All week, Ron Marz has been sharing the process of creating his upcoming book Voodoo at CBR (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4), with different installments about writing, drawing, coloring and lettering. For process junkies, this has been manna from heaven, but even if you’re not engrossed in seeing pages go from script to finished letters, Marz’ take on comics as a collaborative process is well worth checking out:
I usually include suggested, or “first draft” dialogue in most of my scripts, so the artist has a sense of what’s being said, as well as the order in which characters speak (for left-right placement of figures). Since the team had to hit the ground running for “Voodoo” #1, the suggested dialogue in the initial script is probably slightly more sparse than usual.
As the art pages come in, I go back into the script and write the finished dialogue. This allows me to script to what’s actually on the page, rather than what I’d hoped would be on the page. It also gives the artist greater latitude to make adjustments in the visuals, since I can react in the final dialogue. I can play off of expressions, body language or background characters. Looking at the art, the characters start to speak to you, tell you what they want to say.
Even more, it acts as a taster for what Marz and team are doing in Voodoo; I’ll admit that my interest in the title was almost zero before reading these columns, but now I’m curious to see the finished book, just to see how things turn out, and whether the weird-but-appropriate idea of narrative as stripping gets carried through to the actual book.