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Demo: The Twelve Original Scripts
posted January 24, 2005


Creators: Brian Wood, Becky Cloonan
Publishing Info: Trade paperback, 168 pages, AiT/Planet Lar, $12.95
Ordering Numbers: 1932051309 (ISBN)

I didn't much care for Demo, a 12-volume series of single-issue short stories featuring young people struggling through various moments of truth, often in relation to or at odds with some mysterious power or affliction. However, I do like the just-published script book and if it were a tad cheaper it might be just about the perfect example of this sort of project. Demo: The Twelve Original Scripts is modest, well-designed, and gets right to the scripts without a lot of fuss or bombast. What makes the book particularly attractive is that Wood and Cloonan have a really straightforward creative relationship. It seems that Wood generally trusts the artist's instincts, so much of the individual moments of scenework is properly left in her capable hands, in favor of dialogue and staging. Wood's scripts have an almost skeletal leanness, which is refereshing to read if one's previous experience with comics scripts is Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman. As an added bonus, Wood was shifting storytelling modes with every issue, so you can see at least a number of different approaches to panel to panel rhythm as they play out in script form. One learns very soon after doing it that there's no right way or wrong way to write a script for a collaborator except for what they tell you is right and wrong; there are some models that have a better chance than others, though. The Demo Scriptbook is fine model for a very dialogue-oriented method to comics writing, and is something every starting-out comic book writer should track down and consider purchasing.