UPDATE: STRETCH GOAL REACHED! (July 26th)
STRETCH GOAL UPDATE (July 25th)
37K Everyone gets Matthew Dow Smith's Digital Sketchbook!
Today we hit more than $36,000 and it gave me an idea. I called a member of our advisory board, Matthew Dow Smith (artist/writer Dr Who, The October Girl, Starman) and brought up the digital sketchbook I knew he was planning on releasing next year. I asked if I were able to make an obtainable stretch goal, would he be interested in giving it FREE to all our backers. I'm very happy to say that answer was yes. And that it would be ready in September. So if we reach $37,000 all of you will be the absolute first to receive Matthew Dow Smith's Digital Sketchbook! Below is the cover!
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO UPDATE! (July 10th)
What is ComiXwriter™?
ComiXwriter™ will be the world's first software solely dedicated to writing scripts for comic books and graphic novels.
In the comic book world, the script writing options have been limited to a time consuming word processor or an expensive screenwriting program that doesn't fulfill all the specialized needs of comics. No longer. ComiXwriter™ will be a more affordable, easy to use comprehensive tool that will not only automate the necessary structure, but will include features allowing the writer to collaborate more effectively with the artist, colorist and letterer.
Whether you're a working pro, a part time independent creator or just someone who has a great story that would make an awesome comic book...ComiXwriter™ is for you!
- Automatically changes margins
- Instantly changes capitalization/bold/underlining
- Properly handles line spacing
- Built-in Outlining and Organization tools
- Automatic Page numbering
- Automatic Panel numbering
- Automatic Page breaks
- Ability to make Notation on pages
- Ability to embed graphics
- Ability to save in PDF,Word and RTF documents
- Tab/Enter typing system lets you focus on story, not format
- Available for Mac and PC
- Customer Support: Great software comes with great responsibility
One of our favorite features is the collaboration ability with the artist. ComiXwriter™ allows you to bring up the artwork for the page you've written in an easy side by side viewer. This will allow you to edit that script page if necessary and even make notations on the artwork, if changes are made or requested, it saves to document for return to the artist, colorist or letterer.
MORE SAMPLE SCRIPT FORMAT EXAMPLES
We understand that unlike screenplays, there are many different ways you can write a comic book script. ComiXwriter™ allows you to choose from the many sample scripts it offers and pick the one that best suits your style of writing. You can also alter any of the sample scripts into the format you'd prefer to use. Once you pick your format, ComiXwriter™ will start it's automation as you write. You saw a depiction of one our our sample scripts further up on this page. Here are a few more:
If you write comic books, want to write comic books, love comic books or just think what we are doing is pretty darn cool...we have rewards for you!
Here are some highlights!
LIVES: Graphic Novel
LIVES grew out of a pitch Glenn Farrington made to First Comics at last year's San Diego Comic Con. A couple of years earlier, during a conversation with Larry Young, he had already been thinking about a software for writing comic books …but now, finally getting his break to write one and the frustration he had with the scriptwriting software available, pushed him into saying, “That’s it…I’m going to make ComiXwriter happen”!
LIVES follows the lives of five people during the course of a single day. During that time you’ll find out not only how they are all connected…but how you, the reader, connect with them as well. LIVES will be SIGNED by Glenn Farrington (writer) and by The Fillbach Brothers (artists). ComiXwriter™ would never have happened it wasn't for LIVES. LIVES is not only an important book on its own, it’s a part of ComiXwriter™ history.
*********UPDATE JULY 24TH*********
"It's rare that I come across a pure gem of a comic book, one that tells a story so succinctly and effortlessly that I'm compelled to immediately read it a second and a third time in the same sitting. Lives debuted this past weekend at SDCC and is a breath of fresh air on the comic racks..."
"...Many readers who will find Lives personally meaningful, but I would also add it to the list of required reading for anyone interested in the craft of creating comics as an example of how to tell a story without the clutter of dialogue, of the magic inherent to "Show, Don't Tell."
Artwork created by The Fillbach Brothers for ComiXwriter™ !
Advisory Panel member Matthew Dow Smith will do a custom character design, full body and close up on head, based on YOUR ORIGINAL CHARACTER!
Have your original character designed by artist and writer Matthew Dow Smith. He'll take a description of one of your characters and draw a possible design for them, complete with a full body shot and closeup of the character's head!
JIM BEAVER AWARD
The opportunity to have YOUR NAME or a NAME of your choosing replace a CHARACTER NAME in our sample scripts!
(ComiXwriter™ reserves the option of making a Judge Dredd decision on whether your substituted name is appropriate for viewing)
The opportunity to submit your graphic novel script for coverage and notes from Larry Young of AiT Planet Lar plus ComiXwriter™ software.
This will be limited to only 50 backers for $70.
How do I do an Add On?
Easy...click the blue 'manage your pledge' button; at the top right of this page. Then increase your pledge to cover the add-on price. DO NOT SWITCH your original reward. Then send us a message by clicking the 'contact me' and let us know you purchased an add on. We'll set everything up on our end and reply with a confirmation!
INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING FOR ADD ONS STILL APPLY
Larry has been called the "Johnny Appleseed of Comics," has a B.A. in English from Clark University, and has worked in print since 1981. Young has the unique distinction of having daily involvement in all aspects of the comic book industry including creative, production, publishing, distribution and retailing. He is the Chief Visionary, Creative Engine, and Marketing Guru for AiT/Planet Lar. He is also the author of many comic books and graphic novels including Astronauts In Trouble and Black Diamond. AiT Planet Lar
Matthew Dow Smith has drawn comics for nearly every major American comic book publisher. His work has appeared in HELLBOY, ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE: LIVE FROM THE MOON, STARMAN and NIGHTCRAWLER. He is a frequent contributor to IDW's DOCTOR WHO comics as both an artist and a writer, and has written special WHO comics for the BBC and the BBCAmerica Shop. He is currently the writer and artist of MonkeyBrain Comics THE OCTOBER GIRL and is working on his first novel, NIGHT FOLK. www.matthewdowsmith.com
Richard is a British Font Designer and a comic book letterer and editor. In 1992 Starkings founded Comicraft, a studio which trains and employs letterers and designers and provides "Unique Design and Fine Lettering. This makes Richard one of the early pioneers of computer based comic book lettering and as a result is one of the most prolific creators in the comic book industry. He is also the author of many comic books and graphic novels including the long running series Elephantmen. www.comicraft.com
Matt and Shawn Fillbach are Honky Tonk Heroes, Cartoon Cowboys, born to draw comics at their own speed and masters of the quick draw. You have seen their artwork in countless of comic books including Star Wars: The Clone Wars. They are the artists and authors of Road Kill, the upcoming Captain Freebird - An American Prayer and Cadaver Dogs. Matt and Shawn were huge helps when we wanted to have a better understanding of the artists needs when it comes to scripts. They also look exactly like their drawing of themselves. www.fillbachbros.com
What the Pros are saying...
“In nearly a decade of writing comics, I've had the good fortune to write for almost every major publisher, from Marvel and DC to Image. I've been even more fortunate to work with some of the most talented co-creators - artists, colorists letterers and editors.
Comics is a collaborative medium, but one of the obstacles has always been getting all these talented people and publishers on the same page - literally. Each new project is a new challenge for all involved to communicate with each other because, unlike screenwriting, there is no set format or software standard to help make collaboration the joy it should be.
ComiXwriter has the potential to change that. And if there's anyone to make it a reality, it's Glenn and his partner Steve Sashen. Beyond their impressive writing and business resumes, Glenn clearly has a passion for comics and a rare respect for and understanding of its creators."
- Mark Sable
Graveyard of Empires, Unthinkable, Two-Face: Year One.
"I've written features, TV, animation and comics -- and comics by far have the most difficult production requirements for blending the writer and artist's vision. We've needed a comics-specific script-app for a while, and I think the ComiXwriter guys have cracked it."
- John Rogers
Blue Beetle, MysterySchool, Dungeons and Dragons, Co-Founder of Thrillbent.com
"A comic book scriptwriting program? As a total computer idiot, I'm really looking forward to trying this out - if it succeeds in making my job easier, I'll sing the good news from the rooftops."
- Alan Grant
Judge Dredd, Batman, Lobo, The Loxleys and the War of 1812, Tales of the Buddha
- Kevin Smith
Green Hornet, Daredevil
“Screenwriters benefit from a lot of bespoke software that takes the grind out of the writing process. Formatting, pagination, remembering and dropping in repeated elements - these are all things that potentially make you lose momentum, and if you're writing for TV or the movies, the program will do them for you and leave you free to fly. But there's never been anything similar for comics writers, and there really should be.
Comics scripts are almost as highly formatted as screenplays, and involve just as many repeated elements. If there were a program that dropped in panel addresses, remembered character names, automatically distinguished description from dialogue, allowed you to view concept art and page roughs alongside your draft script, and came ready supplied with a range of script templates, I think I'd want to get my hands on that program. And this is exactly what ComiXwriter aims to be...”
- Mike Carey
Lucifer, Hellblazer, Carver Hale, X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four, The Unwritten
“A software program for writing comic book scripts?! That's more awesome that having an adamantium-laced skeleton, animal-keen senses and a super-human healing factor. Sign me up!”
- Steve Kriozere
TV writer-producer, graphic novelist and pancake master chef
"I don't know if my books would have sold better if I'd had a great comic book writing program to work off of but it sure would have made it A LOT easier and made my scripts look like I actually knew what I was doing.”
- Ron Zimmerman
Spider-Man: Get Kraven, The Punisher, The Thing, Ultimate Adventures and yes, The Raw Hide Kid
"A comic script has a lot in common with a screenplay; both use words to communicate a story to those who must translate it into a clear, audience-pleasing visual... but the mechanics are different. There are more moving parts to a comic page, and they need to be reflected in the script. Panels and balloons aren't native to the screenwriting or word processing software of the world, meaning a wide variety of tweaks made by a wide variety of writers to get their point across. I can't speak for other writers, but for me, formatting the script to overcome the incompatible elements takes time away from generating the stories. It slows me down. Anything that gives me back some of that time would be most excellent.
- Erik Burnham
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters
"Sometimes writing is like digging a really long ditch; but at least with ComiXwriter you have a shiny new shovel."
- Larry Young
Astronauts in Trouble, Black Diamond, Founder of AiT Planet Lar Publishing Company.
"Screenwriters have them, novelists have them, it's long past time comic book writers had a word processing program designed around their specific needs. As a writer who draws, the idea of being able to have designs, layouts and pages side by side with a script is just about the most awesome thing I've ever heard."
- Matthew Dow Smith
Dr Who, The October Girl
Check out the Websites and Podcasts talking about ComiXwriter™
ABOUT OUR VIDEO!
We hope you enjoyed it as much as we had fun making it! We'd like to thank The Comics Factory in Pasadena California for opening their doors at an ungodly hour for our film shoot.The following are the cast and crew that made it an incredible experience!
- Jim Beaver: Himself
- Jason Earles: Himself
- Joel McCary: Comic Book Store Owner
- Lisa McNulty, Daniel Layton, Hunter Farrington, Zuzu Farrington, Malinda Farrington: Customers
- Mark Sheppard: Voice Over
- Glenn Farrington, Steven Sashen: Absolutely themselves
- Glenn Farrington: Producer/Writer
- Jason Lee: Director/Editor
- Tom Whitaker: Graphics
- Steven Sashen: Writer
- Judith Whitaker: Writer
- Dennis Sison: Grip
- Hunter Farrington: Production Assistant
No comic books were hurt in the making of this video.
UPDATE: We are a proud to be a part of the "Kicking it Forward" campaign. We promise to continue to support and promote other Kickstarter projects in the future with profits we are able to make from ComiXwriter™ sales. Take a look at more projects here: http://kickingitforward.org
Risks and challenges
As with designing any new software the main challenge is time. The last thing you want to do is rush a software to the market that's buggy. We will do a private beta release in three to four months to work out as many glitches and bugs that we can find. The final main release will be a few months after that. We currently plan to have the final ComiXwriter™ software ready for a February 2014 launch. We think it would make a great Valentine's present.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
When released, ComiXwriter™ will be available on Mac and PC. A glimpse into the future reveals it on tablets and smart mobile devices.
Each ComiXwriter™ purchase comes with a standard, single-user/single-use license (that is: you can install on a million computers if you're the only user, or you can install on one computer and have a million people using it one-at-a-time at that physical location)
I own a Mac and a PC. I’d like to put my ComiXwriter™ on both of them. Do I have to pledge more that once?
No. You’ll be allowed to install it on all the Mac and PC computers you own with just the single purchase.
Will ComiXwriter™ have a tutorial running through the basics of writing, format, what each thing means, etc. or is it just meant to be a tool for writers?
It’s both. It is meant to be a tool for writers, but will also include an internal help section and videos on our website for licensed owners, to walk them through ComiXwriter™ features and the basic structured ways of formatting a comic book script. Part of our goal is, if someone's never written any kind of script, let alone a comic book one, they could purchase our software and not only learn how to use it, but what kind of structure to follow and how to craft a good story.
Short answer: Dedicated comic book writing features
Longer Answer: The free alternatives, like Scrivener, are great alternatives for writing novels or screenplays. I would even venture to say Scrivener’s outlining features is excellent. However, it’s not software designed specifically for writing comic books (please re-read that last sentence again). You have to alter its intended use by formatting it yourself or with the use of a template. We believe simple things like page breaks are a necessity. We also feel it’s important that you can embed graphics/photos in your script if you should decide to. And have the choice whether you want them visible while you’re writing the script or visible in the final exported version. Being able to export your script as a RTF file is extremely important for Letterers. ComiXwriter™ is a dedicated software that will automate what you need allowing you to concentrate on story. But yes, free is always good. But as my Dad use to say, “if something’s free…you always get what you pay for”.
Can I submit my graphic novel script for the AiT Planet Lar reward if it’s not written using ComiXwriter™?
Absolutely! Even though our software will not be out yet, it's not impossible to write a graphic novel script without it. ComiXwriter™, among other features, will just make that task easier. Having a publisher like Larry Young offering to do notes is a pretty big deal. You get to learn first hand what a publisher is looking for. It also helps you put together a tighter script or even make it more commercial.
No, that is just the earliest you can submit it. Unlike the milk in my refrigerator, there is no expiration date. But please understand, Larry is not a young man anymore. He might only be around for another 50 more years.
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