Friday, April 17, 2009

Boxed in

Collaboration is a strange thing. When I write a script for a comic I have a certain image of it in my head, but I try not to overwrite the script in terms of layout and detail. After all, the artist is the one whole knows all the technical stuff about composition, angles, lighting, and so on. I just like words.

Maybe some of the people I have written for would say I do overwrite. I do admit to getting carried away. But in the collaborative conflict between the artist and writer the artist usually wins ... after all, they get to go last.

What amazes me about the whole process is how often you get back artwork that is almost exactly as as you pictured it in your head. Sometimes it is even better.

When Simon turned up with the pages of the first six-page Straitjacket Ninja episode I was blown away. Some pages were just as I'd imagined. Some were better. Just one little detail kept nagging at me...

The box.

The box that the numbskull ninja calls his home had been bigger in my mind. Simon had drawn it as a a tiny box, so small that SN seemed to burst out of it.

It bugged me at first. Mainly because the second script had a scene in it where a small boy looked into the dark box and could not tell if anyone was in it.

I should never have worried. Simon not only made it work, he made it better than it had been in my head. Now I can't imagine SN in any other sized box than the one Simon has drawn ... a box that is a little Tardis-like at times, but now has a life of its own, and features much more prominently in the story-line than it would have if it had been like I had originally imagined it.

So the size of the box still nags at me. But only because I wish I'd thought of it.

Art copyright Simon Morse

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