Friday, January 30, 2015

The Wonder Twins - Prog 1 - Ray Wonsowski

Ok, so this is one of those things where it may not be "done in one" like I thought. I may skip a week or two here and there, but I kinda have this planned out as a series of 2000AD style "progs" (in my head, like 6 to 8 page backups). Anyway, I'm researching Zan and Jayna, listening to 70s prog rock on Pandora, when Emerson Lake and Palmer's "Karn Evil 9" comes on, and all of a sudden I've come up with this for a beginning...

Prog 1 would be a new origin for the Twins. Out on the fringe-tip of the Milky Way's Sagittarian arm, there is an asteroid, traveling between the orbits of stars. Pipes, tubes, and vents crisscross and thread in and out of the asteroid. Picture Victorian England during the early Industrial Revolution meets Jules Verne's Master of the World, in space, kind of Toulouse Lautrec by way of H. R. Giger. Welcome to the mining colony of New Exor.

In one of the near-surface pockets is the entertainment crevice. It should look like part wild west traveling show, part fairground exhibition, part red light district, part prison.  It's closed for the night, a "cold and misty morning, when I heard a warning borne in the air". Black lights simulate night so the "exhibits" can sleep. Except for two...

PAGE 6 -

Panel 1 is a thin panel across the top, showing the row of cages, embedded in the rock walls, from a distance.

CAPTION: "Nightfall" on Exhibition Row.
CAPTION: ...not the time to lose your nerve, Zan...

Panel 2 - Two cages, side by side.  ZAN is on the left, hugging the wall and grasping the cage bars, unsure.  JAYNA is on the right, but she's trying to reach her brother. Her left eye is sporting a bruise and she's losing patience.  Both are in tattered and dirty purple outfits reminiscent of trapeze artists, revealing quite a bit of skin, as if to highlight their muscled physiques (keeping in mind, they both were raised as child labor in the mines; they should both have triangular "branding" scars on their breast bones as reminders of their slave days).

ZAN: I'm not! It's just...
JAYNA: Don't. Just get me to a ship, and I can pilot us anywhere. We'll never get another chance like this, the handlers this drunk.

Panel 3 - Close-up on their hands, grasping each other, as if gaining strength from one another. Their fingertips glow violet with power.

ZAN: All or nothing, sister...
JAYNA: Activate.

Panel 4 - ZAN turns to water and falls to the floor, causing whatever circuitry that was under the floor to spark and short.

ZAN: We're going to get killed...
JAYNA (off-panel): Jam it, Zan.

Panel 5 - Black.


Panel 6 - Black. Tailless balloons are from two HANDLERS fumbling in the dark.

HANDLER 1: Wha'happened?
HANDLER 2: How the gleek should I know? Turn on your torch.

Panel 7 - Large panel, lower third of the page. The HANDLERS, foreground, both have handheld spheres in their left hands, shock prods in their rights, bathing the space in purple light, their fear palpable. Out of a mist that has the faint facial features of ZAN, stalks a giant manticore bearing the grinning face of JAYNA.

JAYNA: Welcome back, my friends...


  1. Colour me intrigued, Ray! I like that you keep pushing yourself and am eager to see where it all goes.

    Also: page 6??

    1. Page 6...yeah, knowing that this was the set up, I knew that the first "prog" would be a lot of world-building: establishing the hard life of a mining colony like New Exor, what passes for entertainment in a society like this, and the slave background of the twins. I thought it was more important to feature their escape from their lot, rather how they may have suffered. 6.

      The progs won't be back to back like The Madding Crowd, but every time the pick works, you bet Z&J will be back. Thanks for letting me stretch my wings with this stuff!


Feedback is what every good writer wants and needs, so please provide it in the white box below
If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.