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Thread: TPG- Week 19: Dayv Gerberding

  1. StevenForbes Guest

    TPG- Week 19: Dayv Gerberding

    Hello, everyone, and welcome back to The Proving Grounds!
    This week brings us something of a treat. We have Dayv Gerberding, who is an artist who does some writing. Weíll be looking at his process and the actual scriptwork, but weíll see what happens with both. This is a script he intends to draw himself.

    Letís take a look!


    (All flashback panels will have a variation in border, probably a darker, maybe sketchy / messy black lines. Also the art style in the flashback will be very different; More of a cartoony / sketchy look to give off the feel of being young again. Almost as if a child drew them. The comic is a six panel grid but varies from 4 - 6 panels per page.) (Nice reminder to himself for what he wants to effect, and also gives the editor an idea of what to expect when the art comes in.)

    Page 1.

    (4 panels. The bottom and middle sections are combined to become two wide panels. The top two still conform to a 6 panel grid.) (Nice note for a layout. As the artist, this works.)

    Panel 1: A polaroid of a beautiful woman smiling next to two young girls. (And hereís where we start to fall down. Thereís no indication of where this is taking place at, or any kind of day/night indicator. Having a place setting helps to immerse you in the story better, Dayv.)

    Narration: My name is Kevin.

    I had a family. A wife and two daughters. (A single period. It doesnít warrant an ellipse.)

    But not anymore. (I donít like this line. It either needs to be beefed up or excised. You already said ďhadĒ in the previous caption, which puts it in the past tense. Either elaborate on it, or cut it.)

    Panel 2: An old polaroid of Kevin's family from when he was a boy; Their parents, Kevin and his brother. (Again, same thing. This needs a place setting, time of day. How old are the pictures? How old are the characters now? Because this will limit the choices you have for clothing when you do research for the timeframe.)

    Narration: I still have a brother, though we don't talk much these days. (Iíd feel a LOT better if you named the brother. You named the main character, but not the brother. This is a perfect place for it.)

    Panel 3: Wide open panel of Kevin's room, somewhat messy. A TV / VCR is shown, and on the television is an old family video of him and his brother playing on the beach as children. (Iím having trouble seeing this. Is this an adultís bedroom, or is it a childís? Depending on where you place the camera, youíre not going to get the full effect of what you want: showing a messy room, and yet being close enough to show the video playing. This may need another panel for pacing. Yes, Iím aware that this messes up your layout.)

    Narration: I can remember when we were young. (I donít like this line, in conjunction with whatís supposed to be playing on the vcr. Of course heís able to remember. Itís right there. This needs to be reworded. Something like ďWhen we were young, we were a lot closer.Ē That gives credence to the fact that theyíre no longer talking in their later years.)

    Panel 4: Wide open panel beginning a flashback scene to when Kevin and his brother were young. (Thatís nice, but itís not a panel description. It doesnít tell anything about anything. Why not say ďthis panel is roundĒ? It effectively says the same thing. Whatís happening in this panel?)

    Brother: "Hey, this lake.." (This isnít a good line of dialogue. What does it do? Finish the thought, or think of another line.)

    Narration: I remember that day... To think I could have had him by the hand and he still slipped to his doom. (What day? Now is the proper time for the use of an ellipse. The second line of this is extremely heavy-handed. ďDoomĒ is a strong word, and I donít feel itís warranted. However, depending on what the actual panel description is, this is a good attempt at a page turn location.)

    Page 2. (page break)

    (6 panel grid, 6 panels. The left half of the page are the 3 flashback panels with darker borders of the brothers, the right half having ordinary borders jumping from the flashback.) (again, good notes for self and the editor.)

    Panel 1: The two boys walking with fishing poles resting on their shoulders. (walking where? Finish the panel description.)

    Brother: "This lake is drying up from all the sun we've been getting, so all the fish are all crammed in the middle of it. We're gonna catch a million!" (Comma. And this could stand to lose a word or two.)

    Kevin: "Really?"

    Brother: "Yeah. People have been catching fish here for weeks now, but it'll be all dried up in a few days probablyÖ" (Study the way children speak. Youíre writing in two different voices in the same sentence. Formal, but informal. They donít match. Change ďpeople haveĒ to ďpeopleíve.Ē It looks strange, I know but it sounds better to the ear.)

    Panel 2: A panel similar to panel 2 on page 1 but apparently a different take / shot. Either that or it shows Kevin remembering his family's mood more than the actual picture. Both parents give off a foul mood, frowning. Maybe a quick glimpse into Kevin's family life as a child that's turned off whenever a camera is pointed their way, but turned back on again once nobody's watching. (This panel description doesnít say much. I know youíre going to be drawing this, but the more info you put in as to time and place, the easier it will be for you to remember what effect youíre going for, as well as for the editor to help visualize what it is you want.)

    Brother: "Did you hear mom and dad arguing last night?" (No. This needs to be a caption. Itís a picture, remember? They canít be seen talking in it.)

    Kevin: "No, what were they arguing about?" (Same as above.)

    Panel 3: Wide open shot of Kevin and brother arriving at the lake.

    Brother: "Oh nevermind. Hey, here it is!"

    Panel 4: Shot of Kevin standing outside his house as a young boy, father walking to the left side of the panel, away from his mother who's standing on the right side of the panel with a cigarette in her hand. (See this? This is what Iím talking about. Bare bones, but it gets the point across of what youíre going for. This is a good panel description for you.)

    Narration: Out parents got divorced a month later, and mother started smoking. I haven't seen my father since. (Comma. Iím not really seeing why itís important to mention that his mother starts smoking here. Sheís not mentioned again, so why is it important?)

    Panel 5: The boys get closer to the lake.

    Brother: "Yup.. See all that mud?"

    Brother: "I heard she's supposed to be dried up in a week." (This is redundant. Itís already been stated earlier in the page.)

    Panel 6: Shot of Kevin's mother's funeral. An older Kevin and is standing looking down at the grave, brother cropped out of the panel. (How do we know the brother is cropped out of the panel? Is the picture torn or cut?)

    Kevin: "Wow." (No. Again, he canít be talking in the picture.)

    Narration: Four years ago, she died of cancer. (Simple dialogue fix, but thatís not the big thing. The big thing is this: is the cancer related to the smoking? If so, then say so. If not, then the smoking thing isnít important. This line makes it seem like the smoking and cancer are related. Also, this is only an okay place to put a page turn. Not the worst, but not the best. No worries. They canít all be gems.)

    Page 3. (Page break.)

    (I'm really not sure what to do with this page; I apologize. I'm writing this script as I go. Normally my scripts are just the dialogue / narrations, no art / panel descriptions. Since I'm also the artist I don't keep track of that stuff, assuming it'll come to me when I sit down to draw. All I have for this page is a pile of narrations to go on top of the two brothers fishing. Not sure if you want to give any input on what to do here.. If not, just edit the narration as you would.) (See this? This is honesty. I like honesty, because it gives me a place to start. In that starting place, Iím going to call it lazy creating. As an artist looking for a job, you donít have the luxury to just sit down and draw, hoping the panels will come out and tell the story. If you havenít thought about the panel, pacing, camera angle, object placement, et al, then youíre wrong. Lay out your page, thumbnail your panels, and then build from there. The dialogue can be put in as notes, and thatís fine, but not doing it now is lazy, and itís not going to get you to where you want to be.)

    That day, we threw back every single fish we caught. (Comma.)

    My brother threw them all back. He had a stronger arm.

    Though I asked if I could throw the last fish back and he let me.

    You never realize how slippery something is until you try grasping it on your own. (Iím not entirely thrilled with this line. Of course, this could be a metaphor for life, but Iím not thrilled with it.)

    The harder you squeeze, the more it slips away. (comma.)

    He slipped out of my hands and didn't quite reach the lake. It slipped right into the mud next to the water, making a sick, squishing sound in the process. (Comma.)

    My brother said it'd be too hard to get it back into the water, and if we tried, mother would hang us for getting so full of mud. (Commas.)

    To this day that image has been burnt into the back of my mind; A fish stuck in the mud a few feet from the water's edge, tail flapping in the air, face buried in dirt. (this needs some minor re-wording.)

    I would think of that fish for years to come. What might it look like today?

    Is it a perfect fish skeleton sticking up from the ground?

    The ironic thing is all those fish died when the lake dried out.. But I didn't care about all those other fish. I cared about the one that slipped and died. (This might be a lot of text, depending on the number of panels. I wonít gig you for it until the final panel count comes in, though, complete with descriptions.)

    Page 4 .

    (5 panels. Top third of page is one panel; The bottom 2/3 are 4.)

    Panel 1: Wide open shot, top third of page revealing Kevin standing on a chair with a noose around his neck, TV / VCR in the background still showing him as a child, polaroids littered around the room. (Depending on how you angled the previous shot showing this room, this panel can either work or not.)

    Narration: I have no idea how I ended up in this position.

    Narration: I never thought it could go this far.

    Narration: What am I doing? How can I go through with this?

    Panel 2: Kevin pulling off noose. (Iíd add panels to this page for pacing. Itís too fast. I suggest as a first panel, something showing the bottom of the chair, and then moving up. Possibly feet on the chair for the next panel, and then the large panel showing him with the noose around his neck. That might even warrant a splash, if set up properly. Then the next page would be the rest of this page, starting with this panel.)

    Narration: Take off the noose. Get down.

    Narration: I need help.

    Panel 3: Kevin looking up at the window, stained glass piece representing a new hope. (Where did this stained glass come from? Set it up in the previous panels, and everything is fine. Also, whatís shown in the glass? Anything?)

    Narration: I must salvage whatever I can. My relationship with my brother isn't too far out of my grasp just yet. (Clunky to the max. Like, totally.)

    Panel 4: Keving looking over at the phone.

    Narration: Shit, the phone's right there.. Pick it up.

    Brother: "Hello?" (This doesnít make any sense.)

    Panel 5: Kevin talking on phone (As I'm typing this page I realize how boring this section is.) (Then why not redo it? Give it some pep?)

    Kevin: "Hey, it's me."

    Brother: "Who is this?"

    Kevin: "It's Kevin.. Your brother."

    Page 5.

    (4 panels. Top third and bottom third are instead wide panels.) (I donít get this.)

    Panel 1: Kevin talking on the phone. (Guess I really should think of some stuff to add in to make these panels more interesting..) (If you think itís boring, it is. Depicting conversation can be boring, but as long as the conversation itself is interesting, it will carry the panels. Just donít let it go on for too long.)

    Brother "Oh, oh, Kevin.. How have you been?"

    Kevin: "Okay.. I guess I'm just in the mood to talk to somebody."

    Brother: "Oh yeah?"

    Kevin: "Uh, yeah.. What have you been up to?"

    Brother: "Oh, not much. You know.. You?" (Too much back and forth.)

    Panel 2: Close up of a polaroid Kevin picked up from the table. A beautiful girl smiling on it, not his wife. (How are we supposed to know this is not his wife? Thereís no indication of it. Right here is where the story starts to go off the rails.)

    Kevin: "I met this girl about a week back.."

    Brother: "Oh.. Don't you think it's a bit early?"

    Kevin: "Well, I--"

    Panel 3: Kevin looking up at the wall at a framed family photo of him and his wife on a tropical beach.

    Brother: "How long has it been since she died, Kevin? Six, seven months?" (Iím going to assume they havenít spoken in that time. Iím going to now reference the first panel on this page. Iím very surprised that the brother doesnít recognize the otherís voice. There was a point when I hadnít spoken to my ex-wife in a timeframe similar to that, and I recognize her voice instantly.)

    Kevin: "Uhh, almost nine.."

    Panel 4: Wide shot of Kevin and wife laying on the beach towel, girls playing in the background. Everything seems peaceful. (This is no longer making sense. Where is this coming from? Iím now lost.)

    Brother: "Come on.. You had everything and you lost it. You don't actually think somebody can fill her shoes do you?"

    Kevin: "I mean--"

    Brother: "Wake up Kevin. Nobody can ever replace your wife. Wake the **** up." (See this? This is turning into a story of grief, but it came apropos of nothing. Itís like me starting to talk about a spider, but ended up with a recipe for pancakes. Howíd I get there? I donít know. Just like I donít know how you got here.)

    Page 6.

    (6 panel grid but the bottom right and middle right panels are combined to make one long vertical panel on the bottom right.)

    Panel 1: Shot of Kevin opening his eyes.

    Narration: Awake.. ..Albeit from a day dream.

    Narration: But what was I thinking?

    Panel 2: Panel 1 from page 1; The polaroid of his wife and two daughters but the panel is cropped to zoom in on just his wife.

    Narration: I knew she wasn't anything special. I just needed to hear it from him.

    Narration: Nobody could ever replace my wife.

    Panel 3: Kevin's hand reaching over to the table for a bottle of liquor.

    Narration: ****. I need another drink.

    Panel 4: The legs of the chair become uneven as Kevin adjusts his weight, polaroids scattered around on the floor along with empty alchohol bottles.

    Narration: Yearning for alcohol has made many men slip.. Poor judgement claims another victim.

    Panel 5: Vertical panel of Kevin hanging by the noose motionless, chair laying on it's side, revealing more of his room, more polaroids, memories of a life lost and more empty alchohol bottles. (No. Like I said, this no longer makes any sense. You said he took off the noose and made a phone call. If that was a daydream, why is he referencing it like it really happened?)

    Narration: They say your life flashes in front of your eyes before you die.. Mine didn't.

    Narration: Instead I saw the future.. Until it got cut short.

    Okay, Dayv. Hereís what we have.

    We have a story that makes no sense, starting on either P1 or P4. Take your pick. If you choose P4, then you have to rewrite the last few pages to match what you were talking about in the first few. That means you have to find the story for the second half of these pages.

    If you choose P1, then you have to find the story that matches the second half of the story. No matter which way you put it, this story is broken, and the break is seen at P4. Decide which story you want to tell, and then fix it.

    Your process leaves something to be desired when it comes to doing the actual work. This is evident in this broken script. Youíre not planning out the story well in advance, and because of that, your story is incoherent.

    The only ďwriterĒ/artist that Iíve ever known to just draw and cull together a story that way is Todd McFarlane. He did that with Spider-Man and the beginning issues of Spawn. Spider-Man was something of a training ground for his process, and while I wonít say it was used to great effect in Spawn, it was definitely an improvement of his storytelling skills when he finally started it.

    While you donít need to write an actual script for your own artwork, I highly recommend it. It will help you to think about the story, and help you to keep the story straight as youíre telling it. It can only be beneficial. This style youíre working with at present isnít working.

    You have some problems with pacing. You could easily add another few panels to this story, in effect, adding a couple of pages, and it would only help.

    The dialogue needs some work, but thatís what the editor is there for.

    Also, nowhere in these pages do you give any indication of whoís who. We infer that Kevin is the younger brother, because the other one knows the river bed is drying up, and because he has the stronger arm. However, that inference doesnít necessarily make it so. Kevin could be sickly. The only real way we can know its Kevin is because of the fish story. Thatís ineffective storytelling. You can get away with that in novels, but not in comics.
    As to the story itself, I canít really speak on it. Youíre telling two different stories, and they are really unrelated. If there was a full story to be told, Iíd be able to comment on it. Fix this, tell the story, and we can see what we have from there.


    And thatís it for this week, folks. Next week brings us Chris Longhurst, then Roddy Williams.

    But for now, letís discuss this.



  2. drgerb Guest

    First off, I'd like to thank Steven for editing this. As an aspiring writer, seeing your script edited by someone who knows what he's talking about is such an invaluable tool.

    That said, if anyone has any ideas on how to link the two separate parts, feel free to mention them.

    This was the first script I wrote in comic book format, going in for every panel, and I struggled with it. I'm an artist and I always assumed I could just write the script itself, and then go in and decide on the panels when I go to draw it. After writing this way (panel by panel) for a couple of months now, I must say it's MUCH easier and far better. You can get a great feel for the pacing of the story and it makes it easier to concentrate on page turners and that sort of thing.

    Anyway, my plan for this script was to have it stand on it's own a short and also be a small piece for a bigger puzzle, which would be a one shot anthology of 3-4 shorts, each based on one of 3-4 interrelating characters. Later on in the one shot, the reader finds out Kevin's brother is a serial killer and his final victim is the girl Kevin fell for. So I wanted to begin the story (this, being the first short to appear in the anthology) with a scene to relate Kevin with his brother, a flashback to their childhood. I then also wanted to make Kevin's brother feel cold and distant, to hint at a changed state of mind.

    I've since scratched the project, or atleast put it on the backburner for now, in favore of a couple of other ideas. I may bring it back eventually but probably not for a while.

    Thanks again for taking the time to edit it, Steven!



  3. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenForbes View Post

    Brother: "Did you hear mom and dad arguing last night?" (No. This needs to be a caption. Itís a picture, remember? They canít be seen talking in it.)
    Why not? We're already listening to the guy's memories here. Why not "hear" the words from his memory too? (though I'd probably use off-panel balloons rather than pointing tails at the photo)

    A caption would be all wrong for the conversation between the kids, IMO, because Kevin's voice-over narration is already in captions. It seems like also sticking the remembered conversation in captions would be needlessly confusing. On top of that, the photos are clearly staging the scenes for the following panels, so starting the dialogue on the photos could be part of a pretty cool transition effect tying the scenes into the photos. I definitely think the concept could work, and work well.

    (I'm really not sure what to do with this page; I apologize. I'm writing this script as I go. Normally my scripts are just the dialogue / narrations, no art / panel descriptions. Since I'm also the artist I don't keep track of that stuff, assuming it'll come to me when I sit down to draw. All I have for this page is a pile of narrations to go on top of the two brothers fishing. Not sure if you want to give any input on what to do here.. If not, just edit the narration as you would.) (See this? This is honesty. I like honesty, because it gives me a place to start. In that starting place, Iím going to call it lazy creating. As an artist looking for a job, you donít have the luxury to just sit down and draw, hoping the panels will come out and tell the story. If you havenít thought about the panel, pacing, camera angle, object placement, et al, then youíre wrong. Lay out your page, thumbnail your panels, and then build from there. The dialogue can be put in as notes, and thatís fine, but not doing it now is lazy, and itís not going to get you to where you want to be.)
    I don't understand this. As long as it's done at some point, what difference does it make when he does it? Thumbnail it now, or thumbnail it when he sits down to draw... what's the real difference? Why break two steps into three?

    Panel 4: Keving looking over at the phone.

    Narration: Shit, the phone's right there.. Pick it up.

    Brother: "Hello?" (This doesnít make any sense.)
    It kind of could, as a transitional device (if the brother's dialogue was in an off-panel balloon). It's the same kind of transition as the photos with dialogue, leading into further panels, so it's even consistent.

    (4 panels. Top third and bottom third are instead wide panels.) (I donít get this.)
    He established that it was a 6 panel grid throughout. So this would be one double-wide panel at the top, two normal panels in the middle, and one double-wide panel at the bottom. Certainly not as clear as it could be though.

    Panel 2: Close up of a polaroid Kevin picked up from the table. A beautiful girl smiling on it, not his wife. (How are we supposed to know this is not his wife? Thereís no indication of it. Right here is where the story starts to go off the rails.)
    I thought it seemed pretty clear that his wife would have been the woman in the polaroid from panel 1. I don't see how he's off the rails yet.

    Panel 4: Wide shot of Kevin and wife laying on the beach towel, girls playing in the background. Everything seems peaceful. (This is no longer making sense. Where is this coming from? Iím now lost.)
    This makes perfect sense. Practically this whole thing has been inside Kevin's head. This is just another memory.

    Brother: "Wake up Kevin. Nobody can ever replace your wife. Wake the **** up." (See this? This is turning into a story of grief, but it came apropos of nothing. Itís like me starting to talk about a spider, but ended up with a recipe for pancakes. Howíd I get there? I donít know. Just like I donít know how you got here.)
    Really? Seriously? You didn't see grief coming? This story was dripping pain since panel 1.

    Panel 5: Vertical panel of Kevin hanging by the noose motionless, chair laying on it's side, revealing more of his room, more polaroids, memories of a life lost and more empty alchohol bottles. (No. Like I said, this no longer makes any sense. You said he took off the noose and made a phone call. If that was a daydream, why is he referencing it like it really happened?)
    My take is that he's referencing the phone call like it really happened, because it might as well have. Probably did, in a way - this guy's not exactly firing on all cylinders right now. He (thought he) needed to hear his brother tell him he could never be happy again, and he did. That he only heard it in his mind didn't matter (except in that his brother probably wouldn't have been that big a jerk in reality), hearing it is what mattered. Hearing anything other than what he imagined he heard probably wouldn't have ended with him swinging from the rafters. Doesn't get much more real than that, even if it's not literally real.

    I don't know. It all pretty much made sense to me, and I thought it held together as a single story (though I think there's some clarity missing, which I'll get to below). I assume the sense it made to me is the sense that was intended, but I also think this is one of those stories that could be taken in a couple different ways. It's thought provoking, and I like that.

    Dayv,
    Some comments for you...

    One thing I'd have liked to have seen that I think is missing... is something explaining why the brothers are estranged, and why Kevin believes his brother would tell him something that cruel. Why did Kevin's brother, whose opinion Kevin obviously still respects, turn into a dick? Or did he? Is there a reason Kevin "should" not move on? Is there a guilt thing happening? There's got to be something more there. You nicely established Kevin's brother as the dominant one of the two, but the relationship still needs some clarification to carry the story, I think.

    Edit: I see you have some plans for the brother. He's a dick and then some. Obviously you don't want to give all that stuff away now, but I still think you need to establish a history of disfunction in that relationship (especially if you're going to make the brother a serial killer, as popular knowledge says that the evil streak starts showing up early - so you'll either need to play to that or have some sort of later trauma as a trigger). I also think filling in some of the blanks in the brothers' relationship will help tie the two halves of the story together. His brother is the trigger that causes Kevin's death, so establishing that relationship, and how it comes that point, is crucial.

    The other problem I have is that I think the flashback panel designations are all kinds of messed up. At one point it says that the 3 panels on the left are flashback panels and the others are normal, but the descriptions show all the panels on that page to be flashbacks (This may be intentional and you're trying to do something stylisticly there, but it's not making sense to me at all). And there are also other flashbacks where the panel isn't designated as a flashback. And you've got the problem that you describe the flashback panels as being styled to suggest childhood, but not all the flashbacks are to Kevin's childhood. On top of that, by using the flashback panel style in the first place, you've set up the expectation that everything not current and real is in a different panel style, and then put a dream sequence in normal panels (and yes, I know you don't want to give away that it's a dream, but that doesn't mean you aren't still pulling a fast one). I think you'd be better off leaving the panel styles alone, and just letting the story unfold without switching panel styles around. I wouldn't worry about making the reader think a little; it's that kind of story.

    Just my thoughts.



  4. drgerb Guest

    Bah, I hope this doesn't turn into every other reply from me, my replying to everyone's response once I see it. Sigh.

    Thanks for the reply, Calvin. I think I'll go back to this eventually.. One thing that I should elaborate on is the fishing flashback scene. I also think this flashback would be a great spot to throw in a couple of seeds to Kevin's brother becoming a serial killer. I remember stories of Jeffrey Dahmer, how as a child the little things were so obvious, his father looking back on it. It's easy to look back on the childhood of a serial killer or a school shooter and pick out the details that hint at something. What's hard is finding them before the person does anything. Anyway... I definitely think the flashback should include a couple of hints at Kevin's brother's train kinda losing track of the tracks.. Erm. Maybe him laughing at the fish stuck in the mud, or catching another to throw it back into the same mud or something to that affect. And maybe just small remarks / side comments that may make Kevin feel a bit uncomfortable.. Kevin, feeling depressed he killed a fish, while his older brother, serial killer to be, laughing at the fact.

    I don't understand this. As long as it's done at some point, what difference does it make when he does it? Thumbnail it now, or thumbnail it when he sits down to draw... what's the real difference? Why break two steps into three?
    I will say I agree with Steven here but maybe it's just me.. After doing it Steven's way for about a month now, planning out panels as I go along with writing, I feel it's SO much easier. Like Steven said, this script could easily fill another 1-2 pages.. And me not planning out the panels as best I could is the reason for that. My main reasoning, is if I leave a middle page un-planned out, panewise, and come to it later on when the rest of the comic is all planned out... And realize that the panel count is all off, or it'd need 1.5 pages, not 1. Then I'm screwed. It'll throw off the rest of the comic, unless I stretch it to 2 (which may be 2 boring pages) or try to tell 1.5 pages of story in only one page (which may cram too many words into one page). So yeah.. I'll agree with Steven in that it was laziness on my part. The truth is I wrote this script while I was drunk. I used to drink, and I used to only write while I was drunk. Since I've started writing sober, which is probably a good thing.. By the way, my sober self noticed a spelling error on panel 4 of page 2. 'Out' is supposed to be 'Our.' GREAT job at catching that Steven! Hah. I'm kidding.

    He established that it was a 6 panel grid throughout. So this would be one double-wide panel at the top, two normal panels in the middle, and one double-wide panel at the bottom. Certainly not as clear as it could be though.
    Lol.. Gotta work on that... Being clear.

    This makes perfect sense. Practically this whole thing has been inside Kevin's head. This is just another memory.
    I'm glad you followed. Actually I think this panel is where the drunken me came in and started "going off." I had a script planned out, and when I got a message back from Steven saying he'd edit it, I went ahead and rewrote it in comic book format one morning. This is the panel I started just going with whatever "brilliant" idea drunk-Me had at the time. Apparently it may or may not work, depending on who's reading it. Hehe.

    I also agree with your idea on the panel borders. Changing them for the fishing flashback, and then also jumping to other flashbacks / dream sequence with normal borders is kinda weak. Leaving them all the same will work. It's obvious enough as you're reading it that it's a flashback; You don't really need visual cues in the panel borders to remind you. That also leaves that sense of mystery there; What's real and what's just in Kevin's head? Is this just Kevin's side of things, his older brother's being much different? Or is Kevin the sane one, his serial killer of a brother being the one with a loopy memory? Hmph.

    Anyway, thanks again for the reply Calvin.



  5. CalvinCamp Guest

    Dayv,

    I hope my comments helped you out a little. I do think there's potential in the story, even if it was a drunken rough draft. Maybe it just needed a sober second draft.

    I do think working some hints into the fishing story and other childhood flashbacks would help establish Kevin's brother as cold-hearted enough to tell Kevin what he imagined. It's going to be a tricky balance, though, because he'll still need to be someone Kevin looks up to (for whatever reason - of which there could be many, not all necessarily positive).

    On the thumbnailing things out while writing thing... I don't necessarily disagree that it's a good idea to lay things out completely at the script level. I'd even say that getting at least a rough idea of what you're going to put on a given page is pretty much crucial. I'm just not sure I'm completely sold on the idea that everything on a given page needs to be completely thought out in advance - partly because, when I sit down to start drawing, I've found myself re-thinking stuff that I had meticulously set out in my script. So I don't think some openness would be all that bad, as long as it's not so vague it's throwing off the page count or such. In the case of your story, I think the benefit of an extra page or two is more because you need more story, and less because you left a page vague.

    Of course I'm also a big fan of Chris Bachalo-style cascades of images that don't even vaguely relate to a panel layout, so I'm probably a little biased. I don't know if you've ever read the Vertigo comic "The Witching Hour" (Jeph Loeb & Chris Bachalo)... but the thing has extremes ranging from 25-panel pages to six or seven scenes on a page with no panels at all. It's an absolutely gorgeous book that really drove home to me the idea that literally anything is possible when it comes to laying out the visuals for a comic. And I don't believe that's a comic that could possibly have been tightly laid out in the script - there's just no way I can imagine that Bachalo wasn't given free reign in the layouts.

    But if Steven's method works for you, go with it, by all means. I certainly don't see how it could really hurt - it's still always possible to fudge things around later if necessary.

    As far as following the story... it does take some following, I won't deny that. Just a quick, cursory read is probably going to leave someone going, "Huh?" This isn't an obvious, no-brainer kind of story. It's going to take some thought from the reader to sort it out, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. But I think a big part of the problem with the sudden flashback to the family day at the beach was that it wasn't tagged as a flashback, so the flashback panel style was working against you there - when that panel wasn't tagged as a flashback, it threw it all off. The reader didn't have the expectation that they needed to look for that sort of thing, because the expectation was that flashbacks would be pointed out to them.



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