Friday, May 28, 2010

Iron Man - Stark Naked - Max Barnard

The premise: Yeah you groaned at that title. You really don't need much to understand this one-page abomination, other than the fact that Tony Stark gets more than his fair share of sexual conduct, and that no-one loves to attempt to torment whorish lotharios more than the recluse (in this instance myself). The page can either stand by itself as here, or you can look at it as part of a larger story that could have been told. Oh, and it is entirely out of continuity, just a story that may or may not have happened at any point in time.


Page One - 5 Panels - Widescreen - Equal Size

1-- We open on Tony Stark in a fancy club of some description (think an elegant, well-lit mansion, the sort of place you'd see people in fine dresses and suits dancing across the ballroom floor), suited and booted, leaning against a heavily-stocked bar, observing all the women presumably dancing outside the panel with a lecherous gaze, nursing a (non-alchoholic) drink. Next to him is an unconscious, drooling mess face-down on the counter, who if conscious would introduce himself as one Happy Hogan. Also, it is imperative that Tony has a briefcase on the bar's counter in both this panel and the next, as a small piece of continuity for the story.


NARRATION BOX/TONY STARK - When you've gone through as much I have... And as many women as I've gone through...

2-- This panel is probably best left framed the same as the previous, as little has changed. The major differences between the previous panel and this one are that Tony Stark is now talking to a red-headed woman who is now sitting next to him at the bar, and that Happy Hogan is now sliding to the floor in his paralytic state. The lady's looks are an important factor in this panel, with her being a red-head who looks similar to both Pepper Potts and Black Widow. She is toying with her hair, twisting it around a solitary finger coyly as Tony is chatting her up. As a small element, Tony's tie should be loosened some now, as a visual cue that he is relaxed and in his element. Again, the briefcase is on the bar counter, unmoved.


NARRATION BOX/TONY STARK - ... Everything tends to blur together. I struggle to tell apart half the people I've dealt with,

3-- We finally get to change the scenery here, moving to a hotel room. I'm going to have to be quite adamant about the framing here, if only because I am wont to do such things on occasion. The panel should have Tony Stark kissing the neck of the previously seen red-head with a passion at the far right of the panel, with her pressed against the hotel room's door, head turned toward the reader, with a disgusted sneer on her face. Ideally this shot should only go from the top of her head down to her cleavage, which should leave a sizable empty space in the rest of the panel. Not that it has to be completely empty, I mean this is a hotel room, it would have some amenities. Perhaps another open door in the background leading to the en suite bathroom, or a generic framed sunset or some such against the wall. The important thing is that it doesn't draw the eye at all away from the scene at the far right.


NARRATION BOX/TONY STARK - Which can lead to any number of mistakes, let me tell you.

4-- Something a bit more detailed yet still simple enough here (in concept anyway, I'm not an artist so I can't judge), so I'll try and be straightforward as possible (also this panel may need to be larger than the others just because it's got a fair few more text boxes). This panel is in the same hotel room from before, now viewed from the bed out towards the rest of the room. Details of what's in the room and where are entirely unimportant, outside of keeping the continuity established in the last panel. However, we will now see two more items in the room we couldn't really see in panel 3. These items are Tony's Briefcase (see, I was going somewhere with it having to be in panels 1 & 2!), probably best placed somewhere on the floor, considering Tony won't have really thought where he was tossing it whilst dragging the woman to the hotel room, and a dresser against one of the walls, with a note on top of it. Tony Stark himself is sat up in the bed, hand against his head, looking out into the room. He's not hungover of course, but having him nursing his head creates a good image in the mind of what crazy-awesome things he's exhausted himself doing last night.


TEXT BOX w/ ARROW at NOTE ON DRESSER/DESCRIPTIVE - Note declaring revenge against Stark for previous transgression, noting stolen clothes and possible transmission of a sexual disease. Includes name that draws blank.

TEXT BOX w/ ARROW at BRIEFCASE/DESCRIPTIVE - Briefcase containing Iron Man armour, presumably left behind because it didn't factor into revenge plans.

NARRATION BOX/TONY STARK - Most of the time all I get are people trying to get revenge. But no matter what...

[Aside: to say I struggled with panel 4 is an understatement. How would YOU script a text box with an arrow pointing at something and describing it?]

5-- I'm not gonna lie, this is technically two panels, but one is in the other so I'm calling it five to pretend I ever had a clue what length this page was going to go. The main panel is just Iron Man flying through the air. The inset panel is Iron Man sliding open the large balcony window of the hotel room to take his leave.



INSET NARRATION BOX/TONY STARK - But no matter what...

MAIN NARRATION BOX/TONY STARK - I'm always prepared. For anything.

SPEECH/IRON MAN - Oof, that's uncomfortable.

MAIN NARRATION BOX/TONY STARK - Except for the chafing, obviously.


  1. Max, I like the idea of this, you fit plenty into this one page, getting the entire scene, first to last act, and all to set up a chafing joke. You'll be writing What The...?! before you know it.

    I really dug the text box w/ arrow descriptors. It's nice to see, yet again, someone try something so different. There's a few punctuation problems, a comma instead of a period, though that's not major, and omitting the word 'as' from Stark's first caption, but otherwise I think this reads fine.

    Does the note mean he previously gave her an STI or did she just leave him with one then in revenge? it's a bit unclear.

    I am wondering why we have Iron Man flying and then a flashback panel of Iron Man opening the window to get the joke in, I think it would work better to have the major panel 5 be Stark's briefcase suiting up and then the inset him at the balcony door. The narrative flow works better that way and a good suiting up panel never goes astray. Excellent work, Max. The quality level continues.

  2. oh man, that 'as' completely escaped me! I could swear it was there!

    and yeah panel 4 was incredibly difficult to have make sense. It's intimated that she's given him an sti as part of her revenge, but it came off more than unclear.

    I'm down with how you think panel 5 should have gone as well, it would probably have had more of an impact.

    so yeah thanks for the praise and constructive criticism!

  3. Max, you have NO IDEA how similar to my original idea this is. In fact, it could serve as a sequel. It had Tony suing a woman (most likely to be Dansen Macbre) for infecting him with and STD purposefully. Matt Murdock was his defense lawyer. Change the female to a nameless redhead and BAM! Instant sequel.

    Otherwise, I liked it a lot, the only problem I would have as an artist (yeah, I'm claiming to be an artist, heh) is the numerous comments interjected into the descriptions. Its how you write, I know, and I did it in the previous sentence, but it would make things more difficult for me to plot out, personally. All artists may not be the same, so some could probably filter them.

    But yeah, I dig it, but its creepy how we synced up there for a bit.

  4. Max like the others, I dug the page including the chafing payoff however I found your lack of confidence a distraction!!!

    The main distraction for me was, this guy knows his shit and is laying it down, he has no place umming and arring! This panel is best left... I'm not going to lie...

    Dude you picked a good start off page and had a good go at it. Own it!!! Stand next to it and get your photo taken next it smiling Stark style!!!

    Looking forward to the next page guys!!! Well done!

  5. @James yeah I'm gonna try to avoid any self-deprecation and such next time. thanks for the advice.


  6. Hey Max, it's Laura =]

    I don't understand much of what you do but I am so impressed at how your words really put the images into my head. I could see your story all happening. This is simply a compliment from a friend who knows absolutely nothing about comics or how they're brought about. I just wanted to tell you that I'm proud of you and if you don't become a writer I will be surprised and gutted.

    Ok I'm done now...this will look so bad at the bottom of all the comments from people who are smart and stuff..

  7. awww Laura you looked at my script thingy! thanks for doing so and all the flattery!

  8. Max, this worked well for me, including the completely unexpected ending / gag. I could see where the dialogue could have been trimmed slightly without ever losing the flavour (the opening caption, for example, would have worked just as well if you'd replaced the last three words with "I have..."), but I always like the arrow-captions. As to how best to use them, I'd recommend reading Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente's work with Amodeus Cho in Incredible Hercules. This one worked well though. So yeah, scrap the insecurity, you're worthy!


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