"What is the use of a comic book," thought Alice, "without any pictures?"

A comic book has pictures. Everybody knows that. Which makes creating a comic book problematical when you can't draw.

Until, one day, I realised that there was nothing stopping me from writing a comic book; producing a script without the pictures.

Why shouldn't people be able to read a naked comic-book script? After all, people buy books of Shakespeare's plays and read those in the absence of actors. A comic-book script should be accessible in exactly the same way.

In fact, a comic-book script and a play have a lot in common. Both convey most of their information in lines of dialogue. The play may contain stage directions ("exit, pursued by a bear") which tell the actors how to stage the play. A comic-book script contains directions, too, but these are to the artist, who must be told what to draw on each page.

When you don't have an artist (or a cast), the "directions" become hints to the readers, describing the action they should "see" in their minds while reading the dialogue.

That still leaves the question of why one would write a picture-less comic book instead of writing a novel.

And the simple answer is: laziness.

Writing in script format lets me write much less formally than I would normally have to. It lets me flaunt English conventions, and it lets me gloss over passages of descriptive prose (which I find quite boring to write). I'm interested in plots and characters; the stylistic baggage of a modern novel gets in the way of telling the story.

Say I have a character enter a room and find a grisly murder scene. If I were Stephen King, I would need four or five pages to describe the room, the body, and probably every drop of blood. But as I'm writing a comic book, all I need to do is leave a note for my imaginary artist: "We see a room with a dead body. It's really gross and there is blood everywhere." I leave my readers to imagine the resulting artwork, and I save myself five pages of effort!

Laziness notwithstanding, I am also interested in the form, and formalism, of comic book writing. The pacing of a script, fitting actions to panels, managing scene transitions, using narrative tricks, foreshadowing and misdirecting—these are the things I want to explore. And they can all be explored in the absence of art.

Yes, it would be nice if I knew someone who could draw. But sometimes disadvantages can become an asset. This way, I can tell my story without worrying about an artist messing it up.

So this whole thing is pretty much an experiment. Let me know if it works.