About the writing of the Fawkes issue of The Guild

I thought it may be interesting to some people to know a little bit more about how the Fawkes comic came together.

When we were up in Vancouver for Eureka, I was always bugging Felicia to come hang out with me and Neil Grayston, or to get out of our building and have an adventure. More often than not, she couldn't come play with us because she was writing scripts for The Guild comics. For the record, we had all the fun without her. So there, Felicia. Nyahhh.

At some point, we were having dinner or something and I asked her if she was interested in doing a Fawkes comic together. Because, you know, we didn't have way too much stuff to do already. She thought it would be a fun thing to do, and we started pitching stories to each other.

Eventually, we came upon something that we both thought was awesome, and we started writing it. It was surprisingly easy for us to come up with the story; the real challenge for me was keeping the story tight enough to fit into the pages we had. Luckily for me, I have a number of friends who are professional comic writers, and I was able to steal some of their writing tricks:

  • Keep things simple.
  • Format the script in what we call the Modified Brubaker, which is based on the Brubaker, which is based on the Ellis.
  • Have fun.
  • Do at least 4 pages a day when writing the first draft.
  • Read lots of comics and let them inspire you.

Oh, it also helps to have a co-writer who is a freaking genius and is also one of your best friends.

So the whole thing came together, and we ended up with a script that we both loved. We turned it in to our editor, got his notes, and did a final pass. I think the entire time from closing the deal with Dark Horse to giving our editor the final script was about 5 weeks.

The real fun for me was getting to ask for artists I love: I am crazy about Paul Duffield's work, especially on Freakangels. I loved Emma Rios's work on Osborn. Jamie McKelvie's work on Phonogram and Suburban Glamour belongs in a museum. Oh, he's also a good friend, which made it even cooler that we get to work together.

Paul said yes right away, but getting Emma was more difficult, because we couldn't find her. I asked my friend Kelly Sue (who wrote Osborn) to bug Emma on my behalf, and that whole thing came together pretty fast, too.

So I had two cover artists I was dying to work with, and an interior artist whose work I love so much I want to marry it. I don't know how it all managed to work out, but I'm going to guess that the stars were right and not ask too many questions. When we saw Paul's cover, we realized that we'd never seen Fawkes in game, so I think it's awesome that Paul got to design his avatar, and boy did Emma capture the sexual tension between Fawkes and Codex! I've seen some of Jamie's pages, and I don't know how he managed to get into my head and draw exactly what was there, but he's doing it perfectly.

I can't talk about the story too much, but I can say that I wanted to let Fawkes speak for himself, in his unique way, and see some things about his life that we didn't get to see on screen in The Guild. I'm incredibly proud of what Felicia and I came up with, and I think fans of The Guild are going to be really happy with what we did.

12 thoughts on “About the writing of the Fawkes issue of The Guild”

  1. I have to agree with Jenny S. You’re a good man, Wil Wheaton, no matter what Sheldon says. 😉
    Heck, anyone who will sing soft kitty to his sick wife is aces in my book.

  2. Thank you so much for giving us a bit of a glimpse into writing comics. I’m working on a comic series right now and just finished up writing the first draft of the second issue. My artist and I are hoping to have it out in time for SPX in Sept.
    once the comic is out and if Ms. Day doesn’t mind would you be willing to post a bit of the script here? I would love to see the format you guys used. I’m still trying to find the format that works best for me. OK I have rambled enough.

  3. This is fabulous! I can’t wait to see it. =)
    Btw, what ever happened to the behind the scenes live streaming video idea? Just curious. They sounded like fun!

  4. I absolutely love The Guild. And since I’ve recently started enjoying comics (better late than never, right?) I’m very excited to see The Guild comics.
    A Fawkes comic just might get me to the store a bit quicker.

  5. I’m really excited about this.
    Love the Codex/Fawkes dynamics. Also, at the time when I saw season 5 of the guild, when Fawkes says Axis of Anarchy split up, I thought to myself that that would be a cool story to tell. Wondering if Felicia is deliberately leaving “holes” in the story in the show to be filled out with comics.

  6. So, for further geekery, we now need an example of what “Modified Brubaker” formatting entails. Even if you don’t want to spoil any actual script, would you be willing to share the components that go into it?

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