View Poll Results: Which is your favourite story?

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  • Shaun - Gasp

    2 50.00%
  • Chris2.0 - Unusual Suspects

    1 25.00%
  • MisterPants - THE VIGILANTE

    0 0%
  • Joseph Dredd - MASKS

    1 25.00%
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Thread: Writing Contest #110: "Masks"

  1. #11
    Great script, shaun! Cool to see the writers getting their game up and running again too
    Looking forward to the other entries!
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  2. #12
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    Hiya Shaun,

    Cool stuff - always great reading your writing! And congrats on the story in the IF antho!

    Then some notes:

    Pg1
    Pn4 - Why is the bot here, and not in the factory?

    Pg3
    Pn 2 - mention that the bot is carrying the boy to the artist.
    Pn 5 - add the boy's coughing to the lettering. And maybe move the bot's dialogue to Pn 2, to give an indication/reason why the bot is saving the boy's life? And where's he's going - "Taking human minor for medical attention at factory"?

    Pg4
    Pn 1 - maybe mention that the robot has shifted the boy's position so that his head or legs are not sticking out past the robot's body.
    Pn 3 - This is a minor nitpick, but this reads as a moving panel, but I can also imagine it done as one - maybe just give the result of the actions of the crowd, instead of describing what they are doing, as well as the effects.
    Pn 4 - Perhaps have the boy mutter "Thanks" to the robot just before/after his cough?
    Pn5 - Why did the boy have to go through a gap in the fence if the gates have been damaged?

    Pg 5 (General note - maybe think of informing the reader that the CEO & 1%'ers are in the factory tonite? Have a billboard up near the factory? Or a Blade Runner-esque floating blimp-board? Or was that in GiTS? Could also be the reason that the protestors are there, so can also be solved by adding a line of dialogue as well? Or a message on one/more of the placards?
    Pn 2 - How will the artist show "the toxins have already done their damage to his brain"? Maybe add some dialogue/caption/thought balloon to this affect? Or his internal nanites could be telling him this?
    Pn 4 - Maybe include a speech balloon for the kid with him trying to talk, but no words are coming out? So use only letters, or just feint word, or even just ellipses?
    Pn 6 - Getting a a Gladiator movie vibe from the CEO's dialogue. Maybe it's just me, but it sounds too good to have this scumbag CEO say it - he should be saying something greedy and corrupt or disdainful of the 99% who are dying outside the factory? Dunno why "You can really squeeze blood from a stone" is coming to mind?
    Pn 7 - And I just love this ending!

    Should hopefully be posting my story before the new year, just need to do some final edits & go over the dialogue - this always takes me the longest to get it sounding as best as I can (currently) make it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    Shaking off some rust with this one. It's been a while since I've written short form. It's lacking something and I may need to go back and tweak it but I wanted to put it up before things get busy with the holidays. Thanks for reading.

  3. #13
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    And here's mine - giving it the placeholder title of "Unusual Suspects" for now... Was supposed to have more people in it, but had to cut the speedster and magnetichick out because of space.

    Also was kinda rusty - I made 62 comments on the PDF review copy of the script with all the changes/deletions/adding of references, etc...

    So here it is, please let me know what you'll think? I'm sure I've missed a few things. And would like to cut the panel count down a bit more - right now it's 6/7 panels a page. Maybe combine the long fight scene on Pages 3-4? And cut down on dialogue as well.

    Unusual Suspects

    Story:
    A wealthy socialite has been kidnapped by a super-powered gang , and they’re discussing her ransom. But one seems to have his doubts – and he turns against them! So now it is a cat & mouse game against his former team with the socialite as the prize… But of course when he gets her to safety there’s a catch…

    Characters:
    IFO – can only fly. But makes up for this singular power in other ways… Wears a costume, but instead of a cape, has an open jacket to flap in the wind. He’s also the only one with a mask. Or better - a mask with goggles/helmet with visor. Korean.

    FlameWar (FW) – hotheaded & has flame powers. Black skintight costume with cutouts to show the flames when she’s a-fire. African-American.

    Stronga – but not smarta… Wears a Hercules-type harness, pants and boots. Latino. The angrier he gets, the bigger, stronger and heavier he gets.

    Socialite – Blonde hair, Green eyes. the daughter of a billionaire. Wears a little black/party dress, high heels, jewelry.

    Socialite’s dad – Blonde hair – Trump if he was respectable & had a decent haircut. Wears a suit, red tie.

    Paged up:
    1. The socialite is tied up, and IFO brings the ransom. Then he hears the others want to do it again? Establishing shot showing the three. IFO has his doubts. He was the one that got her here – the bait. FlameWar goes off at him, and he escapes with the socialite. The rest are ordered to get him.
    2. Stronga is taken out first, his increased size and weight because of his anger proving to much for the floor IFO was “standing” on, but actually just floating on.
    3. Then it’s just FlameWar and IFO left. He lures her into an empty process plant tank… And she flames on.
    4. He slams the openings shut and this causes a pressure differential, near-vacuum and low O2 levels. She flames out. But Stronga is back… He breaks her open, she’s comatose…
    5. Stronga attacks IFO! Passing out, he’s saved by the police as they taze / tranq Stronga… Blackout. Comes to & gets his reward from the socialite…

    Panel descriptions & dialogue:
    Page 1:
    1. Close-up on a young woman wearing a party dress, bound to a chair – she’s blindfolded and gagged. The whole story takes place inside an abandoned factory, which also used to house a chemical plant. So dirty/dusty floor all around her. And she’s also not the cleanest anymore, to show it’s been some time she’s been kidnapped.


    1) Caption:
    Paree Stask, the socialite daughter of the multi-billionaire Anthony Stask.
    2) Caption:
    And our ticket out of Poorsville.

    2. The socialite is still tied up, as IFO touches down, his jacket flapping in the wind, he’s got a big duffel bag (containing cash) over his shoulder/neck.

    3) SFX:
    Whoosh!
    4) Speech balloon (right side of panel) - IFO:
    Got it!

    3. Group shot of the three members of the gang – IFO, FlameWar & Stronga. IFO is handing the bag of cash to FlameWar. IFO’s mask is also pulled up/semi-taken off, while FlameWar and Stronga are of course mask-less.

    5) Speech balloon - IFO:
    FlameWar, we’ve got the ransom, so now we let her go?
    6) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Don’t go soft on us now, bait boy.
    7) Speech balloon - Stronga:
    Yeah, we were talking – we’ve got this much, they'll easily pay more!


    4. Closer in on IFO and FW - IFO has his doubts – his hands are up in a defensive posture. FlameWar goes off at him, pointing at him, her outstretched fingers/hand aflame…

    8) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Stronga, that wasn’t the deal!
    9) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    You do what I say, when I say, IFO.

    5. Stronga has dumped the cash on a table, FW near to him. IFO and the socialite are on the right side of the panel, he’s bending over her, untying her and we should see some of her bonds are loose already!

    10) Speech balloon - Stronga:
    Three Million in cash…
    11) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Let’s split it up...
    12) Linked speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Are you still in, IFO?
    13) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Sorry guys, I have to do this…
    14) Linked speech balloon (burst) - IFO:
    Hang on!

    6. Stronga and FW are still standing by the table as IFO flies off with the socialite! Stronga and FW are beneath/behind them in the panel.

    15) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    After him!

    Page 2:
    1. FW is throwing the money back into the bag, while barking orders at Stronga, who should be flexing his bicep to show off his pre-powered-up form.


    1) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Get them! Don’t let the girl get hurt!

    2) Linked speech balloon - FlameWar:
    I’ll hide the cash somewhere safe...

    3) Linked speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Be careful!

    4) Speech balloon - Stronga:
    He has only one power, what’s the worst that can happen? And I get stronger, bigger and faster, the angr--

    2. FlameWar interrupts Stronga as she flames on... Stronga has bulked up a little as well, indicating he’s a little bit angry at FW.

    5) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Shut up! Just go and get them!

    6) Speech balloon - Stronga:
    OK, OK…

    3. Change of scene – Stronga is now alone, and looking up at a huge steel structure, IFO (with his mask back on) is on the top of this incomplete factory, on the only intact concrete floor, the rest are lying in rubble beneath the structure.

    7) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Up here, Strongrrl…

    4. Stronga lands on the top of the structure after jumping up, shaking the structure! (So would need some motion lines of his jump up). IFO is floating inches off the floor… Stronga is a little bit bigger than we saw him in the previous panel.

    8) Speech balloon - Stronga:
    What did you just call me?!
    9) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Whatever I want - just have to use small words…


    5. Stronga is coming at IFO, who is still floating slightly above the floor. And the concrete floor is starting to crack under Stronga’s weight, who is slightly bigger again.

    10) Speech balloon - Stronga:
    Rahr!
    11) SFX (under Stronga’s feet):
    Krrrek!

    6. High angle looking down as Stronga falls through the collapsing concrete floor! And because his powers are activated by anger, he should be bulking down, as his anger has now been replaced with surprise, and just a little bit of fear. If space allows, have IFO floating to one side, also looking down.

    12) Speech balloon - Stronga:
    Oops…
    13) Speech balloon (Burst, off-panel, right)- FlameWar:
    IFO!

    Page 3:
    1. Close in on FW as she’s flamed on, screaming at IFO. Her black costume silhouetted against the bright flames. IFO (if visible) could just be another silhouette (against the brightness of her flames) in the right bottom corner of the panel.


    1) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    It’s just you and me!
    2) Linked speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Where is the girl?

    2. IFO, dodging her flame attack (a stream of fire directed at him), is “hiding” near the entrance of a huge metal vessel/tank (Ref here - https://jeffreyfamisan.files.wordpre...9/11.png?w=950 and https://jeffreyfamisan.wordpress.com...rage-drawings/ ), with the side and top entrances open. Adjust scale as you see fit.

    3) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Yo, Fawkes!
    4) SFX (near flame attack):
    Fwashhh!

    3. She flies full blast after him, directing streams of flames at him as he flies into the metal tank!

    5) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Stop running, dammit!
    6) SFX (near flame attack):
    Fwashhh! Fwashhh!

    4. Small inset panel as he flies out from the top entrance of the tank!

    No lettering

    5. View from the top of the tank, into the inside, as IFO is looking down at a fiery FW, who is looking up. He should be floating near the top hatch of the tank, which is standing up at an angle & he’ll be closing it next panel, so keep the look/angle consistent please.

    7) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Where’d you go?!
    8) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Up here, Dork Phoenix…

    6. Side view of the tank as FW sends fire coming out of the top! The top hatch is closing after IFO kicked it, so need some motion lines of this falling into place. And IFO is already flying down, going to close the bottom access door – so some more motion lines on him please going towards this.

    9) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Gotcha!
    10) SFX (near top hatch):
    Fwashhh!


    7. And then a view from outside the tank, through the bottom hatch to inside the tank, showing FW (on fire) inside, as IFO closes this as well!


    11) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    Hey!

    Page 4:
    1. View from inside the tank, showing FW as the hatch is shut and she flames out! It’s dark now in the tank, especially with her flame going out.


    1) SFX (over tank):
    Klunk!
    2) Speech balloon - FlameWar:
    My flame's going out!

    2. Outside view – the tank still looks OK. IFO is hovering near the entrance.

    3) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Wait for it…
    4) Linked speech balloon - IFO:
    Near vacuum in in 3,2,1…

    3. Similar panel as the previous one - the tank’s metal walls are now pulled in – because of the pressure imbalance, near-vacuum and low O2 levels on the inside pulling the sides in. Ref: http://www.nordkurier.de/cmlink/site...?itok=B2GkBAYf

    5) SFX (over tank):
    KRUUNK!
    6) Linked speech balloon - IFO:
    Science 2, ex-super-friends 0…

    4. Close in on IFO as he’s by the hatch, struggling to pull it open before FlameWar suffocates, but he can’t – because of the vacuum & imploded sides.

    7) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Crap!
    8) Linked speech balloon - IFO:
    Can’t get the door open because of the pressure differential!

    5. Big panel as Stronga is back and he smashes the tank/door open! And he’s huge – so must be pretty angry!

    9) Speech balloon (burst) - Stronga:
    RAHHRRR!
    10) Linked speech balloon - Stronga:
    Where is she?
    11) SFX (over damage to tank):
    Krrrash!

    6. Stronga’s got FlameWar cradled in one of his huge arms (make it right, leaving his left arm free to punch IFO on the next page). And FlameWar’s out cold & her fire completely out…

    12) Speech balloon (burst) - Stronga:
    What did you do to her?!
    13) Speech balloon (off-panel, right)- IFO:
    She's OK, just doused her fire with some CO--


    Page 5:
    1. Stronga attacks IFO, by hitting him with his huge left arm so hard that IFO is flung backwards to the right of the panel. So hard that his mask is pretty much ripped off, exposing his face – as we need to recognize him in the next panels. If space allows, you can put a wall on the far right of the panel & he’s impacting the wall pretty hard… And leave some space for a speech bubble on the far right as well as the Police also arrive – but no need to draw any of them (yet).

    1) Speech balloon (burst) - Stronga:
    You’re dead!

    2) Speech balloon (burst) - IFO:
    Oof!

    3) Speech balloon (burst, off-panel, right)- Police:
    NYPD! You’re surrounded! Come out with your hands above your heads!


    2. From IFO’s POV as he passes out – so need some eyelid closing “border” around the action in this panel. Stronga’s body is covered with red laser markers as the Police arrive! And also some tranq darts and coils from tazers as they tranq & taze Stronga… FlameWar is not in this panel, as Stronga has put her down in-between panels, so as to really get to work on IFO with both hands…

    4) Speech balloon (burst) - Stronga:
    Rrrar!?

    3. Small blackout inset panel.

    No lettering

    4. Close-up on IFO as he comes to with a shock. He’s in a hospital, so lots of light. He’s wearing a white hospital gown/clothing, with an IV in his arm (if visible). No mask of course, this is why we needed to show his face earlier.

    5) Speech balloon (burst) - IFO:
    Whoah!

    5. He’s in a hospital bed, with the socialite and her dad, the multi-billionaire, standing next to the bed on either side. Her father on the left, wearing a suit, with his hand out to shake IFO’s hand. IFO still bewildered in bed in the middle, and the socialite on the right, hands clasped together in front of her chest, in a somewhat innocent expression. She’s wearing clean clothes – a dress again to tie into the last time we saw her - and her hair is in a ponytail.

    6) Speech balloon - Dad:
    Thank you, young man…

    7) Speech balloon - IFO:
    Wha--

    8) Speech balloon - Socialite:
    C’mon silly, Daddy’s made sure you’re not in any kind of trouble. Not like the rest of that gang you were forced into. They’re in super-villain jail as speak.

    6. Panel of IFO, still in bed, and the Socialite leaning in for a kiss, as she excuses her father – who’s not in this panel. She’s still putting on/having an innocent expression/body language…

    9) Speech balloon - Socialite:
    But I’m sure Daddy dearest is much too busy to stay long.

    10) Linked speech balloon - Socialite:
    And in any case, I have to properly reward my knight in shining armour…

    7. Close-up on both as the masks have now been (figuratively) dropped. The Socialite’s expression has changed & she’s now sporting a wicked smile, and she’s loosened her hair. IFO’s also sporting a huge grin. They are in a forehead-to-forehead pose, as they need to be talking… Socialite has her hand through IFO’s hair, and IFO has some of the Socialite’s hair in his fist. And in his other hand, on the bed, he’s holding his torn & battle damaged mask.

    11) Speech balloon (whisper) - IFO:
    So we did it?

    12) Linked speech balloon (whisper) - IFO:
    And the three millio--

    13) Speech balloon - Socialite:
    Shh, rest – all taken care of – I hid it right where we discussed.

    14) Linked speech balloon - Socialite:
    “Daddy-dear” will think twice about cutting me off again.

    15) Linked speech balloon - Socialite:
    But won’t your team have it in for you?

    16) Caption (above the mask):
    That’s the benefit of wearing a mask – just put on another one…


    THE END

    PS - forgot the work needed after copy & pasting the script to make it legible. Apologies if it's still not that readable... Please let me know?
    Last edited by Chris2.0; 01-01-2017 at 02:43 PM.

  4. #14
    Wow, thanks for the detailed and spot-on feedback, Chris! I'm going to tweak a few things before the deadline, just for prosperity. Also looking forward to reading yours.

    Pg1
    Pn4 - Why is the bot here, and not in the factory?
    Good point. I was hoping it would be inferred he wandered off site but I could amend some dialogue to clarify.

    Pg3
    Pn 2 - mention that the bot is carrying the boy to the artist.
    Ugh, missed that. Thanks!

    Pn 5 - add the boy's coughing to the lettering. And maybe move the bot's dialogue to Pn 2, to give an indication/reason why the bot is saving the boy's life? And where's he's going - "Taking human minor for medical attention at factory"?
    Good ideas.

    Pg4
    Pn 1 - maybe mention that the robot has shifted the boy's position so that his head or legs are not sticking out past the robot's body.
    Yeah, that could work.

    Pn 3 - This is a minor nitpick, but this reads as a moving panel, but I can also imagine it done as one - maybe just give the result of the actions of the crowd, instead of describing what they are doing, as well as the effects.
    I think that was just a lack of clarity in my description, wasn't intending it to be moving.

    Pn 4 - Perhaps have the boy mutter "Thanks" to the robot just before/after his cough?
    I’ll give this some thought. Not sure the boy is thinking clearly enough to do that and get into the factory, since he is about to die moments later.

    Pn5 - Why did the boy have to go through a gap in the fence if the gates have been damaged?
    Good point.

    Pg 5 (General note - maybe think of informing the reader that the CEO & 1%'ers are in the factory tonite? Have a billboard up near the factory? Or a Blade Runner-esque floating blimp-board? Or was that in GiTS? Could also be the reason that the protestors are there, so can also be solved by adding a line of dialogue as well? Or a message on one/more of the placards?
    Yeah, I was wondering how to do that without feeling forced. Good idea.

    Pn 2 - How will the artist show "the toxins have already done their damage to his brain"? Maybe add some dialogue/caption/thought balloon to this affect? Or his internal nanites could be telling him this?
    I’ll reword, I want the boy’s body language to be consist with his declined state, even though we’re viewing him from behind.

    Pn 4 - Maybe include a speech balloon for the kid with him trying to talk, but no words are coming out? So use only letters, or just feint word, or even just ellipses?
    Good idea!

    Pn 6 - Getting a a Gladiator movie vibe from the CEO's dialogue. Maybe it's just me, but it sounds too good to have this scumbag CEO say it - he should be saying something greedy and corrupt or disdainful of the 99% who are dying outside the factory? Dunno why "You can really squeeze blood from a stone" is coming to mind?
    Hmmm, I see your point. I meant the line to have double meaning. CEO believes his deeds make a difference, he doesn’t realize just how much. I don’t want to make him into too much of a mustache twirling villain here but I can make him a little less noble.

    Pn 7 - And I just love this ending!
    Thanks!

  5. #15
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    Hi, this is a really cool idea (the contest, not my script) so I thought I'd give it a try. This isn't a part of anything, it's just something I brainstormed up. It's a little out of my comfort zone but a really good exercise. Please excuse the first-draftiness of the script. It might need more meat and some of the dialog is more like placeholder. Also, only 1 mask in my story. I hope that's ok.

    THE VIGILANTE
    PAGE 1 (4 panels)
    Panel 1 - THE VIGILANTE, a well-built man in a black and grey stealth suit and mask with a "V" insignia covering his entire head, IMPALED on the katana of TAKESHI, a japanese yakuza, mid 30s, emotionless grin.
    Sfx: SHHLK!


    Panel 2 - Pulled back to show an empty warehouse. Four criminal characters gathered around the lifeless body of the Vigilante. A pool of blood has formed under the body. From left to right, we see:
    Takeshi, blood dripping off his sword.
    VIC, a stocky man, 20s, leather jacket, slicked back hair.
    KIRA, a dangerous woman, 20s, long dark black hair, opened trench coat, scar over her face.
    BROCKSTON, a slim man, grey hair, business suit.
    VIC: We got 'im. We finally got 'im.


    Panel 3 - Brockston pointing a gun down at the Vigilante. The muzzle flashes after being fired.
    Sfx: BLAM!


    Panel 4 - The four criminals looking at the body of the Vigilante from a different angle.
    BROCKSTON: Yep.



    PAGE 2 (4 panels)
    Panel 1 - Vic kneeling down next to the body.
    VIC: All these years this guy spent hunting us down. Getting us locked up. Bringing our four gangs to our knees over and over again.
    BROCKSTON (off panel): We'll carve up the city based on the original agreement. Nothing can stop us now.


    Panel 2 - Close in on the Vigilante's mask. Vic's fingers tugging up on the fabric.
    BROCKSTON (off panel): What are you doing?


    Panel 3 - Over Brockston's shoulder looking down at Vic. He has the mask pulled to reveal the Vigilante's cheek.
    VIC: Ain't you even a little curious who's been under this mask?


    Panel 4 - Brockston pushes Vic away from the body.
    Vic: Hey!



    PAGE 3 (6 panels)
    Panel 1 - Close in on Brockston, visibly annoyed.
    BROCKSTON: What difference does it make? He was the only thing keeping us from taking over. Savor the victory.


    Panel 2 - Vic on his feet and getting right in Brockston's face.

    VIC: If you ever put your goddamn hands on me again, I'll shove that cheap tie down your throat.


    Panel 3 - Vic angry, pointing down at the Vigilante.
    VIC: This guy could'a had a family. Someone he cared about. We gotta send a message. We gotta make sure no one else tries to take up his mantle.


    Panel 4 - BROCKSTON turns his back to Vic with disgust.
    BROCKSTON: Use your head, Vic. A man like that... He was everywhere. Never resting. Like a cobra in the shadows waiting to strike.


    Panel 5 - Focus on the lifeless body of the Vigilante.
    BROCKSTON: A man like that has no family. He was forged in death.


    Panel 6 - Close in on Vic's face.

    VIC: If that's true, then why'd he wear the mask?



    PAGE 4 (7 panels)
    Panel 1 - Kira, looking over her shoulder back at Brockston and Vic.
    KIRA: Maybe he was one of us.


    Panel 2 - BROCKSTON standing next to Vic.
    VIC: What the hell are you talking about?


    Panel 3 - Kira kneels down next to the body. She dabs a finger in the blood.
    KIRA: No matter what we did, he was there. In our own heads. Getting comfortabe. Waiting for his moment... his one beautiful moment that we never see coming.


    Panel 4 - Kira looking up and licking the blood from her finger.
    KIRA: No one gets that close, unless you trust them.


    Panel 5 - Brockston in a thinking pose.
    BROCKSTON: Indeed.


    Panel 6 - Vic visibly irritated, almost shouting at Kira in defiance.
    VIC: Forget it. My crew's loyal. Every one of them!


    Panel 7 - Close in on Grimsdale sneering with a cocky grin.
    BROCKSTON: Don't be so sure of that.



    PAGE 5 (5 panels)
    Panel 1 - Close in on a hand holding a lit match (soon to be revealed as Takeshi's hand).
    TAKESHI: Hai. One of us.


    Panel 2 - Takeshi holding the flame close, with his eyes fixed on it.
    TAKESHI: The brother who betrayed me to the Zero Sun...


    Panel 3 - Vic, Kira and Brockston stand around the body like mourners at a funeral.
    TAKESHI (off panel, over Vic): ...the father who stole a young boy's innocence...
    TAKESHI (off panel, over Kira): ...the jealous lover who carved her rage into my face...
    TAKESHI (off panel, over Brockston): ...the system that let a wife and child die under paperwork...


    Panel 4 - We see the arc of the match as it is thrown.
    TAKESHI (off panel): "Who is under the mask?"


    Panel 5 - The body is engulfed in flame. Vic, Kira and Brockston all watch as it burns. Takeshi is walking away, dragging the tip of the sword on the floor.
    TAKESHI: Nobody.
    TAKESHI: Not anymore.

  6. #16
    For Chris, "Unusual Suspects"

    I like what you’ve done with this one. Great action and a fun twist at the end. I love the title too, it plays on the hard boiled crime convention while referencing the super powers. The biggest challenge will be fitting it all in. Funny you mention cutting two characters, and while it may be more fun with two more supers, I actually had the thought it would play so much cleaner with just one. At the end of the day five pages only gives you so much room to play. I've noticed a few places you could streamline.

    I’m just curious btw, what role does the “paged up” summary play? Is that for your artist or is that a holdover from your outlining stage? I like it, just not sure what you intend with it.

    Just a personal thing but IFO is a strange name to me. Not sure if there is history to this character or if it’s his acronym but I would consider a more dynamic name.

    1.1 - If you want to buy some space on the first page (panel 5 looks like it will need some room for five speech balloons) I don’t think you need panel one. We don’t have a caption introducing the other characters, I don’t know who the speaker is (even after reading all of it), and we’re going to understand pretty quickly this is a ransom situation.

    2.1 – FW’s dialogue feels redundant to pg1 pn6 line. Could lose.

    2.4 – IFO’s line doesn’t feel snarky enough considering his plan to outsmart the strongman. Wonder if it should be more like, “does your vocabulary shrink when you grow?” or “did I use too many big words?” Something to really make him angry. Just thinking from IFO's POV, if he doesn't get the big man big enough he's dead meat. So the insults need to be a little sharper.

    2.6 – 'bulking down' is a strange phrasing. From context I think you mean shrinking. I’d consider rewording for clarity.

    3.5 shouldn’t the artist have IFO kicking the hatch closed? In the next panel it is already closed and IFO is flying away. Feels like you may be cheating time a little too much here. I would consider rethinking the sequence of events on this one. Perhaps IFO is able to throw something at the lower hatch while closing the top. It would save you some page real estate.

    4.4 do you need the idea of FW possibly suffocating and IFO trying to save her? Feels like it doesn’t go anywhere and burns valuable space. Consider Stronga punches IFO mid-gloat here. Stronga can rescue FW just as the police arrive.

    Page 5 is jam-packed. Might be tough to pull off. I’d lose the pass out POV panel and the blackout insert, just to buy yourself some space.

    5.4 Not sure what IFO’s “whoa” is in relation to here? Is the joke that he’s responding to the punch he took? Or is he reacting to his surroundings? I would think something more groggy/confused would be more believable and clear here.

    Overall good stuff. Really enjoyed reading your work again, Chris!

  7. #17
    For Misterpants (heh), "The Vigilante"

    I don't think you have enough story for five pages. Apart from a lot of talking heads and what seems to be an intentionally vague ending, there isn't much for a reader to sink their teeth into. Also is page 5 panel 3 inserts of each character or are the speech balloons over each character they're intended for? If I was the artist I would need more direction.

    I like the premise though. Your descriptions are clear, albeit a little light on detail. Dialogue is okay, though it felt a little flowery at times.

    I would dig deeper into the story. Do you know who the vigilante is? Are you trying to create a mystery in the reader's mind? Are you trying to build a theme about the origin of villains being the heroes that hound them?

    Keep writing and thanks for submitting something!

  8. #18
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    Thank you and I agree with this assessment 100%. This was put together quickly and wasn't adapted from anything I did in the past so it was all from scratch. I do have to flesh out these characters and polish up the structure a bit. Page 5 panel 3, the balloons were meant to appear over the heads of the characters they were intended for. I could probably go a few ways with it, but I was going for the conflict between the villains either needing to know who the vigilante was or not wanting to know. The assignment was Masks so I tried to make that the intended focus.


    In all honestly, it was a small victory just to get something written. I can't wait for the next one. The other entries here are really great and what the artists here did with Gasp was amazing. (I would credit them but I'm afraid to leave this page because I'll lose everything and have to type it all over again )

  9. #19
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    Hi Shaun,

    Thanks for the review - this is one of the main things I missed after being away from PJ so long!

    Let me see if I can answer some of your comments - thanks for these!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    For Chris, "Unusual Suspects"

    I like what you’ve done with this one. Great action and a fun twist at the end. I love the title too, it plays on the hard boiled crime convention while referencing the super powers. The biggest challenge will be fitting it all in. Funny you mention cutting two characters, and while it may be more fun with two more supers, I actually had the thought it would play so much cleaner with just one. At the end of the day five pages only gives you so much room to play. I've noticed a few places you could streamline.

    I’m just curious btw, what role does the “paged up” summary play? Is that for your artist or is that a holdover from your outlining stage? I like it, just not sure what you intend with it.
    Thanks!

    And yes, 5 pages really isn't that much - less really is more in this case. And good point, if I cut out the Colossal Hulk-Boy character (Stronga) as well, then it could be just FlameWar vs IFO, with each having a different viewpoint, and space for more dialogue and a longer fight as well. And of course we later see why IFO wants to let the socialite go...

    The Paged Up summery (should really call it something else!), are the notes from the outlining stage I've rewritten for the artist, just to give them an idea what the flow of the story is before they dive in into the details of each page. So far most people I've sent it to likes it, so thinking I'll keep it for now...

    Just a personal thing but IFO is a strange name to me. Not sure if there is history to this character or if it’s his acronym but I would consider a more dynamic name.
    This is going to sound SO corny... It's a play on UFO - being Unidentified Flying Object. But of course this flying character is Identified... Yeah, pretty bad...

    1.1 - If you want to buy some space on the first page (panel 5 looks like it will need some room for five speech balloons) I don’t think you need panel one. We don’t have a caption introducing the other characters, I don’t know who the speaker is (even after reading all of it), and we’re going to understand pretty quickly this is a ransom situation.
    Great point, Panel 1 really is redundant in hindsight. Need to cut the dialogue a well. And good point on the character intros with captions.

    2.1 – FW’s dialogue feels redundant to pg1 pn6 line. Could lose.
    True...

    2.4 – IFO’s line doesn’t feel snarky enough considering his plan to outsmart the strongman. Wonder if it should be more like, “does your vocabulary shrink when you grow?” or “did I use too many big words?” Something to really make him angry. Just thinking from IFO's POV, if he doesn't get the big man big enough he's dead meat. So the insults need to be a little sharper.
    Great point. Have to up the snark & channel my inner Spider-Pool!

    2.6 – 'bulking down' is a strange phrasing. From context I think you mean shrinking. I’d consider rewording for clarity.
    Yip, agreed

    3.5 shouldn’t the artist have IFO kicking the hatch closed? In the next panel it is already closed and IFO is flying away. Feels like you may be cheating time a little too much here. I would consider rethinking the sequence of events on this one. Perhaps IFO is able to throw something at the lower hatch while closing the top. It would save you some page real estate.
    Cool suggestion.

    4.4 do you need the idea of FW possibly suffocating and IFO trying to save her? Feels like it doesn’t go anywhere and burns valuable space. Consider Stronga punches IFO mid-gloat here. Stronga can rescue FW just as the police arrive.
    Yeah, I've been trying to cut panels, but methinks in the wrong places perhaps - good suggestion again!

    Page 5 is jam-packed. Might be tough to pull off. I’d lose the pass out POV panel and the blackout insert, just to buy yourself some space.
    Yup, even an artist friend I've approached says the action's just too compressed, might have to add a page or 2 after the comp if I ever get this drawn...

    5.4 Not sure what IFO’s “whoa” is in relation to here? Is the joke that he’s responding to the punch he took? Or is he reacting to his surroundings? I would think something more groggy/confused would be more believable and clear here.
    Good point...





    And then some notes from an artist friend as well:

    I think it could do with maybe another two pages or so, just to make the action flow easier. Like where Stronga chases after IFO, there's a scene jump to IFO being atop the structure... would be good if you could show part of the chase, as well as maybe just dropping the socialite.

    Then a similar jump in action is in some other places too - like it needs a panel or so inbetween. Like Stronga falling and bulking down would work better visually if it was shown as a few panels OR a big panel to show the action. Stronga bashing the tank open, rescuing Flamewar and hitting IFO could also be expanded on. And I'd show Stronga putting Flamewar down or alternately show her unconscious form in one of the following fight panels. The reason I'd want to show her being put down is because then there is an opportunity to show Stronga first look at her with concern, then get even angrier and bigger...

    I've never been a fan of off-panel speech - without hearing the sound or voice, I just feel the reader has no context, even if they're shouting NYPD... I'd transpose the scenes somewhat... ie IFO is down and passing out, and Stronga is looming over him (maybe only at that point shouting "you're dead!") And then next frame show him lit up with the laser dots (NYPD! Stand down!") and as he get tasered IFO also passes out. There might even be an opportunity to show Stronga look bewildered in a closeup just before he gets tasered.

    I also have questions about Stronga's exact powers... Does he have some level of invulnerability? It'd implied by him being able to smash things and surviving the fall. If so, then how does the tasering work on him? Or am I overthinking it?

    The end dialogue is quite a lot, so I'd maybe look at cutting some there - or you might need more frames. I'm going to assume that the socialite circled back and grabbed the money? But how did she know where to find it as Flamewar says "I'll hide it somewhere safe"... so seeing that the socialite was with IFO, she couldn't have seen where the hiding spot was... Maybe just change the scene so that is never said and that the pursuit happens immediately. That might save a panel or two...

  10. #20
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    This one's for Mr Pants - congrats on writing a story, and a pretty good one for a first attempt!

    Overall impressions - I like the angle - pretty original (at least from what I've read/watched over the years).
    Cons - Not a lot of action, mostly talking heads. Maybe include some flashbacks on how they 4 managed to finally track down and defeat someone that has hounded them for years? I take it they've never teamed up before? So that could be one reason why they won. And perhaps they've had some outside help as well? A computer expert who hacked into TV's computer system to get to all his files? With files on his standard operating procedures for each gang & gang leader? And files on his allies, that could be used against him? Also, detailed schematics on his body armour, including any weak points to exploit, and for Takeshi's katana to go through!

    General comments:
    Page 1

    Right now it reads that only Takeshi was involved in killing The Vigilante (TV from now on), while I'm pretty sure that all 4 had their part? So I was thinking TV would have some battle scars on his costume from the other 3 as well? You've already gave a gun to Vic, so just need to to give Kira and Brockston suitable weapons? And maybe show Vic's gun in Panel 2, so as to lead into Panel 3? Nitpicking here, but how is the artist going to show Kira as being dangerous?

    Page 4
    I take it that Brockston was originally called Grimsdale? Then just one overall comment on the lettering part of the script - you already know how to use off-panel speech balloons. Maybe have a look at Kurt Hathaway's Lettering 101 PDF download - he explains the different lettering types - such as burst-type that should go into Panel 6 methinks.

    Page 5
    Panel 2 & 3 - think the backstory around this would be interesting to see, even just in a flashback. But 5 pages is not enough for this of course. And thinking Takeshi might know all these facts about his fellow gang leaders after they read TV's stolen computer files?

    Panel 4 - you don't need quotation marks on an off-panel speech balloon, unless he was quoting someone? And looking at the other dialogue, it does not seem like he did?

    And I really like your last panel!

    Another nit-pick - when did Takeshi/anyone throw some petrol/gasoline on TV to be able to set him alight?


    Final words - To perhaps increase diversity, maybe make Brockston African-American? As I'm getting an Irish vibe from Vic, correct me if I'm wrong. Takeshi is most probably from the far east, which leaves Kira. Not proscribing, just mentioning it - its your call of course to take whatever advice from this you want...

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