Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Dark Knight Returns – THE BOY AND THE BOOK – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (11 Panels)

Layout:  Like the sixteen panel grid format Frank Miller used in DKR – four panels across the top, four panels underneath, one panel in the third row and a larger Panel 10 with an insert in spot sixteen taking up the remainder of the page.

1.1:  The cover to the first edition trade paperback of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.  It’s brand new, right off the shelf.

Caption:  Once upon a time there was a book.

1.2:  Interior, a small apartment, Christmas Morning.  A Boy of ten or eleven holding the book from Panel 1.1, smiling broadly.  There is wrapping paper littering the carpet and a decorated Christmas Tree just behind the Boy.

Caption:  And on a magical Christmas morning a boy was gifted this book.

1.3:  Interior, evening, a private hospital room in a sterile pediatrics ward.  The Boy from Panel 1.2 is lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to an IV.

Caption:  Shortly thereafter, the boy was imprisoned for what, to a young boy, seemed like an eternity.

1.4:  The Boy sitting up in the hospital bed, reading Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.  It’s night and the only light source is a lamp on his bedside table. 

Caption:  And the boy was left with only the book.

1.5:  Interior, night, the Boy’s room in the apartment from Panel 1.2.  He’s out of the hospital and sitting at a desk, drawing.  The desk is lit by a single desk lamp and the boy is wearing pajamas. 

Caption:  The boy lived inside the book, and knew that he wanted to make a book too. 

1.6:  What the Boy’s drawing: an extremely crude replica of a Frank Miller style Batman.

Caption:  But alas, the book was a force of nature and could never me replicated.

1.7:  The Boy, a teenager now, sitting at an old 1990-style word processor.  He’s behind the same desk from Panel 1.5, wearing a flannel shirt and blue jeans.

Caption:  He learned about words and for what they were meant. 

1.8:  The Boy, in his late twenties or early thirties, in a business suit, standing before a group of other people in business suits.  They are sitting around a conference table, watching the grown-up Boy giving a Power Point presentation.

Caption:  But he forgot then what he knows now and was an imitation of a happy man.

1.9:  Repeat of Panel 1.1, only a very well-worn and beaten copy.

Caption:  Then he remembered his old friend, the book -

1.10:  Large panel taking up half of the page of the Boy, now in his late-thirties or early forties, sitting at a desk, typing away on a laptop.  He’s wearing a grey t-shirt and black pants.  On the desk next to the laptop is the battered book from Panel 1.9.

Caption:  Becoming the boy again.

Caption:  This will be a good life . . .

1.11:  Inset to Panel 1.10, where a sixteenth panel would be if the 4 x 4 grid structure had been maintained for the entire page, and the smirking face of the grown-up Boy.

Caption:  . . . good enough.

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful script, Derek. A terrific homage to The Dark Knight Returns while also laying down some earnest biographical moments that all comes together in that final echo of the book's oft-repeated phrase. Lovely stuff.


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