Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thor - Whosoever - Danial Carroll

We are looking up at Thor standing upon a small hill. He is holding his arm up, commanding a lightning bolt to Mjolnir. Electric energy surges all around him.

CAPTION: People look to me for my power.

Thor and Hulk are lunging at each other. Thor has Mjolnir swung back, ready to strike, while Hulk has his fist clenched, preparing a punch. An earth-shattering collision is imminent.

CAPTION: My strength.

Thor is standing before a mass of Skrull. He has thrown Mjolnir into the fray, cutting a path right down the middle. Skrull bodies are flying aside from the force.

CAPTION: My grace under fire.

Close up of Mjolnir, sitting on the ground at a slight angle. This panel should be highly detailed and elaborate.

CAPTION: And yet, they can't even pronounce my name...


Friday, April 29, 2011

Thor - Fracture - Sime McDonald

Iron Man, Reed Richards and Stephen Strange stand together atop the Baxter Building. The sky above their heads is an ominously dark shade of red, crackling with a bizarre cosmic energy. The trio are dishevelled; bruised and battered, unshaven. The city around them is in ruins, debris strewn about, and skyscrapers threaten to crumble. This is the aftermath of an epic battle; but by no means the end of the war. Before the trio stand members of the Avengers, listening to these men of science and magic enunciate their findings. Thor is the most prominent figure amongst them. He looks troubled and is without his Uru mallet.

It wasn’t Galactus.

Not intentionally, anyway.

Flashback: alternate colour palette. Dynamic shot of Thor throwing Mjolnir at the Galactus. From the look on the Odinson’s face, he’s put everything into this strike.

This isn’t an exact science.
We are the victim of an uncanny set of circumstances.
A fusion of cosmology and Asgardian mysticism.

Science and magic.

When Mjolnir stuck Galactus, something happened.

Flashback: as Mjolnir strikes Galactus, a cataclysmic explosion of energy erupts from the connection between both forces.

The barriers of space and time were pierced.
For a nanosecond, the walls that separate the nine realms of Yggdrasil melted…

Species from the nine realms of the World Tree manifest from the vortex of swirling energy; fire giants, frost giants, and others from Norse mythology.

… and Earth was invaded.

The Avengers look to Thor. This is his domain, after all. The God of Thunder’s troubled expression remains. Intentional or not, he knows he is the cause of this mess. He is feeling that burden.

THOR [1]
Know this, Avengers.

THOR [2]
Without Mjolnir, I am unable to repair the fracture that
has unleashed the beasts of the nine realms upon Migard.

THOR [3]
Though we are mighty, though we stand as a strong united force,
I fear we are unmatched for the battle that lies ahead.

On Thor, his expression grim.

This is the prelude to Migard's Ragnarok.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thor - The God Delusion - Rol Hirst

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...

Panel One.

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!



Panel Five.

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.

SFX: Kra-koom!

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.

Panel Six.

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

Thor - Midgardian - Ben Rosenthal

1. A typical bar setting, somewhere in Oklahoma at night. The bar is full of people. One of these people is the bar tender, dressed in a green shirt and pants. He is middle aged and slightly overweight. At one end of the bar Loki sits, disguised. He is staring at Thor, who sits at the other end of the bar, a stein of mead in his hand (or beer - whatever you want to call it). Not in his usual Asgardian attire, but in a simple blue shirt and jeans. He is trying to blend in. Thor is bearded, dishevelled and quite possibly slightly drunk. And has just noticed Loki.

Midgard. I do not see why my brother cherishes it so.

THOR (1) (from across the other side of the bar)
Come to gloat, brother?

THOR (2)
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.

THOR (1)
I’ll not have it.

THOR (2)
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.

Off me.

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

Thor – The Victory Of Defeat – Ryan K Lindsay

Set up: Thor has just killed boy Loki. You don’t need to know why, just believe that he has.

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…

2. Thor cries, really cries, you must sell this panel.
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.

4. Wide shot from on high, Thor screams upwards, dark clouds are being summoned from every direction.
Thor: Yaaaarggghhh!
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.

Why Thor?

Oh c'mon. Do I really need to explain why?

Adapted from Viking mythology, Marvel Comics' hammer-wielding God of Thunder was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby in the early 60's and in that time he's survived Ragnarok, grown a beard, survived (and benefitted from) a J. Michael Straczynski run, and is starring in his very own blockbuster movie, aptly titled Thor. In truth, he's not a character I've ever liked. As a kid, I barely understood the words coming out of his mouth - a little too Shakespearean for me - and the mythology was all a little too complex from me; Asgard? Midgard? Valhalla? And I've never quite been sure of how to pronounce the name of Thor's hammer: Mjolnir, anyone?

It wasn't until Thor: The Mighty Avenger was published that I developed any sort of affinity for the character. Writer Roger Langridge and artist Chris Samnee infused so much humanity - and just enough mythology - into their short-lived series, making it the unquestionable comic hit of 2010. It hooked me, got me craving more Thor - which has resulted in my recent purchase of the Walter Simonon Thor Omnibus as well as the Dan Jurgens trades being put out periodically by Marvel. Thor What I'm learning is, although creators have different takes on the character of - how essential is his human side, how essential is his Asgardian heritage, etc - there are common themes prevalent throughout his history, some of which we'll discover over the coming week as our tenures and Play-At-Home scripters present their work.

Thor is a tough nut to crack. There is, potentially, a lot of continuity to contemplate. There's a lot of mythology to be explored. But that's what makes him such an exciting character; his potential is almost limitless.

Let's see how we go.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Martian Manhunter - Women Are From Venus - Matt Duarte

Martian Manhunter in “Women Are From Venus” by Matt Duarte

Imagine this in a 50's art style. In my mind, this would be drawn by Darwyn Cooke.

Panel 1

Description: The door of an office, which reads “John Jones, P.I.” Inside, we can see a silhouette.

CAPTION: I don’t get it. This always works. They always fall for the damsel in distress act.

VOICE (from inside door): You MUST help me Mr. Jones, I fear my life is in danger.

Panel 2

Description: A woman in a striking black dress is sitting on a desk seductively, this is Ms. Swan (new character). Behind the desk sits John Jones (a.k.a. Martian Manhunter in his civilian identity), completely nonplussed by her.

CAPTION: I’ve done this a dozen times, always works flawlessly. Why isn’t he taking the bait?

SWAN: My ex-husband is a very jealous and violent man, and he has been following me around these last days. He may even be outside this building this very moment.

JONES: Ms. Swan, I assure you that you are in no danger. There is no one waiting for you outside this building.

Panel 3

Description: Ms. Swan is now grabbing Jones’ tie, pushing her face close to his. Swan is smiling, while Jones remain as unimpressed as ever.

CAPTION: Get the private investigators away from their office. Steal their confidential photos. Make profit.

SWAN: You don’t understand, Mr. Jones, I need protection and I’m willing to pay for it... handsomely.

JONES: I’m afraid that it’s you, Ms. Swan, who doesn’t understand. I don’t think we should enter any relationship, business or otherwise.

Panel 4

Description: Ms. Swan is now backing away from Jones, frustrated. There is an angry look on her face, looking away from him. Meanwhile, Jones is now smiling confidently still sitting behind the desk.

CAPTION: That’s it. I’m bailing out of this office and trying it somewhere else.

SWAN: It’s like you are from Mars and I’m from Venus, and the gravity of the situation is lost in the translation! I will find a more cooperative investigator elsewhere.

JONES: Ms. Swan, I assure you, my “Martian” brain can understand you perfectly. However, I can’t allow you to leave the room...

Panel 5

Description: Jones has stood up and grabbed Ms. Swan’s arms. She looks terrified, as if she had seen a ghost. Now it’s Jones who is putting his face close to hers.

JONES: Your extortion days are over. The police have already been alerted and are on the way here.

CAPTION: Impossible. How did he know?

CAPTION (green color): I have my ways, Ms. Swan.

The End.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Martian Manhunter – Targets – Ryan K Lindsay

1. Two trick-or-treaters walk down a street in Anytown, USA holding hands. One is dressed as Martian Manhunter, the other is Darkseid.
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

Martian Manhunter – A Date With…? – Rol Hirst

Panel One.

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?

Panel Two.

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.

Waitress: Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Panel Three.

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.

Panel Four.

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…

J’onn: Exactly.

Panel Five.

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…

Panel Six.

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

Martian Manhunter - Whatever Happened To The Manhunter From Mars? - Maxy Barnard

The Premise: Everyone wants their favourite character to have that defining story, that salutes the past and closes off the character, that perfect ending with which you could put a story down and leave it forever. Alan Moore's classic "Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow" is the greatest example of this, a tale that took everything the pre-crisis silver age of old presented and made it into this nigh-perfect example of how to close out a tale, touching on everything you could want from such a story. And of course in recent years Neil Gaiman has thrown the same sort of concept out with his take on Batman ("Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader"). So here's a single page from my ideal two-part tale to close off the world of the Martian Manhunter.

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

Martian Manhunter - Flashback - Ben Rosenthal

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.

SFX: Click.

2. A vent with gas pouring through it.

SFX: pshhhhhhhht

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.


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.


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’onzz: The Martian Manhunter – Grounded: Part Forty-Seven – Sime McDonald

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.

I know they look up to us for hope,
but I wonder whether they know how often we
look down on them for the same.

I should go.

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.

Ah, yes.

Your inspirational tour of America continues.

It’s not ---

Superman’s expression softens.
I need to be down there on the ground with them, J’onn.
I’ve lost sight of the goodness of mankind, and I --

I need to find it again.
So I can find myself again.

J’onn drifts in front of Superman, one hand placed reassuringly on his shoulder, the other pointing at the ‘S’ symbol on his chest.

I don’t question the validity of your walkabout.
People think, because of who we are, because of what we can do,
that we don’t experience moments of doubt; crisis’ of confidence;
questions of faith.

Of course, we do.
We’re as entitled as they are down there to experience a
maelstrom of emotions.

But you’re a symbol, Kal-El.

J’onn is prodding his finger into Superman’s chest, the S-Symbol taking centre stage.

Of truth and justice.
Of hope.
You inspire us to be better than we are.
To achieve more than we can.

On J’onn, his expression stern.

You want to see the best of mankind, Kal-El…

Pull back. Superman’s mouth is a hard line. We’re seeing some of that old steely determination.

(off panel)
… but is mankind seeing the best of you?

Why J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter?

I love J'onn J'onzz

But I don’t know a thing about him. Not really. Not like I do the majority of DC’s other Justice League Members. Oh, sure, I know he’s a Martian. From Mars, in case you were wondering. He loves cookies. Seriously; loves them.  I know his biggest weakness is fire. And I’ve been told - umpteen times - he’s the heart of the League. Seriously, if I hear that one more time...

Aside from that, though? He's a mystery. I know bits and pieces; snippets of his backstory. And yet, somehow, I care about J’onn J’onzz. He reminds me of that friend we’ve all had in our lives, who is loved by everyone. If I was on the Justice League – and I am sure it’s only a matter of time – J’onn would be my best friend. He’s so compassionate. So nonjudgmental. Chatting to him would be therapeutic. Plus, we’d have a lot in common. Fire’s one of my biggest weaknesses, too.

Y’know something, else though? Take away those character elements, strip him down to the bare bones, and what’ve you got?

You’ve got a Martian with badass powers, man.

Telepathy? Yup. Shapeshifting? You better believe it. Super strength? Uh, duh. What else? Oh, just intangibility. Invisibility. Heat vision. Flight.

And a little something called Martian Vision. Now, I don’t know exactly what that is, but comparing that to Superman’s X-Ray vision? His telescopic vision? Please. I know which vision power I’d want.

So, after Green Wake, writing J’onn J’onzz should be a cinch. He’s a complicated character, sure. There's a lot of continuity there. You want to deal with that, go for it. But he also provides the perfect canvass for a classic action-packed super-hero page; the kind that allows a writer the chance to forget the backstory and just write a fun yarn.

And after the depressing – albeit finely crafted, and possibly some of our best - scripts from last week, I think we could do with some good old fashioned super-hero goodness.

But as always, dear Thought-Ballooner, the choice is yours.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Green Wake - Running With The World - Matt Duarte

Green Wake in “Running With The World” by Matt Duarte

Panel 1

Description: A man running through a field at night. The moon shines over his head, the only source of light that can be seen anywhere else. He is running along a path going uphill, with rocks scattered all over it and grass on the sides.

CAPTION: I remember running one night. I'm sure I had a purpose and a direction once but it has since escaped my mind.

Panel 2

Description: The man is still running, though we can see him better now. He is a young mid 20´s man with black short hair. He is wearing normal clothes, not designed for running.

CAPTION: I remember a moment of clarity and confusion. Of surrealism and realization.

CAPTION: I saw myself running, in my store bought clothes, and I saw a long dead ancestor, running along the same mountains and breathing the same air in tattered rags.

CAPTION: I think it was thousands of years ago. Or perhaps thousands of years into the future.

Panel 3

Description: A close up of the man's head.

CAPTION: I remember there was something feral in that moment. Something natural. Whatever destination I had for running, was, for the briefest of moments, gone.

Panel 4

Description: A completely black panel.

CAPTION: Then nothing.

CAPTION: And then...

Panel 5

Description: Seen from behind the man, who has just arrived to a city seemingly in the middle of nowhere. There are not mountains to be seen anywhere close, nor a single hint of the path he was previously in. He is just walking through some tall grass on the outskirts of a town.

CAPTION: Then there was just Green Wake.

The End.

Green Wake - Coming Down - Danial Carroll

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.

ANNA: Come home soon, Baby. I miss you.

Flashback scene of Morley, screaming as he holds Anna's lifeless body in his arms.

CAPTION: And when you go cold turkey...

CAPTION: Well, the withdrawal symptoms are instantaneous.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Green Wake - Summer Dreaming - Sime McDonald


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.

Once, when the clouds dissipated,
I would look to the sky in search of the first hint of sunshine.

I would just stare.
Just watch as the sunlight pierced through its cocoon.

A slight smile curves Tobias’ lips.

My mother called it Summer Dreaming.

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.

Now, even when the sky clears,
the outlook is no less obscure.

There is just darkness. Blackness.
Stretching on for eternity.

Pull back farther. Tobias is standing on the edge of a cliff. The world stretches out before him, never-ending in its blackness.

In Green Wake, there are no dreams.

Tobias has one foot dangling off the edge.

Just one, everlasting nightmare.

Tobias, falling, in darkness, into blackness.


I miss my mother.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Green Wake - Ouroboros Closing - Rol Hirst

Panel One.

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…

Panel Two.

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.

Panel Three.

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.

Panel Four.

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.

Panel Five.

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.

Panel Six.

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…

Panel Seven.

Small panel. Close on the clock, the second hand is one second away from five o’clock.

Panel Eight.

Small panel. Close on the clock. But now it reads reads 9-00 and the second hand is just ticking past the twelve.

Panel Nine.

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

Green Wake - Out - Ben Rosenthal

Although I do like to give the artist freedom with my scripts, I am going to have to specify a layout for this one. The panels are grouped in pairs of two, so that 1 and 2 appear next to each other, as do 3 and 4, and so on. Panel 7 spans the width of the page, so it looks as if the panels are merging.

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.

CAPTION (Both CARL and ARIEL. Perhaps have the caption box look similar to the warping background)
And I know how to get out.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Green Wake – The First – Ryan K Lindsay

1. A boat floats towards the shore of Green Wake. A woman’s feet are visible protruding into the bleak sky up one end. We cannot see her head.
Caption: I’ll never see him again.

2. We see the woman walking up over rocks from the shoreline. She has a green glass bottle in her hands. The wind blows strong around her.
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.

Why Green Wake?

Sometimes you just have to lift your game. I find I write my best articles about the best comics. I play my best sport against the stronger opponents. And I write my best scripts about the best content. You rise to the challenge, that’s how you get better at the game of life. That’s why I chose what I deem the best new comic of 2011, Green Wake.

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.

This town has many possibilities, and a multitude of characters, and the only constant is the emotion present; pure and unadultered fate.

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.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Emma Frost - The End (Diamonds Are Forever) - Danial Carroll

Close up on Emma Frost in diamond form. She is looking stoic.

CAPTION: Scott was the first to notice, obviously.

CAPTION: I lied, as usual, and told him I was just sick of all the noise.

Wider shot, revealing Emma to be standing at the edge of a grassless cliff.

CAPTION: By the time we were in our fifties, however, it was obvious to all.

CAPTION: My lies weren’t enough this time, and he sent me away.

CAPTION: The last words I heard from his mouth were, “narcissistic bitch”.

From behind Emma, we can now see that she is staring across a post-apocalyptic San Francisco. The entire scene is toned in browns and greys. There is nothing alive down there.

CAPTION: In my diamond form, I have no need to eat, drink, or sleep.

CAPTION: I also learned that I don’t age…

From orbit, we can see a brown, desolate America, with a single sparkle shining from San Francisco.

CAPTION: And who wouldn’t want to live forever?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Emma Frost - Master Manipulator - Matt Duarte

Emma Frost in “Master Manipulator” by Matt Duarte

Panel 1

Description: A white/blue-ish planet in open space.

CAPTION: Despite the stories you might have heard, she does not have the power to create, just to destroy and manipulate. Who knows how many lives that bitch has destroyed?

Panel 2

Description: The same planet, from farther away, exploding into smithereens. A streak of red fire comes out from it.

CAPTION: And as much as I hate her, our lives have become, one would say, comically interconnected.

Panel 3

Description: A pull out shot from the same planet, but it and the space that surround it are inside a giant eye.

CAPTION: She saved my life, but she left behind a parting gift. A small token of her “appreciation” to put me on the right path. When I close my eyes...

Panel 4

Description: We can now see the face surrounding the eye from before. It's the unequivocally attractive face of Emma Frost.

CAPTION: When I close my eyes, I hear the scream of the souls that the Dark Phoenix destroyed. I feel their pain as their planet exploded underneath them, their sorrow as the realization dawned of them that it was the last day of their pathetic little lives.

Panel 5

Description: We can now see Emma Frost standing in a group of other X-Men, including Cyclops, in a briefing room which glows from screens on the walls. She is now in her diamond form.

CAPTION: I'm sure she gave it to me as a warning. Constructive criticism, if you will. That sanctimonious bitch. I call it torture. Good luck convincing anyone of that, though.



Panel 6

Description: Emma is walking away from the group, in her crystal form.

CYCLOPS: You turned into your diamond form for, what exactly?

EMMA: Oh, just a small reminder that I'm the best looking person in this room.

CAPTION: There is no way anyone would believe the angel named Jean Grey would do something as sick as implant a terrible memory into someone else's head. In the mean time, I take my little pleasures where I can. 

The End