Monday, June 14, 2010

Dr Doom - Control - Ben Rosenthal

1. We are looking down on a double bed in a bedroom. The room is coloured in shades of greys as it is the middle of the night. A man (on the left hand side of the bed) and a woman (on the right) are asleep. A clock on the left hand wall tells us it is 11:30, and a glass of half finished water sits on the bed side table next to the woman’s side of the bed. Close to the man’s side of the bed is a clearly visible door. It is closed. A single text box simply says “Latveria”.

2. The door has been kicked in and figures are rushing into the room. We can see that they are Dr Doom’s Servo-guards. The man has sat upright in his bed, clearly shocked at the sound of the door being broken in. His wife is still blissfully asleep.

3. Black panel.

4. This panel is shown from behind the man. We can see that he is sitting in a chair, hands tied behind his back and shirtless. He is looking around at the room. The room itself is white and completely blank, apart from a tv screen to the man’s right. The screen is showing images of the man in what appears to be a small protest rally. He is holding a sign that says “Down with Doom!” To the left side of the panel are two Servo-Guard standing at attention. A slight outline of a door can be seen between them.

5. Same view as before, but the door is open and Dr Doom towers above the man who is still tied to his chair. Doom all but fills out the panel, so all that we can see is a bit of white behind him, half of the monitor with the man protesting, and a small bit of the open door from which Dr Doom entered. Doom is staring down at the man.

6. A side shot of the panel we have just seen. Doom is towering over the seated man, who has his eyes clenched shut, with his head pointed at the ground. He is shaking, obviously terrified.

7. Black panel.

8. We are back in the bedroom. It is daytime with a lot more colour than when we first saw the room. We are looking at the man’s wife waking up in bed, but this time viewed at bed level. She is propping herself up on one arm as she rubs the sleep from an eye with her other hand. Her half glass of water has not moved, and the broken door visible in the background. Up on the wall behind her we can see the clock showing 2:30 in the afternoon.

9. We are now seeing the opposite side of the bed. The man is laying in his spot, with his wife leaning over him, presumably to tell him good morning. The man’s eyes are wide open, and he is sweating. He is clutching his bed sheets, holding near his clenched teeth. Fear is masking his face.

I have known for a while now that I tend to write over-wordy scripts. Even before I joined Thought Ballons, I knew it was something that I needed to work on. I set myself the challenge this week of not using any speech at all.


  1. A 'nuff said script! awesome! you've got the importance of the 'nuff said panel descriptions down pat and I can say that the execution of it all is more than pleasant. nice stuff Ben!

  2. Awesome. It's one of those cases that what we don't see is scarier than anything we could have seen. That fact that he seems to be physically unharmed (at least it's what I inferred from the last panel) only makes it better. :)

  3. This page works pretty well, though the black panels worry me, but if they are small they still hold that beat and that impact so should work.

    I wanted to see more of a reveal of the man at the end. Maybe something more visceral, he's not disfigured, but he won't be forgetting it any time soon.

  4. There is a method to my madness. The idea behind this strip is that we are associating ourselves with the man. It is supposed to be an uncomfortable, disjointed read in order to emulate the man's confused state of mind. Hence why I included the abrupt black panels. Anything can happen in those black panels, and I liked putting them in there as not only did they convey a passage of time, they were a blank void where the reader can project their own thoughts onto.

    As for the reveal, the theme of this strip is all about 'Control'. More directly, how Doom continues to have control over Latveria (or at least one of the ways). Having the man appear physically ok reflects this. Had the man been injured of disfigured physically, Doom would had given the man justification for his protests. However, by drugging his wife, stealing him away and returning him in the course of a couple of hours, the man has no defence. He has nothing to show to rally his fellow protestors. All he has is the memories of what happened in that blank passage of time.

    Hope I haven't sounded too aggressive, but I did want to convey my intentions with this piece.

    Thanks guys.

  5. Work well, Ben. Sinister as hell, and words would only have spoiled the effect.

  6. Very cool. You say your scripts are "overly wordy". If you mean in terms of dialogue, this is a massive improvement as it is almost pure visual. I would love to see this comic.
    A good tip my tutor taught me was "imagine each word costs a pound."


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