ComiXwriter – A Software Package That Helps The Comic Writer In Us All

The other day I was working on a script for Zenescope and I was bouncing back and forth between Pages on my iPad and Word on my PC. Every time I sent the file from one to the other, I would need to reformat the pages to match up. Indent certain areas, center others, bold, italics…. You can do these things in both, but they are manual processes and when you switch between programs you have to stop and think. You have no idea how many times I hit "ctl+b" yet bold did not shut off.

Later on that same day, I pulled up BleedingCool.com to see which of my stories had been posted and noticed an ad for ComiXwriter, a scriptwriting program specifically for comic books. When I write screenplays I use Final Draft which is great and speeds up the process immensely. You don't stop thinking about the story so you can format text. And as any writer knows, once you get into the flow of storytelling you don't want anything to stop you. But Final Draft is too clumsy for comic books, almost more so than Word and Pages.

I clicked the link to discover that ComiXwriter is a new program concept by Glenn Farrington and Steven Sashen that they've put on Kickstarter to fund. They have some great quotes on the site from Alan Grant, Mike Carey and Kevin Smith… but the most impressive part are the two gentlemen's background: Steven created the first software specifically made for writing screenplays while Glenn is not only a working screenwriter but also the driving force being Digital Seas International, the company that put internet café's on all the cruise liners. So these guys know a thing or two about the computer industry.

ComixwriterThe other thing that jumped out at me about the software were some of the options they've worked into the program, things that I would specifically look for in any comic book writing software:

  • 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

As of the point that I'm writing this column, their Kickstarter is at over $26,000 as they build towards $35,000. So they're at 75% already and just need a little more to make that final push into being funded. But they only have 3 days to do it. So if you are a comic book writer, ever dreamed of being a comic book writer or know someone who wants to be one… you should check out this site and back them in some way. There are some great prizes too, One package includes fonts from Richard Starking's Comicraft, the premiere lettering font company in the industry. Another includes a Skype call with actor Jim Beaver from Deadwood and Supernatural!

As a comic book writer for the last decade, its well past time we have a software package geared toward our needs. Now I have to see how I can get a beta copy of the program…

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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