Saturday, April 30, 2016

Think of a City - Home

So the Thought Wrangling (at least the public facing portions of it) has gone a little quiet these past few weeks, but as you well know one thing that will always bring me back is Think of a City updates.  This time around, we have, 057, a delightful collaboration between Vincent Kukua and Casey Gilly, which grabbed me from the moment I set eyes on it.  We're moving ever closer into the realm of straight comic book page, which I find intriguing, but what I really dig here is that, instead of words, the balloons are chock-full of images / memories.  The whole "image is worth a thousand words" idea comes pretty quickly to mind, and I can't say that it's wrong, as the team manages to get all manner of information and ideas across in a relatively small space.  Love it.

1 - Establishing shot of a busy downtown square.  There are people all about, walking this way and that.  One man, Bob, pauses amid the crowd and looks up a the tall skyscrapers, taking it all in.  It doesn't have to be immediately evident that he is our focus (that's what later panels are for), but with some inspection, he should stick out a bit - he should be wearing clothing from an earlier era (maybe a 1950s suit), a hat that covers his eyes, and perhaps bandages / stitches along parts of his skin that are showing.  And because accessories are nice, give him a briefcase.

CAPTION (BOB): I love this city.

2 - Bob walks along the sidewalk, making headway out of downtown.  There's fewer people about and a cemetery is visible in the distance.

CAPTION (BOB): I always found its hustle and bustle soothing.

3 - In the cemetery.  Bob walks towards a small mausoleum, its doors partially open.

CAPTION (BOB): But sometimes all that energy and liveliness can feel overwhelming.

4 - Bob walks down a long, dark, underground staircase.  The structure is made of stone and looks old, possibly with the occasional sconce to light the way.  As Bob nears its end, he takes off his hat (although his face should still be obscured).

CAPTION (BOB): When that hits, I need to get away.

5 - Bob emerges into a huge underground space, echoing the downtown square from panel 1, save for the fact that all the denizen of this space are monstrous creatures of various sorts.  With his hat off, it's clear that Bob is a zombie, while there are skeletons, creatures from black lagoons, vampires, werewolves, and so forth strolling all about him.  It should also be clear that there are buildings, infrastructure, and the like in this underground area.  Bob once again pauses to take it all in.

CAPTION (BOB): Fortunately, I know just the place.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Five Page Stories - Off the Clock - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - Close on Kendra's hand as she brings it out of her bag. She's holding a couple of small smoke bombs.

KENDRA: It's clear that I've overstayed my welcome.

2 - Kendra throws the smoke bombs at the floor, immediately unleashing growing smoke. The luchadors may recoil slightly.


SFX: smokebomb!

3 - Outside. It's still raining. The bus' interior is filling with smoke, most of the back already obscured.


4 - Kendra crashes through one of the bus windows (with her bag, of course), diving to the street below.

SFX: krsssh!


5 - Kendra lies on the wet road. The bus is off-panel.

CAPTION (KENDRA): The day was longer than I would have liked.

6 - Kendra gets up, taking a moment to dust herself off.  A crash comes from the direction the bus left the panel.


CAPTION (KENDRA): And the weather's still awful.

7 - Kendra starts walking home.

CAPTION (KENDRA): But at least I'm a little closer to home.

Five Page Stories - Off the Clock - Page 4

Start from the beginning.

1 - Close on the luchador leader's face.

LEADER: Enough!

2 - One luchador henchman lunges forward with his blade, forcing Kendra to leap backwards to avoid the blade (she may bend at the hips to create some extra distance).

LEADER (tailless): Teach.

3 - The other henchman steps past his comrade and slices downwards along the aisle next to Kendra, forcing her off-balance as she avoids the slash.

LEADER (tailless): Her.

4 - The other henchman continues forward past Kendra, sword at the ready, while the initial henchman takes the place in front and next to her. He slashes across the aisle horizontally, forcing Kendra into an awkward roll into the seat space behind where he bag is.

LEADER (tailless): Some.

5 - The leader stabs his sword through the seat in front of Kendra (where her bag is - indeed, the sword goes through the bag's strap), pinning Kendra between the sword and the bus wall. Kendra's eyes go wide at the close call.

LEADER: Manners!

6 - Similar to the last panel, with Kendra surrounded on all sides by these sword-wielding luchadors. Kendra reaches over the seat and gingerly picks up her bag, ripping the strap on the sword blade.

SFX: tear!

Next page.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five Page Stories - Off the Clock - Page 3

Start from the beginning.

1 - The luchador businessmen hold their umbrellas out in front of them, as if they are about to draw a sword from a scabbard (mostly because that's what they're about to do).

CAPTION (KENDRA): Of course...

LEADER: You may think your glib remarks clever...

2 - Insert panel. Close on a sword blade being drawn from its umbrella scabbard.


3 - The luchador businessmen stand with swords drawn, ready to strike.

LEADER: But we've come with something sharper than your wit.

CAPTION (KENDRA): The fun can be short lived.

4 - Kendra strikes a pose as if she's ready to fight, one hand out to the side.

KENDRA: Well, if you put it that way...

5 - Insert panel of Kendra's hand pulling down on the bus stop request cord. Maybe some speed lines or torque to emphasize how hard she's pulling.

SFX: Ding!

6 - On Kendra, still pulling on the cord. She looks confident.

KENDRA: That's my cue to leave.

7- On the group as a whole. Kendra stands to one side, looking out the window; the luchador businessmen stand to the other, still at the ready. The "Stop Requested" sign is now lit up. Everyone looks kind of uncomfortable.


8 - Repeat panel. Kendra returns her attention to the group and scratches the back of her head, an awkward smile on her face. The luchador businessmen look at each other, unsure of what to do for the moment.

KENDRA: I'd really hoped that would work.

Next page.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Five Page Stories - Off the Clock - Page 2

Start from the beginning.

1 - The men stand menacingly in front of Kendra (still with their umbrellas).  She makes a show of stretching out and yawning, not taking them seriously.

KENDRA (1): You're going to have to be more specific.

KENDRA (2): I've done a lot of things to a lot of folk.

2 - One of the masked henchmen brings an axe kick down on the bus bench next to Kendra, smashing it.  She holds a similar position to panel 1, but her eyes are big in surprise.

KENDRA: Right.

CAPTION (KENDRA): It's rarely a good idea to get these types riled up.

3 - Kendra moves off the seat, crouching on one knee as she punches hard on the side of the benchkicker's leg, bending it sideways / causing him quite a bit of pain (and forcing him to bend forward in pain).


4 - Kendra transitions into a firm standing uppercut, snapping the benchkicker's head back with the blow.


5 - Kendra delivers a two-handed blow to the benchkicker's gut, taking him off his feet and sending him down the bus aisle towards his companions.  They look on in surprise.

CAPTION (KENDRA): But damn if it isn't fun to do.

Next page.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Five Page Stories - Off the Clock - Page 1

I have a little post-it note on my desk listing things I feel like I could stand to work on when it comes to comic scripting, so this week I'm planning on giving some time to one of the items on that list.  Prepare yourself for a five page story revolving around "fight scenes".

1 - On Kendra Richardson, a woman wearing a military jacket, black top, and jeans, sitting at the back of a bus with her messenger bag beside her.  She is tired, beat-up - perhaps some bruising or cuts on her face.  She crosses her arms, snoozing slightly.  Frame to emphasize that she is alone on the bus.  Through the windows, it is night time and - if possible to show - raining.

CAPTION (KENDRA): Normally I'd walk home from work.

2 - Outside on the bus stopped at a bus stop (again, in the rain).  A group of five men in business wear are getting on at the front of the bus.  Their upper bodies and faces are hidden by their umbrellas.

CAPTION (KENDRA): But the weather's awful.

3 - On the feet of the group of men standing at the front of the bus talking with the bus driver - their business shoes are nice and fancy.  If visible, the bus driver's shoes are old and worn.

CAPTION (KENDRA): And it's been a long day.

LEADER (off-panel): We require you to exit this vehicle immediately.

BUS DRIVER (off-panel): Listen, wise guy, I don't know what--

4 - On the bus' front door as the driver is thrown out towards the wet pavement below.


5 - On Kendra, who holds a similar snoozing position as panel 1, but with one eye open in response to the call.  She looks more annoyed than surprised.

CAPTION (KENDRA): Unfortunately...

LEADER (off-panel): Ms. Richardson!

6 - On the group of businessmen at the front of the bus.  While all in business wear, we see that they are also all wearing luchador masks, each one with a different colour.  Their leader wears a slightly fancier mask to distinguish him from the others.  The walk menacingly towards the back of the bus, all still holding their (now closed) umbrellas.  One of the group has stayed at the front and is driving the bus.

LEADER: You must pay for what you've done!

CAPTION (KENDRA): It looks like it's about to get a lot longer.

Next page.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Think of a City - Fortune's Favour

I'd say I just can't help myself, but when talented folk like Jennifer de Guzman and Kate Brown come at you with pieces as stunning as 056, I don't know that you can blame me.  I'm particularly enamoured by this image because it's pretty much an unlettered comic book page.  The layout might be a little non-traditional, but it's clearly there.  And the blue mushrooms not only provide a backlink to the previous Think of a City entry, but it acts as a beautiful border and motif to this page specifically - I can't get over how they break the gutter borders.  It's a wonderful detail that speaks to how the little fungi are seemingly overwhelming not only the page but the world itself.  Love it.

We're following Maya, a woman in a post-apocalyptic world that's filled with pollution and low on fresh air / plants.  While searching for any wild plants, she's fallen through a rooftop window into the room below.

1 - Looking down at Maya lying prone in a little field of glowing blue mushrooms.  She absentmindedly reaches to her gas mask to make sure it's still in one piece.  There might be shards of glass, pieces of window frame, rafters, and the like littered around her to show things she brought down with her when falling.


2 - Maya sits up, realizing she's surrounded by these glowing mushrooms.  She's amazed at this discovery - maybe a little exclamation mark above her head to illustrate her excitement.

CAPTION (MAYA): I'd say I could have done without that fall.

3 - Maya is up and picking mushrooms, shoving as many as she can into her bag.

CAPTION (MAYA): But this is exactly what I needed.

4 - Maya continues to collect fungi, so focused on her task that she does not notice the huge, shadowy spider sneaking up behind her.  Some of its shape and body can be seen, but we're mostly looking at a bunch of nefarious glowing red eyes looming over Maya, preparing for something awful.

CAPTION (MAYA): It's funny how quickly your luck can change.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Five Page Stories - Ex Factor - Page 5

Start from the beginning.

1 - On Belok back at his place.  He looks pensive and thoughtful.  Frame the panel so that you can't see below his shoulders.

BELOK: Maybe there are worse things than seeing your exes again.  It was weird at first, but all in all, Ashling was pretty cool about things.

2 - On Ordro.  He looks tired and unimpressed.

ORDRO: She put a spear through your gut.

3 - Back on Belok, framed so that it's clear the spear Ashling threw at the end of page 4 impaled him and is still sticking through his gut - he's probably still bleeding openly.  Ordro examines the spear.  Belok doesn't seem to be worried about this state of affairs (and won't be for the rest of the page), focusing more on Ordro's revelation he has the wrong spear through his side.

ORDRO: And it's not even the one we want.

BELOK: What?

4 - On the spear poking through Belok's torso.  Ordro looks closely - perhaps "Everspear" is written along the shaft and he points at it.

ORDRO (off-panel): This is the Everspear.  We need the Foreverspear to stop Dark Skull.

5 - On Belok.  He's embarrassed at his forgetfulness.

BELOK: Oh, dang.

6 - Belok puts his hand to his chin in classic "Thinker" pose, considering the matter seriously.

BELOK: Let's see...Foreverspear...

7 - Belok extends his finger excitedly as he thinks of the answer.  A look of excitement covers his face.

BELOK: I left that at Wilhelmina's before she dumped me.

8 - Belok's face falls as he realizes what this means.

BELOK: ...

9 - Belok shrugs his shoulders.  Ordro facepalms once again at what he's hearing.

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