Friday, October 3, 2014

Mad Style Ninja

(7 Page Script, Genre: Super Heroes/Humor)

"Mad Style Ninja"

PAGE ONE (4 panels)

Panel 1. Very tight close-up of MAX, specifically just the lower half of his face. He has a confident smirk. We can’t really see the rest of him yet, but he is wearing something kind of like a masquerade mask that covers his nose, cheeks, and forehead. He is standing on a rooftop in daytime, but this isn’t apparent yet either. This panel probably ought to take up the top "tier" of the page, to give it weight.

1 MAX: When I say go, you start recording.

Panel 2. BERNIE is walking down an alleyway in a big city, holding his cell phone to his head with one hand and holding an HD camera in the other hand. He rolls his eyes with a grin. Bernie is a Hispanic 16-year old who dresses unassumingly, and he has curly dark hair. There’s some trash in the alley, but it doesn’t look particularly dangerous.

2 BERNIE: Yeah, yeah. I get it.

3 BERNIE (connected): Just hurry up and make shish kabobs out of them--

Panel 3. Bernie raises a worried eyebrow at something past the end of the alleyway. We can’t see what it is yet.

4 BERNIE: --before they make a flambé out of the city.

Panel 4. We see the silhouette of Max from behind, standing powerfully on the rooftop with a katana in each hand. Angle the panel so that the sun is directly behind him, leaving Max a completely black, featureless figure to us, the readers. You can reference Page 2 for the full details on Max’s appearance, but he too is a 16-year old teenager. Bernie’s speech balloon in this panel should have no tail; Max can hear him through an ear piece.

5 MAX: Okay, but remember to catch my good side.

6 BERNIE (electronic): Just say go!

7 MAX: Alright, fine! Ready? Set--


PAGE TWO (1 panel)

Splash page. Max swan dives through the sky as the Mad Style Ninja, the city skyline surrounding him. The sun’s rays are shining in full force behind him, but this time we can actually see him. Max is a total showboat, eschewing traditional ninja stealth in favor of style and flashiness. He wants to be the center of attention and he’s willing to work for it. He’s a lot like the titular character from the old video game Viewtiful Joe (Google it if you want). His ninja costume is garish and in-your-face—definitely not a generic black gi. The costume should have a slightly futuristic vibe to it, but otherwise, the particulars are up to you. He needs to have his "masquerade" mask, gloves, and boots, and your imagination can take care of the rest. I think a long scarf would be a really good idea, because it gives him a fluid element to help emphasize his agile movements. Max dual-wields technologically enhanced katanas, one in each hand. You can do whatever you want with his hair and other actual physical characteristics. From this point on, Max will be in constant motion for the rest of the comic, careening from one acrobatic maneuver into the next. Basically, this is your chance to draw the most kickass action scenes you’ve ever done! Have fun with it! Also, now would probably be a good page to display the title of the story in big all-caps letters, if we want to display the title at all.

1 MAX (burst): GO!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Childhood Fears

(7 Page Script, Genre: Horror/Humor)

"Childhood Fears"

PAGE ONE (3 panels)

Panel 1. It is the proverbial dark and stormy night, and there is a gothic castle at the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. Despite the heavy rain, the castle is illuminated by a passing thunderbolt. We are in vaguely medieval times, and the castle is in a state of disrepair, though that might not be apparent yet. The whole scene looks like something out of a classic horror movie, or at least like something out of a Scooby-Doo episode. Whichever.

1 CAPTION (DEKAR): "There you are!"

Panel 2. Inside the castle now. DEKAR stands at the bottom of a curved staircase, gesturing a hand to PAUL, who is descending the staircase toward him. Dekar is wearing a white trench coat, with lightweight armor underneath it, and he has a sword at his side. Paul wears the same armor with the same sword, but he wears no coat. Dekar is late-20s in age, handsome and looking pretty rugged all around. Paul is a little older, a little goofier, and much chunkier. Paul doesn’t so much walk down the stairs as he does bumble down the stairs. They are both holding lanterns; otherwise, windows are the only light source. In general, the décor of the castle is opulent, but everything is so covered in dust and webs that it does not feel very regal anymore. We won’t be in this particular room very long, so stick whatever you like in it.

2 DEKAR: I turn around for one second and you’d vanished.

3 PAUL: Oh, and I suppose you thought the vampire had gotten me?

Panel 3. Dekar looks away and puts his hand on his triceps, which is the closest he can get to crossing his arms while he holds the lantern. Paul winks with a smirk as he closes in on Dekar.

4 DEKAR: With your asthma, vampires are the least of your worries.

5 PAUL: Come on. You don’t need to put on a brave face for me.

6 PAUL (connected): These walls have eyes and ears, Dekar. And they see right through you.


PAGE TWO (5 panels)

Panel 1. Dekar has a slight, dismissive grin as he approaches a long, claustrophobic hallway. Paul follows.

1 DEKAR: Spare me your theatrics, Paul.

2 DEKAR (connected): Every dozen years, a hysterical farmer comes forward claiming to have seen the legendary vampire of the castle--

Panel 2. Set the angle at the opposite end of this long hallway that they are now both in. Paul’s lantern casts Dekar’s extremely long shadow across the walls and/or floor.

3 DEKAR: --and every time, they send in a couple soldiers like us to go chasing shadows.

Panel 3. Paul’s plump face gets plumper as he smiles in earnest.

4 PAUL: And what of it? Reverence to tradition is a fine thing.

Panel 4. Dekar lowers his head and hunches his shoulders, momentarily displaying vulnerability.

5 DEKAR: Not when all it does is scare people.

Panel 5. Paul stands still with surprise as Dekar continues walking ahead.

6 PAUL: Fear is the healthiest emotion, Dekar.

7 PAUL (connected): You would do well to heed it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


(5 Page Script, Genre: Humor)


PAGE ONE (4 panels)

Panel 1. A nameless MAN stands before an open casket inside a church, staring with awe at the dead old man inside. WES, a local news reporter, watches this man with intense and hopeful interest. Wes has a stylus and a tablet in his hands, and he wears the stereotypical “press” hat. He sits in the front row of pews to get the best view of the action. The church is a packed house, and all of the people present are bizarrely cheerful, as far as funerals go. A second nameless DUDE stands beside the first nameless man; he’s only here to be used as a visual gag in the next panel though. The dead man is in a very expensive suit, and the casket looks pretty classy.

1 MAN: I can’t believe he’s really gone--

Panel 2. The nameless man’s expression changes to total elation as he high-fives the nameless dude. But in spite of the high-five, the nameless man is actually facing us, the readers, for maximum silly effect. Wes rolls his eyes and slumps his shoulders with disappointment.

2 MAN: --This is the happiest day of my life!

Panel 3. (This panel and Panel 4 should ideally be side-by-side in a row.) Wes extends his hands out to his sides, frustrated. The tablet is in his lap now, but he’s still holding the stylus in his right hand. The other hand is pointing a thumb toward something in Panel 4. Wes isn’t talking to anybody in particular, though people give him odd stares.

3 WES: Oh, come on! Doesn’t anybody have a fond memory of this chump?

4 WES (connected): And what’s the deal with the photo they picked out for him?

Panel 4. A blown-up photo of the dead man is on display near the casket, from when the man was a little younger. In the photo, he is threatening a child with a knife. A SKINNY GUY next to the photo shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly.

5 SKINNY GUY: It was the best picture we had.

PAGE TWO (5 panels)

Panel 1. NINA, an early 20s young woman, leans forward in her pew directly behind Wes. She has spunky hair but is otherwise appropriately dressed for a funeral. We’ll soon find out she’s the deceased’s granddaughter. Wes tips his hat to Nina.

1 NINA: What’s it to you anyway, pal? If these people wanna make light of the old-timer, it’s no skin off your nose.

2 WES: Maybe, maybe not, miss. The boss says my writing is too sensational.

3 WES (connected): I came here angling to pump a human interest story out of this sad sack.

Panel 2. Bird’s-eye view of the room, looking down on the chirpy funeral-goers. A few shirtless people in shorts are knocking around a beach ball in the pews. Some people are wearing party hats. There is a couple making out against a wall. Feel free to add in any other horrible things you can think of. Wes and Nina just stare at the spectacle.

4 WES: Instead, I show up to find I’m covering spring break.

Panel 3. Nina has a bittersweet smile, eyes narrowed.

5 NINA: Yeah, grandpa always did have a way of bringing out the best in people.

Panel 4. Wes lights up, eyes bulging to inspect Nina.

6 WES: Grandpa?

Panel 5. Wes extends an excited hand to Nina.

7 WES: Hello, meal ticket! The name is Wes.

8 WES (connected): Now get all weepy and tell me about the time he bought you a bunny!

Monday, November 11, 2013

"I Dream of Demon"

(8 Page Script, Genre: Horror)

"I Dream of Demon"
PAGE ONE (4 panels)

Panel 1. A discarded newspaper on the sidewalk outside an apartment building, night time. The headline on the paper reads “INSOMNIA EPIDEMIC SWEEPS CITY.”

1 CAPTION (NAOMI): “I smiled at you because you’re a dreamer.”

Panel 2. Inside JASON’s moonlit bedroom at his apartment. He is in bed with NAOMI, and they are both naked under the sheets. Jason is visibly fat but not ghastly to look at. Naomi by comparison is bodacious, curvy everywhere and stacked up top. She’s your favorite brunette Playboy Playmate. Jason looks a little amazed, but Naomi is relaxed. The bedroom is a mess, but there is a poster of a dragon on the wall.

2 JASON: A dreamer? You could tell something like that from across the bar?

3 NAOMI: Call it a sixth sense.

Panel 3. Jason puts a hand on Naomi’s cheek, smirking. She stares at his hand.

4 JASON: Well now that you’ve seen my apartment, you know dreams are all I’ve got.

5 JASON (connected): That and a bad case of chivalry.

6 NAOMI: Good thing I don’t ask for much then.

Panel 4. Naomi rolls over to face away from Jason, who is leaning on one elbow now. Naomi looks distressed as she faces us, the readers, but Jason is calm and happy.

7 NAOMI: But I am going to ask you to shut up and go to sleep.

8 JASON: Isn’t it usually the guy who doesn’t want to cuddle afterward?

9 NAOMI: I’m not as cuddly as I look.

PAGE TWO (5 panels)

Panel 1. A horizontal panel of solid black, to indicate a time gap. No dialogue.

Panel 2. Jason is punching out a lizard man on top of a mountain in the daytime. Obviously, this is a dream. Jason is wearing medieval armor, and the lizard man isn’t wearing anything because he’s a lizard man. A bunch of mini-lizard men are comically fleeing at the sight of their leader being defeated. A woman wearing a cloak stands behind Jason, hunched over with her face obscured (it’s Naomi). She is noticeably handcuffed. Literal, full-sized castles float high in the sky above them. A pair of dice is emblazoned on Jason’s breastplate.

1 JASON: For the last time, Lizard Lord--

2 JASON (connected): --kidnapping is not how you find a wife!

Panel 3. Jason takes Naomi by the shoulders with a smile, but her head is still down so we can’t see her face. The lizard man is unconscious and the mini-lizard men are fading off into the distance.

3 JASON: Don’t worry. You’re safe now, miss.

4 NAOMI: Do you always play the hero in your dreams?

5 JASON: Do I what?

Panel 4. Naomi looks up at him with an intense stare. Jason is startled at the sight.

6 NAOMI: I can see why it chose you.

7 JASON: Naomi! How did Lizard Lord--

8 JASON (connected): --Oh, wait, I’m asleep, huh?

Panel 5. Naomi cringes, nearly on the verge of tears.

9 NAOMI: Yes, Jason. Maybe for the last time.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Machine Winter #0

(11 Page Script, Genre: Sci-Fi)

Machine Winter #0

PAGE ONE (3 panels)

Panel 1. A wide shot on a barren white landscape, noon time. Even now it continues to snow. A ragged knitted doll missing an eye sits in the foreground, indicating we are not in the Arctic or any other naturally cold place. There are three objects in the background, but at this distance, they appear as little more than dots. Also very far away is a farm silo. No dialogue.

Panel 2. Closer in on the three objects. They are mobile and leaving tracks in the snow, though their identities are still indiscernible. They are draped in torn black cloaks that cover their heads and bodies. No dialogue.

Panel 3. Close-up frontal shot of the three objects, which of course turn out to be robots. The three robots stare right at us, the readers, with haunting, glowing eyes. They trudge on in dreary silence, their heads and shoulders uniformly hunched forward toward us. The specific details of their bodies are not yet apparent, as the black cloaks still cover them, but one of the robots not in the middle is a lot chunkier than the other two. The one in the middle is the tallest. These robots will turn out to be the good guys, but for now, there’s no reason why we can’t spook the reader with this cool visual. No dialogue.

PAGE TWO (4 panels)

Panel 1. The robot in the middle stops to analyze his surroundings. He stands strong and erect to demonstrate his leadership role, but the cloak still covers his body for now. Let’s call this guy TRIGGER. The other two robots, still hunched over, look to him for direction. We’ll call the chunky robot NOVA. The other robot who so far remains non-descript will be called LIGHT.

There are three of them.

Panel 2. Although they are attempting to have a “normal human” conversation, none of them can replicate human mannerisms very well. They tend to stand still as they talk, which, to be fair, helps them to conserve energy. Light, however, will lean forward or backward when he speaks, or he might raise a hand. He tries to be animated, even though he understands such movement is arbitrary.

Three! What are the odds?

Odds are incalculable due to insufficient data.

It was just a figure of speech.

Panel 3. Nova holds his waist. His thick, round body is hinted at by the way his cloak hangs. He was originally designed to work with power generators, and as a result, he processes and uses energy much more efficiently than other robots. If starved of power sources, Nova will outlive his comrades by a long margin. In spite of that, since Nova’s natural function involves power generation, he obsesses over locating power sources more than his comrades. His waist is where his excessive energy supply is centralized.

Oh, my circuits churn at the prospect of three. I am so hungry.

Panel 4. Trigger points a finger toward the farm silo, which is damaged on top but still standing amidst the snow. There is a long, winding gash along its wall that begins from the top and travels all the way down to the bottom, providing a means of foot access without needing to climb its ladder.

Your girth belies your fragility, Nova.

7 TRIGGER (connected):
At any rate, our destination appears yet undisturbed. It bodes well if we are the first to come across it.

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!