Thursday, March 31, 2016

Five Page Stories - Ex Factor - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

1 - Belok sits on the couch along with all of the box's contents, which he has emptied.  There is no spear.  He looks up to Ashling, who stands to the side.

BELOK (1): This is great, but was there a spear with all this?

BELOK (2): I'm looking for a spear.

2 - Ashling looks down at him, taken aback.

ASHLING: Wait, do you mean the one you gave me for my birthday?

3 - Closer on Ashling, as her surprise shifts back to frustration.

ASHLING: After our day exploring the Crystal Caves of Wonder?

4 - Back on Belok.  He's crazy excited at what he's hearing, completely missing the subtext.

BELOK: That's the one!

5 - On both.  Belok wears a big dumb smile, not understanding why his question might be inappropriate; Ashling's frustration is on the edge of anger.

BELOK: Would you mind?

6 - On Ashling, full on glaring.


7 - Back outside at the front door to Ashling's manor / castle.  Belok runs out the door at full speed, a look of terror on his face.


8 - A spear flies through the air - maybe instead of background have some speed lines to show how fast it's going.


9 - Ashling now stands at the door, shaking her fist and shouting at Belok (who is now off-panel and gone).  She is furious.

ASHLING: And don't come back!

Next page.

Five Page Stories - Ex Factor - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - Belok sits on a couch in a living room, sitting alone and trying his damndest not to look awkward (and failing at it).


2 - Belok looks towards Ashling's voice, which comes from off-panel.


3 - Ashling gives a box of junk to Belok.  He's intrigued; she's kinda uncomfortable.


4 - Belok digs through the box, absolutely blown away at what he's seeing.

BELOK: Holy crap!  This is where my spirit coins have been?

5 - Belok pulls out a pair of badass looking gauntlets.  He looks as amazed as ever.

BELOK: And my power gauntlets!?

6 - Belok looks up towards Ashling, absolutely beaming.

BELOK: This is amazing!  I thought I'd lost all this stuff!

7 - Ashling stands casually, looking less than impressed.

ASHLING: I don't suppose you brought back any of the things I left at your place, eh?

8 - Belok looks back at Ashling, his eyes big and awkward.  He does not know what to say.


9 - Back on Ashling.  She looks disappointed, but not surprised.

ASHLING: Typical.

Next page.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Five Page Stories - Ex Factor - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - Belok stands at the doorway to Lady Ashling's manor / castle, a big hopeful smile on his face.  Ashling stands at the door, complete disappointment on hers.

ASHLING: You've got to be kidding me.

2 - Ashling closes the door, but Belok puts his body between the door and the jamb so that it cannot be closed (this does not look comfortable).

BELOK: Just give me one second to explain!

3 - Ashling relents, a hand to her face in frustration.

ASHLING (1): *sigh*

ASHLING (2): Okay.

4 - Belok sheepishly tries to explain the situation.  Ashling raises a doubtful eyebrow, unimpressed.

BELOK: I left something here before things...ended between us, and I really need to get it back.

ASHLING: Seriously?  That's your explanation?

5 - Belok puts on a serious expression.  Perhaps focus on him, dropping the background to emphasize the supposed drama of the moment.

BELOK: The very fate of the world may hang in the balance.

6 - Ashling's face sours even more, reaching once more for the door.

ASHLING: That's what you said every time you snuck off to bang Wilhelmina the Wild!

7 - Belok looks hopeful, as if what he's saying will be the piece of logic to convince Ashling.  She is stunned at his stupidity.

BELOK: But this time it's true!

8 - Ashling stares, incredulous.  Belok does not see a problem here.


9 - The door slams in Belok's face.  This is the indication he needs to finally realize the conversation has not been going well.


Next page.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Five Page Stories - Ex Factor - Page 1

I have a running list of #366stories that could be press-ganged into Five Page Story service, but 086, which I came up with only yesterday really tickled my fancy, so it leaped to the top of the pack:

The protector of the realm discovers that the latest emerging threat can only be stopped by an artifact that he once possessed.  Unfortunately, he left it at his ex's house, and to be honest, letting the world end might be better than seeing her again...

We've two characters in this initial page - Belok and Ordro.  Belok is an ersatz He-Man, the hero of Perpetrea, who is a suitably muscle-bound young male with a surprising amount of skin and muscles showing for a guy who should probably be wearing armour.  Ordro would play the role of Orko, but instead of being a flying sorcerer-thing, he is a humanoid of living stone.

1 - On Ordro as he follows Belok down a dark, earthen staircase.  Some sconces may line the walls.

ORDRO: Without the Foreverspear, Perpetrea is doomed!

2 - Belok walks through a large, dungeon-y archway - hints of the many items within may be visible.  He turns back and waves a hand dismissively towards Ordro, refusing to take his concerns seriously.

BELOK: Relax! It's in my armoury along with all the other items of untold power I've picked up over the years.

3 - Belok and Ordro look at one of the walls of weapons (and, in effect, the reader).  Belok holds a hand to his chin, thinking, while Ordro searches with concern on his face.

BELOK: Yeah, it should be right...

4 - Switch angle to show the wall Belok and Ordro are looking at.  There are some weapons hanging on the wall, but the focus should be an empty space where the spear should be - perhaps with a spear-shaped dotted outline to emphasize its absence.


5 - Ordro grabs Belok by his shirt / bandoliers, starting to really worry now.  While he's been shaken by his companion, Belok seems to mostly be ignoring this, snapping his fingers as he remembers where the spear is.

ORDRO: Well then, where is it?

SFX: snap!

BELOK: Right! I left it at Lady Ashling's place before we broke up.

6 - Ordro starts walking off with purpose, hand pointing in the air as he takes a decision.  Belok does not follow, instead looking pretty unsure as he hesitantly scratches the back of his head.

ORDRO: Then we must go there posthaste!

BELOK: I dunno, man. Things ended pretty badly between us and we haven't really talked since.

7 - Ordro spins on Belok, a look of disbelief on his stone face.

ORDRO: Belok, the world will literally end if the Foreverspear is not recovered.

8 - Belok is pensive once more.

BELOK: Well, when you put it that way...

9 - Belok shrugs his shoulders.  Ordro facepalms at what he's hearing, possibly scratching off some of his own stone with the force.

BELOK: The world's had a pretty good run, right?

Next page.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Five Page Stories - Top Rope - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - On El Cardenal Rojo's mask, which he has removed and is holding in his hands.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): Every relationship has its ups and downs.

2 - On Cardenal looking down and holding his mask.  He stands at the curtains before entry way leading down the ring.  His face is obscured - either from the positioning or shadow.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): But if it's important.

3 - Cardenal puts the mask back on, a look of determination on his face as he walks towards the curtain.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): You keep at it.

4 - In the ring.  Cardenal stands on the turnbuckle, ready to leap off once more.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): Hope for the best.

5 - On Cardenal flying through the air, high above the ring.  You can go with any move here, whether a moonsault, leapfrog splash, shooting star press, or whatever you may like.  Maybe you can see his opponent below him, but it's not necessary.  I want to emphasis Cardenal's hangtime, almost like he might never come back down.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): And believe.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Five Page Stories - Top Rope - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

The first three panels are a pseudo-montage of different matches, leading up to the match from page 1 in panel four.  El Cardenal Rojo should be in his fancy outfit from page 1 throughout.

1 - A Rufio-esque wrestler has El Cardenal Rojo in the sharpshooter (one of the greatest submission holds of all time).  Cardenal grimaces in pain and taps out.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): I couldn't get my head around this new status quo.

2 - Cardenal has been thrown through a table and lies semi-conscious in the remains.  A Mad Max-esque wrestler stands on the ropes looking out to the crowd, pumping them up after the big move.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): If my love was so strong, why was this so hard?

3 - Cardenal is being thrown from the top of a ladder by a wrestler in a full-head mask / helmet (not unlike Destro).  Cardenal flails uselessly through the air, heading towards an unfortunate landing.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): Had I been wrong all along?

4 - A panel similar to that of page 1, panel 5.  The Georgian Gangster remains on the second rope, celebrating to the fans.  Cardenal remains on the mat, but he looks up towards the audience, a look of surprise on his face, causing him to forget his loss and pain for the moment.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): But just when it felt like the pain was too much to bear.

5 - On a kid in the audience holding an El Cardenal Rojo sign (clearly made and written by her at home).  She looks as thrilled and excited as Cardenal did on page 2, panel 1.  In a similar way, she should be framed by two of the ropes, if possible.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): I realized different didn't necessarily mean worse.

Next page.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Five Page Stories - Top Rope - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - El Cardenal Rojo and the same suited businessman get out of a limo.  It's night time.  Cardenal looks up at something off-panel, his eyes wide.  The suit smiles wryly.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): It was like stepping into a different world.

SUIT: Whaddya think?

2 - Switch angles to focus on a huge arena.  Spotlights shine into the night, "Wrestling: Tonight!" is written in big light-up letters on the arena, fans line-up to enter, that kind of thing.  Cardenal and the suit stand at the limo in the foreground, but the arena is the focal point.

CAPTION (CARDENAL) (1): Everything was brighter.



3 - Inside the arena, Cardenal peeks through the curtain to look out at the crowd.  He's as stunned as ever.  The suit remains with him, looking smarmy.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): ...or so I thought.

CARDENAL: There's so many people.  It's amazing.

SUIT: I know...

4 - On the arena floor.  A beautiful wrestling ring stands in the middle, with the usual fences / barricades surrounding it, ramp leading to the entrance, and giant screen above.  Of course, what's notable is the huge crowd / number of seats around the ring, as the arena is huge and capacity is equally large.  Cardenal and the suit are not necessarily visible, but they would be behind the entrance way.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): They did not see the beauty.

SUIT (from curtain): Think of all the money we'll make.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): The bottom line was the only thing they loved.

Next page.

Five Page Stories - Top Rope - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - Flashback.  El Cardenal Rojo is attending a local wrestling match as a child of 10 or so.  Frame the panel so the young Cardenal is framed by two of the ring ropes.  The match within can be hinted at, but Cardenal is the focus.  The young boy (who is wearing red, natch) covers his face with his hands to "hide" from what's happening in the ring, but of course, his eyes peek through his splayed fingers.  If manageable / deemed necessary, show a smile peeking out from those hands as well.

CAPTION (CARDENAL) (1): But you never think of that at the start.

CAPTION (CARDENAL) (2): And it had been love at first sight.

2 - Cardenal, now a young man, stands on the ring apron, looking into the ring.  It's taking a moment to savour the experience before he enters the ring for the first time as a participant.  He wears a simple red mask and pants, the cardinal element of his theme barely hinted at at this early stage.

CAPTION (CARDENAL) (1): I knew we were meant to be.

CAPTION (CARDENAL) (2): I just had to make that initial move.

3 - A few more years later, Cardenal is much further along in his career, having filled out a little more and sporting a cooler-looking costume (although still a step down from what he had on page 1).  This time he is the one throwing his hands up in victory, holding a championship belt above his head.  The belt is of a modest design, like the modest promotion he works for.  Fans in the audience could potentially be holding signs supporting him (things listing his name, cheering him on, etc).  Either way, they're jazzed.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): It was all I had imagined and more.

4 - On Cardenal, sitting on the ring apron, admiring his belt.  He is thrilled.  The show is long over and the audience seats have emptied out.  A man approaches from off-panel (perhaps hinted at by a shadow).

CAPTION (CARDENAL): I couldn't have been happier.

SUIT (off-panel): Your passion deserves a bigger stage...

5 - From behind Cardenal, looking towards a businessman-type wearing an expensive suit and holding a briefcase in one hand while extending the other for a handshake.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): But love has a way of taking you places you don't expect.

SUIT: And we'd like to provide it.

Next page.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Five Page Stories - Top Rope - Page 1

Looking into my #366stories bag of tricks, we're jumping back to 028:

A career jobber decides that, for once, he wants to win.

As always, the idea is morphing a bit from conception to execution, but hopefully you'll dig what I come up with on this one.

Our story follows a luchador named El Cardenal Rojo, whose mask and outfit are thematically built around a cardinal (the bird, not the religious figure, although funny you should mention that...).

1 - El Cardenal Rojo perches on the top rope, preparing to leap from the turnbuckle.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): Whenever I'm in the ring, I'm in love.

2 - Cardenal leaps from the rope, sailing through the air in a 450 Splash (a frontwards flip with the aim of landing on a person below for those who aren't inclined to follow to the YouTube video - although Cardenal gets more air than Juventud - at least in that vid).  His opponent may or may not be visible laying prone on the mat.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): Every moment is a leap of faith

3 - On Cardenal as he lands the move.  His opponent, The Georgian Gangster - a heavily tattooed fellow with trunks and a leather vest with a hammer and sickle on the back (Soviet-era Georgia, I guess) (also, most of that wouldn't be evident on this panel, but there it is for you) - rolls out of the way and Cardenal slams into the mat.
LETTERING NOTE: The initial caption should be at the top of the page, so it's the first thing to catch the reader's eye.

CAPTION (CARDENAL) (1): It's thrilling.

CAPTION (CARDENAL) (2): But dangerous.

4 - The Gangster cranks Cardenal's leg as he pins him to the mat, with the ref finishing the three-count.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): Because if you're in love long enough.

REF: 3!

SFX: ding! ding! ding!

5 - Focus on Cardenal, still on the mat.  He cradles his head either in pain or frustration (possibly a combination of both).  In the background, The Gangster stands on the second rope at the turnbuckle, arms in the air celebrating to the fans.

CAPTION (CARDENAL): Eventually, you're gonna get your heart broke.

Next page.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Think of a City - Resistance

Oh, Think of a City, how I've missed you.  It feels like it's been ages since I last wrote a script based on one of their brilliant pieces, but it hasn't even been three weeks.  I guess that's just how things go when you do something on a daily basis for two months.  While that rate of production is behind me, I am happy to know that these occasional jaunts will continue to come my way.

Indeed, Addison Duke and Ryan Burton oblige just that with the splendiferous 055, which like so many Think of a City pieces, illustrates exactly what I find so wonderful about the project.  This image is chock-full of beautiful things that set my mind racing.  As is so often the case, the challenge wasn't finding an idea to write on but to hone on which one to choose among the crowd.

I decided to focus on the image of the figure pouring the mushroom mixture into the opening (as well as the formation he's sitting on).  I don't always take so directly from the source image, but the idea it lit in my mind would not be extinguished.

1 - Close on a bowl pouring a mixture of blue liquid and mushrooms into a dark, round opening (like the figure in the above image).  The liquid glows a bright, colourful blue, lighting up the darkness within.

CAPTION: People always fear the unknown.

2 - Pull back to show the figure holding the bowl and pouring.  The figure sits on a large, rock-like formation, with two other openings behind them that glow softly with a similar blue.  Taken together, the three openings seem to make a face of sorts.  The surrounding area seems quite desert-y.

CAPTION: Accustomed to the yoke of tyranny, the prospect of liberation can be terrifying.

3 - Pull further back to show that the rock-like formation the figure is sitting on is actually the head of a huge robot / mech-like construction.  The construction's body spreads out in the desert, partially covered by sand in many places.  It appears damaged, but nothing too grave.

CAPTION: It is an obvious truth, but not one I had considered.

4 - Pull back further still to show that a large city lies behind the figure and their construction in the distance.  The figure's pouring is still happening, although it isn't the focus of the panel, nor is it really visible at this range.  Instead, the focus would be on the city.  There's significant destruction around its perimeter, with the outer-walls destroyed and a number of buildings fallen.  Smoke still rises from the city, and footprints may be visible in some capacity from the city to where the construction now lies.

CAPTION: I will not make that mistake a second time.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five Page Stories - Taking Initiative - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - A thin black strip of a panel spanning the page width.

SFX: brng!  brng!

2 - Back in Terence's living room - the mess he made in page 1 is still there.  Terence lies half on the floor / half on his overturned couch, wearing the same clothes as the day before (maybe with noticeable sweat stains, etc).  His eyes are barley open, squinting and bleary.  He holds one hand to his head.  The main addition to the room is a pile of empty beer bottles scattered across the floor around him.

TERENCE (woozy): Ugh...

SFX: brng!  brng!

3 - Switch angles slightly, focusing on a bag overflowing with money sitting on the floor.  In the background, Terence's eyes go wide as he realizes what he has / remembers what he did the night before, his hangover temporarily forgotten.

TERENCE (quiet): Fuck.

SFX: brng!  brn--

ANSWERING MACHINE (off-panel radio balloon): You know what to do.

SFX: beep!

4 - On the (also still overturned) side table and accompanying answering machine / phone lying on the ground next to it.

BOSS (1): Terence, I don't know what happened, but the place is gone.  Burned to the ground.

BOSS (2): This is what I keep you around for.

5 - On Terence.  He looks terrified.

BOSS (radio balloon): Find the mother fuckers who did this and make them pay.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Five Page Stories - Taking Initiative - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

1 - The owner keeps talking, but Terence just cranks him right across the jaw, sending his head snapping and his body to the floor.  Depending on how you feel, maybe have some blood / teeth flying out of his mouth.

OWNER: Now get out of--!

TERENCE (interrupting): Shut up!


2 - From the owner's prone perspective.  Terence straddles his prostrate body and raises the same fist he punched the owner with in panel 1.  Unsurprisingly, Terence is not happy.  He screams his words.
LETTERING NOTE: Perhaps have the balloons / letters increase in size from panel to panel to indicate Terence is shouting louder and louder?


3 - Same perspective.  Terence's fist is down, presumably punching the hell out of the owner.  His anger grows.


SFX: whump!

4 - Same perspective.  We're pretty much repeating panel 2, but maybe with a bit more blood on Terence's hand and Terence being a little bit angrier.


5 - Same perspective, but repeating panel 3, as Terence gives another massive punch to the downed owner.


SFX: whump!

6 - Same perspective, pseudo-repeating panel 4 / 2.  Maybe have Terence give slight pause as he realizes something.

TERENCE (trailing off): Shut--

7 - Repeat panel 6, except Terence doesn't look mad anymore.  Instead, he looks worried and confused (but mostly worried), as he understands the damage he's caused.


8 - Outside.  Terence walks away from the convenience store, which is on fire.  The flames burn brightly, clearly well along in their destructive burning.  Terence looks haunted by what he's done.


Next page.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Five Page Stories - Taking Initiative - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - Terence's hands are all cut up and bloody from smashing the counter - he holds them up, stunned.  Now it's the owner's turn to be mad as hell, throwing his arms out in disbelief.

TERENCE (quiet): oh shit...

OWNER (1): What the fuck!

OWNER (2): I pay you assholes to prevent this kinda shit!

2 - The owner points to the door, stone-faced.

OWNER: Get.  Out.

TERENCE: Not without the money.

3 - The owner comes around and is getting in Terence's face.  Maybe some intense pointing / prodding with his finger.  Terence does not look impressed.

OWNER (1): Are you kidding?  I ain't giving you shit.

OWNER (2): When the regular guy comes 'round, I'll pay him.

4 - On one of Terence's bloody fists.  There's still blood and possibly some glass in it, but he makes a tight fist.  Maybe have some veins bulging in his arm.

OWNER (off-panel): ...And I'll be sure to let him know all about what a fuck-up you are.

Next page.

Five Page Stories - Taking Initiative - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - Establishing shot of a relatively upscale convenience store.  It's night time.

CAPTION (TERENCE): I'll show him expertise.

TERENCE (from within): I'm here for the money.

2 - At the cash register.  Terence stands at the checkout counter, across from the weary owner.  Terence wears a balaclava and holds a handgun that looks minuscule in his grip (he's not necessarily aiming it at the owner, but it is plainly visible).  The owner has his hands up, but he looks more annoyed and incredulous than anything else.  The counter is a glass-top, which will be relevant shortly.

OWNER: Do you have any idea who you're robbing?

TERENCE: Robbing?  I'm here on collection

3 - The owner reaches over and smacks Terence in the head in anger.  Surprised, Terence flinches, putting up his free hand too late to protect himself.

OWNER: Then why are you wearing that stupid mask?  And what the hell are you doing with a gun?

4 - On Terence.  His free hand is up at his head where the owner smacked him.  He holds the gun at his side.  He does not look happy.

OWNER (off-panel): Are you an idiot?

5 - Terence has both hands raised above the counter, fists balled (and still holding the gun).  He is fuming.  The owner continues to berate him, which isn't helping matters.

TERENCE: Shut up.

OWNER: "Shut up"?  You really have no idea what you're doing, do you?

TERENCE: I said--

6 - Terence slams his fists down on the glass counter, smashing it.  The owner throws his arms up in surprise and in an attempt to protect himself from the sudden shards of glass.

TERENCE (yelling): Shut up!

SFX: Krr-assh!

Next page.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Five Page Stories - Taking Initiative - Page 1

We're skimming from more recent ideas this week, going for 062, which reads as:

Wanting to prove his worth after being passed over for a collection job, the protagonist decides to do the job anyways without the boss's permission or knowledge.  Things go terribly awry.

Considering how these things go, that last part might not have been necessary, but here we are.

1 - Terence, a huge, muscular-type, slams the front door of his apartment in frustration.  Terrence looks furious.  The door slams with such force that paintings hanging on the wall fall to the ground.

CAPTION (BOSS): "Sorry, Terence"

2 - Terence kicks over a side table, sending it and its contents flying.

CAPTION (BOSS): "This job's a little outside your realm of expertise."

3 - Terence throws a wooden chair towards a nearby bookshelf, still venting his rage.

CAPTION (BOSS): "Please, don't misunderstand."

4 - Terence lifts and flips his couch towards his coffee table and TV.  If it isn't too busy, maybe have the bookshelf falling over in the background.  Terence screams in rage as he does this, although there's no word balloon to show his shout.

CAPTION (BOSS): "We both know you have many skills and talents."

5 - Terence stands in the middle of his living room amidst all the destruction and chaos he's just created (everything above and perhaps a few more things), breathing hard and absolutely fuming.

CAPTION (BOSS): "But subtlety's never been one of them."

Next page.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Five Page Stories - Eye of the Storm - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - Panel in the same vein of the last panel of page 4.  The same far off shot of the desert, but it's now night.  The moon hangs high, but it's mostly covered by dark clouds - the storm has arrived.  Lightning arcs through the sky in the distance.  Flint's in the process of getting up, while Squirt is gone (depending on the distance, a damp spot on the ground is left in his place).


2 - On Flint, standing and looking down at the damp spot on the ground where Squirt once was.  Flint's as intense as ever, but it's tinged with sadness.

FLINT: Sorry, Squirt.

3 - Flint walks towards the storm (and away from the reader), with the lightning forking across the sky ahead in huge, elaborate spiderweb-esque patterns.  The lightning strikes with such frequency to the point of lighting up the night.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Five Page Stories - Eye of the Storm - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

1 - The hover vehicle has stopped in the middle of the desert.  Flint and Squirt are being dragged / thrown out the door onto the ground below.

CAPTION (SNAKEMAN): "He is now."

2 - Cronies deliver some swift kicks to Flint and Squirt.  The snakeman watches over the whole thing, holding a blunt weapon of some variety.

SNAKEMAN: You are an incredibly obstinate man, Mr. Flint.

3 - Flint is on his knees, a defiant look on his face despite the bruises and cuts.  Squirt huddles on the ground in a fetal position, leaking water here and there.

FLINT: Won't turn away from a storm. No matter the size.

4 - The snakeman slams Flint across the face with the weapon he's holding.  Maybe have some blood fly off, depending on how you're feeling.

SNAKEMAN: I suppose not.

5 - A far shot of the hover vehicle pulling away, kicking up a new dust cloud around the two small figures lying on the ground.  The sun beats down above, with dark clouds approaching on the horizon.

CAPTION (SNAKEMAN): "How is that working out for you?"

Next page.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Five Page Stories - Eye of the Storm - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - The transport vehicle turns off the dirt road and heads towards the open desert.  The dust trail maybe gets a little bigger with the off-road move.


2 - On the Snakeman talking into an intercom.  Focus on his lower jaw / mouth, like the DJ from The Warriors.

SNAKEMAN: Apologies for the unexpected detour.

3 - On Squirt and Flint.  Squirt looks nervous, maybe "sweating" more water, while Flint looks his regular glare-y self.

SQUIRT: This is bad...

4 - On the transport vehicle, now out in the middle of the desert, with nothing really about (maybe some rocky mountains in the far distance).  Dark clouds are starting to build on the horizon.

CAPTION (SNAKEMAN): "...But we've an important stop to make."

SNAKEMAN (from within): You two, off the bus.

5 - On Squirt and Flint.  They're being grabbed by cronies and dragged forward.  Squirt is distraught; Flint is frustrated.

FLINT: He isn't involved in this!

Next page.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Five Page Stories - Eye of the Storm - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - Flint walks to the back of the vehicle, passing by row upon row of passengers, all of whom are gawking after him in a combination of surprise, disgust, and many feelings in between.  The passengers are a mix of humans of aliens of all varieties - humanoids, insect creatures, blobs, beings of gas, and all manner of other colourful creatures.


2 - Flint sits down near the back of the vehicle next to Squirt, a nervous water-based alien whose watery insides appear to be held together by some type of membrane.  Despite this, he has something approaching a face and looks nervous (maybe he's sweating?).

SQUIRT: Why would you come back?

3 - On Squirt and Flint.  Squirt tries to talk some sense into Flint, while Flint looks out the window in an absent-minded fashion.

SQUIRT: You can't win this.

4 - On an anthropomorphic Snakeman-type alien near the front of the vehicle.  He looks completely furious, narrowing his eyes and flicking his tongue out menacingly (can one flick a tongue menacingly?).  Some cronies may be nearby, but the Snakeman is the focus - maybe he's getting some type of hand-to-hand weapon ready.

FLINT (tailless): Only one way to find out.

Next page.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Five Page Stories - Eye of the Storm - Page 1

As I continue to sift through my #336 story ideas for these five-pagers, I occasionally come across some that don't really grab me but that do nonetheless inspire a strong idea.

On January 9th, I came up with:

A man stands up to the local despot / crimelord, is beaten half to death, and left for dead in the desert.

While this is certainly a story with a beginning, middle, and end, the whole thing doesn't do much for me.  That said, this idea was inspired by an image I've had in my mind for the past few months, so while this idea is what I'm presenting to you, it's not the only thing I'm using as my foundation.

Does that make sense?  If we're lucky, the script will help clear things up somewhat.

1 - On an expansive rocky desert.  Huge, red rock formations are all about (not unlike what you can find in the southwest US).  The sun hangs in the morning sky.  A small figure, Flint, stands near a dirt road, dwarfed by the landscape.


2 - On Flint.  He shields his eyes from the sun with a hand, looking intently towards what he sees in the distance.  The dirt road trails away behind him.  He is bald, with scars and tattoos.  He is a hard man - in pretty much all senses of the term.


3 - On the dirt road, specifically a large transport vehicle driving in the distance (towards the reader).  The vehicle is of the dirty sci fi variety - somewhere between a semi and a bus in size, old and worn, angular in a way that looks cool but probably isn't super practical, and hovering.  The hover / speed of the vehicle is kicking up all manner of dust.

FLINT (tailless): Right on time.

4 - On Flint as the vehicle skids / floats to a haphazard stop a little ahead of him.  Flint walks towards the door to get on (like you would a bus).  Like on panel 1, he is somewhat dwarfed by the vehicle.


5 - Wide shot on the vehicle starting back up and driving off.  Maybe have it towards the side of the panel to show its progress.  That dust cloud should be kicking up again.


Next page.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Five Page Stories - How-To - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - Power Lad approaches Knight Terror, holding Heroes are Zeroes out for Knight Terror to see.  Knight Terror is thrilled at what he's hearing and seeing.

POWER LAD: Say, you didn't happen to receive the wrong book in the mail recently, did you?


2 - The two exchange books.  Power Lad flips through the pages of Zero to Hero.  Knight Terror looks at the cover of Heroes are Zeroes happily.

KNIGHT TERROR: Oh, man!  I didn't know what to do with myself.

POWER LAD: I know!  So unnatural.

3 - The two start walking off.  Knight Terror has his arm around Power Lad's shoulder like an old friend.  They are being pretty chummy.

KNIGHT TERROR: Man, it's really lucky we ran into each other.

POWER LAD (1): For reals.

POWER LAD (2): Any later and we might have done something we'd regret.

4 - Back on the death trap holding ROBerta and Minnow.  The water is higher and lower in their respective glass chambers.  They look worriedly towards the direction that Power Lad and Knight Terror have walked off.


MINNOW: Little help?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Five Page Stories - How-To - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

1 - Close on Power Lad's face.  He is mighty angry and indignant.

POWER LAD: Who dares?!

2 - Wider shot, with Power Lad - still on his knees - on one side of the panel and Knight Terror - the newly arrived figure - on the other.  Knight Terror is a heinous looking dude, about as nightmarish as his name would imply - maybe he's got a knight motif going on, with an all black suit, dark red glowing eyes on his helmet, spikes on his shoulders, claws on his gauntlets, and that kind of thing.  He stands in a heroic pose that doesn't jive with his outfit.  Power Lad's expression is blank - maybe have a dotted line drawn from his eyes to Knight Terror to emphasize that he's trying to take in what he's seeing.


3 - On Knight Terror, who looks confused and embarrassed by what he's hearing.

POWER LAD (off-panel): You're a superhero?

KNIGHT TERROR: Why does everyone keep asking that?

4 - Knight Terror pulls out a book and scans its text, which is the focus of this panel.  As you may have guessed, it is the "Zero to Hero" book seen on page 1.

KNIGHT TERROR: Am I not doing something right?

5 - Close on Power Lad's face.  He is incredibly surprised (maybe have some "manga surprise lines" coming from his head to emphasize this).


Next page.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Five Page Stories - How-To - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - Establishing shot of Power Lad looking over ROBerta and Minnow, who are caught in a deathtrap of his devising.  Both heroes are in individual glass chambers, connected by a tube.  Minnow's is filled with water, while ROBerta's is empty, with the water draining from the former into the latter.  Minnow works to stay within the water (crouching down and the like), while ROBerta tries to stay out of it (climbing up in her glass chamber).  They look desperately towards Power Lad, who looks on with a mocking look.

CAPTION: One book binge later...

ROBERTA: Power Lad!  Why are you doing this?

2 - On Power Lad, laughing in that supervillain way.

POWER LAD: Why am I doing this?

3 - On Power Lad, looking confused as he forgets what he wanted to say.  Maybe have him pulling out his book with one hand and scratching his head with the other.


4 - On the book's interior.  An image of the Snidely Whiplash-esque figure from the book's cover stands on the page, with a big word balloon that reads "Chapter 14: Monologuing" above his head.  A small amount of text is visible underneath, along the lines of "Every great villain must be prepared to speak at length..."

POWER LAD (off-panel): Hold on...

5 - On Power Lad again.  Before he can speak, a throwing disk thrown in from off-panel hits him in the back of the head, causing his eyes to bug out a bit and for him to drop his book.  It looks painful.
LETTERING NOTE: The off-panel shout should be large to grab attention and denote the volume at which it's being shouted.

POWER LAD (1): Ah, yes.

POWER LAD (2): Well, you se--

SFX (interupting): SMAK!

OFF-PANEL SHOUT: Stop right there!

Next page.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Five Page Stories - How-To - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - A few days later in Power Lad's kitchen.  Power Lad sits at the table, looking at the package on the table with excitement.

CAPTION: 3 to 5 business days later...

POWER LAD: I can't believe it's already here!

2 - Power Lad starts opening the package.  He looks confused at what he's seeing.

POWER LAD: Wait...

3 - On the book in Power Lad's hands.  Unlike the one in the commercial, this book is titled "Heroes are Zeroes" with "On being the worst villain you can be" as the subtitle.  Maybe have a stereotypical Snidely Whiplash-esque figure on the cover or something similar.  There could potentially still be some wrapping on the book as he pauses to process what he's seeing.

POWER LAD (off-panel): ...this isn't right.

4 - On Power Lad again.  He looks to his left warily.


5 - Repeat, but Power Lad now looks to his right.


6 - Power Lad is reading the book intently.


Next page.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Five Page Stories - How-To - Page 1

Since the start of 2016, I've been endeavouring to write a minimum of one page of comic book script a day.  As you may have noticed following my Think of a City project, I've been relatively successful at the goal thus far.

However, as the New Year came about, I saw that the venerable Ryan K. Lindsay was intending to come up with #366stories, that is to say, create one story idea every day for the year.  I've always believed that when you steal you should steal from the best, so I nicked that idea right quick and have been doing exactly that as well.

I figured now would be a good time to reap some of the fruit from that labour, so I'm going to use some of those story ideals to fuel these weekly 5-page comic book scripts I've foolishly decided to write.

This week is based on the idea I came up with on January 2:

Dreaming of becoming a hero, a young man orders a how-to guide.  The one he receives explains how to be a villain.

Maybe not a revolutionary idea, but I think it should be a fine place to start.  Will it be enough for five-pages?  Will it all hang together?  Only one way to find out.

1 - Three superhero sidekicks sit on a couch, watching TV - Power Lad, a young adult street-level hero with some tasteful spandex; Minnow, an anthropomorphic fishman; and ROBerta, a female android.  Power Lad is holding court, talking to his friends.  Minnow is distracted by what's on TV.

POWER LAD: ...I'm just saying, I don't want to be a sidekick forever.

TV: Hey you!

2 - On the TV.  A superhero - Captain Cosmic (complete with cape, undies on the outside, and a planet-shaped logo on his chest) - stands, looking out towards the viewer with an earnest expression on his face.

CAPTAIN COSMIC (from TV): Do you want to help the helpless, do good, and save the day?

3 - On the TV.  Captain Cosmic holds up a book that reads "Zero to Hero".  "Call Now!" is written at the bottom of the screen.

CAPTAIN COSMIC (1): Then I have just the thing for you!

CAPTAIN COSMIC (2): I guarantee you'll be a great hero in 30 days or your money back!

4 - Back on the friends on the couch.  ROBberta and Minnow are laughing at Power Lad as he walks off in a huff towards the kitchen.

ROBERTA: ha!ha!

MINNOW: There you go!  You'll be all set, PL.

POWER LAD: Whatever, Minnow.  I'm getting a beer.  You guys want anything?

5 - In the kitchen.  Power Lad hides behind the fridge (keeping it between him and the living room), holding his phone to his ear and looking about warily in case someone sees him.

MINNOW (from other room): Yeah, grab me whatever's cold.

POWER LAD: (quietly): Hello?  I'd look to order a book...

Next page.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

On Two Months of City Thinking

I know this might sound silly, considering I just wrote a script nearly every single day these past two months, but I can't believe that I've caught up to Think of a City.

When I first started out, the idea that I might ever work my way through the dozens of amazing, wonderful pieces and reach the current one seemed almost unthinkable.  I could not be happier to have proven myself wrong.

I touched on much of this halfway through my little project, but writing these one-page scripts based on the many extremely talented artists who have contributed to this project has been a true joy.  I'm extremely proud of what I've done here.  Some of the scripts may shine brighter than others, but they all mean a lot to me.  More than that, I still can't express how much it means to me to have had such a positive reception to this little undertaking.  To have received so many words of encouragement and thanks from the very creators I've been taking inspiration from has only become more gratifying as it has continued to occur.  Not to mention everyone else who has been following along in one way or another.

So thank you one and all.  Whether you've been following along throughout, popping in just the once, or drifting in and out, I really appreciate having been your host for however long you've stayed at my corner of town.

I don't imagine you'll be too surprised when I tell you that I love writing one-pagers.  It's something I've been doing a good, long while, and I can't help but get fired up for the challenge of providing a satisfying story or slice thereof in such a small space.  But I know that it's also important to change things up, and in that vein, as of tomorrow I'm planning to shift into a weekly five-page scripts, one page per day.  We'll see how that goes.

It is admittedly bittersweet to have found myself pulling even with Think of a City entries, since that means I will no longer be able to take inspiration from these brilliant creators on a daily basis.  I still cannot believe my luck to have discovered such an amazing project and to have had the great fortune to spend so much time with it in my own way.  Thankfully, I'm already looking forward to the opportunity for return visits down the line when more pieces come out.

Thanks again.  Hope to see you soon.