Card Tags: Journey into Nix Storyline

Spoilers for Journey into Nix

Sorry about being late with the comic. I was helping my wife move in to her new apartment for her new job.

So, last week I asked if people wanted me to take suggestions for comics, and the response was an over welling ‘yes.’ With that in mind, if you want to contact me with some comic ideas, please do so. Or post them here. Keep in mind, I reserve the right to gut whatever you send me and display its bloody carcass for all to see. I will–however–acknowledge your input, especially if you ask me too.

There are some common pitfalls one can get into when one makes a script for a comic. And, while my track record of late isn’t perfect, I would like to go into a few that I found.

The first and most common is making a script that’s unfinished or not flushed out. There is a tendency for people to pitch ideas in the hopes that the other guy will “get what they mean” or will fill in the gaps for them. This “Devil is in the Details” Pitfall is one I see quite regularly when someone pitches an idea, and one I fall into myself more often than I care to admit. Someone has an epic idea, but doesn’t understand how it would translate into a comic or leaves out a few key elements that cause the idea to fall flat. Remember, when making a script it is better to give too much information as opposed to too little.

That being said, we come to the next pitfall: the Overblown Buildup Pitfall.
When you’re making a script for a comic, its important to remember that your making a script for a COMIC. Each movement of the characters must be individually rendered and each word must fit on the page. There is a reason many comics are 1-3 panels, and that the characters often don’t say very much. “Brevity is the soul of wit” is important to remember, both in writing dialog and in writing the actions of the characters. If you need TOO MUCH buildup for your punchline the audience might not make it through to the end. They might become bored or lost if you have your characters say too much or do too much. Also, it’s not fair to the person drawing the comic if you expect them to draw 10 panels for each of the 10 actions a character must take to get to the end. While the details explaining the script might be verbose, the joke itself shouldn’t be. Example.

Which brings us to the pitfall people most often accuse me of forgetting: the Make Sure to Have a Point Pitfall.
This one can often be overlooked. Sometimes in a plot-line driven comic, or even in a comic like this one, there is a tenancy to make a comic that doesn’t GO anywhere. Either it doesn’t have a punchline, or it doesn’t make a statement. Essentially, it’s a waste of time. When I was doing my first 100 storyline comics, I was consistently struggling with this one. Example. I wanted some comics to just be transitions to the next part, but if you do that everyone is going to get bored and forget about what happened anyway by next week (which can be a real problem if you only do one comic a week). When you make a comic make sure to have an “Ah-HA!” moment somewhere in it. This is why most comics are 3 panels. You need a setup, build up, and punchline. And, very often, that’s all you need.

Finally, the last common pitfall is the Inside Joke Pitfall. Most jokes you(and most people) think are funny are inside jokes. Sometimes that can work on the internet, if you’re dealing with a community of people where most are on the inside. Example. But, oftentimes it would just be something you’re buddies will get and they’re not just who you’re writing for.