Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Though we are mighty, though we stand as a strong united force,
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The following page takes place towards the end of a story in which Thor has been called upon to investigate a number of crimes against prominent religious figures. High profile priests have been crucified, holy books burned, temples destroyed. Thor has tracked down and confronted the man responsible yet has been unable to stop his reign of terror...
Thor stands before a burning cathedral, the stained glass in its windows broken, thick black smoke pouring from a hole in its roof up into a dark, thunder-swept sky. Thor himself is beaten and bloodied, his face and arms scarred and bruised, his costume torn. He's holding his hammer defiantly, but we can tell he's on his last legs.
Thor: I have seen the atrocities that lie in your wake...
Thor: Desecration and bloodshed not even the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim would wreak...
Thor: And I have done all within my power to bring this to an end...
Thor: Yet still you stand... still you blaspheme... still you defile...
Thor: How can this be?
Panels Two - Four.
Three small panels of Thor getting his ass handed to him and taking a serious whupping at the hands of his enemy: a small, intellectual-looking man in his early 70s (though still in reasonably good health) with swept-back grey hair and spectacles. He's wearing a woolly crew-neck jumper and cords. Thor is unable to fight back. With each blow, the Thunder God weakens further... and gradually turns back to Dr. Donald Blake.
SFX (4): THOK!
SFX (5): THOOM!
SFX (6): THOOP!
The man holds Donald Blake's body up. Blake slumps, defeated - he would fall to the ground were it not for the man's hand gripping the front of his shirt. The man speaks directly to Blake. Behind them, the cathedral roof collapses into the flames while thunderclouds continues to roil overhead.
Man: If a god were ever to ask me that… if a god were to stand before me now and speak those words from his own immortal lips… do you know what I’d tell him, Dr. Blake?
Man: I wouldn’t tell him anything. I wouldn’t even hear him.
Man: Because I am…
Man: The Atheist.
The Atheist snarls into Donald Blake's face... he's been corrupted and driven insane by his own unholy power.
The Atheist: And no god has power over me.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Midgard. I do not see why my brother cherishes it so.
Come to gloat, brother?
Here to toy with me, now? To revel in my loss?
2. Thor is standing, looking unsteady on his feet. He is angry at the insolence of Loki, appearing to him at this time of heartache. Whether he is drunk or purely upset at his loss, we are unsure. The bar tender has placed his hand on Thor’s shoulder in order to calm him down.
Revelling in their triumphs, celebrating their victories.
I’ll not have it.
Be gone from here trickster. Either under your own momentum, or with the aid of mine.
3. Thor lashes out at the man who has placed his hand on his shoulder.
And despairing in their falls.
4. The force of Thor’s shrug off throws the bar tender smashes into the shelves of bottles which line the wall behind him
Poor brother. So arrogant.
5. Thor is checking on the man he has just hit. The man appears to be dead.
You cannot be in a place for so long. Live as one of them...
6. Mephisto has appeared in front of Thor, grinning.
7. A small panel, which simply shows the evil smile of Loki.
...and not abide by their rules.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
1. Thor sits in the middle of a field with boy Loki’s dead body in his lap. They are both slumped, Thor cradling Loki's lifeless form.
Caption-Thor: You didn’t expect to win. Not as we think of the term.
Caption-Thor: You don’t care about your victory…
Caption-Thor: You only ever cared about my defeat.
3. Thor’s hands still grip tightly to the length of rope used to strangle Loki.
Caption-Thor: Making me do this…
Caption-Thor: This was your true victory.
Caption-Thor: You will be honoured, still. You will be remembered.
Caption-Thor: I shall plant a new world tree in your name.
5. Lightning rumbles in the clouds. These clouds must look electric, violent, sad.
Caption-Thor: But you shall have no place upon it.
6. Rain hammers dead Loki’s face.
Caption-Thor: And that will forever crush me.
Caption-Thor: Which I know will make you happy.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Caption: People say they want to be different.
Caption: They say they celebrate difference.
Caption: But it’s a lie.
2. A car speeds down the street coming from behind these two fun-loving characters.
Caption: Anything outside the norm is an aberration.
3. A young redneck leans out the window, his rat-tail flapping in the wind, a brick in his hand.
Caption: That’s how nature works.
4. The redneck has thrown the brick and we see it colliding with the back of “Martian Manhunter’s” head.
Caption: While people want you to believe that difference is what makes us individuals.
5. “Martian Manhunter” is on the ground, blood pooling out, “Darkseid” is reacting in horror.
6. “Darkseid” has removed his mask, it's still in his hands. He weeps openly.
Caption: Difference is actually what makes us a target.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
J’onn J’onzz, in his human identity of Detective John Jones sits across a table from us in a welcoming diner. There is a glass of milk on the table before him along with a plate of Oreo cookies. Jones is not looking at us, his head is down – sad, but also a little embarrassed. He’s talking to a woman, unseen, sitting across the table where we are.
J’onn: I lost my wife a long time ago. Since then, I haven’t really…
J’onn: There hasn’t been… anyone else.
Woman: Maybe you just haven’t met the right girl?
Wider shot of the diner. It’s night time, John and his “date” are the only ones present except for a waitress behind the counter who has fallen asleep with her face propped up facing a small portable TV set.
We’re watching this scene from further back than in the first panel, so we still can’t see much of the woman opposite J’onn – just the back of her head and her shoulders. She has long dark hair and is wearing a sleeveless black top.
J’onn: That’s what Boo… erm, Michael, my friend Michael, that’s what he keeps telling me.
J’onn: It was Michael who encouraged me… to join this... website.
Woman: You look like someone who’s seen a lot of pain in his life. A lot of… death.
Close on John. He’s feeling a little more confident, a little more comfortable. He’s looking the woman straight in the eye, a sad smile on his face.
J’onn: More than I could ever begin to tell you.
J’onn: Though, to be perfectly honest, it’s neither my grief nor my lack of experience that’s holding me back…
J’onn: If anything, I suppose you’d say… it’s prejudice.
Exterior shot. The diner from outside. It’s raining. A taxi drives by, splashing water from the puddles. Though the diner isn’t particularly well lit, there is a warm cocoon of light around John and his date, marking them out as silhouettes in the window.
Woman: Oh, I know. People can be so narrow-minded, can’t they?
Woman: They get so wrapped up in how you look… or where you come from…
Close on John again… is he ready to confess all?
J’onn: Although I suppose I can’t really blame them.
J’onn: That is… if I were to show you how I really look… tell you where I really came from…
J’onn: I wouldn’t blame you if you never wanted to see me again.
Woman: Maybe you ought to try me…
Reveal of John’s mystery date – it’s Death of the Endless. She’s smiling sweetly as she places her hand on top of his.
Death: I’m pretty much unshockable…
Death: That’s what my brother's always telling me, anyway.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
And it's a detective tale that spans both of his worlds, and the very concepts of identity, especially those in an immigrant from a dead race (that old ticket), and ultimately what it means to be that reliable figure in a team, gone forever.
So, enjoy this opening page in an imaginary tale, and tell me how pretentious that previous sentence was.
We open on J'onn J'onnz's face, somber, with some small amount of sweat on his brow.
Caption: I am no longer alive.
Moving back we see more of the scene. J'onn is in a black void, posed in the 'Atlas Pose', holding two large and out of view spheres, which i'll describe when we come to them. Where J'onn's feet should be there are typical ghost wisps, trails coming from the legs as his form fades out.
Caption: I have been told that death would bring with it a release from all burdens. And yet...
And now the full shot. J'onn J'onnz is holding two large globes, one on each shoulder (something that should hopefully still fit the Atlas Pose). The globes are in no particular order, Mars and Earth. Both are gripped tightly, so tightly in fact that J'onn's fingers are cracking the globes, digging into the surface of each as he holds on to both of them. As a symbolic show of his strong ties to both of his homes, natch.
Caption: ... I am still held down under the weight of the things that truly matter to me.
From what I'd want to call a distant over-the-shoulder viewpoint we see J'onn stoop a little lower under the weight of the worlds, and a bit further in front of him (an admittedly difficult concept in a blank void, it must be said) a small white light has appeared.
Caption: If I only knew why this is so, and how I even came to be here, it would be easier. But--
J'onn: What is this?
The light is much bigger now, and within we can see J'onn's silver age John Jones personality, in full detective clobber, staring blankly out at J'onn.
J'onn: Yes... I can use this. One more time, to find out the truth, to solve one last mystery. To know...
[The next page, for those wondering, would be a splash featuring John Jones standing in a bustling Middletown, in November 1955, that fateful month where he was pulled to earth for the first time, used as the starting point for J'onn's spiritual self to explore his 'ultimate mystery', with, in the sky, the title WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MANHUNTER FROM MARS. Because, I guess that's how this story starts.]
Monday, April 18, 2011
The panel layout is a little different for this one. Panel 4 should almost be a splash of the entire page. The remaining panels begin small within the page, Panel 1 being situated in the top left hand corner of the page. Panel two would b diagonally down from it. Panel 3 is slightly larger, taking up a fifth of the page. Panels 5 and 6 should mirror the size of Panels 1 and 2, with Panel 6 being the same size as Panel 1, and Panel 5 the same size as Panel 2. PANELS!
1. A large metal door which has just been slammed shut. A click sound effect can be seen from the metal handle.
2. A vent with gas pouring through it.
3. Martian Manhunter stands, however he is in his human detective form John Jones. He is dressed in your typical 1920’s depression era detective attire. To the side of him is a lady, also garbed in similar period clothing. The lady lays at John's feet, propping herself up on one arms, with the other covering her nose. She is beginning to become overwhelmed by the gas.
*cough*..We’re trapped John. *cough* *cough* Whadda we gonna do?
4. The lady’s eyes have widened as John Jones has begun to morph into the Martian Manhunter we know – tall and green. To one side of the panel John Jones should be standing. Then some transforming things happening, then show the Martain Manuhunter on the right hand side.
MARTIAN MANHUNTER (In John Jones form)
For an ordinary human detective, this door would be impossible to move.
MARTIAN MANHUNTER (In Martian form)
But not for the MARTIAN MANHUNTER!
(NOTE: The Martian Manhunter should be a logo design).
5. Martian Manhunter is using his heat vision to burn a hole through a door. We are seeing this from behind the lady, who is still on the floor looking up.
THOUGHT BALLOON (Lady)
He...he’s not a man at all...
6. A close up of the lady’s face. Her eyes are wide with fear.
He’s a monster!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
J’onn J’onnz and Superman are in space, looking down at Earth. Superman looks uncomfortable, his arms crossed, frowning. J’onn is smiling proudly as he gazes at his adopted home.
J’onn is still smiling, but there’s a slight hardness to his expression now as he challenges his Kryptonian friend. Superman’s eyes are bulging in their sockets.
Superman’s expression softens.
J’onn drifts in front of Superman, one hand placed reassuringly on his shoulder, the other pointing at the ‘S’ symbol on his chest.
J’onn is prodding his finger into Superman’s chest, the S-Symbol taking centre stage.
On J’onn, his expression stern.
Pull back. Superman’s mouth is a hard line. We’re seeing some of that old steely determination.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Morley sits at a table in a dark room. The only light is coming through a nearby window from a street-lamp outside. There is a bottle of whiskey and a full glass of it in front of him. He is staring at the glass, deep in thought.
CAPTION: Love is an addiction.
CAPTION: A drug.
Morley and Anna are laying in bed together, both staring happily and lovingly into each other's eyes.
CAPTION: When you're on it, it is the most amazing high.
Anna is on the telephone, curled up on a sofa. A small lamp feebly lights the otherwise dark room.
CAPTION: When you're not, you sure feel the cravings.
Flashback scene of Morley, screaming as he holds Anna's lifeless body in his arms.
CAPTION: And when you go cold turkey...
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tobias (new character, no reference) is gazing upwards, at the sky, though the shot is angled so we can’t see it. He’s clad in tattered clothes, maybe, once, ages ago, fashionable garb, now reduced to rags.
A slight smile curves Tobias’ lips.
At another time, in another place, this might be a snapshot of tranquillity, of a man at peace with himself and the world, looking up to the sky, to the heavens. But not here. This is Green Wake. We’ve pulled back from the first panel. Now, we can see the sky. It’s coated in black paint, not even the faintest hint of a glimmer of light. It’s unnatural. Unnerving.
Pull back farther. Tobias is standing on the edge of a cliff. The world stretches out before him, never-ending in its blackness.
Tobias has one foot dangling off the edge.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Small panel, inset in the top left of panel two. Close on an old-fashioned analogue clock with roman numerals. The second hand is just ticking up to 9 o’clock.
CAP (Phil): 9 to 5, 9 to 5, sometimes it seems my whole life is 9 to 5…
A small and shabby open plan office in a faceless business. The furniture is worn, the papers on the noticeboard are yellowing, the carpet is threadbare. On the desks, bulky old computers sit next to overflowing in-boxes. One desk even has an old typewriter. The clock we saw in panel one is central, on the wall above long rectangular windows which look out on a dark, grey morning. Rain pelts the glass, we can't see anything beyond. The clock reads just after 9.
The office workers are taking off their wet coats, shuffling to their desks. In the foreground is our narrator, Phil (new character – 30s, dishevelled, a worn-down office drone like the rest of them). He watches his colleagues arrive for another day at the treadmill.
CAP (Phil): This friend of mine, Barney, he quit this place and tried to get out of town. Said he wanted to go somewhere you can tell the difference between day and night, the job and your life.
CAP (Phil): He didn’t know no better.
The edge of town. Dark and gloomy. A weary figure staggers down a road towards old burnt-out farm buildings.
CAP (Phil): Most people here, we learnt a long time ago – the road out just leads straight back in.
Back in the office. The clock on the wall read 12-30. Everybody is working, head down, halfway through another dreary day. It’s no lighter outside, the rain is still pelting the windows. In the foreground, Phil glances across at the clock.
CAP (Phil): You accept that and you get on with it.
CAP (Phil): Get up, go to work, do the 9 to 5, go home and drink yourself to sleep.
The edge of town. The weary figure stumbles to his knees.
CAP (Phil): Barney kept walking till his feet were hamburger.
CAP (Phil): Eventually he just lay down in the road...
CAP (Phil): He was no further away than when he started out.
Back in the office. Not as wide a panel as the others, all we really need to see is Phil in the foreground, a couple of heads working at desks beyond him, and the clock on the wall in the background. Phil stands, putting on his coat, preparing to leave. The clock on the wall reads 4-59 and the second hand is ticking up to five. Nobody else moves from their desk.
CAP (Phil): I thought what happened to Barney was the worst Green Wake had to offer…
Small panel. Close on the clock, the second hand is one second away from five o’clock.
Small panel. Close on the clock. But now it reads reads 9-00 and the second hand is just ticking past the twelve.
Same as panel 6 except the clock reads just after 9, as in the previous small panel. Resigned to his fate, Phil takes off his coat.
CAP (Phil): Then one day, we didn’t even get to go home anymore…
Monday, April 11, 2011
Colours are important here. May I suggest using yellows for Carl’s panels, and purple/black for Ariels. Similar colours can be used for the caption boxes, however Carl’s must be a different colour to that of Ariels.
1. A panel showing Carl’s head, looking down at something. There is kindness in his eyes.
I’ve lost count of how long I’ve been here, but I think I’ve finally figured it out.
2. This panel is framed the same as Panel 1, but with Ariel’s head in the place of Carl’s. She is also looking down, however her eyes are emotionless. Blood covers her mouth and chin.
I know a secret.
3. A man is lying in his bed. Carl is out of panel, however we can see his hand holding the man’s. The man in the bed is taking in his last breaths. His eyes are full of fear.
I can’t stop you from going, but I make getting there easier.
4. Again, the panel mimics the previous. A woman is lying on her back in the street. She is covered with blood, with stab wounds visible on her abdomen. Ariel’s bloody hands can be seen in panel.
I’m helping you. Setting you free. You would thank me.
5. Carl’s hand is shutting the eyelids of the elderly man.
This isn’t Heaven. It isn’t Hell.
6. Ariel’s spidery fingers are close to the dead woman’s open eyes. It looks as if she is going to gouge them out with her bloody fingers.
This is the place in between. I don’t like it.
7. This panel spans the width of the page, with Carl’s head on the left of the panel. His eyes are bright. On the right hand side is Ariel’s head, her eyes dark, almost lifeless. In between the two is a meshing of the different coloured backgrounds, showing that although they are in the same panel, they are in different places.
And I know how to get out.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Caption: I’ll never see him again.
Caption: I want to think it’s for the best but anyone honest with themselves cannot be that selfless.
3. The woman stands in the middle of one of the streets of Green Wake. She is all alone, her hair is now flat against her head and shoulders.
Caption: This situation, this place, might mean everything to me but it’s nothing to everyone else.
Caption: So am I important anymore?
4. The woman sits on some steps, bottle standing at her feet, her head down.
Caption: It’s hard to feel when you know the world moves on without you.
5.1 – 5.6. These six panels are all small and tile across between panels 3-4 and the final panel 6. The six words of the caption line tile across, one word per panel. In the six panels tiling we see;
the girl’s eye and ear,
a foot on a cracked brick piece of pavement,
a lone tree on a hill,
the girl’s hand on the bottle,
smoke leaving a chimney,
and a sliver of moon in the daytime sky.
Caption: The abyss swirls within and without.
6. The woman is in the same position as panel 4 but we have changed view. We look straight at her with the building behind her. The building is leering down at her, windows for eyes, dual chimneys on the roof like horns slowly pluming smoke, and the door has a large green X painted around it, but not actually on the door.
Caption: Life goes on…and so does death.
Green Wake is a new comic from Image written by Kurtis Wiebe and illustrated by Riley Rossmo. It’s a five star comic all about love, loss, and regret sieved through a Cronenberg filter and touched up with some Jeunet/Templesmith paint. It’s gorgeous but most importantly the words are haunting. This book is smart. It’s brilliant. It’s more than you can want or expect. This comic is all about soul.
It’s also about a town, Green Wake, where the inhabitants have no idea how they got there and they cannot leave. They generally keep to themselves and not much ever happens. Until a string of grisly murders brings an element of noir into this horrific landscape.
I chose Green Wake because I truly wanted the opportunity to write in this world. I wanted to see if I could lift my game up to this level. I also chose Green Wake because I wanted to expose as many people as possible to this comic. It is genius and more people need to be reading it. If you have to pick up a copy in order to write your script, or truly appreciate ours, then so be it. I can handle that, I hope you can. And the first issue has sold out, so at the start of May you'll have an opportunity to buy the reprint. You should do that.
This book looks amazing, just gaze over those covers above and below. Rossmo knows how to make art catch your eye, especially in such a truly horrific way. But it's the words in the comic. Man, the words. Wiebe brings emotion and thunder through the captions in a way I haven't seen in a while. This comic resonates. It's all about the worst within us. Not the worst of us, but the worst IN us, the worst we carry around.
If you want more information on the title go to the following links:
Green Wake site
Green Wake blog
And then get your best horror-noir hat on and swirl down the hole of frogs with me. All the way to the bottom.