Monday, September 30, 2013

New (Kinda) Tenured Writer!

Dan Hill has left Thought Balloons.  With him he leaves a void that will never be replaced.....until I finish this sentence.

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome out new (old) tenured writer (back) to the fold - one of my founding brothers SIMON MCDONALD!

For those of you who may not remember Sime, here is the bio he sent me -

Simon McDonald

You might've seen Simon's name around these parts before. Years ago, he was one of Thoughtballoons's founding writers - until a cataclysmic continuity-destroying event altered reality. Thankfully that didn't work out, and history has been reset, signalling his return to the site. When he's not flitting between multiverses, Simon divides his time between his day job at TheReadingRoom ( and chipping away at an assortment of prose. You can read occasional updates on his blog WrittenBySime ( or follow him on twitter: @writtenbysime

Welcome back, old chum.  Looking forward to reading your words once more.

Also, a reminder to all of you wishing to join our ranks - keep on submitting script sunder the current weeks character Why post.  It's how everyone here (besides Sime and I) got the gig AND you get feedback from your peers!

Puppet Overlord.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Agent Coulson - The Greater Threat - Ben Rosenthal

I'd just like to point out that I am a massive Joss fan and love the way he writes.  Just clearing that up now.

1.  Agent Phil Coulson is walking in to the ops room of the S.H.E.I.L.D Helicarrier.  Maria is looking at a large screen with various readouts on it.  She stands with her hand on her chin, observing. 

When Agent Phil Coulson made his way into the Marvel Universe he brought something with him.

What’s the situation?


2.  Coulson and Hill are standing side by side, front on to the panel.  Hill still stands with her hand on her chin as she speaks.  Coulson is his usual stoic self. 


Yeah, things.  And stuff.

3.  The two have not moved and continue their banter.

Things with stuff!  Are the things mixed with the stuff or are they not mutually exclusive?

They’re testing the waters before they make a firm decision.

So they are ice skating around their issues?

Ice snorkelling.  The waters aren’t firm yet.

So they can’t break?

Yeah, so the baby isn’t on the way.

What baby?

4.  Hill has her arms outstretched in a dramatic display as she shouts.  Coulson is reacting in a shocked way.


5.  Coulson has regained his compsure.  Maria is posing as she did at the start of the story. 

Oh.  Yay.   
And stuff.

Why Agent Coulson?

You've seen Iron Man right?

And Thor and Captain America?

And that Avengers movie that was mildly successful, yes?

Then why are you asking me this question?

Coulson is cool.  So cool that Marvel brought him over into the main Marvel U to continue his cool ways.

If there is one thing we know well here at Thought Balloons, it's cool.

Shut up.

So this week is all about the coolest guy we know, Agent Coolson.

Not a typo.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Twilight Zone – Paternal – Brian Manton


[2 panels top and bottom 50% of the page]

The living room of a large suburban home. A Christmas tree stands, knocked slightly off axis, in the corner of the room. Peter Abbott, sits on the floor at the back of the room. He cradles a crying baby, using both his arms and legs to shield the child from the rest of the room. He looks traumatised. A large kitchen knife, stained inky blue, lies at his side.

Around the room lie the bodies, five in total, of what can only be described as alien creatures. They rest lifeless in pools of wet blue blood. Vaguely humanoid in form. Deep blue leathery skin, they wear no form of clothing. Long, stick like limbs, each ending in three probing fingers. At every joint, grey fingernail-like growths protrude. Most of the bodies face away from us but the closest lies facing us, its throat cut. In place of eyes, what look like lipless human mouths – all gum and tooth.

Mr. Abbott:  It’s ok son.

Same shot, slightly zoomed out.

In place of the aliens are Peter Abbott’s family. In front, his wife, her throat cut. An expression of horror frozen on her pale face. Behind, the bodies of Mr. Abbott’s four children – two boys, two girls. The blue blood is now bright red.

In place of the baby is a small blue skinned alien creature. Two stalks extend from its “eyes” to masses that have filled Mr. Abbott’s eye sockets. Bloody tears creep down his cheeks.

Mr. Abbott:  They can’t hurt you now.

The "Twilight" Zone - or, My Recurring Nightmare - by R.A. Wonsowski


NOTE:  All captions are in the white space below the panel.

Panel 1 - Black panel.

Speech balloon (no tail):  ...oh, man, my head...

CAPTION:  Waking up right now is Raymond Wonsowski.

Panel 2 - Black panel with a few blurry yellow spots.

Speech balloon (no tail):  I think he's comin'round.

Speech balloon (no tail):  Oh, my love...

CAPTION:  A high school Literature teacher and aspiring writer of speculative fiction.

Panel 3 - Out of focus, staring up into a blue, sunny sky through the treetops.

Speech balloon (no tail):  ...cheese is rice, what happened?

Speech balloon (tail left):  That was some nasty fall you took.

Speech balloon (tail right):  My love, I am SO relieved you're ok.

CAPTION:  Like many of the creative who have yet to taste success, he rails against what he considers "celebrated mediocrity".

Panel 4 - Same as Panel 3, but in focus.

Speech balloon (no tail):  Why is everything so bright?

Speech balloon (tail left):  He's not ok, you sack of hammers.  He nearly cracked his head wide open...

CAPTION:  He is genuinely perplexed by the popularity of Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.  He can't understand how Two and a Half Men hasn't been cancelled yet.

Panel 5 - Same as Panel 4, except I have lifted my hand in front of my eyes.  It is sparkling and glittery.

Speech balloon (no tail):  ...uh, hold on...

Speech balloon (tail left):  Here, mate, what's the last thing you remember?

CAPTION:  The last thing he remembers is standing in front of his 9th grade English class, saying "Stephanie Meyer's moral is that girls have no worth unless they are in self-esteem-destroying relationships with fascinating, yet clingy, effeminate boyfriends who are only attracted to girls young enough to get him arrested."

Panel 6 - Same P.O.V., but now the wide-eyed, emotionless Kristen Stewart "BELLA" is staring flat-faced at me.

Speech balloon (no tail):  ...aww, HELL to the no!

"BELLA":  I am so happy.

"BELLA"  I'm not a real person without a boy to define me...

"BELLA"  ...without you.

CAPTION:  His pronouncement was followed by a series of severe kicks to the head by a gang of angry 15-year-old girls.

Panel 7 - Background, "JACOB BLACK", mopey and shirtless, all tan and abs, and "BELLA", in jeans and a "Team Edward" t-shirt, look on blankly at ME, who is glittering beautifully in the sunshine, vampire fangs bared, on my knees, screaming with despair at God in his Heaven for subjecting me to such a fate.


CAPTION:  Only to find himself regain consciousness in...the "Twilight" Zone.

Hasta la vista,  Mr. Hill.  You will be missed.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Twilight Zone - All The Time In The World - Niel Jacoby

Panel 1: Steven, a research scientist, walks out of his laboratory after another grueling day. We can see the flask in his pants pocket and the bags under his eyes.


Panel 2: Steven walks outside into the city streets to see the world completely frozen. People stuck in place, cars in midair, water still in mid-ripple, etc.


Panel 3: Steven looks around, with a hint of a smile on his face.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Twilight Zone - Mr. Average - J.D. Coughlan

Panel 1: Mid-shot of Denis Pierce, this segment's main character. He is, by all appearances, perfectly average. He is sitting at his breakfast table, staring blankly ahead, almost at us, eating his cereal. He wears an average blue suit and tie.

(Note: The Narrator's dialogue is all in caption boxes.)

NARRATOR: You are now entering the realm of the unusual; the strange. But observe, if you will, the lack of strangeness around Denis Pierce. The average American man.

Panel 2: Denis at his desk at work -- an office. He sits typing, same blank expression. His coworkers around him have similar expressions.

NARRATOR: He has an average job.

Panel 3: Denis sits on the couch in his den, his wife, son and daughter around him, watching TV. They also look average and have the same blank expressions. Denis is now dressed more casually, but a lot like Mr. Rogers, or your typical 1950s American TV dad.

NARRATOR: An average family.

Panel 4: A backyard barbecue, again with Denis at the centre, expressionlessly cooking burgers. He is surrounded by similar men.

NARRATOR: Average friends.

Panel 5: Same scene, closer on Denis, head and shoulders.

NARRATOR: But, you see, there is something special about Denis.

NARRATOR: He is the first carrier for something very unique.

Panel 6: Close up on Denis's blank face, staring right at us.

NARRATOR: Ask yourself, dear reader...

NARRATOR: What if "average" were contagious?


The Twilight Zone – Waiting – Shaun Richens.


The interior of a clean yet somewhat homely doctors waiting room. Sunlight shines in through the window, as patients wait in that awkward silence that comes as part of the atmosphere of a doctor’s practise. One of these patients is MAGGIE.

She is an attractive young woman, but she is clearly lacking in confidence. Her outfit feminine but understated. She sits with a quiet grace about herself. Her hands in her lap, she pulls at a loose thread in her knitted cardigan.

A middle aged Indian man sits next Maggie.

Mr Patel the Doctor is ready for you.

Repeat panel. However the Indian man has gone and now a young family, Mum, dad and two-year-old daughter Ellie sit on the other side of Maggie. Maggie’s hair looks longer and she seems a little tired.

Did you want to bring little Ellie in now? We are ready for her.

Repeat panel. Now the young family have left. Two young men sit together heads close as they chat and smile at one and other.

Maggie looks ten years old. Wrinkles creep up next to her sweet little smile and her long hair is now streaked with silvery grey sparkles.

Mr Quinn can follow me this way.

Repeat panel. The two young men are now done. Maggie is an old woman, her long hair is all white, her face a map of wrinkles. Her knitted cardigan rests over her knees. Her head is down her eyes closed tight. No one else is waiting to go in.


Repeat panel, but pull in closer on Maggie. A pregnant woman rests her hand on Maggie’s shoulder. We can’t see the pregnant woman’s face as it is off panel. Her baby bump is massive; she looks like she is due any day now.

Excuse me madam do you mind if I go in ahead of you?

My wee princess is being rather playful today.

Small panel. Close on the pregnant woman’s hand on Maggie’s shoulder.

Are you ok?

Just want to say a huge farewell to Mr Dan Hill on his last week writing with us here at Thoughtballoons. You’re one hell of a writer and an even better bloke. You’ll be very missed around these parts, but I can’t wait to read all the many projects I know you’re cooking up.

 I wish you all the very best for future mate. Don’t be a stranger.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Twilight Zone – Zoned Out – MK Stangeland Jr.

(9 Panels)

Panel 1: A young man – JIMMY – is sitting in front of a TV. He’s wearing a TWILIGHT ZONE shirt.

NARRATION: Meet Jimmy – a man with a love for a certain TV show. But he’s about to learn that the truth of this TV show might not be what he might expect as he finds himself in – The Twilight Zone!

Panel 2: JIMMY is wide-eyed with shock and surprise as what he’s seeing on his TV isn’t at all what he expected.

TV: Previously on The Twilight Zone, our heroes found themselves caught in the middle as Werewolves and Vampires came to the brink of war!

Panel 3: Close-up on JIMMY’s face as he shouts in horror.


Panel 4: JIMMY sits up as he wakes up from what was seemingly a nightmare. However, it’s quite clear that something is very wrong because as it so happens, JIMMY looks like a pony in the style of MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC, and is located inside of TWILIGHT SPARKLE’s library treehouse.

JIMMY: Whew, what a nightmare!

Panel 5: JIMMY has another look of shock on his face as he looks to see TWILIGHT SPARKLE standing nearby, who looks a tad confused by how JIMMY is acting.

TWILIGHT SPARKLE (1): What was a nightmare.

JIMMY (1): …

JIMMY (2): What? Where am I?

TWILIGHT SPARKLE (2): My Treehouse Library?

JIMMY (3): Who are you?

TWILIGHT SPARKLE (3): Twilight Sparkle?

Panel 6: Another close-up on JIMMY as he yells in horror at his prediciment.


Panel 7: JIMMY, in a bed, sit up as he yet again wakes up.


Panel 8: Distance panel, showing JIMMY sitting in a bed that is located practically in the middle of nowhere, a wilderness that is lit by an ever setting sun, keeping the whole place permanently lit in twilight.


Panel 9: Match to PANEL 8.

JIMMY: What?


Monday, September 23, 2013

The Twilight Zone - Inconceivable - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Establishing shot of the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.  It's a beautiful day.  A day for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

CAPTION: Imagine, if you will, a political arena where elected officials are neither interested in partisan bickering nor in the wider concerns of big business lobbyists.

2 - Interior of the House of Representatives.  A debate is in full swing, with one politician standing, in the midst of finishing their speech.  Everyone else on-panel seems to be giving their full attention, listening to every word offered.

CAPTION: A place where the primary goal lies instead in bringing together differing views and beliefs in an ongoing effort to determine and enact the best policy for the nation as a whole.

REPRESENTATIVE: ...which is why I believe this is the best course of action available to us at the moment.

3 - The debate now over, another politician comes over to speak with the interlocutor from the previous panel.  The second person shakes the first's hand enthusiastically.  Both are quite cordial to the other.

CAPTION: Where citizens can rest assured that debate is informed, nuanced, and most of all, open-minded.

SECOND REPRESENTATIVE: That was excellent.  I'd never considered the question from that persp--

OFF-PANEL VOICE (interrupting loudly): CUT!

4 - Similar scene as panel 3, but pulled out slightly to reveal that the whole thing is taking place on a film set.  It is not an episode of The Twilight Zone but the filming of one.  Lights, cameramen, the director, and various other workers and instruments are set up just beyond the border of what was the previous panel.  The two politicians / actors are in a similar position, but look towards the director, annoyed.  The director is mighty frustrated, shouting at everyone.

DIRECTOR (1): We're supposed to be telling stories that are at least somewhat credible.

DIRECTOR (2): I don't know how this one got approved, but it will never fly.

5 - Focus on the director, who is now motioning to everyone that they're giving up on this story.

DIRECTOR (1): Forget it.  Let's nix this and go with that family of Frankensteins script.

DIRECTOR (2) (quietly): least that one's plausible.

The Twilight Zone - The End of the Beginning - Ben Rosenthal

Twilight Zone

1. Dan Hill stands at a door, hand on the handle. On the door are the words "You are now leaving Thought Balloons". The door has just been pushed open, with Dan looking back over his shoulder with a sigh.

CAPTION (Narrator)
Picture this, if you will. A talented writer looks to leave behind his past to embrace his future.


2. Reverse panel of the same door with Dan stepping through it, the door is closing behind him. Dan looks confused and worried. His body is obscuring text on the door.

What? No.

3. Ben Rosenthal is sitting at a desk, a evil smirk on his face. Behind him is the door Dan just exited/is coming through (he is trapped in a loop).

You didn't think leaving would be that easy, did you?

4. Back to Dan who is looking behind him as the door slams shut. We can see the text now which reads "Welcome to Thought Balloons".


5. Dan is on his knees, looking up to the sky with hands clenched in despair.


BEN (off panel)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Twilight Zone -Roots -Dan Hill


CLOSE UP on a FOOD CRATE swaying slightly, suspended by a pulley and rope (

    CAPTION:    “He knows now. He knows how it’s all supposed to play out.”

A close up on MELVIN LEVY, a goofy but confident Jewish kid in his early twenties. He’s wearing a US ARMY uniform. Around him we can see palm trees and a blue sky. Levy is performing some kind of skit, doing an impression of an officer and pulling a funny face.

We’re on the island of Leyte, circa 1944.

    CAPTION:    “This is the 425th iteration of this event. This isn’t some time loop, paradox or alternate dimension.”

We pan around to see Levy’s audience, a crowd of laughing US ARMY TROOPS, falling about themselves with laughter.

A young, dark haired and intense-looking PRIVATE in the audience is the only one not laughing.

    CAPTION:    “These are the young privates nightmares, nightmares he’s had every day since Melvin Levy told his last joke.”

Back on the CRATE as it falls free of the rope holding it.

    CAPTION:    “He’s seen every possible way this event could play out. But he knows he’s powerless to stop it from happening the way it did.”

   CAPTION:    “This is how it was supposed to be.”

We CUT TO a shot of ROD SERLING talking to us/camera, dressed in his trademark suit and tie.  Behind him we can see Leyte and the palm trees as all of the SOLDIERS rush forward, crowding around the decapitated corpse of Melvin Levy.

The dark haired and intense-looking PRIVATE remains exactly where he is.

    CAPTION:    “These are Private Serling’s first steps…”

Push in on SERLING.

    CAPTION:    “...into the Twilight Zone.”

Why Twilight Zone?

So, depending where this entry falls in the Thought Balloons space-time continuum it might be apparent that this here is my final week here at Thought Balloons. If this hasn’t been revealed beforehand, it has now. There’s a lot I could say, but I only have so much room so I’m going to paraphrase from the email I sent to Ben explaining my decision.

I knew that this day would come sooner or later, I just didn’t think it would be this soon. With Curriculum, my column at The Weekly Crisis, looking for work in a city the other side of the country, an editing gig and getting my own projects off the ground I found it increasingly hard to carve out time to put quality scripts out on a consistent basis for Thought Balloons. I have no desire to put out substandard scripts for a site I value and treasure so much. Something has to give, and in this instance it’s unfortunate that it has to be Thought Balloons.

I’ve valued my time at the site highly. It’s taught me so much about my own process, what I’m capable of, as well as introducing me to a group of talented writers I’m honoured to have been a part of and who I can proudly call friends.

This wasn’t an easy choice to make, but one that had a certain sense of inevitability about it.
And so to my pick.

Twilight Zone.

I have waxed lyrical on Twitter, Tumblr and to anyone who will listen about my love for this show. Even now, decades after its creation ,the show holds up as an example of clever, crisp and engaging entertainment. Its creator Rod Serling is amongst my literary heroes and his impact on popular culture cannot be stated enough. The show also attracted many other writing heavyweights such as Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson and Ray Bradbury.

Any conceivable genre could be played with (westerns, sci-fi, drama, horror), stretched, poked and prodded into something new. The settings and characters could be historical or fantastical but, like all good drama, they spoke to something we could relate to. This could be the small town paranoia of The Monsters From Maple Street, the yearning for youth and nostalgia explored in Walking Distance or the notion of beauty in Eye of the Beholder.

Twilight Zone could be anything.

The comics of the same name are a mixed bag, alternating from original content to adaptations of episodes gone by. I’ll admit the connection this week is tenuous. But, as it’s my last week, hopefully my fellow TB-er’s (and those of you at home) will indulge me one last time and come up with some fantastic one page strips.

Okay, Rod, play me out…

“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension— a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone.”

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Predator - No Escape - R.A. Wonsowski


Panel 1 - The Amazon jungle.  Classic 2-shot.  MAJ. "DUTCH" SCHAEFER (left of panel) faces down the PREDATOR.  Both are holding very big knives.  However, in the PREDATOR's other hand is a pilfered Dimensional JUxtapositioning via Muon Particles (or D-Jump) control pad.  He activates it as "DUTCH" prepares to attack.

"DUTCH":  Bleed, bastard!!

SoundFX (D-Jump):  vooOP!

Panel 2 - Back alley somewhere in L.A.  Same positions, except "DUTCH" is now the T-800 TERMINATOR, holding two sawed-off shotguns.

T-800:  Hasta la vista...bay-bee!

SoundFX (D-Jump):  vooOP!

Panel 3 - In a cinderblock cellar/bunker.  Same positions, except the T-800 is now JOHN MATRIX (from Commando), levelling a SAW at the PREDATOR (who is now starting to look concerned).

MATRIX:  I eat Green Berets for breakfast!  And right now, I'm very hungry!

SoundFX (D-Jump):  vooOP!

Panel 4 - Rooftop in Gotham City.  Same positions, except now it's MR: FREEZE and his cold-gun.  The PREDATOR grows more frustrated.

MR. FREEZE:  Chill!!!

SoundFX (D-Jump):  vooOP!

Panel 5 - Abandoned movie theatre.  Now JACK SLATER and a giant revolver, cigar between his teeth.

SLATER:  Rubber baby buggy bumpers!

SoundFX (D-Jump):  vooOP!

Panel 6 - The desert of Hyborea.  CONAN, huge sword.  The PREDATOR now pounding the D-Jump with his fist.

CONAN:  Crush your enemies!  See them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!

SoundFX (D-Jump):  vooOO-oowOOWooPbth!!!

Panel 7 - White background.  The PREDATOR, right, is now facing, left:  "DUTCH", the T-800, MATRIX, MR. FREEZE, SLATER, and CONAN, plus JOHN KIMBLE (from Kindergarten Cop), DOUGLAS QUAID (from 90's Total Recall) and TURBO-MAN (from Jingle All the Way), all of whom are about to jump PREDATOR's @$$.  The PREDATOR has an "I'm screwed" air about him, a kind of failure posture as the D-Jump smokes smashed in his hand.

KIMBLE:  It's not a too-mah!

TURBO-MAN:  It's Turbo Time!

QUAID:  Who the hell am I?!?

PREDATOR:  ¿#@&%!

CAPTION:   ....Th-th-th-that's all, folks!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Predator - Among The Dead - Niel Jacoby

Panel 1: We see through a camera as a group of 4 paranormal investigators(think one of those SyFy shows where people walk around an abandoned house in green light) in the Paris Catacombs, with this giant column thing of bones behind them. One of the investigators is talking to the camera.


Panel 2: Same view through the camera, as the crew pans around the column of bones.


Panel 3: Same view, they've walked a bit further, and the Predator has stuck his face out through one of the holes that a skull would usually be in. Nobody sees this.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Predator - The Hunter Becomes the Hunted - J.D. Coughlan

Panel 1: One of those desert rock formations from John Ford westerns; the ones that are perfect for ambushes. It is night, but we can make out a figure scrambling up the rock side.

(NOTE: The Narrator's dialogue is all in caption boxes.)

NARRATOR: Even the tamer tales of the life and times of infamous bounty hunter Jonah Hex are not for the faint of heart.

NARRATOR: This particular story, however, will not only chill the blood of the hardest men, but test the limits of belief for the sanest as well.

Panel 2: Closer up now. Hex has reached the top of the rock he was climbing, and is pulling himself up onto it. We now see that he is shirtless, covered in mud, beaten up and bloody. He has his usual permanently pissed-off expression.

NARRATOR: It's a matter of both fact and legend that wheresoever Hex went, death and gunsmoke were sure to follow

Panel 3: Hex walks cautiously to the edge of the rock to look down on the valley below.

NARRATOR: While most folks would steer clear of a man with such a reputation, there were some for whom Hex had made himself a target -- a trophy waiting to be claimed. To kill a man like Hex would elevate their own reputation.

Panel 4: Close up on Hex (his "bad" side). Behind him, over his shoulder, against a flash of lightning in the sky, we see the outline of the invisible Predator.

NARRATOR: Many such wouldbe trophy-hunters had sought to bag Hex as their prize, and failed gruesomely in the face of Hex's superior skill. It would seem that there was no match for him; no predator to make him prey.

Inset: Close up on Hex's holstered pistol as he draws back the hammer.

SFX: (small) crrrik

Panel 5: Two-shot. Hex, still crouched, spins on his heel and draws his pistol as the Predator decloaks, standing proudly before Hex. This is the first time they've seen each other so close, hence their hesitation.

NARRATOR: At least...

NARRATOR: ...none on this Earth.

Panel 6: Close up of the fully-decloaked Predator as he regards Hex with curiosity.

PREDATOR: [alien text]*

CAPTION: *"You are one ugly [UNTRANSLATABLE]"


Predator – Hot Damn I Love Hunting - Shaun Richens.


We open in a dense woodland forest. Huge trees tower all around. Shafts of light from the bright morning sun escape into the forest through the thick canopy of trees.

A large and majestic adult STAG grazes on the vegetation in a small clearing.


Repeat shot of 1.1. However how the Stag has looked up and towards us. A gunshot wound erupts at the base of the poor beasts neck. Blood sprays out towards us.


Cut to a slightly over weight “hick” in full camouflage gear including a cap. His faces is sweaty and covered with stubble, he has two streaks of camo paint on his cheeks. He smiles broadly on one side of his face showing his misshapen teeth.

The HICK peers out from behind the scope of his hunting rifle, the barrel pointed towards us. He is lying prone on his stomach in a thick patch of grass. He has been watching and waiting for his moment.

Fuckin’ got ya.

Looking down through the branches of trees we see the Hick walking over to the carcass of his prize stag. Deep red blood has begun to pool around the stag.


Repeat of 1.4. However now the Hick kneels at the side of the stag and we reveal the shimmering outline of a PREDATOR crouching in the treetops looking down on his prize, watching, waiting.

Hot damn I love hunting. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Predator - Worlds Deadliest – MK Stangeland Jr.

(If you’ve seen Predators, imagine that, but with Marvel characters, and you’ll get a basic idea of what’s going on here.

In this case, the characters who have been abducted and dropped into an alien jungle are PUNISHER, BULLSEYE, TASKMASTER, ELECTRA, BLACK WIDOW (YELENA BELOVA), KRAVEN THE HUNTER, WINTER SOLDIER, and NICK FURY (though this one is an LMD).

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: PUNISHER has one of his guns pressed up against BULLSEYE’s head as he’s waiting for someone to give him a reason not to pull the trigger, while BULLEYE is looking at him defiantly as though he’s practically daring PUNISHER to try to kill him.

PUNISHER (1): Give me a reason not to.

BULLSEYE (1): Go ahead and try. I know you don’t have it in you.

PUNISHER (2): You don’t think I’ll do it?

BULLSEYE (2): I’m sure you’ll try.

BULLSEYE (3): But seriously, Frank, when is the last time you killed a villain with real street cred?

Panel 2: Everyone turns to look at KRAVEN, who is off-panel.

KRAVEN: You will let him live if you wish not to die.

Panel 3: KRAVEN stands in the foreground. While his head looks up and forwards, his eyes are pointing off to a corner, as he’s pretty sure he knows someone is there but he doesn’t want them to KNOW he knows there there.

KRAVEN (1): We are being hunted.

KRAVEN (2): We will not survive if we are at each others throats.

Panel 4: In the foreground, a cloaked PREDATOR stands on a large tree branch watching the assembled heroes and villains. In the background, KRAVEN continues to stare out into the jungle.

BULLSEYE: What you talking about…

KRAVEN (1): Am hunter.

KRAVEN (2): I should know when I am being hunted.

Panel 5: Close up on the helmet of the cloaked PREDATOR. A ‘reflection’ of sorts can be seen on its helmet, in which KRAVEN is returning to the group but looking over his shoulder in the PREDATOR’s direction.

KRAVEN (1): I have been in many a jungle.

KRAVEN (2): This is like none I know of.

KRAVEN (3): Whoever put us here, they most certainly have advantage. Must act as pack if we are to outhunt them.

Panel 6: PUNISHER lowers his weapon from BULLSEYE while the rest approach KRAVEN, recognizing that it’s probably a good idea to listen to his advice.

TASKMASTER (1): I swear, if this is a Mojo thing, I will gut that fat %&$^@%* like a Thanksgiving Turkey.

 ELECTRA: Mojo? You don’t think it could be Arcade?


TASKMASTER (3): That little twerp? Nah, this is out of his league.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Predator -Foo Fighter -Dan Hill


WIDE PANEL, a shot of a long dark corridor bathed in shadow. A few bodies can be seen strewn about at various intervals down the corridor.

    CAPTION:        “What the hell are you?”

    CAPTION:        “Come on...lets get a closer look at you.”

CUT TO somewhere in the depths of the facility, and a CLOSE UP on SGT ROCK. His face is partly bathed in shadow but a strip of light cuts across his eyes suggesting he’s looking at the scene before him from the ventilation system.

    SGT ROCK:        Awful lot of activity, whoever you are.

ANGLE ON BULLDOZER (Rock’s second in command), close to him in the vents.

    BULLDOZER:        Ah geez, boss, you seein’ what I’m seein’ ?

WIDE PANEL from Rock and Bulldozer’s point of view. We’re looking out of the ventilation system into the main area inside one of the hangar buildings.

The majority of the panel is taken up by a PREDATOR SHIP surrounded by scaffolding and a team of NAZI ENGINEERS. They’re trying to cut the ship into sections, to reverse engineer it.

A few yards away we see an OXYGEN TENT, the flaps at the end open a few feet.

    CAPTION:        “ ‘Fraid so. Looks like we have a visitor.”

INSET PANEL on the bottom right of 22.6; a CLOSE UP on the inhabitant of the oxygen tent, an injured but very much alive PREDATOR.

    CAPTION:        “I thought they’d be greener.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

Predator - Most Feared - Ben Rosenthal

1.  A panel showing a close up of a male Predator, mask on hunting in a futuristic lab somewhere in space.

The most feared and dangerous hunters in the galaxy.

2.  The Predator has come across two aliens – they look non threatening and are cowering in a corner.  The Predator has its arm cannon raised.

They hunt for trophies.  To both show they are the best---

3.  A close panel of the arm cannon firing.

4.  In the foreground are the burnt bodies of the now toasted aliens.  The Predator is reaching to take its mask off.  Now that we can see it’s full body it appears to be wearing some type of clothing under all of its advance weaponry.

--and steal technologies to remain the best.

5.  The mask is off revealing not a Predator face, but that of a human.


No other race stands a chance.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Predator – Trophy – Brian Manton

Wide landscape shot of a dojo, in flames.
On the left, a Predator in full battle gear. A number of arrows protrude from his shoulder through a gap in the armour.
The Predator's arm is raised, pointing his gauntlet-mounted gun at a Samurai (panel right) who wears his full ornate armour.
Various Samurai weapons are mounted on racks on the back wall.

Front CU of Samurai, who wears a menacing full-face Somen mask.

Same shot.
The Samurai unties his mask...

Same shot.
... to reveal a weathered, battle-hardened face.

Front view of the Predator, gun still raised.

Same shot.
Gun lowered, the Predator begins to detach his helmet. Steam hisses from the joints.

Same shot.
We see that he is One Ugly...

Wide Panel. Low shot from behind the Samurai. The Predator stands before him, ready to fight.
We now see the Samurai's arm - he is wearing a Predator gauntlet - familiar dual blades shunt out from it.

Why Predator?

Predators are an alien race whose culture is built around trophy hunting other dangerous species for sport.

I can't remember what age I was when I first saw Predator but I do remember the overwhelming need to draw one.  Never mind that he's invisible for most of the film... the greatest challenge was in repeatedly hitting the pause button on the VHS to gradually move the static banding along the picture so I could draw him bit by bit.

Kids today and their Blu-rays don't know how easy they have it.

Anyway, I've been fascinated with Predator ever since.

The Playstation2 RTS game Alien vs. Predator: Extinction enabled me to send a team of Predators into an Alien nest, allow the Queens to keep spawning Aliens until I had covered the entire cave floor in Gigeresque bodies and, only then, set the Predators to "harvest".  They proceeded to tear off the Alien skulls and hold them up in victory with a guttural roar, one after the other for the next half an hour. "Turn off that horrible noise" people said. "It's not horrible. It's triumphant!"

Ok, so there have been a few ropey films. Check out my one-page comic adaptation of the major fight scene from Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, for an illustrative example:

While sharing a plane journey with special effects artist Stan Winston,  James Cameron said "I always wanted to see something with mandibles". Then this happened...

But the good news is - it bleeds. If it bleeds, we can kill it.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Killeroo – Blood Worth Bottling – Brian Manton

Close on Killeroo, lighting a cigarette.

Killeroo:  I mean, you've got to see this from my point of view.

Same shot. Killeroo exhales smoke.

Voice (OP):  I can't move.

Killeroo:  Think about it...

Same shot. Killeroo is disgusted by the thought of what he is saying.

Voice (OP):  I... I can't feel my legs.

Killeroo:  I just waltz in to the nearest boozer and say... that?

Wide shot. Killeroo leaning against a WELL.

Voice (from inside the well):  Please, just go get help!

Killeroo:  Not happenin', Tim.