Sunday, June 10, 2012

Godzilla- Blowback -Dan Hill

I grew up watching the zanier entries in the Godzilla franchise (Vs. King Kong, his son, Monster Island, etc) but it’s the original that sticks in my mind now.

It’s black and white, moody, tense and builds suspense slowly. Not only that but it raises important questions (some of which are still pertinent today) about the use of nuclear power and weapons.

I implore all of you to give it a watch at some point. It might just surprise you. To that end, I attempted to put a ‘message’ in my strip this week and make something straight faced. The metaphor is a bit on the nose, but it speaks to what I love most about that original film.

Panel One

Wide panel. We OPEN inside the USS Arizona memorial structure in Hawaii. It’s early morning and there’s not a cloud in the powder blue sky.

Tourists go about their business looking at the plaques and displays and peering over the sides at the submerged, rusting hulk below.


CAPTION:  I thought I knew the way the world worked.

CAPTION:  I believed in truth, justice... all that jazz.

Panel Two

We CUT TO a CLOSE UP of the wall in the memorial listing the names of the dead.


CAPTION:  I never questioned things.

Panel Three

CUT TO a CLOSE UP on STAFF SERGEANT FREDERICK BURR looking at CAMERA. He’s in his mid thirties with sandy coloured hair and cold, almost grey, eyes. He’s wearing civilian clothes-- a loose fitting white cotton shirt and a pair of knee length khaki shorts and a pair of sandals.

CAPTION:  Especially authority.

Panel Four

Wide panel. We’re looking at the back of Burr as he turns slightly at the commotion. He’s trying to maintain his balance as the entire structure shakes. A few tourists run past him towards the openings at the side to get a better glimpse of whatever's causing the ruckus.

CAPTION:  But that before that tiny town outside Kandahar.


CAPTION:  Before it all changed.

Panel Five

Wide panel. CUT TO a shot looking up at Burr slightly as he clings to one of the railings, peering out across the water. Next to him other tourists stop, stare and point. Some click pictures on camera’s, others hold up iPhone’s.

TOURIST 1:  --an earthquake?

TOURIST 2:  You filming this?

TOURIST 3:  -- no, there. Can’t you see it?

    CAPTION:  Now the world doesn’t make sense to me.

CAPTION:  All I know is that we made it this way.

Panel Six (Inset of Panel Five)

CLOSE UP on Burr, mouth slightly agape.

VOICE (OFF):  What is that?

Panel Seven

Wide panel. In the background of the panel we see the USS Arizona Memorial. Around it we are several other U.S Navy ships in dock, an aircraft carrier and a cruiser.

In the foreground of the panel we can see several of GODZILLA’s spines emerge from the surface of the ocean.

CAPTION:  Where’s the justice in that?


  1. Your "Why?" post taught me more about Godzilla than I ever thought possible. This script backs up that knowledge with heart. Or, y'know, something less mushy.

  2. Excellent script Shaun. You have set the mood beautifully, given us a character to associate with and had a (no so much) mysterious reveal. It's what you don't see that often gives to a story, in my opinion, and the last panel being simply of Godzilla's spines has given the script the right ominousness feel. We all know what is coming. Well done, mate.

  3. Yeah, SHAUN, I'm with Brad. This...


    Love the script, Dan! I agree with Ben that the decision to only show a portion of Godzilla was definitely the right one. Too many comics are far too happy to give it all away from the get go. Your patience goes a long way to build some suspense.

  4. GAH! Why do I always get Shaun and Dan mixed up? Why do I always thing Grant is Greg? Where the hell are my pants?

    Apologies guys. I really should learn how to proof read.


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