Saturday, December 31, 2016

Discovery - Omegaman: Origins - P. A. Nolte

1/ In the backyard of a suburban house, two brothers stand side by side in awe at something glowing with an alien light slightly out of sight.  The elder is tall and athletic with dark hair.  The younger is short, round and blonde.

Bobby: Tommy...?

2/ The brothers peer over the rim of the crater.  In the center rests a perfectly smooth, egg-shaped UFO made from some manner of dark, reflective mineral.

Tommy: I don't know, Bobby.  Something big.

3/ The brothers, years later, in the liminal stages of their perspective careers.  The elder brother has started to unhinge. He has lost weight and his hair is unkempt.  He plays with a hand built remote, sending a series of crude robots at his brother, now tall and muscular in his own right.

Bobby: You?!  My own brother!

4/ The older brother, now in his mid-30's, has subscribed fully to the maniacal frizzy hair and bowtie villain look.  He is being pulled through the cracked dome of a 30-foot-tall robot by his brother, now a smiling paragon of virtue in the style of 1950's Superman.

Tommy: You'll never bring them back.

5/ In the vast halls of a bizarre museum, or maybe a zoo, or both, is a pedestal on which rests the large glowing UFO from before.  Around it are small tanks featuring alien lifeforms and technology, remnants of buildings and vehicles, samples of supervillain ephemera, and everything in between.

Caption: You'll never bring them back.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Discovery-The History of Rudolph-David Press.

I'm playing with Scrivener these days so apologies if the formatting comes through a little wonky.

We're looking in through the windshield of a silver Ford Focus. In the Driver's Seat is a burly sixty-something-year-old wearing a Russian General's hat. We can see the hammer and sickle gold emblem in the center of the hat, and a very thick winter coat. The DRIVER has a white beard, and he is so wide that he takes up the front half of the little vehicle. He's listening to the radio. 
Obviously the radio is a little radio balloon. 
I'm Tom Ashbrook, today On Point we're asking the question: what is your favorite Christmas Song? 
Is it Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? Or Jingle Bells? 
We're looking at the radio that's tuned to 90.5FM. Perhaps the shot can be wide enough  can pan up to the dashboard so we can see the day and time and temperature in the car. The temperature should read -5 Fahrenheit. 
Today we the grandson of the original writer behind Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer. 
Jeffrey May welcome to On Point. 
3. MAY
Thanks for having me. 
Our pleasure. So your grandfather was the original creator of the song. 
On the face of the Driver. He looks like if Santa Claus was a Rugby Player. His nose is a little red from the condensation of the 
5. MAY
That's right, Robert May was a junior copywriter for Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression, and he created the song as a part of his contract.  
And he took the assignment because his wife was dying? 
7. MAY
Yes, Tom. He wanted to create a story to comfort his children. 
His daughter liked the reindeer at the Chicago zoo and Eureka!
Eureka, Indeed.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Discovery - The Hedge Less Traveled - Perry Kent

 Dedicated to those who spent time looking through dusty attics and dirty bushes to find their own entrance to a land of magic.

Panel 1
Exterior, dull gray daylight, a city park. Michael, a ten year old boy, wiggles his legs from under a grand hedge as he looks for a ball among the foliage. Bernice, a ten year old girl, crosses her arms and rolls her eyes in irritation as she stands next to him. The light around them is a dull gray of an overcast day.

1. BERNICE: Haven't you found the ball yet? I don't want to lose another ball in this park.

2. MICHAEL: You could help me. You kicked it in here!

Panel 2
Interior of the hedge, dark. Michael and Bernice crawl through the wooden limbs and twigs of the underside of the bushes. They are searching for a ball.

3. BERNICE: These bushes seem really big for a city park. We've been crawling for a while.

4. MICHAEL: Yeah... Maybe our ball rolled through. I think I see the other side.

Panel 3
Exterior, bright and sunny daylight, park. Michael stands, shielding his eyes from bright sunshine, with a look of awe on his face as he stands infront of this side of the hedges. Bernice crawls from under the hedge, but hasn't looked up yet. The light around them is a brightness of a warm sunny day.

5. BERNICE: Do you see the ball?

Panel 4
A bustle of magical revelry fills a large open grassy field. A tiger-woman struts through the park. A man hovers a large ring of balls in a tight orbit above his head, as though with his mind. A man balances upside down on two fingers, on top of a stack of rocks. A woman twists flames in the sky like a ribbon.


Panel 5
Bernice and Michael stand in slack-jawed awe of the magical park that they've discovered.

6. BERNICE: Did...did you know this was here?


- END -

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Discovery – Fantastic Voyages – MK Stangeland, Jr.

(1 Panel)

Panel 1: A blue sphere, one with a FUTURE FOUNDATION logo on the side. It travels across a DITKO-esque dimension made up of images of various universes – most of them MARVEL, some not, and a few of them look broken or in need of tweaking or other repair.

REED RICHARDS (1): (Text Box) A scientists’ work is never truly done.

REED (2): (Text Box) After all, it is their job to understand the mysteries of the universe.

REED (3): (Text Box) But how can anyone ever truly understand the universe as a whole?

REED (4): (Text Box) Let alone a multiverse. Or the omniverse.

REED (5): (Text Box) Maybe that’s what drives my calling as a scientist.

REED (6): (Text Box) For if a scientist can never truly complete their work, they are never left without a purpose in life.

REED (7): (Text Box) They are never without something new to explore, without new ideas and worlds to discover.

REED (8): (Text Box) Theirs is a journey that will never end.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Discovery - A Little Knowledge - Grant McLaughlin

Set this up as a tablet page, long and short. I don't generally like to be too prescriptive in my panelling, but I think two rows of four panels each (1-3 and 4-6) would be the the way to go. Maybe all equal-sized panels, maybe not.

1 - Close on a man on the rooftop of a tall building - maybe an apartment or hotel? The man leans over the edge of the rooftop (there's something of a short wall at the edge for safety). He reaches over the short wall and down towards - and beyond - the bottom of the panel. Indeed, he's taking a rifle offered to himself by the version of him in panel 4, which we'll get to in due course.

MAN: Over the course of human history, our understanding of the basic rules governing reality have continued to change and evolve.

2 - The man goes about setting up the rifle on the roof's edge to give it a proper base for shooting.

MAN: What was once undeniably true ultimately turning out to be anything but.

3 - The man takes aim and pulls the trigger, with a large muzzle-flash (and perhaps bullet flying out and trailing away). Important to note that he is aiming down and to the left, shooting the version of himself in panel 5.

MAN: Are we truly governed by the these "rules"? Or are we simply limited by our unwavering faith in their current rightness?

4 - The man stands up on his tiptoes and passes the gun up to his iteration in panel 1 (across the panel border and gutter, as described earlier). He remains in the same position on the roof.

MAN: This is a dangerous thought process.

5 - The man is shot the back of the head by the bullet fired from panel 3 (he's looking to the left). Perhaps show the bullet's trail through the air on the page (although not strictly necessary).

MAN: It not only risks being self-indulgent--

6 - The man lies dead on the rooftop, blood pooling around his corpse. Frame from further back, with the body and blood as the only feature in the empty rooftop, to better emphasize the violence against the stark background.

CAPTION (MAN): "But also self-destructive."

Why Discovery?

I really like simple prompts.

Based on my past activity, this may not surprise you.

Purity is probably too strong of a word for it, but I do find that simple prompts have a certain elegance to them. Perhaps simple isn't quite the word I'm looking for here. A single word will almost always call a particular image or idea to mind, but if you have the right one, that initial thought will vary from person to person. And if you're really lucky, the more one thinks about it, the more things it will bring to mind.

If you'll excuse me tooting my own horn, I think "Discovery" fits firmly into that latter category.

When I first considered Discovery as my selection, I was thinking squarely in the physical realm - strolling about a new city to find its various treasures, crossing over the distant mountains to see what's on the other side, clambering aboard a ship to find lies across the ocean - but the more I sat with it, the wider I cast my net. Going bigger into the dark, empty realms of space. Or smaller into the visible deaths of atoms and their like.

Of course, even such dramatic alternatives remain trapped firmly in the realm of the corporeal. What of the many ideas. And philosophies that men and women have pondered throughout our history? The many inventions that have defined our past and present and the ones that will yet define our future? There are all manner of problems and questions that we have overcome, but they are far outnumbered by those that we have yet to solve, let alone contemplate.

Even as I mull over these few, if multifaceted, interpretations,  I know I am only scratching the surface. There are many more that I am overlooking perhaps some of them are springing to your mind, thoughts unbidden if not unwelcome.

If so, I'd love to see your interpretations. One page isn't a lot, but it's still plenty of room to explore and discover something new.

Art - Christmas Special: 12-20-16 - MK Stangeland Jr.

(I wound up liking my Christmas Script for this year so much - the relative simplicity of it helped - that I felt driven to do art for it as well.)

(So here, Merry Christmas.)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Stories - Nutcracker - P. A. Nolte

1/ The Mouse King grips his bleeding side.  He wheezes for air, somehow managing to keep himself upright.  His sword is above his head, shaking in his dying grasp.  On the ground below him, Clara is backed against an ornate balcony.  She is terrified.

Nutcracker (OP): CLARA!

2/ In the background, the Prince completes his transformation. He is a wooden sculpture in the form of a man.  Petrified while screaming bloody murder.  In the foreground, the Mouse King swings downward, more reliant on gravity than anything else.

3/ A mere inch away from Clara's hand, the blade connects with the solid floor of the balcony.  The Mouse King's feet are off-balance.  He begins to topple.

4/ Clara tucks into a ball, squinting her eyes shut as tightly as possible and leaning away from the heaving mass of dying rodent.

5/ Clara's eye's open just a smidge.

6/ Clara has risen to her feet and peeked over the edge of the balcony.  Below her, into the pink mists that obscure everything else, plummets the Mouse King.  He makes no sound.

7/ Clara is still at the balcony.  Tears well up in her eyes.  Over her shoulder, standing amid the petrified forms of her friends, is Drosselmeyer.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Stories - The Dark Claus - Perry Kent

Panel 1
Exterior, night. Batman slips out of a window and onto a roof in the dead of night. There is a blanket of snow lying across the roof. A few more windows can be seen.


Panel 2
A light flicks on in one of the windows as Batman creeps away along the roof.

1. YOUTH #1 (lit up window): Hey, did anyone hear anything?

Panel 3
Batman launches a grappling hook as more windows light up from the inside, spilling their light onto the snowy rooftop.

2. YOUTH #2 (window): Whoa! Look at all the presents under the tree!

3. YOUTH #3 (window): Those weren't there earlier.

4. YOUTH #3 (window): Would you shut up and let us sleep.

5. SFX (grappling hook): Pssh!

Panel 4
Batman swings past a banner using his grappling hook. The banner reads "Saint Pancras Youth Home" and a smaller sign under that says "Sponsored by the Wayne Foundation".


- END -

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Stories – 12-20-16 – MK Stangeland, Jr.

(1 Panel)

Panel 1: Two small trees, similar to the one CHARLIE BROWN adopts from A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS, after it’s been spiffed up. A stick sits between to connect them, which WOODSTOCK is sitting on.

To the left stands SNOOPY, who is looking at the display with one hand to his chin in a pondering fashion. WOODSTOCK looks in SNOOPY’s direction.

SNOOPY: (Thought Balloon) No, I’m not sure it works as replacement for a pear tree.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Stories - Carol - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Gotham at night in winter. Snow is falling and while we're in a rougher, more industrial neighbourhood it's still clear that it's Christmas time (the occasional lights, etc). Focus on a seemingly abandoned building - the Joker's current lair.

JOKER (softly, from within): Go away...

2 - On a fireplace near the foot of the bed. Harley's hyenas sleep nearby as the coals burn softly.

JOKER (softly, off-panel): Stop...

3 - On Joker and Harley's bed. Joker sits bolt upright, waking from a nightmare. His eyes are wide, he's sweating.  His sudden movement has awoken Harley as well, who looks towards him with a start. Both should be wearing some stereotypical 1950s pyjamas (I may be thinking Animated series vibe here). Perhaps the Joker's nightcap looks like (or is) a Santa hat.

JOKER (yelling): Nooo!

HARLEY: Whatsamatta, Mistah J?

4 - On Joker. He's removed his hat and kneads it in his hands,his face focused and serious.

JOKER (1): Nightmares, Harley.

JOKER (2): Every Christmas I have the same recurring dream where three ghosts just won't leave me alone.

5 - The Joker throws the nightcap away. Harley looks surprised. Maybe fit in the hyenas as well (but not strictly necessary).

JOKER: Worst of all, they keep insisting I mend my ways.

6 - On the fireplace, where the nightcap is catching fire and reigniting the coals.

JOKER: Let me tell you, the whole thing is a real humbug!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Story-Yard Santa-David Press.


            CLARK GRISWOLD is at the end of his driveway. He’s dressed in winter gear, with a snow shovel down at the ground pushing fresh accumulation to the edge of the driveway. The pile of snow has been pushed there by large neighborhood SNOW PLOWS.

            A SNOW PLOW drives by just as Clark pushes the pile to the edge of the driveway. The plow showers Griswold with snow.


1.3 INSET:
            Clark’s face is screwed up—he’s pissed.


1.4 CUT TO:
            Clark is standing in the middle of his yard. He’s stepping down on a pump that will inflate a GIANT SANTA CLAUS. One of those obnoxious yard ones like this one:
Clark is really struggling to blow it up. He’s hunched over and grunting while he presses down hard on the pedal that will expand the Santa Claus.


            The inflatable Santa bursts apart, sending Clark flying back towards the gutter, about to disappear off panel.


            He’s on his back in the snow pile, spread-eagled, like he’s making a snow angel.


The snow plow comes around again and dumps more snow on him, burying everything except his head in snow.

1. GRISWOLD:                         I give up.

Why Christmas Stories?

One of my family’s traditions is to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation every Christmas. Written by the great John Hughes, the movie follows the hijinks of the Griswold family [Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, et al.] and is a source of tremendous fun.

Over the years there have been quite a lot of movies of hilarious Christmas fun including Bad Santa, but National Lampoon’s Christmas will always be the best one of the bunch. So this week’s task is to adapt a Christmas Story of your choice. I’m going to go with the Griswolds, and I hope you select something that is fun for you. Happy holidays!