Saturday, June 15, 2013

Storm – Toward Liberty Square – Brian Manton

Aerial view of Cairo, where we see two bridges over the Nile river - the Qasr al-Nil Bridge and the 6th October Bridge. Thousands of protesters gather at the west side, trying to gain crossing en route to Tahrir Square.

TEXT:  Cairo, January 28, 2011.

CAP:  You wouldn't believe it unless you were here. I mean, there's clips on YouTube but you can't really make it out.

Shot of the western entrance to the Qasr al-Nil Bridge [reference below].

Riot police have the entrance completely sealed off with four green personnel carriers. Protestors, men and women from young to old, surround.

A protestor has climbed onto one of the personnel carriers. A policeman reaches for his leg. Another man rallies the protestors with a bullhorn, waving them forward. Some of the protestors are clearly injured. Spent tear gas canisters litter the ground.

One man, with a red scarf wrapped around his mouth, stands defiantly atop one of the lion statues that mark the entrance to the bridge, as the clouds of tear gas are taken away in the wind.

CAP:  Just as it was looking like they would push us back, a wind blew up from nowhere and cleared out the tear gas.

View from the entrance to Qasr al-Nil Bridge, looking up the road towards the 6th October Bridge where a mini storm cloud forms - black spiral tendrils compiling. This bridge is also blockaded by riot police and swarmed with protestors - this detail will be quite small in the distance, but if the crowds can be indicated it should be sufficient.

CAP:  Then we heard this noise - this thunder.

CAP:  Up at the entrance to 6th October Bridge we see a black cloud just sort of - forming.

The west side of October 6th Bridge [reference below]. This bridge is much wider and is not adorned with statues.
Lightning strikes an empty vehicle on the bridge and it bursts into flames. Riot police jump for cover. Protestors cheer and push forward. We see people climbing the vehicle blockade. The disarrayed riot police do their best to hold the protestors at bay - some attack violently with their batons. The rain pours down.

CAP:  And... KRAK!

CAP:  The protesters just poured onto the bridge.

Back at Qasr al-Nil Bridge west entrance. In the bkg we can see that 6th October Bridge is in sunshine again. The cloud has moved down here now. The protestors rejoice and cheer as they get soaked in the heavy rain and wind. In the bkg the riot police have regrouped nearer their blockade and are not attacking the protestors.

This panel has more focus on the protestors than previously. We can see their signs, placards (with both English and Arabic writing) and Egyptian flags. "GET OUT MUBARAK" "FREE EGYPT" "We want a FAIR election!"  [Further references below]

Amidst the crowd we see a young Ororo Monroe, around 10 years old. She wears a blue hoodie with a faded Nike swoosh. Her hood is down and her long white hair is heavy with rain. She stands behind one of the protestors and is reaching inside a slit in the underside of the front pocket of his backpack, taking out a wallet. She holds a box-cutter in her other hand - somewhat concealed by her sleeve.

She smiles widely. *Here's a difficult one to ask an artist for... try to show that she is not just happy about scoring the wallet. These are her people and she shares in their joy. It's not a mischievous smile. It is very genuine.

CAP:  The wind changed again and brought the cloud right above us.

CAP:  Someone shouted "Even the sky wants us to pass".

CAP:  We broke through Qasr al-Nil Bridge later that night.


Article with photos from the Qasr al-Nil Bridge on the day

Western end of Qasr al-Nil Bridge 

6th October Bridge (view from west side)

Protestors 1
Protestors 2


  1. Wow, Brian, you start your ThoughtBalloons career with a pretty ambitious script. I'm a sucker for political commentary, anyway, but I really liked that you use a young Ororo, rather than her present age, to show the early cementing of her character. And using the protests was a good setting to do that in.

    Nice page,sir.

  2. Nice use of an old character in a current, ongoing political situation.

    You chose a good setting too that gives a nice hint at what you could do with the character at a young age in the current political climate.


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