Monday, August 31, 2015

Grendel - Country Living - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Brian, a city-slicker turned recent-farmer, is out in his field, working the soil with a hoe.  The field appears to be mostly dirt, with little to no vegetation to be seen.  Brian's at least dressed for the part, although his clothing still looks relatively newish.  It's a hot one and Brian has been working all day - he's one tired guy.  A shadow coming from off-panel hints at an oncoming person.

CAPTION (BRIAN) (1): My Dad always talked about how great it was growing up in the country.

CAPTION (BRIAN) (2): Being out in the fresh air.

CAPTION (BRIAN) (3): Working the land.

CAPTION (BRIAN) (4): The satisfaction of living off your labour.

STACY (off-panel): I told you this was a bad idea.

2 - Brian takes a moment to rest and wipe his brow, perhaps using his hoe for support with the other hand.  Stacy, Brian's wife, comes onto panel, mad as heck.  She's dressed like a city-slicking fashionista - her outfit looks great but is completely inappropriate for the farm.  It's evident she's never done a day of work in her life and isn't about to start.

CAPTION (BRIAN): He failed to mention how back breaking the labour is.

STACY: You said it would be a new start.  A chance to get away from the dirt of the city.

good change of scenery.  A fresh start, away from the city.

3 - Stacy knocks the hoe from Brian's hand to the ground.  She continues to yell at him.  Brian is sad, but perhaps resigned to the outburst.

CAPTION (BRIAN): How stubborn the land can be.

STACY: But it looks to me like we traded one type of dirt for another.  And this one only grows weeds.

4 - Stacy turns to walk away.  Brian leans down to pick up the hoe, his face obscured.

CAPTION (BRIAN): And how air - no matter how fresh - will do nothing to ease the sting of disappointment.

STACY: My mother was right.  You're a bum and following you out here was a mistake.

5 - Stacy continues to walk away.  Brian has picked up the hoe, brandishing it as a weapon, a look of furious anger on his face.

CAPTION (BRIAN): But you know what they say.

STACY: Goodbye, Brian.

6 - Aerial shot.  We're looking down at the farm - classic farmhouse, dirty laneway, probably a barn, maybe a grainery, shed, or what-have-you.  We're far enough out (and perhaps angled) so that we can't see Brian or Stacy.  But we can see the field, which as said, is mostly dirt.  However, the weeds that are growing form a clear pattern of Grendel's mask.

CAPTION (BRIAN): As you reap, so shall you sow.


  1. This is a really original take on Grendel. While it ended in presumed violence, using the barren land as a metaphor works very well. The only "criticism" I'd make is that Stacy's dialogue is a little trite and predictable, the "nagging wife" trope. Maybe have her use a little more subtext so Brian's rage is almost a surprise - well, as much of a surprise as a page of Grendel can be!

    1. That's a fair cop re: Stacy's dialogue. I was under the gun and didn't spend enough time fine tuning it, so it came off a little too on the nose. I'm glad the rest of it landed for you though; I'm not overly familiar with the character so I wasn't sure it would.


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