evan in bed is awake now, same angle as the first panel, looking out the window
to where the night has lit up like daytime. The two figures making love
outside are caught in the sudden glare, but almost made invisible by it,
whited out.

PANEL SIX

A thin horizontal panel across the bottom of the page, broken into repetitive
sub-panels in which we see a sperm coming closer and closer to an ovum, moving
right to left toward the intersection of pages 2 and 3, so that in the last
part of the panel it's about to enter the ovum.



PAGE FOUR

SPLASH PAGE

The night has turned into day, totally obscuring the house except for the
barest silhouette, just enough to make out the forms of the couple outside the
house, standing, and the man inside, now standing on the porch, their forms
almost skeletal or blurred out, the way those old x-ray Specs would make
things look when you would squint through them.

CAPTION
Just the truth about the way it
happened, and what came
after.

CAPTION
Though no one really
understood what happened that
night. Not for a long time.

CAPTION
Not until the first of us was
born.


(That help?)


jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
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