So I'm two issues deep into scripting a 3-issue comic book mini-series. This is my first attempt for a comic book and I'm beginning to wonder if I'm asking too much of my artist.
Most comics have an average of 4-6 panels per page. I feel like I was ruined by Watchmen which averaged 6-9. I'm trying to keep each book at 23 pages (I know the standard is 22, but that's just not gonna happen) and I find that in order to tell the story that I want to tell in each issue I'm cramming a lot onto each page. I have very few pages with fewer than 6 panels (allowing for the obligatory single panel splash pages), several with 7 panels, and a couple with 8 or 9 panels.
I'm not an artist (even my stick figures are terrible), so I have a hard time gauging just what will fit in a panel and on a page as I'm writing. I'm mostly going by what I need to show and tell for story and pacing.
Below is the only 9 panel page from my first issue. I would really appreciate it if any of the artists here could take a look and let me know if what I'm asking for is just impossible.
Some background: The story is called "Sidekicks" and it follows the lives of 5 super-hero sidekicks. How they get mistreated by their respective heroes and ignored by society at large.
Thanks for any input.
Page 11: 9 panels
11.1: MR. MARVELOUS and PHANTASM are flying over the city.
DIALOGUE: (Phantasm) Kevin?
11.2: Close up of MR. MARVELOUS. He is scanning the streets below.
11.3: Same as 11.1
DIALOGUE: (Phantasm) Kevin?
DIALOGUE: (Phantasm) Sigh… Mr. Marvelous?
11.4: Close up of MR. MARVELOUS. He is smirking.
DIALOGUE: (Mr. Marvelous) Yes, Phantasm?
11.5: An aerial view of the city block they are flying over.
DIALOGUE: (Phantasm – off panel) When you smashed Inferno into that building you knocked loose a bunch of bricks.
DIALOGUE: (Mr. Marvelous – off panel) So?
11.6: Same as 11.1
DIALOGUE: (Phantasm) There were people beneath you. They could have been hurt by the falling debris. Or worse.
DIALOGUE: (Mr. Marvelous) That’s why I have you. To back me up.
11.7: Close up on PHANTASM. He is frowning.
DIALOGUE: (Phantasm) It just seemed a little reckless.
11.8: MR. MARVELOUS is facing PHANTASM. He is pointing his finger at him.
DIALOGUE: (Mr. Marvelous) You may be the best SIDEKICK in this city, but I’m a HERO. So don’t tell me how to do my job, ‘cause you don’t have what it takes. I’m beloved by this city…
11.9: Close up on PHANTASM’S face. He looks hurt (emotionally).
DIALOGUE: (Mr. Marvelous – off panel) … but you’re replaceable.
It's definitely possible if you keep the multiple panels distinct from each other and pace the dialogue so it doesn't create huge text walls. This page of script could become a great page of finished comics if the artist can cram all that into the panels and still make it clear.