How to Break Down a Comic Book Script Page

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Breaking down a comic book script page is something you have to do before that page can actually be drawn. Break down a comic book script page with help from a professional comic book artist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Comic Book Artists
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Bob Prior. I'm an Illustrator and Director and I'm going to teach you guys how to break down a comic script page. Most of the time, when you get a comic book in, you'll get the writer telling you how many panels and what's going to be in those panels. And it's your job as an artist to break those down. Here we're looking at a page from upcoming book that I have coming out called Blood Merchant and it's a fully painted comic book and the writers sent me the entire script. So, my job is to go through it. So, I'll go through it with you very quickly. Panel one, On Max, the character in the book turning from sign to give Jacob a look. Here's my pencil original. Now, you'll notice right in the very first, it's Max and I changed it a little bit, and that's something that you'll have the right to do as an artist if you feel that you need to make something look more dramatic, then you need to change it up. Of course, you might want to get the permission of your writer, but, so I changed it up a little bit and instead of being directly on Max, which is the fuzzy faced guy right here, I put our character Jacob in the foreground and Max talking to him. Next, it's a reverse onto Jacob, which means that if we had a camera, we would turn it on Jacob. And very simply, Jacob starts to talk. When we get to the lettering stage in a comic book, we would of course then have our word balloons on there. And so on and so forth, all the way down the line. So, what we do is we take it and we break it down according to what it says on the comic page, making sure that we get all of it. Panel five would be on Amber turning to face Jacob. So, we go down one, two, three, four, five. We notice that I changed the view a little bit here and I've made it from more of what we call a bird's eye view where the camera is much higher. After that, you send your illustration to the writer, they approve it and then this is what the page ends up looking like. this is a fully painted page from the book Blood Merchant and that is exactly how you break down a comic book script page. I hope that information is useful and I mentioned that I was a Director, there's a film coming out called No Turning Back; I hope you guys see it in the theaters. Thanks.


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