Yesterday, I finally managed to finish off the script for the second of the two-part comic book miniseries for Dracula’s Revenge. It’s now in the hands of my editor and old friend Jeff Mariotte over at IDW Publishing. I’ve seen a few of the pages from the artist, Szymon Kudranski, and they’re great.
Although it was great fun to work on it, it’s a relief to be done with it. My Eberron novels are calling. It’s funny how 100,000 words doesn’t seem like all that much when you have seven months to go, but their size grows by the day as the deadline gets nearer. My first draft isn’t due until early May, but I need to revise my outline right now to bring it into line with the way the game world has developed since Wizards first sent me the early material.
Writing a comic book isn’t like anything else. With a novel, a short story, a screenplay, and so on, you have a rough structure you work within, but you can roam around a little bit. A comic book has a tight framework that you can’t deviate from too much. Each issue has 22 pages of story, and each page can only have so many panels on it. If you want the story to flow properly, you have to map it out page by page before you script your first panel. It’s like working a puzzle as you write.
For someone like me who had two years of engineering courses in college, using both sides of your brain like this is a lot of fun. Your creative side works the story while your scientific side wrestles with the structure. With any luck, it comes out as a seamless whole.
You’ll find out in March, when the first issue goes on sale.