Sunday, May 19, 2013

Why Three Years?

This Wednesday marks 3 years of Thought Balloons.  Three years of both tenured writers and play at home writers putting out a page of script each week. 
Many have come and gone over the past 1069 day.  Some have moved in to other areas, others didn't feel they could not keep up with the schedule due to real life, and others have had to drop away because of success being found in the comic’s field.  The most noticeable of these being the grand wizard of Thought Balloons himself – Mr Ryan K Lindsay. 

I still remember receiving the email from ‘Moneyshot’ Lindsay those years ago asking if I wanted in.  I jumped at the chance.  At the time I had no idea how to write comics.  All I knew is that I wanted to give it a shot.  You can tell this by looking at my very first Iron Man script.

What Thought Balloons gave me was a chance to not only look at how others write, but also an opportunity to gain invaluable feedback from other tenured writers, and some from within the industry as well (We know who you are guys.  Thank you for taking time to read our words even though you are not supposed to.  Smiley face).  I can quite honestly say that I would not be the writer I am today if not for Thought Balloons, and I think anyone who has had a tenure on the site would echo those sentiments.

So here we are.  Three years in the can.  Over 1070 scripts written  and so many more characters to get to.

This week is all about our inspirations - who do we look up to in regards to our writing.  You will also find a "Getting to Know Thought Balloons" questionnaire from the tenured writers.  Some of our newer scribes have not yet done one.  For those who have, there are additional questions which may or may not contain swears.

From all the tenured writers both past and present, thank you very much for looking in on our little site.  It is a great community, a great tool and a great asset.

Sole Surviving Original Thought Balloons Member
1998 World Skill Tester Champion. 

P.S We encourage you to play along too, each and every week.  Simply post your script in the ‘Why?’ comments section for that week’s character and gain feedback from one or all of the tenured writers!


  1. Cool! Congrats on your Junior year, guys. c:

    Three Years: Snyder
    by Arby Moay

    As you can guess, this script is my tribute to my favorite comics writer at the moment, Scott Snyder. I think his work on Batman and American Vampire is really phenomenal and I can't wait to read his upcoming work on Superman. Heh.

    *The captions that I'm using here is a direct quote from Batman artist Greg Capullo (NYCC 2012).

    Panel 1
    Wideshot. Exterior. Bird's eye view of a kid's playground. Some kids are playing on the Jungle Gym while others are gathered around a clown who is doing some magic tricks. Nearby the clown are a bunch of picnic tables which are empty except for one. A man, SNYDER, is sitting there with a laptop, writing.

    CAPTION: "This guy...

    Panel 2
    Zoom in closer to SNYDER. He is still busy writing in the laptop. Behind him we still see the clown doing a balloon trick and the kids are positively delighted.

    CAPTION: ...he seems so quiet, y'know.
    CAPTION: But behind that mask, and oh he's wearing one...

    Panel 3
    A little bit more closer to SNYDER. Same background. But, the skies are now a little bit darker and the trees and grass seem to look a little bit more... dead. Basically, the background is a little bit creepier, including the clown and the kids.

    CAPTION: ...he's got this deep, dark, black well.
    CAPTION: And that's a very frightening place.

    Panel 4
    Close-up now of SNYDER's face. Half of the Panel is half of his face, while the other half is for the background and for the clown and the kids. Snyder is smiling in a very psychotic manner, with a very intense look in his eye as if he's about to murder someone. The background, the skies should be darker and even more creepy. The kids in the background are no longer kids but are, instead, circus freaks (sorry for the term) in the vein of Joker's gang of freaks. Midgets in weird circus costumes, a two-headed dude, man-looking female with a long beard, and the like, all in weird circus get-ups. And the clown is no other than the Clown Prince of Crime himself, the Joker without a face.

    CAPTION: I'm afraid of the guy."

    1. Great slow build on this one. You do something a lot of writers won't; letting the art breathe and speak for itself.

  2. Whoa, man, this is an awesome script. Really well paced out and executed. LOVE it.

  3. Solid script, Arby. Nice combination of an existing quote with some mighty appropriate imagery. Excellent pacing.

  4. Ben - congrats on the three years. I'm very glad I found the site. Really enjoy joining in every week and reading all of your scripts.

    Arby - cool script. Great choice using that interview in the captions.

  5. This influences one stumped me a bit so I just went mad. As much of a ridiculous mashup as this is... there was plenty I left out because they didn't "fit" somehow. Didn't get any books in there!

    I'm not going to attempt much staging. I'll just pretend it's for a mad genius artist who'll make it all work.

    Splash page

    New York City Street.

    Low symmetrical angle

    People are hanging out of their windows from the apartments high above.

    A multitude of overlapping wordballoons take over the top of the page, all screaming: "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

    Below, the main focus of the page -

    Side view of Paddy Chayefski, in the middle of the street - violently interrupted from working at a typewriter, which has just been smashed by Haruko Haruhara (FLCL) with her guitar, after vaulting from her moped.

    The typewriter squeals out a final wordballoon: Sour Stuff--*

    Sprawled throughout the background:

    Groucho Marx lights Howard the Duck's cigar.

    Black & White (Tekkon Kinkreet) mug Spider Jerusalem.

    Luther (The Warriors) hangs out his car window clinking the bottles on his fingers.
    Luther: "Waaarriorrrrrs, come out to plaaaa-aaaayy"

    A shimmer that might look somewhat Predator shaped sits atop a lamp post

    The president's escape pod from Escape from New York lies crashed, open and empty in the background. Spaceman Spiff hovers in his spacecraft, surveying the wreck.

    Tyres (SPACED) cycles by with an art tube in hand.
    Tyres: "Oi Oi you lucky people."

    Wu (Deadwood) holds up a sheet of paper to Bunk (The Wire)
    Bunk: BFNBFG?
    Wu: Invisible Cocksucker!

    Gene (Bob's Burgers) runs down the street as the Beefsquatch.
    Malcolm Tucker (The Thick of It) watches him in disbelief.
    Gene: "This is me now!"

    White eyes peer out from beneath a slightly raised manhole cover.

    1. These influences aren't too dissimilar to some of my own. Some completely awesome imagery going on here.

      I'm picturing it as a "Where's Wally?" Type piece drawn by Rafael Grampa.

  6. Arby - Master stroke using the real interview sections as your captions they added a great tension to the page that paired with your striking visuals made for a strong page.

    Brian - Such a strange mix of influences, but I love that about the page. i love getting to see all the areas that a writer draws from.

    Also as for the characters you left out I kind of understand what you mean, everyone in your page seems to fit in an odd way.

    I could see this working as a huge 80's style movie poster.


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