In Maps & Legends comic script, part 1

Okay, I admit, I’m new to this whole writing comics thing. So last summer, when artist Niki Smith and I decided to dive into this whole webcomics thing with IN MAPS & LEGENDS, I had to do some fast cramming.

I needed to learn how to write a comics script. Not so much how to describe how and what to put in each panel, but the proper format. So I did my research (aka googling). Found lots of how-tos and sample scripts.

And, of course, I got my trade paperback of Neil Gaiman’s Dream Country, which has the entire script of the Sandman story “Calliope” in the back. I know that was the first comic script I’d ever seen, many moons ago.

Turns out there’s no real set-in-stone format. And ultimately, a script is a conversation between writer and artist (a conversation that the editor eventually will eavesdrop on).

So you find what works and run with it. Or, in the case of Zuda, use their template and run with it.

As a writer, it’s pretty fun, once the process is rolling. You can see your words turned into lovely art, dialog balloons, color, and more.

Here’s an example.

PAGE ONE

PANEL 1

Close-up of an X-Acto knife pointed at wall (can’t see details of wall yet, just vague smudges); light glinting off tip, though the room is full of shadows from the little lamp on the floor next to Kait. Show Kait’s dust-coated hand holding the knife, with a cool ring on one finger?

CAPTION: Find the hidden places first. That’s what Grandpa always said.

SFX: CHK– (scraping at wall)

Which through a series of pencils, inks, colors, and other artistic magic, becomes this:

Yeah. That’s cool.

So as we start counting down the days until MAPS gets its official launch and we can share page 9 with you, with more pages coming out each week, I thought I’d let any aspiring comics writers take a peek at my script for the first 8 pages of the comic:

In Maps & Legends Script First 8 Pages

Enjoy! And let me know how you’re doing on YOUR comic. Share a link, too, if it’s online.

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