View Poll Results: Which story was your favorite ?

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  • "COBALT: LEAVE THE MASK ON" by Inkspot

    2 33.33%
  • "The Jeweller" by Zepster

    3 50.00%
  • "ShadowOne" by Chris2.0

    1 16.67%
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Thread: Writing Contest #87 : Create An Iconic Character

  1. #1
    Lincoln faked his death...there, I said it. [SUPPORTER]
    cbikle's Avatar
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    Writing Contest #87 : Create An Iconic Character

    In this contest, you'll introduce/reintroduce a character who has the potential to be iconic.

    As usual, the rules are:

    *Nothing sexual in nature (romantic love scene is ok, but nothing graphic)

    *Nothing Political

    *5 Page Script

    * No published/franchise characters that you haven't created and own the rights to

    * The winner of this contest gets to choose the topic of the next contest

    DEADLINE:Monday, May 6th

  2. #2
    So, I went with the classic superhero for this contest. I tried to cram some of the worst possible things that could happen to a hero into a time span of about thirty minutes. Once again, I got burned by the five page rule. I really want these to be six pages. I'm sure a very talented artist could do better than I did, and maybe make it work with less space, but I am not that artist.



    Page 1:
    1/ The rooftops. Where else would a budding young vigilante go to think? Nearly every hero he had ever read about, seen on television or the movies, or listened to in ancient radio serials, has stood perilously close to the edge of a building at one point or another. Inclement weather was not necessary, but it did wonders for the atmosphere, and helped further entrench the mood.

    Letting the rain mask his presence, Cobalt waits with gritted teeth. Across the street from the building he is perched atop is a similarly nondescript brownstone in a rundown part of the city. A dozen floors up, the lights are on, and a silhouette can be seen bustling back and forth doing who knows what.

    Caption: The City. 157 days after The Event.

    Caption: Cobalt has been busy. From the alleyways to the rooftops. Looking for The Doctor. Now that he's found him, … What next?

    2/ Cobalt bursts through the window, sending tables and files and home-made machinery flying. Shards of glass sparkle as they catch light. The hero himself is crackling with energy, stray arcs shooting across his limbs and torso, but concentrating around his left arm and chest. We are unable to currently see it, but he has a severe Lichtenberg Figure underneath his costume. A constant reminder of The Event which gave him his abilities. The design on his jacket mimics the scar.

    Cobalt: Stop right there, Doctor! I kn--

    3/ He crumples to the floor in pain, clutching at his head. What kind of attack this is, he does not know, but it is crippling.


    Page 2:
    1/ The Doctor stands above him. He is clad in a modified radiation suit with a number of other cobbled gadgets, similar to the ones that were up were neatly categorized and arranged mere moments before. He holds a small device, his finger depressing a button as the LED at the tip lights up.

    The Doctor: You know, if you were really planning on attacking me, maybe sitting across the street from my workshop pretending to be a gargoyle for twenty minutes isn't such a good idea, hmm? Just five minutes earlier and you might have caught me with my pants down. Or, at least, less firmly secured around my waist.

    The Doctor: Instead, I got to put the finishing touches on my new toy. How much do you know about EMPs? They're usually associated with dangerous levels of radiation, say, from a bomb, for example. But if one is able to harness the power of a magnetic field, or electric field, or both, and they know the math, like I do, then engineering something like this should be relatively simple. Granted, reducing the numbers to an almost infinitesimally smaller scale in the grand scheme of things can prove to be a bit of a challenge, but my unparalleled genius is not on trial here, is it?

    The Doctor: You are!

    2/ Cobalt reaches out, coming up short.

    Cobalt (weakly): T-talk, … too, … much, …

    Cobalt (weakly): Gonna take you, … down, … for good, …

    3/ The Doctor smirks.

    The Doctor: Is that so?

    The Doctor: Well, you have roughly ten minutes before your bioelectric field shuts itself down and restarts. Until then, you'll continue feeling that dull throbbing pain and those intermittent surges you're feeling right now. The process should take another five minutes or so based on your power levels, which I admit, were gathered somewhat haphazardly, so I can't absolutely guarantee their veracity, but one does what one can with one's materials. True, your basic geiger counter may be remarkably affordable, but the modifications took quite some time, all things said and done, and I am a monster on a budget!

    The Doctor: Monster, right? That's what you think of me? It's okay. All how the game is played. Still, if we're going to continue this little charade of ours, and you're as powerful as I think you are, and I think you are, …

    The Doctor: We're going to need to up the ante. Make things a little more, … personal.

    4/ He saunters through the doorway as Cobalt shivers, still recuperating from whatever The Doctor had used against him.

    The Doctor: I'm off to visit the little lady. When you get feeling back in your extremities, feel free to join us. This will be a momentous occasion in our history, and I'd really like to take my time with it.

    The Doctor: No pressure, though.

    The Doctor: Take your time.

    5/ The Doctor is through the door. Cobalt is still incapacitated.

    Caption: It feels like an eternity.

    6/ Suddenly, Cobalt's eyes light up.

    Caption: But then, ...

    Page 3:
    1/ In a blinding flash, Cobalt is through the window. His electric aura trails after him, leaving an obvious swath of where he's been.

    2/ He lands on the roof where he just stood before bounding off again. His bright trail illuminates him hopping from rooftop to rooftop across the dark city. Purposeful.

    3/ A brief flash of a girl's face. The all-too-familiar haze of love. She's turning to look out at the reader, smiling as if she just heard the funniest joke that's ever been told. It's a sepia tone snapshot of what Cobalt is fighting for.

    4/ Cobalt's chest and arm surge. He thinks of Lane. His girlfriend.

    Caption: Get to her. Save her.

    5/ He accelerates his pace. He is determined.

    6/ He lands on the street in front of an apartment complex in a more dangerous part of town than The Doctor's loft. His apartment. His and Lane's. One light, several stories up, is on. He can't see through the window, but a scream pierces the night, and there's only one place it could be coming from.

    Lane: HEEEEELLLLP!!!

    Page 4:
    1/ Cobalt bursts through the apartment door, busting it off of its hinges. He is alive with energy now. The Doctor has Lane by the throat. He and Lane both turn to look at Cobalt. The Doctor in triumph, Lane pleading for help.

    Lane: Cutting it a little close, aren't we, boy?

    Cobalt: Let her go!

    2/ The Doctor drops her. She is unimportant.

    The Doctor: But of course!

    The Doctor: My real qualm is with you, after all. Not your precious little girlfriend. I mean, haven't you learned by now that such attachments only make you weaker? That's fundamental! Focus! But then, you always did lack ambition.

    3/ The Doctor turns to begin his monologue in earnest.

    The Doctor: Too busy playing the short-game and reaping the immediate benefits to see the world for what it truly is. I tried to teach you! I'm still trying to teach you! And you still refuse to pay attention! But listen to me, we'll have plenty of time for all of our lessons. Years! When I think of our fut--

    4/ But Cobalt throws a punch, connecting with the Doctor and sending lightning through the villain's skull. He's been hit so hard, with so much energy, his skeleton is briefly visible.

    The Doctor: Uurrgh!!!

    5/ Another punch. An overhead slam to send The Doctor to the ground. Beaten and slightly crispy.

    The Doctor: Hhurk, …

    6/ Cobalt is hunched over the body. His pulse races and his breathing is heavy. In the background, Lane has her hands to her mouth. Her dead father has just burst into her home, threatened her life, and been beaten to, presumably, a second death by her boyfriend, who is dressed like a superhero, and has waves of ambient electricity pulsing in the air around him. She can taste the ionized air.

    Lane: Daniel, …?

    Page 5:
    1/ He turns to look over his shoulder.

    Cobalt: I can explain.

    2/ He stands. His arms are open, like he's trying to think of what to say. Lane takes a step back. She needs just one more step away from the crazy. What has she just seen?

    Lane: Explain? My father is alive? You're covered in, ... lightning? How can you explain? No. You know what? No. No way. I don't even--

    Cobalt: I love you.

    3/ She stops. Puppy dog eyes.

    Lane: What?

    4/ They embrace.

    Lane: I love you, too, … But, …

    5/ They pull back, still mere inches away from each other. As they start to talk, a siren wails through an open window.

    Lane: That doesn't answer any of my questions.

    Lane: What's going on? Why are you wearing a mask? How can you shoot lightning? How is my father still alive? Why didn't he recognize me? Why was he trying to kill me? I'm kind of having a quiet mental breakdown in my head here and it's taking everything I've got not to let it out completely so please talk quickly because I really really need some kind of explanation before I pass out from the stress.

    Cobalt: Yeah. It's a lot to take in.

    Lane: The accident at the lab?

    Cobalt: That's a good place to start. But first, can we--


    6/ Cobalt looks towards the window. Longingly but guiltily. He has to go.

    Lane: It's okay. I get it.

    Cobalt: What are you going to do with him?

    Lane: I don't know. I'll handle it. Just, ...

    7/ Her lips. She is encouraging him.

    Lane: Come back to me.

    8/ Cobalt is on the windowsill, ready to jump. The grin on his face is enormous. Lane is behind him. Literally and figuratively.

    Cobalt: Always.

  3. #3
    Member Zepster's Avatar
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    Apologies. This wasn't quite what I had intended but time got the better of me.

    The Jeweller

    The world this is set in, is based on Japan with a mix of medieval and techno culture.

    Page 1

    Panel 1

    We have Akinobu in mid battle with Yukitaka and some of his henchmen.

    Akinobu is dressed in a samurai styled power suit, armed with shoulder mounted missiles and a large power sword. He is quite agile in the suit and it has small rocket engines mounted on the shoulders, torso in addition to the legs that aid him in his more extravagant manoeuvres. Important: Akinobu’s helmet, sword, bracers and chest plate have glowing gems. These are the power source of the items in question.

    Yukitaka is much bulkier/less agile than Akinobu, his armour looks far more powerful and he is standing back from the main conflict about to launch a missile salvo. Yukitaka also has power gems, however his are larger and slightly less flashy than those of Akinobu

    Yukitaka has at least 3 henchmen, all wearing lesser versions of his own armour.

    The battle is taking place in a bamboo forest and Akinobu is easily dealing with the henchmen – however they are doing their job and allowing Yukitaka to line up his shot in peace.

    Akinobu(burst): Treacherous dog! Striking from ambush with your minions! You have no honour!

    Yukitaka: Fool. There is NO honour! Only Victory….

    FSX ( Various locations ): SPANG! SHING! CRACK!

    Panel 2

    Yukitaka is launching his missile salvo and yes, killing/maiming his own henchmen is entirely incidental to him once he lays the smack down on Akinobu. His helmet may conceal his face but Yukitaka’s body language should show quite a degree of satisfaction.

    Yukitaka(burst): Or Death!

    SFX(missiles): SHOOM!!! SHOOM!!! SHOOM!!!

    Panel 3

    Akinobu has turned to face the missiles and has thrown up his arm between his body and them. An energy shield has sprung forth from a gem glowing in his bracer, but at least one missile has penetrated it, while the others are exploding. Too little, too late.

    Akinobu(burst): NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Panel 4

    Yukitaka shielding himself from the backwash of the explosion, plenty of henchmen being not so lucky..

    SFX: KERBOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Panel 5

    A steaming/smoking Yukitaka inspecting the crater from the explosion. His visor now raised to show an older oriental man with a goatee. Grim satisfaction on his face.

    Yukitaka: Heh! I was wrong.

    Yukitaka: Victory, Death and it seems, running like a coward.

    Page 2

    Panel 1

    We have a battered and drunken Akinobu sitting in a tavern looking into his drink. There are several empty cups and some spilled drink on the table in front of him. Across from him is his friend Naoaki.

    Akinobu is quite young, proud and is clean shaven. His hair tied back in a top knot. He is wearing robes. Naoaki is overweight, balding and has a goatee to conceal his multiple double chins. He is a merchant and is very richly dressed.

    Naoaki: There is nothing cowardly facing up to Yukitaka my friend. His Enerugī ippin are far more powerful than any save those of the Imperial Guard themselves.

    Akinobu: I know Naoaki. Yet how can I join the guard without first presenting the head of Yukitaka to the Emperor. Without more powerful Enerugī ippin I can never match him.

    Naoaki: Seven men I have sent to stop him raiding my shipments and six he has slain. You are the only one to survive. It is a pity you did not have the power to stop him, for you certainly have the skill!

    Caption: Translation: Enerugī ippin – Energy Gems

    Panel 2

    Naoaki looking thoughtful/considerate, he is about to suggest something illicit and is mostly confident that Akinobu will go for it. His cup of rice wine is halfway to his lips, as if the thought had just occurred to him.

    Naoaki: There may be a way Akinobu my friend. I warn you though, it may not sit well with your warrior’s honour.

    Panel 3

    Akinobu has a dead expression on his face. Drunkenness, desperation and shame.

    Akinobu: There is no honour. Only victory or death.

    Panel 4

    Naoaki leans forward over the table for a conspiratorial whisper. Akinobu leans forward eagerly to listen.

    Naoaki: Then in return for future considerations I will share with you a name.

    Akinobu: A name? What use is a name?

    Naoaki: A most powerful name. A Jeweller, an artisan, a foreigner who may be able to help you.

    Panel 5

    Akinobu is pulling Naoaki angrily across the table.

    Akinobu: When I join the guard you will have all the consideration you want. Give me the name!

    Naoaki: I warn you my friend. His help will not come without a price.

    Akinobu(burst): The name!

    Page 3

    Panel 1

    We have Ola the jeweller sitting at his desk working on a gem. He has a monocle in his eye as he regards the gem. His is a heavy set man with a bushy beard and is mostly bald. He is a black man and more muscular than overweight . His left wrist is chained to the desk with a delicate/expensive looking chain. It is more symbolic than physical, indicating that he is a slave. The table has a container with several gems laid out in it.

    Akinobu has just entered the room and is standing over the desk. Haughty and disdaining in the presence of a slave and a foreigner.

    Akinobu: Ola of Yoruba I would have words with you.

    Panel 2

    Ola has put the gem down and is eyeing the new arrival sceptically, Akinobu is angry at his words and affronted.

    Ola: Akinobu the aspirant? Naoaki has spoken of you. I expected more.

    Akinobu: More? What more could one such as you expect?

    Panel 3

    Ola turning dismissively as he returns the gem to its container. Akinobu about to explode.

    Ola: More manners for a start. You have come seeking ippin with which to defeat your foes and yet no price do you offer.

    Panel 4

    Akinobu leaning menacingly across the table, ready to kill Ola. Ola grimly unmoved.

    Akinobu: You will find the price of speaking to me like that more than you are willing to pay.

    Ola: I have what you seek boy but in return you must first do me a service.

    Akinobu: What is this service?

    Panel 5

    Ola is sitting back, Akinobu looking thoughtful/considerate.

    Ola: I seek Ippin of course. Powerful ones. Far more puissant than one such as I am allowed to handle.

    Akinobu: And where might such ippin be found?

    Page 4

    Panel 1

    Akinobu standing before a display in a museum. Guards stand beside the display. The display contains a magnificent and awesome looking suit of power armor. In front of the armor is a smaller display containing five gems. A chest piece ( large ), two bracer pieces ( same size as each other ), s helmet piece and a sword piece ( slightly bigger than the bracer pieces ).

    Caption: The Hall of ancient heroes of course.

    Panel 2

    Akinobu is activating a gem in his belt – black energy is pouring out of it.

    Caption: This time ippin will enable you to make the switch unnoticed.

    Panel 3

    We need something funky here to indicate that Akinobu is outside of time.

    He is swapping the Ippin with fakes provided by Ola but by the expression on his face we can tell that he is thinking of keeping them for himself.

    Caption: Be swift! The time effect will not last long.

    Panel 4

    Normal time now. Akinobu is in his workshop.

    We see Akinobu fitting the stolen gems into his power suit using a power wrench of some sort. A smile of anticipation on his face.

    Caption: In return for this service I will furnish you with the ippin needed to defeat your foe.

    Panel 5

    Akinobu in his suit, glowing with power as he stands atop a cliff in the forest. At the foot of the cliff, a surprised Yukitaka looks upward.

    Caption: The honour of victory will then be yours and the Emperor will reward you.

    Page 5

    Panel 1
    Akinobu glowing still further with power. Too much power.

    Akinobu: Prepare for defeat prepare for what? Something is wrong! No!!!

    Panel 2

    Akinobu’s suit stands dead/half melted, smoke billowing out of it. A smiling Yukitaka approaches with a similar power wrench to that Akinobu used to install the gems.

    Yukitaka: Ah when one betrays ones honour one betrays oneself my friend. These will do nicely indeed.

    Panel 3

    Naoaki stands in Ola’s office looking pleased with himself.

    Naoaki: It is done. Yukitaka will bring the ippin to his master. The Ancobi will become an even greater threat to the Emperor’s will.

    Ola: Excellent.

    Panel 4

    Naoaki is leaving but turned to ask a final question.

    Naoaki: And I will continue to share in Yukitaka’s plunder. You though? I sometimes wonder whether you are chained to that desk or if the desk is chained to you. What do you gain from all this?

    Panel 5

    Ola is examining a gem with interest as Naoaki awaits his answer.

    Ola: My people lack the strength to resist the attentions of the Emperor or the Ancobi. As long as they stay at each other’s throats they leave us alone.

    Ola: Come back tomorrow. The emperor has commissioned bridal ippin for his daughter’s wedding. I’m sure Yukitaka will appreciate details of the shipment.

  4. #4
    Whew. Thought I was gonna run unopposed for a minute there. Glad things weren't that easy.


    Yukitaka's last lines could be omitted for a stronger first page. If he thinks he's completely obliterated Akinobu, his reappearance at the end, with upgraded armor, will be that much more of a shock. Until Akinobu melts.

    I don't think the caption translation is needed. Talking to a jeweler, and the subsequent robbery, should be enough information to understand that the enerugi ippin are gems that run the suits.

    Ola should wield more power (information) in his own workshop than any samurai-styled warrior. Right now, their dialogue is pure exposition. "I need this. Go get it for me." If I were going to expand on the world, this is where I would start. Everything is about these gems. We're with the guy who knows everything about gems. Let him talk. Give some mythology. Anything more than a simple fetch quest. Akinobu has to be polite and respectful? A true challenge if he's used to solving everything with his gem-powered sword.

    Yukitaka, when pulling ippin from Akinoba's corpse, ought to explain his changing stance on honor. Was what he said earlier just to egg Akinoba on? Maybe a muttered reference to the previous warriors as he extracts the gems? "There is no honor? Ha! They all fall for that."

    It's a fun read. As someone who grew up on Ronin Warriors and Power Rangers and Saint Seiya, I understood the world from the start. What I found lacking was what sets this world apart from those. I'd also like to see more of the robbery. He uses the time gem but still gets spotted by a guard and has to escape, maybe. Something to amp up that scene and increase the dramatic tension.

    Could use another pass on dialogue and pacing, as could be argued for everything ever produced that has dialogue, but I instantly "got it" and even though it reminded me of plenty of things, it stood apart as it's own piece of fiction within that genre.

    Which character is the "iconic" character?
    Last edited by Inkspot; 05-06-2013 at 02:45 PM.

  5. #5
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    Here's my entry - I actually created the character to be part of a DeadJLA pitch, and wanted to use him in the "Super-Human Horror" writing challenge, but in the end it just didn't gel... So rewrote it as a Year One-type tale from the beginning of his career, instead the end... But of course it ends in death... Such is the fate of the DeadJLA...

    Shadow1 in 30 words: An actor plays Shadow1, a dark vigilante out to avenge the death of his family. A near-superhuman athlete and fighter, he has added hi-tech weapons in his merciless fight against the criminal element… But it turns out that one of his first missions/movies was almost his last… Or was it?


    Takes place in what looks like an apartment, and then a run-down city street, and crime boss’s destroyed office. All of which are revealed at the end to be sets for the new Shadow1 movie.

    CHARACTERS (in order of appearance):

    • Wife – Sophia - mid-20’s brown hair, blue/grey eyes. Slim build.
    • Shadow1 (Brando Lu) – of Asian ancestry. Costume – full face dark mirror mask. Streamlined discs (“horns”) rising from where the eyebrows would be, up to the top and back of the helmet. Sharp and weighted capelets, transforms into glider wings if needed. Moulded body armour. Metal/composites gauntlets and shin guards. Lightweight armoured boots. Armour on his back also houses a utility belt system that can dispense items as needed. Also houses a micro-filament rope system that is attached to a grappling hook, fired from the gauntlets using mag-pneumatic launch system. This is V1.0 of his costume, V2.0 has more red, V3.0 has more black and V4.0 has more yellow…
    • Joss Kelvin – small time crook that killed Shadow1’s parentals.
    • Family of 3 – based on Bruce Lee, his wife Linda and kid - Brandon.
    • Fatpin - Joss Kelvin’s gang boss, African. Build self-explanatory.
    • Skullduggery – albino male with skull tattoo over face. White, stringy hair, red eyes surrounded by black tattooed eyeball sockets. Lips covered with teeth tattoos. Unpowered at first, but then turned into cyborg with robotic arm w/ scythe.

    Page 1 (7 Panels)

    Panel 1
    Top tier panel showing Shadow1 (on the right) in his costume, just without helmet, looking back at his wife Sophia, before he goes out. She is on the left of the panel, just with a bed sheet wrapped around her body, looking with concern at her husband... (On the last page we’ll see all of this took place on a movie set, so would like to drop some hints along the way – so either show a couple of shadows of people/camera in the extreme foreground. Or show the edges of the set, or a mic near the top of the panel?)


    --But please just be careful…


    Of course…

    Panel 2
    Small inset panel, showing him back to back with himself of the previous panel, but now fully suited up with the with helmet as well…

    BRANDO/SHADOW1 (electronic):

    See you later…

    Panel 3
    Biggish panel in the middle of the page showing him standing on the top of a building in the city - classic Batman homage. He looks down on one street in particular. Beneath a streetlight, the cone of light draws attention to a family of 3 – it’s a stick-up!

    Panel 4
    Tall panel on the left of page, POV from street level, behind family. Streetlight visible in background, and S1 as he swoops down… If possible S1 should be coming from above & to the left of the criminal, to set up the next panel where the criminal is kicked in the face from the left.

    Panel 5
    Extreme close-up of the criminal’s face as S1’s boot connects with it – spit, blood and a tooth or two should be flying. Want to give this panel the look of a freeze-frame from a hyper-violent Hollywood movie…

    SFX (near boot):


    SFX (on right of panel):


    Panel 6
    S1 on left, asking the family on right if they’re OK. Now we get a good look at the family, so good luck on getting the family resemblance down…

    SHADOW1 (electronic):

    Are you OK?

    Panel 7
    Small inset panel, from criminal’s POV on the ground, as he fires his raised gun at Shadow1! Please put the family behind Shadow1 if possible, so they can’t be hit by a shot/bullet.



    SFX (as big as you came make it without obstructing too much of the art?):


    Page 2 (5 Panels)

    Panel 1
    More or less same panel as previous one, but now with Shadow1 turned around towards the criminal, and a Tazerang halfway towards the criminal! And the electrodes have shot out of the Tazerang and is in the process of shocking him!



    Panel 2
    Shot of Shadow1 as he looks at the weapon that Kelvin had - a white plastic 3D printed gun... Kelvin is still on the ground, cuffed. The cuffs are metal versions of cable ties, with a red LED - part of the homing beacon for the police to get him.

    SHADOW1 (electronic):

    Gun is 3D printed resin - nearly undetectable...

    Panel 3
    Shot of the family - all of them are OK.


    Where are you going?

    Panel 4
    Shot of Shadow1, looking up - he’s just crushed the 3D printed gun in his hands, pieces falling down...

    SHADOW1 (electronic):

    After his boss…



    Panel 5
    Big panel to show a very upscale office/room. But with broken doors / windows on the side. Middle of panel is showing Shadow1 as he’s pinned down the Fatpin. Literally pinned down on his desk, with his arm held by Shadow1 at a very unnatural angle... The desk is also surrounded by downed henchmen/women and their guns...

    Caption (Shadow1):

    But in the vacuum left by the normal criminals--

    Page 3 (5 Panels)

    Panel 1
    Show Fatpin in a wheelchair, bandaged and plastered up, but smoking a cigar... Next to him is Skullduggery - our take on the dark vigilante’s archenemy... He’s wearing a heavy trenchcoat, coller flipped up as well...

    Caption (Shadow1):

    --steps super powered ones…

    SFX (stacked vertically going down between the two panels):


    Panel 2
    More or less same panel - but the top half of Fatpin has been blown away & blood and guts everywhere... Skullduggery has turned away from Fatpin/explosion, but his coat is caked with human remains... Of course Skullduggery wasn’t content to do the Fatpin’s bidding, so he killed him...


    Any further objections?

    Panel 3
    And at last we cut to Shadow1 vs Skullduggery - the latter is wearing different clothing/costume than before, while S1’s armoured costume has seen better days - torn and damaged... His mirrored mask is also cracked.


    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before!

    Panel 4
    Panel shows a bruised and bleeding SD holding out something in front of him - his fingers wrapped tightly around a detonator.


    If I release this, the bomb goes--

    SFX (stacked vertically going down between the two panels):


    Panel 5
    Extreme close-up shot of S1’s armoured gauntlet on the left side of the panel - wrapped around SD’s hand, almost asif in a handshake. But of course, on the right side of the panel we show that S1’s has cut off his arm, fingers clenching around detonator... Blood is still dripping from the back...

    Caption (Shadow1):




    Page 4 (5 Panels)

    Panel 1
    Now for some more Batman “homages” - show Shadow1 in V2.0 of his costume. He’s facing off against SkullDuggery - now with a cyborg arm & gun/scythe attachment... So yeah, this is Bats:Year2, so feel free to go all McFarlane or Davis on us...

    Caption (Shadow1) left side of panel:

    But the sins of the fathers...

    Panel 2
    And now S1 is in Cost 3 – Black. And black is for mourning, so here we’ve got S1 holding the battered lifeless body of his young ward - as SD has killed Shadowling... He holds her in his arms, Aparo “Death in the Family” style...

    Caption (Shadow1) left side of panel:

    ...Are visited on their children…

    Panel 3
    S1 in Cost 4 – yellow. He’s jumping through a dark blue sky. lightning behind him, illuminating the yellow in his new costume. So take your pick and do a Dark Knight Returns cover homage...

    Caption (SkullDuggery) Different font & right side of panel:

    And no sin...

    Panel 4
    Show SD with sniper’s gun - he’s staring down the scope, towards us...

    Caption (SkullDuggery) Different font & right side of panel:

    ...Will go unrewarded...

    SFX (stacked vertically going down between the two panels):


    Panel 5
    And now for Shadow1’s reaction to the gunshot - close-up on S1 as he’s holding his gloved hand against his chest, blood seeping through it and down his armour... And said armour is the same one from Page 1-2...

    Caption (Shadow1) left side of panel:

    It can’t end like this..?

    Page 5 (4 Panels)

    Panel 1
    Back to reality (and as said before, the first costume) & we’re back at Panel 4/5 from Pg1 – Shadow1 is lying on ground of the Crime Alley set, bleeding out. Cameras and crew are all around him... The actors playing the Lee’s are looking on with horrified expression, the “mom” holding the child actor against her so that he does not see anything. The still-smoking gun is still in the hand of actor who played Joss Kelvin. The actor playing Bruce Lee is calling for help as well...


    We need a doctor!


    I didn’t know... It was supposed to be blanks...

    Panel 2
    We shift the POV to that of Brando - so low angle shot looking up at the set and people all around him... At the far right of the panel there’s a light attached to a camera, with a reporter with a mike looking back at Brando...

    Caption (Shadow1) left side of panel:


    Panel 3
    The light from the TV crew is getting brighter, filling nearly half the panel... The reporter is still visible, but now with her back turned as she faces the camera to do the on-site bulletin...


    --Reporting live from the set of the newest Shadow1 movie...

    REPORTER (linked):

    … Where the last day of shooting has resulted in tragedy--

    Panel 4
    Now the panel is almost completely filled with light, and only feint outlines of the reporter (on the left) and someone else (the Director) on the right.


    ...With the death of Brando Lu, the star of the Shadow1 franchise...


    Get them out of here!

    DIRECTOR (linked):

    Where is the damn medic?

    THE END...

    Cripes, saw a typo just a second ago, but for the life of me I can't find it now... Sigh, time to hit the sack...
    Last edited by Chris2.0; 05-06-2013 at 03:49 PM. Reason: Typo

  6. #6

    The most reassuring thing he says to his wife before going out to bust heads as a superhero is "See you later, …"? Is he a robot? That's cold.

    Maybe, as a show of good faith, don't wish the artist good luck capturing Bruce Lee and family's likenesses. I read it as sarcasm. The descriptions of the panel sizes and layout are also distracting. A good artist won't need all that. If you're worried about getting your exact blueprint down, you can always try doing your own layouts like I've got for my script above, but right now, they're not doing you any favors.

    Cool detail with the 3D-printed gun.

    The transition between P3 and P4 is where you lose me. Time has obviously skipped. Is Skullduggery killing Fatpin to take over his criminal empire? Who's Skullduggery talking to? Himself? Then there's another time skip to, … when? And why? Shadow1 cuts off Skullduggery's arm to prevent him from detonating a bomb. I know that bombs are, in general, bad news. But what's important about this one? Just showing some of Shadow1's adventures?

    Similar to the panel layouts, there's no reason to dictate where the captions go. If your letterer is worth his (or her) salt, he (or she) will place them to help maintain the eyeline of the reader and guide them through the page. If there's a good reason for them to be in those corners, so be it. If not, let that be their job. Especially if you're going to be paying them for it. Input, not instruction.

    By the end of P4, the time skipping starts to make a little sense, but without the reader already knowing that this is actually bits and pieces from a few different movies, and not a continuous story, I don't think they'd ever be able to follow the action.

    A reporter made it to the set, with crew, to report on someone's gunshot wound during filming, before he's even been examined by a professional? Does the station employ precogs? They're reporting on his death, live on television, as he's dying! That is efficient.

    It's pretty clear you're riffing on The Crow. That was a knife, right? Supposed to be rubber but it ended up being the real thing? There's a lot of material to be pulled from that kind of story, and while I appreciate what you're going for, it comes off disjointed. If you were going to continue with this and expand into the mystery of why Brando Lu was murdered, leaving your audience guessing for a while would be an effective storytelling method. Present them with a lot of information that they must slowly assimilate while being introduced to the real meat of the story and the actual characters. As its own short piece, though, I'm not feeling it.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the thoughts - yeah, I should really subscribing to my own advice and leave enough time to do a cold re-read of the story...

    And yup, it's Crow meets Batman, all hallucinated by a dying actor... Shadow1 is actually the second of a range of characters I am going to do a few stories on, and then release under Creative Commons license for peeps to re-use as they like... The first is Superon (3 guesses who he's based on) and next is a Wonder Woman-like story set in an old age home... Dementia and Alzheimer's or an evil super-villain plot...?

    Then my thoughts on COBALT: LEAVE THE MASK ON:

    Page 1: Perhaps think about allowing more panels to split up the action? First panel to establish location, then second panel zooms in on Cobalt, third panel could be Panel 1 from your story? Then your Panel 2, with another panel for the line of dialogue. Last panel to remain the same?
    Panel 1's second caption might work better if you split it into multiple caps?

    Page 2: Holy Exposition Batman..! True to his archetype, the mad scientist doth talketh a lot… Breaking up Panel 1’s dialogue into linked word balloons will help with the rhythm, instead of just a block o’ text. Much better on Panel 3 tho!
    Panel 6 - What’s the timeframe between this and the previous panel?

    Page 3:
    Panel 5 - How to show "He accelerates his pace. He is determined"?

    Page 4:
    Panel 6 - Did the Doc have a mask or helmet on, hiding his identity? The same for Cobalt? Did the fight reveal their ID’s?

    Page 5: Whole lot going on here – curse of the 5-pager strikes again… You mentioned this I think, another page would really have helped… But now it’s a race to the last panel…

    Onto The Jeweller

    Wow, powersuits, neo-feudal Japan and double-crosses, who woulda thought!? My fave story this time around & one of your best ones yet! Somewhat compressed on Page 5, but very good nonetheless. And your dialogue works really well, as does your panel descriptions... And love the line about what the purpose of the chain is!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris2.0 View Post
    Then my thoughts on COBALT: LEAVE THE MASK ON:

    Page 1: Perhaps think about allowing more panels to split up the action? First panel to establish location, then second panel zooms in on Cobalt, third panel could be Panel 1 from your story? Then your Panel 2, with another panel for the line of dialogue. Last panel to remain the same?
    Panel 1's second caption might work better if you split it into multiple caps?
    Originally, I started off with an establishing shot of Cobalt and then swung around to the back of him, but it didn't add anything to the story. Just gave less room for the more important shot looking through The Doctor's windows. It also robbed the dramatic shot of Cobalt leaping through the window.

    The caption will more than likely be split up differently, as will dialogue, when I'm lettering the pages. As a script, except for the dramatic pauses that need to be indicated, it was just easier to leave it as a block of text.

    Page 2: Holy Exposition Batman..! True to his archetype, the mad scientist doth talketh a lot… Breaking up Panel 1’s dialogue into linked word balloons will help with the rhythm, instead of just a block o’ text. Much better on Panel 3 tho!
    Panel 6 - What’s the timeframe between this and the previous panel?
    You mean like this?

    Ten minutes to shut down Cobalt's field as he's paralyzed. Another five or so for him to fully reboot. So, … fifteen minutes. Just like The Doctor said. Plenty of time to get to the other side of The City to Lane and Daniel's apartment while Cobalt lies helpless on the floor.

    Page 3:
    Panel 5 - How to show "He accelerates his pace. He is determined"?
    Yeah, I flubbed those panels. Even in the layouts. What it needs to be is a shot of him running, showing that he landed on a roof/street after bounding around, and kept going. He thinks of Lane. He pushes on, trying to get to where she is even faster, but he might be overexerting himself, indicated by his powers flaring up.

    Page 4:
    Panel 6 - Did the Doc have a mask or helmet on, hiding his identity? The same for Cobalt? Did the fight reveal their ID’s?
    Cobalt has a traditional spirit gum mask. We'll say it's held on by static electricity, since he would surely generate enough to keep it secured to his face. The Doctor's face is uncovered. Lane doesn't know that Daniel is Cobalt. She also doesn't know that her father survived The Event. Now she knows both.

    Her father doesn't remember her because, … comic books? He's coursing with super science and extremely focused. Memories of his daughter are of no use to him, so his brain, in an effort to streamline and function at a higher level, denies him access to them. But he does know his nemesis is attached, ...

    Page 5: Whole lot going on here – curse of the 5-pager strikes again… You mentioned this I think, another page would really have helped… But now it’s a race to the last panel…
    Yup. After drawing everything out, I see that it's doable in five pages, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as aesthetically pleasing. It's a problem I run into with these contests almost every time I join. Polybius, an entry from over two years ago, ended up being expanded to a whopping eight pages. I've hardwired my brain to think of scripts in even numbers. The reveal comes after the last turn of a physical page. Getting things down to five pages means I cram too much into one of them, or I leave out details that I think are unimportant, and end up causing confusion. As far as that goes, I'd rather have a busy page, knowing that I'm going to break it up, than not enough from the start.

    Thanks for reading!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkspot View Post

    The caption will more than likely be split up differently, as will dialogue, when I'm lettering the pages. As a script, except for the dramatic pauses that need to be indicated, it was just easier to leave it as a block of text.

    You mean like this?

    Thanks for reading!
    Cool, didn't realize you were going to letter it yourself, then yup - your way works!

    Thanks for the link to the thumbs - I remember seeing it somewhere before, but only gave it a glance - wanted to read the script first... And then promptly forgot where I found it!

    And no problem, same here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Inkspot View Post
    Originally, I started off with an establishing shot of Cobalt and then swung around to the back of him, but it didn't add anything to the story. Just gave less room for the more important shot looking through The Doctor's windows. It also robbed the dramatic shot of Cobalt leaping through the window.
    One last thing - I've just realized after reading your explanation - I cut the scenes with the actor's wife from the last page (as well as the scenes with dead mother/father & sidekick) - I wanted it there to link the beginning of the story with the end. But since I no longer have it at the end, why have her in the beginning? So I'm going to cut the 1st two panels from Page 1 - will allow more space for the artist to show Shadow1 as the city's dark protector looking over it...

  10. #10
    @ Inkspot,

    I have a few issues with this script. Firstly I think you need to take another look at your action descriptions and make sure the information is complete (both in content and the actual grammar mechanics) but also not overly flowery. Page one has descriptions that go too far and page five has descriptions that don't go far enough.

    Second, take a look at dialogue. Short, punchy and memorable is best. The Doctor drones on so much it's a turn off. I know his character is the pontificating evil genius but it gets kind of boring. Also there is way too much dialogue from this character. There will be little room left for the artist.

    Third, the story itself is a little implausible. The Doctor is cornered by Cobalt at his place, then manages to overpower him (somehow?) then tells Cobalt where he is going. Cobalt wakes up and goes where the doctor told him he would be. And now the Doctor is unable to overpower Cobalt this time (for some reason?). You need to work harder at setting up believable, interesting scenarios that don't seem overly convenient.

    More details below,

    1.1 the panel description reads more like prose and is a little confusing. Are you saying the rain is not necessary? Better to just write what you want to see and save the prose.

    1.2 What is a Lichtenberg figure? How do you draw that?

    2.1 That is a lot of dialogue for one panel. Way too much for a six panel page. Cut it down by a third and really focus on making it less verbose. I know that's the character but to be honest right now it's just kind of boring.

    3.3 Showing the girl here, out of context, seems a little forced. I think this panel would work better after we have heard him saying 'get to her'.

    3.5 How are you showing that he accelerated his pace?

    4.3 "The Doctor turns to begin his monologue in earnest." I almost stopped when I read this, he has been monologuing the entire time. Also, not sure how an artist expresses 'intent to begin monologue in earnest' visually. Is it a smirk? A frown?

    5.7 Does this panel call for a close up of her lips? You can't just write Her Lips and expect an artist to know what you want. It might take an artist up to half an hour to draw a really nice close up of her lips and then another chunk of time to ink it. The least we can do as writers is take the time to write in complete sentences.
    Last edited by Shaun; 05-07-2013 at 06:09 PM.


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