How do I write these strips?
The comics published this week were written on Sunday afternoon, wedged between family time and household chores. I first start with a general theme / direction that I’d like to pursue with the characters. I jot some notes down on scraps of paper that I keep by my computer. I refer to this as my “plotting” phase. Then I sit back and let the characters do the talking to let me know how they’ll get there.
That’s the fun part.
When I write a comic, I open up a blank PSD template file (containing the 4 panels of the strip) and start hammering out dialogue. I try to get the basic gist of the punchline written down immediately so I don’t lose my train of thought. After the first draft’s written, I’ll go back and wordsmith. At this point, I’m focusing on the characterization, setup and tightening the punchline. I usually have an idea of what the accompanying images will look like in my head. After I’m satisfied with a general draft of the strip, I’ll proceed to the rough penciling phase. All the while, I’ll be fine-tuning the script to make it even tighter.
The writing process for a week’s worth of strips (3) takes me anywhere between 2 to 4 hours.
You can see the rest of my process work for Tuesday’s and Thursday’s strip in the following video, captured in real time:
(You may want to forward it to the 2 minute mark, as there is some dead air in the beginning.)
That’s the stuff you usually don’t see. Have a question about how I create the strip? Let me know!