Review by C.J. Bunce
Nearly every kid who grew up with comic books wanted to write or draw one. But for years it always seemed like it was some kind of trade secret to see how it’s done. With only a few books on the market about how to write a visual sequential story (like Mark Salisbury’s Writers on Comics Scriptwriting and the Panel One collection), it’s been difficult to lay your hands on examples of actual scripts. A new book from Marvel combines scripts from 21st century Avengers storylines–the actual scripts before they were drawn by assigned artists–in order to give aspiring storytellers an idea of how it’s done. Marvel Avengers: Script to Page–The Art & Craft of Writing Comics is out this week, and available now here at Amazon. It’s part of a series that also includes books with scripts from Spider-Man (available here) and Black Panther (available here).
Marvel Avengers: Script to Page–The Art & Craft of Writing Comics is not a book of lessons in writing comics. It doesn’t provide advice on plot and character development or the essential elements of any good story. But it’s a good collection of scripts for anyone interested in the Marvel method of creating stories in the past 15 years.
Contributors in this volume are Al Ewing, Jonathan Hickman, Mark Millar, and Mark Waid. The book contains in total the scripts to eleven issues. And the book isn’t entirely without artwork, just the work that corresponds with the stories as they were originally published. Of course it might have been even more helpful had the creators done that to illustrate how the stories were actually adapted from script to final page.
Here are some examples of how the scripts are presented, with pages pulled from the Black Panther edition:
The book provides commentary from each of the writers who lead the story development of the key crossover issue stories from Mighty Avengers, Ultimates 2, U.S.Avengers, Secret War, Civil War, and All-New, All-Different Avengers story arcs. The biggest insight provided is how the writers at Marvel work on their multi-title stories.
For fans of Marvel who want to get their hands on the format of some successful scripts from the past 15 years, check out Marvel Avengers: Script to Page–The Art & Craft of Writing Comics now available here at Amazon from Titan Books.