Test Balloon
December 18, 2020
Draft storyboard of the short story on my office wall.
As I continue to develop the biographies for each character of Chasm Moon (which is taking way longer than I expected), I’ve decided to write and illustrate a short story for practice. In this short story I’m using Joesph Campbells’s Hero’s Journey as an outline—the same outline I will use for the larger story of Chasm Moon.

The short story is about a time I went and read my book to first graders. It’s an amusing little story of about 75 panels. One of the main reasons for doing this practice story is to see if my process of sharing backgrounds and similar poses for the characters will work. So far it seems to be.

Let me show you how I’m going from script, to thumbnails, to rough sketches.

Here is the Script for a Four Panel Scene
Classroom is a typical first grader classroom. None of the chairs are for adults so I’m standing, waiting.
The kids start flowing into the classroom.
I’m surprised at the amount of kids. Me thinking: “I was expecting maybe 10 kids. This is a whole mob.”
I get really nervous. More kids come into the classroom (there are about 50 or so kids).

Quick Thumbnail Sketches for the Scene

Next Step is to Workup the Various Elements into Rough Sketches
The first one is the background without any people.
Then, create the main person and the different facial expressions. In this case there are three.
Next, I add the kids streaming into the classroom.

The Final Four Panel Rough Sketches

Notice only thing that has changed is the facial expression on the person and the kids. While these are only rough sketches you can see how this process saves a tremendous amount of time.

There are a bunch of timesaving techniques I plan on using for the development of my graphic novel. Far too many to get into with just one post. But, I hope this gives you an idea on how to go from script to rough sketches.