Intro to Poetry

Tips and tricks for your Comics Script

If you’re writing a comic script for your poem, here are some terms and resources that might help you out.

One of the things you’ll need to describe in your script is how your pages will be laid out. How many panels will there be on the page? How will those panels be shaped? Think about what kind of effect you’re trying to evoke through the visuals. Think also about how the form of the comic your creating might contribute to the content of the poem. For example, the more panels you have on a page, the more frantic or hectic it will feel to the reader–not unlike very short lines in poems. On the other hand, large panels on a page with a lot of detail in each has the effect of slowing the reader down and inviting them to linger, similar to poems with long lines and lots of enjambment. A splash page (on which the image takes up more than half of a page and up to two facing pages) make the content on that page feel extremely important. Think about what kind of reading experience your want your reader to have, but also think about how best to communicate something about the poem’s form and meaning through the layout of the page.

There are loads of good resources available to help you think about page layout and other other visual choices related to comics. Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics is a classic text both for people who study and write comics, and there are plenty of other books you can look at. There are also websites that can help. Wikipedia has a pretty good page on comics terminology and this blog and this one aimed at artists have some great tips as well.

You’ll also need to think about what kinds of images you want to include. Cartoonish? Realistic? More abstract? Along with that, what will the coloration be? Do you want your comic to be black-and-white, or do you want to use color? Perhaps a combination? If you’re using color, will the colors be bright, primary colors, or do you want more subdued colors? Again, you want to think specifically about how the color choices you make reflect the content of the poem.

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