BEHIND THE SCENES
Things at Ingram Comics are buzzing right now. The release of our first book, North Brother Island, is just a few short days away. That’s two awesome things at the end of the week: St. Patrick’s Day and the launch of our first series! I will enjoy reading over issue one of North Brother Island while my corned beef and cabbage is cooking. And let’s be honest, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, so I’ll also be enjoying a delicious Murphy’s Irish stout.
Since this blog is about the creative process, and working on an indie comic, I should probably move on from the food and beer talk.
While I was originally brought in to write for Monkeys with Guns, I was asked later to help with some dialogue editing for North Brother Island. For some odd reason, our founder, Emily Ingram, thought my penchant for wild west dialogue might help in a book set geographically and chronologically very far away six guns and saloon girls.
This was a new and interesting challenge for me. When it comes to my own comic writing, I really appreciate when I’ve had someone else that can come along and suggest places I can trim down and tighten up. As I stated in my last article, my background is in producing/creating live theatre and themed entertainment. That means I’m used to working collaboratively and getting notes from Creative Directors and clients. However, at the end of the day, I’m really still the one who is editing based off of the notes they give. They aren’t typing in changes, so it is easy for me to make sure the characters still speak with the same voice, because it’s still the same person writing the edits.
After reading my Monkeys with Guns first draft, Emily asked if I could take a look at the dialogue for North Brother Island #01 before it went to the letterer (the talented Ken Reynolds). This meant the art was already done, so any changes I wanted to make needed to fit in what already existed. With that in mind, Emily asked me to punch up the dialogue. My immediate reaction was, “you mean, be a Carrie Fisher for comic books?!” (For those of you who don’t know, Carrie Fisher of Princess Leia fame, was one of the best script doctors in Hollywood. Give it a search and discover how talented a woman she was.) This conversation happened shortly after Carrie passed away, and it made my heart happy to attempt similar work in comic book form. I still can’t hear that final line in Rogue One and not tear up.
Emily had a great script for North Brother Island, and I had a good idea of what these character’s voices were. Then, I went on the hunt for places I could trim a word or two, and really just get to the meat of the matter as clearly as possible. For the most part, it would only be trimming a word hear or there, and occasionally shorting what was in two balloons into a shorter single one. There were a few instances where I actually moved word balloons to later panels in an attempt to let a reveal land harder.
As I said, the script was good, so it’s not like I changed any aspect of the story, I just found the rhythm that Emily was going for, and made sure it stayed consistent throughout the book. She’s created a really fun story full of real people, and I hope my small contribution helps bring them to life.
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MONKEYS WITH GUNS
NORTH BROTHER ISLAND
THEREBY HANGS A TALE