Since I last talked about my webcomic, I mentioned using this blog to document the process of creating it. I decided to break the story down into one-page snippets rather than focusing too much on the overall story. In order to really step away from the current twenty-something pages, I wrote a one-page prologue. Below I’ll share a brief overview of the story, the log-line, and the comic’s script.
The overall story of the comic follows a man recruited by a secret organization called E.V.O., that protects the world from the life-threatening evolutionary phenomenon of mother nature's once harmless creatures.
Before diving headfirst into the story, I decided to make the one-page mini issue into a prologue to introduce you to the organization of E.V.O and the evolutionary phenomenon they protect the world from.
An arachnophobic medical entomologist, named Elliot Lee, is recruited by an organization called E.V.O. when an evolutionary phenomenon enables arachnids to silently launch a plan to enslave the human race. Elliot must overcome his fear of spiders in order to save mankind from mother nature's misunderstood creatures.
Normally, I would write the script of each panel on its own page. It seems to be the standard among most comic creators to reduce confusion between the writer and artist or anyone else reading the script. However, since this comic is one page, I decided it would be okay as long as the panel didn't spread across to pages.
Creating & Evaluating the Story:
I came up with the overall idea of the story after a few incidents of killing spiders and seeing a few video about spiders covering towns in their webs like this video. Then I thought, what if there was a malicious agenda behind this takeover? From there, I used a three-step story evaluation process that I learned from a course on SVS Learn called Visual Storytelling Techniques, to help turn it into a story.
Below is the process I went through.
1. What is the story about? (1 sentence, no details. Focus on the BIG picture.)
The story is about a guy finding the courage to overcome his fear of spiders.
2. What makes it interesting? (1-2 sentences. Focus on why this story would be worth your time and energy. How's it different from what's out there?)
In order to save the world from highly evolved arachnids, one entomologist must develop a way to demobilize the eight-legged army's government infiltration plan.
3. What are the important details? (4-6 Sentences. Focus on why this story would be worth your time and energy and how it is different from what's out there.)
A medical entomologist is sought out by a covert organization known by few as the E.V.O. Simultaneously, highly evolved arachnids around the world are rising up to take over the country, but it's up to Elliot to find a way to stop them.
After coming up with the story, I believe I've improved the original idea and will continue to iterate on the idea as I continue working on the story.
If my exercise of going through the process doesn't quite make sense I'm going to do the same process with Toy Story 1.
1. What is the story about?
The secret life of toys when people are not around. A cowboy toy overcome with jealousy against the new toy.
2. What makes it interesting?
The jealous toy tries to get rid of the new toy, causing them to get lost. The new toy also believes he is a real spaceman on a mission.
3. What are the important details?
The two toys are lost and their family is moving away. They must overcome their difference in order to make it home before they are left behind. They will also encounter pizza martians and have to escape the clutches of the toy-killing neighbor kid, Sid.
I hope the process is more clear in my Toy Story example.
If you're having trouble expanding on an idea for a story, I recommend using this evaluation process. It may not the best way to help flesh out your story idea, but I've found it effective and hope you do too. You can also check out the SVS Learn class I mentioned for a more in-depth look.
For now, I'll be working on inking and coloring the mini issue and sharing my thumbnailing process next.