Saturday, October 31, 2009

Roofus' Halloween Adventure: From Script to Strip

From script to strip:
I stumbled across the original script for the Halloween adventure. I'm including it here because I rarely write an actual script or outline; my writing process is usually done with rough sketches. According to my hand-written notes, the original idea for the Halloween adventure was much simpler: Roofus sees Halloween monsters and runs away. That small idea led to the final strip. As you can see, the next notations describe the basic outline of the story. According to my notes, an alternate ending to the adventure was to have the entire haunted house disappear.

Things that changed from sketch to strip:
Panel 1: Roofus has no hair. When I originally designed Roofus, he had three long strands of hair on his head.
Panel 3: I used a tighter shot on the haunted house
Panel 4: Roofus isn't waving anymore
Panel 5: The ghost design is simplified. I nixed the party favors also.
Panel 6: I drew a full body shot of Frankie J instead of a close up. Frankie J's alternate name: Karaoke Frank
Panel 7: I significantly tightened up the drawings of the skeletons.
Panel 8: Roofus was originally dancing with Wanda Witch. You can see where inspiration hit me and I doodled Lucy Van Pelt in the margins.
Panel 10: Alternate dialogue - "Looks like a distant relative."
Panel 13: Alternate dialogue - "Here's Wanda in a horrific black dress/pearl ensemble..."
Panel 14: Alternate dialogue - "Harry is a vision in hi-tops." (I actually like this joke better.)
Panels 17, 18, 19: Originally, Roofus ran out of the house immediately after he passed his hand through the ghost. I felt like he (as well as the audience) needed a moment to process what was happening. So, I added Panel 19 and switched it with Panel 18.

Creator Commentary: Here is Roofus' Halloween adventure in its original format. It was conceived and published as a full page comic strip. Later, I reformatted the strips into the daily format when it was printed in a daily newspaper. I think it reads much better as a full page. This story was a lot of fun for me. Growing up, I always looked forward to watching the annual Halloween TV specials, such as It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown & Bugs Bunny's Howl-O-Ween. If Roofus had an animated Halloween special, this would be it.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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