Connecting Writers and Artists
January 24, 2005 1:12 PM   Subscribe

I've written a feature length screenplay. I showed it to a friend who's an editor at a publishing company in the UK. He suggested I consider doing the script as a graphic novel. Is there a resource on the web for writer's and artists to connect? Also, is there a guide to transform my movie from screenplay format to comic book format?
posted by Shanachie to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How convenient -- I just spent the day looking at comics-writing resources myself. As far as I know, there's no big accepted marketplace for speculative writer/artist hookups in comics -- the industry is very small, after all -- but it can't hurt to maybe post something on Craigslist under the art-gigs heading. I'd love a clearing-house like that myself, since I'm in the early stages of plotting a graphic novel.

I also don't know of a specific guide on screenplay-to-script formatting, but this page is full of links to useful articles on the principles & techniques of writing comics.

Will be watching this thread with interest...
posted by logovisual at 1:21 PM on January 24, 2005

You could look at the Penciljack Forums, which has 'Lab' forums for all sorts of comics-craft-related topics as well as a Bulletin Board that might be helpful. I'd probably read Understanding Comics to get an understanding of the differences between comics and movies. They are both visual mediums, though, and techniques that work in one (especially regarding scene composition) will probably cross painlessly over into another.

If you've got money for this project, you might want to look at some of the pro-webcomics sites like Modern Tales or Graphic Smash, or pick up the Flight Anthology, see if you like any of those artists, and contact them with an offer. If there's actual money involved in an independant project, attracting a decent artist won't be difficult.

Also, if you're really scraping the bottom of the barrel, I'm available. Here's a piece I just finished.
posted by lesingesavant at 1:57 PM on January 24, 2005

You might want to check out Dark Horse Comics based here in Portland Oregon.
posted by pwb503 at 2:04 PM on January 24, 2005

Wow. Now that's a question I've been wanting to ask myself for a while. Thanks Shanachie.
posted by seanyboy at 2:05 PM on January 24, 2005

I second taking a look at Understanding Comics and maybe even Will Eisner's Sequential Art. Eisner also wrote a book called "Graphic Story Telling" which I have not read, but which could also be relevant (perhaps more so) though you didn't ask for a course of study. Thus I move on.

Depending on the kind of story you want to tell as well as the approach to it: you may or may not find the Comics Journal and its associated message board of use. Both it and the board are fairly popular. Personally, I don't hang there so I can't comment on whether or not there are community taboos against fishing for talent. But I don't know of any online match-making resource other than putting out the networking tentacles via means such as you already are. Depending on how deep you want to get into it you may also want to hit a convention to get a feel for things as well as face time with a different array of people. Good Luck!
posted by safetyfork at 2:31 PM on January 24, 2005

I second and third reading Understanding Comics. Formatting doesn't really matter, as long as you tell the story - but if you're worried about it, get the free BBC ScriptSmart template for Word (Mac and Windows versions available) which has film templates, comic templates, and so on. Load up the film, and change it to comic. It may well look exactly the same, I haven't tried it.

Also - there *is* no "standard" comic template, really. Some people do panel by panel, describing everything in detail. Some go page by page, letting the artists sort out the panels. And some do it in ultra-brief screenplay format, trusting the artist completely. Do whatever works best for you. Describe what you need to describe, tell the story, and let the artist do their stuff - anything you definitely want in the art, make sure it's on the page. You can describe the characters fully, or not at all. Try and find as many comic scripts as you can - if only to see that there's no standard formatting. Sandman Dream Country has a script printed after one of the stories, and Alan Moore has a few scripts online, I'm sure others have too. Doesn't do any harm to make contact with up and comers like lesingesavant up there, too - maybe a few sample pages would help both of you out, you never know.

Good luck with it!
posted by ralphyk at 3:40 PM on January 24, 2005

Oh! Script books are a good idea. There are two books of comic scripts from all sorts of creators, Panel One and Panel Two. I've heard good things about both. There's also the Powers script book. This might be good, considering the writer, Brian Michael Bendis, uses the scriptwriting program Final Draft Pro to compose his comics scripts. The first volume of Powers, Who Killed Retro-Girl, also has a script in the back if you want to compare script to final art.
posted by lesingesavant at 5:13 PM on January 24, 2005

Thanks for your suggestions! I'll send you the script lesingesavant...
posted by Shanachie at 9:08 PM on January 24, 2005

Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash was originally supposed to be a computer game.
posted by mecran01 at 9:24 AM on January 25, 2005

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