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Introduction to Comic Book and Graphic Novel Scriptwriting

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£0 – £150

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Turn your idea into a comic book or graphic novel and take the steps you need to take to get yourself published

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Have you ever considered how Comic Book or Graphic Novel can help scriptwriters?

Do you think your novel or film screenplay could be adapted into a graphic novel?

Does your project have a Transmedia element that could include a digital or webcomic?

In this unique workshop, #1 New York Times Bestselling List and Eagle Award winning comic book and graphic novel writer and screenwriter Tony Lee (Doctor Who, Superboy, 2000AD, Spider Man, X-Men, Battlestar Galactica) takes you through the steps to turn your idea into a comic book or graphic novel and the steps you need to take to get yourself published, in a revised for 2021 version of his acclaimed one day masterclass.

With over thirty years experience as a professional writer, and almost eighteen years worth of experience as a comics creator for both UK and US publishers, Tony has worked in all areas of the industry, from DC to Marvel, and Image Comics to Titan Publishing, and with a new career emerging in film and TV screenwriting in both the UK and the US, Tony has written for BBC One, ITV Studios and Amazon / Audible among many others.

This is your chance to learn from a master in writing for comic books and graphic novel script writing, while at the same time discussing other medias such as film, TV, audio and games.

15:00: Introduction

15:15: It’s Not The Easier Option

What stumbling blocks a writer can find in their way when moving from screen to sequential art storytelling.

  • Why scripting comics isn’t ‘easy’ – and why a comic of your screenplay won’t sell your screenplay
  • Comparison: Screenplay / Novel / Script, using an example
  • Visual Thinking and why it’s great – the original spark of an idea
  • The ‘Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda’ moment
  • Who? What? Why? When? Where?
  • Why ‘working backwards’ helps you move forwards
  • Storytelling: The characters – what do they want? Why do we care?
  • Storytelling: The conflict – protagonists and antagonists
  • Storytelling: Keeping the reader invested over time
  • Describing your characters – how will an artist know?

16:45: Writing The Story

Now you have the initial idea, it’s time to build on that frame.

  • Comparison: Anthology / One-shot / Mini Series / Ongoing / Graphic Novel / Web Series
  • The High Concept / Elevator Pitch
  • The restraints of a comic script (length, page turn etc)
  • The importance of the full synopsis
  • Chekov’s mantelpiece rule – and why it’s vital to comics
  • The rising act structure
  • Subplots and supporting characters
  • Is your story all it can be – the joys of hindsight
  • Devil’s Advocate – does your idea stand up to scrutiny?

18:00: Break

Your chance to network and form new alliances with like minded screenwriters and filmmakers.

18:30: Writing The Script

Now you have the story, we now master the dos and don’ts of scripting it.

  • The full synopsis – the ‘treatment’ for comics
  • Breaking it down: Scene by scene
  • Breaking it down: Page by page
  • Comparison: Full Script / Plot-Art-Dialogue (‘Marvel’ style)
  • Know your comic terms – the language of the comic script
  • Types of panel / how many to a page
  • The Temporal Flux of Panel vs Time
  • Dialogue: Why a writer should always letter at least one page.
  • Comparison: Screenplay dialogue / Comic dialogue
  • Action Versus Spoken Word
  • Adaptations of existing material
  • Licensed Properties and Preexisting Characters

20:00: The Industry

Now you have your script, what do you do with it?

  • Self Publishing: finding an artist.
  • Self Publishing: Percentage or Page Rate
  • Getting known: Webcomic / Vanity Press / Small Press
  • Conventions / Networking – the dos and don’ts
  • Submitting to the established comic book companies
  • Know your target – does your story match their style?
  • How much does an agent help a comic creator
  • Selling yourself rather than your story

21:00: Graphic Novel and Comic Book Live Ammo!

Students pitch their ideas in front of the class to get individual feedback.

End of Play: Online networking

Grab a beer or a glass of wine and settle down in your living room to mingle and create online.

About presenter Tony Lee

A #1 New York Times Bestseller and Eagle Award winning graphic novelist and screenwriter, with licenses under his belt including Doctor Who, Star Trek, Superboy, 2000AD, Spider-Man, X-Men, Battlestar Galactica, Shrek, Wallace and Gromit, Megadeth, Joe Satriani and Ozzy Osbourne, Tony also works in television, film and audio where he has written for BBC One and Amazon UK / Audible among others, working with both US and UK producers and studios as a go-to ’script doctor’.With thirty five years experience as a professional writer, Tony has created stories in pretty much every medium to date.In 2010 he became a #1 New York Times Bestseller for his graphic novel adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In 2014 his Doctor Who / Star Trek Graphic Novel ‘Assimilation Squared’ reached #2, and in 2019 his full cast audio drama of Dodge & Twist was #4 in the New York Times Audiobooks Bestselling List.

Additional resources

What graphic novelists can teach screenwriters

10 Of The Best Graphic Novels And Comic Book Film Adaptations

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