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A Cre-8ive Q&A...

Posted On Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Q: How do you write an action sequence within a comic book?
- Malik (an up-and-coming writer I met at the Glass City Black Comics Fest)

A: That's a GREAT question!  In movies and television, fights and other action sequences are coordinated by masters of the form, who use their years of experience and practice to figure out the ways a scene can and should go down.  It can seem a bit harder do that in comics, but here are some of my tricks to make it work:

1.) It has to serve the story -- no matter what happens in what I write, it has to move the story forward, or have relevance to something that's going to play out later.  Nothing happens just because.  

2.) Think about who the characters are in the scene and what their mannerisms are.  If one guy is a little reckless, that's how he's going to act within the moment, another may be very methodical and exacting.  All of these should be set character traits that you're familiar with. 
3.) Start acting it out.  As silly as it may seem, a good dose of make believing works wonders!  This could be you playing out the action yourself, or having action figures that you can use.

I've said that construction of a comic book page is based on three principles:

Inclusion - what NEEDS to be there to tell the story.
Emphasis - focus on the IMPORTANT elements within the sequence.
Placement - where on the page will everything flow in an easily read order.

If you consider the three tricks in context of the principles, you'll be able to tell some cool sequences, full of action or otherwise!

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