Monday, April 13, 2009

building a story pt 4


so here is where we add the dialogue. as i mentioned before, since this was done in full-script, the dialogue was written well before the artwork was drawn. had we been working "marvel style," i'm sure that the dialogue would have been much different.

several people have commented on how redundant it sounds that marvel now requires full-script rather than marvel style, the style that stan developed way back when and that made marvel great. true, stan started working that way when he was writing all the books--i think about 16 a month at the time--and he started writing just plots to keep all of his various artists busy, all those plates spinning. jack needed a few more! arnold drake was done with what you gave! that worked back then, for stan, doing it all, writing, editing, smiling, etc. these days, each editor at marvel is juggling about 35 books at a time, contacting the talent, editing the story, coordinating the traffic of the various elements of the story--script, pencils, inks, letters, colors, etc.--going to meetings, getting approvals for projects. writing a story marvel style involves adding an extra step into that potential quagmire as the art has to go back to the writer and then waiting some more for the new script/dialogue. so i can definitely see the reasoning behind going to full-script if for nothing else then to maybe protect the editor's sanity a little while longer.

me, i still love working "marvel style."

in a few weeks, i'll post this same step-by-step process again using a perhapanauts story, to show how craig and i do it "marvel style."


Panel 1
On the two of them, looking up at the fleeing DRAGON MAN, eyes wide as the PROWLER points--

Prowler: THAT!! That’s the thing that’s been breaking into my stuff!

Spidey: Why would that–? You weren’t storing truckloads of Purina

Gargoyle food in there, were you?

Panel 2
Closer on DRAGON MAN as we focus on the loot it has in it’s hands--inventions and devices from HOBIE’S shop--as, from off-panel PROWLER exclaims--

Prowler (off): Hey! It’s got my stuff! Those are my inventions!

Panel 3
As PROWLER makes the huge leap up to the roof of the nearby warehouse, pursuing DRAGON MAN, SPIDEY is momentarily startled, not believing that the PROWLER is actually going to chase that thing...!

Spidey: Wait a minute! Where are you–You’re not going after that thing!

Are you cra––

Spidey: Okay.

Panel 4
Wide as SPIDEY chases the PROWLER chasing the flying DRAGON MAN across the top of this new warehouse. Once again, we can see that the PROWLER is about to run out of room.

Prowler (small):

Panel 5
With DRAGON MAN still oblivious to his two pursuers, we see the PROWLER once again make a huge leap out, his glider kicking open--

SFX (cape tech) (small): click click click


Panel 1
Medium on the PROWLER; In mid air, he has his hands outstretched, reaching, reaching, reaching with every fiber of his being--

Prowler (small): Come on! Come on! You can do it! You can––

Panel 2
Similar shot as he falls just short, DRAGON MAN’S legs flying away and up as the PROWLER falls away and down--failed.

Prowler (small): No!

Panel 3
From over his head as he looks down at the street--which is very far away and tightly boxed in by buildings--and his glider isn’t going to have room to maneuver. This is going to hurt!

Prowler/thought: Wow. That ground is a long way down--and the buildings are too

close for me to be able to maneuver my glider...

Prowler/thought: This is gonna hurt.

SFX (webs) (from off): Thwip! Thwip!

Panel 4
BIG panel; Wide shot as we see the PROWLER looking up to see that he has been webbed by SPIDER-MAN who is hanging onto a web line attached to the leg of the still-hasn’t-seen-them DRAGON MAN.

Spidey: Sorry. Just thought you looked like you could use a web up!

Spidey: And the good part is, the big, purple Dragon-Man-thing doesn’t

even know we’re here!


Panel 1
Big Panel; From below them, both of them looking up--uh oh--as DRAGON MAN suddenly DOES notice them, it’s eyes burning with annoyance!

Dragon Man: ?

Dragon Man: RAAHHRRR!

Spidey (very small): why? why did I have to say anything? why?

Panel 2
And SWAT! as he roars and thwaps them both with his mighty, massive tail--

Dragon Man: RAAHHH!

SFX (tail): WAPPT!

Panel 3
--sending the two into a chimney on yet another rooftop!! This one is an apartment building, the rooftop is about 50’ by 50’, metal roofing, and on it is one of those awesome way cool water tank/towers. Both of them are momentarily stunned.

SFX (chimney): CRUNCH!

Spidey: Uhff!

Prowler: Ohhh!

Panel 4
From over DRAGON MAN’S shoulder, looking down on the coming-around SPIDEY and PROWLER, SPIDEY’S eyes are wide again and his Spider-sense is going off as he reaches for the PROWLER to wake him up...

Prowler: Rrrrr...

Spidey: Yikes! No time for nappin’, Prowly--

Prowler (small/weak): unnnh...


Panel 1
Wide as the angry DRAGON MAN breathes a blistering stream of fire at the space where the two costumed heroes were as SPIDEY makes a huge leap out of the way, jerking the startled PROWLER with him, just in time!! (Unfortunately, we can see that he is leaping them right into a corner...)

Spidey: --We gotta move!

SFX (fire breath): FWOORRSSH!

Panel 2
From behind them, both of them awake and alert now, as DRAGON MAN turns and prepares to hit them with another stream of fire, bellowing as tongues of flame crackle in it’s mouth!--

Dragon Man: RAAAHN!

Spidey: Oboy.

Panel 3
Close on the PROWLER’S pointed gauntleted fingers digging into the flat metal roofing--

SFX (fingers into metal): CRUNK!

Panel 4
And WIDE; as DRAGON MAN lets go with the blast of fire which is, of course, being deflected away from them by the wave of metal roofing that the PROWLER has pulled over them to protect them!

SFX (fire breath): FWOORRSSH!


Panel 1
Wide on the rooftop as SPIDEY and the PROWLER step out from behind the makeshift shield, SPIDEY looking after the departing DRAGON MAN, PROWLER surveying the rooftop which is dotted with a series of small fires!

Spidey: That Dragon...Man must’ve been satisfied that he’d bar-b-qued us. He’s


Prowler: Yeah, but he left a roof full of fire! We gotta put this out!

Panel 2
Wide, different angle, as the PROWLER watches, impressed, as SPIDEY tips the water tower/tank, sending a wave of water out to extinguish the fires!

Spidey: Not a problem, Edison. Not when you have the proportionate strength of

a spider. Too bad we lost your big, purple playmate. Now we’ll never find

it in–

Prowler (off): Not a problem, Spidey--

Panel 3
On the two of them, as the PROWLER holds up a small little disc--about half the size of a dime--between two of his pointy-gloved fingers, the disc is purple and green like his costume. Now it’s SPIDEY’S turn to be impressed.

Prowler: Fortunately, I was able to tag our big, purple playmate with one of these

tiny GPS transmitters. That monster can go anywhere in the world--

Panel 4
Cut to, BIG panel; sometime later, from behind SPIDEY and the PROWLER, perched on an adjacent rooftop, as they see where the big purple MONSTER ended up--we can see a sprawling, fenced-in facility with a big ROXXON sign on the roof, lit up for the night.

Caption/Prowler: “--and we’ll be able to track it down!”

Spidey: Roxxon, huh? Didn’t you say...

Prowler: ...that they rejected my inventions when I brought them here?



the answers to your
"five for friday!"

1. fried up with garlic and salt, what delicacy is also known as the "caviar of cambodia?"


2. what 1984 movie, featuring scenes of a knife-wielding mom, prompted the MCAA to create the PG-13 rating a year later?


(hey, adam~!!--your brother's sorta right though...both poltergeist and indiana jones and the temple of doom caused so many shocked parents to make a stink about the beyond PG graphic images that the MCAA began to consider a higher rating. but it was the classic kitchen scene in gremlins, with mom protecting her house and her family by dispatching of several of the little bastards with a blender and a microwave that was the final straw!)

3. what movie about the beginning of world war III was the first to bear the PG-13 rating in 1985?

red dawn

4. what (jazz)singer/songwriter wrote the monkees #1 hit "i'm a believer?"

neil diamond

5. what is the name of the green lantern who looks like a squirrel?


smell ya later!


Brian said...

Page 16 is my favorite. I love the cinematic feel that three of four page wide panels gives to a page, not to mention the room it gives an artist to work his or her magic.

Heywood Jablomie said...

Ahhh! More great stuff here Todd! And yes I have to agree with your Marvel Style theory, although I would think with the use of scanners art can be previewed and edited instantly, but with large workloads it can be tedious.

Do you have a particular way you come up with dialogue? I know it tends to be one of my banes when I'm trying to write something.

Anonymous said...

Hey Todd,
This is really cool.
I've been following along and I'm digging seeing how the process takes place.
Sanford's artwork is kicking butt and his interpretations rock.

Thanks for posting this stuff.

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