Sunday, August 30, 2015

Grendel – THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (5 Panels)

1.1:  Exterior, day, eight year old Christine Spar sitting on a park bench under a maple tree, drawing in an old-school marble notebook.  She holds one pencil and there is another sitting next to her.  Shadows from the tree fall across her.  She is at peace.

Christine (caption):  I feel the red thing before he even opens his mouth.

Bully 1 (off panel):  Hey Spar . . .

Christine (caption):  The red thing that tells me how to make the hurt go away.

1.2:  Three bullies, boys between the ages of eight and ten.  Bully 1, their alpha-male leader, is in the middle, larger than the others.  Bully 2 and Bully 3 stand at each side, subservient.  Bully 3 is pointing at Christine while he laughs.

Bully 1:  You gonna’ visit your crazy mother in the nut-house this weekend?

Bully 2:  Yeah!  Psycho mom!

Bully 3:  HA HA!

Christine (caption):  I laugh at them laughing at me.

1.3:  Christine’s face, smiling slightly.  Her head is downturned, like Private Pyle at the end of the first half of Full Metal Jacket.  There is a line of shadow going vertically across each eye, mimicking the classic Grendel mask.

Christine (caption):  They just can’t hear it yet.
Christine (caption):  They don’t know.

1.4:  Dynamic panel of Christine leaping at her tormentors, almost vertical to the ground, each hand raised over her head and clutching a pencil.  Bully 1 is recoiling in fear while his two minions run off in opposite directions.

Christine (caption):  So I tell them.

1.5:  The grass of the park, the shadow of Christine plunging the pencils into the eyes of Bully 1, blood spurting from the wounds.  On the ground is Christine’s open notebook, small drops of blood on the pages, and we can see what Christine was drawing: a pencil sketch of the Grendel mask, mirroring her face in Panel 1.3.

Christine (caption):  I tell them who my father is.


  1. Whoa. Now this is a page. Your pacing and foreshadowing is spot on here, Derek, with a great sense of composition. That slow build in the captions works perfectly and the final image ties it all together just right.

    1. Thanks Grant! I've wanted to write a Grendel page for over 25 years. My pick was a little bit selfish.


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