THE MECHANICS OF VISUAL STORYTELLING™: a chat with presenter Jason Franks

Interview by Anthony N. Castle

It’s late on a Friday night. I have a baby. Jason Franks also has a baby (not the same baby, our acts of reproduction are unrelated). These circumstances mean that we are taking the little time we have to manage a rather little chat about the Comics Mastermind webinar that Jason is presenting. You have little time to register for it. Read closely…


What can attendees of the webinar hope to learn from the class?

Attendees will learn the tools of visual storytelling. They’ll learn how to break down a scenario and apply those tools to write a comic script they can give to a writer or an editor that, when illustrated and lettered, will yield a fully operational comic story. Fully operational!

If you had to sum up the mechanics of visual storytelling in a sentence how would you describe it?

The techniques that can be used to use a sequence of words and pictures to tell a story. Also, beautiful, like a fall of stars across the cheek of the night skies. Now you see why I write comics and not poetry.

What are the pitfalls and common errors that beginner comic writers often make?

The most common error that I see is that the whole story is told in captions and it’s basically just illustrated prose. Next one is probably asking for a sequence of actions in a single panel, which of course represents a single moment in time. Well, not really, but… it’s complicated. I explain why at the webinar. See what I did there? Once writers have the foundational tools to write scripts most of these problems fade away as writers become more practised.

The art of storytelling (subtext, plotting, etc.) and the form of comic scripting (panelling, pacing, page counts) can be two rather different disciplines. Will you manage those two topics in one webinar?

We’re only looking at comic scripting. Plot, character, subtext, and theme are all necessary skills for a writer in any medium… but they’re skills you can learn in any creative writing course. That’s not what we’re teaching here. This webinar focuses squarely on visual storytelling (panelling, pacing, page counts), and how to write a comic script that describes it.

  • THE MECHANICS OF VISUAL STORYTELLING™: Mastering the Comic Book and Graphic Novel Script
  • Wednesday 1 February 2017 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm (online)

For more information: http://www.comicsmastermind.com/training/masterclasses/the-mechanics-of-visual-storytelling/


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