Writing for Comics 101 – Making Pages You Can Actually Read

In today’s lesson of Writing for Comics 101, let’s talk about making pages you can ACTUALLY read.

How do we do that? By not packing the pages with an obscene amount of dialogue.

Or at least, if you HAVE to keep so much dialogue, how to pace it out so it’s not a word brick.

This technique is something discussed in more detail in Making Comics by Scott McCloud, so what I’ll do for today’s post is share my mistakes so you can learn from them.

Let’s take a look at this page from Seeing Him, written by Kia Crawford and drawn by me:

seeing him transgender webcomic page 25

To be honest, there’s a way to get the information across that we need, without using a fuck-ton of dialogue.

We could:

  • split this between two pages,
  • condense the banter,
  • condense the backstory drop,
  • change the page layout,
  • change the balloon layout,
  • or any combination of these.

At least past me had the sense to split the dialogue into separate balloons. That way the page felt, at the time, a little less like a word brick.

This is me spit-balling some ideas right now on how to fix this page of Seeing Him: we could change the camera focus in the second and third panels, to cut away to framed photos on the walls. Those photos could showcase the history of the venue. With that edit, we can split the dialogue up some more, re-frame where the speech balloons sit, and make the page feel like less of a collection of talking heads.

Compare this page to The Legend of Jamie Roberts, page 65, written and drawn by me.

the legend of jamie roberts genderqueer lgbtq pirate adventure webcomic page 65

Here, I let the space breathe and tell the story for me, without so many words.

Whether you can draw or not, comics are a visual medium. Let the environment and scenery describe for you what words could not.

If you have questions, or need feedback, let me know in the comments. I’m happy to help.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

‘Seeing Him’ Has a New Online Home

Seeing Him is the story of Kate, a small business owner, and Adam, a trans male doctor, who fall in love and have adventures with their outrageous friends. It was a webcomic funded on KickStarter, then funded on Patreon to keep it going, and updated from June 2015 to December 2015 on Pink Dollar Comics.

However, Pink Dollar Comics is now gone. Which also meant that Seeing Him briefly disappeared.

Now, I’m bringing it back online.

seeing him webcomic kate yay

Continue reading “‘Seeing Him’ Has a New Online Home”

Seeing Him is Now on Patreon

seeing him webcomic kate yay

Yes, Kia and I finally have Seeing Him up on Patreon!

Seeing Him was successfully funded by a KickStarter back in May (thank you to all the backers and those who spread the word!).

That KickStarter helped pay Kia for her work writing the script and helped fund the production of the first twenty pages. For that, Kia and I are truly grateful!

However, twenty pages is not the whole story of Seeing Him. We want this webcomic to keep going. Continue reading “Seeing Him is Now on Patreon”

Adam and Greg Flex Muscles

seeing him adam and greg flex muscles
(click to enlarge)

Greg (on the left) and Adam (on the right) are best buddies. They met in their local bowling club and often go to the gym together.

Greg is a Spanish teacher who also runs an after-school sign language club and loves, loves, LOVES to bake and knit. While he almost always has “resting bastard face,” he’s actually a big sweetie.

Adam has tattoos on his arms that are usually covered by his scrubs, though he also has two scars on his chest from his mastectomy. Two tattoos cover them, saying “I am finally myself.”

Want to know more about their story? Check out my new KickStarter page for their webcomic, “Seeing Him.” And if you can, pledge support and spread the word!

Thanks for reading.

New Adam Sketch

seeing him adam
(click to enlarge)

Adam is fun to draw. I need to draw him more often.

In case you’re late to the game, Adam is the main romantic lead in Seeing Him, the Webcomic, which I’m running a KickStarter for.

More sketches of Adam are to come!

In the meantime, if you can, pledge to the KickStarter and spread the word. Every bit helps!

You. Are. Awesome.