Sunday, November 28, 2010

Why The Profile?


Being a newcomer to the world of comics, I felt it only fitting that I should choose a fairly new character as my Thoughtballoons debut. Enter, The Profile...

The Profile was introduced in the 2006 Moon Knight run, and having only recently read that, he quickly became a favourite of mine. To begin with, David Finch drew him looking like Sam Rockwell--which was just awesome--but also, I just thought he was a really unique character; one that I’d never seen before anyway.

The Profile’s “super” ability, as his name implies, is that he can profile people at a glance. In other words, he can tell every single trait, habit, and behaviour, just by looking at someone. What I particularly like--at least in Finch’s work--is the way this is shown to the reader:


In Vengeance of the Moon Knight, they took the lazier route of just having words snake around the character’s outline, but it still got the point across, and it was particularly amusing when Norman Osborn’s included, “Drowns kittens.”

If anyone is unfortunate-enough to have never read Moon Knight, don't be too alarmed, The Profile is actually a very simple character--basically just a sleazebag; a card-shark. The fun in writing him, I believe, will be more in the descriptions than the dialogue. So I hope you can all have fun with this, and I look forward to seeing the weird and whacky “profiling” that ensues :)

P.S. Here’s a few visual aides if you need them...

17 comments:

  1. I'm pleased with this choice, and not just because it gave me an opportunity to re-read all of benson's Moon Knight (and huston's too I guess). He's one of those fantastic characters who is truly unlikeable without being necessarily evil. which is such a challenge to get across in a single page. Looking forward to what everyone does with him, and great choice Danial!

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  2. Mutually Beneficial Arrangement by MK Stangeland Jr.

    Prior to this scene, it has been established that THE PROFILE is attempting to have a little R&R at a sunny resort. He was sitting beside the pool, admiring the “scenery” in all its many forms, before being annoyingly approached by none other than DEADPOOL.

    (5 Panels)

    PANEL 1: THE PROFILE does his best to ignore DEADPOOL, who currently off-panel. His real attention is currently focused on the other side of the pool.

    The pool area isn’t very crowded at the moment, and there are one or two reads surrounding most of the individuals, such as a joint line around a man and woman sitting next to each other that says “Recently married”. There’s one highly-attractive woman, however, who is surrounded by many more reads than anyone else, indicating his focus is concentrated mostly on her. These include things like “Believes her husband is cheating on her, is intent on returning the favor”, “Not impressed by large displays of wealth”, “Not actually a fan of swimming”, and so on and so forth.


    PROFILE: Then you already know how I know you’re here to ask for my help. And how I know it would be faster to listen to what you have to say than to try to tell you to go give someone else a headache.

    PANEL 2: Panel shows DEADPOOL standing next to where THE PROFILE is sitting. DEADPOOL’s eyes are wide as he comes to the wrong conclusion about what PROFILE can do. PROFILE has turned his attention to DEADPOOL, and as this is the first time he’s managed to truly give the mercenary his full attention, there are a large number of reads surrounding DEADPOOL beyond the mercenaries immediate intentions.

    These reads around DEADPOOL should include descriptions such as “Wears mask to hide scars”, “Suffers from cancer”, “Inability to Die”, “Inescapable desire to be in as many places at once as possible”, “Dissociative identity disorder”, “Believes he’s living inside a Comic Book”, and more.


    DEADPOOL: You’re a telepath!

    DEADPOOL YELLOW CAPTION: Quick! Ask him to tell him what you’re thinking of!

    PANEL 3: DEADPOOL continues to stand next to where THE PROFILE is sitting. PROFILE is noticeably more annoyed. A new read is around DEADPOOL which says “Greatly enjoys his own capacity for immaturity”.

    PROFILE: No.

    DEADPOOL CAPTION: Whew!

    PROFILE: Now tell me what you have to say or $%#& off.

    DEADPOOL YELLOW CAPTION: Jerk.

    PANEL 4: Close up on DEADPOOL’s upper body as he tries to explain things to THE PROFILE. A new read around him says “Fluctuating moral compass”.

    DEADPOOL: Fine, Mr. Grumpy Pants. There’s a man in town who very, very rich people want to get their hands on. Problem is, he has a unique way of protecting himself. He has a lot of bodyguards that look almost exactly like him. While I’m sure I would enjoy trying to kidnap each and every single one of them, I heard you have a way of reading people.

    And I’m kind of in a phase of trying to avoid purposefully causing the kind of mayhem that sort of mass abduction would require.

    PANEL 5: THE PROFILE looks at DEADPOOL with one eyebrow up, indicating he may actually be intrigued by what he’s guessing is being offered. A new read boarders DEADPOOL, which says “More money than a normal man would know what to do with.”

    PROFILE: So let me guess…you want to hire me to pick the real one out of a crowd for you.

    DEADPOOL YELLOW CAPTION: Ding! Ding! Ding! Tell him what we have for him, Johnny!

    END PAGE

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  3. @MK: That was brilliant. Great use of the character, and a set-up that I could see actually happening. Plus, I also love Deadpool, so kudos for bringing him in. I don't think he's been seen on Thoughtballoons as yet... that I can remember anyway :)

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  4. Glad you like it. I took the note on making the most of his descriptions and thought it would be neat to try to use it in an attempt to pair him up with one or more other Marvel characters, and came to the conclusion that Deadpool would be the one I'd have the most fun giving descriptions to.

    Besides, Deadpool's always fun when he's not being over saturated.

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  5. MK - I like that script - the formatting seems a little funny at first, but that might just be me, but I like the connection for these characters built. It's a good use of the character.

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  6. I've always been tempted to read Moon Knight. This character just tipped the scales. Might not read anything in time to participate though.

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  7. Hey, this guy sounds interesting. That would sure be a useful power to have.

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  8. This was the toughest one yet. I'd never heard of The Profile before Sunday, so if I'm getting his characterization off, it's a product of having read about him on wikipedia and the other scripts posted here. Rather than come up with a full miniseries concept like I have before, I'm just going to follow Danial's lead and sum up what I know of the character in a single page. It's my first attempt at writing something a little sexy... even just the tiniest bit.

    PAGE ONE (6 panels - one landscape panel on top and bottom with a square of four smaller panels in the middle)

    Panel 1. Foreground: We see the bottom half of a woman in her underwear laying down facing away from the camera. Her ass is amazing In the background we can make out a waist-up (below the waist is covered by the bed) Profile drying his hair after a shower. The air is steamy from his hot shower. The light from the bathroom lights the entire scene with deep shadows where the light doesn't hit. He's facing away from the woman towards a completely fogged-over mirror.

    WOMAN (FROM OP):
    How'd you know how to do that? No one's done it like you just did it. That was amazing...

    The Profile (disinterested):
    Sure.

    Panel 2. We've moved up to the head of the woman looking at the Profile over her shoulder. Her hair is tussled, but clearly was primped at one point.

    WOMAN:
    So what's next?

    Panel 3. Now we're looking over The Profile's shoulder. His hair is completely messed up from drying. He's drying his arms or back. He's facing the mirror but looking into a completely fogged over surface. The air is still steamy here.

    THE PROFILE:
    Next is you leaving and me never seeing you again.

    Panel 4. We have The Profile in the foreground and he's smiling, still looking at the fogged-over mirror, still drying off. The Woman is standing up in the background pulling her tiny dress on and seething with anger. She's talking, but it doesn't look like anything we can read - The Profile isn't listening, so we're not paying attention either. Around the woman is a similar mish-mash of incomprehensible red letters. The Profile can feel the heat coming off of her but isn't giving her the satisfaction to actually read her.

    Panel 5. The Profile is looking at the mirror and we're looking over his shoulder. He's cleared off just enough space to see his hair and face to slick back his hair. We can see just red tones under the fog, but can't make any actual words out. The woman is leaving and slams the door behind her.

    SFX (OP): SLAM!

    CAP (The Profile): Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

    Panel 6. The Profile is in the bedroom, pants on, buckling his belt. In the background we see the rest of the mirror has defogged much more with the only 100% clear spot still being where his face was. The angle of the mirror let's us see the back of The Profile. The words CURSED, ALONE, and ASSHOLE appear in red around the image with tons of arrows coming off of them and pointing, almost like an old-style lit marquee sign towards The Profile's image on the mirror.

    CAP (The Profile): Sometimes it's best not to reflect too hard on who you really are.

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  9. Nice one, Paul. I was thinking of doing something similar myself. Well executed, and I love that last line. Great stuff, mate.

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  10. Not knowing the character, you did a really good job on this, Paul. There is actually a scene in Moon Knight where The Profile has a lady visitor in his room, and you've managed to capture the same vibe in this one. There is also another scene where Moon Knight asks him what he sees when he looks in the mirror, and The Profile just screams something like, "No, don't make me do that". So you really did hit the nail on the head with this one. Nice work!

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  11. Just checked, and it went down like this:

    MOON KNIGHT:
    I wonder... If I forced you to look at yourself in that mirror... How bad would that be for you?

    PROFILE:
    Please don't. I. Hurt me. Hurt me. But please don't make me... Please don't do that.

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  12. So does he just ... avoid mirrors...?

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  13. MK, the Deadpool scripting was excellent (made me smile) and you have a good handle on the Profile. I'd worry about getting all that dialogue into panel 4 though without breaking it into a few more balloons.

    Paul - to say you've never encountered the character, it was great that you hit on the mirror angle. This seemed like a very well thought-out page visually.

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  14. Thanks guys for all the feedback! I almost sat this week out, but I'm very happy I decided to give it a shot and go for it anyway. Looks like The Profile hits on a lot of popular narrative tropes. I'm really starting to like how the character taps into a lot of classic anti-hero vibes but in a brand new way with his power.

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  15. I'm glad I was able to introduce some new people to the character. I think he's cool, so I'm hoping you're all starting to understand why now :)

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  16. Yeah, I can definitely see where his appeal comes from.

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