Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Adventure Time – Time for ADVENTURE! With the King of Ice and Gunter – MK Stangeland Jr.

(7 Panels)

Panel 1: KING OF ICE - a heroic mirror universe version of the ICE KING, who looks mostly like his counterpart aside from having a far more clean-cut beard - is standing atop a wall of his ice fortress. He’s currently rolling his eyes.

Standing next to him, and looking about the same, is GUNTER the penguine.

KING OF ICE (1): Ah cripes. It’s you two again.

KING OF ICE (2): What do you want…

Panel 2: Standing outside the KING OF ICE’s fortress are SINISTER FINN and BAD DOG JAKE, the evil mirror universe versions of FINN the HUMAN and JAKE the DOG. The most notable features that distinguish them from their heroic counterparts are that FINN has an evil looking mustache (naturally) and scar while JAKE has an evil looking goatee (also naturally) and wears an eye-patch. Not because he needs the eye-patch, mind you, but because it looks cool and he thinks it makes him look kind of evil.

KING OF ICE: (From off panel, continued from PANEL 1. Should be enlarged for emphasis.) …SINISTER FINN and BAD DOG JAKE?

Panel 3: SINISTER FINN, holding his sword, points up at the KING OF ICE. BAD DOG JAKE shakes his fist at him.

SINISTER FINN: We heard you’re giving refuge to a princess!

BAD DOG JAKE: So we came to kidnap her!

Panel 4: KING OF ICE gives an offhanded wave of dismissal.

KING OF ICE (1): Bah!

KING OF ICE (2): I don’t know what you’re talking about!

Panel 5: KING OF ICE leans down to whisper in GUNTER’s ear.

KING OF ICE: Show our guest out through the back exit, and make sure she gets there safely.

Panel 6: BAD DOG JAKE points up at KING OF ICE and shouts angrily.

BAD DOG JAKE: I heard that!

KING OF ICE (1): I don’t care what you heard!

KING OF ICE (2): Now bug off or else I make you bug off!

Panel 7: SINISTER FINN charges at KING OF ICE’s castle with his sword up and at the ready. BAD DOG JAKE runs right behind him.




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Adventure Time -Lazy Snack -Dan Hill

I've only seen a handful of episodes of the show and as such my handle on the characters is extremely limited. In the grand traditions of the 'exquisite corpse' storytelling techniques employed on some episodes, I used this generator to come up with the bones for this one. Behold:

"The tepid terror slothfully probed the indigestible mermaids"

I'm sorry.


This is structured to be presented in one row of four panels like an old newspaper strip.

Panel 1
JAKE, wearing bits of a skeleton Halloween costume lies on a beach of a desert island somewhere out in the middle of the ocean. He looks exhausted and lazily crawls along the beach on all fours.


Panel 2
JAKE is further along the beach, approaching some rocks. We can see the tail of what looks like a LARGE FISH coming from the edge of the panel on the right.


Panel 3
JAKE is slumped over the rocks, lazily trying to sink his teeth into the fishes tail.

1. VOICE/off:            Quit it.

Panel 4
We pan right slightly to see that the tail belongs to a MERMAID. She looks annoyingly at a drained JAKE who continues to try and eat the Mermaid’s tail.

2. MERMAID:            Quit it.

3. JAKE:            Stop moving.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Adventure Time - Science Good - Ben Rosenthal

1.  Finn is standing with Jake and Princess Bubblegum.  She is in her scientist coat with goggles on.  She is talking to Finn and Jake, instructing them to be cautious around her new invention.  Finn and Jake are too busy staring at the invention (off panel) – their eyes bulging, drool coming from their mouths and limbs limp.  They really, REALLY want to get their hands on the Princess’ new invention.

This is a very sophisticated piece of science.  Don’t.  Touch. It.


I want to marry science.

2.  Reveal of a giant robot-mech-dinosaur.  This is what Princess Bubblegum has built.  We can see the three standing at the base of the machine.  Finn is transfixed on it – he just needs to touch it.

I mean it Finn!  It’s not finished yet.

Then why show it to us now?

Because reasons.


3.  Princess Bubblegum is being stern now.  Jake is saluting her, snapping to attention.


Don’t worry Princess.  You can count on us!


4.  Out in the open of a grassy field.  There has clearly been a small time jump.  Finn is in the Robot Dinosaur Mecha, with a look of pure joy on his face.  He is controlling the Mecha which is wrestling Jake who has made himself as big as the MechaSaur.    He too is having the time for his life.

Five minutes and thirty four seconds later….

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Adventure Time - Presents of Mind - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Establishing shot.  Princess Bubblegum's royal court.  There's a big ol' party going down in honour of Jake's birthday.  There's a banner that aptly reads "Happy Birthday, Jake!" and a smaller one off the side that reads "Awesome".  Pretty much all the relevant characters are reveling and cavorting, including Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, and various Candy Kingdom citizens.  Conspicuously absent from the festivities is Finn the Human.  Realizing his bestie isn't there, Jake has stopped partying, asking BMO if it knows where Finn may be.

JAKE: BMO, do you know where Finn's at?

BMO: I do not, Jake.  He said he had "to go get something totally unrelated to Jake's present," and I haven't seen him since.

2 - Inset panel.  Close-up on Jake and BMO.  BMO looks naively unsure; Jake is suspicious.

JAKE: Hmmm....

3 - Outside shot of Finn and Jake's treehouse.  Word balloon coming from within.

CAPTION: And so.

JAKE (within treehouse): Hey, Finn!  Why aren't you at my totally sweet birthd--

4 - Interior.  Finn is in the main room, surrounded by piles and piles of stuff.  Feel free to include as many references to previous adventures as you'd like in that pile.  The important thing is that Finn sits on the ground, hands around his knees, crying.  Jake is just coming into the room and is shocked by seeing his friend so sad.

JAKE: Ohmyglob!  What's up, broheim?

FINN: Everything's up, Jake!

5 - Closer in on Finn, with Jake having come closer so that he's also in the panel.  Finn throws his arms wide in frustration as he explains what's up.

FINN (1): I wanted to get you the perfect encapsulation of the math importance I place on our friendship - you know, in gift-form - but I can't figure what that is!

FINN (2): I'm totes the worst best friend forever ever!

6 - Jake puts a reassuring hand on Finn's shoulder.  Jake wears a serious expression.  Finn is feeling a little better.

JAKE (1): No way, Finn!

JAKE (2): We both know that gifts are awesome --

FINN (interrupting): Way awesome.

JAKE (continuing): -- but what's way awesomer is spending time with your bestie.

7 - Finn and Jake hug, both with happy smiles on their faces.

JAKE: The only thing I want on my special day is to share it with my specialest friend.

Why Adventure Time?

I'll be honest with you, I'm not a big fan of the Adventure Time show.  I did not get into it when it first hit airwaves, and while I've taken in a smattering of episodes from various seasons, they just don't seem to resonate with me in any significant way.

So why would I choose Adventure Time for my week's pick?  Because of the brilliant comic book
adaptation, of course!

I was nonplussed when I heard that Boom! had snagged the Adventure Time comic book license, but I was thrilled when I discovered that Ryan North (of Dinosaur Comics fame [among much else]) would be writing it.  North is easily one of my favourite writers, with his six-panel Dinosaur Comics never ceasing to impress me and bring a smile to my face.  So knowing that he'd be writing an ongoing series was a great surprise and something I had high hopes for, despite my disinterest in the actual property.

And then that first issue hit.

It was a brilliant combination of North's comedic sensibilities, artists Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb's excellent storytelling instincts, and the general wackiness that is all things Adventure Time.  I mean, there's a reason the series just won the Eisner for Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12) (congratulations, by the way).

I fell in love with the ongoing adventures of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog.  I could go on about how great the Adventure Time comics are (and there's a lot to cover, including the awesome backups you can find in every issue or the fantastic miniseries Boom! has been releasing), but I'll spare you my gushing.  Suffice it to say that Adventure Time is one of those books that I'm always excited to read, so I wanted to share some of that excitement with all of you.

I know I'll be taking inspiration from the comics, but feel free to draw from whichever sources you please.

So do you know what time it is?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wolverine – Moratorium – Brian Manton

Wolverine (as Patch, his Madripoor alias – eyepatch over left eye) lies slack-jawed against a wall in a Madripoor alleyway. He is clearly unconscious. His face torn up - the aftermath of a bullet through his right eye, shining socket revealed. Two Madripoor gangsters in suits lie clawed and dead in the background.

Wolverine (CAP):  The waiting is the bit I could do without. Stumbling through the brain damage, between panic and euphoria and not knowing the difference. Clawing my way back to consciousness and pain.

Louisiana back road. What's left of Wolverine's body chained and dragged by a speeding truck. It tumbles along the rough road, most of the flesh gone.

Wolverine (CAP):  No senses yet, not knowing what I'll wake up to.

The Sonoran Desert, Arizona. Coyotes fight over Wolverine’s limp remains, pulling lengths of flesh in opposite directions.

Wolverine (CAP):  When it's this bad the factor steals muscle mass, bone density, whatever it has to, to get the essentials back online. Can't get something from nothing.

Wolverine’s body, lifeless in the centre of a boxing ring in an empty gym. Blood is dried brown into the canvas in a gory splatter. A chainsaw with chunks of flesh stuck between its teeth lies discarded in the corner of the ring.

Wolverine (CAP):  Before the adamantium I'd come round to days like a china doll, and didn't always have the luxury of taking it easy on brittle bones.

Vultures pick at Wolverine's body as he hangs from a massive rail bridge over a beautiful canyon, thin blue meandering line of river glistening below.

Wolverine (CAP):  As the nerves start to light up again it’s just the ghosts of feeling. Insect crawling discomfort - and that's before I can feel the maggots I'm probably going to have to root out later.

Wolverine (plain clothes) pinned to the seabed by a huge ship anchor buried in his gut.

Wolverine (CAP):  Eventually I can think straight. At this stage I'm a hell of a guess at how long it'll be before I can move again. Where's a bookie when you need one?

Wolverine (brown costume) on a Japanese mountainside. He kneels, prone, with eight swords sticking out from between his ribs and one through the back of his neck and out his mouth. His abdomen has been sliced, intestines hang. His neck is cut in a failed attempt to decapitate him.

Wolverine (CAP):  I always end up back here. Stuck with myself for company – and I'm not exactly my own greatest fan.

Close on Logan's right eye (left as we look at it, the rest of his face cropped panel right). There are cuts and scratches all over his face. His eye is open and alert, pupil contracted in the light. There is a sense of purpose in his stare.

Wolverine (CAP):  But then I laugh to myself because I remember who did it and that they think I'm done.

Wolverine - Duel - R.A. Wonsowski

Layout: 2x3, done in the style of Charles Schulz's PEANUTS.

Panels 1 through 4 - Close-up, profile shot of LOGAN (looking to the right side of the panel).  His teeth are clenched and bare.  Sweat drips from his forehead, his hair is blown back in the wind, eyes a little wide.  Copy as follows:

Panel 1 - CAPTION 1:  Lost count of how many times I faced down situations like this.

Panel 2 - CAPTION 2:  Especially with Charley's crew.  How often it came down to me.

Panel 3 - CAPTION 3:  Now here I am with Hudson's A-Team.  Just like coming home.

Panel 4 - CAPTION 4:  Here we go...fastball special...

Panel 5 - Pull back.  We see LOGAN swing his baseball bat, connecting solidly with the ball.

SoundFX:  CRACK!!!

Panel 6 - Logan jogs to first base, fist pumping in the air. He's wearing a baseball cap, white t-shirt, shorts, and shoes like dinner rolls.  In the background, we see BEAST in his catcher's equipment, mask up, two blue fingers up, standing in front of CHARLES XAVIER, on the pitcher's mound in his wheelchair, wearing a yellow shirt with a zig-zag stripe, looking right at us, baseball cap brim to the side, and a nauseous look on his face.  There is a scoreboard that reads A. FLIGHT 12 - VISITORS 0.


CHARLES - Good grief!

BEAST - (small lettering) Oh my stars and...ONE finger means the high straight ball, TWO fingers...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wolverine - Boys' Night In - Niel Jacoby


Panel 1: Wolverine and Deadpool are sitting on opposite sides of a card table, with equal amounts of poker chips. Iceman is sitting between them, really nervous. Deadpool is moving some chips to the middle of the table.


Wolverine: YEP.

Deadpool: 10.

Panel 2: Wolverine moves some chips to the middle.

Wolverine: I SEE YOUR 10 AND RAISE YOU 20.

Deadpool: I CALL.

Wolverine: SAME TOO. ROLL IT.

Panel 3: Deadpool spins the chamber of a revolver.



Deadpool: OK.

Panel 4: Deadpool sticks the barrel in his mouth, pointing somewhat upward.


Panels 5-7: close ups on the three, Deadpool first, an incredibly nervous Iceman second, a steady calm Wolverine third.
Wolverine(p5): 1...
(p6): 2...

Panel 8: Deadpool pulls the trigger, blowing his brains out. Iceman is horrified, Wolverine is smirking.


Iceman: OH MY GOD

Panel 9: Wolverine moves the pot over to his side. Iceman is still on edge as Deadpool's head is beginning to heal.


Caption: *"BEST 2 OUT OF 3?"

Wolverine - In the Dead of Night - J.D. Coughlan

Again, apologies for lateness. My internet should be fine now.

Panel 1: Flashback, tinted red. Logan stands in front of a frightened woman, protecting her from a dozen or so men in suits armed with swords. He looks enraged, his claws already out. Everyone's clothes indicate this is maybe 50 years ago.


Panel 2: Present, tinted blue. Logan, in Wolverine costume, perched on a rooftop, looking into a bedroom window of an adjacent building. We see only his silhouette.


Panel 3: Flashback, tinted red. Logan slaughtering those men, the woman cowering in the background.


Panel 4: Present, tinted blue. Inside the bedroom Logan was observing before. He stands framed in the window. In the foreground, the woman from the flashback lies on her side, facing us, sleeping.


Panel 5: Flashback, tinted red. Logan stands among the dead bodies of those men, his claws still out, coming down off his adrenaline high. Behind him, the woman calmly picks up a discarded sword.


Panel 6: Present, tinted blue. Logan now stands right behind the sleeping woman, his hand on her back.


Panel 7: Flashback, tinted red. The woman drives the sword through Logan's chest, much to his surprise.


Panel 8: Present, tinted blue. Exact same shot as Panel 6, except the woman's eyes are wide open.

SFX: (small) snikt


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wolverine – Frost Bite - Shaun Richens.


5.1 CU on Wolverine’s nose. His nostrils are flared, his nose wrinkled as he sniffs the air.

Sniff. Sniff.

5.2 CU on Wolverine’s mouth, a sly grin creeping up one side of it. Stubble covers his chin.

Thought I’d lost you. Guess your nose is better than mine.

5.3 Wide panel, a bleak and barren snowy wilderness. Through a clearing in a patch of leafless tress we see a large WOLF, teeth showing, dripping in saliva. Its head lowered, front legs down, ready to make its move on its prey, on Wolverine.


5.4 Classic showdown profile shot. Snow has covered everything in a blanket of white all we can see are the Wolf on the left and Wolverine, in a tattered and torn X-men uniform still stained in his blood standing on the right. Both are paused waiting for the other to react to rashly.


5.5 CU on Wolverines clenched fist.

Now lets see who has the sharpest claws bub.

5.6 Repeat CU on Wolverines clenched fist. However now Wolverine has popped his claws.


5.7 Repeat panel of 5.4 the showdown panel. Wolverines claws are now popped and his arms held up in front of him ready to fight.

The white B/G is now dotted with half a dozen pairs of glowing WOLVES eyes, the rest of the pack.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wolverine – Marvel Babies: Age of Ultron – MK Stangeland Jr.

(For art and concept reference, see the “A-Babies vs. X-Babies” one-shot.)

(7 Panels)

Panel 1: WOLVERINE and SUE STORM stand in the doorway of HANK PYM’s room. They look angrily at HANK PYM.

The room itself looks full of science-type equipment, the kind that looks overly complicated and that you really only see in works of fiction.

WOLVERINE: You’ve gone too far this time, Hank!

HANK PYM: What are you talking about?


Panel 2: WOLVERINE points at a nearby window. Out it, we can see the playground.

There, ULTRON is giving NICK FURY a massive wedgie while chasing CAPTAIN AMERICA around, shooting some kind of beam that’s bouncing off his shield. A number of other baby versions of Marvel characters can be seen lying about on the ground.

WOLVERINE (1): Your stupid science fair reject is being a big bully!

WOLVERINE (2): You see the way he’s taken over the playground!

Panel 3: HANK PYM has a pouting look on his face. He point to a picture hanging on the wall of him a turned off ULTON. The version of HANK PYM in the photo has a smile on his face as large as can be, and the ULTON has a ‘1st place’ ribbon attached to him.

HANK PYM (1): Nu-uh!

HANK PYM (2): He’s not a reject, he won first prize!

Panel 4: WOLVERINE lunges at HANK PYM, with SUE STORM right behind him.

WOLVERINE: I don’t care! You’re shutting him down!

HANK PYM: Oh yeah? Make me!

WOLVERINE: With pleasure!

Panel 5: HANK PYM grows and tries to grab WOLVERINE, but gets hit by one of SUE’s invisible bubbles in the face, allowing WOLVERINE to slide between HANK’s legs.

HANK PYM: Stupid head! You ca-OW!

WOLVERINE: Good work, Sue!

Panel 6: WOLVERINE is on HANK PYM’s back and in the process of giving HANK a massive wegie of his own.

WOLVERINE: Say Uncle, Hank!


Panel 7: WOLVERINE stands on HANK PYM’s shoulder, grabbing on to him with one arm and trying to give him a noogie with the other.


SFX: *noogie*noogie*noogie*



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wolverine -Rogues Gallery -Dan Hill

Page 1

Wide; CU on WOLVERINE’s mouth, his teeth gritted in anger.

1. CAPTION/Wolverine:        I’ve fought a lot of monsters in my time.

2. CAPTION/Wolverine:        All of ‘em scary in their own way.

Classic WOLVERINE (whiskers!) hurls himself at the HULK.

3. CAPTION/Wolverine:        Rage personified.

WOLVERINE (in a different iteration of his costume) grapples with NUKE somewhere on the rooftops of New York.

4. CAPTION/Wolverine:        Distorted patriotism.

Another costume change, another battle. This time WOLVERINE is tangling with OMEGA RED somewhere on the arctic ice.

5. CAPTION/Wolverine:        Monsters.

WOLVERINE, in civilian clothes now, fights DAKEN in the alleyways of Madripoor.

6. CAPTION/Wolverine:        Shadows.

The classic shot of WOLVERINE during the Weapon X Program (

7. CAPTION/Wolverine:        All of ‘em reflections in a shattered mirror.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Wolverine - The Curse of a Long Life - Ben Rosenthal

1.    Logan is in a flashback looking sequence.  He is dressed in army fatigues, cutting a swath through men during World War II

I've lived through wars. Settled most of ‘em myself.

2.   Logan is holding the dead body of Mariko, devastated.

I've loved and lost…

3.  Logan suffering on his most recent trip to Hell.  Sabretooth is torturing him, laughing. 

…and been to hell and back. 

4.  Wolverine is throwing down against Loki with the Avengers.

I've thrown down with Gods and Kings and kept on keeping on.

5.   Logan is sitting alone in a bar, staring into his beer glass.  He is alone with his memories.

Times like this…

They hurt more than you could ever know.

Why Wolverine?

Because he is the best.....

At what he does...

And what he does....

Isn't pretty.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Queen & Country – Moneybox – Brian Manton

A Ford Fiesta parked at the side of an Irish country road.  Off the road is a dense woodland, which veers up a steep hill.

CAP (Kinney):  What do you think you're playing at, Crocker? It's home soil. Pull her out.

CAP (Crocker):  It's two miles outside the border. Donegal is foreign soil just as much as Kabul.

Tara Chace walks uphill through the woods with Mike Reilly - ex IRA, late 50s, moustache, thousand yard stare.

CAP (Kinney):  Yeah? And where'd she meet him?

CAP (Crocker):  This is time sensitive. I had to set Chace in motion when he called.

Just inside the edge of the tree line, before a sharp drop-off in the hill, Reilly hands Chace a pair of binoculars.

CAP (Crocker):  Reilly helped root out some of the last weapon caches in 2002. We can trust him.

Wide view of four cars (a group of three and one separate) in the grounds of a large, run-down manor house. Silhouettes of two armed men can be seen standing by one of the cars. Two other men walk towards each other, one from the lone car.

CAP (Kinney):  There's no such thing as trust, Paul. You know that.

Close on the two men, shaking hands.  The man from the lone car is Middle Eastern.

CAP (Crocker):  Just look in the file, Kinney.

CAP (Crocker):  Like I said. Might as well be Kabul.

Close on Chace taking aim with her sniper rifle.

CAP (Kinney):  This connection needs to be--

CAP (Crocker):  Yes... put "completely and verifiably beyond use."

Queen & Country - FUBAR - R.A. Wonsowski


Panel 1 - TARA CHACE, an SAS soldier, and a ROOKIE Minder are moving down a sandstone and cement hallway.  Plywood doors alternate down the side of the hall.  All three are in desert fatigues and body armour, helmets on their heads (night-vision goggles are up on the helmet), and weapons ready.  The SAS man is sighting down his C8 carbine rifle ( for a reference), while TARA and the ROOKIE have both hands around the grip of their SigSauer P220s, pointed down.
SIG Sauer P220 Carry SAS Gen 2 Nitron Pistol w/ Night Sights
All three are sweating and hyper alert.  A lone dim light bulb swings from the ceiling.

CAPTION:  Somewhere under the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Panel 2 - The three are stopped in front of a plywood door with no door knob or latch, just a loop of rope, knotted from the other side.  The SAS man places his left palm flat against the door.


Panel 3 - TARA and the SAS man are to one side of the door, the ROOKIE to the other, as the SAS man swings the door wide open.  The room inside is dark and black.


Panel 4 - All 3, weapons ready, still in their positions outside the door.


Panel 5 - The ROOKIE is sighting down his pistol sight as he moves into the dark room.  TARA watches wide-eyed as the SAS man moves to cover the ROOKIE.

ROOKIE:  Moving...

TARA:  No, wait...

Panel 6 - The ROOKIE drops his pistol as his face is blown off by machine gun fire from inside the room, bullets through the back of his head.  TARA and the SAS man take cover on either side of the doorway, angry at both the rookie's mistake as well as his death.


Panel 7 - TARA takes shooter's position on one knee, firing her pistol two handed from below, and around the door jamb.  She is yelling at whoever might be shooting from inside the room. The SAS man gets ready to fire through the doorway from a standing position.  The ROOKIE's body is fallen on the floor.

TARA:  Khalid!!

Sound FX:  BlamBlam!! BlamBlam!!

TARA:  You're buggered now, you bastard!!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Queen and Country - Oh Be-have - Niel Jacoby


1:  Interior of the SIS office. The minders are going through paperwork, and Paul Crocker has just entered the room. There is one empty desk.


2: The door is beginning to open, but we cannot see who is behind it.


3: Austin Powers bursts through the door with his usual flair and exuberance.


4: We see the entire office, as Tara and the other Minders are stunned.

Queen and Country - Aim for the Heart - J.D. Coughlan

Panel 1: A nerdy-looking man in his mid-twenties, sitting in one of those trendy coffee houses with the sofas. He is reading a book.

CAPTION: Adrian Simmons.

CAPTION: Computer programmer, Ultra-Tech Industries.

TARA (CAP): Sometimes my job isn't about shooting.

Panel 2: Close on the man, Adrian's, bag. In it we see a folder sticking out, labelled "PROJECT: TIGHTROPE -- CLASSIFIED". In the background there is some commotion as Adrian is jarred by something.

WOMAN (O.P.): Ooops! Sorry!

ADRIAN (O.P.): Aaaah!

TARA (CAP): Sometimes my job isn't about fighting.

Panel 3: Adrian, still in his seat, has coffee spilled over him and his book. He is not annoyed though; in fact he looks like he's the one in the wrong, like someone used to apologising. A woman stands next to him, her head out of panel, an empty coffee cup (recently spilled) in her hand.

WOMAN (O.P.): I'm so, so sorry. I just tripped...

ADRIAN: It's okay, it's fine...

TARA (CAP): Sometimes my job isn't about killing.

Panel 4: Close on the woman. It is, obviously, Tara. She is smiling.

TARA: Let me buy you a new coffee and a new story.

TARA (CAP): Sometimes it's about something much worse.


Apologies for the lateness of my entry.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Queen and Country – The Big Picture - Shaun Richens.


We see the feet of TARA CHACE. Blood runs down the side of her combat boots.

Wind whips dust up off the dirt track she is moving down.


The lower half of a MAN’s face cast in shadow. He holds a telephone receiver to his ear.

MAN: But sir, what about my agent?

TARA leans against the outside of make shift desert building, We can see down the track that runs next to the building, Tara is trying to get a glimpse down it with out giving herself away. A squad of soldiers in desert combat gear move down the track towards Tara, their assault rifles raised ready for action.

Cut back to the man in shadow, he is still having a heated phone conversation.

MAN: I understand.

MAN (small): She was never there.

Large panel. We see a large make shift desert village. In the distance on the horizon we see an old fortress. 

We can make out Tara in the F/G still taking cover behind a building. The squad of soldiers has moved up the track towards her. We can now also see a dozen or so other squads of a similar size moving through the village looking for Tara.

CAPTION MAN: Send in the air strike.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Queen & Country – Chace; Tara Chace – MK Stangeland Jr.

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: TARA CHACE is sitting in a movie theater, popcorn in hand and soda in a holder next to her. The lights are down and while we don’t see what the movie on the screen is, the words coming from the screen will make it pretty clear what she’s watching.

MOVIE (1): (Off panel) Bond.

MOVIE (2): (Off panel) James Bond.

TARA: (Thought Balloon) I’ve a split opinion on the matter.

Panel 2: TARA continues to watch as she munches on some popcorn.

SFX: (From TARA’s munching) *munch*munch*

MOVIE: (Off panel) [Music Notes – (If these are written as to line up with anything, they should line up with one of the generic 007 themes common to most if not all the films)

TARA: (Thought Balloon) On the one hand, being an actual British Secret Agent makes it difficult to enjoy watching a fictional account that plays with the rules so loosely.

Panel 3: TARA continues to watch as she sips her soda.

MOVIE: (Off panel) Vodka Martini. Shaken, not stirred.

TARA: (Thought Balloon) On the other hand, he’s such a British icon that it’s hard not to be a fan.

Panel 4: TARA continues to sit and watch the movie.

MOVIE (1): (Off Panel) BOOM!

MOVIE (2): (Off Panel) Bam! Bam! Bam!

Panel 5: TARA smirks a little as she continues to watch the movie.

MOVIE: (Off Panel) Oh, James

TARA: (Thought Balloon) His looks don’t hurt his case, either, I guess.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Queen & Country - It's Come to This - Ben Rosenthal

1.  Behind a shadowed figure illuminated by the computer screen he sits in front of.  He is reading an email however we cannot make out the words on the screen.

MAN: Queen and Country.  Interesting.

2.  Same framing, with different windows open on the screen.  This person is researching.

3. The man is standing at the screen now.  He is reaching into his pocket and pulling something out.

MAN: Dammit.  Looks like I am finally going to have to use this.

4.  A close up of hands signing a piece of card.

5.  The man is walking away from the screen, the card which he has just signed resting on the keyboard.

6.  A close up of the card.  It reads:


Thought Balloons 'Get out of Jail' Card.

Only to be used when one cannot come up with a script for that week.

Signed: Ben Rosenthal.



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Queen & Country- A Direct Path -Dan Hill

Page 1

Exterior. A wide shot of Centraal Station in Amsterdam, early evening. People go about their business as rain begins to fall. A tram cuts across the panel, people rushing to get out of its way.

1. CAPTION/Crocker: “There are concerns about your...socialising.”

2. CAPTION/Tara: “What kind of concerns?”

Interior of the tram. TARA stands amidst the crowded car, holding onto one of the straps that dangle from the ceiling. She’s wearing suitably warm clothes, a mac wrapped around her frame and an umbrella in the other hand. She looks towards us; bored.

3. CAPTION/Crocker: “That it’s having an effect on your performance.”

From TARA’s POV we see a baby in a papoose carrier, strapped to its father’s front. It smiles with wonder and joy.

4. CAPTION/Tara: “Sir, a bullet only exists between when it’s fired and when it finds its target.”

Same perspective as Two. TARA smiles a little.

5. CAPTION/Crocker: “Where are you going with this, Tara?”

TARA is now in the corridor of a fancy looking hotel. She uses a swipe card to get access to her room, looking over her shoulder as she enters.

6. CAPTION/Tara: “I’ll get it done, Sir.”

Wide panel; almost an aerial shot of TARA standing at the side of the double bed in her room. On the bed is a high powered sniper rifle and its case.

7. CAPTION/Tara: “You don’t have to worry.”

Why Queen & Country?

In attempting to answer the above question I thought about the espionage, the games and oneupmanship behind closed doors, the plausible and scary scenarios writer Greg Rucka often throws into the mix. But, truth be told, it all comes back to Tara Chace.

For those not in the know, Queen and Country is a comic book series (and three prose novels) that follow Tara Chace, an operative of the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service). The series described a number of Tara's missions as well as the subsequent fallout and political machinations surrounding them too. Over the course of the series Rucka not only fleshed out a great supporting cast for Tara, but showed us the effect such a life had on those that perpetrate it.

As Rucka explains in this awesome article over at io9:

"Tara can kill people with her bare hands and escape from Iran with two bullets in her body, but she can't maintain a personal life worth a damn."

As those that follow Rucka's work know, he's very adept at writing female characters, it's perhaps even one of his hallmarks. I'd go out on a limb and say that Tara is his finest creation. The first time we see Tara in the series she's assassinating a man in Kosovo, one of the most dangerous and unruly places on Earth. She does it quickly, calmly and cleanly. We then see her subsequent escape. She even takes a bullet at one point but keeps it together, using her looks and brains to flummox the guards at the border crossing, ensuring she lives to see another day.

When we see Tara a second time it's 3:57AM on a rainy night in London. Tara is awoken by a phone call from her boss to report an attack on the SIS headquarters (retaliation for  the assassination Tara carried out). Her bedroom is, to put it mildly, a mess. Books, rubbish and empty bottles litter the floor. Tara's bed covers are strewn every which way and she even clutches an empty bottle of some undisclosed alcoholic spirit. The first thing she does when hanging up the phone is to rush to the toilet to throw up.

This is Tara Chace in a nutshell-- professional to the hilt but tragically flawed.

This is before we get to everything else that makes the series great. We have the ever evolving roster of "Minders" (agents) and their changing dynamic with each other. We have their boss, Paul Crocker, a man of principles who is often tasked with breaching them, much to his disdain.

Queen & Country provides a stark, realistic look at the world of espionage-- more Len Deighton than Ian Fleming. It shows us the chicanery, the deals, the questionable ethics, the danger and the toll it takes on those who are constantly immersed in this world.

Have at it!