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When It Comes To Comic Book Art and Storyboarding

Ever wonder what makes comic books so great? Aside from compelling storylines, great graphics and action words like POW! and THUD! we get an awesome look at each move the character makes.

Why not translate comic to video?

We’ve heard many people talk about using comic book artists to storyboard films. While this might seem like a great idea, it does leave a little room for misconception. It’s important to recognize some of the fundamental differences between actual comic books and storyboards.

From a film standpoint, comic books offer a great first template of what a film could look like. In fact, after collaboration between the comic book artist, art director, film director, editor, writers and/or production designer, you may just have an entire film laid out.

However, a lot of filmmakers (and even screenwriters) make the mistake of oversimplifying the medium of itself. We say medium because, well, it is. Comic books are not just picture books with fancy action words and drawings. They are a transmedia narrative platform featuring in-depth world-building, compelling storylines, backstory, and symbolism.

Writer Tyler Weaver of ScriptMag describes it best:

“Comics [merge] the tried and true of drama: books are about what people think, plays are about what people say, movies are about what people do. If you can make it work, you can have people doing, saying and thinking in one comics panel.”

When It Comes To Comic Book Art and Storyboarding
Photo credit: Tom Simpson via / CC BY-NC-ND

On the flip side, just because you are a comic book artist doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to tell a story. A story artist will collaborate with a writer and editor to breathe life into a new world and create a meaningful story. Consider some of the greatest comics of all time in Marvel – Stan Lee, (writer) Jack Kirby, (artist) and Steve Ditko (writer/artist) – there are often co-credits for a reason.

ScriptMag does an excellent job of breaking down the essence of comics in relation to storyboarding for film/television.

When it comes to combining both mediums, think of it as a collaborative process. No set medium has jurisdiction over the other as they both bring their own elements to the table. And with creating for film/television, know that both mediums will undoubtedly add to the overall richness of your content.

We at Key West Video enjoy both comic books and quality video/film. For more information on some of the services we offer, visit the Key West Video Inc. website today!

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