Fast-Growing Company Turns Screenplays Into Graphic Novels

Storyboard Graphic Novels Takes Advantage of Major Hollywood Trend

Mar 13, 2013, 13:13 ET from Storyboard Graphic Novels

LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When Stephen Stern and his business partner, Joseph Giovannetti, launched Storyboard Graphic Novels in 2011, they knew they were offering a unique service to the Hollywood community—but they had no idea how quickly it would catch on.  Within weeks, they had clients that included screenwriters, producers and directors who wanted their screenplays adapted into graphic novels.  And their client list quickly extended outside of Tinseltown, to such locations as the UK and India.


"We knew we were providing a service that didn't exist, but was much needed by creators who wanted to separate their screenplays from the thousands of projects that make the rounds in Hollywood every day," Stern said.  "Not only is a graphic novel a veritable storyboard for a movie—hence our company name—but films based on comic-books and GNs are among the surest bets for studios."

Best known as the writer/creator of the independent comic-book, Zen Intergalactic Ninja, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012, Stern was well aware that graphic novels had spawned such films as Road to Perdition, 300, A History of Violence and Ghost World, and that films based on comic-book characters like Spider-Man, Batman and the Avengers were among the biggest blockbusters of all time.

"Not only that, but comics and GNs were selling impressively, both digitally and in print," said Giovannetti, Storyboard's CFO. "So it was a win-win—create a revenue stream with sales of your book, and attract Hollywood's attention at the same time.  With a screenplay, you have to jump through several hoops, even if you've got solid representation, and there are so many screenplays in circulation that the odds are always against you."

Storyboard's message caught on, not only with screenwriters, but also producers and directors.  "We have several clients on studio lots," said Stern, "and we even have actors who have a particular project which they strongly feel will benefit from being launched in comic-book or graphic novel form."

At first, the company focused on adapting screenplays, but it now also adapts treatments and prose novels, as well as short stories.  About two-thirds of their projects involve full-length graphic novels from 80 to 160 pages, with the other third being comic-books that average 25 pages.  "It all depends on what the client's marketing and publishing goals are, and their budget," Giovannetti said. "Many of our books are in black-and-white, which cost less to produce than full-color books, since genres like horror, crime and period drama work well in black-and-white."

Storyboard provides all of its services on a work-for-hire basis, which protects its clients' intellectual property rights.  "As the creator of several comics, including Zen, I was always aware of how important it is to retain your rights," Stern said.  "So all of our contracts are work-for-hire—the ones we sign with our clients, as well as the ones we sign with the artists, colorists and letterers whose talents we utilize."

With over three decades in the comics industry, Stern has developed a network of fellow professionals whose services the company relies upon. "Depending on such factors as turnaround time, availability and budget, we attach everyone from 'name' artists to extraordinarily talented newcomers to our projects," he said.

"It's a very exciting time for Storyboard Graphic Novels," Giovannetti said. "As the company continues to grow, we're working on some very cool projects—like an ongoing comic-book series based upon a groundbreaking reality television show that's now in production."

About Storyboard Graphic Novels

Storyboard Graphic Novels adapts screenplays, treatments, novels and short stories into graphic novels and comic-books.  Its clients include screenwriters, producers, directors, actors and authors who want to take advantage of a major trend in Hollywood: producing films and television shows based on comics and GNs. For more information:

SOURCE Storyboard Graphic Novels