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Old 05-23-2014, 10:03 PM   #1
Steven Forbes
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TPG Week 178: You Have To Let Dialogue Do Its Job


Welcome back, one and all, to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have a Brave One in James Sarandis. We've also got Yannick Morin in the wordy green, in spartan in red, and let's see what James does with his


SKELETON CREW

(And, apropos of nothing, the name reminds me of the Skrull Kill Krew. Just saying.)


PAGE 1

PANEL 1: A large clunky and worn transport starship, the name “Sanguine” written on the side, sits in a combination junkyard/impound lot. Paga, Aira, and Shifterscanner 27 are approaching the vessel climbing down a huge pile of junk.. Paga is a Durris, a species that is small, squirrel-like but feathered, Aira closely resembles a Neanderthal in sci-fi battle armor, and Shifterscanner 27 is a blob of green goo in roughly humanoid shape with bits of technology (circuitboards largely) floating in him.

AIRA: I DON'T GET IT.

PAGA: S-SO HERE'S THE PLAN. R-RUMORS ARE KRIMZON'S IN THE CLINK, SO WE'RE GUH GONNA GRAB HIS SHUH-SHIP.

Establishing shot. This is usually where I ask the question “day or night?” This time, however, since we’re in a sci-fi setting, this could very well be set in a huge hangar, a subterranean chamber or a planet’s airless surface. This also means that you need to go into even more detail in your establishing shot – anything is possible! (Meh. I agree with a good portion of this, but a lot more detail isn't going to help this much. As long as the world is set before the artist puts pencil to paper, it's fine. What this needs is a timestamp (day or night), and a camera angle.)

But as wild as you can be, there are also things you can’t do without: you need to tell the artist about those parts of the location that your characters will be interacting with in the upcoming panels. For example, there's a chain link fence that they’ll be climbing over in panel 2 and the very important ship access door. Where are they located in relation to the reader and the characters?

Then there are the descriptions of the ship itself and of the characters. Usually, I’m not a fan of describing characters in the script. Usually, what a character looks like is determined outside the script, through the artist’s design sketches. You’ve judiciously remained sparse here.
(But not sparse enough.)


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Old 05-24-2014, 08:50 AM   #2
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Nice article, although we didn't get a story about Steven's childhood.

There's a decent short story in here somewhere. The concept is solid.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:31 AM   #3
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I think you're the only one that cares about my childhood, Sam. Well, besides me, of course.
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