Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why Indiana Jones?

Raiders Of The Lost Ark is easily a contender for my favourite film of all time (I'm not alone in that regard) and a huge influence on me as a writer. The movie is a perfect blend of character, romance, thrills and action and includes some of the best set-pieces put to celluloid. Not only that but Indy inhabits a world rich with mythology, history, great villains and has a supporting cast to die for.

Indy is a guy just trying to make his way in the world. He's a little cynical, sometimes romantic and has fears and insecurities like the rest of us. He knows how to handle himself in a fight, but he's not invincible. He messes up, he dusts himself off and tries again. He's making it up as he goes along.

As Spielberg put it:

"Indiana Jones is not a perfect hero, and his imperfections, I think, make the audience feel that, with a little more exercise and a little more courage, they could be just like him."

However, for a character so beloved and with such a deep well to draw from Indy has had a pretty raw deal when it comes to comics. The Marvel series introduced a few years after the first movie featured the work of such industry stalwarts as Denny O'Neil, John Byrne, David Micheline, Howard Chaykin, Archie Goodwin, David Mazzuchelli and even the legendary Steve Ditko. The series ran for 34 issues and featured some great stories and art.

But Indy didn't receive another outing in comics until the 90's when Dark Horse picked up the license with an adaptation of the PC game
Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis. The adaptation isn't something to write home about and the art is serviceable if not great. Dark Horse would continue to publish Indy's adventures throughout the 90's. The scripts are, at best, solid and the quality of the art is mixed. Recently, in 2008, Rob Williams tried his hand with the character in the four issue mini Indiana Jones And The Tomb Of The Gods, but since then it's been quiet.

This is where you come in.

With Indy himself and a huge swathe of history, locations and situations to choose from I'm excited to see what the tenured writers and those of you playing at home come up with.


  1. Indiana Jones – Indiana Jones and The Skeleton Heart – Shaun Richen.

    Indy is searching a tomb for an ancient jewel called the Skeleton Heart, which is said to have powers to bring a person back from the dead. He has fallen through a hole in the tomb floor into a chamber below being chased by a band of Nazi’s; Indy’s torch went out during the fall.

    Page 22.
    7 panels.

    Panels 1,2 and 3 make up the top row of the page. Panel 4 takes up most of the page whilst Panels 5,6 and 7 form a row along the bottom a similar size to the top one

    1. An all black panel.

    2. A small flame appears from the end of a lighter in INDYS hand. It lights the panel slightly.


    3. INDY has lit the end of his wooden torch. The panel is much more illuminated. We see INDY in his classic get up, hat on sleeves rolled up torch in one hand whip in the other.

    4. We are looking over INDYS shoulder. An ornate throne is covered into the wall in front of him. A skeleton sits in the throne, a crown on his head and a sword at his side. Sitting in the skeletons chest is a black and gold heart shaped jewel; it glistens in the light of the torch.

    5. A close up on INDYS face as he smiles.


    6. The tomb floor is covered in a sea of snakes, some slithering around the ankles of the skeleton.

    7. The same as 5 this time INDYS face is sweating and he seems very unhappy.

    INDY: Why are there always snakes in these places?

  2. So if the jewel can bring people back from the dead, how come the skeleton isn't alive?

    I was expecting a skeleton fight.

    1. I was toying with the idea of having the skeleton reanimate, However I went a different way.

      In my opening paragraph I say that the skeleton heart is said to have the power to bring the dead back,but to find the previous owner dead shows this not to be true. I wanted Indy and the band of Nazis chasing him to be after an artifact that isn't magically and powerful like the others he has encountered.

      I should have made that clearly. I need to show it on the page somehow.

  3. It's a nice action page / set-up, though if I'm being churlish I reckon the final line could be stronger for the last page of an issue. Midway through the comic I wouldn't have been so critical, but the last line (particularly of a cliffhanger) should be your money shot.

    1. Very fair Rol. Any and all constructive criticism is always welcome.


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If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.