Saturday, January 4, 2014

Skinner Sweet – A Continental Divide – Brian Manton

The Panama Canal, under construction. A massive scene of early 20th Century progress. A controlled explosion billows from the rockface. (Position the explosion in the reading flow between cap 1 & 2.)

TEXT:  1913. The Panama Canal (work-in-progress).

CAP (1) (Skinner):  160 trains a day haul away wreckage as 27,000 tonnes of dynamite slowly press through the Culebra Cut.

CAP (2) (Skinner):  Tearing the future from solid rock.

CAP (3) (Skinner):  Plans big as these leave a lot of room to work on your own.

A burly worker strains as he lugs a boulder into a cart. Labourmen clear away debris as demolitions men set more charges.

CAP(Skinner):  6000 men working the cut.

CAP(Skinner):  Hungry work.

A train pulls into the large cobbled-together train station. A few of the boxes are passenger carriages but most are cargo laden. Men unload crates of whiskey, food and supplies.

CAP(Skinner):  Those 160 trains return with all manner of sustenance.

A lavishly decorated but gloomily lit train carriage. Four businessmen dressed in early century finery are presented with a line up of young women. The men's eyes somehow catch and reflect the light from the wall mounted lamps.

CAP(Skinner):  The finest of which is reserved for men who don't need to labour in the sun all day to build up a hunger.

Through a crowded carriage of elegant whores we see Skinner Sweet, brimmed hat tipped - revealing only his smile.

CAP (Skinner):  Plans, plans, so many plans.


  1. Definitely my favourite script of the week. Pointed characterization? Check. Fantastic opportunity for artist to stretch muscles? Check. Concise internal monologue? Check. Fascinating historical event to draw upon? Check. Perfect 5th panel leading into what promises to be a GREAT story? Check. I'd read this issue of AV in a solid minute. Takemy money, Mr.Manton.

  2. You have the same way with historical events as Snyder, using them to provide a strong backdrop. You capture Skinner's voice well too, and I love the "class divide" theme.


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