How I Write Dialogue
I'm skipping ahead a bit here but I wanted to talk about another part of the process: dialogue.

My process for dialogue evolved from a conversation with head of Top Shelf Chris Staros. We were trying to work out the best way to show Chris my work as he edited my first book Maddy book 1. We settled on just including final dialogue in the thumbnails. As opposed to a separate script or screen play style script. I ended up really loving working this way. So it's become my main method of writing. I always start with words, an outline, but all the dialogue happens on the same page as the drawings. It makes sense to me, it feels organic.

It's a funny thing about comics. Most cartoonists begin their careers in isolation and develop very personal working methods and we're all surprised to learn how others do it when we meet up. Really, there is no right way.

As I redraw every page in each draft of the thumbnails the dialogue also is worked on. It's rewritten, moved, edited out, suggests changes in the drawings etc. Everything in comics relates to everything else and informs everything else. It's a magic process.

One thing that changed over the course of this book is the amount of narration. It kept getting smaller and smaller. And in the end I got a surprise. But you'll see that later on in the thumbnails.

One last thing I found interesting is how I failed. A big part of the journey of a creative life is embracing your failures. It can make your work more interesting and can help you learn. I initially set out in this book to have most of the dialogue reflect the desires and self image of the speakers. Formally, this is just good writing. But, boy is that ever hard! Characters just kind of say what they want and it's super tough to try and reign them in.