The Standard: From Script to Page

Following on from a recent interview I conducted with Jonathan Rector, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the creative process behind a comic book page, and how it goes from words in a script to a completed page.  For this example, I’m using page 7 of The Standard #1.  Here is the original page of script I wrote:

PAGE SEVEN (4 panels)

Panel 1.  The daytime skyline of Sky City, a towering, futuristic metropolis densely packed with skyscrapers.

CAP:                                       SKY CITY.

CAP:                                       30 YEARS AGO.

Panel 2.  The same skyline, but now a giant robot has emerged from behind it, taller than all the skyscrapers.  A radio transmission emits from the robot, though from outside the speaker cannot be seen.

ZARTHOS:                            ALL WILL BOW BEFORE ME!  FIRST SKY CITY, THEN… THE WORLD!

Panel 3.  Inside the control panel of the giant robot, a bald man with a curly moustache, dressed up like your classic mad scientist – Zachary Zarthos – prances around gleefully, hooked up to a headset as he broadcasts his rants.  A young woman – Caroline Cole – lies tied up on the floor nearby.

ZARTHOS:                           I HAVE BEEN MOCKED AND IMPRISONED FOR THE LAST TIME.  HERE BEGINS THE ULTIMATE CONQUEST OF  ZACHARY ZARTHOS!

CAROLINE:                              OH, HELP!  SOMEBODY SAVE ME!

ZARTHOS:                                ARMED WITH MY DESTRUCTO-BOT, NOTHING CAN STOP ME!  HE-HEE!  HE-HEE!

Panel 4.  High in the sky, so high the head of the robot only pops up at the bottom of the panel, The Standard and his sidekick – Fabu-Lad – hover in the air, looking down at their opponent.

THE STANDARD:                   NOTHING?  YOU MUST HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT YOUR ARCH-NEMESIS… THE STANDARD!

FABU-LAD:                              AND HIS TRUSTY SIDEKICK, THE MINIATURE MARVEL, THE FANTASTIC… FABU-LAD!

And here was the original thumbnail Jon drew up based on his interpretation of the script (with an added rough character design of Zarthos):

Once this was approved, it was followed up by the proper page of art itself, pencilled and digitally inked by Jon:

The main change between the thumbnail and the final image is that, in the last panel, I requested a tighter shot on the robot, to give us a better look at The Standard and Fabu-Lad.

Here is a first look at this page, as colored by the team of colorist Ray Dillon and flatter Mo James:

Jonathan Rector’s art is gorgeous, so much so that I was convinced for some time that the book was so good black-and-white that it didn’t need color.  I sitl think that the art was strong enough to have supported black-and-white, but still, there’s no denying that the addition of color adds a whole other level to the visuals.

And all that’s left is the addition of Kel Nuttall’s lettering, giving us, revealed for the first time, the completed page 7 of The Standard #1:

Good lettering is such an essential component to the success of the book.  The way the words are laid out help shape the page, and help to define tone and pace.  Kel has done an exemplary job throughout the comic’s development, with this page but one of numerous examples.

Hope you enjoyed the look at the development of a page, as well as the sneak peek at a page of art not included in the preview.  Be sure to check out thestandardcomic.com next week, when I hope to have info on the release of The Standard #1!

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