Friday, July 8, 2011

Invincible - Hard Times For These Times - Grant McLaughlin

So I usually whip up scripts that can take place at any point within continuity, but not so this week with Invincible. What you see before you is what I imagine could be going through the minds of Eve and Mark in issue 71, the night before Mark leaves to fight in the Viltrumite War. Because any amount of time can occur in the gutters between panels, this would happen during panels 1 and 2 and before panel 3 of page 13 of that issue (for those who aren't scrambling to pull out their copy of Invincible #71 to look, that's when Mark is heading over to Eve's, but before they say anything to each other).

Because the lead-up to this script is already complicated enough, I figured I might as well go the whole nine yards and have an equally complex panel layout. This is partly to fit in all those friggin' words I wrote, but I think the visual it creates is worth a slightly crowded page.

The page has three rows of panels. The first row has four panels. Panels 1 and 2 take up the size of a single panel; they are divided diagonally from one corner to another (left to right descending), with panel 1 being the top half and panel 2 being the lower half. All three panels ("1 and 2", 3, and 4) are of equal size.  The second row is laid out in a similar fashion to the first, with panels 5 and 6 once again being formed out of the size of a single panel (the diagonal can go in a different direction if one wants) and panels "5 and 6", 7, and 8 are all of equal size. The third row is a single panel that takes up the remainder of the page.

All dialogue is in the form of thought balloons.

1 – Eve is looking down at her laundry basket on her bed, preparing to start folding. She is tired and sad. On the page, she is looking down and to the left, which with the split in the panels, has her looking directly at Mark in panel 2.

EVE: Should I bring it up?

2 – Mark is sitting on the ground next to his bed, looking out the window. He is tired and sad. On the page, he is looking up and to the right, which with the split in the panels, has him looking directly at Eve in panel 1.

MARK: Does she need to hear this?

3 – Eve reaches into the laundry basket, leaving space for all the thought balloons in this panel. She continues to look left, though she is placed on the right edge of the panel. Most of her body is off-panel, appearing to connect her to Mark in panel 4.

EVE (1): This pregnancy is all I can think about lately, but is this the right time to bring it up? Mark has so much on his mind already.

EVE (2): I'm terrified, but he's about to fight a war. How can I distract him ever further?

EVE (3): I'm so scared that he won't come back – that I'll lose him. I don't even want to think about it. Do I really want to spend our last night together worrying him?

4 – Mark is putting on the pants of his costume, leaning forward to leave space for all the thought balloons in this panel. He continues to look to the right, though he is placed on the left edge of the panel. Most of his body is off-panel, appearing to connect him to Eve in panel 3.

MARK (1): Is there really enough time to explain everything I've been going through lately? And everything that's still to come.

MARK (2): I'm terrified, but this is our last night together. How can I ruin it by asking her to bear more of my burdens?

MARK (3): And since Eve's “death”, I've been so scared of losing her. She's been so distant lately. Would my selfish concerns bring us closer together or simply push us further apart?

5 – Another split panel. Eve is folding a shirt, looking down towards the laundry basket and Mark in panel 6.

EVE: I just love him so much.

6 – Another split panel. Mark is putting on his shirt, looking up towards the ceiling and Eve in panel 5.

MARK: I just love her so much.

7/8 – Panels 7 and 8 are separate images. Panel 7 is a close up of Eve folding laundry and trying to look determined. Panel 8 is a closeup of Mark flying over to Eve's and trying to look determined. The reason I describe the two panels in one paragraph is because the thought balloon marked “BOTH” crosses onto both panels. Eve and Mark's separate thought balloons are on their own panels, but they are in mirrored positions.

BOTH: I know that, together, we can deal with this.

EVE: I need to tell him.

MARK: I need to tell her.

9 – A single panel taking up the remainder of the page. Eve's bedroom. The two stand on opposite sides of the panel / room. Eve is on the far left and Mark is on the far right. Eve looks over her shoulder as Mark comes in, looking to the right for the first time on the page. Mark is coming in the window, looking to the left for the first time on the page. They look towards each other sadly. No dialogue.


  1. Stupid blogger just ate my original comment, but no problems with the excessive exposition given you're writing a Kirkman character. This had the feel of a Stan Lee Spider-Man soap page, which is obviously Kirkman's template for this book, so well done, Grant.

  2. Great look intothe heads of each character at the time. I can easily imagine this being a 'deleted page' from Kirkman's original script. Yes, it wordy and tight - but who cares it's great.


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