In looking at my notes when I was writing the script for Stray #1, I came across my original VERY rough sketch for the first page of the book. Actually, I don’t know if you can rightfully call what I did a “sketch” but it is the kind of exercise I do when blocking out my script, prior to putting words down on paper. Basically, I work out a scene on a white legal pad until I am comfortable with the elements that will get scripted for a particular page.
Here is one of my sketch notes for the first page of Stray #1:
Gilby’s Crummy Sketch
This stick-person-and-blocks sketch is the start of what will later get worked into the script (below):
Excerpt from Stray #1 Script
Splash Page: Stray, on the left hand side of the page closest to the reader and has just caught 3 Frights in the act of burglarizing the University Museum. The first Fright is in mid-air a split-second before he will come down upon Stray with the full force of his open claw in a blow. The other 2 have turned and are facing her with angry snarls on their faces–they are near a glass case with a sign that says The Founding Dagger which has just been broken into and one of the Frights is holding an ornate, long dagger from the 15th century.
The room is filled with tapestries, glass cases, and framed pictures–like the interior of your typical University Museum. It is before the museum opens in the morning so only Stray and the Frights are in the building.
Carlos Trigo, the artist for the Stray pitch, has never seen the rough sketch I have done, but he relies only on the script snippet above in imagining and then creating his phenomenal finished artwork.
Carlos’s Finished Artwork for Stray #1, Page 1
For almost every page that ends up in my script, I will first use a legal pad to draw stick figures, doodles, notes, and rough panel blocks to help shape the page. Once I have some sense of the visual layout and layout of the text on the page, then I can move on to scripting.