Anatomy of a Page – Part 1 “Words!”

Hey everyone! We thought it might be neat to give a little glimpse into the process of what it takes to make a page of Reed Gunther!

“It all starts with a script.” – someone said that.

Well, sort of.  For me, I’ve gotta come up with some sort of mind-shatteringly awesome idea first.  These normally come to me when I’m driving home from my day job when I’m stuck in terribly slow LA traffic.  To get in the creative thinking mood, I listen to movie scores when I write so there’s usually a lot of Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, and Randy Newman going on during my writing sessions, whether it’s in the car or at home.

At stoplights, seriously, I’ll jot down some marvelous idea, scene, line of dialogue, or whatever, which turns into indecipherable scribbles because the light will change and I’ll have to start driving again.  Sometimes I’ll also write in my notebook when I’m not driving and it looks like this:

Reed 3 Page 1

Much clearer writing than when I’m jotting down ideas in the car, and sometimes there’s doodles!

Reed 3 Page 2

So I’ll write a bunch of raw ideas out into this notebook and then run home to flesh it out a bit more on my computer.

RG 3 Outline Ideas

Most of the ideas in my notebook I end up not using, but they’re written down so I can always come back to them for a future issue.  I try to find one main theme to focus on to help guide me through the issue, and if I thought up a really fun scene but it doesn’t quite fit in this story line, I’ll save it and hopefully use it in the future.

As I work through the entire story, the plot develops and the scenes begin to take shape.  Before I start writing the actual script, I do a little break down of the pages so I can have some rules when writing, otherwise if I’m having fun with a scene, I’ll drag it on and on and fill it with lots of those fun little moments that don’t necessarily move the story along.  Then you fall in love with them and it hurts all the more when you have to cut them later for sake of that story.

RG Page Outline

If you’ve been looking deep into the notes I’ve posted, after you read issue 3, you’ll realize how off I was in the beginning as compared to what we ended up with for the final story.  There’s always new ideas as you flesh scenes and characters out so I always go back and revise, tweak, cut, or add.

Eventually I’ll sit down at my computer, drink some coffee, blast some movie scores, and let my fingers do the floppin’.  Then I’ll hit a major roadblock.  I freak out, and decide to take a walk and pace around my neighborhood for a while.  On these walks I usually give Chris a call and talk through some ideas.  Here’s how these conversations usually go:

Me: So I guess I’m just not sure if I should go back and change everything or if the initial idea was good enough.  I mean, I like what I have but now I’m just wondering if it could be better.  Although if I change it, we could have some trouble with the continuity of the back story and even though we haven’t told much about Reed’s past, it might screw us in the future.  Ya’ know?


Shane: You’re right I’ll just keep it the way it is.  It’d be dumb to change it!  Thanks, dude.

Chris is great to talk with but I feel bad because most of the time he has no idea what I’m talking about.  I’m all agitated with caffeine and the thrill of breaking the story, but he really does help me work out some great stuff.

Then before you know it, I end up with a script!  Which looks a little something like this:

RG Script Issue 3 TRP03

After a few drafts, I send the whole script over to Chris and he takes off doodling from there!

Click here to check out Part 2- “Pichures!”


- Shane

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Discussion (4)¬

  1. BD says:

    Whoa, partner! This is one cool documentation of the artistic process. It was really great to see how your thought process unfolds into the blossoming flower that beholds the seed of change that multiplies into the fertility of thought that subjugates the artistic behemoth which in turn begets the whipsaw talent of Chris hisself! Not to mention I like the historical content of riding along in your automobile whilst recording some future visual coolness! You said it best when you quoted that memorable whatshisname about it all starting with the script. Without the script (that’s you), all that is left is visual dribble (sorry Chris). And you can quote me on that. Good job, Shaner!

  2. Dribble is right! ;) Great stuff Shane, it’s a treat for me to see since I usually come in once all the hard work is over! Keep up the excellent work and the invitation always stands for you to call me up and hear crickets!

  3. Shane says:

    But don’t forget you guys, the other half of that quote is, “it ain’t a comic without the pictures, durr!” or something like that…

    I can’t wait to see what Chris posts about his process! I love seeing the thumbnails on the side of the script turn into full blown pages!

    Glad you enjoyed a look into my probably unprofessional process!