Monday, December 3, 2012

"Beans the Clown"

(5 Page Script, Genre: Humor)

“Beans the Clown”

Page One

Panel 1.  A close-up on a warm, colorful clown against a white backdrop.  As long as the clown appears genuinely loving and not homicidal, his appearance can be as stereotypical or unorthodox as you want it to be.  As we’re about to reveal, this panel is actually a close-up on a printed illustration being held up by someone else, so I guess you could say this panel is from a “first-person” perspective.  Dialogue is off-panel to the person holding the illustration.

1 FATHER (off-panel):
You don’t really look the same as in the flyer.

Panel 2.  Same angle and perspective, except the hands holding the illustration have lowered enough so that we can see BEANS THE CLOWN standing directly in front of us, in roughly the same pose as seen in the illustration from Panel 1.  Contrary to the printed illustration, the actual Beans is disheveled and infinitely depressing to the senses.  He is unshaven with bags under his bloodshot eyes, his expression a perpetual grimace or sneer, his clothes dirty and maybe even a little blood-stained.  Beans is at least thirty pounds heavier than in the illustration, and you might even want a fly or two whizzing around his head for good measure.  He holds a brown paper bag tightly in one hand, implying that there is a bottle of something alcoholic inside.

Damn straight I don’t!  Ain’t no artist that can render a mug like this in all its glory.

Panel 3.  Pull out so that we can see a FATHER and MOTHER glancing with concern back at the illustration in the father’s hands.  Beans gives the parents the stink eye as he drinks from his brown paper bag.  They are standing in the entranceway of a cozy middle-class home in the suburbs.  The father looks like a spineless pushover, because no confident adult would ever let Beans in his house in the first place.  The mother is similarly timid, but in a street fight, she would lay her husband out.

The party’s already begun, and we did promise Chris a clown.

4 MOTHER (whisper):
But he smells like bourbon!

Panel 4.  Beans lumbers out of the room like Donkey Kong to go find the party, utterly indifferent to the panicked expression on the mother’s face.  Beans is very drunk.

Bourbon is nature’s aftershave!  Now where the hell are these kids?

Page Two

Panel 1.  Beans has arrived in the living room, surrounded by elementary schoolers in party hats.  His arms are spread wide as he introduces himself to the unsuspecting kids, the paper bag still in one hand.  Pizza and soda are on the table in front of the couch, and some lame kids’ movie is playing on the television.  All of the usual kid’s birthday stuff is littered around the room.  The birthday boy, CHRIS, watches Beans with awe.  He has short blonde hair and wears a cardboard Burger King-style crown for the occasion.

Loaded on hooch and ready to mooch!  Make way for Beans the Clown!

Panel 2.  Chris hurries excitedly to Beans, hands raised and fingers interlocked in a pleading sort of way.  Beans looks down at the boy with big, open lips, because he needs to look like a Grade-A schlub at all times.

Oh, wow, a real clown!  Do you do balloon animals?

Balloons?  Thanks to Philip Morris, I need an oxygen mask just to blow on hot food.

Panel 3.  Chris, a little less enthused now, puts his hand on the back of his neck.  Beans places a hand on his own shoulder, one eye wincing to denote discomfort.

Okay, well, can you juggle?

Not since the shoulder injury.  Beans really shouldn’t have picked that fight with the clergyman.

Panel 4.  Beans spreads out on the couch, leaving no room for children to sit, and gestures toward the pizza on the table in front of him.  Chris glares at him.  His father and mother have now entered the room, and they mimic Chris’s look of disapproval.

Don’t you do anything fun?

Hey, what do you call this?  Buncha guys sitting around eating free grub?

8 BEANS (connected):
This is the life!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


[This particular script is actually older than the previous few; it was written immediately before "Black Magic Mastiff."  The unintended similarity between the ending of this story and of "Black Magic Mastiff" is what caused me to hesitate to upload both scripts, but I've ultimately decided that both scripts are unique enough to be worth reading, in spite of that gaff of writing two stories in a row that make use of a similar resolution.  I'll try to be a little more original from now on!]

(5 Page Script, Genre:  Fantasy/Humor)


Page One 

Panel 1.  ELENA and ZAM barrel down the side of a hill covered in fruit-bearing trees, a massive four-legged beast chasing after them.  Elena wears a regal dress of ornate make that is completely inappropriate for a jaunt through the countryside, and she holds up the bottom of the dress with her hands so as not to dirty it.  Her tall, expensive boots are more terrain-friendly, and a bow places her brunette hair into a long pony tail, so practicality is not entirely lost on her.  Zam is clad in a simple green cotton jacket over a plain white undershirt, with comfortable brown trousers held up by a tied rope and sturdy boots.  In his left hand is a common short sword, while a large, ripe fruit resembling an orange takes center stage in his right hand.  Pieces of fruit and a significant amount of the fruit’s juice are plastered to Zam’s face from having recently taken a bite out of it.  He has short black hair, and his eyes never betray a hint of fear, in spite of the circumstances.  Elena and Zam are both in their mid-twenties.  The beast is twice Zam’s height on all-fours, with a lion’s mane and a head like a warthog.  It has claws the size of Zam’s head, and its tail functions like a huge and furry club, perhaps knocking over a tree as it wags.  It is noontime. 

I thought you said you were a licensed monster hunter! 

2 ZAM:
Did I say licensed?  I meant to say licentious!

Panel 2.  Pan in on Elena and Zam enough that we can’t see them from the waist down.  Elena is clearly anxious about their predicament, whereas Zam is utterly insouciant.  The excessive juiciness of the fruit in his hand should be highlighted, as it will become a plot point in the immediate future.

What manner of buffoon consents to slay a beast that large without proper training? 

4 ZAM:
Who says I haven’t been properly trained? 

Panel 3.  Pull out to find a large stain around Zam’s crotch, intimating that Zam has basically peed his pants from fright.  In actuality, it’s just juice from the fruit that has spilled onto his crotch, but Elena (and hopefully the reader) mistakes it for a heaping helping of urine.  She points to the stain with disdain while still holding her dress up.  Zam looks down to observe the blotch himself. 

The fresh stain on your trousers makes for a compelling witness.

Panel 4.  Zam plays along with her mistaken belief.  Running from this beast is little more than a game to him, and even though we can see the beast in a frenzy not too far behind him, Zam certainly isn’t worried about it.

6 ZAM:
Hardly!  My crotch will do anything to draw a woman’s attention.

Page Two

Panel 1.  Flashback illustration, which Zam continues to talk over in the present through narration boxes.  We see Elena and Zam at the doorstep of Elena’s large, expensive home that could double for a Tsar’s summer home.  Elena holds up a crude drawing of the beast that is chasing them in the present, with a circle around its stomach region, indicating its stomach is the reason for the hunt.  Zam gives her a thumbs-up, suggesting his agreement to go out and kill the creature.  For context, Zam is a passing vagabond who has heard of Elena’s need for a monster hunter.

1 ZAM (narration box):
“Look, when a beautiful lady offers to pay me to stick a blade in something, who am I to say no?

2 ZAM (narration box):
“One good jab can lead to another.”

Panel 2.  Back to Elena and Zam running, now so engrossed in their inane conversation that they are no longer paying any attention to their surroundings, especially not what is up ahead of them.

Do you truly believe you can bed me after having soiled your undergarments?

4 ZAM:
I seldom retain the use of undergarments during my lovemaking.  Is that unusual?

Panel 3.  Elena, now looking forward again, suddenly pulls back hard on the bottom of her dress, as if trying to pull back the reins of a chariot to avert a collision.  We can’t yet see what’s in front of her that causes her to stop in her tracks.

You are unusual, and--

Oh, look out!

Panel 4.  A river.  A narrow river is the thing in front of Elena that has caused her to panic, but her velocity up till now has been too great, and now she and Zam both fall straight into it (sound effect).  The beast is still raging toward them all the same, though it has not hit water yet.

7 SFX:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Love and War"

(5 Page Script, Genre:  Humor/Romance)

“Love and War”

Page One

Panel 1.  High schooler SAM JENKINS almost strangles the rose in his hands as he holds it out in front of him, eyes wincing with anxiety and facing toward the floor.  He wears a typical t-shirt and blue jeans, and though he’s not particularly remarkable in appearance, there’s a handsomeness to him.  Bathroom stalls are behind him, though it should not be extraordinarily apparent Sam is in a high school bathroom quite yet.

1 SAM:
Amy Andrews, will you, um, go to prom with me?

Panel 2.  Reverse the angle to show that Sam is in front of the bathroom mirror, apparently trying to offer his reflection a rose.  His body is locked in the same awkward position.  Now it is pretty obvious we are in a bathroom.  There is a potted cactus roughly the height of a teenage girl in one corner of the room.  No dialogue.

Panel 3.  Sam’s eyes widen with surprise and his posture turns stiffly erect as he reacts to an unexpected response that comes from inside one of the closed stalls.  At the same time, we hear a flush from inside that stall.  The tail of the one-word word balloon should be pointing to the stall door.


3 SFX:
Panel 4.  The stall door opens to reveal OMAR BASTION, who is tall and muscular enough to resemble a young, black Hercules.  He points a thumb at himself with a big, toothy grin and his head cocked back, while his other hand has swung open the door.  His sleeveless white shirt literally outlines his physique even further, and he wears jeans held up by a belt with a fat gleaming buckle.  Maybe go with a worm’s eye view with this shot to best establish the physical and social enormity of the character. 

Amy would rather go with a winner, and his name is Omar Bastion!

Page Two 

Panel 1.  Sam makes way for Omar as Omar struts to the sink.  Sam slouches in dismay so much that you’d think he was trying to duck a cannonball. 

1 SAM:
You?  But you’re so popular that the cafeteria named a sandwich after you.

2 SAM (connected):
I wouldn’t think you’d even notice someone quiet like Amy.

Panel 2.  Omar smiles at himself in the mirror as he talks and washes his hands.

You crazy?  Eagle eyes like these don’t ever miss a fox like that.

4 OMAR (connected):
I mean, I haven’t actually asked her yet, but with you for competition, what’s the rush?

Panel 3.  Omar suddenly spazzes out, water flinging off his wet hands which have assumed unnatural, angular positions.  His eyes cross and his arms contort as he leans his head and neck in opposing directions.  This is his Sam impression.  Sam grimaces at the undesirable assessment.  The sink has been shut off.

Uh, Amy, uh, go to prom with me!  I’ve got no backbone, so we’ll get handicap parking!

Panel 4.  Omar turns his back to Sam as he walks toward the potted cactus in the corner.  He raises one condescending finger as he goes (to clarify, his forefinger, definitely not his middle finger).  Sam hunches forward, having become curious at what Omar’s doing.

6 SAM:
Was it that bad?

Worse!  You couldn’t smooth talk your mama for the TV remote with game that busted.

Panel 5.  Omar gestures toward the cactus as if he were showing off a super model or a brand new car.  Sam, now standing near Omar again, puts a hand to his chin.  Don’t forget that he still has his rose.

Say, what do you see right now?

9 SAM:
An illogically-placed cactus?

10 OMAR:
Wrong again.  I see a fine lady that I’m just crazy about.  Watch how a man works.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Aguadilla Autumn"

(8 Page Script, Genre: Drama)
**Revised on 11/25**

“Aguadilla Autumn”

Page One
Panel 1.  A hospital room in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.  JUAN holds up a fat, palm-sized white seashell with sparkly-eyed glee for bedridden ISABEL.  They are both eighteen years old, and while Juan is fit and handsome, Isabel is approaching the end stage of cancer.  Her frame is frail and her hair is all gone, but she still has a pretty face and big, dark eyes.  Juan’s enthusiasm elicits a meek grin from Isabel.  There is a window opposite the door to the hallway, and across from Isabel’s bed hangs a standard analog clock.  It is roughly 6:00pm.
The best shell I ever found!  Can you believe my luck?*
But it looks the same as all the others.
*Translated from Spanish.
Panel 2.  Juan raises a finger, a mischievous smile accompanying it.  Isabel crosses her arms, her head leaning to one side to suggest playful doubt.  We’re going to keep the true nature of their relationship purposely ambiguous, but they are not brother and sister.
Isabel, I’ve been collecting one shell a week since we were five years old.
Let me tell you--not a single one of them looks the same.
Panel 3.  Isabel snatches the shell away from Juan in a sudden burst of energy, all of which makes Juan nervous.
And when do you plan to return them all to the sea?
Well, I don’t know.
Panel 4.  Juan closes his hands around Isabel’s hand, which still contains the shell.  They lock eyes.
But I want you to have this one.  I found it for you.
It reminds me of you, actually.

Page Two
Panel 1.  Isabel inspects the shell in her hands more closely, depression apparent in her features.
Of me?  Am I so pale?
Panel 2.  Juan grimaces, disgusted with himself, a hand resting on Isabel’s shoulder.
Of course not!  And neither is the shell.
I see so much color.
Panel 3.  Isabel gives Juan a pensive stare.  He doesn’t really know what to make of it.
Like with leaves?
There are places where the leaves turn beautiful colors in autumn.  The leaves never change color in Aguadilla.
Panel 4.  Isabel rolls over in her bed in the foreground, facing toward the window (and us) and away from Juan, but she continues to clutch the shell.  Juan, feeling disconnected from her now, has backed up closer to the doorway.
I wish I could see the leaves change color.
Panel 5.  The hospital hallway.  Juan stands in place with his head down, his eyes and mouth scrunched tight, a single tear headed down his cheek.  “Pabellón del Cáncer” (cancer ward) is printed on a sign on the wall.  Children’s drawings colored in crayon litter a pin board.  There is a calendar displaying “octubre” (October, naturally).  No dialogue.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Black Magic Mastiff"

(6 Page Script, Genre:  Humor)

“Black Magic Mastiff”

Page One

Panel 1.  JOE watches incredulously as STAN holds up a dusty book in one hand to read in the corner of the school library.  Stan stands before a large piece of poster board on the floor that has a pentagram circumscribed by a circle all drawn with black marker.  A lit candle resides at each of the five points of the pentagram.  Joe and Stan are otherwise in the dark, but Stan holds a flashlight in his free hand to read the book.  In general, Joe is more practical whereas Stan is wily, and they both wear name tags as participants in the science fair.  That’s really all you need to know to design their looks as fifth graders.

1 JOE:
Will black magic really help us beat Will and Keith?

It will when it summons up a devil dog that only likes to eat kids’ homework!
You know a mutt like that will treat a science fair project like it’s a T-bone steak--

Panel 2.  Pan in on the spine of Stan’s book.  “100 Spells for the Junior Satanist” is discernible as the title.  Maybe include a cute little kid holding a bloody sacrificial knife on the cover if there’s room.  Stan himself might be slightly off-panel with his dialogue.

 4 STAN:
--and good luck winning the fair when your project’s been swallowed up by Cujo!

Panel 3.  Joe gestures with a hand for Stan to get on with the ritual, though he is still pretty skeptical of the whole concept and rolls his eyes.  Stan gives him a confident smirk in return.

5 JOE:
If you say so, Stan.  Just make it quick.  It’s almost our turn to present.

Ten-four, good buddy.

Panel 4.  Stan spreads his legs out in dramatic fashion as he reads from the book.  A malevolent mist starts to grow and spiral around his legs and the pentagram.  Go melodramatic with the word balloon!

Oh, black lord of the netherworld, king of deceptions, take mine lust as seed and sire forth a fiend made great on youths!

Page Two

Panel 1.  An enormous, quasi-demonic mastiff explodes into existence over the pentagram (sound effect), mist spewing in all directions.  Let’s just call him the DEVIL DOG because it’s simpler that way.  The devil dog has eyes that almost seem to burn, underscoring a ferocity that can never be sated.  Joe and Stan are both understandably terrified at the sight of the creature, even though Stan had thought it was a great idea only seconds ago.

1 SFX:

2 JOE:

Panel 2.  Stan looks back at the open page of the book with intense, bulging eyes.

3 STAN (small print):
Oh, no.  Oh, no.  Oh, no.

Panel 3.  Joe takes Stan by his shirt collar in a frenzy.  Stan’s confidence has disintegrated.

4 JOE:
What?  What’s the matter?  Your spell actually worked!

Sure, but, uh, my thumb covered up the last word of what I was supposed to read.

Panel 4.  Flip the angle.  The devil dog’s furious head looms just behind Stan and Joe with narrowed eyes.  Stan and Joe share the same blank, mortified expression as they look at each other.

I stopped at youths.  I was supposed to say youth’s toil.

7 JOE:

This pooch gobbles kids like they’re potato chips.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Ideas

The below is printed here for posterity and as evidence of my ownership of this proposed work of comics fiction.

Black Magic Mastiff

Synopsis:  Joe and Stan, fifth graders, perform a black magic ritual out of a dusty, old book at their school’s empty library.  At the same time, the school science fair is going on, in which Joe and Stan are participating.  They intend to summon a dog from the netherworld that specifically subsists on eating kids’ homework, so that they can use it to hunt and eat the science fair project of their worst rivals.  The plan backfires when Stan accidentally skips a paragraph in the ritual, and they summon a dog that subsists on eating just kids.  The dog chases Joe and Stan into the science fair, where it starts eating kids whole left and right.  Just when it seems the student body is doomed, Joe takes their rivals’ science fair project—a stinky gunk developed to discourage rabbits from approaching garden vegetables—and dumps it all over Stan.  When the dog gulps up Stan, it gets nauseous and subsequently vomits up all the kids who had been eaten before they could get digested.  The dog is then caged by the teachers, who immediately award Joe and Stan’s rivals with first place in the science fair for developing an anti-killer dog sauce.  Joe and Stan resolve not to consult black magic to win the science fair next year.

Estimated Length:  Short story, five to eight pages.


Porcelain Prince

Premise:  Percy Palumbo is a motivational speaker whose nerves always get to him in the minutes leading up to a speech, incurring in him an unshakeable urge to poop.  In his desperate pursuit of a working bathroom, complications arise and wacky hijinks ensue as Percy races against the clock to clear his bowels and deliver a great speech.  This happens to Percy with such regularity that, in hushed tones, people have begun to speak of a mythical “Porcelain Prince” who conquers all manners of challenge in pursuit of a toilet.

Estimated Length:  Variable.  The basic concept lends itself to a limitless number of short, self-contained episodes—one story, two stories, eighty stories.  Basically until we get bored or I run out of ideas.

Miscellaneous Narrative Ideas:

·         Percy could be giving a speech in a low-income neighborhood, and the graffiti-covered bathroom that he needs to use is controlled by a local gang.  Percy must demonstrate his “street-ness” to the gang in order to earn the right to use the bathroom.

·         An alligator is occupying the stall Percy needs.  Alligator wrestling happens.  Seriously.

·         Taking an odd twist on scenes from Titanic and Metal Gear Solid 2, a basement-type area in a building could have a bathroom flood so severely that there is a foot of water through which to wade.  Percy cannot afford to get his good clothes wet, so he would need to procure the use of a conveniently-located canoe and paddle to traverse the basement and reach an accessible toilet that is just barely above water.

·         An ancient, decrepit bathroom at a shopping mall turns out to be haunted by a dead Valley girl.  Unable to do his business with a ghost watching, Percy must help the Valley girl move on to the next side if he is to use the toilet in peace.

·         A “rival/villain” will eventually appear in the guise of the “Party Pooper,” a fiend who is always clogging toilets and rendering them inoperable just before the Porcelain Prince arrives to use them.  Maybe the Party Pooper is even a fellow motivational speaker.


I Lost My Mind

Premise:  An amnesiac named Dr. X has literally lost his mind and needs to retrieve it.  He finds himself in an impossible fantasy world rendition of the Earth, where animals speak and create societies.  Being the only person in the world who lacks a mind, Dr. X uniquely possesses the “Power of Insanity,” which allows him to bring any object instantly into existence on a whim, ranging from spoons to giant monsters.  Anything Dr. X can imagine can be created through the Power of Insanity, but since his only goal is to retrieve his mind, he does not suddenly grow an army to conquer the planet.  This story would occur in three overall phases, one which occurs on Earth, one which occurs in outer space, and one which occurs paradoxically inside of Dr. X’s own brain.  A sabre-toothed tiger named Light guides Dr. X for the Earth portion.  A giant bat named Dark swallows Light whole, and Dr. X rides around on Dark for the outer space portion.  For the final portion inside his own brain, Dr. X is guided by Dr. Y, who looks exactly like Dr. X except with a slight change in hair style.  Dr. Y also possesses Power of Insanity.  Dr. X ultimately has to fight and absorb the essence of Dr. Y to retrieve his mind.

Estimated Length:  Ongoing series with a definite end in mind.
In a Nutshell:  I’ve had this idea in the back of my head for at least a couple years now, and at the risk of making you roll your eyes and back away from the computer, I suppose you could call this my “magnum opus” idea.  The whole story is basically an exploration of what it means to be human, except animals/aliens are used as stand-ins/metaphors for people.  Light and the Earth portion are basically a study on sociology, focusing on relationships between people.  Dark and reclusive outer space represent human psychology, focusing on why people behave as they do in the first place.  The final phase inside Dr. X’s head is all about “You” and would specifically focus on how a human sees him or herself personally.  In defeating and absorbing Dr. Y, Dr. X reconciles his self-image and gains a new understanding of himself.  The kicker is that, at least the way I see things right now, “Dr. X” himself probably never existed in the first place, and even Dr. X is just a cartoony avatar of the person really experiencing this dream adventure.  I think it might be amusing if the final page returns to reality to find that the person experiencing the adventure was just a girl in middle school or something like that.  I recognize it’s a really, really big and wild idea, and I know it’s not even smart of us to want to tackle something this big right now.  I thought I would mention it anyway though, just so that all my cards are on the table.