Friday, October 26, 2012

Near Death - At Death's Door - J.D. Coughlan

Panel 1: Woodward's POV. Lying in a hospital bed, looking up. Markham stands at the foot of the bed, stoic, looking down at Woodward.

MARKHAM: Simon Eric Woodward.

MARKHAM: Between 1951 and 1967 you killed twenty-two people -- mostly children -- and got away with it. But I had a bit of luck this week; came into some information that pinned you.

Panel 2: Woodward's private hospital room. Woodward is an original character, in his mid-80s, and looks very old and ill. He is managing a weak grin though.

WOODWARD: And what? >wheeze< You thought you'd turn me in? Kill me? Torture me?

WOODWARD: >wheeze< Young man, I don't know who you are, but I've been in more pain than you can imagine for years now. My doctors now tell me I won't last the week, so prison would be pointless, and at this point I'd welcome execution. >hack<

Panel 3: On Markham again, this time he's grinning and his body language should indicate he is now pacing around the room.

MARKHAM: Oh, I know. See, because of a recent... lifestyle change, I don't get to have much fun anymore, but with you I found a little loophole.

MARKHAM: I may not be able to kill you, Mr. Woodward, but while you were out I had some paperwork fudged...

Panel 4: Close on Woodward. Horror and terror on his face.

MARKHAM (O.P.): You've been receiving the best and most advanced new medical treatments.

MARKHAM (O.P.): They've tuned you up like a beat up Ford Mustang -- gave you a Ferrari's engine.

MARKHAM (O.P.): You're gonna live much, much longer now.

Panel 5: Markham quite comfortably takes a seat.

MARKHAM: But before I leave I'm gonna tell you all about where you're going when you do die...



  1. Wow this ends on such a dark and powerful note.

    You're opening two panels work so well together, opening with Woodwards POV letting us see Markham in this hospital scene is unnerving and a punchy beginning.

  2. This is a pretty dark scene, but it works.

    It had a similar vibe to that scene involving Val Kilmer and the old man at the end of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

  3. I really dug your page this week. That modern urban noir vibe comes right out. Puts me in mind of Andrew Vachss. And so many possibilities to go to from

  4. I really like the morally grey area you're exploring here that follows really well out of the Near Death book itself. A rather dark way of "making things right" for what Woodwards has done.


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