Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Artifacts - Grave Danger - Sime McDonald

I will freely admit I know nothing of the Top Cow universe or of this event, and this script suffers for it. I can’t promise any of this makes sense in terms of continuity. So, if it doesn’t, and my errors are obvious, apologies. But, if it's any consolation, I have been inspired to take a peek. So, in later years, when Thought-Balloons has exhausted every character in comics and we're back doing re-runs, I'll be far better equipped. Look forward to that!

Hope Pezzini is staring down at her mother’s tombstone. Years have passed. She’s mid-thirties, attractive, but her features have weathered from age and responsibility. She's a hard woman. Nothing sweet about her. She dressed in a trench coat, wrapped tightly around her lithe frame. Her hands are buried deep in her pockets. She is gazing at the tombstone impassively. The sky above is grey, threatening rain. There are three people standing behind her, standing soberly, allowing Hope her moment. Two men and a woman, similarly clad, dark coats, standard graveyard attire. They’re all holding shovels.

Thank you for coming.

Focus on the other female. Around the same age as Hope. Cassandra Judge. She doesn’t look happy.

We don’t want to be.

Hope smiles joylessly.

So, we have something else in common.

Okay. Let’s get this done.

Hope has moved away from the grave. She’s facing us, eyes closed, gazing up at the sky. It’s just started to rain. Behind her, the trio are digging up her mother’s grave.

Focus on the trio standing around the grave. There are mounds of dirt surrounding them. Their coats are filthy. We can’t see inside the hole in the ground. But they’re looking down at the contents of the grave, awestruck.


Birdseye shot, looking down at the grave. There is no body. Rather, the thirteen artifacts are stocked together, untouched for years.

Tight on Hope, her eyes now opened. The emotion of the moment has passed.

Grab your weapon.
We’re at war.


  1. Having never read Top Cow either, any incontinuities are lost on me, so I really enjoyed it. I think I have a thing for down-beat, depressing scenes, which this certainly comes across as with all the trench coats and rain.

    My only gripe, is the dialogue, "Thank you for coming," which is followed by, "We don’t want to be." It just doesn't make sense to me. I believe the second line should either be, "We didn't want to," or, "We don't want to be here." That is all :)

  2. Damn, Sime, you've nailed it. The premise, the terse tone, the final line. This is a brilliant page.

    Danial's right, the second line of dialogue doesn't match. Sounds like you originally wrote 'Thank you for being here.' as the first line and then changed it.

    I like that the reveal changes Judge's meaning in retrospect.

    The panel of them suddenly moving to dig up the grave shocked me. I didn't see it coming. That works well. I'm calling this one the best of the week. Solid.

  3. Thanks, guys.

    Quite right - the dialogue in the first panel doesn't match. I edited this quite dramatically at the last moment. Initially it was chock-full of captions, but I figured the page works better without a monologue.

    Anyway, glad a couple of folks got slight enjoyment out of it. Didn't feel this was one of my best.

  4. I really liked it Sime. I agree with Danial however - the "We don’t want to be" line doesn't fit. However the rest of the script is great. The digging up of the grave got me too. Well done.

  5. Heh - you wrote a sequel to a book that hasn't even finished yet (and, given Top Cow's erratic publishing schedule, might never finish - though I doubt that'd stop them putting out a sequel). Well, played Simon.

    When I read the line everyone's talking about, I thought Cassandra was replying "We don't want to be coming". Well, it would be rather inappropriate, given the circumstances... ;-)


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