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TPG Week 25: Don’t Get Sued

| June 17, 2011 | 16 Comments

Welcome back to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a returning Brave One in Kyle Raios. Let’s see how he does, shall we?

So it Goes – Prequel

Kyle Raios

Page 1

Panel 1: The sun is bright, and the sky carries with it a few white, fluffy clouds.  It is autumn, and the air is brisk at the least, evidenced by the light jackets adorning the people.  The wind blows softly, rustling the trees in the background.  In the foreground, their backs to the audience, we see Eddie and Hector, their hands in their jacket pockets, the wind ruffling their hair.  At their feet, the leaves are kicking around, and the grass is slanted by the wind, but only just.(Wait. Stop. First, I’m going to say that I’m not a fan of italicised panel descriptions. It isn’t wrong, I’m just not a fan. Second, this is prose writing. That, my friend, is wrong. Give the artist something substantial to work with. We’re talking clarity. For your subtleness, you’re going to need a strong artist. And really, unless I’m mistaken, the wind in the trees and bending the grass isn’t going to be important. It’s just atmosphere. Get in, Kyle, and get out.) In front of Eddie and Hector, to their right, is a large blue canopy (Large blue canopy, huh? There are lots of different types of canopies. This is vague. Be clearer. And when you say “to their right,” you’re really meaning to the right of the panel, since their backs are to us.).  Underneath this tent are two rows of seven chairs, and those who had been seated are now standing to leave, save for a middle-aged woman in the front, who hangs her head (What is the focal point of this panel? The guys, or the lady?).  She is a thinner woman, her curly blonde hair is withered, beginning to gray, and is tied up in bun.  She is all adorned in black.  To the left of this tent is a coffin, hovering above the grave, with dozens of yellow flowers piled on top. (Okay. This is the first panel. It is almost an establishing shot. Jamie, what are the elements that make up an establishing shot, and what is missing from here?)

Panel 2: Close-up on the back of Eddie and Hector’s heads, the wind still rustling through their hair.  In the background, the crowd continues to disperse, but the middle-aged woman remains seated. (Nope. You called for a close-up on the back of their heads. You can’t see anything beyond that, because that’s what you asked for. The artist is going to draw something different, but is going to ask you for clarity. Right now, Kyle, you’re not being clear.)

Eddie: Dude.

Hector: I know. (So, you drop the italics for the dialogue. I’m okay with that, mostly. As long as you’re consistent. I won’t harp too much on “format” as much as I will “consistency.” This is how you are comfortable writing scripts. I get that. However, I DO want you to add a line between every element. Give the script some room to breathe. Right now, it feels very cramped.)

 

Panel 3: Close-up on the middle-aged woman, slowly rising from the chair now, but alone (Because you called for a close-up and didn’t say what you wanted a close up of, I say we have a close-up of her calf. It is a nicely turned calf, even though she’s older. Correct me if I’m wrong. Either that, or know your terms.).  The crowd is now completely dispersed from her close proximity.  Her eyes are closed, and her face solemn and lowered. (Nothing after the nicely turned calf matters. You’re wasting both time and real estate. This isn’t a novel.)

Panel 4: Close-up, frontal view of Eddie and Hector for the first time, the wind still blowing through their hair.  They look directly at the audience, staring off-panel at the middle-aged woman. (John Lees: I beat you up on this all the time, don’t I? What question am I going to ask? And then, what am I going to say about the end of the dialogue for this panel?)

Eddie: I wouldn’t even know what to say.

Hector: I know.

Eddie: You know what to say?

Hector: No, I mean I know you don’t know.

Eddie: Oh. (Actually, John, while I have you here, what am I going to say about the dialogue, period?)

Page 2

Panel 1: Identical panel to Page 1, Panel 1, only with the dispersed crowd.  The woman is now standing. (I wouldn’t do this. Page 1, panel 1 was pretty weak tea. Come up with a different angle.)

Eddie: Fair enough.

Panel 2: Close-up on Eddie, still looking on at the woman.  However, his head is leaning over to talk to Hector. (This is the first panel I don’t have a major complaint with. I can still say this is a close-up of Eddie’s hand, though.)

Eddie: This is just ridiculous.

Eddie: I just… to kill yourself.

Eddie: I couldn’t even imagine man. (I have something to say. I want all of you to pay close attention. I want there to be a time when I am an Oscar winning screenwriter, doing an adaptation of my Eisner winning story, The Quin. There will be offers to do all kinds of things. What I’m going to do, however, is teach. I’m going to get the Dean’s permission to basically do whatever the hell I want. Everyone will start off with a failing grade, until I am shown that you want to be writers. That means knowing the basics of English. That means learning how to use a comma. As soon as I get a spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistake in  a submitted script, that means the writer failed that assignment. And no, I won’t give make-ups. You would have just failed this assignment, Kyle. Someone, please tell me why. Thank you.)

Panel 3: Close-up on Hector, still looking on at the woman.  His head is leaning over to talk to Eddie. (I want this close up to be of Hector’s elbow.)

Hector: Me neither man. (More fail.)

Hector: Things get bad though. (MORE fail.)

Hector: Maybe it was just too bad for him, you know?  Maybe it was better for him. (Do you know why the previous two fail even more now? Because you put the comma in the correct place this time.)

 

Panel 4: Pull back.  Hector remains looking on at the woman, he now standing straight up, his head no longer leaning over.  Eddie looks down at the ground. (Okay. We are now across the street. Is that pulled back enough for you?)

Eddie: Maybe dude.  Just wish it didn’t have to be. (Are comma’s my pet peeve? Pretty close. My bigger one is the use of “women” as a singular. I’d probably go new-clear.)

Hector: I know man.  I know. (Comma… Le sigh.)

Panel 5: From behind Eddie and Hector, both looking on, both with their hands in their pockets.  The woman is now approaching them. (Another eminently drawable panel! Mostly. I’m assuming that the boys stopped somewhere when they were talking…or am I assuming that they were walking before? I don’t know, because you don’t say.)

Panel 6: The woman, now standing in front of Hector and Eddie, has her arms folded.  She has a forced smile.  Eddie and Hector look back with passive/humbled expressions. (Where is the camera?)

Woman: I just wanted to tell both of you… that he really looked up to you guys.

Woman: Talked about you all the time.

Eddie: …Thank you.

(Okay. We’re on P2, and there isn’t much happening. I’m not feeling much of anything for anyone. Not the [I’m assuming] mother’s pain, nor the boys’ awkwardness. I DO have a question, though: I’m guessing this is a funeral. That’s just a guess, though. I could be wrong. Anyway, if this is a funeral—one for [I’m assuming] a teenager—and if the Dead Boy looked up to them, why are they on the outskirts of the funeral? What are they wearing? You make them sound like they’re wearing jeans. If the Dead Boy looked up to them, then I assume they were at least friendly. That means the boys heard of the death before this. They may have even been together when they found out. So, why are they doing a Butler-Maid routine, telling each other what they already know? There are better ways to get the information across.)

Page 3

Panel 1: Establishing, overhead shot of Hector’s house.  It is night, cloudy, with little moonlight.  Most of the windows are dark, save for the bottom, left-side living room window. (This is not the most dynamic angle. Not from overhead. Yannick, what is a better angle for this?)

Panel 2: Interior of Hector’s living room now.  Sitting on the floor, at opposite ends of a small coffee table, sit Hector and Eddie.  On the table is a massive heroclix battle well underway.  On the right side of the table, on the floor, is a half empty box of root beer, and around the box are several empty cans strewn about.  Two bags of potato chips sit open, one next to both Hector and Eddie.  Eddie leans over the table, dice cupped in his hands.  Hector is leaning back, looking at the table. (I can see this. However, in order to get most of what you want, you’re going to have to pull out a bit more. That means that some of the details might get lost. And you’re wordy. 92 words here. Kyle, I want you to rewrite it using less than 50, and then post it here.)

Eddie: Juggernaut attacks Lobo.

Hector: Watch for that impervious.

Eddie: Dammit.

Panel 3: Eddie has rolled the die across the table, one facing four, the other three.  Both Eddie and Hector look at the turned die. (What is the image you want to convey here? Is it the dice, or is it the boys?)

Hector: Seven.  Ha!

Eddie: Dammit again.

Hector: Gotta love Lobo.

Panel 4: Hector has grabbed the die, while Eddie sips on his root beer, looking on at the board.

Hector: Now, who does Green Lantern feel like attacking…

Eddie: *grunt*.

(Okay. Time for some realities. Let’s say this were to get published. The first thing you’re going to have to do is change the Heroclix to something else. Herocliks or somesuch. Unless you have permission. Permission to use the game is in the realm of feasibility. However, you will NOT get permission to use any Marvel or DC character. In fact, if it were to get published, you’d get a nastygram from two lawyers, saying you are infringing on copyrighted characters. That’s if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky, you’ll get sued outright. Do you want to get sued? If so, then go for it. If not, then change the characters.)

Panel 5: Close-up on Eddie, who sits the root beer can down next to his right foot.  His expression is one of contemplation, his eyes staring off away from the table.

Eddie: I can’t get what his Mom said out of my head.

Hector: What?  That he admired us? (Where is Hector? You’re saying he’s on screen, but you’ve called for a close-up of Eddie.)

Eddie: Yeah, that. (See that? THAT is the perfect use of a comma. Why aren’t you doing it all the time? I think you just want to see me fuss.)

Panel 6: Eddie leans in, while Hector continues to lounge back, his left arm back, now propped and lounging on the recliner behind him. (This is the same thing that John Lees should be talking about somewhere on P1.)

Hector: That was pretty crazy man. (LIKE THIS! YOU WANT ME TO FUSS LIKE THIS!)

Eddie: I know.  I mean, why?  It was her son’s funeral, and she took the time to tell us that?

Hector: Maybe she thought it was important?

Page 4

Panel 1: Eddie leans over to grab out of his potato chip bag.  Hector is rolling the dice around in his hand. (I’m not going to call this a moving panel, although I could. You can’t show Hector doing what he’s doing. But then, you also don’t describe it well. There’s a way to describe this without it being a moving panel. Who wants to give it a shot?)

Eddie: It’s just crazy.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.

Hector: Me neither.

Eddie: What the hell is there to admire out of us?  It’s a Saturday, and we’re playing heroclix drinking extreme amounts of root beer.

Hector: Not that we mind.

Eddie: No, of course not. (Too much back and forth.)

Panel 2: Eddie leans back now, potato chips in hand, resting his back on the couch behind him.  He stares up, his eyes drifting off into space again.  Hector is off-panel.

Eddie: I’m just saying, maybe we can do something.  Help people. (This comes out of the blue. There is no setup for it at all.)

Hector: Like volunteer? (I thought you said that Hector was off panel. Comma.)

Eddie: Sure, why not.  But something bigger. (If Eddie is asking a question, where is the appropriate punctuation?)

 

Panel 3: Eddie has leaned in, taking the Green Arrow hero-click into his hand.  He looks over at Hector, who remains off-panel. (What does his expression say?)

Eddie: I mean, take…Green Arrow.  The guy is all about helping people, right?

Eddie: Freakin’ hippie with a bow and arrow, kicking ass and protesting everything.

Hector: So we should protest? (I thought you said Hector was off panel.)

Eddie: Yes.  We should volunteer and protest.

Panel 4: Hector is leaning in now, putting the die back on the table.  Eddie looks back at him intently, the Green Arrow hero-click still held up.

Eddie: We could do it dude.  Help people, fight the horrible system.  Kick some ass. (Comma.)

Hector: We could.

Eddie: So… let’s freakin’ do it.  Christ man, Hagerstown is pretty shitty. (Comma.)

Hector: Johnathan Street maybe. (Comma.)

Panel 5: Eddie has put the Green Arrow hero-click back down on the table, and his eyes are lit  up, excited. (A facial expression! Finally!)

Eddie: Damn straight.  Hookers galore, two or three shootings a year.  Place is a gold mine of criminal debauchery.

Hector: Prostitution isn’t bad.  People gotta do what they do.

Eddie: Oh hell yeah.  But pimps beating up women? (Comma.)

Hector: Oh no, not cool at all. (Comma. And put this in the balloon above.)

Page 5

Panel 1: Establishing, long shot, aerial view of downtown Hagerstown, on Washington Street, down towards Nadia’s liquor store.  Parked across the street is Hector’s father’s green 2000 Honda Accord.  The street is empty, and the lights are all green, indicating how late it is. (This can only be drawn as a downward angle. But if it is a long shot, why does the car matter?)

Panel 2: Interior of car (No. You just called for a long shot, and now you’re going to jump to the inside of the car? No. You need another panel, showing the car again, establishing it as important.).  Hector sits in the driver seat, both hands up on the wheel.  Eddie is in the front passenger seat.  The dashboard clock reads 1:14.  Both Hector and Eddie are dressed in all black.  Eddie is looking over at Nadia’s, through the passenger side window. The store is dark inside, closed for the night (Okay, now my question is simply, where is the camera?).  By the payphone is a scantily clad woman smoking a cigarette.  Next to her is a heavy-set, middle aged white man with a bushy, brown beard and a black baseball cap. (Who is the focus of this panel?)

Hector: I told my Mom we were going to McDonald’s for milkshakes man.  That was twenty minutes ago.  If we’re not back in ten, she’s gonna get suspicious. (Okay, where should the comma be?)

Hector: Also worried. (This line is awkward. I’m glad that you put it in its own balloon, but it is still awkward. Change “also” to “and.”)

Eddie: She won’t.  Take a look over there.

Panel 3: Eddie and Hector are leaning forward on the dashboard to get a better look at the scantily clad woman and heavy-set man, both of whom are off panel here. (I just lost my entire mind. My ENTIRE mind. Yannick, please tell me why.)

Eddie: See?  I told you dude, hookers get beat up out here. (You missed a comma.)

Hector: They’re just talking.

Eddie: For now…

Panel 4: Focus in on the scantily clad woman and heavy set man.  The man has pushed the hooker on the right shoulder, and she has dropped her cigarette.  She looks both surprised and afraid.

Eddie: There it is!

Hector: Oh shit dude.  Should we call the cops? (You missed a comma.)

Eddie: We don’t have forty five minutes man, and neither does she. (You missed a comma.)

Panel 5: Eddie is reaching back into the back-seat of the car.  Hector continues to look over, off-panel, at the domestic abuse scene. (If she’s a hooker and he’s a john, then this isn’t domestic. But I get what you’re saying.)

Hector: Ah shit man.   This is crazy. (Where’s the comma supposed to go?)

Eddie: I know.  But we gotta help.

Hector: Yeah.

Panel 6: Eddie is now back in the front seat, looking over at Hector with an excited grin.  In each of his hands is a half ready toy lightsaber.  One blue, one red.

Hector: I still can’t believe we brought those.

Eddie:  There the only blunt objects we have.  Besides, they sting like a bitch.

Hector: Yes they do.

This is already back on the shelf, so I’m going to stop right here.

 

Let’s run it down.

 

Format: Almost perfect. Like I said, I’m not going to hit you on the italics and regular text. That is a personal choice. Like I said before, this feels cramped. Give each element space to breathe. And when a character is off-panel, don’t forget to label them as such.

 

Panel Descriptions: They aren’t terrible, but they aren’t good, either. Even though I gave you a hard time, I could see what you were getting at. Learn your terms better, so that the artist isn’t confused and asking you a lot of needless questions. Questions that should have been answered in the script. And please, stop with the prose descriptions. You’re getting paid by the page of script, not by the word or how many pages your script can take up. If you’re writing a couple monthly books, you don’t have time to be wordy. You have to get the script out and to the editor for approval so that the artist can start work on it. The longer you take in being flowery, the more money you could be costing yourself.

 

Pacing: Slow. You took too long to be interesting. You have to get in and hit the reader right between the eyes within the first few pages. I understand the type of story you want to tell doesn’t call for that, but really, you have to get the interesting stuff out in front first. You didn’t do that here.

 

Dialogue: Not once, not one time, did the characters call each other by name. Not once in five pages. Know what we know, from reading this? They’re both called Dude. As far as the reader is concerned, that is their name. Dude.

 

Also, you have too much back and forth in a few places. You’ll either have to combine balloons, or thing of a way to get to the point quicker.

 

At least they sounded like teenagers. Kudos on that.

 

Content: You’re going to get sued. You’re referencing Marvel and DC characters in a comic book. You have drawings of them. In a comic book. That’s copyright infringement. You’re going to get sued. Don’t get sued. Fix it.

 

That goes for all of you reading this, too. Learn the lesson of Dan Taylor, he of Hero Happy Hour. It used to be called Superhero Happy Hour, but he got a Cease & Desist from both Marvel and DC, because they jointly own the trademark for the term “superhero” and its variations. So it was either change or be sued. And that was for using a term. You’re using names and likenesses. You’re going to get sued. Don’t get sued. Like Michael Jackson said, make that change.

 

Editorially, this needs only a little bit of help. (Comma’s are necessary, people! Learn to use them!) As a reader, I’m not that interested in it. There’s nothing here to grab me. On the shelf it stays.

 

And that’s about it. Thanks for coming in, and check the calendar to see who’s next!

 

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Category: The Proving Grounds

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at stevedforbes@gmail.com for rate inquiries.

Comments (16)

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  1. Kyle Raios says:

    As always, the first thing I want to say is thank you. It’s always good for my growth to have an impartial judge look at my script.
    The next thing I want to say is I’m sorry. I’m pretty sick with myself looking at these mistakes. The comma problems are ridiculous. The copyright issues were known to me, I just used it as filler. Not a good excuse, not at all.
    And the fact they never referred to each other by name is a mistake I never caught and can’t believe I didn’t.
    But anyway, thanks man. I appreciate everything. I’ll keep working, and I’ll keep doing my homework.

  2. Kyle Raios says:

    Panel 2: Interior of Hector’s living room now. Sitting on the floor, at opposite ends of a small coffee table, sit Hector and Eddie. On the table is a massive heroclix battle well underway. On the right side of the table, on the floor, is a half empty box of root beer, and around the box are several empty cans strewn about. Two bags of potato chips sit open, one next to both Hector and Eddie. Eddie leans over the table, dice cupped in his hands. Hector is leaning back, looking at the table. (I can see this. However, in order to get most of what you want, you’re going to have to pull out a bit more. That means that some of the details might get lost. And you’re wordy. 92 words here. Kyle, I want you to rewrite it using less than 50, and then post it here.)

    Rewrite of Page 3, Panel 2:
    Interior – Living room. A small table is in the middle of the room, a game of “Supercliks” on top. Eddie and Hector sit at opposite ends. Eddie leaning in, dice in hand; Hector leaning back, looking at the table. Empty soda cans adorn the floor.

    Leaner, same image. Hope this works 🙂

    • Good, but it doesn’t seem as cluttered as the visual did before. I liked the clutter of the visual, but not the clutter of the description.

      Can you incorporate the clutter without cluttering the description?

  3. Kyle Raios says:

    I will gladly give it a go.

    Re-Rewrite of Page 3, Panel 2
    Int. Living room. A massive game of “Supercliks” sits atop a small table in the middle of the room. Empty soda cans and 12 packs adorn the floor. The boys sit at opposite ends, with open chip bags. Eddie leans in, dice in hand; Hector leans back, looking at Eddie.

    Thanks man.

    • Thanks, Kyle.

      This was even better than the last time, keeping the clutter of the panel without cluttering the description.

      Good work here! I knew you could do it. (Just don’t forget to add facial expressions. I used to beat John Lees up over it all the time. I think he’s finally getting it now.)

  4. Kyle Raios says:

    If you don’t mind, Steven, I actually had regarding the comma usage. I certainly don’t want to appear as if I’m questioning your editorial skills, as this was nothing but constructive. I was just wondering about omitting commas in certain lines of dialogue, so as to pace sentences a certain way. Essentially, in order to make a line reader quicker, as if that character is saying a particular line without the pause one would expect. Obviously, this doesn’t go for every line of dialogue where I did not use the proper comma, but I at least wanted to ask if there was a better, more efficient and proper way to pace those lines. Just some thoughts I was mulling over as I try to improve. Thanks man.

    • Sure thing, Kyle. That’s no problem at all. I LOVE questions!

      If you want a line to read quicker, you don’t play with the regular rules all that much. If you want it to read faster, then you play with the reader’s senses.

      First, you use exclamation points! (See what I did there? Automagically, you read that just a little bit faster.) Next, you use a burst or “shouting” balloon, coupled with that exclamation point. Both of those will help to make a line read “quicker.”

      Oryoucanruneverythingtogether! If you’re going to do that, though, don’t make it too long, UNLESS you’re playing it for laughs. Ifyoudoitfortoolongpeoplewillstopreadingbecauseitisnowtoohardtodecipherwhatyou’resayingsotheyjusttuneoutandmoveontothenextthing! [GASP!]

      But I guarantee that every time you take out a comma in dialogue, you will throw your reader out of the story, and that is the absolute LAST thing you want to do. The more often you throw them out, the more likely they are to NOT pick up your next issue or next title, because they’re assuming one of a few things: you don’t know the rules of punctuation, you didn’t proofread it (at the very least), or your editor (if you have one) is an imbecile. Notice that in none of that was there a choice of “Hm, the writer made a conscious effort to remove the comma because he wanted me to read it in a certain way. Genius!”

      There are ways to get what you want, within the rules. You have to learn not just when you can break them, but also HOW you can break them.

      Does that answer your question?

  5. John Lees says:

    Sorry, totally forgot about answering this week!

    Panel 4: Close-up, frontal view of Eddie and Hector for the first time, the wind still blowing through their hair. They look directly at the audience, staring off-panel at the middle-aged woman. (John Lees: I beat you up on this all the time, don’t I? What question am I going to ask? And then, what am I going to say about the end of the dialogue for this panel?)

    Eddie: I wouldn’t even know what to say.

    Hector: I know.

    Eddie: You know what to say?

    Hector: No, I mean I know you don’t know.

    Eddie: Oh. (Actually, John, while I have you here, what am I going to say about the dialogue, period?)

    Is the problem that the expressions on their faces aren’t specified? I know I forget about that a lot of the time. As for the dialogue, with 5 lines back and forth, it could be a bit padded out, and could do with some tightening.

  6. hedley allen says:

    I was just attempting my first ever comic script, when I came across this site, while looking for advice on formatting.
    To read other writers actually giving feed-back is quite simply, inspiring! As a result, yes I will be sacrificing my script, to the resident editorial inquisition in a while. (But only after I’ve hurriedly re-edited it, then quadruple checked my punctuation!)
    Thank you all for the inspiration.

    • Hey, Hedly!

      Welcome to the tribe! I’m looking forward to whatever script you have. (And if you do all the work beforehand, taking out all the mistakes, what am I supposed to hammer you…um, I mean, talk about?) 😉

  7. “Eddie: I couldn’t even imagine man. (I have something to say. I want all of you to pay close attention. I want there to be a time when I am an Oscar winning screenwriter, doing an adaptation of my Eisner winning story, The Quin. There will be offers to do all kinds of things. What I’m going to do, however, is teach. I’m going to get the Dean’s permission to basically do whatever the hell I want. Everyone will start off with a failing grade, until I am shown that you want to be writers. That means knowing the basics of English. That means learning how to use a comma. As soon as I get a spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistake in a submitted script, that means the writer failed that assignment. And no, I won’t give make-ups. You would have just failed this assignment, Kyle. Someone, please tell me why. Thank you.)”

    This should have read:

    Eddie: I couldn’t even imagine, man.

    Incidentally, I was recently looking up a preview for a new comic coming out in the fall, considering adding it to my pull list. The concept had really grabbed my attention and I’m a real fan of the publishing company. However, in the very first page of the preview, there were missing punctuation marks as well as the dreaded “you’re/your” mix-up.

    Instant loss of interest.

    It’s like ordering a club sandwich and then getting it with non toasted bread: all the components of a club sandwich are there but the creator has evidently failed to grasp one of the basic techniques that goes into making one.

  8. “Panel 1: Establishing, overhead shot of Hector’s house. It is night, cloudy, with little moonlight. Most of the windows are dark, save for the bottom, left-side living room window. (This is not the most dynamic angle. Not from overhead. Yannick, what is a better angle for this?)”

    With an overhead shot, you won’t show much except a lot of rooftop tiles. Tilt it down a bit and tighten the shot (think of the Grayson residence in Kirkman’s Invincible). Something like this:

    Page 3

    Panel 1. Medium shot of a suburban bungalow. It’s nighttime and all of the windows are dark except for the living room’s larger bay window.

    Eddie (OP): Juggernaut attacks Lobo.

    Panel 2. Tighter shot of the bay window, as if we were standing just outside, peering in. Hector and Eddie are sitting on the floor at opposite sides of a large coffee table. On the table, a game of Heroclix is in progress (see reference picture [LINK]). Hector is taking a sip out of a can of rootbeer while Eddie is rolling the dice. Around them are the remains of consumed rootbeer and various snacks.

    Hector: Watch for that impervious.

    Eddie: Dammit.

    ..and the next panels are set completely inside the room. By progressively moving inside the house though the window, the gap is lessened between the establishing shot and the action proper. A few pages later, the same principle can be put in effect for going from Washington Street to inside the car.

    Notice that I took out the bit about the clouds and moon. Since your scene is set inside the living room, they play no role in the action to come. All you need to establish is that the boys are located in the living room of one or the other’s parents’ house and that it’s late at night.

  9. “Panel 1: Eddie leans over to grab out of his potato chip bag. Hector is rolling the dice around in his hand. (I’m not going to call this a moving panel, although I could. You can’t show Hector doing what he’s doing. But then, you also don’t describe it well. There’s a way to describe this without it being a moving panel. Who wants to give it a shot?)”

    I’ll give it a shot:

    Panel 1. Medium shot of Eddie reaching into the potato chip bag in his lap. Bits of half-chewed chips are flying out as he speaks with his mouth still full.

    Eddie: It’s just crazy. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.

    Eddie: I mean, what the hell is there to admire out of us? It’s Saturday night and what are we doing? Playing Heroclix and drinking extreme amounts of root beer.

    Hector (OP – small): Not that we mind.

    OK so I cheated: I took Hector completely out of the panel. I figured we could use the real estate it frees up to give the dialogue some room (which I’ve cleaned a bit up too).

  10. “Panel 3: Eddie and Hector are leaning forward on the dashboard to get a better look at the scantily clad woman and heavy-set man, both of whom are off panel here. (I just lost my entire mind. My ENTIRE mind. Yannick, please tell me why.)”

    Maybe it’s because this panel description is describing things that are off panel?

    Maybe it’s because there’s no indication of the shot, its angle or the camera distance?

    Maybe it’s because we have thus far no idea of where the people outside the car are relative to our Dynamic Duo so we don’t know how far or which way they’re leaning?

    Maybe it’s because they’ll really call attention to themselves by leaning forward so intently and should instead sink down in their seats?

    Or maybe it’s all of the above?

    Honestly, I think I’m getting rusty. I’m throwing things at the wall and hoping one of them sticks! 😛

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