The unbearable sweetness of the ICCL
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It all starts here. I mostly write the scripts using cooledit on Linux. I had the main story ready long before the comic began in 2002. While the chapter stories are mostly written on-the-fly with the main story as a guide-line, the main themes and the final outcome were already planned.

The script

The ICCL's story is chopped down into 3 different types of units:
First of all there's part. There are 5 parts in the story, each having 9 chapters. Each chapter again have usually from 4 to 20 strips.

Each part has their own objectives. For example, the Part II had the following main objectives:
- Befriend Simon and Deirdre
- Introduce Jay, Mainman, Magenta and Santa
- Tell about prophecy
- Couple Magenta and Jay
- Pave the way for coupling Simon and Deirdre

Having such a loose script to follow enables me to experiment and enhance the story while I write it. Let's take a closer look at the chapter XVII, "That's what friends are for".

This chapter addresses two of the Part II objectives; helping to get Magenta and Jay together and paving the way for Simon's and Deirdre's future relationship. At that time, I also had several loose ideas to throw in, so here's how the chapter looked like in the beginning:
- Give Deirdre a new look, maybe a ponytail or something?
- Xyzzy-shirt for simon
- Magenta and Jay haven't made up yet
- Jay is on a bender
- Simon & Deirdre pay him a visit
- They give him some advice on relationships and encourage him
- Spoof Idols
- Simon still acting clueless, Jay returns the favor
- Magenta & Jay get together

Now I have everything needed to do the last part; writing the actual strip script. The ready script looks pretty much like this:
** 1 ** (2.15/04) 143
Few uneventful weeks passed...
Deirdre looking at herself in mirror.
Deirdre thinking: "That orange thing that crawled on your head and died?"
Simon watching the TV
Mark: When's the stargåte on?
Simon: Nah, I wanna watch the teletubbies jackass-episode!
I haven't heard from Propellerhead in all that time, which was unusual, but I expected him being a bit .. preoccuppied with Magenta.
Simon: His phone's turned off. He only does that when he's on a bender. I might sound a bit paranoid, but I felt I should check on him.
4: St. peter: I told you he was good.
5: Devil: We'll see.

The first line has the strip number in this chapter, the date code (strip # for this week.week/year) and the strip's serial #. Next we have the panel layout. (315:310) means there's two panels next to eachother, one being 315 pixels, the other 310 pixels wide. If there's no vertical size, I default to 300 pixels. Then there's the panel number and the actual dialog.

Here's the finished strip:

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