Saturday, October 31, 2015

Clea - Abdication - P. A. Nolte

1/ Clea's hands grasp the golden ringlet set with a large sapphire resting upon her brow.  We can only see from just under her eyebrows to just above her hairline.  She is going to remove the Flames of Regency.

Dormammu (OP): Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, eh, niece?

2/ She kneels in front of Dormammu, offering him the crown of the Dark Dimension's ruler.  He is reaching out for it, all too happy to take on the responsibility, even though he is Faltinian at his core.

Dormammu: I believe one of your terran bards coined that particular turn of phrase, but who can be bothered to keep track.

3/ At his touch, the Flames begin to merge with Dormammu's already fiery personage.

Dormammu: At last!  The Flames of Regency fall to their rightful owner.  Now...

4/ She walks away from her uncle.  Stephen Strange has his arms around her tenderly, but the look on her face is not one of acceptance.  Behind them, Dormammu throws out an arm as he issues Clea's banishment.

Dormammu: Be gone!  Once again, this is a place of true magicks.  There will be no need for the parlor tricks of misguided children or the interference of street wizards here any longer.

Strange: Ignore him, Clea. Let this Ozymandias alone to look upon his works.

5/ Over her shoulder, Clea gives the Dark Dimension's new master a final warning.

Clea: I will return... Uncle.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Clea – EXPULSION – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (6 Panels)

1.1:  Exterior, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, night.  The entire student body stands lining the torchlight path leading from the entrance to a waiting Kestrel drawn carriage.  Walking down the middle of the path is Clea, age eleven, followed by Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape, both considerably younger than in the Harry Potter book and movie series.

Dumbledore:  I hope you understand why you must leave the school, young lady.  It’s not that you aren’t welcome here, it’s just . . .

1.2:  Clea walking along the path, Dumbledore and Snape trailing a good distance behind, a young white-haired boy, a Malfoy, stepping forward.

Malfoy:  Good riddance, you Dark Dimension rubbish!

Snape:  Malfoy!

1.3:  Clea using some Ditko-inspired magic to lift the boy off the ground, vaguely demonic energies emanating from her hands and surrounding the boy in vapor tentacles.  Dumbledore and Snape are flinching back slightly.

Dumbledore:  Oh my!

1.4:  The boy being slammed to the ground behind the departing Clea, Dumbledore and Snape, the gathered students looking at their fallen classmate, most snickering, the rest recoiling in fear.

Snape:  Just like his uncle.

Dumbledore:  Well, some bloodlines that will never change . . .

1.5:  Clea, a smirk on her face, getting into the carriage.  Dumbledore and Snape watching in the background.

Dumbledore:  . . . and others appear to just get better and brighter with age.

1.6:  The carriage departing into the night, Dumbledore and Snape looking after it, whispering in tones only they can hear.

Snape:  Do you think Clea will be alright, Professor?

Dumbledore:  Most certainly, Severus, and I do believe that returning her to her home is exactly where she will do the most good.

Dumbledore:  After all, she is the greatest witch of her generation.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Clea - The Anthropocene - David Press


1.1: A dark panel covered in little specs of light shining through like stars in the sky. Clea’s narrative captions hang in space like Hazel’s handwriting in SAGA, so they look like they’re dangling in the black like constellations.

       1. CLEA [CAPTION]: When we came here my father and I had nothing.

1.2: The lights turn on to a degree. We can see shades of NORTH AMERICA in the constellations.

       2. CLEA [CAPTION]: It wasn’t like…

       3. CLEA [CAPTION]: …Let there be light!

1.3: A SLASH OF LIGHT crosses the night sky, like someone is cutting into the fabric of space-time. Edges of color leak through it.

       4. CLEA [CAPTION]: No. Someone performed surgery.

1.4: CLEA appears in the darkness, framed by the constellations, her finger up to her lips. This is a MEDIUM SHOT, so from her chest up, but she’s not wearing what she would normally be wearing—something slightly more tasteful. She’s wearing a colored shirt, a string of pearls light up her face and accent her silver hair.

       5. CLEA: That’s when he came for me.

1.5: DOCTOR STRANGE blasts through the scalpel tear in dimensions.


1.6: They stand next to each other in the newly illuminated DARK DIMENSION.

       6. CLEA [CAPTION]: He brought the anthropocene: The age of humans in the Dark Dimension.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Clea – Tricks and Treats – MK Stangeland Jr.

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: CLEA, dressed as SORCERESS SUPREME, is attempting to study within her sanctuary in the DARK DIMENSION. The sound of a doorbell rings, has disrupted and annoyed her.

SFX: ddrrrr-RING!

Panel 2: CLEA has opened the door to find herself looking at a number of fun-sized MINDLESS ONES. They are dressed up in Halloween costumes and holding bags. One is holding a poorly painted sign reading “Trick or Treat!”.

Panel 3: CLEA looks out beyond the door to see what looks like DORMAMMU hiding just out of view behind some piece of lawn-like decoration.

Panel 4: CLEA holds her arms up and her eyes glow, with energy flowing from her fingers to the MINDLESS ONES.

CLEA: [Some kind of magical words indicating that CLEA is casting a spell.]

Panel 5: DORMAMMU pokes his head up as he looks at the MINDLESS ONES turning to look at him.

Panel 6: CLEA has a smug look on her face as the MINDLESS ONES chase after DORMAMMU.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Clea - Missing the Mark - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Dr. Strange is in the kitchen, chopping veggies.  I know he wouldn't actually be wearing his Sorcerer Supreme outfit, but I think it would be funny if he was.  Instead, I guess he can have a novelty kitchen apron - maybe another Marvel superhero like Captain America or something?

CLEA (off-panel): For the last time, I don't know who your baby's father is!

SFX (off-panel): slam!

CLEA (off-panel): argh!

2 - Clea stomps into the kitchen, clearly frustrated.  Doctor Strange looks up from chopping.

DOCTOR STRANGE: Something the matter, honey?

CLEA: The mystical tip line is a failure.  The only callers I've gotten seem obsessed with the idea that I should read their future.

3 - Clea hands over a piece of paper to Doctor Strange.  Strange takes it, interest on his face.

CLEA: I don't understand it.  I took out an ad and everything, just like Danny and Luke suggested.

4 - Doctor Strange looks at the paper, a small smile on his face.

DOCTOR STRANGE: Did they by any chance write that ad for you?

CLEA: Why do you ask?

5 - Focus on the paper / ad.  Doctor Strange's hand is visible at one side holding the paper.  There's some copy at the top referring "Horrible hauntings?  Monstrous maulings?  There's a solution for you!"  Some of that can be cut off by the panel border, as the focus is on the following words:

It won't cost a fortune.  I'm telling you don't miss this chance.  Clea is here to help!  Call me now!

That said, four words in that block of text are much bigger and bolder, causing them to stand out

Fortune Telling Miss Clea

Which, along with the "Call me now!" could lead to a much different interpretation than what Clea is likely going for.

DOCTOR STRANGE (off-panel): No reason.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Clea - Turn the Page, Part 1 - Ray Wonsowski

Panel 1 - Interior, an antique shop in Greenwich Village. It's crowded with furniture and knick-knacks, near impossible to be walked through, but we are being led by the owner's son, AUGUST TURN, to the back of the shop. He is in his early 20s, completely average in height, weight and looks. He wears glasses and a bowling shirt, brown hair combed back. He's walking backwards, talking to us, smiling nervously.

TURN: I figured, 19th century Russian armoire, and the lady's storing mops and brooms in it. I give her a hundred bucks and bring it here.

Panel 2- TURN gestures to an armoire in the back of the shop. The design is based on the Louis XV style (see photo reference here), but the panels have etched inlay design, reminiscent of old Russian religious icons, and the trim seems slightly distorted by wrong geometry.

TURN: Pretty sweet piece, right? So, I'm cleaning it, checking it for nicks, I open the door...

Panel 3- TURN opens the armoire door. Inside is the Ditko-esque surreal landscape of the Dark Dimension.


Panel 4- TURN closes the door, a half-smile on his lips, fixes his hair as he twists to talk to us again.

TURN: Swear, straight out of Ghostbusters, am I right?
Off-panel: Sorry?
TURN: Ghostbusters? "Who ya gonna call?"

Panel 5- TURN still talking to us, albeit sheepishly embarrassed, hands in jeans pockets.

Off-panel: I don't know what that means.
TURN:, never mind...
Off-panel: Besides, you called me. None to soon, from what I see.
TURN: You know what that is?
Off-panel: Of course...

Panel 6- POV shifts, from inside the armoire, we are looking out, the doors thrown wide open by CLEA STRANGE, sorceress supreme. She is dressed in her typical purple, pink, and black tight fitting tunic and leggings, the Cloak of Levitation over her shoulders, the Eye of Agamotto shining at her throat. TURN stands behind her, looking curiously over her shoulder, eyes wide.

CLEA: ...this is my home.
TURN: ...err...
CLEA: Come, August Turn. I believe my uncle is waiting... be continued...

Why Clea?

You mean, other than me hinting here and here that she would be my next "big story" character?
If you recall, I'm a bit partial to the creations of Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange near the top of that list. Clea, his lover and disciple, is one of my favorite characters to boot, but I always got the feeling she was a victim of tropes and cliches. She's the damsel in distress of the Dark Dimension (alliterative!) turned sorcerer's apprentice turned stranger in a strange land torn between love and duty turned magical warrior princess leader of a homeland rebellion against her evil family.
But what a family. Her mother, Umar, is the sister of Dormammu, and the bride of Baron Mordo. The story of Orini, her father, is one of countless betrayals against whoever he happens to be serving. Dysfunctional is an understatement.
Yet it doesn't undermine the core of her character. She's pragmatic; at one point, she leaves Dormammu in charge of the Dark Dimension because he was the only one who could keep the destructive Mindless Ones at bay. She's fiercely loyal, committed with all her heart, whether that's to Strange or her rebellion, but understands that sometimes one suffers for the sake of the other. Probably most importantly, her moral compass is one of the most true in the Marvel universe, and can be crushed when one doesn't live up to her standards.
For a woman from the Dark Dimension, she shines.

David Press - Writer-in-Residence

Now that we've come to the end of our week of Corey Fryia and Doctor Crowe, we're moving to a slightly more familiar face for our next Writer-in-Residence - your friend and mine, David Press.  You've surely seen his excellent pieces in various Why posts these past few months, and considering how much work he routinely puts in, we were thrilled when he agreed to join us as our latest guest.

When asked, David had the following to say about himself:

David Press lives with his librarian/musician wife in New York’s Adirondack Park. By day he teaches writing, comics, and film at Paul Smith’s College. He’s been writing comics in one form or another since he was thirteen starting with Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s run on The Flash. He’s currently revising a novel called Emerson, which follows two high school students who realize that their writing can alter reality. He leaves his notes at

Please join me in re-welcoming him to the site!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Doctor Crowe - Guardian (p1) - P. A. Nolte

1/ Dr. Crowe bursts through the back door of a small shop and into the main room.  It is after hours.  Atop him is a large, clay man.  A golem.  The first glyph in the Hebrew word "emet" (truth), carved into the golem's forehead, has been scratched out to make the word read "met" (death).  Crowe is worse for wear, his clothing torn in multiple places and the beak of his mask partially bent.  His hands, in particular, are bloodied.  Through the doorway, his assistant Nora has her crossbow readied, and has fired an arrow into the back of the golem's head, where it sticks with a soft splut.

Caption: The key to a golem's destruction is often the removal of a single glyph from the word that has been fed into it.

2/ The golem, distracted, has Crowe pinned to the ground, but is more interested in Nora.  Underneath him, Crowe tenses a bloody fist.

Caption: Or carved into its forehead.

3/ Swinging with all his might, Crowe's fist connects, flinging the golem's head back.  Droplets of blood from Crowe's wounds fly into the air, and where they hit the golem, what counts as skin starts to sizzle.

Caption: Or on a sign hung around its neck.

4/ The golem dissipates.  Crowe has risen to one knee as he shields himself from the thick cloud of monster dust.  Nora has so many questions, but advances hesitantly.

Caption: There really are too many methods to imbue formed clay with such a brutal mockery of life.

Crowe: Blood magic.

Nora: Doctor?

5/ Crowe stands triumphantly over the pile of golem dust, but the battle is not yet won.

Caption: But the most dangerous of all involves blood.

Crowe: The word was merely a ruse.  This... thing.  Whoever sent it...

Crowe: This is personal.  Very personal.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Doctor Crowe – LEATHER APRON – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (6 Panels)

1.1:  Interior, night, a pitch-black Victorian era house.  Doctor Crowe is walking through an open door, the misty night behind him lit by a lone gas light.  He is holding what appears to be a “Genie’s Lamp”, a mystical device he is using to light his way.  The hand not holding the lamp is closing the door behind him.

Caption:  The Whitechapel District of London, 1888.

Doctor Crowe (caption):  I took on this case secretly, with no companion, protégé or accomplice.

Doctor Crowe (caption):  There was a compulsion to complete this mission alone, though Nora has been with me for so much and seen more than anyone before her.

1.2:  Doctor Crowe walking through a hall, the lamp he is holding casting shadows and vaguely illuminating what appear to be slabs of meat hanging from hooks chained to the ceiling, like he’s in a huge meat locker.  Nothing is explicit, but there is a feeling of subdued dread.

Doctor Crowe (caption):  Still, I feel the need to shield her from some horrors.

Ripper (from off panel):  Croooowe . . .

1.3:  Doctor Crowe turning around quickly, the light from his lantern glinting off of a knife in the darkness.

Ripper (from the darkness):  I feel honored and disappointed simultaneously.

Ripper (from darkness):  Honored that I am monster enough to garner your attention . . .

1.4:  The Ripper turning up a lantern on a desk, revealing that the “slabs of meat” from Panel 1.2 are really dismembered torsos, legs and arms!  The Ripper, however, is clad in Victorian finery, top hat and tails, white gloves and pocket-watch.  Immaculate.

Ripper:  . . . yet disgusted with myself for not better concealing my identity. 

Ripper:  Had I anticipated your involvement, well, I would have taken better precautions.

1.5:  The Ripper, knife drawn, approaching Doctor Crowe, who has his crossbow out and is about to fire.  Doctor Crowe is dropping the “Genie’s Lamp”, the falling light source casting a huge shadow of the scene on the wall behind the two principal figures.  In the foreground is the desk with the lantern on it from Panel 1.4, and there is a piece of paper with some writing sitting near the lantern.

Ripper:  But no bother, I have my Disciples who will carry on my good work for all of time!

Doctor Crowe (caption):  I think of Nora.

1.6:  The shadow behind the desk and we can clearly see Doctor Crowe pointing the now empty crossbow at The Ripper, the arrow from the crossbow jutting from The Ripper’s throat, blood spurting from the wound.  In the foreground still are the desk and the piece of paper, now splattered with blood.  The only words written that we can see are, in lavish handwritten font - “From Hell”!

Doctor Crowe (caption):  The rest is easy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Doctor Crowe – Haunted House of Horrors – MK Stangeland Jr.

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: Interior, a haphazard laboratory inside a secluded mansion. It is night, with a dark atmosphere covering the entire scene. DR CROWE is hidden within the darkness, looking about for his target.

Said target is a creepy-looking Dr. Frankenstein type, MR JASPER. He hides behind an operating table that’s covering a large individual in a less than clean operating sheet, preventing us from seeing what’s underneath.

DR CROWE: You’ve gone beyond the madness of even Frankenstein himself.

Panel 2: MR JASPER sneaks into the darkness as he tries to evade DR CROWE. DR CROWE glances out from cover, revealing just a peek at him.

MR JASPER: Dr. Frankenstein wishes he could rival me!

Panel 3: DR CROWE steps out from cover, crossbow aimed out, ready to be fired.

DR CROWE (1): I believe you’ve made my point for me, Mr. Jasper.

MR JASPER: (Off Panel) It’s Dr. Jasper, thank you.

DR CROWE (2): That’s not what I heard.

Panel 4: DR CROWE moves carefully about the lab, certain he knows exactly where MR JASPER is, even if he doesn’t have a clear line of sight to him.

MR JASPER (1): (Off Panel) Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

MR JASPER (2): People say so many things.

MR JASPER (3): I doubt any of them mentioned all I’ve accomplished.

SFX: CreeeeEAAAAaaaa

Panel 5: Panel is behind DR CROWE, hinting at some kind of monstrosity that’s sneaking up on him.

DR CROWE: They mentioned your experiments. That’s all I needed to hear.

MR JASPER: (Off-Panel) Is that so?

Panel 6: DR CROWE starts to turn to look at the creature that’s behind him, preparing for its full appearance on the next page.


MR JASPER: (Off Panel) Then perhaps I should introduce you.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Doctor Crowe - Truly Lost - R.A. Wonsowski

Set-up: a number of gruesome deaths befalling excavation and construction crews beneath the catacombs of Rome have been discovered to be at the hands of a 2000-year-dead Centurion soldier. He has fought off police and army, got past our hero, Doctor Crowe, and is about to reach the surface...


Panel 1- POV, from the top of the catacomb stairs. The CENTURION has nearly reached the top, his rictus grin of rotted teeth bared, sunken eyes gleaming in palpable victory.

CAPTION: One cannot stop a plague by attacking the symptoms...


Panel 2-  same POV as panel 1, except the CENTURION is at the top, but the manic confidence is gone, replaced by horrified shock.

CAPTION: ...but rather by wiping out the source of the disease...


Panel 3- from behind the CENTURION. Wide shot of St. Peter's basilica, the large crucifix of Jesus center.

CENTURION: ...nnNazareno...

Panel 4- the CENTURION is kneeling in front of the stairway.  DOCTOR CROWE comes up behind, readying to swing a giant Roman war hammer.

CROWE: Do you see, foul Roman? Your battle lost, your victory stolen. Not now...

Panel 5- same as panel 4, except CROWE has swung the hammer, demolishing the CENTURION's head.

CROWE: ...but two thousand years ago.

Doctor Crowe - Boiled Frogs - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Doctor Crowe and Nora stand at a clearing, looking at a sizeable body of water that is filled - absolutely filled - with frogs starring back at the two heroes.  They're everywhere, sitting, floating, and doing general froggy-stuff, but they're all focused on Crowe and Nora.  Nora looks towards Doctor Crowe, while Doctor Crowe looks back at the frogs.  LETTERING NOTE: The sfx could either be one big thing at the bottom of the panel or a bunch of small ones, both options to represent how many frogs there are.

NORA: Doc...

SFX: rr-bit!

2 - Close-up of a frog in the water (such as this).  It isn't really necessary to have much further detail to the panel than the frog.

NORA (off-panel): ...what is this?

3 - Doctor Crowe puts out an arm in front of Nora and holds out his crossbow with the other.  He continues to look directly at the frogs.

DOCTOR CROWE (1): We need to go.


Interested in more Doctor Crowe?  Don't hesitate to check out the Kickstarter!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Doctor Crowe - Too Little - Corey Fryia

Panel 1.

Dr. Crowe is tending to a grouping of plague sores on a servant’s wrist. The two are completely unaware of what is transpiring behind them. The silhouette of Lord Ambrose’s transformation into a hellacious, plague-infested werewolf can be seen through the canopy drapes.

1 CAP DR. CROWE: The chilling memory still haunts me to this day. I was a fool to think that I could stop the grisly inevitable.

2 DR. CROWE: Now, miss, let's have a look at that arm of yours.

Panel 2.

The werewolf stands before them on its haunches, towering over Dr. Crowe and the servant girl. Dr. Crowe has armed his steam-powered crossbow and has it pointed directly at the werewolf.

3 DR. CROWE CAP: I had miscalculated the severity of his affliction, and the treatment only served to accelerate his turn.


5 DR. CROWE: Quick! Get behind me!

Panel 3.

The beast pounces on the servant and begins violently ripping her to bloody shreds.


Panel 4.

Dr. Crowe fires his crossbow and sends an arrow directly into its black heart. It roars out in pain.


7 DR. CROWE: Damn you, beast! Don’t make me do this!


Panel 5.

Dr. Crowe stands over the slain beast. His crossbow rests proudly on his shoulder.

8 CAP DR. CROWE: In the blink of an eye there was so much meaningless death.

9 CAP DR. CROWE (2): If only they had sent for me sooner.

10 CAP DR. CROWE (3): If only.

Interested in more Doctor Crowe?  Don't hesitate to check out the Kickstarter!

Why Doctor Crowe?

If not for stumbling upon a super creepy photo of a plague doctor then perhaps the character of Dr. Crowe wouldn’t even exist. There was something about that plague doctor’s mask that intrigued me and, being the kind of daydreamer that I am, my mind started wondering and the gears started turning. Within moments I dreamt up the idea of a plague doctor pulp hero who traveled the globe fighting off gruesome, otherworldly monsters. And in that moment – Dr. Victor Crowe was born!

This creation has allowed me to play in a few sandboxes that I sincerely enjoy as a writer -- horror, pulp and action/adventure. As a reader, there’s nothing that appeals to more than a book that simply entertains and allows you to forget about any real world problems, if even for a brief moment. Blending these genres together, and having a character like Dr. Crowe lead the charge, has allowed me to create the entertaining kind of book that I would pick up at my local comic shop.

I’m currently in the process of running a Kickstarter campaign to fund issue number one of the Doctor Crowe mini-series and I’ve been fortunate enough to find a publisher in 215 Ink. I’m proud to say that the first issue is currently funded, but we’re still in the process of trying to raise as much money to pay for as much of the production as we can for the remaining three issues in the mini-series. So, if you feel inclined to do so, then I urge you to help support the Doctor Crowe Kickstarter campaign.

Corey Fryia - Writer-in-Residence

This week brings another talented wordsmith to grace our habitual haunt, the lovely Corey Fryia, who I first encountered through Nic Shaw's The Prompt, but who has impressed me even more with some of his recent work.  Indeed, he has a pretty solid Kickstarter going down are the moment, but I'll leave that for a moment...

In the interim, I'll turn it over to Corey to tell you more about himself:

Corey Fryia is a comic book writer and occasional editor from Bowling Green, Kentucky. He’s the writer/co-creator of “Doctor Crowe” from 215 Ink, the co-editor of “Out of the Blue: A Collection of Strange Stories” and the upcoming sequel, “Out of the Blue: A Collection of Campfire Tales,” and has had shorts published in various independent publications. You can find more info on Corey's work by visiting and follow him on Twitter @coreyfryia.
Watch out for his excellent pick - and his equally killer script - later today!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Meeting Points - Tyrannicide - P. A. Nolte

Apologies for all the late entries recently, and thanks to Grant for posting The Orient Express' Why? for me in a pinch.  Hopefully things will be smoother sailing from here on out.  At least for a little while.  And, in case you missed them, my entries for Ashkan Honorvar's Heroes and The Orient Express are now live, so go read them!

1/ A hooded figure in black leather armor whispers hatefully into the Archduke's ear as he presses the monarch up against the railing of his oration balcony.  He is simultaneously plunging a jeweled dagger deep into the Archduke's gullet.  The blood gushing from the wound stains the white and purple vestments of the former ruler of this world.

Myrgos: For my sister...

2/ Myrgos withdraws his blade, pulling back to stand in full view.  He is a drow, flanked by a large man with red hair wearing full plate, a woman barely visible under a midnight blue cloak with the hood drawn, and a kentauride with short cropped hair and tribal brandings up and down her exposed arms.  The redheaded man cradles his large hammer, the cloaked woman stands still as a statue, and the kentauride has an arrow nocked, but not aimed.

Farrar: Is--  Is that it?  Is it over?

Violca: No. Not yet.

3/ Profile.  Close.  From within her cloak, Violca has drawn a handful of dust, raised it in front of her face, and is blowing it towards the unsteady figure of the Archduke.

4/ He backs up, tripping and about to plummet to his death over the rail.

Archduke: No! Not like this! Not--

5/ The Bazaar.  The speck of the Archduke's body can be seen as it falls from the balcony.  The multitudes watch on in silence.  The tyrant has departed this world.

Caption: "Take my life, but take it in vain, as an innocent's, and pray to your God that the blood you shed today may never be visited upon you."

6/ Myrgos.  Sneering.  He spits from the corner of his mouth.

Myrgos: Good riddance.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Meeting Points – I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (5 Panels)

1.1:  Exterior, twilight on an alien world, a Father dressed in tattered vestments holding the tiny hand of his eight year old Daughter.  She wears a ragged dress and holds a brown blanket over one shoulder.

Daughter:  Where are we, father?

Father:  The Nexus of All Things.

1.2:  The Father and Daughter walking along the edges of a tent city shanty town, a refugee camp turned bazaar.  Vendors are selling all manner of other-worldly goods.  The Daughter is looking slightly behind her, staring at the wares being hawked by some less than savory characters.  The Father’s gaze remains set straight ahead.

Daughter:  Are we here to purchase something?

Father:  I guess you could say that.

1.3:  The Father and Daughter walking in front of a golden monument, bizarre cupola topping the obelisk base.  There are two helmeted sentries wearing green flowing robes stationed on each corner of the monument.

Father:  The world has moved away from what I knew.  There are too many out there, beyond, who would do us harm.

Father:  You deserve so much more than this, and there’s only one way I can ensure that your potential isn’t squashed.

Daughter:  How?

1.4:  Father kneeling before his Daughter, hands on her shoulders.

Father:  By leaving you here so that you may learn.

Daughter:  But I don’t want to leave you!  I don’t want to be alone! 

Daughter:  I love you, Daddy . . . why are you doing this?

1.5:  Large panel of the alien cityscape of the Nexus of All Things.  The Tent City is at ground level, expanding in all directions.  Towering above are the golden buildings, sky-scrapers and government capitals, all connected by a network of almost art deco bridges.  In the foreground, the sobbing Father gives his little girl one last hug.

Father:  Because I believe in miracles.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Meeting Points/Bridges – Funtastic Four Versus A L’il Bit ‘O Doom – MK Stangeland Jr.

(In the style of Scottie Young’s L’il Marvel and Baby Marvel series.)

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: MARVEL BABY-style versions of the FANTASTIC FOUR – REED RICHARDS, SUSAN STORM, JOHNNY STORM, and BEN GRIMM – are outside a treehouse that very much resembles a DR. DOOM style castle. REED RICHARDS is fiddling with a scientific-looking contraption, the other three are off to the side a little. SUSAN STORM is carrying a couple of dolls that should resemble FRANKLIN and VALERIA RICHARDS.

JOHNNY (1): Yo, Stretch Armstrong!

JOHNNY (2): Are you sure it’s smart to be so close to the big scary doomhouse?

Panel 2: RICHARDS turns to look to the other three.

RICHARDS (1): Nonsense.

RICHARDS (2): Victor’s only grumpy all the time because he needs a friend.

RICHARDS (3): I’m going to go say hello and help make him less grumpy.

Panel 3: RICHARDS starts cranking his machine, which looks to be extending an artificial bridge of some kind up to DR DOOM’s treehouse of doom.

SUSAN: Are you sure about that, Reed?

GRIMM: Yeah, I think Doomboy’s just grumpy because he’s a big ugly meaniepants.

RICHARDS: Don’t be silly, you guys…

Panel 4: Wide view as a large number of retro-style kiddy toy ray guns attached to metal robotic arms have extended from DR DOOM’s treehouse and are pointed at RICHARDS and his bridge machine.


DOOM TREEHOUSE (2): Remove yourself from the presence of DOOM immediately!

DOOM TREEHOUSE (3): DOOM hereby commands it!

Panel 5: The members of the FANTASTIC FOUR silently shuffle away from DOOM’s treehouse, all of them looking directly at it as they do. RICHARDS pulls his bridge contraption behind him.

Panel 6: RICHARDS, SUSAN, JOHNNY, and GRIMM have moved far enough away that DOOM’s treehouse is now off panel. RICHARDS looks to the other three.

RICHARDS: Ok, so maybe it’s not that simple after all.

GRIMM: Gee, ya think?


Meeting Points - Counter, Earth - R.A. Wonsowski

Layout: panel 1 is the top 2/3 of the page, panel 2 the lower third.

Panel 1, POV is from the railing of the Staten Island ferry. Above the New York City skyline, we see three Templeships of the Universal Church of Truth. They are large enough to cast the entire city in shadow.

Panel 2, The maddened, grinning face of Adam Warlock's evil self, the MAGUS, addressing the city below from a parapet. He is flanked on each side by his Black Cardinals.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Meeting Points - Change - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Establishing shot of a big city market, perhaps not unlike the image from this week's Why.

CAPTION (ELIZABETH) (1): It's the same old story.

CAPTION (ELIZABETH) (2): When there's lots to go around.

2 - Closer-in on one of the market stalls.  Two guards are hassling a lone vendor, who looks tired and scared.

CAPTION (ELIZABETH): Someone will always want more.

GUARD: You're not late again, are you?

3 - Pull back slightly.  An elderly woman (Elizabeth) at her own stall looks on at the scene unfolding.  She doesn't look happy.  She wears an outfit that's all black.  The man pulls out a small bag, presumably filled with coins, and nervously passes it to the guards.

CAPTION (ELIZABETH): I used to complain to Archie that someone should stand up to them.

VENDOR: No, no.  It's all here!

4 - The guards walk over to Elizabeth's stall.  They wear the easy going attitude of people who know they have all the power.  If on panel, Elizabeth is openly outraged.

CAPTION (ELIZABETH): Eventually, I convinced him to do just that.

GUARD: Afternoon, Mrs. Walder.

5 - Elizabeth is as mad as ever.  A similar bag of coins sits on her table / counter, although she doesn't openly gesture to it, instead focusing her rage at the guards.  They don't really care.

ELIZABETH: Just take it already.

6 - Elizabeth is alone at her stall, the guards have left (along with the coins).  She cries openly.

CAPTION (ELIZABETH): I still wish I hadn't.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Meeting Points - The Kindness of Strangers - Perry Kent

Panel One:
Exterior of a fantasy-inspired city. Our protagonist is a young street urchin named Lukas. He is wading through a crowd on his way to the booths of the city's street market.

Lukas (caption): A new month means new vendors. And that means new suckers from all over the kingdom.

Panel Two:
Lukas, with a pitiful expression on his face, accepting a bowl of soup from an old woman. There is a large cauldron of soup in her little market stall.

Lukas: May the gods of plenty grace you.

Lukas (caption): The villagers from the East always help with food.

Panel Three:
Lukas coughing into one hand while accepting a small bronze coin in the other. The man giving him the coin is a wizened fellow selling trinkets.

Lukas: Silba, the healer-

Lukas (SFX): cough

Lukas: -bless you.

Lukas (caption): In the West, they give small coins to ward off sickness.

Panel Four:
Lukas bowing his head with a pair of socks in his hand. The woman giving him the socks is selling clothing.

Lukas: Your kindness returned a thousand-fold.

Lukas (caption): Up North it's good luck to give a child clothing.

Panel Five:
Lukas, sitting on the railing of a small bridge, looking across a small waterway. He is chewing on an apple.

Lukas (caption): They come from all over with their little customs. Thank the gods they do.

Why Meeting Points? - Perry Kent

I enjoy looking at SciFi and fantasy art. Perhaps it was the covers of old fantasy/scifi novels that I would grab from the library. Those little works of art may be forever embedded in my psyche. But now whenever I see fantasy and scifi art it sets my brain down a cascade of questions and wonder. The art captures my imagination. Fantastical art that pushes against the boundaries of understanding. And also art that takes us just a bit outside of the “known”. The plausible and the ludicrous. I find both equally inspiring. One day I stumbled upon this piece entitled “Bridges” by Andrée Wallin:

I'm sure this picture speaks to people in different ways. But it made me think of the meeting of different places and cultures. The bridges, designed to bring two places together. And a city market, which is a living mixture of different cultures brought together.

For this week, the topic is about the meeting (and possibly clashing) of different places or cultures. How is a meeting place different? Or how do people act in these places? What happens when different cultures meet and mingle? What happens when they don't get along? It's all fair game.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Orient Express - The Finer Things - Perry Kent

Panel One:
Europe, 1930s. Jacques carries the bags of some well-dressed older patrons onto a stately and high class train car. The train station around them is large and there are a few well-dress patrons milling around. Jacques is outfitted in a uniform.

Jacques (caption): I knew working on the Orient Express would be glamorous.

Old man: Scuff that luggage and I'll have your job.

Panel Two:
Jacques holding a small tray with a placid look on his face as a young well-dressed woman holding a martini glass berates him.

Jacques (caption): I got to rub elbows with the moneyed elite.

Well-dress woman: This tastes of swill. Make a better one!

Panel Three:Jacques holding a small bag for a well-dressed young man as the young man vomits violently into the bag.

Jacques (caption): But I was never made to feel lesser than them.

Vomiting man: Huuuuuurrrrph!

Panel Four:
Jacques staring into a bathroom/water closet. He has rags and a bucket in his hands and look of incredulous disgust.

Jacques (caption): And, yes, the job had its downsides.

Panel Five:
Jacques standing on the outside back railing of the last car of train, a cigarette in hand/mouth, looking out and admiring something unseen with a wide smile of contentment.

Jacques (caption): But I got to experience the most wonderful luxuries.

Panel Six:
Reveal the stunning beauty of the European countryside which is what Jacques was admiring in the previous panel.

Jacques (caption): Some that even the guests could not enjoy.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Orient Express – FORMAL WEAR – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (6 Panels)

1.1:  Interior, day, the opulent dining car of the Orient Express.  Two young male Backpackers, early 20’s, sit facing each other, about to clink tea cups.  They are dirty, weather beaten, their hair tangled and their clothes grimy and dusty.  Both have large beards and sun burned faces.  They have been on the road for quite some time, backpacking through Europe, and are now enjoying this respite.

Backpacker 1:  I can’t believe we’re actually on the Orient Express!

Backpacker 2:  Yeah.  We may have spent half our backpacking money on the tickets, but it’s so worth it.

1.2:  The entire dining car, all chandeliers and linen tablecloths.  It is full of passengers in 1890’s finery, having stepped out of pictures of the past back onto the same train car they travelled in 125 years ago.  The Backpackers are clearly out of place, and are looking around, tea cups still raised, not a sip taken.  Approaching down the center aisle is the Tuxedo Man in black coat and tails, white gloved and immaculate.

Backpacker 2:  Did it say anything about this being a “costume trip” of something?

Backpacker 1:  No.  I guess most people just get really into the vibe.

Backpacker 2:  I feel a little out of place.

1.3:  Exterior, the rushing Orient Express approaching a tunnel carved through a European mountain range, steam billowing from the smokestack that caps the engine.

Backpacker 1 (from inside the dining car):  Who cares!  Let’s just enjoy the experience.

1.4:  The Tuxedo Man from Panel 1.2 standing before the Backpackers, who are staring at him in stunned silence.  Backpacker 1’s jaw is dropping while Backpacker 2 looks incredulous.

Tuxedo Man:  You don’t belong here.

1.5:  All black panel representing the Orient Express going through the tunnel from Panel 1.3.

Silent Panel

1.6:  Interior of the train, the Tuxedo Man standing before the now vacated seats where the Backpackers had been sitting.  The tea cups are suspended in mid-air, gravity not yet taking them from the spot the now vanished hands of the Backpackers had been holding them.

Silent Panel


Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Orient Express - featuring Dan Hill's Unknown Soldier - by Ray Wonsowski

I still maintain, one of the greatest characters created on this website, was Dan Hill's take on the Unknown Soldier. See here, here, and here...


Panel 1- wide shot, a luxury private car of the Orient Express barrelling through a meadowed valley, surrounded by a backdrop of snow-capped mountains amidst a blue sky. Above a window, a small female figure, all white except for her long black hair, crouches on the roof, clutching the side of the car by the ornate trim. Her hair and loose white pants and blouse are being blown to the side, whipped by the wind.

CAPTION: One of the minor princelings in the House of Saud has been financing jihadi terror cells through child trafficking money laundered through his bank.

Panel 2- Interior of the luxury car. Foreground, the woman, the UNKNOWN SOLDIER, crashes in through the window. Background, a SAUDI BANKER (headdress still on, but half undressed) and a caucasian WOMAN (early 20's, swimsuit model's build, curly brown shoulder length hair, freckled skin, dressed only in her underwear), both on an enormous pile of tasseled cushions and pillows, are taken completely by surprise by the SOLDIER'S entrance. An ornamented scimitar hangs on the wall behind them.

CAPTION: Hate the sinning infidel, but love the sin.

Panel 3- close-up, the face of the BANKER, smiling as if sure that he has the upper hand here. Behind him, the WOMAN, still only in her underwear, pulls the scimitar from the wall in a fighting stance.

BANKER: You whore! Do you know who I am?!?

Panel 4- same POV as Panel 3, except the WOMAN has run the BANKER through with the sword from behind, only the bloody tip of the scimitar is visible in the panel. The BANKER looks at the tip in shock.

WOMAN: Yes. But do we care?

Panel 5- zoom out, the WOMAN lops the BANKER's head in a baseball bat-like swing of the scimitar. Foreground, the white linen pant leg of the SOLDIER.

WOMAN: Well, this won't end well. Carlyle'll have a fit...

Panel 6- zoom out, the WOMAN, background, tosses the sword aside and steps off the cushion pile. Foreground, the SOLDIER soccer kicks the BANKER's head out the broken window.

WOMAN: Seen you on the interwebs. Nice to meet you in person...

Panel 7- long wide shot, the Orient Express still barrelling through the countryside...

CAPTION (WOMAN): Military deep cover agent. Sergeant Francine Rock.
CAPTION (WOMAN): Friends call me Frankie.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Orient Express – When the Trains Run on Time – MK Stangeland Jr.

(4 Panels)

Panel 1: A Private Investigator – DETECTIVE DANIELS – is standing in a busy train station.

TEXT BOX (1): Detective Daniels has a riddle to solve.

TEXT BOX (2): His gut tells him that there is a connection between a new train system and a mysterious increase in deaths among the elderly.

TEXT BOX (3): Deaths that are officially recorded as being of natural causes.

Panel 2: A TRAIN CONDUCTOR beside the train – he looks to be mostly minding his own business but is glancing over his shoulder for just that moment. He should have a minor hint of an aura of death about him, shown in such a way as to make it unclear if it’s actually there or if DANIELS is just imagining it.

TEXT BOX (1): Detective Daniels believes the new conductors are somehow connected.

TEXT BOX (2): Conductors who are touted as having an uncanny ability to ‘make the trains run on time’.

Panel 3: DETECTIVE DANIELS is in his office. He is hard at work examining a stereotypical-style clue wall full of pictures and written clues about the mystery he’s investigating.

TEXT BOX (1): His greatest deductive reasoning failed to piece together any possible explanation.

TEXT BOX (2): Until he began to consider the supernatural.

Panel 4: DETECTIVE DANIELS looks towards a clock that’s posted up on the wall.

TEXT BOX: And realized that perhaps the trains really do run…on time.


Monday, October 5, 2015

The Orient Express - Somewhere New - Grant McLaughlin

1 – A big ol' train station, with a big ol' train not unlike the one in P.A.'s Why post taking up a good portion of our panel space. The main difference is that we're focused on the platform, where a line of people are boarding. Our protagonist, Penelope, stands out, a young woman dressed in darker colours than the rest of the travelers. If we can see it, she holds a ticket and a sad expression.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (1): My mother said the city would change me.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (2): I laughed at the idea.

2 – Penelope walks down the aisle, looking for her seat.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (1): She was right, of course.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (2): We're always changing.

COACHMAN (off-panel): Tickets! Tickets!

3 – Penelope hands her ticket to the coachman and sits down.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (1): But sometimes a place will change you into something you don't expect.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (2): Something you don't want to be.

COACHMAN: Any baggage, ma'am?

4 – Penelope looks away towards the window, her sad expression softening.

CAPTION (PENELOPE): Fortunately.

PENELOPE (1): ...


5 – Outside of the train as it pulls out of the station, looking at Penelope looking out the window. She wears a small smile.

CAPTION (PENELOPE): There's always somewhere new.

PENELOPE: Not anymore.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Orient Express - Gang Aft Agley - P. A. Nolte

1/ An outdoor cafe in a well-populated European city.  The streets are idly busy with mid-afternoon pedestrians and traffic.  A slender man man with spectacles sits alone, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper.

2/ Having picked up and shuffled the paper to the desired page, the man is about to take a sip from his cup when a voice draws his attention.  He glances up with nary a hint of interest.

Pike (OP): I see that you have received my telegram.

3/ Taking a seat across from him is another man, slightly more rotund than his companion and brandishing a prominent mustache.

Pike: I must admit, I was wary of the endeavor at first, but it seems to have all worked out in the end, eh?  Little Jacques fulfilled his end of the bargain.  Now all that I ask is that you fulfill yours.

4/ Far overhead, a large train passes by on a suspended bridge.  From our view on the surface of the water below, we can just make out a glinting bag falling in a graceful arc.  Someone has just thrown a bag out the window of the train.

Victim (OP): STOP!  THIEF!

5/ The bespectacled man finally gets a sip of his coffee.

Geoffries: Very well.

6/ Beneath the water, maybe even a continued shot of the scene set in 4/, a third man with indiscernible features is clutching a bag with at least one strand of pearls about to fall from it.  He is wearing rudimentary scuba diving equipment.  What we would now definitively identify as antique.

Geoffries: For conspiracy, extortion, and attempted murder--

7/ Pike.  A look of abject terror on his face.  Behind him stand two appropriately-uniformed officers.

Geoffries (OP): Llewellyn Pike, you are under arrest.

Why The Orient Express?

Care of P.A., who is having some computer difficulties at the moment.

About 130 years ago, this little train company started up. You might have heard of it. Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits? ... Okay, maybe not. But I'll bet you've heard about their little train(s) that could: The Orient Express.

Yeah. Thought so.

Setting off for Giurgiu, Romania, le Express d'Orient left Paris on October 4, 1883, and even though the first train didn't exactly provide the most luxurious travel, that is exactly what The Orient Express and CIWL have become synonymous with.

The train itself features prominently in Bram Stoker's Dracula, Ian Fleming's From Russia, with Love, and, well, Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. But, if literature isn't your thing, you still might have heard about it from Doctor Who, Chuck, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or every piece of fiction with a train in it produced after October 4, 1883. Roughly.

Having said all of that, know that our theme for this week does not need to be taken entirely literally. If you don't want to write about a historic train, don't. Put it in space, or underwater, or through the center of the earth. Snowpierce it up. Just make it fancy!

And, as always, if you're one of those people still standing on the platform, gazing longingly down the track, it's time to get that ticket punched.

Perry Kent - Writer-in-Residence

Charlotte's wondrous wanderings with us have sadly come to their end, but happily we have another keen talent coming your way in the human existence that is Perry Kent.

Perry is yet another writer whom I met through Comics Experience, and I was such a fan of his scripts that I knew I wanted to have some of them grace our own pages.  Now, I can cheerfully say they will.

As Perry puts it:

Perry Kent is a writer who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been making up stories his whole life and has been putting pen to paper since the first time he fell in love with a book. After recently discovering that people actually want to read some of his stories, he has been earnestly clacking away at his keyboard. Still fresh to the cutthroat, swashbuckling world of serious storytelling, he hopes to be putting his work out into the world any day now. When he makes brief forays onto the internet he can be found on Twitter (@TheOtherPerry) stalking other writers and comic creators.

Please join me in welcoming him to our shores.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - Jim Steinman Was Here - P. A. Nolte

1/ Fire and metal.  An extreme close-up of an ongoing battle.  Exactly what's happening is unclear.

Caption: Evel Knievel once said he'd crawl to Cape Kennedy to go to the moon.

2/ Pulling back, the Human Torch is ferociously attacking Colossus, whose organic steel is somehow holding its shape under the intense heat.

Caption: But not if he was gonna be the second man there.

3/ Colossus grabs hold of the Human Torch's foot.  He is about to swing his upwardly-mobile opponent into the ground when, ...

Ghost Rider (OP): Enough!

4/ Both of them recoil in pain, hands immediately going to their heads like they're experiencing the worst migraine imaginable.

5/ Ghost Rider.  He is standing over the crumpled form of The Orb.  Piotr and Johnny are both looking dazed.  Not surprising for two superheroes coming to the sudden realization that their thoughts and actions have been completely fabricated for the past... who knows how long.  They are in a castle in Latveria.  More precisely, in the mysteriously unoccupied throne room of one Doctor Doom.

Ghost Rider: What the Hell are you two doing here?

Friday, October 2, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - OUROBOROS – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (Splash Page)


Caption:  “Please state your name.”

Caption:  “You know my name.”

Caption:  “Yes, I do, but for the record: what is your name?”

Caption:  “Doom.”

Caption:  “And how did you come to possess the Cosmic Control Rod?”

Caption:  “I followed the Devil through the mirror.  Doom rules All, and All begs to be ruled.

Doom:  Oh - - I have such wonderful friends.

Caption:  “Once inside the mirror, the Devil became pieces, multiplying, insects emerging from a seventeen year sleep, breathing fire and breaking the armor of Doom. 
Caption:  “Sprouting new limbs, I vanquished the Devil and gazed upon the Hell that was now mine.” 
Caption:  “Why did you leave?”
Caption:  “I was exiled, pulled away from yet another kingdom.
Caption:  “We’re linked, you know - - your father and I. 
Caption:  “Ouroboros into infinite eternities.”

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - ...coming soon two... - Ray Wonsowski


Panel 1- outside the Best Western Hospitality House on E 49th St, a 50 ft tall, street-wide amalgamation of heroes groans and shambles on its motley of limbs. The core of it seems to be Henry Pym in his GIANT-MAN persona, but we can also see ICEMAN, ARCHANGEL, BEAST, VALKYRIE, NIGHTHAWK, Daimon "SON OF SATAN" Hellstrom, GARGOYLE, HELLCAT, NAMOR, HULK, LUKE CAGE, HERCULES, GHOST RIDER, IRON FIST, DAREDEVIL, BLACK WIDOW, and the SILVER SURFER, his board sticking out of Pym's neck. All the faces are absent of expression, mouths agape  in hypno-catatonia.

CAPTION: The magicks are powerful, but unfocused. The hands that wielded the spellrites, untrained.
CAPTION: A heroic cancer of champions and defenders, threatening to spread through the city.

Panel 2- on the roof top ledge, a purple booted foot is perched.

CAPTION: Oh, Stephen. If you could only see what has been wrought against you. By the Flames of the Faltine...

Panel 3- Full reveal, CLEA, in a purple version of Dr. Strange's tunic, standing on the hotel roof ledge, the cloak of levitation swirling about her, her white hair blowing in the breeze, the Eye of Agamotto at her throat, her head proudly back, in magical rapture, yellow tongues of flame in the palms of her hands...

CAPTION: I will heal this city and set it free...

A new multi-part story coming soon, stay tuned!