Inside the comic book writing process as Keanu Reeves Pens comic

By Jonny Lupsha, News Editor

Like a script, comics need to be neatly presented, described, and written. Whether a writer is trying to get a recurring tri-fold comic book published in their local newspaper or a 500-page graphic novel, the process becomes meticulous and swift. Actor Keanu Reeves just had this creative experience.

Photo by mrmohock / Shutterstock

Keanu reeves created and co-written the new comic BRZRKR, which even features a character who shares his likeness. Despite the resources available and the actor’s public image, he likely encountered the same challenges as any writer entering the medium.

Over the past 40 years, comics have pushed the boundaries of writing and the literary world has taken notice. Art Spiegelman’s Maus, in which a young man asks his father about his father’s experience as a Holocaust survivor, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992. Alan Moore’s Watchmen, often hailed as the greatest comic book series and graphic novel ever published, is the only comic to do TIME 2005 from the magazine “All-TIME List of the 100 greatest novels.

The process of writing comics is much more complex than filling word bubbles with simple lines. In his video series How to create comics, award-winning comic book creator Pierre Bagge detailed how to get started.

World building

Many editors will ask for a preview of a comic book idea, but whether they need it or not, it’s good to do so anyway in order to give the story a clear direction and scope.

“An outline can be represented in two steps, starting with a very basic terrain outline,” Bagge said. “In a pitch plan, you describe all the main characters, their quirks and motivations, etc. You also describe the basic plot, with some dramatic highlights and all the relevant subplots.

“If the story is to be a one-shot, as opposed to a series, you need to include how the story resolves, as spoilers aren’t a problem when the conversation is just between you and the person you’re talking to. pays to write history. “

The second step is to make a more thorough and detailed plan. Bagge said it would touch on every plot point and every story event and that it would read very dryly, using the story events as the building blocks to explain everything.

The rule of three

Bagge said the outline process is a good time to see if the story uses the so-called “rule of three.” Most stories, he said, are told in three stages, whether it’s a joke or an epic saga. In most jokes and stories for children, something happens three times. Most stories also follow a rule of three pattern, such as the classic “Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl”.

“Another great rule of three that often goes along with boy-girl affairs are your protagonist’s crisis points,” he said. “The first is when he decides to do something, which is usually the end of the first act. The second is when it seems like all is lost and the main character is on the verge of losing all hope, which often concludes act two.

“And the third of course is when the protagonist achieves his goal, which is also the resolution of the story.”

Once a story has been developed, the writer moves on to writing the script, which is formatted very similar to movie scripts. In that case, it may be helpful for an actor like Keanu Reeves, no doubt familiar with hundreds of movie scripts, to switch to the comic book.

Edited by Angela Shoemaker, The Great Courses Daily

Scott R. Banks