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Strip 310, Volume 3, Page 11


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< Piro >


"scripting woes"

Monday - September 16, 2002

[Piro] - 00:31:01 - [link here]


Ok, pure and simple, no whining, no apologizing, and as such i don't wanna hear any bitching :P Comic schedule this week is sorts nudged forward a day - still gonna have 3 comics, but they are going to fall on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Two reasons for this - I spent a lot of time at the office this weekend working to help hit Monday's deadline, and ... i flat out was not happy with today's script.

Scripting is probably one of the most intangible part of writing a web comic. On the surface, it looks like its the easiest part - a typical script looks something like this:

----[ROW - 2]----....[frame 1](Yuki has springs up behind him, piro freaks out.)Yuki:  ohayo, piro-sensei!!Piro:  Waaagh!!

Pretty simple, right? Not really. I can usually figure out how long it takes to draw 8 drawings, how long it takes to clean them up, how long it takes to finish the comic in illustrator, etc. When I have to estimate how long it takes to write a script? I have no idea.

A script for a comic starts from two sources - first, you have to have some kind of vision in your mind what the comic is going to be, what is going to happen, how it will look, what you want to say. Secondly, you have to think about both the past and the present - how does the comic fit in the flow from last weeks comics to this weeks - things i do now, will effect what i can or cannot do in the future.

That being said, i've had times where i've spent an entire day on a single script. I've put other scripts together in the car waiting to pick up seraphim from work and they come out great. A lot of times, the script isn't finished... i sit here at 3am pondering what the final lines need to be. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, its a good thing. Scripts must be flexible - they have to react to the art, the dialogue has to be flexible enough to work with the drawings that you produce. It's a weird chicken-and-egg problem. Sketches influence the script, the script prompts the sketches which in turn influence the script again. Add a layer of 3am blurriness to it and you get a typical Megatokyo comic. Hell, there have been times that i've done all the art and had no idea what the dialogue would be - felt like i was playing ad-libs. :P

Is this bad? No, its not. Comics are not about sitting down and writing a script, then just doing drawings for it. Drawings are part of the communication, part of the language itself. If the text isn't flexible, you leave out a lot of potential to tweak dialogue to match something in the drawing that may have come forward that you didn't plan.

The bad thing is that sometimes, there is nothing you can do to feel good about a script. I spent 3 hrs working on the script today, and at the end, i decided to scrap it. Starting from scratch, and a different perspective, it still is taking time to get it to work. Writers block? A little. I'm trying to do a little too much with the next few comics, which is part of the problem. By the time 9pm rolled around, and i was still working on the script... i could see the writing on the wall. So, rather than get too worked up about it, i decided to just push the schedule up a day, put up a little fredart sketch.

Anyways, at least i seem to be back into the habit of writing rants. :P I've been re-discovering a lot of old anime music i haven't listened to in ages, most of this is the fault of my new MP3 player - i picked up a I-river Slim-X (my office computer doesn't have a sound card, so i finally sad the hell with it and got myself a MP3 player :P) Works pretty nice, actually. The controls are a little cheezy feeling, but it works well, and once you figure out how to navigate, its not that bad.

I came thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to finally buying a Nintendo Game Cube today. Seraphim is a MAJOR Puzzle Bobble adict (they call the game 'Bust a Move" here in the states) and she felt the need to play the Nintendo 64 version (Bust-a-Move 2). So, i found myself digging in the closet and unearthing the old N64 console only to find that i had no video cable anymore. I was delighted to find out from Dom that the video connection for the Game Cube and the N64 were the same, so i figured that we'd run to the store, grab a game cube and whee! Off we go.

Wouldn't you just know it'd be my luck that the goddamn store would have a Gamecube video connector. "thats all we need, right?" "well, yeah, but..."

I guess its all for the best. I think getting that GameCube would have meant more delays in the comics - i'm bad enough as it is. (sigh)

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< Dom >

Oop ack!

"Don't let these shakes go on"

Sunday - September 8, 2002

[Dom] - 23:30:00 - [link here]

Before I get into my rant, I would like to rejoice in the beginning of football season--or more specifically, Fantasy Football season. It marks another great year of trash talk, janky trade proposals, and me yelling "Yeah, that's right, I beat you and you had MARSHALL FAULK. How do you feel NOW?" Okay, done for now.

Okay, let's take a quick look at what books (comic or otherwise) Dom has read and re-read over the past week.

Touch, Adachi Mitsuru. Widebans 1-11
The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller.
Kingdom Come, Alex Ross
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner.
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.

Given the list above, I think you can understand why I'm trying very, very hard not to write anything right now. It'll end up monosyllabic, inane, and nearly incomprehensible.

Okay, okay, so that's how my rants usually are, I admit. But it's worse than usual, okay?

But man. My dreams are so messed up right now. They start with me playing for the Hanshin Tigers, and move to breaking criminal noses with impunity while spouting run-on sentence upon run-on sentence about my mother, singing about some horrible pun or other. I can actually remember them, that's how weird they are. But oh well. I'll live, as far as I know.

But from this eclectic reading list, I've come to a couple conclusions. First of all, Frank Miller is the only person who should ever be allowed to write Batman. Ever. It's like Tim Burton directing it--nothing else comes close. Hell, I'll go running to see the Batman Broadway musical when it comes out, simply because Burton does it. And when Batman: Year One is finally made into a movie? First in line, baby.

Second, I do love baseball. I just don't like the players. I won't get into the details of it, but I poked around the press on August 30th, and noted that only Barry Zito, the A's player representative, even mentioned what the strike would have done to people who depend on baseball for their livings, such as the stadium workers who e-mailed me after my baseball rant.

And just to be silly, when the Mariners come to town this weekend and Ichiro's at the bat, I want two friends with me who're willing to paint themselves and go shirtless so we can write めざせ on our chests and 甲子園 on the back. Why? Why not?

And I've also decided that there's no such thing as reading too much Faulkner.

But I won't get into that in this rant--I'm tired, and there's Warcraft to be played.


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