Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Attaché – The Black Spot – Brian Manton

Inside a small private bar. The bar is at basement level, we can see the stairs up to street level through the window at the back. The door has been left open. The bar's name is written on a blue neon sign behind the bar (panel right) - "The Black Spot". The "O" in spot is a fully black circle with blue glow from behind. The bar is lit with harsh blue lighting. Most of the details are to be rendered in black silhouette, including a man, LENNY, dragging a body across the floor in the foreground. We see his eyes in relief from the silhouette, and the tears running down his face. The bar is otherwise deserted.

LENNY (singing - include broken musical notes to show he is singing badly):  Ten Dead Men on a...

We can now see that Lenny is wearing a tattered old suit. His face is in shadow. Lenny walks backwards, dragging the body by the arms over to a mass of bodies in the corner of the room. Eight other suited men lie dead, piled atop eachother. Each body (except the one Lenny is dragging) is wearing an eye patch. There is an overturned table and broken bottles and glasses. We can just about make out the open attaché case underneath the bodies. We can maybe see some of its contents - some paperwork, an open and half empty (no optimism here!) box of ammo and a gun.

LENNY (singing):  Bottle of rum, on a...

Lenny has laid the body over the case so we can't see it anymore. He is putting an eye patch on this last body.

LENNY (singing):  Yo ho ho, on a...

Low angle shot. In the FG we see the feet of one of the dead men. Lenny is grabbing a stool at the bar. His head is cropped from shot.

LENNY (singing):  Ten dead...

Front view of Lenny sitting at the bar. We see that he has a cleft palate. His eyes are distant. He looks confused, absent. Tears continue to run down his face. He is reaching into his inside suit jacket pocket.

LENNY (singing):  Ten dead men on a...

OTS shot of Lenny. We can see a gaping hole in the back left hand side of his head, brain mangled and exposed. He is holding a photo of a group of children.

LENNY (singing):  Ten dead men...

Close on the faded and creased photo. Ten children, around 8 years old, dressed in 70s clothes. One holds a toy parrot, two wear pirates hats, a few have eye patches and some hold swords. Lenny is one of the ten, to the right of the picture - we recognise him from the cleft palate. He is tied up in rope.

LENNY (singing, OP):  yo ho ho.


  1. I like the Black Spot bar that you create here, and the initial few panels sucks the reader in.

    However, I don't quite understand what you're going for with the reveal in panel 6 that Lenny's got that hole in the back of his head. How'd that get there? How's Lenny still (at least somewhat) functional if his brains are almost coming out. What am I missing here?

    1. Hi Grant,

      Thanks for the reply.

      I've read a bit about people surviving gunshot head wounds - though "gaping hole in the back left hand side of his head, brain mangled and exposed" was obviously way too over the top if it caused confusion :)

      My idea was built around the Treasure Island song "15 dead men on a dead man's chest"
      I went with 10 because that's how I remembered it before research and I think it has a ring to it.

      So there was 9 dead men and Lenny which was to indicate that Lenny didn't intend to get out of there alive. But his suicide didn't go as planned and he left him self brain damaged with that song in a broken loop in his head as he piles ten dead men onto a dead man's chest.

  2. It's a creepy, ominous page, with just the right hint of noir. The reveal adds more intrigue, but I can see how some would find it vague.

  3. It definitely works better with the explanation Brian provided. The different elements at play on the page seem kind of disparate without it.

    That said, as JD says, it does have a creepy, ominous tone to it. Repeating lyrics is also a great way of suggesting Lenny's fragmented mind.

  4. Thanks lads, all of your comments are appreciated.

    Thanks to your comments I can absolutely see where I've caused confusion and ways in which I might fix it.

    Also, very pleased to read that you felt it had a creepy atmosphere which is something I was really hoping would come across.


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