Sunday, November 30, 2014

Spider-Verse - Universe 34 - Ben Rosenthal

1.  Spider-Man has been captured, and tied up.  He cannot move and is on his knees in a darkened room.  A light shines on him.  His suit has a little more scientific theme going so we can tell it isn't our Peter Parker.  A figure is standing behind him, shoulders up darkened by shadows.  From the colour scheme we can tell it is the Green Goblin.

You're a failure.
All that power, and you waste it swinging around town in your pyjama's playing hero.

2.  A close up of Spidey's mask, with the Goblin's hand on it, pulling it up.

You're Weak.


3.  The mask is off revealing that Spider-Man is Harry Osborn.  He was bitten by the Spider.  The Goblin is still behind him looking at the mask.  His face is still covered in shadows.

Harry, Harry, Harry....

4.  Reveal of the Goblin - It's Peter Parker, driven insane by the Goblin formula and the experiments that Norman Osborn has conducted on him throughout the years.

Didn't your father teach you anything?

Why Spider-Verse?

Every Spider-Man.  Ever.

That one line had me.

A storyline that not only celebrates every incarnation of everyone's favourite wall crawler, but features them in a battle against what is possibly the finest modern day villain to come from the Spider-Man corner of the Marvel U.

For those of you not in the know (shame on you) The Superior Spider-Man (Doc Ock in Peter's body) travelled though time and discovered Spider-Men and women from parallel universes were being eaten (well, their energy at least) but a family of life force draining vampires (of which Morlun is a sibling).

Ock starts to gather and recruit Spiders to form an army to fight - so far we have seen Spider-Ham, Ben Reilly, a young Gwen Stacy in the spider garb, as well as new creations such as Penelope Parker written  by Katie Cook of My Little Pony fame.

It appears with the Secret War looming Marvel editorial has opened up the doors for their creators to come up with their own Spider-Hero.  Something that we could not ignore over at Thought Balloons.

If you have a Spider-Man related hero in you, feel free to post it below in the comments section.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Space Cabbie - The Madding Crowd, Part 12 - Ray Wonsowski

See last week's episode for previous chapter links.

(I'd love to see this done in the style of Bruce Timm...)

Panel 1- Space Cabbie's yellow rocket cab coming around out of the dark side of the moon. It's towing Lobo's skull face space cycle behind it.

CAPTION: If you want to keep your hack license, you gotta be a member of S.C.A.R.E., Space Cabbies Against Reckless Endangerment...

(From the back of the cab, with musical notes): Danaa-dant-dant-dant-dant-danaa-dada....

(From the back of the cab, with musical notes): Word's spreadin'round...'bout that lunar town...on the point they call LaGrange... If you wanna know...

Panel 2- Inside the cab. In the back, VRIL DOX has his head lolled back, and visibly drunk playing air guitar. LOBO, also drunk, is terrified and surprised as he reaches over the front seat in panic at something out the windshield. SPACE CABBIE sees what's being pointed at, but his expression is wide-eyed open-mouthed disbelief.

CAPTION: Nothing worse than a drunk behind the stick. Except maybe these two...

VRIL DOX(with musical notes): Danaa-dant-dant-dant-dant-danaa-dada....


Panel 3- In front of the moon, nearly the same size, the gate opened by Eclipso's Sunset Gun from Earth is being pried open by three staggeringly enormous hairy spider legs with talon-like tips from the darkness within. Glowing from behind the black are a pair of groups containing hundreds of red insectoid eyes. The yellow space cab is little more than a speck before it as it tries to spin away, Lobo's bike whipped around behind it.

CAPTION: ...and this.

LOBO: (from inside the cab) FRAG!! be continued....

Lobo & Vril Dox's song based on ZZTop's "La Grange", you know, you probably heard it in Armageddon or some road trip movie....

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Space Cabby – Baker & Grodd’s Inexplicable Adventure! – MK Stangeland Jr.

This time, the two found themselves somehow stranded far away from Earth! Good thing SPACE CABBY was there to lend a hand! Or is it…?)

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: ANIMAL MAN and GORILLA GROOD are stuffed in the back seat of SPACE CABBY’s SPACE CAB. ANIMAL MAN looks like he should be a lot more uncomfortable than he’s letting on, but he’s hiding just how squished he is right now for the sake of keeping thing – and GRODD – peaceful. In an unusual turn of events, SPACE CABBY looks concerned as he drives.

SPACE CABBY (1): Uh oh…

GRODD: ‘Uh Oh’ what?

SPACE CABBY (2): Seems we have a problem the likes of which I’ve never seen.

SPACE CABBY (3): I have no idea where we are!

Panel 2: GORILLA GRODD looks ready to get violent, but ANIMAL MAN is doing a pretty good job of holding him back. For the moment, at least.

GRODD: I swear, if you don’t fix that problem, I will feast on your brains!

ANIMAL MAN: My apologies for my friend here.

Panel 3: ANIMAL MAN looks at GRODD with a ‘tsk tsk shame on you’ look.

GRODD is not amused.

ANIMAL MAN: As I keep trying to tell him, he has anger issues.

Panel 4: ANIMAL MAN leans forward to see if he can help SPACE CABBY with his problem. He also looks secretly relieved to get a brief moment to stretch, if only just a little.

ANIMAL MAN: What seems to be the problem?

SPACE CABBY (1): I’m not quite sure.

SPACE CABBY (2): It’s almost as if…

BUGS BUNNY: (Off Panel) Eh…

SFX: *munch munch*

Panel 5: SPACE CABBY, ANIMAL MAN, and GORILLA GRODD all look out the windows. Standing there, leaning on the cab and enjoying a carrot is BUGS BUNNY.

This panel should also give us the first real good look at their surroundings, which should look like a wilderness scene taken from a LOONY TUNES cartoon.

BUGS BUNNY: Like ya took a wrong turn as Albaquoique?

SFX: *munch munch*


Monday, November 24, 2014

Space Cabby – Special Delivery – Travis M. Holyfield

Panel 1: Exterior. Deep space. Cab #7433 zips through the panel, with four members of the Green Lantern Corps in hot pursuit. One of the Lanterns has created a giant megaphone and is yelling through it.


Panel 2: Interior of the cab. Space Cabby’s hat is cocked back on his head, and he is sweating from tension.

SPACE CABBY: Sorry, fellas! I’m normally a very law-abiding sort, but I’ve got a lady in here about to have a baby!

Panel 3: Close-up on Space Cabby’s hand grabbing the thrust control for his cab.
Panel 4: Close-up of Space Cabby slamming the thrust control to full.    
Panel 5: Exterior. The Green Lanterns pull up short as the Cab blasts away from them.  

Panel 6: Interior. Space Cabby looks into his rear view mirror.

SPACE CABBY: Don’t you worry now, ma’am. We’ll be at that Med Vessel in no time! 

Panel 7: Interior. The back seat of the cab. LOBO is dressed like a pregnant woman – big flowered dress, big flowered hat. His hand is clutched over a fake stomach, which is likely concealing a bag of ill-gotten gains.

LOBO: Heh.  


Why Space Cabby?

Because... because he's a cab driver. IN SPACE!

Created by Otto Binder and Howard Sherman, Space Cabby was originally introduced in Mystery in Space in 1954. He served as a narrator for tales told to his fares, and later as a protagonist in his own stories. Hi tales have been penned by such all-time greats as Gardner Fox and drawn by legends like Gil Kane. In the modern age, Space Cabby has kept busy, teaming up with Lobo and Superman, and making an appearance in James Robinson's superb Starman series.


How does one get to be a Space Cabby? Well, our guy lives in the 22nd century, driving for 9-Planet Taxi. A natural at stellar navigation, he was once a fighter pilot, before picking up the keys to Cab #7433. He is a member of the 'Cosmic Order Of Space Cab Pilots' and 'Veterans Of Alien Wars'.

I have always loved the stranger, more fringe characters of the DC Universe. And ever since I read that particular issue of Starman, I have been obsessed with the idea of Space Cabby. Because, again, he's a cab driver. IN SPACE.

Yes, at least half of my love for this character is in the giggle-factor. Just saying his name genuinely makes me laugh. But the storytelling potential of a character like this is unlimited. Sure, he's probably not A-List material. I certainly don't envision DC green-lighting a SPACE CABBY series or anything. But how much fun would a Mystery in Space anthology be? And Space Cabby could be right there, anchoring the book, telling his fares stories about Adam Strange, and Lobo, and the Legion of Super Heroes. Like a cosmic Crypt Keeper. With a taxi. IN SPACE!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hawk & Dove – Questions & Answers – Travis M. Holyfield


Panel 1: Profile shot. Hawk is grabbing a thug by the shirt, pulling him in close and screaming in his face.   
HAWK: Five crates full of assault rifles! They didn’t just materialize out of thin air!
Panel 2: Close-up of Hawk’s fist smashing into the thug’s face, breaking his nose.
Panel 3: Close-up of Hawk’s other fist crushing the thug’s jaw. Teeth and blood fly from the impact.
Panel 4: Close-up of Hawk’s fist pounding into the thug’s eye.   
Panel 5: Another punch by Hawk, further demolishing the thug’s already ruined face.   
Panel 6: Hawk stands over the bloodied, battered, unconscious thug. The thug’s body slumps to the floor. Dove stands behind Hawk, covering his eyes.
DOVE: Are you finished? 
Panel 7: Close-up of Hawk. His face is contorted with violence and rage.
HAWK: Finished?
Panel 8: Three other thugs sit huddled in the corner. Their faces are filled with terror as the shadow of Hawk looms over them.
HAWK (OFF-PANEL): I haven’t even started…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hawk & Dove – View Askew – MK Stangeland Jr.

(I’ve decided to go ahead and create new version of HAWK and DOVE for this particular script. HAWK is HELEN JACKSON, a shorter, unassuming woman who’s far tougher than she looks. DOVE is DAVID JACKSON, her brother, who’s built like a the biggest, baddest wrestler you’re ever likely to meet but is actually a massive teddy bear of a softy deep down inside.)

Panel 1: Two gangs who were in the middle of a drug deal were interrupted by DOVE, who’s actually smiling and looks not concerned at all about all the people who look very much ready to kill him.

DOVE (1): Come now!

DOVE (2): Surely we don’t need to fall back on violence….


Panel 2: Everyone scatters as a large van flies through the air and crashes into another van. Everyone, that is, except DOVE, who does a limbo bend to duck just under the van.

SFX: Crash!

Panel 3: DOVE stands up and looks towards the crashed van. The others around him are beginning to pick themselves up as well.


HAWK: (Off panel) I’m sorry, did that van belong to someone? It was in my way.

Panel 4: Full view of HAWK, who looks furious. She stands nearby next to a support structure, which she punches dangerously out of shape with a single blow.

HAWK: And I hate it when things get in my way.


SFX: Creeeek

Panel 5: One of the GANG LEADERs has a look that’s one part anger, one part concern about what HAWK is doing.

GANG LEADER: HEY! You trying to bring this place down on top of us?!

Panel 6: HAWK stands on one leg in a pre-kick motion as he prepares to hit the support structure again.

HAWK: Oh, you mean I shouldn’t do…


Monday, November 17, 2014

Hawk and Dove - Birds of a Feather - Grant McLaughlin

I don't have a strong opinion as to which Hawk and Dove this should be, so for simplicity's sake, let's just go with the original Hall brothers.

1 - Hawk and Dove sit on a couch in their living room.  Hawk looks glum and tense, head in hands, while Dove lounges with one arm along the top of the couch and points with the other towards Hawk as if making a suggestion (in response to Hawk's words).  A coffee table sits in front of the two heroes, with a phone (cell or landline - your choice) on top of it.  The panel should be framed so that the phone is in the foreground in the middle of the panel, with Hawk on its left and Dove on its right (both in the background, of course).  The two heroes look towards the phone, of course.

HAWK: Why won't anyone call us to team-up anymore?

DOVE: Maybe everyone is intimidated by our cocksure ways!

2 - Hawk looks towards Dove quizzically.  Dove is already on his feet, starting to pace around the table looking serious with a hand to his chin in the Thinker pose.

DOVE (1): Or perhaps we unintentionally ruffled some feathers?

DOVE (quietly) (2): A foul thought, that.

3 - Dove walks towards an easy chair on Hawk's left, making the classic "crazy" circle gesture towards his head (that sounds way more awkward to describe than it should).  Hawk shakes his head in a disappointed / dismissive manner.

DOVE (1): Either way, they're loons not to calls us.

DOVE (2): Evil's goose is cooked when we're on the case.

4 - Dove throws himself onto the easy chair, landing in a sideways position (head and feet across the arms) and looking towards Hawk (Dove may be lounging so comfortably to be looking upside down at Hawk).  Hawk rolls his eyes.

DOVE (1): Our so-called friends will eat crow after they realize the error of their ways.

DOVE (2): In fact, you know what I think?

5 - Hawk facepalms, finally responding to Dove.  However, Dove has worked himself into a state and shouts out his finale, gesticulating wildly from his lounging position.  While Dove is shouting, his word balloon should actually be mostly covered by Hawk's to indicate that they are talking at the same time and that Hawk is ignoring Dove.  That said, you should be able to make out the last three or four words of Dove's interjection.

HAWK: Nevermind, I think I figured out the reason.

DOVE: I think they can go flock themselves!

Hawk and Dove - The Same Coin - Ben Rosenthal

1.  A thug sits in a chair.  He is lit up by the light of an opened door which is opposite him and off panel.  He is scared.  A shadow of someone entering the room can be seen cutting through the light from the opened door.

S-s-stay away. STAY AWAY!

2.  Reveal of the person coming through the door - it is Dove in full costume.  He looks concerned at the man's predicament.

What is it?  Are you ok?

THUG (off panel)
Thank God.  I thought you were Hawk.

3.  Dove is playing with the Thug's straps, looking like he is trying to untie them.

Hawk died years ago.

See that's what I thought.  'Til he jumped me, beat me and bought me here.

He's alive I tells ya.

4.  Dove is standing, looking down at the Thug who is still tied to the chair.  He is looking up in horror at Dove's face, but we cannot see why (as we cannot see his face).

I don't know about alive--

5.  Reveal close up of Dove's face.  It is horrific - a cross between a demon and a hawk.  Something you would see in old Japanese demon legends.  It's mouth is wide with a hint of a beak in stead of lips.  Sharp teeth point out from it.

But he would kill for a bite to eat.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hawk and Dove - The Madding Crowd, Part 11 - R.A. Wonsowski

The Story So Far: ECLIPSO has manipulated SHADE the Changing Man into separating people's animae from their human halves, sometimes with disastrous results. These shadow aspects have been channeled through ECLIPSO's Black Diamonds, into a weapon called the Sunset Gun, which has opened a dimensional gateway into the Area of Madness, where he will wage final war with his Creator...

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 4 1/2 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 10 1/2


Panels 1 and 2 are a diptych. It is dusk, and the sky is a rose red. Panel 1 is the end of a pier at the Gotham Naval Shipyard, which operates as an ordnance disposal site. HANK HALL, his back to us, looks out into the distance at the Gotham skyline. He is dressed in naval issue blue shirt and dungarees, white sailor's hat clutched in one hand, the other holding a cell phone to his ear. From one low roof, a thin black beam shoots into the sky in panel 2, opening a portal into the Area of Madness. On the water is a Coast Guard cutter, a lone figure is visible on the aft deck grasping the rail as a lone witness (this would be DON HALL). Copy is as follows:

Panel 1-
CAPTION: Gotham Naval Ordnance Disposal Site.
HANK: Jeezus, Don! Are you seeing this?!?

Panel 2-
CAPTION: Coast Guard Cutter Gavyn.
DON: I see it, Hank! Whatever it is...

Panel 3- We are now facing HANK HALL, still on his cell, and poised as if he's about to jump off the pier into action. He has tossed his hat to the side.

DON: (on phone)'s stirring up the harbor!
HANK: We gotta get out there, stop whoever's doing this!
DON: (on phone) Wait!

Panel 4- Close-up of DON HALL, one hand holding binoculars to his eyes in one hand, his cell to his ear with the other.

DON: There are other vessels caught in the chop! We have to save those crews!

In the gap between the second and third rows of panels, mystic lettering, copy reads: BROTHERS!

Panel 5- HANK's face is bathed in white light, but a hawk-shaped shadow falls across his eyes.

HANK: Yes!

Panel 6- Same as panel 5, except it's a dove-shaped shadow across DON's face.

DON: Yes!

In the bottom gutter beneath Panels 5 and 6, more mystic lettering, copy reads: SO BE IT. ONLY SPEAK THAT YOU SAY THAT I AM.

Panel 7- Leaping out of a flash of white light, two figures emerge toward us. Their leather-like white armor is fletched by blood-red and sky-blue feathers respectively, their heads covered by similarly adorned bird-head cowls. From above, talon-like hands extended, the aggressor avatar of war. From below, diving forward into an off-panel sea, the guardian avatar of peace. Both cry out their new namesakes.

DOVE: DOVE!! be continued...

Why the Hawk and the Dove?

In case you couldn't tell, I'm a bit of a fan of DC Ditko, but of all his concepts, the one that I think really got the shaft were these two.

Hawk and Dove were the Hall brothers, Hank and Don. When their father, a fair but tough-as-nails judge, was threatened, they were visited by the Lords of Order and Chaos and granted the powers of the avatars of War and Peace. As a reflection of the opposing viewpoints of late sixties America, they couldn't be more on the nose.
...hoo, boy...
The problem was that every writer after Ditko and his partner Steve Skeates has treated them as the worst of stereotypes. Hank has frequently been cast as a bullying jerk, and Don typically acts as a weeping dishtowel of a wimp. It wasn't until the excellent Brave & Bold #181, by Alan Brennert and Jim Aparo, that they finally started getting fleshed out.

This was actually my introduction to Hawk and Dove....

Unfortunately, just as they started getting interesting, Don was killed in the Crisis of Infinite Earths, and Hawk, without his Dove, became unbalanced. Even the introduction of a new Dove, Dawn Granger, couldn't fix the damage done, and belligerent Hank spiraled into villainy, first as the future despot Monarch, then as the time-travelling Extant. DC tried to revive the concept with the New 52, know...Liefeld...
...I...I don't even know what to say to this....

So other than the fact that they fill the third party in my Ditko trilogy, why pick them at all? Because the concept has so much unexplored potential. Hawks are sheltering nurturers of their young, and doves will protect their nests to the death. Imagine Hank as a Navy SEAL returned home to be a family man. And just because someone's a pacifist, doesn't make them any less brave; what if Don, instead of being the limp weakling, was a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, or a firefighter, protecting those in danger? Then there's the mystic aspect. Why did the Lords, in their infinite wisdom, pick these two to be their avatars? What powers might they have that have not been discovered yet? Can you picture them in a Vertigo book? I have.
The possibilities are as endless as the stars, my friends.

That's what makes comics great. Warriors, protectors, they are whatever you bring to the party. And feel free to bring your best interpretations and ideas. Just leave a page of script down here in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Big Hero 6 - The Madding Crowd, Part ? - R.A. Wonsowski


Panel 1- WASABI-NO-GINGER looks over the edge of a building as he consoles a desolate HONEY LEMON, who is crying uncontrollably on his shoulder. HIRO and BAYMAX come up from behind.

WASABI-NO-GINGER: ...well, it was bound to happen sometime...
HONEY LEMON: *sob* Oh but WHY?!? Why NOW?!?
HIRO: Hey, guys? What's going on?

Panel 2- Two-shot, WASABI-NO-GINGER and HIRO.

WASABI-NO-GINGER: Do you not read Thoughtballoons(tm)?
HIRO: N-no...should I?
WASABI-NO-GINGER: We have been thrilling to the adventures of Jack Ryder, his mind trapped in the Creeper's body. We've been anxious to see how we'd fit into the story.
HIRO: So, what happened?

Panel 3- In the background, we can see the four members of Big Hero 6 looking down from the rooftop. Foreground, we see ME, lying on a sidewalk, laptop screen glowing and held in a dead-man's clutch, head crushed under a giant concrete cube. Carved in the most visible side, it reads: If found Please call JACK RYDER 1-800 U R WRONG.

WASABI-NO-GINGER: The author was hit by Ryder's block...

...don't worry, sports fans...Act III of The Madding Crowd starts with the next pick...oh, wait, that's me....

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Big Hero 6 – This is My Jam – MK Stangeland Jr.

(4 Panels)

Panel 1: FING FANG FOOM, previously marching towards TOKYO, has stopped and looked off towards the water.


Panel 2: The water, where a bubbling sensation indicates something is under the water. Squiggly music notes surround the area, indicating some kind of music is playing but it’s indistinguishable.

Panel 3: FREDZILLA bursts out of the water dramatically. He’s wearing a high-powered, waterproof speaker system that’s blasting music out at a high volume.


Panel 4: The rest of the BIG HERO 6 team is standing on top of a skyscraper, watching the scene that’s currently off-panel. HIRO is dancing to the music, the rest is watching with various states of amusement, disbelief, and annoyance. GOGO air quotes with her fingers as she replies to WASABI.

A few music notes should be present to indicate that the song can be heard even at the distance the team is watching from.

WASABI: Why was the reason Fred gave for the massive speakers, again?

GOGO: Something about the “soundtrack effect” not working if he was the only one who could hear it.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Big Hero 6 - Famous - Ben Rosenthal

1.  Front on view of a cinema screen.  The logo from the Big Hero 6 movie is up towards the top of the screen as the credits below it begin to role.  The movie has just ended.  In the foreground we see the backs of people's heads.  The back a very large man with a bowler hat is in the bottom left of the page.

2.  Looking back to the audience, but with a close up of the comic versions of Big Hero 6 - Gogo is on the left, Fredzilla next to her, Wasabi holding an empty popcorn bucket is next to him followed by Hiro and finally Baymax in his human form ending the row (Baymax in the large gentleman in the bowler hat from the last panel).  All are staring up in shock, mouths open.

3.  The team is all looking at each other, questions firing all at once.  Gogo doesn't look impressed.  Fredzilla looks to be on the verge of tears.  Wasabi is looking into his bucket of popcorn, longingly.  Hiro is geeking out and Baymax is beginning to transform out from his human cover.

So, do we get any royalties from this?

Where...where was I?

Man I'm hungry.


This is Baymax.  It appears a marshmallow is imposing as me.
Standby for threat elimination.

Why Big Hero 6?

No, not the Disney movie.

This is a comic writing side dude.  We deal with comics here.

Created by Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau in their spare time while working on another project, Big Hero 6 was first intended to appear in Alpha Flight #17 (December 1998). However, the team first appeared in their own self-titled three-issue miniseries by writer Scott Lobdell and artist Gus Vasquez, which due to scheduling issues, was published before Alpha Flight #17. The character appeared with the team in a subsequent six-issue miniseries which was launched by Marvel Comics in September 2008.

The comic versions include:

Silver Samurai - has the ability to charge any object with mutant energy.

Sunfire - Former X-Man Shiro has the ability to fly and generate super-heated blasts of plasma.

GoGo Tomago -  is known as the hothead of Big Hero 6. GoGo transforms her body into an explosive ball of energy which is able to be projected at vast speeds.

Honey Lemon - Little is known of Honey Lemon's past, or how she obtained the purse that gives her "superpowers."

Hiro Takachiho - Hiro Takachiho is a thirteen-year-old boy whose intelligence would astound the most brilliant minds around the world.

Baymax - Created by Hiro for a school science project, the synthetic entity known only as Baymax became much more to Hiro after the death of his father. Now the best friend, father figure, and bodyguard of young Hiro, Baymax is at Hiro's side every hour of every day.

Ebon Samurai - Kiochi Keishicho was a Tokyo police officer who was slain by Silver Samurai during an attack by HYDRA. After making a deal with Amatsu-Mikaboshi, Kiochi was allowed to return to Earth and exact vengeance upon the Silver Samurai. Wielding a demonic katana and permanently bonded to black variant of his foe's armor, Kiochi was reborn as the Ebon Samurai.

Sunpyre - An alternate reality version of Sunfire's deceased sister Leyu, Sunpyre (Lumina) is the crown princess of Coronar, a planet hidden deep within the Microverse. As a result of being pulled out of the Microverse through Honey Lemon's purse, Sunpyre worships her as a goddess, and joins the Big Hero 6 out of a sense of gratitude. 

Wasabi-No-Ginger - A trained chef who uses various swords to fight. He can also give form to his Qi-Energy, usually materializing it as throwing knives that can paralyse opponents.

Fredzilla -  he can transform himself into a Godzilla-like creature.

There they are - the coolest super hero team you have never heard of.  Until the movie opened.  But even that is kind of different.

As always, feel free to PLAY AT HOME with Thought Balloons - got a page of script about this week's character? Then put it in the posts below.  You'll not only get some feedback, but may join the ranks as a tenured writer!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Brawl in the Family - The Madding Crowd, Part 10 1/2 - R.A. Wonsowski


Panel 1- JACK RYDER (with the CREEPER's mind still inside) is bounding down a hall with holding cells on both sides. He is swinging a mallet sledge into the head of DARK RYU with one hand, and pressing a door lock panel button with the other, sliding the bolts back.

RYDER: (with musical notes) doodlee-DOO-doo!
RYDER: C'mon, Kirby! Now's our chance!

Panel 2- As RYDER exits panel right, JACK "the King" KIRBY comes out of his cell, pencil behind his ear and lighting a cigar with a wooden match.

KIRBY: 'bout time. Where to?
RYDER: The Legend of Zelda!

Panel 3- RYDER proudly holds open another cell door. KIRBY looks inside, revealing a confused ZELDA FITZGERALD, holding a framed photo of her husband, F. Scott, in one hand and a martini in the other, dressed in 1920's fashion.

RYDER: Ta-daa!
ZELDA: Is this gin?
KIRBY: Hey, goofball! Ya realize this is all in yer head, right?

Panel 4- Foreground, we see JACK RYDER, ANDREW BENNETT, SHADE the Changing Man, and JACKIE ESTACADO strapped to medical gurneys. Though unconscious, they are all in obvious agony. They all have some sort of scientific apparatus strapped to their heads, but they have that Ditko-esque mystical design to them. The wires that lead from the headgear flow into input panels in the walls. Behind the patients stands ECLIPSO, wearing the Darkness, head back in ecstasy, arms spread wide, fingers splayed. Black Diamonds are wedged between each finger, sparking with indigo energy.



Monday, November 3, 2014

Brawl in the Family - Little Fox Redux - Grant McLaughlin

I was quite taken with these two days' worth of strips and thought I'd try my own hand at some "Little Fox" comics.  In Brawl in the Family style, I've written up three short strips, each one in the three panel style (more or less).


1 - Little Fox stands, annoyed.  Little Leon (an egg) is next to him, yelling - the source of Fox's annoyance.

LEON: Hey!  You!

2 - Little Falco walks into frame, pointing quizzically at Leon the egg.  Fox maintains his annoyance.

FALCO: Who's this guy?

3 - Both Falco and Fox are annoyed now.  The egg continues to shout.

LEON: Annoying bird!  I am the great Leon!

FALCO: You've got to be yolking.

All Ears

1 - Little Fox sits on his Little Landrover / bigwheeler, talking.  He looks a bit tired / stressed.

FOX: ...I guess I'm just worried about being thrust into a position of real leadership before I'm ready.

2 - Fox lets out a bit of a sigh, looking somewhat relieved.

FOX (1): *phew* It feels good to get that off my chest.

FOX (2): Thanks for being such a good listener.

3 - Switch to a shot of Little Slippy the tadpole, floating in his fish bowl atop his own bigwheeler, doing nothing.



1 - Little Fox and Little Falco are talking.

FOX: That new kid sure is cute.

FALCO: You should go talk to her.

2 - Top half panel.  Fox looks aghast.

FOX: I'm sure she has better things to do than hang out with me.

KRYSTAL (off-panel): Hey, Fox!

3 - Bottom half panel. Fox looks over at Little Krystal (who has walked into the panel frame).  Fox is really nervous; Krystal simply looks happy / content.

KRYSTAL: Wanna play?

4 - Fox and Krystal are playing with some dinosaur toys.  Both seem to be having a good time.  Little hearts can be floating up above a bashful Fox's head.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Brawl in the Family - Kirby Time - MK Stangeland Jr.

Why Brawl in the Family?

I'm gonna get you, Kirby!
6 Years
15 Songs
3 Books
600 Comics

It’s been said that 90% of everything is [Junk], and it’s probably even higher for fan works. Not to fault them for expressing their love of their favorite media, but it does absolutely nothing to increase the actual quality of what they put together.

But even so, that still leaves upwards of 10% that’s still absolutely worth it, often time even making up for the 90% you have to trudge through to find it.

Matthew Taranto’s Brawl in the Family is part of the other 10%. A fan comic featured around the world of Nintendo (even if it oftentimes skews heavily towards Kirby), BitF is a comic that even so manages to oftentimes stand on its own feet with comics that are entertaining in their own right and are made better with familiarization with Nintendo’s history rather than just being made understandable.

Not corralling itself into one particular style, Brawl in the Family stretches across a range of layouts and themes, from one-note gags, to long-form multi-comic storylines, to dipping its feet into the realm of horror, to comics that are just plain weird.

And in the end, Matt brought it to a close while he was at the top of his game rather than stretching it out indefinitely and forcing himself to write something he wasn’t happy with, complete with a story arc recognizing that he’s but one of many people who’s influenced the ‘lives’ of the characters he wrote about, and acknowledging the countless others in the past, present, and future that have and will inevitably do the same.

So let’s do just that – pick up where Matthew Taranto left off and add a few more pieces to the lives of these characters. Because Brawl in the Family is proof that the other 10% - especially the other 10% made by so-called amateurs – really does exist and is worth paying attention to.

That includes any play-at-home folks who feel inclined – just go down to the comments section below and try your own hand with a script to SHOW US YOUR MOVES!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Top Cow - The Madding Crowd, Part 10 - R.A. Wonsowski

Believe it or not, the general seed of this story started as my first Top Cow submission. Particularly my villain of choice, in a way... Hopefully this answers a few mysteries...Happy Halloween!

Synopsis: Jack Ryder has been separated from the Creeper, with the wrong mind in the wrong body. Jack goes to investigate the pharma labs responsible, where multiple subjects have been separated from their "shadow aspects" by mysterious black diamonds., when he is suddenly ambushed...

All backgrounds are flat black. Layout:

Panel 1- Off-kilter POV. The CREEPER is being dragged down to the ground at the legs by a swarm of DARKLINGS. Their teeth and claws are bared and the CREEPER is feeling both tear at him.

(Off-Panel): Well, well...I knew I had tasted your madness before...
CREEPER: ...rrRRRGh...
(Off-Panel):....didn't I kill you once?

Panel 2- Foreground, the CREEPER is now swarmed to the waist by rabid DARKLINGS; some at the fringes are licking their chops. Behind, the shapes of Drs. SKOLOS and YATZ merge into one, like the weaving of gelatinous tendrils.

SKOLOS: Ah, you and your ilk have an annoying knack for not staying dead.
YATZ: But that will soon change. I see you've met the Darklings.

Panel 3- Foreground, the CREEPER is now dragged lower, and DARKLINGS now clutch about as high as his chest and shoulders; one scratches at his face and his expression is one of fear. Background, the two forms have coalesced into the DARKNESS, approaching from behind; we see his carapace-like armor, but only the glowing blue and pupilless eyes are visible of the head.

DARKNESS: They are an outward extension of the Darkness within Jackie Estacado.
DARKNESS: With him fully in the thrall of the Black Diamond, they are the willing cannon fodder for my army.

Panel 4- Foreground, the CREEPER is now brought to his knees, eyes shut as he starts to panic, the DARKLINGS completely covering him except for his head, and one DARKLING has clamped his mouth shut. Background, the DARKNESS is fully visible, towering over the grand guignol. His faceplate is in place, but instead of Jackie's long black hair, there is a black medieval leather skull-cap with stitching down the middle and two long and thick leather thongs dangling to the chestplate, one in front of each pointed ear.

DARKNESS: I can now hunt the I-Am and mount His head on the topmost spire of my castle. I can raze His creation in the Seven directions.
DARKNESS: Such is the power of the Darkness.

Panel 5- Close-up, the CREEPER's face, eyes wide with the terror of recognition, mouth still clamped by Darkling hands. From behind, the faceplate pulls apart and away from a face, 2/3 darkened, the other third an ashen grey, fiery violet eyes from below the skull-cap, our villain is finally revealed as he grinningly nibbles seductively on the CREEPER's ear. A Darkness-gauntleted  hand holds a Black Diamond in front of their gaze.

ECLIPSO: And whose hands are better to wield it than mine.