How to Tell a Story in Pictures

Comics are, perhaps, the most ancient art in the world. People needed to exchange information and they invented the method of telling a story through a serial row of pictures. Later they begin to add words to these pictures and thus comic art has appeared. Writing comics is not the same as writing a book. You should always remember that comic book is the result of co-working of the writer and the artist, and it will be the artist who will transfer your ideas to the readers, so your task is to provide him with precise instructions.

If you decide to try your skills in a role of comics maker, you need to observe some rules emerge from the peculiarities of this literary genre. First, decide on the plot of your comic book. You can use some already existing novel as the basis of your story. Divide this novel into small parts; add dialogues and a detailed description of the place of action and the characters involved in your story in the beginning of the comic book.

While writing, always bear in mind that you are working in a very specific genre of literature. You need to use the visual power of your imagination and find accurate words to make your idea clear to the artist as he will represent them in pictures. There are two ways to provide the painter with instructions. First, you can use full script method, which means that you are writing all the details, actions and the way they are performed. This work may be routine sometimes, but on the other hand it will save the artist from making interpreting mistakes. The second method is called plot-art-dialogue. In this case you give more freedom to the painter providing him only with some basic details and character descriptions. The artist decides on how to divide the story into panels and pages, and what images to use. Both methods have its supporters. The first one is used, for instance, by Alan Moore (the creator of Watchmen), the second – by Stan Lee (among his famous works are Spiderman and X-Men).

When creating a comic book, do not be afraid to use grotesque. Your characters can be superheroes or inanimate objects. Just provide them with their personal background story and make them special. In comics art images tell a large part of story for you, so your priority is creating interesting and funny dialogues.

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