Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why Jimmy Olsen?

This is mostly Nick Spencer's fault. Granted, Jimmy Olsen has been up to his fair share of wacky shenanigans over the years, but it was Nick Spencer and RB Silva's brilliant Jimmy Olsen series of backups in Action Comics (which eventually became the 80 page one-shot simply titled Jimmy Olsen) that reminded just how much fun this character can truly be.

Jimmy may be Superman's #1 fan, but he has a proven track record of quality stories behind him (as shown by the aforementioned one-shot and the ridiculously long-running Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen). Therefore, I am eager and excited to see what kind of zany pages we can come up with for the Daily Planet's young photojournalist.

That being said, don't feel beholden to compose a lighthearted piece should you have a perfect poignant page. Just because I intend to be irreverent with my script, doesn't mean you have to do the same. Part of James' charm is certainly his ability to support any type of story, silly or serious, so let's do this.

Is Jimmy going to be an astronaut?  A wizard?  A talking gorilla?  A regular ol' boring photographer?  The options are endless, and it's all up to you!

So let's forget about Superman.  It's Jimmy's week to shine. Let's make sure it's as bright as it can possibly be.


  1. Jimmy Olsen – The greatest Trick - Shaun Richens

    PAGE 1 of 22

    The page is made up of three page wide panels and a fourth panel inlayed in the bottom right of panel three. The first two panels are the same size and take up the top half of the page; the third is a half page splash.

    1. A camera hangs around the neck of Jimmy Olsen; we see Olsen from the waist up. He is leaning against a wall.

    Place top left of panel.
    CAPTION (J.O): They called me down to the scene at 3:09am. I was sat waiting for the call.

    Place bottom right of panel.
    CAPTION (J.O): The entire world will know the news before my pictures even gone to print. But my pictures the thing that’s gotta prove it.

    2. We pull out and now see all of Olsen. Now standing slightly away from the wall. A crowd of people are all gathered, they look shocked, terrified, some are crying. At the bottom of the panel two police officers stand next to police taped off area, they have their arms out trying to hold the crowd back.

    Place top right of the panel.
    CAPTION (J.O): “Superman found dead.” These words will be heard all around the world.

    Place bottom left of the panel.
    CAPTION (J.O): Thing is, he ain’t dead. Only reason I know this is ‘cus he asked me to help him fake his death.

    3. We have pulled right back; Olsen is now stood at the back of the crowd. We see that the crowd is huge. We can now also see what is behind the police tape. The skeletal reminds of a body burnt up lay in a huge, deep crater. The Superman logo ‘S’ is burnt in to the ribcage of the reminds giving off an eerie light.

    Place top left of the panel.
    CAPTION (J.O): They say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making the world believe he didn’t exist. I somehow think making the world believe the man of steel is dead is going to prove a much more difficult trick.

    4. A close up on Jimmy Olsen, he has his camera held up in front of his face.

    CAPTION (J.O): This is a good start though.

    This is kind of a big idea, but I just went with my gut on it. Any and all feedback is as always welcome.

  2. I liked it Shaun. The wording conveys the story, however I have never read Jimmy in a comic so I have no idea if this is what he sounds like. Is he that deep with his thoughts?
    The "S" burnt into the corpse's chest is a haunting and disturbing image - mainly because of what it represents. Did Supes burn it in with his heat vision? Where did Jimmy and Supes get the corpse from?

  3. I haven't read much of Jimmy in comic form either. Although I know he is meant to be more comic relief and light hearted however for my page I felt the situation he finds himself in and the fact that his hero Superman had come to him for help and put him in this slightly deeper more reflective mood.
    The basic set up for my story is thus, people have started to become careless because they know Superman will always save them, and at the same time a new character by the name of Benjamin Jackson has been impersonating Superman in an attempt to seduce woman. Events lead to Benjamin dying in a fire. This is the final straw some Supes who feels his presence on earth on causing more problems than he is solving. Using Benjamins body Supes uses his heat vision to burn his emblem into his chest and sets about fake his death, he hopes that if people think that even Superman can die they will realize the importance of life be unite as one. Of course a lot goes wrong when you are faking the death of the most powerful and famous man on earth.

  4. @Shaun. Cool concept and I like the idea of Jimmy and Supes being in cahoots on the plan.

    That S burnt into the chest is a really strong visual too. My touchstones for Jimmy come from the Spencer stuff and the Kirby Fourth World comics (which everyone should go and get, right now!) and the voice was off slightly compared to them. Other than that this was a solid page.

  5. I've had some posting issues here the last weeks. That and moving house has curtailed my efforts here of late. I was damned if I was going to miss another week!

    I just went with something quick and snappy here. Jimmy is possibly my favourite DC character and it's been great to see how people are using him this week.

    PAGE 1

    The page consists of two tiers of two panels and a bottom tier of a single wide panel.


    CLOSE UP on a polaroid photo fixed to a fridge door with a magnet. In the photo is LOIS LANE dressed in desert fatigues. Next to her is JIMMY dressed in similar garb.

    He has a camera around his neck and is making rabbit ears behind her head with his hand. Lois is trying her best to look at the camera and appear professional.

    At the bottom of the polaroid in black marker is the word QURAC.

    CAPTION: Colleague.


    CLOSE UP on another photo fixed to the fridge door. In the photo a scary looking BIZARRO lunges at the camera.

    CAPTION: Photographer.


    Another photo, but this time it's in the form of a newspaper clipping. In the photo SUPERMAN gives the thumbs up to CAMERA as Jimmy, complete with knit tank top, shirt, bow tie and cords stands nearby grinning widely.

    If this isn't the happiest day of Jimmy's life it's sure close.

    CAPTION: Best friend.


    This final photo is a CLOSE UP of CHLOE. The magnet fixing it to the fridge features the Superman logo. She looks into camera, laughing at a joke we can't hear the punchline to.

    The photo is partly obscured by a yellow post it note. On it, scrawled in marker: JIMMY. WE NEED TO TALK. CHLOE.

    CAPTION: Boyfriend.


    WIDE PANEL: We cut to Jimmy's apartment and a shot of Jimmy slumped in an armchair.

    He wears a baggy t-shirt, shorts and a pair of flip flops. Around him lie the discarded remnants of pizza boxes, chinese takeaway cartons and cereal boxes-- a monument to the newly single.

    Behind Jimmy we can see the kitchenette and the fridge, plastered with photos.

    CAPTION: Heartbroken.

  6. Shaun - this felt almost like Jimmy Olsen Noir, cool. I liked the script more until I read your explanation of where the story was going. That felt a little too full of plausibility holes, but maybe those would be filled as you told the complete story. You need a couple of 's in the "picture's", 2nd caption of panel one (to denote abbreviated "picture has" and "picture is"). Great chest-burnt visual.

    Dan - that was a really affecting story, well-paced and with a genuine emotional kick. But then I always had a soft spot for Chloe and Jimmy as a couple.


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