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Friday, 20 March 2015

Behind the Heroes Part 3: The Writer


 Observatory Comics writer Laszlo Tamasfi



Great art by talented artists cannot save a bad story; and vice versa.

While writers are responsible for the story, narration and dialogue in a comic, their scripts must contain key information as the rest of the team needs to bring the title to life.

During script creation, the writer has to convey what they want the reader to see in each panel of every page.  What angle is the reader observing in the panel, what do they see in each panel, what are the mood and sound effects and which characters are in each panel?

While there is no standardized format for comic book scripts, writers have to convey their ideas in a format that each member of the team will be able to understand.  This allows all team members to do the job they are undertaking for the book.

Every writer has their own way of approaching the creation of their scripts. Writer/creator Laszlo Tamasfi creates a unique, new story for his weekly web comic ‘Observatory Comics’

“I came to the U.S. in 2001,” Tamasfi says, “and that’s when I discovered comics with Neil Gaiman’s ‘Sandman’. I started experimenting with comic scripts soon after.”

Tamasfi draws on a wide range of topics and sources to create a different feel for each week’s comic. “I try to keep an open mind in my day to day life.” Tamasfi said. “The kind of strange stories I write allow me to start from almost anywhere. I could be looking at hair trapped at the bottom of a bathtub or my neighbour walking his dogs and I know how to twist it into something crazy.”

He begins each story by musing about an idea for a few days. When he begins writing, he creates the narration first. “It helps me see how much story I’m trying to fit into a single page, and that’s when the heavy editing happens,” said Tamasfi.

Merging panels and relying largely on narration when creating his stories, Tamasfi structures his self contained, one page stories using a similar narration voice in each comic. “It’s supposed to tie them together, so the website is more than just a bunch of short stories thrown together” he said.

Working closely with his artists, Tamasfi encourages the artistic team to make changes wherever they want. For some writers, this would be out of the question but Tamasfi trusts the abilities of his artists, “I am genuinely overwhelmed by the talent they bring to the project, so I’m nothing but grateful.”



Although he does not work with an editor, Tamasfi does use others as second sets of eyes for his work. “English is my second language,” he said, “so it’s wise to have someone double check my grammar. My wife checks the finished pages for typos, usually right before they go online.”

Observatory Comics has recently being picked up by Heavy Metal Magazine for their online content.  This means that Tamasfi is mainly focusing on the weekly web comic, but he does admit that he has a graphic novel in the works. “I wrote a graphic novel a few years ago that is being illustrated as we speak. I also really like the mini series format.  I find 4-5 issues to be an ideal length to tell a story.”

Until his graphic novel is available, readers are able to enjoy the many ideas Tamasfi creates on his weekly web comic Observatory Comics.

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