Thursday, May 26, 2016

Home - Unceremonious Return - Perry Kent

Panel 1
Exterior, night, outside a bar. Howard, a man in his thirties, stands outside on the sidewalk. He watches the commotion in the bar through one of the windows. The building is made of aged wood, like it's been standing for the better part of the last century. The sources of light are what's coming from the windows and the lights on a faded sign which reads “Minerva's”.

1. HOWARD (caption): It's been nearly five years. You'd think time would make it easier to return to a place you stormed out of.

2. HOWARD (caption): It doesn't.

Panel 2
Interior, bar. Howard enters the bar. The interior is utter chaos. There are groups of people milling around, holding beer. People are laughing, enjoying their time. Behind the bar is a woman about two decades older than Howard. There are a few empty spots at the bar.

Panel 3
Howard stands awkwardly in front of the door. Cindy, a gruff looking woman in her forties, approaches Howard. She is carrying a tray of empty mugs.

3. CINDY: Hey, ain't you Minerva's boy? Howie or something?

4. HOWARD: Uh...Yeah. Howard, actually.

Panel 4
Cindy walks away from Howard as she shouts over her shoulder at him.

5. CINDY: Well, Howie, quit blockin' the door. Either grab a stool or a broom.

Panel 5
Howard sits down at the bar, a small little smile on his face.

6. HOWARD (caption): But some parts are easier than others.


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Home - Home – MK Stangeland, Jr.

(1 Panel)

Panel 1: A single artistically arranged image showing a number of ship captains and closely associated crew alongside their vessels as they push forward, including CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW and the BLACK PEARL, HAN SOLO and CHEWBACCA with the MILLENIUM FALCON (Original Trilogy era appearance), CAPTAIN KIRK and SCOTTY with the ENTERPRISE, CAPTAIN PICARD with the ENTERPRISE-D, one or more versions of DOCTOR WHO with the TARDIS, as well as perhaps a few other captain/crew and ship combinations that would be appropriate and fit.

TEXT (1): For all the burdens that come with it, there is one key to happiness that the great Captains can all call upon…

TEXT (2): …if home is where the heart is, then neither are ever far away.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Home - Interlude - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Night time.  Focus on a deep puddle in the sidewalk, raining pelting down on it.

DAVID (tailless): Sorry...

2 - David and Kendra stand under an awning on said sidewalk.  Both are completely drenched.  They stand close to each other, but are not touching or looking at each other.  David looks down towards the puddle from the previous panel, looking sad and embarassed.  Kendra mostly looks uncomfortable that David is so put out, unsure what to do about it.

DAVID: I thought we were closer.

3 - Kendra reaches out and touches David's arm, a small smile on her face.  David starts to look over towards her.


4 - Kendra leans over and lays a peck on David's cheek.  Both blush.

SFX: smek!

5 - Kendra grabs David's arm and pulls him out from under the awning and back into the rain.  She wears a big smile; he's warming to the situation.

KENDRA: Come on...

6 - Kendra and David run down the middle of the street in the rain, hand in hand.  They smile and laugh as they race through the downpour.

KENDRA (tailless): A little rain never hurt anyone.

Six Years of Thought Balloons

Six years, eh?

Six years is a long time, and with one page of comic script from our various writers, it makes for a lot of words.  I thought about trying to count them all up, but in considering the best approaches for such a course of action, I deemed it enough to recognize the total as a lot.

Because while the sheer volume of work we've produced here is something worth celebrating, I think it's worth remembering that Thought Balloons is more than the sum of its parts.  We have a dedicate group of tenures throwing down quality scripts week in and week out.  We have some absolutely amazing alumni doing all kinds of exciting things, both in comics and without.  And a combination of both groups are working on a pretty exciting project that we can't wait to tell you all about once it's a little further along.

It's all come from this little website.  Ryan's hope to have a place to script and level-up has continued to grow and blossom, chugging away six years after the fact.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: I love Thought Balloons.  This place means the world to me, and with the amount of time I've spent writing, commenting, and thinking about it, I hope you'll understand when I say that this place is a digital home for me.

Like any good home, it's a place to learn and to grow.  Everyone's welcome, and it'll take you places and show you things you'd never expect.  And when you're really lucky (and I think we have been), you'll meet some of the most excellent people around.

So to help celebrate our sixth anniversary, we're going to be writing about Home and what that means to each and every one of us.  It might be where we were born, where we live, where our hearts are, or any other interpretation that may tickle our fancy.  As always, we'd love to see your take in the comments below.  Like any good home, there's always room for more here, you know?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Tick - The Tick '66 - P. A. Nolte


1/ The Tick holding up a confusing pile of clues.  There are so many, from a scroll with mysterious writing and a tiki mask to a paddle-ball paddle and bowling pins.  It's all junk.

Caption: Our hero confounded!

The Tick: Are writing desks black?!  Have I solved it?!

2/ Arthur is strapped to an operating table, but The Tick's moth-themed chum looks more puzzled than endangered.  A shadowy figure is reaching out to him, its evil fingers of evil flexed for the purposes of committing evil no doubt.

Caption: His sidekick bounded!

The Villain (Mostly OP): Now we'll see who you really are under that mask, Arthur.

Arthur: Um...

3/ The Tick shamefully handing over a set of keys with a novelty keychain shaped like his own head to a police officer.  Behind them is a large vehicle in the same vein as the Spider-Buggy.  An unnecessary and cumbersome accessory in The Tick's crimefighting arsenal.

Caption: The Tickmobile impounded!

Officer: Sorry, Blue Yonder, but you're in no condition to drive.

The Tick: No, officer.  You're only doing your job.


4/ The door to the room has swung open, and in the doorway is The Tick.  Tall, blue, heroic, and easily distracted.  In the foreground, Arthur is indeed strapped to a metal table in a standard dingy-looking villainous lair.  Standing over him is The Villain, a real Snidely Whiplash type, who has already pulled back Arthur's mask, revealing the face of... Arthur.  I mean... Duh?

The Tick: Unhand her, Dan Backslide!

The Villain: ...what?

The Tick: I said: Let this anonymous man go and tell me where you're keeping my little buddy, you fiend!

5/ Arthur rolls his eyes, a gesture we can actually see thanks to his mask being removed.

Arthur: Um... Tick?

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Tick: "Origin Story"--David Press.

I thought about starting my script from The Tick's origin story, because we never really get into  where he came from--except that he escaped from an insane asylum. Here, he meets his creator. 


3.1 CUT TO: A small apartment where we can see BEN EDLUND slaving over his drawing board. He looks like he’s sweating and concentrating very hard on the page; his right hand is shaped in all kinds of weird contortions.


3.2: The TICK kicks down the door to his apartment. Edlund turns away from us at the invasive super-hero.

1.TICK:                   Edlund! I’ve made it!
2.EDLUND:            What the--?

3.3: The Tick slaps him on the back while he looks down at the drawing board.

3.TICK:              That looks amazing, Edlund! Nice work rendering me.

3.4: The Tick looks down at Edlund, whose face looks like it has just been hit by a mack truck.

4.EDLUND:            How. How…are you here?

3.5: Up on the Tick’s smiling face, from Edlund's perspective.

5.TICK:              You freed me! Don’t you know that you comics can do anything? You can do anything with words and pictures, Ben!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Tick - A Crime of Physics - Perry Kent

I'll admit to being fairly ignorant of The Tick, so hopefully this works.

Panel 1
Exterior, day, top of a building. A crook, dressed in a black turtleneck and ski mask with a large money sack, jumps off the edge of the building. The Tick runs across the building top towards where the crook is jumping. The building has a sign that says “Totekatze Trampolines”, though it is not prominent in the panel.

1. CROOK: You won't catch me!

2. TICK: Halt your descent!

Panel 2
The crook bounces off a trampoline that is at the base of the building. If Tick can be seen he looks astounded. The area around the building has lots of trampolines, as the building houses a trampoline business.

3. CROOK: An escape for the history books!

Panel 3
Tick jumps off the building toward the trampoline. He looks determined.


Panel 4
In a tragic turn events, Tick punches right through the trampoline and into the ground. Dust flies up from the impression he has made on the ground.


Panel 5
Arthur helps Tick from a hole in the ground under the Trampoline. Tick looks wildly dazed from the situation.

6. ARTHUR: What happened?

7. TICK: The elasticity of the trampoline succumbed to the stress of my super human mass, resulting in a true test of my nigh invulnerability.

8. ARTHUR: And the crook?

9. TICK: I'll need to check a history book.


Monday, May 16, 2016

The Tick - R&R - Grant McLaughlin

1 - The Tick sits on the couch in full relaxation mode.  His legs are wrapped in a warm blanket, he has snacks and hot chocolate on the coffee table in front of him, he carelessly holds a book in one hand, and pretty much any number of other vacation / resting ideas (pile of DVDs to watch, a "What to do in The City?" guidebook, etc).  Arthur looks on, perplexed.
LETTERING NOTE: "Staycation" should be written in a bigger style of some sort to emphasize its novelty.

TICK (1): Arthur, prepare yourself for modern life's most ancient and noble tradition of all.

TICK (2): Staycation!

TICK (3): We will rest!

TICK (4): Relax!

TICK (5): Potentially read!

TICK (6): And any number of supplementary activities - some potentially also beginning with "r"!

2 - On Arthur, looking with an expression of surprise / concern over the wealth of staycation material.

ARTHUR (1): ...

ARTHUR (2): Wouldn't you rather be out protecting The City?

3 - The Tick stands up on the couch, striking a thoughtful / oratorical pose.  Perhaps he uses the book as a prop to emphasize his point.

TICK (1): Arthur, to protect The City, we must know what its people love.

TICK (2): What they hold dear.

TICK (3): Only then can we truly understand what it is we protect.

TICK (4): And why it matters that it be protected.

4 - Arthur glumly pages through the "What to do in The City?" guidebook.

ARTHUR: Is there any way I can respond that doesn't result in staycationing?

5 - The Tick swoops in and gives Arthur a great big bear hug of enthusiasm (possibly around Arthur's neck).

TICK: I very much doubt it!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Tick – The Tick vs. The Bliss of Ignorance – MK Stangeland, Jr.

(THE TICK has become super-intelligent through a turn of events.

Or has he?)

(7 Panels)

Panel 1: THE TICK is sitting in a pose imitating that of the famous THINKER statue, but he’s not actually sitting on anything and his face looks forward with a blank, wide-eyed look of horrible realization. His head has been enlarged in a typical ‘super smart guy’ fashion. ARTHUR stands next to him, worried.

ARTHUR (1): Tick?

ARTHUR (2): Tick, buddy?

ARTHUR (3): Please be alright?

Panel 2: THE TICK turns his upper body to face ARTHUR, grasping him by the shoulders.


TICK (1): Don’t you SEE, ARTHUR!?

TICK (2): My lighthouse of truth has suddenly gone dark, leaving me lost in a fog of moral grays that I am unable to navigate, and jagged iceburgs lurk on all sides!

Panel 3: THE TICK philosophizes about his predicament as only THE TICK can.

TICK (1): Once simple concept like ‘good’ and ‘evil’, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ have suddenly become unsolvable puzzles, complete with those missing pieces you don’t learn about until the puzzle has almost been solved!

TICK (2): How can I truly fight for justice when I can’t even be sure what true justice is anymore?!

Panel 4: ARTHUR tries to get through to TICK.

ARTHUR: Tick! You’re over-thinking things!

TICK: Am I?!

Panel 5: Close up on THE TICK as he thinks really, really hard. You can visibly see that he’s trying to think as hard as he possibly can, so much so that it might even be physically hurting him, if that were even possible. This includes his fingers up against the side of his head in a meaningless gesture of visible thinking.

TICK: Or am I not over-thinking things enough?!

SFX: grrrrrrrr...!


Panel 6: ARTHUR tries to snap TICK out of his funk by slapping him. His hand only goes so far as TICK’s face and stops right there, as TICK doesn’t move at all in reaction.

ARTHUR: Snap out of it, Tick!

SFX: Sla-…

Panel 7: Small inset panel of ARTHUR, who’s holding his hand and looking down at it after hurting it just a little from slapping TICK.



Why The Tick?




He is…THE TICK – The Mighty Blue Justice!

With the aid of his loyal – if cowardly – sidekick, Arthur the Moth, The Tick protects The City as he fights a never-ending battle for justice against evil in all its many deviously evil shapes and sizes.

And everyone else gets a good laugh out of the deal.

Like another franchise of the 80’s/90’s – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Tick is one of those comic properties that I discovered as a classic Saturday Morning Cartoon with no idea of its real origins before learning of its true beginnings as a small-time indie comic book that was popular enough to find the right people and hit it big.

That it did manage to reach a wider audience is something the world of comics – and the now sadly defunct concept of Saturday Morning Cartoons – is better for.