Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Share Your Scripting Template
CharleyHorse at 9:24AM, Nov. 29, 2007
posts: 627
joined: 12-7-2006
If you have a template that you use for scripting your DD work, what is its form? Mine is super simple, and it works just fine for either a simple three or four panel gag strip or a more plot driven comic book style.

Currently I am working on a four panel gag strip featuring only two characters, and so I leave out identifier tags since I know who's saying what. With a more complex work or with the addition of a third party speaker, I do add abbreviated identifiers; such as HM for Head-man or AC for Alien Crab. So, without further ado, heeerrrrre's my scripting template:


Page :





Artist's Comments Box:


And here it is with the parts filled in:

Page 1:

1] “ Wake up biped! ”

2] “ Huh?! What?! ”

3] “ Although, now that I come to think of it . . . ”

“ Arrrrrrrgh! What happened to me?! ”

4] “ . . . strictly speaking, you're not exactly a biped anymore, are you? Sentient, but do I feel silly now! ”

“ Arrrrrrrrgh! ”

Artist's Comments Box:


What I particularly like about this format is that it's simple and clean. I don't get confused using it. Also I can simply copy and paste the dialog from this script template to the application's text feature. Since it's already spell-checked, I don't have to worry about that problem in the transfer process.

The mechanics of use is just as simple. I have the master template at the top of my script page. I just copy the template and paste it into its numerical slot. So, if I'm currently working on page 31, I copy the template, paste it in the allocated page 31 spot and then fill in the blanks.

So what system do you utilize and how about sharing an example?

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
kyupol at 1:43PM, Nov. 29, 2007
posts: 3,718
joined: 1-12-2006
I use a variety of methods:


Interrogator: God? What God? Do you honestly think that bringing your ‘God’ here is gonna help at all? Mr. Penafrancia… You are inside this room and your God is not here. Inside this room I AM GOD. And I demand you to tell the truth!

And you know what, people like you make me sick! While you talk about God… and how much he loves you… and Jesus… and how you would be saved from the fires of hell just by believing in him…

while talking about things that are good to hear, you molest children at the same time. Innocent children who havent done anything to you… with hopes and dreams. And here you are leaving them scarred for life!

Dialog with some action:

Biker: How does it taste like?
(*laughter… but show the prisoners laughing*)
Um… I mean how does it feel like sticking your dick up a very small pussy? Jesus Christ I just couldn't imagine myself doing that. As you might already know, I've hurt a few bitches just by sticking it to them. Just like that one time when I almost choked a bitch to death… To this day I still remember her moaning… and begging me to stop pumping the white stuff into her mouth…

(*Father Jose side view like he's ignoring it… bg sfx giggling*)


(*MC grabs Jose's lower waist and charges him into one of the bathroom stalls*)

(*Jose elbows MC in the back… repeatedly with his right elbow*)
(*One of his elbows crashes into MC's head*)

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
usedbooks at 3:19PM, Nov. 29, 2007
posts: 2,801
joined: 2-24-2007
I do everything by hand on paper.

Mostly, I have the pictures in my head. If there's an action or expression I need to note (like in a wordless panel), I put it in parentheses. For “action” pages, I draw a full-size draft sketch of the page layout with stick figures.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:37PM
CharleyHorse at 3:39PM, Nov. 29, 2007
posts: 627
joined: 12-7-2006
I'm fascinated by the differences in our thought processes kyupol and usedbooks. With me – and probably because I spent so many decades trying to become a novelist - I almost never need to add scene directions in my scripting process, because the exposition and dialog automatically translate into a workable mental image for me.

So what I do is hammer out the dialog and then fit the scene around it. So, after getting the dialog in its basic form I sketch the characters in a four panel layout with the dialog penciled in. It's necessary that I add the dialog directly on the rough sketches, because inevitably this is where I further refine the words, usually by making additional cuts or - more rarely - by completely rearranging the words themselves.

Once I've got the dialog and scenes working together I'm ready to scan in the mess and begin tweaking everything.

Of course once in a while this methodology fails me. Not long ago I forgot the necessity of making up a model sheet for a character and here I was with dialog ready to go, the background set in my head, and having to shut everything down for a couple of days until I knew thoroughly how the character looked and moved for any given pose.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
angry_black_guy at 2:36PM, Nov. 30, 2007
posts: 317
joined: 5-1-2007
Since I'm the sole creator of all my work, my scripts are simple and stick to only dialog. I sometimes write in specific actions and scenes for anything that uses imagery for symbolism but for the most part, all panels are drawn on the fly. I capitalize all names before their dialog and bold all descriptions. Actions precede an asterisk. Anything in brackets is a note that I use to write to myself. Here's an example of a script copied and pasted from word:

Children of the Wasteland
-One shot pilot to a possible series
-Style: ligne claire; clear lines, water color, limited palette, low saturation

Exterior shot above a forest. Fresh snow is on the ground. Clear sky. Neil and Will Young, 17 years old and 16, are seen in the distance. Slowly close in on them as they converse. Will is older and rougher looking and carries a 1920s Springfield rifle with a scope, the name “Antimony” is seen etched in the wood grain of the butt. Neil is younger and cleaner and has a Lee Enfield rifle slung over his shoulder

NEIL: Cold day.

WILL: Yeah.

Several worldless panels as the characters walk. Neil's trying to come up with small talk but Will isn't interested.

NEIL: What month is it?

WILL: ‘Dunno. (balloon break) January.

NEIL: It’s been 6 months.

WILL: Hmm, completely forgot about the whole “end of civilization” thing. Hard to think it took six months to deal with it.

NEIL: Deal with it? You like dealing with savage children every day? This is straight up Lord of the Flies, man.

WILL: It's not like I can do shit ta change it. You'd think a man would get used to this after half a year.

NEIL: No man could get used to this.

WILL: Lucky for us, we're just kids.

NEIL: Or monsters.

WILL: Stop it, Neil. Your melodrama is killing me.

A bullet whizzes by Will's face and tears into a tree. The boys jump up and run behind a log for cover.


Like you, A-Hole, I rarely add any major scene directions but I never draw or sketch out layouts because everything I draw changes on the fly based on the flow of the story and what's going on in my head. Dialog can often change dramatically if I feel it's too long or vague and I'm a fan of keeping conversations quick and short; you'll rarely see anything more than a sentence in a word balloon.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:52AM
batsofchaos at 2:56PM, Nov. 30, 2007
posts: 11
joined: 11-13-2007
Since my comic is mostly devoid of dialogue (eg: my first storyline clocked in at 24 pages and contains three words spoken at three seperate times.), there is no actual writing that occurs. When I have a story in mind, I hack out what happens in a quick outline and divvy everything up into pages in order to figure out the pacing. This outline is usually very lightly detailed, just detailing what action needs to be accomplished in the page. Here's what the first three pages of ‘The Peg Bunnies’ would have looked like if they'd been scripted:

Page 1: Charlie enters, wide shot of the peg bunnies

Page 2: Charlie gets uncomfortable

Page 3: Charlie tries to break the ice, gets more uncomfortable

As it is, it usually evolves a little bit more fluidly than that. The Peg Bunnies was originally ‘written’ in 5 minutes at the start of a 24 hour comic attempt. The writing was scribbled out on a scrap piece of paper that also served as a character design sheet something like this:

Silent comic

Man and bunnies with pegs fight to the death!

From there I got to work and the story finished forming as I designed the characters. I came up with the gag for the ending, and scripted backwards and forwards working towards the ending and putting pacing pages where needed as I went along.

On shorter stories I've written since, I determined all actions and gags in my head, and then wrote down events solely to hack out the pacing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:15AM
spacehamster at 6:04AM, Dec. 1, 2007
posts: 504
joined: 8-3-2007
The point of writing a script to me is breaking a sequence down into panels and writing the dialogue. I do plots first with descriptions of what happens over chunks of usually 3-5 pages, then write the script from that. The panel descriptions are kinda my writer brain communicating with my artist brain, so they tend to be descriptions of the way I imagine a certain panel at that moment that will help me recall what I was thinking of and probably wouldn't be much help to anyone else.

And then I do the page layouts, and I start changing everything. And then I do the lettering, and the dialogue gets changed again. It's a pretty fluid process, but I do go through all the individual stages as separate steps because that's what works best for me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
RentAThug at 1:52PM, Dec. 1, 2007
posts: 226
joined: 12-11-2006
When I'm writing a script for myself (which at this point is 100% of the time, as I tend to be on the art end whenever I collaborate with somebody) I tend to be pretty relaxed with the format. I tend to write dialogue better on the fly so most of my scripts are pretty much an outline with a couple of key lines and notes for important actions.

Here's an example from Frank Baron, NSO.

15. Pattern Yellow - M.O.P. chopper is over Smogberg, factory smokestacks and gantries are in the distance. A Hchma'Hcha Initiate with a rocket launcher is on one of the gantries on patrol. He spots the chopper, shoots it down. From inside falling chopper, M.O.P. Sergeant yelling Pattern Yellow. Mills asks what it means, answer “Try not to die”.

That was the script for page 15. Below is the final page.

Crime Pays, updating Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:05PM
jimmy_genocide at 7:57AM, Dec. 9, 2007
posts: 39
joined: 11-1-2007
when im making comics i dont always follow the same process but thats because im an artist, not too strong on the writing part. usually i get everything down in my head before i go to paper or anything else.

but when it comes to scripting my comic i usually do one of 3 things.
- the first method i use is what i call a synopsis approach. all i really do for this is write down a detailed scene that will take place, i try to use as little actual quotes as possible in this approach. once i have a chapter or section complete i break it down into sections and themes (or pages) this way i will get the best feel for each page… i hate starting an idea in te middle of a drawn out page and finishing it in the middle of another page so i fix this by making sure that an idea will start and end at the start/end of a page.

-the other method i use is basically the same but i use nothing but direct quotes. so instead of looking like the begining of a novel it looks more like this:

graciouse demonic
by: jimmy genocide

prologue/ forward
opening scene:
mathias gray sits in the corner of a padded room in a staight-jacket and begins to narrirate

theres a secret out there that you should know….

you know all those horror stories and movies that were used to scare humanity….

well thay all have a very dark secret…

most of them are true…

i use kind of my own tricks to spice it up and save some time here and there. spaces inbetween lines indicates a seperate word bubble and i change the font to different ccolours to show where one page ends and the next will start.

-the third method i use is where i more or less scribble everything down onto a quick comic book format but take no time in any actual drawings (usually only i know whats going on in those pages)and then i insert everything straight from my head and jut keep scribbling over until i have a good forking blueprint.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:09PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved Google+