Monday, March 31, 2014

The Falcon - For the Birds - Grant McLaughlin

Sorry I'm late.  Was travelling and could not find a computer to post this from.

There would be four rows here.  Row one would be made up of panels 1 through 3, row two of panels 4 through 7, row three of panels 8 through 11, and row four of panels 12 through 14.

1 - Outside a cafe of some variety.  Let's go with big ol' sign outside that reads "Gene's".

JOHNNY STORM (from within): So what's it like talking to birds?

2 - Interior.  Johnny Storm and Samuel Wilson sit opposite each other at a booth.  Johnny is lazing back, one arm lain across the back of the back of his chair, holding a milkshake in his other hand.  Samuel sits straight, a coffee in front of him - he has one hand resting next to the cup and the other up in conversation.

SAMUEL WILSON: Talk is a bit strong.  It's more like I can see what they see, think what they think.


3 - Johnny sits up a bit, leaning closer to Sam to hear what the story is.  Sam is pretty nonchalant about it, taking a sip of his coffee.

JOHNNY STORM: So, uh, what do they think about?


4 - A small robin flits from one branch to another.

ROBIN: Look at me fly!

5 - A pigeon flies through the city air.

PIGEON: Flying is the best!

6 - A group of small birds are beginning to take flight from their position in a park.


7 - A crow perches atop some telephone wire outside.

CROW: I wish I was flying right now.

8 - A group of Canada geese fly in their signature 'V'.  Two are in conversation.

GOOSE 1: Flying's so great!

GOOSE 2: Right?!

9 - A small group of ducks mill around an old women who sits on a bench throwing them bread.  The birds are in various states of gobbling up their windfall, although one stands slightly apart, a thought on his mind.

DUCK: This bread is great and all, but I'd rather be flying.

10 - Some penguins in the zoo look up sadly / forlornly towards some birds flying above them in the distance.

PENGUIN: One day...

11 - Redwing soars majestically through the air, likely doing something important and Avenger-y.


12 - Similar panel to panel 3.  Johnny holds the same position.  Sam puts his coffee cup back down.


13 - Repeat panel 12, except Johnny looks somewhat perplexed.  Sam's expression is still neutral.



14 - Johnny shrugs, smiling wide.  Sam shares a small smile with him.

JOHNNY STORM: Well, they're not wrong.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Falcon – Birds Of A Feather - Shaun Richens

PAGE ONE – 6 Panels

Page wide panel. Int Shield heli-carrier control room. Red alarm lights go off. Ultimate universe Nick Fury lies with his back against a control panel. He looks older than normally, wisps of grey hair in his eyebrows and facial hair, crows feet under his eyes. Sam Wilson (The Falcon) in black combat gear (his metal wing set folded up behind him) kneels at Fury's side.

Funny how the man with the eye patch was to blind to see it. He's gone Sam.

He wanted to get caught. He needed to get close to me.

You have to stop him.

Page wide panel. Ext. The landing deck of the heli-carrier Its a clear bright morning. An Ultimate universe version of the super villain Vulture pushes sheild agents to the floor with ease, as he rushes past them. This Vulture is bald with a strong, sharp facial features. He looks very young, early 20's. He has a lean lightweight boxers body shape. He wears a very dark green combat suit, its sleek and advanced looking. On his back is a similar set of fold up wings to those of Falcon.


Repeat of 1.2 Vulture has cleared the panel. Falcon gives chase pasted the chaos in the Vultures wake.


Ext. The landing deck of the heli-carrier. The vulture with his back to us, his toes inching over the side of the deck, nothing but clear air beneath him.

Toomes. You know what happens next. Don't take that step.

Small Panel. Close up on the vulture looking back over his shoulder.

Ha. You're the bird of prey Mr Wilson. Let us see if you can hunt.

Big panel. Looking up through the clouds towards the base of the heli-carrier. The vulture, wings unfolded dive bombs towards us. The shining glint of the Falcons wings can be seen giving chase behind.


Why The Falcon?

In a film titled; Captain America: Winter Solider, its neither of these title characters that grab me. It's the Falcon I'm most interested in.

The Falcon is more than just the winged hero he seems on the surface. The Falcon is Sam Wilson, a man with a sad and troubled past, caught up in a life that dragged him down the path of crime. But in his darkest moment, on the brink, Captain America pulled him back to reveal the man Sam was born to be. A man who could rise above it all, to become a friend to Steve Rogers ,and a crime fighting partner to the first super human, the first superhero, Captain America. What a truly great man Sam Wilson, The Falcon is.

So this week the sky's the limit. Let's soar. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Darkness - Little Beasts - Brian Manton

Wide narrow panel. Cruella De Vil's eyes, piercing.

Cruella: In a moment I'll have what I came for.

Cruella's POV, downward angle. Jackie Estacado, beaten and bloody on the ground. Two adult dalmatians cower beside him.

Cruella: While all of you will end up as sausage meat, alone on some sad, plastic plate.

Cruella stepping out from the darkness. Darkness 'armour' begins to envelop her. Her hands, clawlike and raised.

Cruella: Dead and meaty and red. No friends, no family, no pulse. Just slapped between two buns, smothered in onions, with fries on the side.

Emerging from the darkness behind Cruella, Darklings. These Darklings are perversions of the dalmatian puppies they have corrupted.

Cruella: To me my Dah'klings.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Darkness - Permission To Land - Niel Jacoby

Full splash: In a Moebius-esque style, we see neo-glam band The Darkness, comprised of lead vocalist/guitarist Justin Hawkins, lead guitarist Dan Hawkins, drummer Ed Graham, and bassist Frankie Poullain standing atop the spacecraft from the cover of their 2003 album Permission To Land. They are in otherworldly, Kirbyesque outfits, belting out their hit single I Believe In A Thing Called Love.

Justin Hawkins(with music notes and stuff): CAN'T EXPLAIN ALL THE FEELINGS THAT YOU'RE MAKING ME FEEL!

Inset panel: This is in a workplace comic strip-esque style, like Dilbert. Thoughtballoons contributor Niel Jacoby is sitting at his trusty laptop, and is staring quizically at his phone, having recieved a message.


Niel: AH CRAP.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Darkness – If You Give A Darkling a Cookie – MK Stangeland Jr.

(Relevant Background Information: Way back when, the video game version of The Darkness was one of the very first games reviewed by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw for his Zero Punctuation series. That game review featured versions of the Darklings referred to as Imps that have since come to serve as secondary characters alongside Yahtzee himself for each video review.)

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: JACKIE ESTACADO is on the phone talking to SARA PEZZINI. He’s sitting in a chair in a dimly lit room.

JACKIE (1): Sara, I have a problem.

SARA (1): (From Phone) What about it concerns me?

JACKIE (2): It involves The Darkness, that’s what.

Panel 2: JACKIE looks to another part of the room where we see some of the DARKLINGS, who don’t look all that right. They look like they’ve let themselves go and turned into slackers, with part of their design referencing the ZERO PUNCTUATION IMPS.

JACKIE (1): There’s something really off about the Darkling. I only just noticed it, but I think something’s been happening to them for a while.

SARA (1): (From Phone) Are they getting rebellious or something?

JACKIE (2): No, they’re…I don’t know how to describe it. But they’re getting lazy and now all the really want to do is goof off.

Panel 3: JACKIE continues to talk with SARA as the DARKLINGS slack around and goof off around him.

SARA: (From Phone) You’re kidding.

JACKIE (1): I wish.

JACKIE (2): I can’t help but wonder if I might actually prefer them getting rebellious to this $#*^.

Panel 4: JACKIE stands up as he continues to talk to SARA.

SARA: (From Phone) So what’s causing it?

JACKIE: That’s the worst part. I ain’t got a %&(#*#$ clue!

Panel 5: Cut to a dimly lit house in Australia. Here, we see a bunch of ZERO PUNCTUATION IMPS lounging about and goofing off inside the house of BEN CROSHAW, better known as YAHTZEE. These IMPS should have a modified design that makes them look much closer to their DARKLING counterparts, while still preserving the primary aspects of the IMPS. Among the activities they IMPS should be doing is sitting on a couch and playing an unseen video game on a TV in front of them.

YAHTZEE is sitting in a chair nearby, looking mildly frustrated by the way the IMPS have made themselves at home but either unable or unwilling to do anything about it, essentially putting up with them. There might potentially be one IMP here that’s sitting or lying on top of his head in some fashion, or possibly other IMPS that are interacting with him in some way.

TEXT BOX: Meanwhile, in Australia…


Monday, March 24, 2014

The Darkness - Ends and Means - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Jackie and a random guy sit at a table across from each other.  The only source of light is a single candle that sits on the table between them.  The light tapers off towards the edges of the panel, leaving those portions in darkness.  The guy is tied to his chair and has been beaten and bruised.  His head hangs down near the table top.  Jackie, on the other hand, looks fine.  The only visible indication as to what he's been up to would be some rolled up sleeves.  He has his hands on the table, looking seriously at the guy.

CAPTION: Light and dark.

GUY (quietly, weakly): please

2 - Move the perspective closer in to the candle.  Have the man's hanging head partly visible on one side of the panel, including the blood and sweat that's been pooling on the table.  On the other side, Jackie balls his hands in fists.  The candle's flame wavers, lowering the level of light again.

CAPTION: Can we subvert their meanings to our own ends?

GUY (quietly, weakly): i'm innocent

3 - Move the perspective closer still to the candle.  It is all that can really be seen at this distance.  The guy's head is no longer visible, but Jackie has moved his hand to extinguish the candle with his fingers.  Small amount of smoke rises from the new darkness.

CAPTION: Or must we ultimately be subverted to theirs?

JACKIE: I know.

The Darkness - Afraid of the Dark - Ben Rosenthal

1.  Jackie is on the floor, bloody.  He is looking at something off panel in fear.

CAPTION (Jackie)
I've never been afraid of the dark.

2.  A close up of Jackie's face.  A drop of blood comes from his eye, looking like a tear.

CAPTION (Jackie)
It was always inside of me.  A part of me.
I had nothing to fear from the Darkness.

3.  We are now looking at what Jackie is petrified of - it is his Darklings amalgamated together and in possession of The Darkness.  They stand over him, red sharp ends ready to continue the cutting.

Now I get it.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Darkness - 'til the Last Teardrop Falls - by R.A. Wonsowski

Layout is 3 rows, 2 panels each.
All panels are from our POV, as if we are tied to a chair.  A single naked lightbulb hangs from the ceiling. The background is dim, but there are hints that we are in a sound recording studio.  Before us paces JACKIE ESTACADO, dressed impeccably in a white summer linen suit, with a white silk shirt. 

Panel 1 - JACKIE paces left as he looks at the floor, one hand's fingers brushing the edge of the mixing board.
JACKIE:  ...don't think I'll ever understand animals like you.  I mean...
JACKIE:  ...enough felony child porn, abduction, and abuse charges to choke a hippo...

Panel 2 - JACKIE reaches into his inside-jacket pocket.  He still can't look at us.
JACKIE:  ...add fugitive charges and extradition, and you plea out to a 15-year bit at state...
JACKIE:  ...of which you do get out, open another record label, set up a new life, and whadaya do...

Panel 3 - JACKIE throws a handful of Polaroids at us.  We know what they're pictures of.

Panel 4 - In the dim background we can see one of Jackie's ASSOCIATES smashing speakers with a Les Paul guitar.  JACKIE still is looking at the floor.
JACKIE:  I don't know how you didn't get shanked in there, "short eyes".  Must've had some powerful pals in there...
JACKIE:  ...what those pals must've cost you.  Well, it wasn't enough.

Panel 5 - JACKIE finally looks at us as he begins to twist loose the lightbulb.  An ASSOCIATE is dousing the place in gasoline in the background.
JACKIE:  Shoulda never gone near Eddie's kid.  Can't have kids of my own, so I'm "Uncle Jackie" to my friends' families.  Very protective uncle, I am...
JACKIE:  Betcha you used to wonder how it'd feel, in that chair...

Panel 6 - Black panel.
JACKIE:  Gonna find out now...

Why the Darkness?

Because there are times, no matter what you do, you're screwed.

Jackie Estacado is a bastard from a long line of bastards. He grew up hard and mean, was a killer before he was legal, and was Don Franchetti's number one hitman by the age of 18.

He was also born into one hell of a curse. See, on said 18th birthday, Jackie became the next in line to host the immortal Artifact known as the Darkness.  It has been at war with the Angelus since Creation, and is the embodiment of the original Chaos that existed before.  The Darkness is passed on from the father to son as the son is conceived, killing the father to sleep within the son until the host is of age.

Which brings us to Jackie. 

Jackie has used his dark powers to climb the ladders of the criminal underworld in a trail of horror and bloodshed.  He killed his patrón (who had murdered his girlfriend, by the way), as well as anyone who stood in his way, established his reputation as a violent and ruthless murderer with the help of his minion-like Darklings, and even established a drug cartel after taking over the small island nation of Sierra Muñoz.

The Darkness also has a "one foot in one world, one foot in the other" complication.  The Darkness mated with the Angelus to créate the powerful Witchblade, a supernatural weapon that chooses its own female host to act as balance between the two.  This brings Jackie into a cosmic war that threatens to bring the universe to an early end if all 13 Artifacts are ever brought together.

And of course, a weapon this powerful also has a weakness - it can't work in the light, but can manipulate the shadows to créate a carapace-like armor, Darklings, tentacle/blades, even sentient slave creatures.  It can give Jackie anything he wants, which makes it Top Cow's ultimate monkey's paw:  be careful what you wish for...

You just may get it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Godland - Deify - Brian Manton

A man in a Goofy costume stands on an atoll, before a massed crowd of other Goofys.
He gives a riling speech.
The Goofys raise their arms and cheer. Some hold spears. One holds a six shooter.

Same scene watched from a distance. A silhouette of Mickey Mouse ears clue us to the viewer, though it sports some irregular piercings.

The Goofy congregation are attacked from all sides by an strike force of people in Mickey and Minnie Mouse costumes. The mouse heads are adorned with warpaint. Some hold savage Pluto attack dogs on leashes. The Plutos wear black spiked collars. These are all people in costume too. One of the Pluto’s costume heads is missing and we can see he is feral - foaming at the mouth.

Disneyland, in a post apocalyptic future. We see the entrance sign - the letters of Disney have been knocked away… the sign now reads GODLAND. Some iconic Disneyland rides can be seen in the background, with intimidating modifications. It’s all gone a bit Mad Max.

The mascots have formed into tribes and a fierce battle rages.

A dangerous looking Minnie Mouse stands in the foreground, sword held by her side. She holds up the decapitated head of a Donald Duck in triumph (it’s just the costume head. The guy is unconscious on the ground beside her.)

Friday, March 21, 2014

GODLAND - This Is Why We Can Never Go Anywhere Nice! - Niel Jacoby

Panel 1: Nickelhead is sitting sullenly in his lair, the skull of Basil Cronus in his tank next to him.




Panel 2: Nickelhead stands outside the gates to Disney Land, Basil's tank in one hand. Nickelhead is irate, shouting at the attendant.




Panel 3: Nickelhead is fleeing from a band of angry Floridians, with torches and pitchforks. We can see police, gang members, alligators, all sorts of shit.



G0DLAND - Getting Away From It All - R.A. Wonsowski

The story so the early days of Archer's ascendance, he is soon overwhelmed by the demands put upon him, by his government, by his newfound celebrity, and his family. All three slide into panic when Archer disappears. In fact Archer has taken to walking America's highways, and has most recently been traveling with a semi-driver that hauls freight and is known as a roaming preacher man, known colloquially as TRUCKER CHRIST.  TC is a portly middle-aged man, greying brown hair pulled into a ponytail through the back of his JESUS mesh baseball cap, and sporting a greyer ZZTop-style beard. He and ARCHER are wearing similar flannel shirts, jeans, and aviator shades. Fun fact: everyone mispronounces his name, and it's pretty much the only thing that gets him angry; it's Christ, rhymes with LIST.

Panel layout: 3 rows of 2

Panel 1 - TC starts the ignition of his big rig.  It's an old Mack, but the familiar bulldog has been replaced by the Virgin.  ARCHER climbs in the cab, shading his eyes from the sun as he watches other big rigs pull away (off-panel).

ARCHER:  Unbelievable...

TC:  Howzat?

ARCHER:  ...I guess I was just...I dunno...

Panel 2 - Through the windshield, we see both men buckle their seatbelts before hitting the road.  The back makeshift shelf of the cab is filled with stacks of National Geographics. TC smiles as he gestures to the yellow spines with his free thumb.

ARCHER:  ...not part of the stereotypical idea of the trucker in my mind...

TC:  Ha!  Thought I just had these fer the nekkid tribal women, didja...

Panels 3 & 4 are a bird's eye view of the truck stop they were at. The parking lot is full of big rigs, RVs, and cars.  Speech balloons are tailless.

Panel 3, TC's rig is about to pull into the highway; panel 4, it's moving down the freeway in front of the truck stop.

Panel 3 -

TC:  'dja use the restroom?

ARCHER:  ...uh, yeah...long way to the next stop?

TC:  Not my point.  Notice anything?

Panel 4 -

ARCHER:  That you have a knack for finding the cleanest bathrooms on I-80...

TC:  Ain't no knack, man. Simple rule of the roads.

TC:  We ain't nomads. We got homes, and we spend too much time away from'em.  So we look for places like home...

Panels 5 & 6 are another diptych. We are looking out the windshield of TC's truck.  Panel 5 is TC's half, he gestures as he drives, the steering wheel is his pulpit.  Panel 6, ARCHER leans against the door as he looks and listens to TC.  The open road speeds before them.

Panel 5 -

TC:  For most folk, that's a solid meal, a clean place to do our "heavy thinking", and community.  And for a lot of us, community means church.

TC:  And my church takes'em all, Christian, Jew, Muslim...shoot, I got a Sikh and a Maori Mormon I hook up with whenever I do the Alaska-Canada run.  All of us, I use the same word...

Panel 6 -

TC:  Transcendence.

TC:  We're all seeking out something better'n what we got, and examples of how to get it, and roadmaps tell us where we can find it.

TC:  All we differ on is what kind of man'll help us get there, and who'll set the tone for the Paradise we all seek for in our souls.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Godland – Just Can’t Win – MK Stangeland Jr.

(4 Panels)

Panel 1: Panel should be shaped as though it’s an image on a TV Screen. ADAM ARCHER is standing at a podium facing the camera in front of a press conference.

ARCHER (1): Therefore, since none of you people appreciate me anyway, I’ve decided to announce my retirement from the superhero business.

ARCHER (2): If threatens to destroy the world, yeah, I’m going to be there for my own sake, but until then, you people are on your own.

Panel 2: TV-style as in PANEL 1, but with the picture of ARCHER in the upper right corner as a news anchor sits at a desk.

ANCHOR (1): As of today, it was a month ago when Adam Archer, renowned Astronaut-turned-superhero, announced he was hanging up his tights.

ANCHOR (2): Astonishingly, since then the world has continued to turn more or less as it did prior to his fateful return from Mars. And by some peoples standards, the world manages to be safer now than it was when Adam Archer was on the job.

Panel 3: A dimly lit room as ADAM ARCHER sits slouched in a comfortable-looking chair, watching the TV from PANELS 1 and 2. He looks like he’s let himself go just a little and is frustrated by what he’s watching.

ANCHOR: In the meantime, sightings of Mr. Archer have been scarce, leaving those who aren’t glad he’s gone away wondering just where he’s been.

Panel 4: ADAM ARCHER is yelling angrily with his eyes closed at no one in particular. He accidentally causes the TV to explode in the process.



Monday, March 17, 2014

Godland - Casting a Wide Net - Grant McLaughlin

1 - In a scene similar to that of issue #2 where Basil Cronus hooks up to Maxim to get high off his blood, Basil is sitting on his "throne", a tube connected to his head jar.  The tube is filled with a rainbow substance, which is starting to colour the water his skull floats in (although we can't see what it's hooked up to).  Two minions stand on either side of his chair.  Also, let's have his word balloons be all bendy with colourful borders (also similar to that scene).

CRONUS (1): Ohhhhh yeah...

CRONUS (2): This is unreal!

2 - The rainbow mixture continues to rise in his headjar.  Basil's skull starts to rotate upside down, his robot body puts a hand to his headjar, as if trying to steady himself.

CRONUS: It's the deepest insights mixed with the most foolish inanities.

3 - The headjar is completely filled with rainbow substance, with more continuing to come through the tube.  Basil's skull rotates to look behind him and away from the reader.

CRONUS: Not to mention some of the basest depravities I could ever dare to imagine.

4 - Pull out a bit - Basil is hooked directly into the a computer, which is hooked into the internet.  He leans forward, firmly gripping the throne handgrips.  Some black liquid is coming through the pipe, although it hasn't reached Basil's headjar yet.

CRONUS: I seriously should have tried toking right off the internet long before now!

5 - The black has hit the headjar, filling it with a dark, murky substance.  Basil starts panicking, clawing at the pipe connecting to his headjar to try to dislodge it.  His minions (who have been standing calmly in the background) start freaking out, one moving to help take out the pipe and the other heading towards the computer.  Have Basil's word balloons lose their bendyness and perhaps go dark to reflect the substance.

CRONUS: Oh crap, I'm getting a troll!  CTRL-Z!  CTRL-Z!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Godland - Reply - Ben Rosenthal

1.  Exterior of The Infinity Tower.


2. Close up of Adam Archer from the shoulders up.  His hand rests on his chin, deep in thought.

NEELA (outside of room)
There's no use hiding in there all day.  You have to respond to those law suits!

3.  Pane out - Adam is on the toilet, law suits in his hand, crumpled up up and about to be used as toilet paper.

I'm about to respond to them right now.

Why Godland?

Have to level with you - I've never heard of Godland, nor read it.

That's what I love about Thought Balloons - it introduces me to stories that I would not normally have found.  
If you have not heard of Godland either, here is run down:

The main character of the series is astronaut Adam Archer. As the sole survivor of an ill-fated journey to Mars, Adam Archer meets the alien entities known as the Cosmic Fetus Collective, who transform him into a cosmic being and instruct him in the uses of his new powers. Archer is sent back to Earth as the first human to be touched by universal enlightenment.
The series starts four years later. Archer has become a famous superhero, but is distrusted by government and the public. The military have provided him with a base, Infinity Tower, from where Archer and his three sisters, Neela, Angie and Stella, protect the Earth from the invasion of robot zombies. Neela, an astronaut and military commander, resents that her brother's powers overshadow her own talents and that she is forced to keep an eye on him instead of pursuing her own career. Angie, a fighter pilot, is a rebellious spirit, while Stella, who oversees communication with her brother, is clear-headed and rational.
Adam has saved the world from an alien invasion, only to be met with distrust and lawsuits. Archer has become annoyed with humanity's distrust of him and their worship of superhero Crashman, but Maxim is about to show him more about his origin.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lego - Every Time! - Brian Manton

High angle looking down at 3 Lego men.

A Lego Nicholas Hawksmoor

To his right (panel left) is a blue suited Lego Spaceman (series 1)

To his left (panel right) is a ginger-bearded Lego Robin Hood

They look upward in pride and awe.

Robin Hood: You’ve only gone and done it again, Hawksmoor. Bloody good work.

Opposite angle, looking up at Lego Westminster Abbey’s West Towers, constructed by Lego Hawksmoor. An impressive feat in Lego architecture.

On the three figures - panic & confusion! Some small Lego bricks fall into frame.


A gargantuan 4 year old child, dirty blonde hair and missing a front tooth, pounds into view behind the towers. We can see now that we are in his bedroom. His bedroom wallpaper provides a cityscape background. He posture is Godzilla-like.

The child-monster cracks off the right tower.

Close on the three as they look on in horror.

Hawksmoor: Noooooooo!

The child flies the tower section like a spaceship.

Child (linked): Spacesipp.

The three again. The Spaceman is cheering, arms raised. Robin draws his bow in fear, teeth gritted. Hawsmoor crumples to his knees and cries.

Spaceman: YEAHHH!

LEGO - Legoland Theatre Presents: MIRACLEMAN! - by R.A. Wonsowski

NOTE:  Writer's block struck me as well, so this week, I few ideas from Messr. Alan Moore.  Enjoy!


Rather than drawn, it would be supremely cool to see this actually built out of LEGO and photographed/shopped...

Panel 1 - Crisis at the Legoland Power Plant!  Lego TERRORISTS (3) have taken over the control room, carrying plasticky machine guns.  Lego PLANT WORKERS in hard hats have their u-shaped hands up as the plant is about to go critical.  Lego MIKE MORAN is tied up on the floor, as he looks to the door, plastiglass window with "Atomic" written on it observed in reverse.

BOSS TERRORIST:  We're the hippie, peace-loving nature-lovers!  And we will kill everyone and destroy everything if this plant isn't shut down!

MIKE MORAN:  ...k...K...

Panel 2:  An explosion of LEGO pieces, and in the middle of the panel, built out of red LEGO, is the Word:  KIMOTA!

Panel 3:  Lego MIRACLEMAN beats up the TERRORISTS, flying through the air in a flurry of fists.  The TERRORISTS cannot resist; the BOSS is flying toward us bloodied.

MIRACLEMAN:  Beware! I am loosely based on the creations of C.C. Beck!


Panel 4:  From between a Lego woman's legs, the round Lego head of Miracleman's BABY has crowned and burst through, smiling wide-eyed and mock-innocently, ready to be guided out of the birth canal by MIRACLEMAN's u-shaped hands...

MIRACLEMAN:  Behold!  The cosmic miracle of childbirth!

BABY:  VERY disturbing!

Panel 5:  Lego KID MIRACLEMAN, with a plastic pipe through his bloody torso, is about to destroy Lego MIRACLEMAN, but is caught unawares by a transformative explosion.


Sound FX:  kaBOOM!

KID MIRACLEMAN:  ...crap...

Panel 6:  Amidst the street rubble, Lego MIRACLEMAN, face in a tortured expression of anguish, has twisted off the head of Lego JOHNNY BATES (the boy alter ego of Kid Miracleman), which looks annoyingly surprised.  Lego BATES's headless body lies across MIRACLEMAN's lap, and is not wearing pants.

MIRACLEMAN:  I'm sorry...This is the only way to save London...and YOU, Johnny!


Panel 7:  The infamous (NSFW!) final pages of Miracleman #15, done entirely in LEGO, using scrap cloth, Tinkertoys, Hot Wheels cars, broken pieces of plastic, deli meat, whatever you can find - should look like Ted Bundy and Ed Gein's 4th grade diarama...


CAPTION:  So, guys, whaddaya think?

Panel 8:  The psychiatrist from Watchmen, DR. MALCOLM LONG, sits across a table from ME, holding up another Rorschach blot card.  Fellow THOUGHTBALLOONERS watch through the observation window.

DR. LONG:  And this one?

ME:  Some pretty flowers...

...seeya next week!

Friday, March 14, 2014

LEGO - Stuck - Niel Jacoby

Panel 1: Lego Batman is chasing Lego Joker through his lair.


Panel 2: Close on Lego Batman, as he smirks in triumph.


Panel 3: Robin pops out from behind a statue of Joker, and spurts a decidedly non-Lego superglue in Joker's path.


Panel 4: Batman and Robin stand with Commissioner Gordon as Joker tries in vain to move.


Inset panel: Batman deep in thought.


Panel 5: A police helicpter begins to lift the segment of Joker's lair that he is superglued to, with Lego bars placed around him. Joker is ticked.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lego - Block - J.D. Coughlan

Panel 1: The Lego Batcave set. In the chair in front of the Batcomputer sits a Lego version of me (JD). He is in fancy evening wear, and holds a Lego glass in his hand. He looks right at the reader.

JD: Good evening.

JD: Apologies to my colleague, Mr. Stangeland, but yes, this is another meta-script.

Panel 2: JD has risen from the chair and is now walking across the "set." If possible, we can already see the edge of a Lego pirate ship he is walking onto.

JD: I assure you, dear readers, my script for this week was going to be an awesome action-fantasy explosion multiplied by the infinity of ideas in every Lego set...

Panel 3: JD is now on the deck of the pirate ship, casually walking through a fight going on between two crews.

JD: You see, it was my birthday last week, and my sister said she'd get me some Lego.

JD: My script was going to be based on whatever set she got me.

Panel 4: Close up on JD. He swivels his claw-hands to make air-quotes, like Bad Cop does in the movie.

JD: But it's "arriving late" 'cause she bought it online.

Panel 5: JD now strolls through one of the Lego cities, people going about their business in the background.

JD: Am I just using that as an excuse for writer's block?


Panel 6: A crowd scene, with various types of Lego figures facing the reader. JD is front and centre.

JD: Rest assured, however, that no matter what set she got me -- superhero, space, pirate, city -- I shall be happy for it.

JD: And it will probably fire up my imagination, making my next few scripts amazing.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Lego - Building Blocks - Grant McLaughlin

Excuse my gross tardiness.  It seems stories about Lego are far harder to build than the playsets proper.  Oh, well.  I hope you enjoy.

1 - It's Christmas morning in the McLaughlin household.  Hard to say what year, but Grant can't be much older than 7 or 8.  His parents watch on from their easy chairs as Grant opens a big box.  Though still in the process of unwrapping the gift, he has gotten enough paper off to see that it's a Lego set (this one, let's say).  Grant looks overjoyed.

CAPTION: My parents have done a lot of great things for me

MOM AND DAD: Merry Christmas!

CAPTION: Buying me my first Lego set was certainly one of them.

2 - Maybe a small temporal jump.  Grant is building a Lego set with his Father - it's not necessarily the one he received in panel 1, but it isn't that long after either.  Lego pieces are everywhere, with a small whole coming into existence through their combined efforts.  Grant, holding onto the instructions, is the foreman of this operation, his father kind enough to humour him.

CAPTION: I wasn't the most innovative builder to ever wield the bricks.

GRANT: No, Dad!  The instructions say to do it this way!

3 - Yet another small leap.  Grant looks on at an amazing creation (this one, although not box art, obviously).  He holds the discovery ship and moves it as if it's floating underwater on some important mission.

CAPTION: And yet, even when following directions, those tiny little plastic pieces, ordered in the right way, would invariably add up to something amazing.

GRANT (quietly, small words in a balloon bigger than necessary to hold them): cool

CAPTION: A sum far greater than its individual parts.

4 - Grant, slightly older yet again, sits at the kitchen table, intently reading a book.  It's a chapter novel, without pictures or anything like that (if we're being historically faithful, probably something like this).  On the table, another Lego set (say, this one) lies, unopened.  Grant's Mother smiles at the unopened box, asking her son a question.

CAPTION: It's not unlike stories and their composite words in that way.

MOTHER: When are you going to open your new Lego?

GRANT: Soon, Mom.  Just gotta finish this chapter.

CAPTION: Fantastic totals constructed solely out of tiny base ingredients.

5 - Let's have one more time jump.  Repeat framing from panel 4, but Grant is now reading the instruction manual for a Lego set.  The box is open and pieces lie spread all over the table (it's this one).

CAPTION: Did I recognize those similarities while playing with the toy in my youth?

GRANT: Let's see...

CAPTION: Doubtful.

6 - Final time jump.  Grant (no older than 11 or 12) is playing with all the sets from the previous panels at the same time - each playing a role in the grand adventure that he's concocting as he plays.  The Star Wars gunship from panel 5 lies overturned some distance away from a town made up of the cowboy and Robin Hood playsets.  Various other sets (many not seen in earlier panels) lie between the town and the fallen ship.  Grant holds two figures who are talking (the active members of the cast, if you will).

CAPTION: But did it fuel some of my early spurts of creativity?

GRANT (1): The ship crashed in the far distance beyond the Evernight.  I don't know if we'll be able to get there in time to help, but we have to try!

GRANT (2): You're right.  Let's go!

CAPTION: Well, I can't imagine it hurt.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Lego – Apologies in Advance – MK Stangeland Jr.

(The entirety of this page should be done in a LEGO-esque art style. That is to say, everything should be drawn as if it were made out of appropriate Lego pieces.)

(8 Panels)

Panel 1: MK STANGELAND JR (seen here as a Lego minifigure) sits in front of his computer at his desk.

STANGELAND (1): Well I done goofed.

STANGELAND (2): And in about the most embarrassing way possible.

Panel 2: Similar to PANEL 1. STANGELAND looks like he’s panicking a little.

STANGELAND (1): I have no idea what to do for a script and I have to post one tomorrow.

STANGELAND (2): And it was my own dang pick this week, too!

Panel 3: STANGELAND looks like he’s deep in thought.

STANGELAND (1): How do I get out of this problem?

STANGELAND (2): Think think think…

Panel 4: STANGELAND has an idea, and looks excited about it.

Panel 5: Small montage of STANGELAND building something.

SFX: Click click click click click

Panel 6: Close up on STANGELAND’s face as he looks at what he’s built. There’s a glimmer of hope that his idea has worked.

Panel 7: Same as PANEL 7, but with a significantly less-thrilled look on his face.

Panel 8: STANGELAND stands in front of a wall of Lego bricks with the words “A SCRIPT” built into it.

STANGELAND: I have no idea why I expected that idea to have any other possible result.


Why Lego?

Because LOOPHOLES! Like Lego comics exist out there, and the rules allow a pick if it has a presence in comics. And how not only are their Lego comics out there, but there are also webcomics out there that prominently feature or use Lego.

Because LEGO MOVIE! The existence of which is the reason I am making use of said loopholes. And how it’s…a…well, it’s a thing where I’m really glad it’s a thing. Also, Lego Batman, if need be. Because that’s both a Lego thing and a comic thing. It’s absolutely both things at once.

Because MESSING WITH STUFF BEYOND THEIR…ORIGINAL…CONSTRUCTION! Yes, that. Like said loopholes. And Legos, which can be built and unbuilt and built again into all sorts of other things.

Because…reasons! And stuff!...where I probably should have thought this through more before I picked it. BUT IT’S HERE NOW! NO GOING BACK NOW!

SO…LEGO! THAT! Have at it!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lex Luthor - All Fall Down - Brian Manton

WARNING: This script contains MAJOR SPOILERS for House of Cards Season 2.

Wide. The White House

Inside the oval office, Lex Luthor stands before the desk of President Frank Underwood.

President Underwood sits relaxed, legs crossed. One hand at his chin, he looks bemused as he watches an iPad.

OTS view on the iPad. On the screen we see security camera footage that clearly shows the moment when Underwood pushed Zoe Barnes under a subway car.

OTS of Underwood, on Luthor.

I, of course, run my own personal CCTV networks in all major cities.

Underwood, looking at Luthor (OP). He smiles, not at all disturbed by this development.

Why Mr. Luthor, I do believe you must have a little bit of kryptonite for everyone.

Same shot as 5 but Frank has turned toward the camera and speaks to the viewer/reader. He looks more serious now. Determined.

There are times when it behooves you to let the other players think they have the upper hand.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lex Luthor – Spotless - Shaun Richens


Page wide panel. Int. A highly advanced Lexcorp research lab. The lab is vast and full of all manner of strange of impressive looking equipment and test stations. The lab is empty apart from Lex. He sits at the far end of the lab, his back to us.

To close the whole time. How could I not have seen it.

We pull in tight on the back of Lex. He is slumped over a workstation. His hands rest on the back of his head as Lex racks his mind.

How he must have laughed at me? Fooling me for all these years.

Still tight on Lex from behind. He now places a sleek silver helmet on to his head. A range of different coloured wires of various shapes and sizes spill from input and output inlets on the helmet.

I can't live with this. Not now. Not now I know.

Looking through Lex's eyes. Down at his hands that rest over the keyboard at the workstation. We can see the same types of wires coming out of the computer. The whole scene is bathed in the artificial blue glow of a monitor.


FlASHBACK PANEL. All in sepia tones. Lex is on his knees facing us, but not looking at us. His head hangs low facing the floor. One of his hands strokes a tear from his cheek. Clark Kent stands behind Lex, he wears his work suit, no glasses, his shirt half unbuttoned, we see the superman 'S'. Clark reaches out towards Lex, about to place his hand on his shoulder as a sign of comfort. Clark's face full of concern.

This can't be true. Not you Clark.

We're friends Lex. Superman... me, Clark. I've never been your enemy.

Back to lex in the lab. We on tight on Lex's finger, it hoovers over the enter key on the keyboard.

Now I see the truth. Kal-El and Kent, one and the same.

Close up on the computer screen. A text window is displayed on screen with a 100% full progress bar.

The text window reads:
All references to Clark Kent being Superman erased.

This terminal will hard reboot in ...15 seconds.

I'd rather be blind again.

Lex is unconscious slumped in the chair at the workstation. Superman stands at his side. A hand resting on his shoulder.

It's just you and me old friend.

I'll take you home.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lex Luthor - Epilogue - R.A. Wonsowski


TITLE/ CAPTION across the top of the page: Ten years from now...

Panel 1 - Interior, a white hospital hallway.  CLARK KENT is being led down the corridor by DR. WOLPER (the psychiatrist from Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns).  CLARK is wearing a simple light blue Oxford shirt and khakis, and he's shyly pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose as he listens intently to DR. WOLPER.  WOLPER is flipping through patient charts as he walks and talks.

DR. WOLPER:  ...keeping in mind, Mr. Kent, the years spent in near-catatonia, what that does physically and psychologically to a human being...

DR. WOLPER: be frank, we were doubtful of any progress whatsoever.

Panel 2 - Same POV in the hallway, DR. WOLPER pushes open a swinging panel door.  CLARK looks about to follow him.

DR. WOLPER:  But thanks to recent advances in psychopharmacology, as well as new research in creative media therapy, I would venture that Dr. Luthor's new schedule and program has been more successful than anticipated.

Panel 3 - Mid-shot, DR. WOLPER stands in the open door, gesturing CLARK to come in the room with his clipboard. CLARK looks apprehensive.

DR. WOLPER:  As you can see, the patient is responsive to stimuli, and can feed himself with the smallest of difficulty.

Panel 4 - Background, CLARK and DR. WOLPER entering the hospital rec room.  It is empty except for, midground, LEX LUTHOR.  He is sitting on a couch, dressed in bathrobe and pajamas.  His expression should be mildly vacant as he watches the cabinet TV in the foreground.  He is feeding himself a pudding cup with a spoon with a thick masking-taped handle, gripped overhand tightly like a child would.  On his forehead are two scarred burn points, side by side, a souvenir from his last encounter with his most hated enemy, a drop of drool at the corner of his mouth.

DR. WOLPER:  A far cry from his previous vegetative state, you'd agree?


Panel 5-7 are from the same POV: behind the couch with TV in view. CLARK and LEX should be silhouetted by the TV.

Panel 5:  CLARK sits down next to LEX.  On TV, Pinky and the Brain are facedown on the White House lawn, stars around their heads.


Panel 6:  CLARK and LEX watch as Pinky and the Brain dust themselves off.


Panel 7:  LEX seats his head on CLARK'S shoulder.  CLARK lowers his head, unable to reciprocate.  Pinky has put his arm around the Brain as they walk toward the Washington Monument at sunset.

LEX: (small text) poit.

Lex Luthor – Elseworlds: The Super-Man – MK Stangeland Jr.

In this alternate version of the DC Universe, KAL-EL was instead adopted by a childless JULES and ARLENE LUTHOR, who named him ALEXANDER – or LEX, for short.

(7 Panels)

Panel 1: LEX LUTHOR is in the sky over METROPOLIS - here he looks like SUPERMAN but with a somewhat ‘edgier’ and more technical look to his costume, as well as a different color scheme. The costume has much more of a red, white, and blue look as part of an attempt to play up a patriotic and American theme for publicity purposes, though there’s also a touch of yellow in the costume as well that should take on some kind of gold-colored tint.

In front of LUTHOR, being held out in front of him by the throat at arms length, is GENERAL ZOD. Both LUTHOR and ZOD look like they’ve taken a major beating, but ZOD looks far worse the wear.

LUTHOR: But above all else, Zod, you’ve exposed your greatest flaw to be a failure to think intellectually beyond destruction.

Panel 2: LUTHOR flies up into the sky, pulling ZOD alongside him – he’s secretly doing this so that he can continue to speak freely with him without worry of anyone accidentally overhearing him.

LUTHOR: If only your feeble mind had thought beyond that of conquest, you might have discovered there was a way to rule these people without lording over them. The way I do.

Panel 3: LUTHOR hovers in the sky about at the fringe of Earth’s atmosphere, where he’s as far away from the surface as possible without entering the actual vacuum of outer space. He hasn’t yet brought ZOD up from dragging him along behind.

LUTHOR (1): Without having to do anything, this planet welcomed me with open arms.

LUTHOR (2): And then I built a virtual empire through Luthor Innovations.

Panel 4: LUTHOR holds ZOD in front of him so that he can look ZOD in the face.

LUTHOR (1): If that wasn’t enough, these people practically worship me for ‘selflessly’ protecting them from dangers they could never withstand on their own.

LUTHOR (2): I could ask them for nearly anything and not only would they gladly give it to me, but they would thank me for giving them the opportunity to do it.

Panel 5: LUTHOR gives ZOD a piercing look in the face.

LUTHOR (1): I rule them, Zod, by making them want me.

LUTHOR (2): By making them need me.

LUTHOR (3): And you know what the best part is?

Panel 6: LUTHOR brings up ZOD in a backswing over his head as he prepares to throw ZOD back down towards Earth.

LUTHOR: Idiots like you only help to remind them just how much they need me in their frail, feeble little lives.

Panel 7: LUTHOR throws ZOD back down towards Earth’s surface with all his might.

LUTHOR: Thank you for that, by the way.



Monday, March 3, 2014

Lex Luthor - The Great Equalizer - Grant McLaughlin

Background: Lex Luthor has been up to all sorts of weirdness of late, investing into seemingly random projects, making strange public statements, and generally being unlike his regular self.  Superman, being the boy scout he is, has come to LexCorp Tower (which I assume is a thing) to see what's up.  Lex looks haggard - as if he hasn't slept, shaved, or done really anything to take care of himself.  Though the two are conversing, Lex has been talking past Superman for the better part of their interaction.

Also, because I can, this verison of LexCorp Tower is filled with Greek and Roman antiquities (and imitation antiquities) - figures of mythology grace every corner and aspect of its interior.

1 - Lex and Superman walk up a large staircase flanked with roman columns.  They are at the bottom of the stairs, the panel framed so they are walking away from the reader.

LEX LUTHOR: The moment you revealed yourself to the world, man became obsolete.

2 - Similar to panel 1.  Lex is attaining the top of the stairs, with Superman just behind him.

LEX LUTHOR: No one can soar to the greatest heights when a god literally flies above their heads.

3 - Lex and Superman continue to walk.  They pass by Bernini's David (of "and Goliath" fame), which casts a partial shadow on Lex.  There can be other art, but this is the one that is important to the panel.

LEX LUTHOR: I spent years trying to find the chink in your armor that would allow me to destroy you.  To rid the world of your impossible shadow.

4 - A large door that leads to a balcony lies ahead.  Curtains obscure any view of the outside world.  Superman finally takes some action, putting a hand on Lex's shoulder and forcing him to make eye contact.  Superman looks worried.  Lex looks tired.

SUPERMAN: Lex, what are you talking about?

LEX LUTHOR: You were right.  You've always been right.  I had set myself an impossible task.

5 - Lex pulls free and continues towards the balcony.  Superman pauses for a moment, looking after him.

LEX LUTHOR: You will never be brought down to man's level.

6 - They are onto the balcony.  We are outside.  Lex looks out to the world around them (and towards the reader), smiling an evil, satisfied grin.  He could even be partially obscured by shadow if you'd like.  Superman, in the background, does likewise, finally realizing what Lex has been talking about.  Superman is shocked and perhaps a little horrified by what he sees before him.

LEX LUTHOR: Fortunately...

7 - Pull back a good ways.  Lex and Supes can still be visible on that balcony, but they are not the focus of this panel.  No, the focus is the dozens and dozens of people who are flying about through the air.  Regular citizens, they are demonstrating pretty much all the powers of Superman - flight, super strength (maybe breaking parts of buildings off), lazer vision, ice breath, and whatever else you can fit in.  It's intense, it's everywhere, and it doesn't look to be going well thus far.

CAPTION (LEX LUTHOR): I've discovered how to raise him up to yours.