Night at the Western: March 2010 Winner at Zuda Comics!

Welcome from the NIGHT AT THE WESTERN team. We are honored to be the winners of the March 2010 competition at Zuda Comics, and look forward to bringing you a year of comic noir at Zuda. On this page you'll find lots of extras and behind-the-scenes looks at Night at the Western. Enjoy, and check back often for updates!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Screen 2: From Story to Script to Screen

For screen 2, I was basically using this chunk of the original text, plus some left-over images from earlier in the story:

We'd been driving the back roads through the valley to L.A. I had suggested taking the back roads as an interesting alternative to the 101 or the 5. I'd also packed the wrong map, and driven this straight country road, passing the numbered gravel tracks on either side (too lonely for names) until they had approached the forties and then ended abruptly, leaving only the empty straight blacktop and the frostbit fields on either side. I yanked the Bronco across the gravel and brought it to a stop in front of the office. OPEN  ALL  NITE the sign said. A bug light near the door buzzed blue, victimless. It was January, and there was an unseasonal freeze, a newsworthy one that plunged temperatures to near zero and turned the promise of California to a chill lie. We'd stopped talking, Nick and I, an hour ago. 

Which I converted to this screen in the script: 

Screen 2: A 70’s model Ford Bronco pulling into the parking lot. The place looks shabby – window-model air conditioners sticking out, one room window boarded up with plywood, shingles missing from the roof, trash in the parking lot, the burned out neon of the sign. The café’s lettering is half peeled off the window.
Caption: We’d been driving the back roads of the valley to LA, as an alternative to the 101 or the 5.
Caption: But I’d packed the wrong map, and now we were lost on country road that rolled forever past frostbitten fields and numbered gravel tracks.
Inset panel: A sign in the café window reads “Open All Nite.” We see an out-of focus figure wiping a counter, beyond.
Inset panel: A blue bug light over the office door.

Cesar thumbnailed it out this way:

And then worked from that to make his first pencils, which you can see after the jump -- only this time, he made one small mistake:

Notice the light over the door . . .


 I realized that "bug light" was slangy and not translating, so I went and found some images on the web and sent them along to Cesar. He corrected it in the inks, here: 

Afterwards, we sent it off to Steven for lettering. To speed things up, we would send inked panels to Steven who would letter them, before the color had been done. Later he would drop the colored, finished versions, in -- making any coloring changes that were needed once he'd seen the final tones. Here's panel 2 with the lettering: 

And of course, the final version can be seen here at Zuda Comics. We hope you give us your vote so our team can continue the story . . .

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