So I dug through the trash heap that is my office and I actually found my print-out of the script for Chapter 2. I thought I might talk about how I went about approaching drawing a page from one of MK’s scripts.

You’ll notice that this page is pretty straightforward, which will either be good for showing a basic rundown of how I did things or incredibly boring.

Outside of the first chapter, where MK and I were really learning how to work with each other, I tried to keep everything on a 3-tier grid, and then work with either 2 or three panels on each tier.

After I read the script, I went ahead and drew up tiny thumbnails and split the page up according to that grid. Then I looked at what’s happening in each panel and look at how much dialogue is in each panel to decide which panels need to be bigger to fit the dialogue accordingly. Sometimes, if need be and if it didn’t ruin what I saw as the essence of the scene, I would maybe break long strings of dialogue up into more panels, or condense them into one.

If dialogue space wasn’t an issue, like this page, I then look at what is actually in the panel and see if pacing or storytelling might need something to have more or less space. You can see in the couple of doodles on the page how I fooled around with the size of each panel, while sticking on the grid.

Once I figured all that out, sometimes I might add a little more to the roughs to layout the characters and word balloons. Here’s another scan of the previous couple of pages:

So I guess you’ll see that as far as thumbnails & planning go, I kept it to a minimum. I basically used it to help me pace out the action and set up the staging on a very basic level. Other people, like my studio mate Jason Rainey, gets really detailed in his thumbnails – so much so that sometimes he blows them up and just traces over them and adds detail to draw his pages. Here’s an example.