View Full Version : Scripts for Submitting Samples
04-12-2009, 05:16 PM
I sometimes write sequential scripts for fun. In the past I have written comic book scripts for several PJ fusion jams, and I have been fortunate enough to win a contest for "Best Action Script" on the PJ Writing board in the past. Though I make no claim at being a professional writer, my contributions as a co-plotter will finally see the light of day in the Spring of 2010 with the publication of LORNA RELIC WRANGLER through Image Comics.
Every now and then, I will get a request from a PJer interested in using one of my scripts to work up some sequential pages for their portfolio to show as samples to editors. This thread will contain sample scripts that can be used for such purposes with my good wishes and approval. Again, I make no claims at being a great comic book writer, but I hope you will find my scripts to be entertaining and useful. They have been written with some thought given to the visual nature of the sequential storytelling at hand.
04-12-2009, 05:17 PM
Sample Action Script #1
SPIDER-MAN: SHOCK VALUE
By Loston Wallace
This script begins with a battle already in-progress. The fight begins with the Shocker at an advantage over our hero. This script is a 3-page script designed to allow an artist plenty of room to draw some cool action scenes. I have kept the panel count low to allow the artist the chance to draw the occasional large panel or figure when it might be necessary to do so.
Panel One: As the villainous SHOCKER closes in on our favorite, web-spinning hero, Spidey struggles to rise from the pavement of a New York City street. SPIDER-MAN looks to be in a bad way here as he struggles to get to his feet. His costume is singed from the Shocker's recent onslaught, and shows rips and scorch marks from previous attacks. The Shocker also looks a little worse for wear. The lower part of the Shocker's mask has been ripped away, allowing us to see the lower parts of his face. His mouth and chin area are now exposed.
A small crowd of onlookers have assembled around Spidey and the Shocker to watch the two costumed combatants duke it out. The crowd should be a diverse lot of New Yorkers.
Panel Two: Medium shot of the Shocker, whose gauntlets begin to crackle with electricity as he takes aim at Spidey, who is currently off-panel.
NOTE: Make the Shocker look as menacing as possible here. The Shocker thinks he's finally about slay his wall-crawling nemesis, after all!
SFX: (Crackling noise around Shocker's fists) FZZSSSKKKTTT!
Panel Three: We cut to Spidey in this panel as he rolls out of the way of the Shocker's blast--and just in the nick of time! Shocker's Vibro-blast kicks up shards of concrete at the point of the electric impact. Good thing our hero's reflexes saved him from such a devastating jolt!
SFX: (Impact) Ka-THOOOM!
Panel Four: Both Spidey and the Shocker should be shown in this panel. From the right side of the panel, the Shocker releases another deadly blast of energy from his gauntlets. Once again though, Spidey is too fast for our electrified menace, and easily leaps over the Shocker's blast, showing off his dynamic, arachnid flare. Looks like the tide is beginning to turn in favor or our hero, doesn't it?
Panel One: Indeed, the momentum now favors Spidey's corner. The Shocker receives a jaw-jarring foot to the face courtesy of our friendly neighborhood hero! If possible, lets make it one of those "flying sidekicks" the kids rave about in the school yards. That should work nicely here. The kick should really ring the Shocker's bell in this panel, as our hero's kick lands solid. The Shocker has put ol' Web-head through the wringer already, so now it's time for our villain to pay the piper!
Panel Two: Cut to: We're skipping ahead just a second or two in time here. The Shocker is now down on one knee, wiping away a trickle of blood from his lower lip (remember we can see his lips because his mask is torn). Spidey's amazing kick has momentarily stunned his foe. For the sake of panel continuity, you may want to also show Spider-Man in this panel. Though he is staggered, the Shocker is now extremely hot under the collar, and his expression and body language should depict his anger. Even though the Shocker doesn't speak in this panel, his growing rage should speak volumes.
Panel Three: Spidey releases webbing from his web-shooters, completely covering Shocker's face.
SFX (webshooters): FFZZZZZTTT!
Note: Be sure to leave some web-line trailing back from the Shocker's face to our hero hands, as it's part of the set-up for the action in the next panel!
Panel Four: Spider-man in the center of the panel. Spidey, now holding onto the web-line, begins to swings our bad guy through the air, around and around in a circle! Spidey is building up centripetal force with the Shocker's body.
Panel Five: Spidey releases the web-line attached to the Shocker's face, sending the gauntlet powered villain hurtling towards the viewer! Make this as dynamic and as three-dimensional as possible--in-your-face action, Marvel-style!
Panel One: We see the Shocker's flying body as it crashes into a panel truck parked on the street. A truck similar to the type U-Haul or UPS uses will do nicely. There should be a huge impact as our villain smashes against the side of the truck. Onlookers gawk in the background.
SFX: (Shocker impact) THA-KRRUNGG!!
Panel Two: The wall-crawler isn’t out of the woods just yet, though. We cut back to a shot of Spidey standing near the panel truck. The Wall-crawler looks a little dizzy and dazed. Despite his recent advantage in this fight, he has not yet fully recovered from the severe beating the Shocker gave him earlier. Unfortunately for our web-swinging hero, his recent adrenalin surge, a boost created for self-preservation, has worn off! Spider-Man's knees begin to buckle and he seems about to faint. If possible, show some concern on the faces of the onlookers for our struggling hero.
Panel Three: (Large panel) From the wreckage that was the panel truck, Spidey receives a massive jolt of electricity! Despite being blinded by webbing, the quick recovering Shocker has managed to get off a very lucky shot. This is just one of those "happy accidents" in favor or our villain. It's just not Spidey's day. The impact of the Shocker's blast hits Spider-man square in the chest, sending him soaring backwards in agony.
04-12-2009, 06:43 PM
Sample Action Script #2:
by Loston Wallace
This script is of a fight scene already in progress. Background description is kept at an extreme minimal in this script, but I strongly recommend that suitable street and building backgrounds be drawn in whenever possible. It will be okay to omit backgrounds from some panels, but it is very important to establish and re-establish the location throughout this script. It is advisable to read through this script carefully before committing pencil to paper.
Setting: Our story begins in the foggy streets of Gotham City, around 1:OO AM on a winter night.
Panel One: This should be a fairly zoomed-in shot of the action. Batman delivers a double-handed uppercut to the underside of Killer Croc's jaw. We should mostly see the upper bodies of our two combatants in this panel.
Panel Two: Larger panel. Pull camera back now to show full bodies of both characters. Batman doubles Croc over with an amazing punch to Croc's gut. Batman has had enough death and mayhem for one night, and Gotham's protector is about to teach Croc a lesson he won't soon forget.
Panel Three: The Dark Knight nails Croc with a spin-kick to the head. A few of Croc's teeth fly from his mouth in a blood-spewing arch.
Panel Four: Killer Croc is no ordinary villain. He can take a lot of punishment--even the titanic assault of the Dark Knight! In this panel, Croc fights back, lashing out wildly in an attempt to back-fist the dark-clad detective. Batman ducks Croc's attack just in time, but the streetlamp behind Batman isn't as fortunate. Croc's blow ravages the lamp.
SFX: (lamp impact) KUNKK!
Panel One: Croc is enraged, and is desperate to take down "the Bat". With the startling speed of his reptilian namesake, Crocs claws connect, ripping across the surface of Batman's chest, drawing blood!
SFX: (claw) SHKKK!
Panel Two: His back to the viewer, Croc begins ripping the damaged streetlamp from it's foundation. It will make a deadly weapon inwhich to swat his nemesis! Batman should not be seen in this panel.
SFX: (Streetlamp) RRRIIIPPP!
Panel Three: Holding the lamp over his head, Croc spins around towards the viewer, but Batman is nowhere to be seen. Croc should be baffled by the Dark Knight's disappearing act. He was sure that Batman was going to die...this time.
Panel Four: Batman drops down from behind Croc stealthfully in a crouch. Croc isn't aware that Batman is behind him.
Panel Five: Batman tosses a bola* at the legs of Killer Croc. Make sure you leave one of Batman's belt pouches open to show where this weapon came from!
Sfx: (bola in flight) whhhzzzzzzzzz!!
*A bola is a 2 to 3 foot rope (or cord) with ball-shaped weights attached to either end.
Panel One: The bola wraps around Croc's legs, securring tightly around his ankles. Croc is once again, surprised by the turn of events.
Panel Two: Birdseye POV. A few seconds have passed between this panel and the last. Batman is now perched on a low rooftop nearby watching Killer Croc on the streets below. In Batman's hand is his grappling hook and line, which he used to gain access to the roof.
Batman has been moving about swiftly, hoping to spook Killer Croc in a game of "now you see me, now you don't". This guerrilla style approach is beginning to take its toll. Below the Batman, Croc has momentarily forgotten our hero, and has dropped the streetlamp, and is tearing away at the bola around his legs. He is extremely annoyed and rattled.
Panel Three: We focus our attention back on Croc. The bola is proving a match for even his colossal strength. As he tries to untangle his ankles, Croc becomes aware of a strange noise emanating from the bola's weights.
SFX: (from the round weights of the bolo) BEEEP! BEEEP! BEEEP!
Panel Four: The bola around Croc's ankles suddenly explodes! Ouch. The exploding bola bombs will not cause any serious damage, but the superficial wounds will prove quite painful!
SFX: BOOM! BOOOM!
08-23-2010, 03:47 PM
Here's a story I wrote for a Critical Mass project years ago. This was written in a script format similar to the old EC Horror Comics of the 1950s where the top half of each panel was reserved for narration, captions, and dialogue, with the bottom half of the panels reserved for artwork. While this was originally presented to be a one page sequential story, this script could easily be expanded into a two or three page story without too much effort. As I mentioned before this is an old story that was written about 7 or 8 years ago, so please keep that in mind. Hopefully you'll still get something out of it.
This little tale of terror is called...
By Loston Wallace
PANEL ONE: Man in a trench coat shambles down an old country road leading to the city. It's raining, and the man has his coat collars turned up protecting his face from the miserable weather. We shouldn't see the man's features here, and in fact, we won't see his face until panel six.
CAPTION: I didn't want to be late for the bus stop, but I have to admit the pain in my knees was slowing me down. One of those dull, deep pains brought on by the rain, no doubt.
PANEL TWO: We see a shot of the man walking. The camera is behind him. His head is tilted forward and his hands are tucked into his coat pockets. To the right of him, we see a sign which depicts an image of a bus (or maybe has the words "BUS STOP" instead). In front of him we see the outline of city buildings through the steady rain.
CAPTION: But I wasn't going to be late. I didn't want to keep my daughter Jeannie waiting. I hadn't seen little Jeannie since her wedding, almost-CHRIST-seven years ago, I guess! Nope. I wasn't going to let a little drizzle and rheumatism make me miss the 1:20.
PANEL THREE: Camera way in front this time. In the foreground we see an overturned waste basket next to a malnourished dog. The mutt is growling or barking at the man walking in the distant background. The man seems startled, but you'll have to show this in his body language, as we still do not see his face yet. The dog and trashcan are near a sidewalk, so the man has made it to the outskirts of town at this point.
CAPTION: On the way, I saw a half-starved dog scrounging through an overturned trash can. He barked and growled at me, so I steered clear of him. Might have had rabies or something, the poor fellow.
PANEL FOUR: Shot from behind the man's shoulders or maybe even from a slight "birds-eye" POV. Three unsavory teens run from the man, abandoning their spray cans near a wall next to the sidewalk.
CAPTION: The rain had let up a little, and I noticed a bunch of young hoodlums spray painting the wall near the bus stop. They saw me coming and must have thought I was a beat-cop, because they hightailed it. Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.
PANEL FIVE: Break-thru shot. Silhouette shot of the head & shoulders of our walker, who has stepped onto the bus. We see the bus driver turned in his chair as if to receive payment for passage, yet the look on his face is one of absolute shock and terror. His eyes are wide and his mouth gapes open.
CAPTION: I didn't have to wait long before the bus arrived. Good thing too, 'cause the downpour had me numb with cold. The driver had the damnedest look on his face. He didn't seem to want to take my money, but I closed it in his hand and took a seat.
PANEL SIX: We see a medium/close-up of the man now as he walks down the aisle of the bus. We reveal his ghastly features for the first time. His face is a mass of rotted flesh over a partially exposed skull. His hair is in tufts and is completely unkempt. He has only one eye left in his head, and the flesh of his lips rolled back to reveal grizzly choppers. His nose has rotted away, leaving only a spade-shaped hole. If you would like to be a little grotesque, add in a few worms or maggots to sell that our mysterious walker is in reality one of the living dead. On of his ears dangles from a single strip of loose skin.
The few passengers on the bus awake enough to see this new rider are completely in shock and dismay, to say the least. Maybe the bus driver can be seen fleeing behind our walking corpse.
CAPTION ONE: I sure hope the bus line hadn't hired another whack-job, because nothing is going to keep me from seeing my little Jeannie again.
CAPTION TWO: 53 year old Malcolm Driscoe had been killed in a hit-and-run. The trucker had been driving under the influence and never bothered to stop, or even report the incident. Malcolm remained on the"missing persons" list until his decomposed body turned up three years later on a bus bound for Chicago.
09-27-2010, 09:49 PM
Here's a new one for you guys that aren't necessarily into superheroes, etc. This one is a little something different....
THE HEAD CASE
By Loston Wallace
Caption: This morning I woke up very tired. I stretched out my arms, tried to yawn, and made a frightening discovery....
Description: Shot of a male figure sitting up in bed with his arms outstretched. The bedroom is a typical apartment bedroom, and is likewise furnished. His neck and head should be obscured in this panel, either by shadows, placement of an object in the foreground, by panel crop, etc.
Caption: ….I had no head!
Description: Zoom in camera slightly on the headless figure in the bed. Don't zoom in too far—show some of his body in the shot. A good bit of body language here would help sell the shock of this young man's sudden realization. He is indeed without a head. He has some neck though, and there's no blood or signs of violence at all.
Caption: In a panic I leaped out of bed and began searching the room frantically!
Caption 2: I looked everywhere—even under the bed—but there was no sign of it!
Description: A headless man wearing pajama bottoms is down on the floor on hands and knees, setting aside the hanging bedcovers, searching under the bed for his missing head. This is a good chance to show a rug on the floor or maybe a bedside table with an alarm clock, etc.
Caption: Then it dawned on me—How was I seeing under the bed anyway? I mean—I didn't have a head anymore!
Description: Medium shot of the headless figure. He is still on his knees next to the bed, and is very perplexed.
Caption: Before I could begin to ponder an answer, I felt something cold tug at my ankle.
Description: A jet-black tendril protrudes from underneath the bed. The end of the tendril has a similar shape to a human hand, but the hand should look a little more monstrous with some sort of sharp fingernails or claws.
Caption 2: I felt sharp claws bite into my skin! I was being pulled underneath my bed by a set of shadowy hands!
Description: Zoom into a close-up shot of the headless man's ankle being held tightly by one or more dark hands—the claws digging into the headless man's leg.
Caption: I struggled to break free, but my body felt numb with fear. Inky tendrils held fast around my legs.
Caption 2: A large pit gaped open beneath my bed, and I was being pulled into it! Suddenly, I was falling downward, plunging helplessly through the surroundings of surreal and ominous realm!
Caption 3: I would have screamed my head off, but—well, you know...
Description: This should be a long vertical panel on the left side of the page. The strange tendrils stretch upward from the bottom of the panel, and are wrapped around the legs of the headless man in pajama bottoms, who is falling into a very strange looking dimension. Steve Ditko's bizarre interpretations of outer dimensions in DOCTOR STRANGE wouldn't be far off the mark. Use your imagination to create a freakishly weird world here. There could be weird flying creatures, strange objects, and bizarre bits of scenery in this panel. At the top of the panel, show a rectangular opening of light, representing the dimensional portal beneath the bed.
Caption: I don't remember how I stopped falling...or how I survived the impact with the stone floor...or even how I was experiencing any part of this! How was I even alive without a head??! Where was I?! It was all too much to take in at once. Was I insane? That had to be it! I'd gone mad while I slept. I'd gone utterly mad...
Description: The headless man struggles to pull himself up off of a stone floor. There is very little light around him, but some light seems to be radiating from elsewhere off-panel. There is no sign of the long, dark tendrils.
Caption: My mind reeled—at least I think it must have. In my unbalanced state, clarity seemed to be just beyond my grasp. Then there was music. Strange and delirious, it seemed to beckon me...
Caption 2: It was just as if those tendrils were still holding onto me. Like an obedient servant being summoned, I walked toward the source of the music. I could see a glimmering light not far ahead of me.
Description: The headless man walks down a dark corridor towards a lit chamber. The floor and walls are poorly lighted, but they are composed of blocks of roughly hewn stone.
Caption: I was both amazed and horrified by what I witnessed next....
Description: Headless man stands in an arched doorway of stone. Torches are lit on either side of the entrance. The headless man's arms are lifted as if to shield a face he no longer possesses.
Panel One: Full page splash
Caption: Amidst a great circle of human skulls was MY HEAD—smiling and laughing gleefully as it danced in the middle of the bony ring on spidery, black legs that protruded from the base of its neck!
Caption 2: From the mouth of my detached head came the creepy music. If there had been any room for doubt before, it was now quite clear that I must be mad, for no other explanation seemed possible.
Caption 3: I stood there helpless, marveling at the deranged spectacle before me. I was a lunatic. In my sleep I must have became unhinged, and now I was lost in my unsound mind. It must be so.
Caption: My head continued to spew hateful harmonies from its lips as it spun and whirled to its own hellish tempo. I struggled to free myself from the strange hold the music had over me. That's when I noticed the small, loose stone on the cobbled floor.
Description: This can be a close-up of a stone near the bare feet of the headless man.
Caption: With all the strength, will and remaining sanity in my being, I seized the rock with my right hand and sent it hurling towards the nightmarish troubadour!
Description: The headless man throwing the rock towards the “camera” in baseball pitcher fashion.
Caption: My disembodied head careened and squealed in agony as my aim drove the hurtling stone into the socket of its left eye!
Caption: Naturally that's when I awoke in my bed, covered in sweat. It had all been just a dream! Of course it was a dream!
Description: We see the man sitting up in bed again (similarly to page one, panel one). Once again his head is obscured by either shadow, object in the foreground, or panel crop.
Caption: Sleepily, I stretched my arms, and tried to force a yawn, but one did not come to me.
Description: Arms are outstretched, but the head is still obscured.
Caption: Wait a minute! Where was my head??! No—GOD, NO! This couldn't be happening all over again?!?
Description: He's headless again. Remember—no gore.
Caption: But it WAS happening. In a panic, I began to look around the room for my missing cranium. Then I really was mad? I really had cracked after all?!!
Description: Pan back the camera and show the bedroom. This can be an overhead Film Noir sort of shot, or even a profile shot of the headless man sitting up in bed.
Caption: I became frantic once more as I searched the blankets of my bed, and then, slowly, I drew back the covers and considered my next move.
Caption 2: The idea of looking beneath my bed filled me with horror, and I was shaking like a leaf.
Description: Headless man has removed the blanket and is sitting on the edge of the bed with both hands on the mattress.
Caption: Then something occurred to me. I had been drinking at the bar last night....
Caption 2: Everything was a blur.
Description: Similar panel to Panel two. Headless man is still sitting on the edge of the bed.
Caption: I stumbled down the hall towards the kitchen.
Description: Shot from behind the headless man in pajama bottoms. He's making his way towards the kitchen, which should be visible at the end of the hall.
Caption: And I was greatly relieved to find my head resting on the counter where I'd left it last night!
My Head: Hey there, buddy! You look like hell, man. Did you sleep okay?
The headless figure and the head need to be seen together in this panel. It might be a good idea to place the head in the foreground with the headless body in the background near the entrance way to the kitchen. Remember to draw in a refrigerator and other everyday kitchen furnishings and appliances.
Caption: Reluctantly I grabbed my head and held it above the stub of my neck....
My Head: No time for breakfast and a shower today, dude—we're late for work!
Caption: He was right, of course. We were late for work. Slipping on my loafers and a wrinkled dress shirt, I barely made the corner in time to catch the morning bus.
Description: An exterior shot of a passenger bus leaving the bus stop in the middle of the city.
Caption: My pajama pants were the talk of the morning. I'd forgotten to put on real pants. Fantastic. I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached to me 65 % of the time.
Description: We see the star of our tale (complete with his head) sitting on on an aisle seat of the bus. He is wearing a wrinkled dress shirt with a striped tie, loafers without socks, and his pajama pants. He looks embarrassed and uneasy. Show two young women smirking and/or giggling at his attire.
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