Comic In Progress: Codename KYUSS

KYUSS: panel descriptions

KYUSS serves as a new benchmark for me as the way I write panel descriptions as developed recently.

Quick aside for those that may not know: panel descriptions are what comic book writers write in their scripts to describe the imagery on each page.

The complexity of panel descriptions has always been on my mind, since there's no connection between the complexity of a description and the quality of the final image. This is with the condition that complexity does not equate to clarity. A complex sentence can be crystal clear while a simple one can confuse. Tom King will post images of his script where a panel description will read "Batman punches bad guy." Alan Moore's script for issues of Watchmen consists of page-long descriptions for a SINGLE panel.

I've done both, though my long descriptions never reached the extreme lengths of Moore. However, they were never done for the right reasons. My short descriptions came from a fear of being an inadequate writer, unable to perfectly describe what I see in my head when I envision the story, and relying more on my artist's ability to compensate for this fear. My long descriptions were written for the opposite reason, a fear that the artist wouldn't be able to draw what I had envisioned, and were loaded with hyper specifics sometimes.

But for KYUSS, I've developed a better understanding for panel descriptions. Alan Moore's long descriptions were two sentences about the specific imagery, followed by what was basically prose about the panel's mood, character motivations, how this panel related to another, etc. This understanding has allowed me to tackle both of my fears. I'm now communicating what I want the panel to show while trying to inspire in my artist the same emotions and insights I have. If I can do that for them, then together we can do that for the reader.

I'm not going to say I've mastered panel descriptions, just that I've gotten better at them.

#comics #makingcomics #KYUSS #comicinprogress

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