Let’s Make Comics: Laying out the story

When the story has been written, and it’s time to figure out how everything looks on the page, Crewcreature Steph and I put our heads together and plan it all out. We go through the script page by page, and make sure the pacing is right, and there is room for everything we need to show.

I make a VERY rough sketch of each page, as you can see below:

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Sometimes, as we are going through, we find that there is too much action in one page of the scrip, and we need to let it have more room. This is where working together so closely comes in handy. Steph can just make an adjustment in the script, and we can give the scene an extra page, or let it smoosh into the next page a little bit.

Once we are all done walking though the story page by page, (which takes several mornings over pancakes – In this issue, we spent a whole morning figuring out how to show a handful of characters entering a room. An unexpectedly tricky scene!) I have a completed board of thumbnail sketches of the entire issue, with notes and sketches where needed. I then use this when I’m working on the first draft of the sketch, and it makes things soooooo much easier!

Here’s our crazy door scene (looks so simple, right!?):

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Horbue? A gold shooting star to the person who can translate that bottom left frame! And what character is that?? Is it a Sea Lard from Ooo?


Anyway… this part of the comic-making process is a true example of the value of teamwork and cooperation. I don’t know how others are able to make great comics without this step! If you are working on a comic with a friend, we highly recommend the layout huddle. Give it a try!

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