Karen Mahoney (who you all should really be reading) asks: I’d like to ask a craft question re. comics. This is probably tricky to answer without spending too much time on it, but I’m really curious about HOW you write your scripts. You sit down, pull up a blank document (?) or whatever software you use, and then… what? What comes first? Do you draw rough versions of the pages? (I can’t draw at all, but I’ve been playing around with comics scripts lately, so I make a very rough layout with blank paper and draw the boxes so I can see the layout.)
First, let me say that there’s no right way to write comics. You know how it is — all us writers are crazy in different ways. No approach is the same. Take a look at these four great scripts from Jason Aaron. One of my favorite stories of his is there: Scalped #35.
I write comics the same way I write my novels: I think about the story, and then just go for it. Specifically, I make notes, I think about what I want to do with the characters, I also take into consideration the artist I’m working with…and put it all together. I don’t draw anything, but I do visualize.
Of course, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m terrible at outlining, so sometimes these things come together as I write, and sometimes they come together after the script is done and my editor takes a look at it, and asks where I’m headed. It’s a process, man! Each story doesn’t come together exactly the same.
I think the easiest way to show what I do, though, is to just give an example. I’ve attached the first page of script from X-23 #10 (written in Microsoft Word), along with the equivalent page of art from Sana Takeda. I always try to keep my art direction to a minimum, unless it’s something that matters to me.
You can see, though, what the process looks like from script to finished art and lettering.
1) Anymore plans for Logan to come back into Laura’s life after this arc? Can you give us any hints as to what thier relationship will be like in this arc?
Yes, he will be back, probably by Issue 17 or so. No hints yet, I’m afraid. I’m still working out the details of that storyline.
2) Can you give any hints to any other characters we might see in future arcs?
New Marvel solicitations should be out soon, and the cover to X-23 #13 will reveal a well-known character who will be in the next arc. I couldn’t be more excited about him. Expect a couple other favorites, too. I’ll discuss them more in coming months.
3) Do you have any advise for aspiring writers/novelists?
You might check out Stephen King’s book, On Writing. It’s excellent. I also recommend The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell, Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life, and Story by Robert McKee.
I could give you advice, but it probably won’t be nearly as helpful as what you find in those books.