Pen & Stylus

posted in: Art Making, comics | 0

Tonight we’re doing another Pen & Stylus podcast, and tonight, we’re interviewing John Myers. (I know that guy!)

He’s a bit of an over-achiever, so he put together a pdf with some notes and a sample of the first few pages of Era of Great Wonders’ script.

Check out the show here

Check out his script stuff here

Edited next day: I sort of figured that maybe not everyone wants to click on a bunch of links, so here it is, all laid out:

Last Night’s Video with John Myers:

John’s “packet” thingy.

  • What is a Comic Book Script?
    • There are no real hard and fast rules
    • It is basically a tool for communication between writer and artist
    • The default is inspired by the screenplay format
  • What Separates a Comic Script from Other Written Entertainment?
    • Novel/Poetry
      • Novels and poetry are direction communication with the reader. There is no
        intermediary party between the writer and the reader (except maybe an editor.)
    • Play/Screenplay
      • Both are interpreted by a large number of people who all bring their own take to the

        • One actor’s line reading can change the entire way their character is interpreted,
        • A change of camera angle can affect how a scene “reads.”
  • So What Makes a Comic Script Different?
    • It is communication between an artist (or group of artists) whose job it is to visualize the
      writer’s ideas
    • It is filtered though the work of the people responsible for visualizing it. At a certain point
      the writer hands over control of the look and style of the comic book.
    • The is does not change as much as one would expect when working on a script to draw
      yourself. It is is at its heart a guide to turning the thoughts in your head into a visual story.
  • The Fundamental Challenge
    • How do you communicate the ideas in your head to another person so they can in turn
      visualize it themselves
    • Concepts breakdown a little bit more between each person (like the game telephone), this is
      not necessarily a bad thing. This is a fundamental aspect of the act of artistic collaboration

      • Most times talented artists working together will enhance each other
    • Communication is key but it is hard, hard work
    • The writer has to be willing to let certain aspects of the way they see the story go
  • What Makes a Good Comic Script?
    • At the end of the day the only real test for a good script is one that results in a good comic


Comic Book Script Archive
Decompressed Podcast (in particular #1 with Kelly Sue DeConnick, #4 with David Aja and Matt Fraction and #6 Matt Fraction and Mark Waid)

Script: Terra Farmers

Exterior shot of the Grey Corporation spacecraft as it enters orbit around Verdant. It looks tiny in the vastness of space.

How many times can you fall from space before it becomes boring?

The Smythes are awaking from cryostasis. They are bleary eyed, and stretching as if waking from a deep but uncomfortable sleep.

If you were me you would say you got tired of it by the time you were 12. It was my fourth unpowered fall from orbit.

Tameris enters an uncomfortably looking chemical shower.

I celebrated turning 12 by falling from space in a shuttle onto the surface of a barren world. So I could spend a few years preparing it for other people who would move in and get to call home.

The Smythes are suiting up, getting into their encounter gear. They are still sluggish. Like they are sleepwalking through their morning routine.

We’re Terra-Farmers. My family and I seed lifeless worlds and prepare them for colonists. We’ve been engineered with genetic traits to do the work as best as possible.

But we always move on to the next project before we get to settled anywhere.

Script: Era of Great Wonders

Story 1: “The Time of Giant Men Part 1: The Era of Great Wonders”

Description: A interview with Dr. Reese Wesen, Wesen looks like he could have walked out of a 1960’s educational film, over the course of the interview he smokes heavily.

Interspersed with the talking head shots of Dr. Wesen are images of the ruined city of Pangaea, including various giant monsters both alone and squaring off against each other. And reactions from ordinary people to their presence.

Pangaea looks like an old-world European city, where ancient buildings and temples are liberally mixed with modern sky scrapers.

Narration: The following is an interview with Dr. Reese Wesen the foremost expert on the so-called “Time of Giant Men.” Dr. Wesen is professor of Science! at Pangaea University and like many others he spent much of the period trapped in the city of Pangaea, which is still famous for being the site of the most devastating monster attacks.

Interviewer: Professor, what is the first thing you think of when you think about your experiences during the “Time of Giant Men?”

Dr. Wesen: That the name “Time of Giant Men” is deeply misleading. It was a mistranslation that the media ran with before it could be corrected. When the first reports came in from Pannotia they were sending reports of an “Era of Great Wonders” but the news services were in such a rush to get the word out they used the literal translation.

Interviewer: Why is the name misleading?

Dr. Wesen: Well, the cryptoforms or the “Wonders” are not in any way, shape or form “men.” They are biologically genderless and when they do reproduce it does not seem to coincide with anything we would
associate with traditional male/female roles.

Interviewer: Except for Mr. Jumbo

Image: Mr. Jumbo is a giant naked man.

Dr. Wesen: Except for Mr. Jumbo. Still the name conjures images of the kinds of giants we associate from folklore and mythology, titans or frost giants for example. But still the name has persisted.

Interviewer: And now we seem to be stuck with it.

Dr. Wesen: And now we seem to be stuck with it.

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