Sam Spina may be doing his dream job, but that doesn’t mean every day is a ball. The storyboard artist has drawn a 12-page comic in which he reveals the ups and down, the freedoms and anxieties, of his career.
Spina got his break on Cartoon Network’s Regular Show and the upcoming HBO Max series Close Enough. There, he met fellow storyboarder Owen Dennis, who subsequently invited him to work on a show he’d created, Infinity Train. After its second season aired on Cartoon Network in January, Spina published this comic on Twitter.
In it, he outlines the five-week storyboarding cycle on the show, from script reading — via design, drawing, and pitching — all the way to clean-up. He’s upfront about the pressure he’s often under, as well as his own worries and shortcomings: his impostor syndrome, his tendency to procrastinate.
Along the way, Spina touches on details of his profession, explaining the number of panels drawn per episode and what the difference is between scripted and storyboard-driven shows. He’s not the first person to take us behind the show’s scenes: in December, Dennis published a flowchart to explain how the crew makes each episode.
The combination of frankness, insight, and humor are what make Spina’s comic such a joy to read. He previously drew a similar one about Regular Show, where the pipeline was a little different. Storyboarding is a crucial stage of production — it sets down the template for the staging of each shot — yet its processes are rarely discussed in public. These comic are the perfect entry point for those who want to learn more.