Sunday, July 31, 2016

Think of a City - Thicker Than Water

Is Tait Howard's 063 enough to make graveyard's a Think of a City motif?  It might be a bit too early to make that assertion, but it is always fascinating to see artists and pieces circle back to elements that have come before.  A few degrees removed from 057, it's neat to have a second dally about an idea and to come to such a different result.

1 - Establishing shot on a big and old Victorian house at night.  An ongoing column of unholy energy has blown a hole through the house's roof and rises into an equally unholy rend in the sky.

PATRICK (from within): Are you sure this will fix whatever they've started?

2 - Inside the house.  Ella and Patrick stand in an attic, a little worse for wear.  There's a pentagram painted on the floor, the column of unholy energy rising above it.  A number of beaten and unconscious masked cultists are lying on the ground.  Patrick looks in surprise and frustration at Ella; Ella shrugs her shoulders defensively, holding a small cooler in one hand.  There should be a table of some variety visible for the action in the next panel.  The column of energy is still pulsing, giving a sickly light to the scene and maybe kicking up some wind / force of some nature.

ELLA: I'm at, like, 70% confidence?


ELLA (1): Ritual magic isn't an exact science!

ELLA (2): I mean, it's right there in the name.

3 - Ella places the cooler on the table and opens it.  She and Patrick stand in front, looking into the contents.  This is framed so the reader cannot yet see what's inside.  It could also be done so the column can be visible in the background.

ELLA: But none of the rites specifically call for human sacrifice.

4 - On the cooler, which is filled with blood packs / transfusion bags.  Ella might be pulling out a bag, all the better for the reader to see it.

ELLA (tailless): Just human blood.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Think of a City - Rose-Coloured

Wow. I've been looking and looking, and while I love what I'm seeing, I don't know that I could tell you what's actually going on in Max Fiumara's 062.  It reminds me of the movement between 032 and 033, with the transition of one piece's element to the next, but whereas that one was a more straightforward recycling of the image, Fiumara takes it a step further, taking the shape of the neon outline from the previous piece and using it for a very different and new effect in this chaotic scene.  And once again, I missed the decision entirely my first time through - really appreciate the attention to detail.

1 - Lissa dives through the air, spearing Jack in the middle to push him out of the way of an unseen attacker.  The ground where Jack had been standing a moment before explodes as if it's been slammed by some large and powerful blunt force.  If possible, have a pair of red-rimmed, rose-lensed glasses falling from Lissa's person as she flies through the air.

LISSA: Move!

2 - Lissa and Jack are splayed out on the ground.  Jack is still stunned from the sudden spill; Lissa is a bit fast on the uptake, frantically pats herself down, eyes wide in terror as she cannot find the glasses.

JACK: W-what happened?

LISSA: No, no, no.

3 - On the glasses, lying on the ground.  Lissa and Jack are in the background.  Jack has gotten up to a sitting position with one hand on his head, looking confused.  Lissa continues to search desperately, looking in the wrong direction.

LISSA: Where are my glasses?

4 - Repeat panel, but the glasses are crushed, as if an invisible foot is stepping on them.  The foot, like the blow from panel 1, is heavy enough to crater the ground.  Lissa still hasn't found the glasses; Jack could be looking in the right direction, terror on his face as he sees the evidence of the invisible attackers.

LISSA: I can't see them without my glasses!

SFX: krak!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Think of a City - Rain Cheque

I love the major colour palette shift Seth Lochhead and Owen Freeman throw down in 061 compared to the last few pieces.  The various shades of blue grab the eye and develop all kinds of atmosphere all at once, and I adore the way they sneak in the red from 060 in the refraction of the glass tube / column.  That it hides a seem that initially appears to be amorous but is quickly revealed to be far more nefarious under closer scrutiny is yet another bonus.  Anyone familiar with Think of a City will not be surprised at the level of talent on display.  What's more notable is how impressive it remains, 60+ pieces in.

1 - We're in the downtown core of a major metropolis.  Neon bright in the night, shining out against the rain.  On Vince as he runs through the downpour, his jacket up over his head in a futile attempt to keep some small part of himself dry.


2 - Vince has found some shelter from the storm, standing just out of the rain with his hands on his knees trying to regain his breath.  Frame from within the shelter, so its actual depth is unclear.

SFX (VINCE): *huff! puff!*

VOICE: mmf!

3 - Vince turns towards the sound from off-panel, freezing in terror at what he sees.

VINCE: Sorry, I didn't realize--

4 - Back on the city streets, Vince is running full out, jacket and wish to be dry forgotten.


5 - Back in the alcove, reveal two vampires who are in the process of draining the life from a poor innocent.  They look mostly human, except for the fangs, red eyes, and of course the blood all over them.  They've paused in their feeding.  One looks to the other in confusion; the second only shrugs their shoulders.

VAMPIRE: What's eating him?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Think of a City - Silent As

I'm pleased as punch to have built up a little backlog of Think of a City pieces to work through.  I'm obviously always thrilled to wait and check out the latest entries as they're released, but I find going through a number of them in quick succession gives a different perspective on the project and can allow for a clearer view of the overall ebb and flow.  For example, the haunting 060 by Monica Richards, in the context of the past three or four pieces, seems to be rather strong evidence that cats are becoming a new motif, like dinosaurs and motorcycles before them.  And I'd say cemeteries might be entering that same category, but I might be getting ahead of myself...

1 - Establishing shot of a long abandoned city street, looking down with a bird's eye view.  A lone figure dressed in a long trench-coat, and a hat and sunglasses that cover their face, walks down what was once a busy street.  Now, there are the remains of a few skeleton's of cars, badly cracked pavement, and lots of overgrown vegetation.  The lone figure is the panel's primary focus, but they are small amid the large, empty city.

CAPTION (FIGURE): It's amazing how quickly the city became a graveyard.

2 - Close on the figure as they pass by one of the car skeletons, looking towards it curiously.  Perhaps frame so that the car's window frame's the figure (or the figure's face).


3 - The figure walks on down the street, looking over towards a sound coming from an alley off-panel.

SFX: maor!

CAPTION (FIGURE): Of course...

4 - On the alley where the sound emerged from.  A momma cat is looking after her litter of kittens - perhaps carrying one by the scruff of their neck in her mouth as she returns it to the rest of its siblings.  The figure stands in the foreground, back to the reader, hand on an alley wall, watching the scene.

CAPTION (FIGURE): Even graveyards have their share of life.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Think of a City - Forest for the Trees

I love the way each new Think of a City piece can delight and surprise.  Robin Furth and Megan Hutchison's 059 is no exception to this rule, as it takes a pretty dramatic departure from the previous entry while still focusing in on a very real connection between the two.  I also can't help but marvel at how dense this image is - looking over it, I was stunned at the many different levels and layers the two creators managed to pack in - I missed the cameo by 058's protagonist on first glance, for goodness sakes!

1 - Ariel and Eldar stand in a small clearing in a dark, malevolent-seeming forest.  Ariel is poking through some shrubbery with her sword, seemingly searching for something.  Eldar stands to the side, impatiently waiting.

ELDAR: Come along, Ariel. There's no time for skulking in the shrubbery.

2 - Eldar and Ariel walk on.  Eldar looks pleased to be back on track, while Ariel continues to look back towards the clearing behind them, a look of unease on her face.  She sheathes her sword.

ELDAR: And please put away your weapon.  You know we want them to understand that we mean no harm.

ARIEL: Are you sure they feel the same way?

3 - Eldar and Ariel continue forward.  Eldar remains oblivious to the obvious dangers that seem to be hiding behind every corner of this dark place.  Ariel tries to remain vigilant, but is generally uncomfortable with the whole situation.

ELDAR: Of course!

4 - Back on the initial clearing of panel 1.  Focus on some skeletal figures in abouts the shrubbery that Ariel was searching through.  It is clear that the skeletal figures did not die of natural causes (perhaps scratch marks on the bones, for example).  Ariel and Eldar are in the background, walking deeper into the dark forest.

ELDAR: What would make you think otherwise?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Think of a City - Music for the Soul

Even though they aren't all that related, in looking at Janet Lee's 058, I couldn't help but be reminded of William Gibson's Neuromancer.  Specifically, the opening line: "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."  The window we have into Lee's world is far more colourful than that, but the sky above nonetheless brought the quote to my mind.  While I had a few other ideas of how to approach the piece, I felt that that was as good as any other.  I hope you'll agree.

We open the page with only black and white for colours.  As the panels progress, we'll add in a bit more colour.

1 - The business district of a large city.  It's raining.  Men and women in suits walk to and fro, presumably heading towards their offices.  Everyone has an umbrella up against the percipitation, adding to the faceless aspect of the scene (the umbrellas could even be hiding their faces, if we'd like).


2 - At ground level, we see a young woman walking among the business folk.  Shorter than the crowd, her small stature causes her to stand out.  As does the guitar she has slung across her back.  She is dressed in regular clothing - jean shorts, tshirt, and maybe a plaid flannel for good measure.  Without an umbrella, she is wet from the rain, but does not seem to mind.  No one seems to notice her.
COLOURING NOTE: This young woman should be in faded colours - it's not full technicolour, but she does stand out from the black and white around her.


3 - The young woman sits down at the edge of a fountain and starts tuning her guitar, paying no mind to the world around her, just as the world continues to ignore her.  Perhaps one suit stops to notice the young woman.
COLOURING NOTE: The young woman should be in more regular, bright colours.  If the one suit has stopped to watch, they may be in the faded colours the young woman was in the previous panel.


4 - The young woman begins to strum her guitar.  A wave of music (for lack of a better term) rises from the guitar.  The wave should be in colour, so anything encompassed within it would be in full, bright colours.  More suits are stopping to watch.  When they do, they lower their umbrellas, so their faces become visible.
COLOURING NOTE: As mentioned in the description, the wave of music should be in full colour.  The suits who have stopped could either be faded colour, full colour, or somewhere in between.


5 - A circle of onlookers have formed around the young woman playing guitar.  The suits have all lowered their umbrellas, smiling up to the raining sky as they sing along to the music.  Maybe extend the wave of music circle to include everyone, or have small elements of the wave scattered about the panel to emphasize everyone being a part of the moment.
COLOURING NOTE: This panel should be in full colour.  Indeed, it might even go beyond that, adding bright colours where there wouldn't actually be any in real life (such as rainbow coloured raindrops, etc - have fun with it).


Sunday, July 3, 2016


1 - On a dog being lovingly petted by some woman.  Said petting is either from the woman's perspective or at least framed so the woman's face is not on-panel.  The focus is on the cute and excited dog who is loving life.

WOMAN: Who's a good boy?

CAPTION (LESTER): I've never understood the appeal of pets.

2 - The woman and a man look to be talking to each other (again, the panel is framed so we can't see their faces).  The dog wanders off, walking towards the street.

MAN: So what are you doing later?

CAPTION (LESTER): What's so great about having some dumb animal follow you around?

3 - The dog is in the middle of the street and looks towards something terrifying off-panel (and directly towards the reader).

MAN (off-panel): Bandit?

CAPTION (LESTER): Who you have to look after?

4 - The dog is hit by a car.  The impact is pretty big - the car clearly did not slow down.  The car is a beat-up, old clunker.

SFX (car hitting dog): WHUMP!

CAPTION (LESTER): And whose messes you have to clean up?

5 - On Walter and Lester in the car.  Lester hits Walter upside the back of the head.  Lester looks angry; Walter looks contrite and sad.

LESTER: You idiot!  Watch where you're driving!

SFX (hitting Walter): smak!

LESTER: No, don't stop.

6 - Establishing shot of the street.  The car drives off, while the man (and possibly the woman) run towards the dog lying in the middle of the street.

LESTER (from within the car): We've got places to be.

MAN: Bandit!

CAPTION (LESTER): I have enough of that in my life already.