Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Screenwriting vs. Graphic Novels

I enjoyed reading the X-Men comic books in college, which was lo, many years ago, back when Jean Grey became Dark Phoenix and nearly destroyed the universe. My roommate, Alex, would buy the latest issue, and it'd make the rounds of all five of us roomies.

And now one of my favorite TV and film writers, Joss Whedon, is writing X-Men graphic novels with his trademark wit, darkness, and insight. And YA writers like Cecil Castellucci have found success with graphic novels like The Plain Janes, which has been optioned to be a movie. I'm caught up in an online comic that puts out fresh panels every Friday, for free, called The FreakAngels. And I've got a couple of far out movie ideas that would never make it onto the screen. So now, of course, I'm thinking about them as possible graphic novels.

Turns out comics/graphic novels need a writer and an artist. No way could I illustrate one of these puppies. But I'm thinking that my training as a screenwriter would come in handy, since graphic novels demand that the story be told visually just as much, if not more, than it be told in dialogue and prose. Then I'd either have to network and get a great artist, or sell the script to a publisher and let them find one.

So for me the first step is research. I bought a book on writing graphic novels. I started reading more graphic novels. I perused popular titles in the bookstore. I talked to my geek friends (and I have plenty of those!) about it and will be borrowing from their collections. I'm not ready to go forward with my own graphic novel script... yet. My current novel would make a great graphic novel, I think.

But first things first - the actual novel. Then, once that's published to much acclaim (cough cough) I can sell off the movie rights and write the graphic novel version to add money to my overflowing coffers.

Oh wait. I have to actually finish writing the dang thing first, don't I? And wait wait - that takes time, discipline, and talent, doesn't it? Well I guess I better get right on that then. (Hustles off to write some more...)

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