Last Updated on February 18, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
If you’re writing a comic book, you must include page numbers on each page. Readers will have an easier time following your narrative, while your editor will have an easier time editing it. Here are a few simple steps to help you write page numbers on your comic scripts.
What is a comic book script?
When a comic book script is written correctly and submitted to a comic book publisher, the readers will surely be able to read it more accessible, as we see above. So let’s first check out what should a comic book script look like when it is being prepared for submission.
- The script should not be included in the book because it is a work of fiction and therefore has two different purposes:
- to communicate the action, which is sometimes tricky when you have no scenes or panels;
- to show the script can destroy your favorite comic books if they are published.
- the script should be submitted as a PDF file
- it is crucial to provide correct page numbers; since comic books are formatted in panels and sometimes include dialogue balloons, numbering all of these elements will make your scripts much more accessible for editors to follow and produce pages that look more professional.
How do you number a comic script?
These three principles apply no matter how you format your script:
Your script isn’t a finished product in and of itself but rather a guide for the creation of a specific final product. The artist will be in charge of the majority of the structure.
Given below is the complete anatomy of a comic script, including page numbers:
#1 Page numbers
The page of the comic, not the script, is referenced by all page numbers. The script doesn’t have page numbers written on it. When your partner says, “I have a concern with Page Seven…,” you know you’re always referring to the comic because you say, “Which page of the script?”
#2 Balloon or Line numbers
This is a bit of an anachronism. It’s a concept of the past, and certain people are still practicing it today as a matter of habit. There were balloon guides for letterers, and balloon numbers were written on the balloons than writing the whole line.
As of 2013 or 2014, we had editors who would continue to do this, but it is unusual today. We continue to practice because we are habituated.
Also, we’re accountable because we know how many balloons there are. If you find yourself writing 20, press Ctrl + Z to undo it. The process of cutting dialogue begins with the word CAPTION. There are too many balloons on a single comics page (counting SFX). Talkypants, give the art some breathing room!
#3 Panel numbers
We didn’t use the word “panel” until Nate Cosby, when my editor at Marvel suggested it to set them apart from the page and line numbers (1: 1, 1: 1), which we did just for the panel number itself.
#4 Format Dialogue
The most crucial function of any comic script is to put off the dialogue from the panel description since it allows the artist, letterer, and others to understand what is the picture and text on the page. The less the artist has to do to start what she needs to concentrate on versus what the letterer has to concentrate on, the better.
#5 Tabs vs. Indents
Letterers frequently chastise scriptwriters who criticize a billion exploding suns on Twitter. Since they typically cut and paste the dialogue straight from the script document into the Illustrator document, the Tab symbol will continue to appear in the past, screwing up paragraph alignment and forcing them to alter it.
#6 Size of individual balloons
Anything longer should be divided into two (or even three) balloons. We suggest that all noobs follow this guideline, but it isn’t a hard and fast rule.
Each letterer is given these instructions. We keep a few on hand:
DOWN – i.e., For an unseen speaker, the tail trails off to the bottom panel border.
OFF – To an unseen speaker, the tail trails off to the left or right of the panel.
j – I.e., it’s a short way of saying “jagged.” It’s a voice-controlled electronic gadget like a cell phone.
Acting advice like “with a smile,” “defiantly,” or “scowling” should never be used in parentheticals because it’s stage play or screenplay advice. Since the artist is in charge of the acting, all visual description (B) needs to be in panel directions. For the letterer’s benefit, the parenthetical (H) is included.
In the balloons, words that the letterer is to bold and/or italicize should be bold and/or italicized in the script. The lettering will convert any words with I’s into double-barred I’s if you use them in ALL CAPS. Unless used as a pronoun (or, from time to time, I use I’S when they’re the first letter of the sentence), the letter “I should never” should be prohibited.
Expert tips to write compelling comics scripts
Do you think comic books and graphic novels are solely for children? Guessing is a waste of time. Comic book authors are among the best writers in the business, producing intricate tales that appeal to readers of all ages.
Here are some tips for writers, letterers, and artists who want to write a story (”Marvel style”) first before creating a complete script comic. Our guide is ideal for short tales, graphic novels, webcomics, and other creative work, from your first concept to the finished product.
1 – Choose a script format
Writing, penciling, lettering, inking, and coloring are the most common steps in creating comic books. This will, however, change depending on who is involved, how much time you have, and the publishing approach.
In the comic universe, there are two basic script types:
- Plot-first script (‘Marvel’ style)
- Full script
2 – Edit, edit, and edit!
There will be a lot of rewriting once you get your story down. Write as many versions as possible, making changes and adjustments. Ask friends for feedback on the script. Before diving in with new eyes, wait a few weeks and take notes.
Why is there so much rewriting? Since it is much simpler to make scriptwriting revisions while you are creating the comic than while you are writing it. Making adjustments later will be expensive. It’s important to double-check your measurements and cuts.
Comic solid book storylines are generally quick in their delivery, expressing a tremendous deal of information and emotion in a deceivingly compact manner.
3 – Look for a publisher
You may skip this part if you’re considering self-publishing (using Amazon, for example). First, figure out which firms produce the kind and format of your comic by identifying some publishers. Following that, pick the works you like best and attempt to contact the publishers of those comics. Send a quick Twitter DM to see if you can contact them via email and look for their contact information online. You may send a proposal package to an editor if you have his email or postal address.
For a short or single-issue story, your complete proposal should be roughly two pages long; for a graphic novel or multi-issue series, it should be about five pages. Ensure that you follow the publisher’s directions when you send your proposal package to a submissions editor. Unsolicited submissions are standard for publishers who don’t like being pestered.
Wait about a month after you send your idea to an editor you’ve communicated with before consulting to see whether they have had time to examine it. Editors may be inundated with work, so you may have to do it a few times. Just make sure it’s brief and courteous.
Bonus Tip: You can efficiently structure and create appealing content with Jasper AI-writing assistant. We can say as we’ve got some fantastic results crafting our content creation strategy with the tool. Sign up now here and grab your gift of 10,000 words for free!
We hope that after reading the article, you now know how to write page numbers on comics script. Make sure that the figures you’re writing are clear, legible, and understandable. Avoid writing anything that’s difficult for readers to decipher, and keep your script error-free!
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