Unlike the film industry, there is no one accepted format for comic book scripts. Formatting varies by creator, publisher, and editor preference.
Recently, writer Matt O’Keefe wrote an article on The Beat on this topic, and he mentioned that Comics Experience does offer a suggested format for comic book scripts.
The Comics Experience Script Template was created by CE alum and staff member Paul Allor (TMNT, GI Joe), based on the format taught by former Marvel and IDW editor Andy Schmidt.
This is the format Andy suggests in his Introduction to Comic Book Writing course.
The format offers a number of benefits, including:
- Clear distinctions between panel descriptions and dialogue, for scanning of one or the other only;
- A panel count at the beginning of each page to aid the artist and editor;
- Numbering of lines of dialogue, to aid letterers and editors with balloon placement-related tasks;
- Brief character notes to aid the creative team;
- Ample white space to make reading easy;
- Tips on how to handle captions, off-panel dialogue, sound effects and more.
The Comics Experience Script Template is available for download at the top of the Comic Book Script Archive, where visitors can also sample the templates used by many professional comic book writers.
The archive, founded by Tim Simmons, is an educational resource showcasing more than 100 comic book scripts written by some of the biggest names in the comics industry. Comics Experience and Tim Simmons are working together to continue building this free resource.
We hope you find the template useful. And for additional discussion, check out Matt O’Keefe’s article on The Beat right here.
If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!