This is going to be another multi-part post…taking you through the evolution of a small piece of the SHADRACH STONE graphic novel. Pull back the curtain, Dorothy…
As I described previously, I wrote the first version of SHADRACH STONE in teleplay form. Here’s page 6 of that initial script, which features ten-year-old Shadrach Stone pulling some shit on his father and on Mr. Carly, the owner of the local five-and-ten-cent store:
When I converted the story to comic book form, most of this action wound up, coincidentally, on page 6 of the first issue. Here’s what that page looked like:
Note the differences in pacing. In the teleplay, we briefly see Mr. Carly right before Shadrach’s father starts speaking. In comics, that would be too awkward a beat; it would draw too much attention away from the confrontation between Shadrach and his father. Of course, on film, an editor would have to make the decision whether or not to show the minor character at that point. In both media, a script is a guide to the finished project, not a set of unbreakable dictates.
Here’s the first version of the art Jon Proctor did for this page:
As you can see, Jon was employing a high-contrast, very designy approach to the art at this point. He did intend to color it, but with the photographic backgrounds, it almost seems intended for black and white.
As part of our presentation to publishers, I lettered this page. Sometimes when I did this, I would make changes as I went along; but this time, I stuck pretty close to the original dialogue.
After we contracted with Penny-Farthing Press to publish the book, things changed. A lot. In fact, that page won't appear in the actual book, not in the form you see above.
More on that next time…