Rick Overwater

New short fiction, upcoming scriptwriting panel!

August/September (2015)


News about the new short story anthology I appear in, a reading at its launch party, and my upcoming When Words Collide comic scriptwriting panel with James Davidge and GMB Chomichuck.

I’m most pleased that Coffin Hop Press has published a new short story by yer ‘ol pal Rick. My new noir (ish) piece, a violent, drug-fuelled  bit of depravity titled Butch’s Last Lesson is now part of AB Negative – An Anthology of Alberta Crime. Each story, by an Albertan author, is set here in ‘Berta and rife with crime. You can check it out and order it here. You can also find it at Chapters. If you don’t see it, ask for it and they will order you a copy. We had delightful launch at Owl’s Nest Books on August 4 and you really ought to come by the next party, where I will be reading an excerpt. It happens on August 14 at 9:00 pm – 12:00 am Boomtown Pub and Patio, 135 Southland Drive Southeast, Calgary, AB. 

Scriptwriting for Comics Panel

If you are interested in learning more about writing, or just rubbing shoulders with great authors, nothing beats When Words Collide, Calgary’s excellent annual writers convention at the Delta South in Cowtown. I will be hosting a panel on scriptwriting for comics and graphic novels at 6 pm on Friday August 14. My guests will be GMB Chomichuk (Infinitum, ChiGraphics) and local graphic novel guru James Davidge. If you missed it, hit me up and I’ll walk you through it. I’ll also be presenting at The Imaginative Fiction Writers Association in the next couple of months. They meet the first Thursday of the month, you should join if you write! The outline for the panel, along with some useful links, is right here:

What to think about before starting a comic

Graphic Novels/Comic Books. Why they are literature: They use the conventions of modern story telling, but done with a combination of text and sequential art—the combining of the two is an art form unto itself.


Philosophy: Making an artist shine, without overworking him/her. The artist is the star as often as not and it’s not just about the writer. Your comic has to LOOK awesome, besides having great plot and character development.


Scripting: Types of script, Full vs. Marvel (plot first)—what a script looks like. Artist directions, dialogue, other formatting stuff. Indie/broke? Consider learning how to letter your own comic—gives you the luxury of editing as you build it.


Storytelling basics for the comic/graphic novel form: Page count (multiples of four). Character, dialogue, narrative (captions), SFX, thinking about how your words “stack” inside balloons and caption boxes. Three-act structure works fine for comics too. Plotting, three act structure etc. Setting: establishing it etc. Page pacing, beats, “page-turner” panels etc.


Art direction: Setting him/her up for success, finding reference photos etc. Other basic write-rly conventions: Inciting incidents, timing, tension, scene transitions subplots, continuity, consistency. How to approach panels and page layout, lots of different ways from “nine panel grid” to open page full of vignettes and beyond.

Finding an artist and working with them: Penciling, inking, colouring — one person or three? Where to look (got a little cash?) Deviant Art, ACAD, Panel One, Dropbox, Skype, digital age is a great time to be working with artists. Scans, tiffs etc. Need software unless all you’re supplying is script.


Resources: Stan Lee How to Write Comics. DC Guide to Writing Comics. Writing for Comics by Alan Moore. Lettering the ComicCraft Way by Richard Starkings. Podcasts; iFanBoy etc. Comics Experience Courses.



James Davidge resources: http://jamesdavidge.blogspot.ca/p/free-education-resources.html 

Handy tips: http://www.balloontales.com/index.html

Glossary of comic terms: http://www.balloontales.com/articles/glossary/index.html

Basics of lettering: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2913133/Lettering_Guide_Jim_Campbell.pdf

Sample scripts from brand-name writers (also has a downloadable template):


Fred VanLente script templates: http://www.fredvanlente.com/comix.html

BlamBot Articles: http://www.blambot.com

Panel One (Calgary-based comic creator organization: http://panelone.ca

March/April News (2015)


Futility 3 outside front_FINAL

  New short story published!

The Ol’ Ricker had the pleasure of being taken on by Coffin Hop Press as co-editor of Tall Tales of the Weird West.  Not only did I experience the joy of scrubbing words by some best-selling authors, I contributed Cold Eggs and Whiskey, my own dark and murderous tale. Coffin Hop is helmed by a seedy bastard and excellent writer, Axel Howerton, who is officially one of my favourite partners in crime.

Comic News

Futility # 3 is off to the printer!  You will see it in April at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. You’ll also see it at VanCaf , the Red and White Comic Expo, Calgary Horror Con , and Edmonton Expo this fall. Futility# 4 is underway, we aim to have it for Red and White and Edmonton if the Comic Gods favour us.

Red fights bizarre creatures and meets a girl. But he has a wife, somewhere light years away! Things go wrong, of course, Red Hayes style…

Ask your local comic store to contact us and carry Futility (we are independently distributed)

Available at these Calgary shops: Words and Pictures,  Alpha Comics, all Phoenix locations, Redd Skull ComicsPurple Gorilla  Another Dimension  Sloth Records In Edmonton: Happy Harbour Comics Warp Comics & Games In Olds Pandora’s Boox  & Tea Digital versions coming soon


A big shout to all the awesome people we’ve met at the We Talk Comics Creators Summit, Red and White Expo, and Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Saskatoon Comic Expos in 2014. We’ve tilted beers with folks like Simon Roy, Ed Brisson, Johnnie Christmas, Wes Craig and maaaany more. Chip Zardosky said he loved me (prove it, Chip — put me in Sex Criminals and make me handsome while yer at it), and I got to sit on a We Talk Comics panel (thanks for the invite guys) with Hope Nicholson and Vic Malhotra. We are one of the local teams being followed in an upcoming comics documentary called Issue No. 1 and got good media coverage in local papers. And we’ve met a ton of cool local creators like Ryan Ferrier (Calgary’s red-hot kid this year), Riley Rossomo, Justin Hegg, James Davidge, Michael Grills, Chris Peterson, Scott Kowalchuk, Nick Johnson, too many of ya to mention. 2014, our debut year, has treated us well.

Ask your local comic store to contact us and carry Futility (we are independently distributed)

Available at these Calgary shops: Words and Pictures,  Alpha Comics, all Phoenix locations, Redd Skull Comics, Purple Gorilla  Another Dimension  Sloth Records In Edmonton: Happy Harbour Comics , Warp Comics & Games In Olds Pandora’s Boox  & Tea Digital versions coming soon!