Sunday, September 6, 2015

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!


  1. Title: Dinner at the Shipping Yard

    Panel 1:
    Two young men, crouching behind a stack of wooden pallets in a dusty trainyard. It's the twilight hour and the light has reached a dull blue aura of the coming night. The men are both dressed in lots of layers of very worn clothing. One of them, CHESTER, is looking from behind the pallets out toward a stack of shipping containers. The other, STEVIE, is looking incredibly nervous. They both have large empty sacks clutched in their hands.

    1. STEVIE: What the heck are we doing here? We're gonna get caught.

    2. CHESTER: The hell we are. This place is perfect for snatchin'. Not a guard in sight. And it's nearly dark.

    3. STEVIE: I don't know…

    Panel 2:
    The two young men jog toward the wall of stacked shipping containers. CHESTER's eyes are dead-ahead on the shipping containers. STEVIE is looking off to the side (as if watching for someone).

    4. CHESTER: If you can't handle it, you can take your punk ass back.

    5. STEVIE: I can handle it. I just-

    6. CHESTER: Then shut up.

    Panel 3:
    CHESTER and STEVIE in front of a shipping container door. CHESTER is working the handle and STEVIE is looking around.

    7. CHESTER: See, they don't even lock the damn things.

    Panel 4:
    Interior of the shipping container looking out toward the open door. In the open doorway, CHESTER looks pleased and STEVIE is still looking nervous. Inside the container is pallets of canned food.

    8. STEVIE: What's in there?

    9. CHESTER: Heh heh heh. Jackpot!

    Panel 5:
    Exterior of another shipping container. CHESTER and STEVIE are standing in front of it, their large sacks now bulging with cans of food. CHESTER has set his sack down on the ground and STEVIE is straining to hold his.

    10. STEVIE: What're you doing? We got what we need.

    11. CHESTER: Eh, you never know. Sometimes you get lucky. Like playin' the lottery.

    Panel 6:
    Similar view as the other inside-shipping-container view. This time the shipping container has people sitting along the walls and floor, huddled away from the door, though their faces can't (yet) be seen. They are covered in grime and their clothes are tattered. On the ground in the middle of the container is an indistinguishable mound of refuse. CHESTER and STEVIE are standing in the doorway with expressions of pure shock.

    12. CHESTER: Holy shit.

    Panel 7:
    Looking into the shipping container, we can now see the faces of the people inside. They're staring back at STEVIE and CHESTER. Their mouths are smeared with blood and their eyes glow a sinister red in the dark interior of the container.

    Panel 8:
    Exterior shot of the trainyard, with nothing visible but a wall of shipping containers and a train track.

    13. CHESTER/STEVIE (O.P.): AAAAAaaaaahhhh-

    1. Love that reveal in panel 7 and the pull back for panel 8 (nice touch there, leaving it to the reader to imagine what's happening).

      I see what you're doing with the build in the earlier panels, but for a single page, I'd cut some of that down / out to give more space to the final panels where the meat of your story is at. I dig the idea though.

    2. Thanks! Yeah, I'm still working on my pacing.

  2. This is a GREAT prompt, and I couldn't help but attach myself to the My Morning Jacket poster.

    “My Morning Jacket”


    1.1: A wide open shot of the docks outside the river that flows into the Greensboro River. Like the poster, there are shipping containers on the far right of the panel.

    CAP [LOCATION]: Greensboro, North Carolina.

    1.2: Panning away from the river and the alley space looking at the path between shipping containers.

    Letterer: We’re going to switch these captions over to narration, so it could be fun to do something musical or fun if you’d like.

    CAP [NARRATION]: “The first show I ever went to down by the DOCS was…”

    1.3: A wide shot of a swarm of people heading towards the edge of the pier. SPOTLIGHTS GLEAM off the containers-- like the light at the end of the tunnel.

    CAP [LYRIC]: The idea was always there, in it's infancy…

    CAP [LYRIC]: …The seed took root, over many years--

    1.4: Stepping through the light and we see a STAGE framed together by the shipping containers. Painted on the back of the top container--above the spotlights that show the members of My Morning Jacket on stage is this image:

    CAP [Hanging, still the lyrics]: --An idea grows before it walks

    CAP: And the concert was the first in my collection.


    1. I like the idea / image of the concert in shipping containers, although I must admit that I found the panel descriptions a little hard to follow at times.

      Also, you seem to use a couple of different caption types in the script, but they aren't distinguished as clearly as they could be, which meant it took me a few reads to figure out what you meant to get across.

      I think you have an interesting script here, but the formatting gets in the way of that a bit.

    2. Hi Grant,

      I could have been slightly more direct, but I think being overtly controlling in the panel descriptions tends to stymy the artist.

      I could have been more specific when describing that the captions will alternate between narration and lyrics from the band.

      Thanks for your thoughts.


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If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.