this is my first tutorial, a very basic approach to how I usually "attack" a comicbook page.
It´s most likely not the best or most effective way to create a comicbook page, it´s just the way "I" do it.
1. BIRTH OF AN IDEA
Anyone can tell you how completelly at random an idea for a story can appear.
My first album, Medusa31, about a member of a S.W.A.T team created to fight superjunkies came during a New Year´s Eve hangover, when I was making mental word association games and the word "Herkulizants" (from the word "Herkules") appeared.
So, there´s no special “How to” rule to it, an idea comes when it comes, you just have to grab it.
Just keep a piece of paper handy to write it down.
I´ve actually started keeping a couple next to my bed, since lately my dreams seem to turn out far more creative than anything I ever wrote.
A good idea can take you a long way, but the way you organise it to sell it to the reader is the secret behind best sellers.
This is where writers come in, they structure, organize, nurture and develop the idea into a story.
I won´t dwell on it too much since this is a comicbook tut, not a literature one.
Basically, when you´re finish writing a comicbook script, you should have a stack of pages that look something like this:
PAGE 6 (four panels)
PANEL 1: Long shot of Tamerlane in mid-flight as he fires a green ball of energy at the incoming hordes of supervillains
TAMERLANE: MURDERERS... YOU MURDERERS!
OFF: TAMERLANE|! STARVOX! YOU´RE OVEREXPOSED! FALL BACK TO S22.
PANEL 2: Bird´s eye view of the battle that rages across the floating city. Chaos is everywhere, as superheroes and supervilains duick it out. Think all-out carnage, but keep it PG-13.
OFF: WINTERMARE! TOMBOY! SECURE THE EMBASSIES ON DECK 96.
OFF: TELEPATIC FEED FROM GAMMA GIRL LOST. SEND MEDIC TO AIRSTATION 12.
PANEL 3: Medium shot of the 4 psychic girls who are telepatically supervising the defenders. They´re all linked to a machine to boost their coordination efforts. Behind them, undercover of the dark, one of the supervillains managed to sneak through the ducts and now emerges in the room ready to attack the girls.
OFF: SILVERSPARROW II HYPERSONIC. E.T.A.: 5 SECONDS.
OFF: AIR SUPERIORITY LOST OVER THE SKYKNIGHTS ACADEMY. WINDYLITE?
OFF: I´M ON IT!
OFF: MORE RESERVES NOW ARRIVING. WORMHOLE QUARTET NOW MATERIALISING ON THE DECK 4 LOUNGE.
PANEL 4: Still hidden in the shadows, the mysterious individual fires an energy blast from his hand, killing the 4 psychic girls.
OFF: TELEPATIC FEED FROM ASTROQUEEN LOST. MEDIC--
PSYCHIC GIRLS (in unison)- AARRRGH!
However, I don´t usually do that. It´s a pain, especially since I´m usually the one who draws all that. And since the penciller and the writer are the same person, we can jump on to the fun part of making a comic.
Ths is how my comics are usually born.
Just a random set of sheets I tape together and where I write, set up the page layout and plan the roughs and even word ballon placement.
There is fun in writing. There is fun in penciling, inking and coloring.
But for me, nothing is as fun as working with these stacks of sheets, you can take them everywhere, flip them, add notes, check for pacing and time the sequences accordingly, write, erase, doodle, make collages… this is the heart of it all.
A page breakdown is a rough idea of what the page will look like, how the pannels will be organised, what side of the panel the character is, where word ballons go. I´ve seen all types of page breakdowns, from ones that looked like stick figures to those that could pass as finished pencils.
Mine dwell somewhere inbetween.
In projects where I play all the instruments, from writing to “lettering”, my pencil breakdowns are usually hideous. I´m not planning on showing them to anyone, so I can cut me some slack .
When I´m collaborating with other folks, however, I usually have to put a little more heart into it (or else I´ll scare the writer off ).