Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes – Power Overwhelming – MK Stangeland Jr.

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: A SUPER ADAPTOID is out in space. It bears the visual hallmarks of some of Earth’s most powerful superhumans.

Panel 2: SUPER ADAPTOID is looking ‘up’ at someone – a shadow cast over it matches the form of GALACTUS.

Panel 3: SUPER ADAPTOID looks to be trying to copy the ‘power’ of GALACTUS – its body is taking on some of the physical features of GALACTUS.

Panel 4: Something has gone wrong – SUPER ADAPTOID is recoiling over as signs of overpowering energy seep out its joints and other appropriate point.

Panel 5: An explosion erupts from SUPER ADAPTOID as it is unable to handle the power it has been trying to copy.

Panel 6: SUPER ADAPTOID lies out in space, deactivated and heavily damaged from the power overload. GALACTUS passes on by, paying the fallen robot no mind.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - Expectations - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Captain America walks cautiously through an enormous room in an A.I.M. facility.  The room is filled with computer consoles and all the things you would expect, but everything is completely covered by flora and fauna that is wrong, potentially not of this world.  It's like a Lovecraftian jungle has invaded their HQ.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA) (1): There should be A.I.M. scientists and soldiers everywhere.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA) (2): Not... whatever this is.

2 - Inset panel.  A small bug / reptilian creature is climbing up Cap's boot / leg.

LETTER NOTE: If you can, have Cap's second caption be near this part of the image.

3 - The creature is now on Cap's leg.  It stabs him with a terrible stinger-thing.  Background could be red to emphasize the pain.


4 - Cap is on the ground, one hand nursing his leg (which is already swelling up) and the other to his head.  A shadow approaches from off-panel, its source unclear.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA): Too late, I realize my mistake.

5 - On Cap's eyes.  They stare out at the reader, red and without pupils (maybe bleeding?).  A shape is reflected in his eyes, but it's vague and indistinct.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA): So focused on seeing one problem...

6 - Back on Cap nursing his (even more swollen) leg.  A huge, monstrous creature is right in front of him.  It's made up of bodies of A.I.M agents, stacked and shambling one into another in a way that's impossible to tell where one ends and the next begins.  It's not a pretty sight.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA): I missed the one staring me in the face.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - The Artist - Charlotte Joyce Kidd

1 – Faceless, roughly drawn man lies naked at the bottom of some kind of pit, surrounded by dark foliage.

MAN: Oh God, what am I doing here?

2 – Sits up, looks around.

MAN: I’m in some kind of undergrowth. A jungle, maybe? Why am I all messed up?

3 – Close up of man in the dark.

MAN: Where’s the light? How did I get here? Was I drunk last night?

4 – Man looks up.

MAN: Or was it you? Yeah, you! What, you didn’t think I knew you were up there?

5 – A giant pencil appears above the man’s head.

MAN: Get your shit together, buddy.

As an added bonus, Charlotte graced us with her personal rendition of the script:

Why Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes? - Charlotte Joyce Kidd

Because the world of comics is still a foreign one to me. I’m less than a tourist, I’m someone looking in a window onto a world that intrigues me, that I want to keep watching, but that I don’t necessarily know how to step into.

The first time I read a comic book was at a Best Western motel on a road trip with my parents. I must have been eight or nine. The Best Western had some kind of cross-promotional thing going on where kids who stayed at the hotel got a comic book and a disposable camera. I can’t remember what I took pictures of – in fact, I can’t even remember where we were going on that road trip – but I still remember the comic book. It stuck with me. I think there must have been some oversight or else poor decision making on the part of Best Western marketing management, because the comic book was one where Batman and Superman fought over Lois Lane, and it was sexy and dangerous in a way that clearly indicated that I was not its target audience. I felt the same way, reading it, as I did when I accidentally stumbled upon (and read cover to cover) a paperback teen drama in my elementary school library: that I was getting away with something, that unbeknownst to the adults, I was educating myself in the ways of a world that I didn’t yet understand.

And I guess I’ve felt that way about comics ever since. They exist in a sort of parallel universe, and though they’re all unique, they share a common language of fantasy without the loss of logic. People who read comics don’t just read them, they’re knowledgeable about them. They trace evolutions in characters, art and themes. They know who the masters are. As evidenced by Marvel’s current push toward diversity, they care about their world and even self-police it – make sure it’s a place with a conscience. I admire these citizens, but I’m not one of them.

So when I saw this series of collagesby Ashkan Honarvar, I was intrigued by them. They’re full of superheroes as confused by themselves as I sometimes am by them, wandering through dark foliage, fighting many-limbed faceless creatures and wandering what it’s all about. I get these heroes. I want to know their stories.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Just Imagine - Amethyst, Exile of Gemworld - P. A. Nolte

1/ A young woman looking cautiously over her shoulder as she walks down the street.  Behind her, not entirely visible, is a large man at an uncomfortable proximity and gaining.  It's no secret what happens to attractive blondes in bad parts of town at night, and it looks like it might happen again.

Amy (Cap): After the dreams stop, everything will go back to normal.

Amy (Cap): No more swords.  No more sorcery.  No more Gemworld.

2/ She ducks into a nearby alley.

Amy (Cap): At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

3/ The man follows, but is surprised to discover that the girl, Amy, has vanished.

Thug: Huh?

4/ Blocking the exit to the street is Amethyst.  She is no longer bundled up, but encased in a form-fitting stone armor.  Crystals jut out along her forearms and at her shoulders.  Her face is covered by a stone helmet, featureless save for the two gemstones where her eyes should be.  In her hand is a glowing sword hewn from the same unidentifiable mineral as the rest of her suit.  The image she projects is overwhelmingly powerful, and overwhelmingly purple.

Amethyst: You looked like the type.

Amy (Cap): But maybe it's time to admit--

Amy (Cap): I don't want to be normal again.

5/ She holds her sword up in front of her.  In the blade, we can see the true form of the thug, a hideous ogre, reflected back at him.

Amethyst: Let's dance.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Just Imagine – IN A FLASH – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (6 Panels)

1.1:  Interior, an interstellar science lab floating through space.  Mercury Man, our Stan Lee re-Imagined version of the Flash, is running on his Cosmic Treadmill.  His costume is still red, but now his entire face is covered and there are thin lightning bolts radiating out from the larger one in the center of his chest, calling to mind a slightly Spider-Manish look and feel.  There are the beginnings of Kirby Krackle forming around the treads of the Cosmic Treadmill, Mercury Man’s legs a blur.

Caption:  Hold on tight, True Believers!  The Mercury Man is on his Cosmic Treadmill - - who knows where his super-speed will send him sailing!

1.2:  Mercury Man running even faster on the Cosmic Treadmill, reality opening before him.  We can see the New York Skyline of the 1960’s through the Kirby Krackle-lined hole.

Caption:  Behold!  His tertiary tramplings have torn a tear through time!

1.3:  Mercury Man running through the hole in reality as seen from the ground in 1960’s New York City.  He’s approaching through the sky, heading toward a crowded street lined with pedestrians in stereotypical 1960’s garb.  There are a lot of hats.

Caption:  The fabric of space ripped open, the Scarlet Speedster hurls himself through, into the chilly autumn night of New York City!

1.4:  Mercury Man standing on the street, hunched as he’s in the process of standing, while people gather around and a police officer approaches.  Steam rises from the Mercury Man, the remnants of his journey through dimensions.

Caption:  Little do the denizens of this downtown den of democracy know that the Mercury Man moves not of his own accord, but at the behest of his master. 

1.5:  Mercury Man standing, easily a head taller than everyone around him.  The hole that he travelled through is larger now, and, having just passed through it, is our “Just Imagine” universe version of the world eater Galactus.

Caption:  For he is a herald of the New God . . .

1.6:  Galaktus standing above the New York skyline, his helmet removed, revealing the face of Darkseid!!!!
Caption:  GALAKTUS!!!!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Just Imagine - A Time to Reap - R.A. Wonsowski

Panel 1- Interior of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. Background, around and on top of the altar, numerous bodies covered in bloodied sheets. Foreground, two plainclothes detectives, HARVEY BULLOCK and JOHN JONES. BULLOCK is smoking his cigar inside the church, JONES is opening a file.

BULLOCK: Did I hear right?
JONES: Twenty-three bangers. Used to meet here 2 in the morning as a distribution point. All dead.
BULLOCK: Any suspects?

Panel 2- Over the detectives' shoulders, we see a surveillance photo from above. A big bruiser of a man, African-American with close-cropped hair, dressed all in black body armor, a hand-painted white question mark on his best front. He's carrying a large automatic machine gun with a belt feed.

JONES: 21st century, cameras everywhere. Victor Van Der Van. Ex-marine. Pregnant wife killed in a drive-by, no arrests.

Panel 3- Background, JONES still reading from the file, holding out a plastic evidence bag with a sheet of paper in it. Foreground, BULLOCK pulling back one of the sheets, ashing his cigar in the dead banger's face.

BULLOCK: He must've done that job last night on Lex. Same M.O.
JONES: Now he's leaving notes.

Panel 4- BULLOCK reading the note through the bag with an expression of distaste. JONES closes the file.

BULLOCK: "How do dirtbags get to Heaven? When they're hole-y." Wow, that's awful.
JONES: Media's already got hold of it. Some idiot on Facebook gave him a nickname and it stuck...

Panel 5- TV screen with Van Der Van's military photo, from a news broadcast. Banner across the bottom has local news logo, local weather, and reads: ST. PATRICK'S MASSACRE - Who is the Riddler?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Just Imagine - Wide-Eyed-Wonder - Charlotte Joyce Kidd

1 – A city street on Halloween night. It’s dark but light spills onto the sidewalk from the open door of a bar. As Wonder Woman walks by, a young woman dressed as Wonder Woman almost stumbles into her.

GIRL: Hey, we’re wearing the same costume!

WONDERWOMAN: Watch where you’re going.

2 – Wonder Woman walks away. She starts to pull her coat on.

WONDERWOMAN (thought): God, I hate Halloween. That get-up wasn’t even remotely accurate. Every year, these silly girls --

The thought is interrupted by a scream off-panel.

3 – Outside the bar again, a man has his arms wrapped around the girl.

GIRL: Get off me!

MAN: C’mon sweetie, you’re wearing the costume...

4 – WW drops her coat, runs back to the bar, and has thrown the attacker to the ground before he knows what’s happening.

5 – WW reaches out to help the girl up.

WONDERWOMAN: Are you okay?

GIRL: Yeah, I’m fine. Thank you so much.

WONDERWOMAN: Well, we’re wearing the same costume. What’s your name?

6 – The girl takes WW’s hand.

GIRL: I’m Diana. What’s yours?

WONDERWOMAN: Maria. Nice to meet you.

Writer-in-Residence - Charlotte Joyce Kidd

You didn't think we forgot, did you?

Perish the notion!  Good things come to those who wait, and I'm thrilled to introduce another goody for our readers, our next Writer-in-Residence, Charlotte Joyce Kidd!  Charlotte is a talented prose writer whose work I've admired for a good while.  In particular, I've always appreciated her precise diction: every word carefully selected for a specific purpose.  Their purpose may vary, her words invariably draw you in - but rarely in the direction that you're expecting.

I'm quite eager to see how she brings that style to the comic book genre.  Thankfully, she was just as eager to try her hand at the challenge.  Let's give her a warm welcome and see what she comes up with.

Should you (understandably) be interested in checking out her prose, some of her work can be found at her blog as well as at Word and Colour.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Just Imagine - Marvelous - Grant McLaughlin

1 - On the statue of Liberty.  Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel Jr. (also known as Billy Batson, Mary Batson, and Freddie Freeman) are sitting on the statue's crown, looking out over the water / city.  Longshot, with the focus more on the statue than the Marvels.

BILLY BATSON: "The Marvel Family in New York."

2 - On Captain Marvel and company sitting on the crown.  Closer in, we can see they're happy and relaxed, clearly pleased with themselves / the world.

BILLY BATSON (1): It sounded like a wacky idea.

BILLY BATSON (2): But now that we're here...

3 - On Captain Marvel.  Closer still, he grabs Mary and Freddie and hugs them close, the familial feeling strong.  They all smile broadly.

BILLY BATSON: It just feels right.

VOICE (off-panel): Sorry to burst your bubble...

4 - Switch angle.  On a good chunk of the Marvel Comics Captain Marvel family: Mar-Vell, Monica Rambeau, Genis-Vell, Phyla-Vell, Nor-Varr, Carol Danvers, and even Kamala Khan.  Carol is the de facto leader / is at the front of the group.  They look to be in various states of unhappy and unimpressed.  The Marvel Family's expressions probably can't be seen, but suffice it to say they are surprised.

CAROL DANVERS: But it's been done.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Just Imagine – Trial of the Martian Manhunter! – MK Stangeland Jr.

(A JUDICIAL ENFORCMENT & PURSUIT OFFICER MK-OMEGA UNIT, the nanobot android better known as the ‘MARTIAN MANHUNTER’ was sent to EARTH by a totalitarian regime on MARS to hunt down and eliminate remnants of rebels who have sought refuge on the planet.)

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: High atop an under construction skyscraper, where MARTIAN MANHUNTER has located the leader of the Martian Rebel Refugees, JONN ZONJ’JU.

ZONJ’JU: Do what you will. I’ll die before I’ll betray the others.

Panel 2: MARTIAN MANHUNTER’s arm is extended, pointed at ZONJ’JU. The hand at the end shifts in an angular, square-like pattern as to ‘create’ a space gun in his hand.


Panel 3: The gun in MANHUNTER’s hand has rotated around as he offers the weapon to ZONJ’JU.


Panel 4: ZONJ’JU is left speechless as he looks at MANHUNTER.

Panel 5: MANHUNTER continues to look at ZONJ’JU as he holds the weapon out, free for ZONJ’JU to take at any time.





Panel 6: ZONJ’JU has the gun in his hand, though it is unclear what is going through his mind.





Why Just Imagine?

Because Stan Lee himself is too important a guy to waste on just any old pick.

It’s more true a statement than you might imagine. Because yeah, Stan Lee’s a big deal. And when I was considering who to pick this week, I was ready to settle on Stan Lee himself, in spite of second thoughts I had on using him just for any old week. And then an alternate option came up that allows for the spirit of Stan Lee while still saving Stan Lee himself for a more important occasion.

If you’re not familiar with it, the “Just Imagine Stan Lee” series is Stan Lee officially taking some of DC’s biggest characters and reimagining them in his own style. This, from the man who built the Marvel Universe, and it got its own special miniseries where his name takes precedent over the iconic characters he’s re-writing.

Because as comics go, Stan Lee actually is that big a deal.

Thus, your mission this week is as follows: Pick a Marvel or DC character, then – in the spirit of Stan Lee – re-imagine that character in the style of the other company. If you want to write about Spider-Man, tell us in a single page what you think he’s look like if he’d been created at DC. Interested in writing about Blue Beetle and Booster Gold? Just imagine how they might look as part of Marvel’s line up. Have a hankering to do something with the Fantastic Four? Show us what they’d look like as part of the DC universe.

Want to write about Deathstroke? Just write a Deadpool page.

I kid, I kid.

In all seriousness, though, if you’ve ever wondered what your favorite character might look like if they were a staple working for the other side, here’s your chance to show it off, live the dream, and just imagine like you’re Stan Lee - EXCELSIOR!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Little Nemo in Slumberland - Arsetz - P. A. Nolte

1/ Nemo in bed.

Caption: One night, after many failed attempts, Morpheus sent one of his most trusted advisors to deliver Nemo to Princess Camille.

Caption: But Arsetz was not the same as the others.  He did not reveal himself through conventional means.

2/ Nemo wakes as he sinks through the bed, the sheets and covers getting pulled down into the dark along with him.

3/ Nemo has dropped through the bed and into, ... the night sky?  His sheets tumble downward, but Nemo instinctually spreads out his arms in an attempt to fly.  At the same time, a small bird arrives to speak with him.  Dark clouds are gathering.

Arsetz: Little Nemo!  The King's daughter, Princess Camille, has requested your presence.

Nemo: The princess?!

4/ The dark clouds are overwhelming now.  One of them emits a bolt of lightning that strikes Nemo.

Nemo: Oh no!


5/ Singed, he drops like a rock into the waters of the murky lake below.

6/ Underwater, a fish tries to speak with him.  Like with the bird, Nemo is too engrossed in his adventure to pay much attention.

Arsetz: Little Nemo!  Wait!  You mustn't get lost in the Forest of Nascent Dreams!  It's too wild!

7/ Nemo crawls out of the lake.

8/ As he does, ominous laughter sounds over his shoulder.

SFX: Ha Ha Ha!

9/ Nemo runs through the forest at the edge of the lake.  A squirrel, Arsetz in disguise, tries to match his pace and call out to Nemo.

Arsetz: Little Nemo!  Please!  If you don't stop running you'll--

10/ Nemo is hanging off the foot of his bed, as if he tripped and fell, but found sheets and pillows instead of foliage and underbrush.  His mother is chastising him.

Mother: Wake up, Nemo!  You don't want to be late for your test!

Caption: Maybe tomorrow night, Little Nemo...

Friday, September 18, 2015


Page 1 – (9 Panels)

Layout is a traditional 9-Panel grid, which the reader will read like a backwards “S”, as follows: Top Row – Panel 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3; Middle Row – Panel 1.6, 1.5 and 1.4; Bottom Row – Panel 1.7, 1.8 and 1.9.  Each panel will also have its corresponding reading order (1, 2, 3 etc.) written in one of the corners, old-school style.

1.1:  Interior, Nemo’s bedroom, night.  Nemo is asleep, dreaming away.  A night sky filled with stars is visible out his window.

Silent Panel

1.2:  Same as Panel 1.1, only now Nemo’s “dream-self” is floating out of his corporeal frame and gliding across the gutter into Panel 1.3.

Silent Panel

1.3:  Exterior, night, the Castle of the Dream King, Morpheus from the classic Neil Gaiman series The Sandman.  The remainder of the story takes place in the Dreaming.  This panel contains the top half of the castle, the bottom half in Panel 1.4.  The top half of Nemo is in this panel, floating over from Panel 1.2.  He’s also falling through the gutter that separates Panel 1.3 and Panel 1.4, drawing the reader’s eye down.

Silent Panel

1.4:  The bottom half the Castle of the Dream King from Panel 1.3, Nemo’s bottom half about to land, coming over from Panel 1.3.

Morpheus (caption):  I have called you many times, Little One. 

1.5:  Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, standing at the beginning of a path, a swirling geometry of bricks like the start of the “Yellow Brick Road” in The Wizard of Oz.  He is regal, wearing a dark tattered cloak, his hands resting at his sides.  Nemo is approaching him from the right, the path trailing off to the left.

Morpheus:  And I know you heard my summons.  Your gifts are too powerful for you to not have been alerted.

Nemo:  But why do you need me, Sir?

1.6:  The continuation of the path from Panel 1.6, Nemo and Morpheus walking across the gutter to the remainder and end of the path Panel 1.7.

Morpheus:  You live in a world of miracles, and thus dreams have become too commonplace.  Every moment of your life has become a waking dream. 

Morpheus:  When you walk into my world, into my kingdom, you are no longer impressed.

Nemo:  What does that mean?  “Impressed”?

1.7:  The end of the path from Panel 1.6.  Unlike the start in Panel 1.5, the path ends abruptly, the bricks overgrown and taken over by the grass.  The bottom halves of Nemo and Morpheus are walking the path, approaching the end, coming over from Panel 1.6.

Morpheus:  You no longer believe in magic, Nemo.  Would you like to remember?

Nemo:  I sure would!

1.8:  What waits at the end of the path - the Corinthian!  The Corinthian stands, dapper in a beige linen suit, hair slicked back.  He is holding his sunglasses in his hand, revealing his tooth lined eye sockets.  All three mouths are smiling.  Morpheus stands in the foreground, beckoning Nemo to go toward the Corinthian.

Morpheus:  Then you must become a nightmare.

1.9:  Nemo, tiny, floating into the open mouth-eye of the Corinthian.  He will be consumed and become the new Corinthian, a being made out of nightmare-stuff.

Morpheus (caption):  I believe you know the Corinthian.



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Little Nemo in Transmetropolitan - R.A. Wonsowski

Panel 1- LITTLE NEMO is shocked and cornered in bed by SPIDER JERUSALEM, grinning like a Cheshire cat with a cigarette between his teeth.

NEMO: Wh-wh-who are YOU?
SPIDER: Why, I'm your Uncle Spidey. I have all sorts of sights to see.

Panel 2- long shot of a Gothic hospital, a rainbow aura surrounding it against a grey sky. An ambulance is in front of a door, two orderlies escorting a straightjacketed figure inside. NEMO and SPIDER walk up the drive hand in hand to it in conversation.

NEMO: What is this place?
SPIDER: Welcome to the Hillary Clinton Hospital for the Politically Insane. Let's take the nickel tour...

Panel 3- In a rec room filled with drooling catatonics, a buxom blond showing a lot of leg and stretching a Fox News t-shirt to the breaking point is strapped to a wheelchair, getting an injection from an elephant in a nurse's uniform. A man in a suit clutching a CNN mike is strapped to a gurney getting tied off for his injection from a donkey also dressed as a nurse. Both reporters have expressions of orgiastic euphoria plastered on their faces. NEMO and SPIDER can be seen walking by in an open doorway.

NEMO: Are they getting medicine?
SPIDER: No, silly boy! They're getting the disease, which they will spread through the magic of televised punditry.

Panel 4- a Rube Goldberg designed bathroom. A corporate businessman sits on a toilet, pants around his ankles and reading the New York Times, with an oversized tank behind him with MONSANTO stencilled on it. The coiling pipe from the bowl leads to an outhouse that looks like the Capitol building. NEMO and SPIDER peek over from another stall to spy. A mouse in the corner holds a small placard.

(from inside outhouse): YAY!!
NEMO: B...but why?
SPIDER: So that they, in turn, can shit all over us! It's how you get all those fancy schoolbooks, and yet learn absolutely nothing!
MOUSE PLACARD: Know your school board!

Panel 5- what looks like a cheap hotel room. Lady Liberty and some fat guy are getting it on under the bedsheets. Liberty looks bored and lights a cigarette as the fat guy finishes. SPIDER covers NEMO's eyes as they walk by.

SPIDER: Nothing to see here except a lazy metaphor!
NEMO: You said there'd be pie!

Panel 6- NEMO has fallen out of bed. He sits on the floor, visibly shaken, hair mussed, trying to light a cigarette.

(from outside the bedroom): What's going on in there?!

Inset panel lower right corner of page. WINDSOR MCCAY glares at WARREN ELLIS, who takes a pull from a hip flask.

MCCAY: You're a sick man.
ELLIS: You started it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Little Nemo in Slumberland – Not All Dreams Are As Sweet – MK Stangeland Jr.

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: NEMO, in classic style, is walking through the deserted street of his home city. The direction he’s walking towards shows hints of something else on the horizon.

TEXT: I walked through a dream of a land far away,

Panel 2: NEMO approaches what appears to have once been SLUMBERLAND. It looks rather abandoned, the full extent of the damage is not quite clear yet.

CAMILLE: (Off-Panel, minimized) nemo…

TEXT: A place I knew well in my youth,

Panel 3: The full extent of the devastation wrought upon SLUMBERLAND is clear – the place looks like someone effectively destroyed it, though it continues to persist for unknown reasons. Longstanding characters – minus PRINCESS CAMILLE – are lying about the ground, fallen but without signs that they’re actually dead.

CAMILLE: (Off-Panel) Nemo…

TEXT: And as I saw that it had seen better days,

Panel 4: NEMO looks to where he sees PRINCESS CAMILLE off in the distance, much as he would remember her from times past. Despite the distance, she’s looking towards him, a single arm reached out in his direction. Something dark looms behind her, however.

CAMILLE: Return to us, Nemo…

TEXT: In my time did I realize the truth –

Panel 5: A continuation of PANEL 4 – PRINCESS CAMILLE is now a full-grown woman, and her look is as one who finds herself in a terrible situation, though as we see her she looks mostly fine aside from the dark shadow monsters that loom behind her in an intimidating and terrible fashion. The monsters have their attention focused largely on NEMO.

CEMILLE: Save us…

TEXT: That to that world I must somehow return,

Panel 6: NEMO wakes – we see him lying in bed, now a full-grown man in his mid to late twenties. He looks like he’s just awoken from a nightmare.

TEXT: Lest some terrible thing be set loose.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Little Nemo in Slumberland - Thirty-Something Nemo in Slumberland - Colin Cheney

* Panel 1 stretches across top of the page with the title incorporated into the artwork. Panels 2-10 are arranged in a standard 9-panel grid. 

* As in an early McCay strip, captions should include panel number, and run through the white-space UNDERNEATH the associated panel. Captions carry over from one panel to another, as in McCay. See here for reference.

Panel 1 – The giant MAGOOZLA, a sort of large demon frog, is speaking to LUNATRIX (a clownish, star-faced servant). They stand outside the entrance of a train-tunnel that’s been cut into the side of an underwater mountain—they are lit by a glow that emanates from inside the tunnel (think: Smaug’s lair in Tolkien’s The Hobbit.) Around the tunnel entrance are hydrothermal vents, gushing blue-black smoke and bubbles: pale green and red tubeworms live around the vents, where they feed. Reference image. (Comic title should be incorporated into panel’s artwork in McCay style—see above.)


            MAGOOZLA: The Princess is inconsolable. Fetch Nemo!

            LUNATRIX: Oh, it’s been years – I pray he’ll come! 

Panel 2 – (Classic McCay side-view of bed.) NEMO, a middle-aged bearded man in t-shirt and boxer shorts, sits up in bed. He is exhausted and relieved as he has awoken out of a dream. But around him, the room is flooded up to the level of the mattress. The water is higher on the right-hand side of the panel—emphasizing that the water is coming from that direction

            NEMO: O, Mama. What a terrible dream! 

            CAPTION: {#1} Waking from a dream in which I was being waterboarded for something I hadn’t done, I discovered 

Panel 3 – Waist-deep in water, NEMO walks toward the bathroom door at the right side of the panel—his hands are raised in a gesture of disbelief. Water is pouring out of the bathroom door—as though the bathroom is completely full of water and it’s spilling over an invisible force-field into the bedroom.

            NEMO: What the what? Did I leave the faucet running? 

            CAPTION: {#2} my bedroom had flooded. I hurried toward the bathroom, keen to discover what was wrong. But I 

Panel 4 – A floating NURSE speaks to NEMO as he too floats, panicked, in a flooded train station. Because the bathroom is no longer a bathroom, but an underwater train station that is for some reason being used as a hospital. Water fills the whole panel now. The train station is like one of those London or Paris stations with the high-vaulted glass ceilings, and many parallel tracks, but only one waiting train to Slumberland. There are gurneys and operating tables on the train platforms—nurses and doctors calmly treating white-clad patients (think the M.A.S.H. operating theater as in this reference.) The tables et al are secured to the ground, but the doctors and nurses are floating in the water.

            NEMO: What…But I can’t breathe underwater!

            NURSE: Of course you can, Nemo. We’ve been able to for years! 

            CAPTION: {#3} found myself in an underwater train station being used as a triage hospital. A passing nurse calmed my 

Panel 5 – LUNATRIX waves to NEMO, who has now floated further into the station. Lunatrix is standing over a hospital gurney, holding a VHS videotape in his raised hand. On the gurney are a beat-up old cardboard box, and a glass jar filled with red flower heads. Next to the hospital gurney is a big-box TV and VHS player from the early nineties. Behind them the train to Slumberland remains visible.  

            LUNATRIX: Ah, there you are, Nemo! 

            LUNATRIX: We need to catch that bullet train to Slumberland! The princess… 

            CAPTION: {#4 } fears of drowning. Then I saw Lunatrix, and I knew I was returning to Slumberland after all these 

Panel 6—As he returns his attention to the box of videotapes, LUNATRIX hands NEMO the GLASS JAR.

            NEMO: What are you looking for?

            LUNATRIX: Here, hold this a second.

            LUNATRIX: I just need to find the home video of your birth! We can’t leave without it! 

            CAPTION: {#5} sad years! As he continued rifling through my old Star Trek videos, he handed me a jar full of beautiful 

Panel 7—NEMO opens the glass jar just a little bit. LUNATRIX, his back to NEMO, is putting a videotape into the VCR.

            NEMO: O, how beautiful! I wonder if these flowers smell like the ones…

            LUNATRIX: Is this the one? 

            CAPTION: {#6} flowers. They reminded me of the blood-colored blossoms that we saw that night by the swimming

Panel 8—NEMO drops the glass jar in shock as the blossoms inside explode into a wild thicket of reaching vines that begin to fill the panel. Hearing what NEMO said in last panel, LUNATRIX has turned to try to stop NEMO, but it’s too late. The idea here is that when water is added to these flowers, they grow like crazy—expanding without end. Like those little capsules you add water to and foam dinosaurs burst forth.         

            LUNATRIX: No, don’t open that!

            NEMO: O no!

            CAPTION: {#7} pool. But when I opened the jar, the blossoms exploded in a storm of reaching, choking vines. I tried 

Panel 9—NEMO and LUNATRIX are overtaken by the mad, flowering vines. We can see that the jar was caught by the vines before it could hit the ground. The vines and blossoms fill the whole panel—we should see faces and hands, but otherwise only solid vegetation. Red should be the overwhelming color in this panel.

            LUNATRIX: Oh no! Wait Nemo! We can still catch the train!

            NEMO: I can’t breathe! O mama, papa! 

            CAPTION: {#8} to reach Lunatrix, but the flowers were drowning me. I knew I must try to catch this train to Slumberland 

Panel 10—NEMO is back in his bedroom—he’s fallen half out of bed, tangled in his bedsheets. His toddler DAUGHTER stands next to the bed in her pajamas (covered with frogs and toads echoing MAGOOZLA a little bit), scratching her head. 

            DAUGHTER: What happened, Daddy? Did you eat more chocolate ice cream before bed? 

            CAPTION: {#9} but then I woke up.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Little Nemo in Slumberland - Out in the Cold - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Grant sits at a desk in his home, wearing his pajamas and trying to write.  He leans back in his chair, looking a bit frustrated.


2 - Classic Nemo character Flip walks onto the panel, wearing winter clothes.  A gust of wind blows throw, making taking up some papers / maybe Grant covers them in time.

FLIP: ...

3 - The wind dies down, but snowflakes start falling.  Grant turns from his desk to greet Flip.

GRANT: Oh hey, Flip.

FLIP: What's up?

4 - Snow starts to cover the floor.  Grant stands and talks to Flip, shivering a bit.  Flip listens intently.

GRANT (1): I don't know what to do.

GRANT (2): This week's prompt is throwing me for a loop.

FLIP: Is it bad?

5 - Grant and Flip start walking away from the desk (which is quickly being covered in snow).  The room is transforming into a literal winter wonderland - the wall is falling away (maybe already gone) and they are outside.  Snow continues to fall.  A sweater hangs from a coat rack (which looks suspiciously like a tree).

GRANT: Just the opposite.  It's really, really good.  Full of potential, but it's also super wide open.

6 - Grant is putting on the sweater (perhaps it's still covering his head).  Flip looks on in bemusement.  The snow continues - maybe there's a group of snowmen in the distance.

GRANT: I find that without enough restriction, sometimes I have a hard time knowing where to start.

7 - The group of snowmen have caught up with Flip and Grant.  One puts a hat on Grant's head (too hard, once again covering his head).

GRANT: It should be setting my creative thoughts aflame.

8 - Grant pulls off the hat to adjust it.

GRANT: Instead, it leaves me...

9 - Flip and Grant continue walking.  Grant is still shivering, despite the additional clothing (beyond the sweater and hat, he's still just wearing pajamas).  They might have to put up their hands / arms to block the snow, which continues to blow (perhaps even stronger).

GRANT: Well...

10 - Grant stops in his tracks.  Flip takes the opportunity to start making a snowball.

GRANT: It leaves me...

11 - Grant gestures to the full-on winter wonderland around them.  He's clearly quite cold - freezing even.  Flip has finished his snowball, perhaps throwing it up and down in his hand.


12 - Flip throws the snowball, which takes Grant full on in the face, completely covering it in the snowy impact.  Grant does not look impressed, while Flip thinks it's pretty funny.  Play this cartoony as heck (perhaps with the unimpressed eyes looking throw the snow, ala Looney Tunes).

SFX: paft!

13 - Inset panel.  Classic ending to Little Nemo strips - Grant is sitting up in bed wearing his pajamas.  His blanket is on the ground and he's shivering like crazy, as the window above him is open, letting in the cold.

GRANT: Brrr!  Who left the window open?

Why Little Nemo in Slumberland? - Colin Cheney

Many readers are no doubt already familiar with Winsor McCay’s classic comic strip, Little Nemo in Slumberland. But, if you’re not, they basically involve a young boy embarking on journeys into various dream realms. McCay created these dynamic, wildly colorful, 22” x 17” full-page comic strips during the first two decades of the twentieth century. And his work has influenced a great many comics creators, as well as filmmakers and children’s book authors (many kids are first introduced to Little Nemo unknowingly through Maurice Sendak’s homage to McCay, In the Night Kitchen).

So I decided to set us up with this thoughtballoons prompt—to write a dream-based comic in the spirit of McCay’s Little Nemo strips—for two reasons.

First, I thought it’d be fruitful to muck about inside the mechanics and imagination of McCay’s storytelling. A hundred years ago, McCay was confronting challenges of sequential art with which contemporary creators still wrestle. How does each panel work on its own, while contributing to the full page’s visual integrity? How does the eye move between panels, and across the page, and what effect does this movement have on the reader’s imagination? Though his style evolved over the strip’s run, McCay had very particular rules that he worked out for himself—and I wanted to see what it was like to play (roughly) by his rules.

(For example, as I worked on my own Nemo-inspired comic, I found myself thinking a lot about how McCay’s early strips set up Nemo’s adventures in the first panel. During 1905, McCay would begin each comic with a panel in which one of King Morpheus’s courtiers sets in motion a plan to fetch Nemo. During that first year of strips, Nemo never actually reaches Slumberland—some crisis emerges in the penultimate panels causing him to wake, disheveled in his bedsheets, in the final panel. While neither the dream-folks’ plan to fetch Nemo nor the boy’s own journey is achieved, the arc of each page-long story is clearly established in that first panel. I wanted to see if I could incorporate that structure and approach in my own comic.)

Second, I thought it would be interesting to muck about with actual dream material. Everyone knows that telling someone else one of your dreams nearly always leads to a glazed, bored expression. Even if we can recognize certain shared concerns or anxieties, another person’s dreams are just too specific to her own subconscious—the hodgepodge of data drifting about in each of our strange mental landscapes. But when I was reading McCay’s strips, I was struck by how he seemed to have such a good grasp on the way dreams can work: the narrative logic used in some of McCay’s early strips seemed familiar to me.

So, in putting forward this prompt to the thoughtballoons crowd, I wondered what would happen if we channeled one of our own dreams—in all its particularity and oddness—through McCay’s storytelling form. How much of a dream’s non-narrative nature can be kept intact as we translate it into a one-page story with a beginning, middle, and end? How do we write our memory of a dream for another artist — perhaps a stranger—to draw?

The story should be in the spirit of McCay’s early twentieth-century strips: usually Nemo drifting off to sleep, finding his way into Slumberland (realm of dream and nightmare), with a final panel that interrupts the dream as Nemo wakes in bed, back in the real world. The idea here is to see what happens when you give Nemo one of your own dreams or nightmares to explore.

If you like, as a bonus, mess about with McCay’s caption and dialogue style: he often included footer captions narrating each panel, plus dialogue.

For reference, there are a bunch of the strips online, but here’s a handy glimpse at a few.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Concert Posters - Quarantine - P. A. Nolte

1/ In silhouette, a man with a shovel stands under a tree. Beside him is a small cross.

Caption: I buried my dog under the tree in my backyard.

Caption: He got sick so fast... I didn't know what else to do.

2/ From the back of a van, men in hazard suits pour onto the main thoroughfare of a small town.  The citizens make various attempts to avoid the men, or at least get out of their way.

Caption: When Mr. Friedman got sick, the men in suits came.

3/ A crowd on the edge of town.  At the border, more men in hazard suits, and several nondescript men in nondescript black suits.

Caption: They told us we couldn't leave.  That we were quarantined.

4/ Rioting.  The same peaceful citizens from before have turned their home into a war zone.  Hiding with his back pressed up against the wall of an alley is the man with the shovel.

Caption: There was no going back after that.

5/ A wall of shipping crates erected on the perimeter of the town.  Train tracks still pass alongside the wall, but it's clear that nothing penetrates it.

Caption: I just miss my dog.

Friday, September 11, 2015


Page 1 – (6 Panels)

1.1:  Exterior, sunset, a row of boxcars crawling through a field of tall grass.  Our protagonist, Hobo Blues Guy, is jumping out of a moving boxcar, a slightly obscured package right in front of where he is about to land.  One of his hands is on the derby-style hat perched on his head.

Hobo Blues Guy (caption):  It doesn’t take a lot to write a good song.  The best are the simplest.

Hobo Blues Guy (caption):  Some E, a little A, add some D and slide down to B for the chorus.  Maybe throw a seventh in before verse two.

1.2:  Hobo Blues Guy bending over to pick-up the package, which is a beat-to-hell guitar case.  This is the only thing he carries and that he owns.

Hobo Blues Guy (caption):  I like to stay low, really pound out some open chords as loud as I can.

1.3:  Hobo Blues Guy crossing an old-timey “Bridges of Madison County” looking wooden bridge.  In the foreground is a sign “Greensboro 11 Miles”.

Hobo Blues Guy (caption):  Until I get to the bridge.

Hobo Blues Guy (caption):  And realize how minor I can become.

1.4:  Hobo Blues Guy, now on a busy Main Street, placing his hat on the ground, ready to collect spare change and small bills.

Hobo Blues Guy (caption):  But then the song comes back - - keeps coming back, always and forever - - to the verse.

1.5:  Hobo Blues Guy sitting on a step, playing his guitar as a small crowd of smiling onlookers stands around.

Hobo Blues Guy (caption):  Whether it’s a sad blues jam or a happy pop tune, all I want as the guy behind the guitar is for the audience to feel.

1.6:  Hobo Blues Guy, alone in the panel, eyes closed, head pointed to Heaven, strumming his guitar and singing his lungs out, smiling.

Hobo Blues Guy (caption):  And know that I feel too.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Concert Posters - Prog 7 - Ray Wonsowski

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends... Continuing the prog-rock-fueled adventures of the Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna...

Previous progs: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

Today's chapter is inspired by Rush's 2112

Panel 1- Night on a high mountain top, in front of the mouth of a cave, APACHE CHIEF, ZAN, and JAYNA sit around a campfire. All are looking into the starlit sky, the CHIEF pointing up into it, as if saying, Look.

CAPTION, APACHE CHIEF: They left the planet long ago...Their power grows with purpose strong...

Panel 2- The CHIEF's finger traces the constellations; one is By-Tor, the fighter, the other is the Snow Dog, the protector. One star gleams brightest, the Snow Dog's eye; JAYNA's hand gestures to it (New Exor).

CAPTION, APACHE CHIEF: ...To claim the home where they belong. Home to tear the Temples down. Home to change!

Panel 3- one of Mongul's fighter skiffs levitates at the cave ledge; JAYNA at the stick. ZAN steps on the wing, and gratefully shakes APACHE CHIEF's hand.

CAPTION, APACHE CHIEF: ...I have not left this cave for days now, it has become my last refuge in my total despair.

Panel 4 - POV from behind APACHE CHIEF. He looks up in the sky, the starcraft already disappearing into the starry sky. To the left, a waterfall cascades down a mountainside. The CHIEF sits cross legged, head low, silhouetted by the dying fire.

CAPTION, APACHE CHIEF: I have only the music of the waterfall to comfort me now...

...until next time, space cowboy...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Concert Posters - Atomic Robo and the Mirrors of the Impossible: Broken Mirror Match Up – MK Stangeland Jr.

Things have, of course, escalated from there.)

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: A smaller panel, designed to match the design of the prompt CONCERT POSTER, focusing on the shipping containers.

Panel 2: A large robot is thrown through the wall of shipping containers – it’s DR. ROBO, wearing an exo-suit. It’s not an oversized, giant mecha-type machine, but more along the lines of if ATOMIC ROBO decided to build a WAR MACHINE-type suit to wear designed to enhance his power. It shows signs of battle damage, its main cannon already having taken significant damage.

The SHIPPING CONTAINERS are thrown about from the impact, though the actual effect should be significantly subdued – these are still immensely heavy shipping containers, they don’t fly about easily.

SFX: ThUmmn!


SFX: klumn!

Panel 3: DR. ROBO picks himself up as he throws a shipping container aside.

DR. ROBO: I must admit, Doctor. I admire the ease with which you seem to break every law of science known to man.

Panel 4: DR. DINOSAUR from the other side of the now fallen wall of containers. He rides atop his ROBOSAURUS REX, a cybernetically enhanced and heavily armored T-REX. The easiest way to think of it would probably be as an ‘upgraded’, ‘refined’, more ‘controlled’ version of the FUTURSAURUS REX from the 2012 Atomic Robo Free Comic Book Day issue.

DR. DINOSAUR himself is riding upon the ROBOSAURUS REX like a knight riding upon his loyal steed, complete with a protective suit that’s reminiscent of a ye old fashion knight.

DR. DINOSAUR (1): BAH! I have broken no laws of science!

DR. DINOSAUR (2): Your feeble inferior mind is merely incapable of comprehending the incomprehendible!

Panel 5: DR. ROBO grabs a shipping container and prepares to use it as an improvised weapon.

DR. ROBO: But then you keep opening your stupid mouth and the admiration ends.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Concert Posters - “Lord, it done rose everywhere”* - Colin Cheney

Panel 1 – A collection of shipping containers are stacked, three-high, by the side of a rural train track. It’s getting on toward dusk.

Panel 2—A massive flash flood of sand-colored water (as high as second stack of containers) hits the containers, setting them free in the fast moving, roiling water. Other debris is visible in the water: tree branches, deck chairs, etc.


Panel 3—The containers (some pitched at an angle, others more-or-less righted) float through a flooded town on the fast-moving, white-brown water.


Panel 4—Medium shot of a teenage boy clinging, precariously, to a high branch of a tree above the floodwaters. He is watching the containers coming toward his tenuous refuge.

Panel 5—Boy jumps onto the container as it passes on the floodwaters beneath his tree.

Panel 6—Night has fallen. Boy rides container—now separated from the others—through a flooded landscape of rooftops and treetops. Upended cars, a dog on a rooftop, mailboxes, etc can be seen in the dark waters.

Panel 7—Boy sees glaring halogen lights of rescue boats surrounding a levee off in the distance.

Panel 8—Boy yells toward the too-distant-to-hear rescue boats—his shipping container is moving by too fast, carrying him away from safety.

BOY: Hey! Over here! Help!
BOY: No, no! Wait, I’m here!

Panel 9—Medium-to-long shot of boy on shipping container as it is carried out into a flat, endless sea of water. Stars shining above.

* Lyric from Charlie Patton, “High Water Everywhere, Part 1”  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Concert Posters - Always Greener - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Establishing shot.  We're in a train yard filled with shipping containers.  A stacks of old containers on the left goes off into the distance (like in the poster), scripts from all over the world written along their sides.  A train with new containers is pulling into the freight yard.  Some workers are about, directing traffic or readying machinery.

CAPTION (SARA) (1): They say the boxes are killing this town.

CAPTION (SARA) (2): Moving goods halfway around the world for pennies.

CAPTION (SARA) (3): Our factories can't compete.

2 - Close-up of the driver of a forklift-esque vehicle next to the train.  The driver is middle-aged, mustached, and balding (although that last point may not be visible depending on hat / helmet he might be wearing).  He scowls.  While he is the focus of the panel, behind him on the right of the panel we can see the yard's fence.  A figure stands outside the fence, looking in (see inset panel).

CAPTION (SARA): So most everyone curses as they pass through.

DRIVER (quietly): Great.  More god damn containers.

3 - Inset panel around the figure standing outside the fence.  It's a young woman - the Sara who has been speaking in the captions throughout the page.  It's hard to make out all the details at this distance, but she seems to be wearing some punk rock clothing (ripped jeans, combat boots, hoodie, etc) and has dyed hair.


4 - Close-up on Sara on the other side of the fence.  It's chain link, but it would be great if we could get a "trapped" feeling as she hangs onto the fence and looks longingly at the trains within the yard.  At this distance, we can see the full extent of her punk rock aesthetic: dyed hair cut short on the side and long on the top (kinda like Natalie Dormer), pierced septum, gauged ears, maybe some tattoos.  You get the idea - she isn't your typical small-town girl.

CAPTION (SARA): I wish I could go with them.

Why Concert Posters?

I don't know how long it's been, but I feel like I've always been inspired by concert posters.  The images that people will come up with to advertise a gig or tour is endlessly fascinating to me.  I love seeing how different artists will interpret different bands, coming up with beautiful landscapes, horrifying scenes, incomprehensible non sequiturs, and pretty much everything in between.

I'm also enraptured by the idea of putting so much work and effort into a beautiful piece of art whose primary goal is to promote a one-time event, after which point it kind of hits its best before date.  The image is obviously as beautiful as ever, but part of its purpose is done, never again to be accomplished.

Of late, they've been one of my favourite sources of inspiration.  I'll pick a poster and spend one hour writing up a comic book script based on the things a poster will make me think of or feel.  And that's what I want to do this week with the following concert poster:

I am not overly picky when it comes to particular concert poster creators.  Perhaps my sensibilities could use some more molding, but if it resonates in my mind, that's good enough for me.  That being said, I've been quite taken with the posters of graphic design company Landland of late.  I find an amazing mixture of the simple and complex and have been taken by nearly every single one I've seen.  Unsurprisingly, that's where my selection comes from.

It took me a while to narrow down the focus to a single poster, but this one stuck with me.  As the original page will tell you (as you can read from the poster), this image was created by Dan Black for an Eric Church concert that happened February 18th, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  However, none of that is important - unless you want it to be.

What matters is that I want you to consider this poster, think about what it means to you, and take those thoughts to write a comic script inspired by them.  Obviously, you can take as long as you want no need to stick to my aforementioned one hour time limit - unless you want to, of course!

Either way, I look forward to seeing what you all come up with.  As always, if you want to play-at-home, please don't hesitate to post your scripts below in the comments.  We're always happy to see what others are coming up with and this week is no exception!

Colin Cheney - Writer-in-Residence

We've come to a new fortnight (people still use fortnight, right?) and with it a new writer-in-residence to join us here at Thought Balloons.

First, let me bid farewell to Liam Lachance.  It was a pleasure to have you aboard and we hope to see you around again someday.  And secondly, let me wish a warm welcome to Colin Cheney.

I recently took a writing course through Andy Schmidt's Comics Experience, and it was nice to take some time to focus on the basics of comic writing and consider the hows and whys of the medium.  It never hurts to get your craft game on, but the other part of the course that I thoroughly enjoyed was getting to know my fellow classmates.

There were plenty of talented writers, some who were wet around the ears and others who had been hustling for a good while.  It was a pleasure to get to know them and to throw thoughts and feedback their way on the comics they were writing - something that we're all about here at Thought Balloons.

Of all those scripts I read during the course, Colin's was one that jumped out at me.  From the beginning, his story idea seemed ambitious.  It had a young family struggling to deal with their new home in a foreign land, their own interpersonal conflict, and some fantastic elements sprinkled in for good measure.  It looked overwhelming, but I was amazed and impressed to see him tame and reign the story in, while maintaining all those original elements.

I figured he would be a good fit as our next Writer-in-Residence, and he graciously agreed.  I look forward to seeing what he'll come up with these next two weeks.

And for your reading pleasure, here's a bit more biographical info on Colin:

Colin Cheney is a poet and writer who lives in Bangkok, Thailand, with his wife and two kids. His book, HERE BE MONSTERS, was published in 2010 by the University of Georgia Press, and his poems show up every now and again in print and online magazines. Recently, he recorded some poems for a great little online project, FROM THE FISHOUSE. A lifelong comics fan, he’s been collaborating on a couple of comics with friends in Bangkok and elsewhere—and hopes to have them out in the world in the next year or so. Occasionally, very occasionally, he has been getting thoughts about comics up on his blog.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Grendel - Lineup - P. A. Nolte

1/ A handful of officers and a young woman view a police lineup through a one-way mirror.  The men in the lineup are dressed in various styles of suits and tuxedos.

Caption: I read a case study once.

2/ The lineup in near profile.  One face, shadowed beneath a shock of black hair, save for the white stripe above the left temple, stands out as serene amongst the nervous faces of the others.

Caption: A woman identified a man she had been watching on live television as the same man who had forced entry to her apartment and raped her.

3/ The mirror as seen over the heads of the lineup.

Caption: His alibi was sound.  He was on live television, amongst a group of peers, at the time of the attack.

Officer (digi): Thank you for your time, gentlemen.  You're free to go.

4/ The officers make an awkward attempt at consoling the woman.  In the background, through the window, Hunter Rose peers over his shoulder, waiting for the rest of the men to file out.  He is staring down the woman who he should not be able to see.

Caption: She had been watching the show.

Caption: She'd gotten confused.

5/ Close-up of the woman wiping a tear from her eyes, sniffling quietly.

6/ Grendel.  Perched on a rooftop, his forked staff hangs from his hand, glinting in the moonlight.

Caption: I looked into him anyway.

Grendel: Not in my city.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Grendel - Man Up - Liam Lachance

(torso of white woman, with muscular and figurine-sized man on shoulder)


(close-up of woman looking in mirror)

CHRISTINE: MANNING UP is what fucked me over- it’s why I’m angry enough to consider these things in the first place.


(close up of woman’s squinting eye, behind dialogue)

CHRISTINE: He attacked me toman up’ for himself– manning up is the whole issue!

GRENDEL: Okay, feminazi, so you’re going to let him off?

CHRISTINE: He was afraid of looking vulnerable so he attacked me. Now I attack him because I feel vulnerable. It’s childish.

GRENDEL: This isn’t a fucking ESSAY

(frame of GRENDEL standing with arms raised in air, screaming)


(image of CHRISTINE looking at mirror, with GRENDEL looking up to her)

(image of GRENDEL yelling at CHRISTINE, who seems dejected)

CHRISTINE: Reacting without thinking isn’t revenge, it’s being a dog.


CHRISTINE: Too dumb to question how I’ve been trained: hurt to stop my hurt. In the end, I still feel shitty. How about stopping the hurt in the first place?


(CHRISTINE looking into mirror, smiling)

CHRISTINE: There’s a smarter way.