In comic art, a script describes a document in which the author of the comic describes the characters' dialogues , the places, actions and all other information that the draftsman uses in the graphic implementation of the finished comic.
Even comic artists who are authors and draftsmen "in personal union" usually create scripts to plan their works. This is especially the case with larger comics. In the case of a short strip (as in the example below), the "script" can also simply consist of a sketch in which the texts are written directly.
The comic script is similar to the script in dramaturgy (for plays ) and the screenplay in cinematography . There are no hard and fast rules on how to write a script. In general, everything is allowed that is useful to fulfill its purpose. However, some comic book publishers have defined fixed, binding formats for their scripts.
A good script shouldn't be too vague or too detailed. On the one hand, a very concrete script helps the draftsman to stay close to the author's template, on the other hand, it restricts his own creative ideas. A balanced middle ground is therefore ideal.
In contrast to theater plays, comic scripts are mostly not made available to the public as they are only a preliminary stage and an internal document (similar to a painter's sketches and preliminary drawings ). In addition, in practice it often happens that the script is changed during the drawing process (in consultation with the author).
The following example is a simple short script for a comic strip. The setting sizes indicate how close or how far the "camera" is to the cartoon characters shown . Further information (not in this example) could relate to the perspective (for example “bird's eye” or “frog's eye”) or describe the appearance of the room or the figures. The size and arrangement of the panels is usually not described , as this is usually left to the draftsman.
Panel 1. Nahe. Wiki-Man sitzt an einem Tisch. Er trägt eine etwas komisch aussehende Kappe und ein kleines Schild (Label) auf der Brust. Man erkennt aber noch nicht, was darauf steht. Wiki-Man: ICH BIN DER VIELLEICHT ERSTE FREIE COMIC-STRIP DER WELT! Panel 2. Halbnahe. Neben Wiki-Man sieht man Kopien desselben, wie Klone. Wiki-Man: DAS HEISST, DU DARFST MICH KOPIEREN, VERÄNDERN... Panel 3. Nahe. Wiki-Man sitzt wieder alleine wie im ersten Panel da, aber er ist jetzt bunt koloriert, "strahlt" und grinst breit. Wiki-Man (denkt): ...ZUM BEISPIEL KOLORIEREN... Panel 4. Detail. Wiki-Man zeigt auf das Schild auf seiner Brust. Darauf steht "GFDL". Dieses Panel ist wieder unkoloriert wie 1 und 2. Wiki-Man: ...SOLANGE DU DIE QUELLE ANGIBST UND DIE LIZENZ UNVERÄNDERT LÄSST.
The graphic implementation of this script could look like this:
Drawn by another artist, however, it could look very different.