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Thread: Writing Contest #112 - Dystopia

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Africa
    Blog Entries
    Yeah, the PM system here's not ideal... Hope the forum software upgrades will come to the rescue?

    Going to post my story tomorrow, just need to give a few hours for the final edit... Just hoping I'm making it better and not any worse! Went from robotic overlords, to super-powered ones, then to the people tearing their "saviour" to pieces, and now finally a 1-room type story, with robotic torture scenes and an ending that just came to me while writing the last panel!

    That's why I'm glad I'm on this forum - have always gotten good advice from you all here...

    Speaking of art - Shaun & all other writers - how about you post links to the art any/all of you had gotten done for any of your stories? And then we see if we don't have enough content for a short anthology? Pretty sure we'd not be able to market it as a PJ anthology, but if most of the writers (and artists) are from here, then at least we can give it a shout out on here? And then maybe do a small kickstarter to get the best stories printed?

    That'll beat giving editors one of your scripts to read!

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    North Carolina
    I think an anthology is an awesome idea! I'd love to be in on that. I was going to rework mine this weekend and try and get the final version posted by Monday. But regardless of the outcome, I really want to see what I can make of it and maybe expand it into something bigger. You know, first things first though, I gotta nail down the five pages. But yeah I actually have a tiny bit of scratch for once in my life so I was thinking of asking one of the talented artists here if they could help.

  3. #63
    Hey, but in all these years of penciljack an antology made by artists and writers from this forum has never been done? It must be. I know it'd be hard to organize, but should be done. With stories already drawn and adding new ones. Isn't collaboration between writers and artist something usual here?

    If this contest is #112 there must be some stories already drawn and a great number of other interesting ones to be done. I'd love to see some of the ones that have been made through the years.

  4. #64
    As the resident old timer on PJ (how the $@%^ did that happen?!) I should speak to this. There have been numerous stories from Penciljakcers drawn in my time, which is only the last decade. There were probably more in the few years between before PJ's inception and my arrival. There was even a time when writer's held competitions and the winner would be drawn by all the artists, and then the artists would vote on the best interpretation of the script. And there was also talk of a PJ anthology but it never got past the discussion stage. So in short, yes, plenty of art exists from PJ scripts.

    The challenge will be tracking down those writers/artists to get the work and necessary permissions. But I love the idea and will happily offer the work I've been involved with and reach out to the artist to get consent. Good idea, Chris!
    Last edited by Shaun; 04-08-2017 at 01:23 AM.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am 100% into that idea. I am not the best writer but I would love to have some of my writings actually become comic pages. I would happily throw in some funds into a KickStarter.

  6. #66
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    New York
    I would love to do an anthology book short! I've never had any of my scripts drawn out yet but if you need any short stories I'm your guy.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Africa
    Blog Entries
    Hiya Shaun & Almayer - good points all around.

    Maybe we should do this in a few phases? First phase is to just take the writers on the forum now, and see what's been done recently, and get the OK from the artists to take this further? The approval is key I think, don't want to have someone coming back later and saying that they don't want their writing/art to appear in the anthology when it's being printed? This happened to the first anthology I was involved with - some of the people said their art/writing no longer reflects what they are doing now, so that is the reason this was never reprinted, and never released on Comixology... Sigh. So we would need approval, and preferably a contract of sorts that will allow the publishing group (all of us) to continue hosting and selling/reprinting this?

    Which brings us to the next point - hopefully this will make some money in the long run - so we would need to think about sharing profit with the contributors. Starting from the artists, to the inkers,colorists, letterers and not forgetting us, the writers... And paying for hosting/any admin/other fees. What about profit share of 70% of all revenue goes to the creative team after all costs have been subtracted? And 30% to the publishing group for advertising, etc? And this applies to online as well?

    Second phase would be to track down all previous art that's been done, and get approval to collect these? Maybe do this for every year, going back until the founding of PJ? Bit think that would be a big undertaking to contact everyone and get their approvals...

    Maybe we should break out the discussions regarding this to a separate thread? And then also talk about just how we're going to handle the selection process of which stories get into the anthology? As I want this to be as close to pro-level as possible. We're already upping our writing game by taking part in these contests, but the scripts need to be in the same level as any work done by the big publishers/top quality indie publishers. So how about a 2-step process - we collect all the art that we have on a thread on PJ (or even a separate site), and then we have a competition to choose the best 10-20 stories to go into the printed anthology? That way we can have all the stories up to get more exposure for the writer and artist, but also have some method where only the best stories makes it to the anthology? Or am I overthinking this? (And the competition will also bring some publicity I'm sure for all involved.)

    Oh yeah - jamesdcreviston - Kickstarter is the ideal way to get this funded - and with all the writers and artists involved spreading news about this, I'm pretty sure this will get funded. And another thing - with Kickstarter still is not supporting the country I'm in, someone from the US or UK might be better to run the kickstarter? Actually we need to also discuss the division of labor in general - to make sure this does continue until done. And that no one burns out. So if we can have volunteers for a certain time period to run with their section, and then they can hand over to the next person when the first anthology is done if they want to? Thinking we need a council to run this thing, and then people with social media skills to handle promotion/marketing? Then someone/a few people with the IT background to put up a site for this? Then we have to talk about getting people to letter the work? Nothing like bad lettering to bring down a comic. And we need good quality control checking - don't want a typo or issue with coloring/lettering to mess up a story or the whole anthology?

    Anycase, let discuss - on my side I just have to me re-read all my dialogue and then post my script!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun View Post
    The challenge will be tracking down those writers/artists to get the work and necessary permissions. But I love the idea and will happily offer the work I've been involved with and reach out to the artist to get consent. Good idea, Chris!

  8. #68
    I absolutely agree with what you say Chris. I know I'm new here, and maybe my opinion is not the most authorized, but I think that if this kind of collaborations was done in the past it must return! It's what gives real sense to the existence of this forums besides the C&C! I only could help by drawing an story written by any of you guys (I'm talking with two of you right now), and expect to be selected for the Anthology if I reach the level. But I absolutely support the initiative.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    South Africa
    Blog Entries


    And here's my entry...

    Like I've said previously - changed this so many times... Originally I had the main characters discuss their plans in her apartment, but had to cut for space. Also cut the bit where there was a different leader of the rebels, and then he's ripped to pieces by the masses when they find out the power is off and that they'd slowly die - that's where the "As long as you die first" line came from.

    Just not sure about the final line of dialogue - should I cut this? And too much dialogue on some other pages...


    A woman, working to overthrow a totalitarian regime, is tortured after she's caught. She claims innocence, but The Man (and video evidence) says otherwise. And The Man has robot torturers to assist him. But then the bots power down, just as they were about to torture her again, and she frees herself. She takes out The Man, and then has to wait for her partner in crime to open the door, for them to rule this brave new world together.


    • The woman – Ria – skinny from malnourishment. Short hairstyle. Helena Bonham Carter if you want.
    • The Man – older male in his 50’s/60’s. Sam L Jackson if you want.
    • The bots – headless/faceless bipedal bots.
    • The Manageress – Ophelia - older female in her 40’s. if you want.
    • The Elder – Barain Obhu – the last president of the country that used to be the USA, now only one city remains of this. (Morgan Freeman)
    • Ric – Ria’s brother - Rico Wayd. (Edward Norton as a skinhead with a beard)


    • Inside a torture chamber in the building’s sub-basement.
    • Flashbacks to the Frail Elder car wing of a high-rise building.

    Page 1 (4 panels):
    Panel 1
    Establishing shot of the city of the future skyline with its gleaming towers and what looks like cloud cover, but actually smog. This is a backdrop panel, so art should bleed to the edges of the page – from the skyline above, and then the dirty, smoggy street level of the underclasses. This panel goes to the bottom of the page, showing section of city from the top to dirty bottom. The other panels are stacked below this one. If space allows there can be flying cars above, but normal wheeled cars below at the bottom of this backdrop panel, maybe with a police drone or two. Note to colorist – was thinking of having this take place at sunset or rise, so lot of yellow, gold/orange/red colors above, going down to darker greys and blues below.

    1. Caption (top left):

    NewTopia, the only remaining city in what used to be the USA.

    2. Speech balloon (no tail) - Ria (right side of panel):

    No! Not agai--

    Panel 2
    Extreme close-up on Ria’s face, as she’s in the chair, screaming. There’s a metal cap on her head, similar to this (, just a bit more streamlined. Wires force her eyes and mouth open, and there are metal tendrils going into her mouth.

    3. SFX (around the tendrils in her mouth):

    4. Speech balloon - Ria (burst):

    Panel 3
    Zoomed out, we see Ria and we see she’s actually strapped down into a reclining metal & plastic chair – similar to this (
    https://burrellosubmarinemovies.file...errogation.jpg ). Behind the chair, on the left & right of it - we should see 2 bots – faceless, standing by. At the foot side of the chair we see The Man sitting in a chair, looking at Ria & talking. We see what she’s wearing – a long grey bodystocking, covering her torso, shoulders and upper legs. With probes and wiring going into the chest and stomach area of the clothing she’s wearing.

    5. Speech balloon - Ria:

    6. Speech balloon – The Man:
    Ria, I can make it stop anytime…

    Panel 4
    POV from above, showing Ria and The Man, as well as now 2 bots. Ria’s talking, looking at The Man.

    7. Speech balloon - Ria:
    I’ve told you everything… I swear…

    8. Speech balloon – The Man:
    Oh, I’m not quite so sure.

    9. Linked speech balloon – The Man:

    10. Linked speech balloon- Ria (burst):

    Page 2 (6 panels):
    All the panels in this page should have wavy/different panel borders from the last page, to indicate this is a flashback.

    Panel 1
    Panel showing Ria and a manager of an old-age center where she’s found work. They are standing in a non-descript office. The manageress is dressed in a pantsuit. Ria is dressed in a white disposable caretaker’s/nurse’s outfit.

    1. Caption (top left):
    I…I…started at the Frail Care wing just after the New Year.

    2. Speech balloon – The Woman:
    Looks like everything’s in place - DNA samples, background checks and contract.

    3. Linked speech balloon – The Woman:
    You’ve been hired to look after our eldest resident.

    4. Speech balloon - Ria:
    Yes ma’am, thank you ma’am…

    5. Linked speech balloon – The Woman:
    Follow me…

    Panel 2
    The manageress and Ria are now standing in front of an elderly African-American man, who is sitting down. Go for some Morgan Freeman if you want, just more wrinkled and wisps of white hair on his head.

    6. Speech balloon – The Woman:
    Here he is – Mr Obhu

    7. Linked speech balloon – The Woman:
    He does not care for assistance by robotic help - that is why you are here.

    Panel 3
    Ria is bending down to be closer to eye-level with the elderly man, her hand reached out to his. His hand is not raised yet.

    8. Speech balloon - Ria:
    Good afternoon, sir.

    9. Speech balloon – The Woman:
    Don’t be discouraged if he doesn’t acknowledge you--

    Panel 4
    Over the shoulder shot from behind Ria showing the elderly man, his hand now grasping hers.

    10. Speech balloon – Elder:
    Now, now Mrs O…

    11. Linked speech balloon – Elder:
    I‘ll shake hands with just about any…person.

    12. Linked speech balloon – Elder:
    Just not the damn robots you keep on bringing to take “care” of me…

    Panel 5
    Panel showing Ria taking a tray with plates still overflowing with food into the kitchen, where bots are working. Should be fairly modern, so lots of white tile and stainless steel. A waste chute should be visible on the right-hand side of the panel, labelled as such as well.

    13. Caption (top left):
    The worst wasn’t the treatment I got, but having to throw out real food day after day…

    14. Computer lettering over waste chute door:
    Food waste

    Panel 6
    Panel showing Ria (in dirty street clothes, wearing a big patched trench coat) walking away from the building, but at ground level – so dirty and smoggy. The building behind her, shining in the dirtiness, is where she works. And the entrance should be protected by 2 bots on either side of the metal doors, similar to the ones shown before. Above the entrance should be the words - Cloud Towers. On the right-hand side of the panel please show the waste spout from the building where she worked. And there’s a small crowd of people waiting around this, with plastic bags and bins. On the building there should be cameras and in the sky around the building there should be flying drones, taking pictures and video of everything.

    15. Caption (top left):
    …while people were starving outside...

    16. Caption (below previous caption):
    And constantly living in fear...

    17. Computer lettering above entrance:
    Cloud Towers

    18. Speech balloon – Crowd:
    Mommy, I’m so hungry…

    19. Speech balloon – Crowd:
    Quick! Get it before the recycle bots arrive!

    20. Computer lettering over waste spout:
    Food waste

    21. Caption (top right):
    So just why did you work there at all?

    Page 3 (7 panels):
    Only the first & fourth panels to have a wavy/different panel border - to indicate these are flashbacks.

    Panel 1
    Panel showing Ria standing by huge floor to ceiling windows, still dressed in her white disposable caretaker’s/nurse’s outfit, looking out at the clouds (smog actually) just beneath the floor she’s in. This makes it look like she’s above the clouds.

    1. Caption (top left):
    It was…the view… It felt like I was…up in the clouds.

    Panel 2
    Back to the small room, similar to the last panel on Page 1, Ria lying down, strapped in, while the old man on the right of the chair slams his fist down on the chair Ria is lying on. The bots should be at least partially visible at the top of the panel.

    2. Speech balloon – The Man (burst):

    3. Linked speech balloon – The Man:
    We have the video footage!

    4. SFX (where his fist strikes the chair):

    Panel 3
    Close-up on Ria’s face as she acts surprised.

    5. Speech balloon – Ria:

    6. Linked speech balloon – Ria:

    7. Linked speech balloon – Ria:
    I’d never…

    Panel 4
    Back to a flashback panel, showing Ria near the sleeping Elder & she has his wrist/hand in hers, as she places it on a handheld device with LED lights and with a square fingerprint reader on the top. Note to letterer - on the right of the screen I’d like a bit of text pasted, to show a log of sorts.

    8. Tail-less speech balloon – The Man:

    9. Linked tail-less speech balloon – The Man:
    What did you upload?

    10. Computer lettering – to the right of the panel:
    2036/02/13 @ 23:17:34
    Fingerprint authenticated: Barain Obhu
    File uploaded to ClouDrive

    Panel 5
    Back to normal panels from here on, with a side-view of Ria, still strapped in the chair, and The Man, shouting at her.

    11. Speech balloon – Ria:
    Nothing! It’s not what it looks like!

    12. Speech balloon – The Man:
    We’ll have to see about that!

    13. Linked speech balloon – The Man:
    Bots! Code 007.

    Panel 6
    On Ria again, as she shouts when the 2 bots move closer to her.

    14. Speech balloon – Ria (burst):

    Panel 5
    Small inset panel of Ria’s face as a sharp object draws blood on her cheek.

    15. Offpanel speech balloon – Bot (radio):
    Starting incision on subjec--

    Page 4 (6 panels):

    Panel 1
    Panel showing Ria still strapped into the reclining chair, but the robots that were flanking her chair has now powered off! So they’re in the process of bowing down from the waist, going into power-down mode, so need some motion lines for this. Their long, thin robotic fingers are still spread out over Ria’s lap and arms. And now Ria has a smile on her face, as she’s been waiting for this to happen. On the right side of the panel The Man is still sitting, shocked. The lighting in this panel should be darker than the previous or next panels.

    1. SFX (near Ria’s hands):

    2. Speech balloon – The Man:
    What the hell just happened?

    3. SFX (near the man’s pocket):

    Panel 2
    Close-up on The Man as he answers his phone – he’s standing, and with his back turned to the chair. He’s holding the phone in front of his body, busy with a video call, and is illuminated by the glow coming off his phone. The phone should be like Tony Stark’s phone in Iron Man 2, just to show this is not the same time period as now -

    4. Speech balloon – The Man:
    What?! Explosion at the power plant?!

    5. Linked speech balloon – The Man:
    Dammit, she wasn’t working alone!

    Panel 3
    Close-up on Ria, as she’s loosened herself from the chair. And in her hands, we see pieces of the bot’s tentacle fingers that she used to slice the straps holding her.

    6. Speech balloon – Ria:

    7. Speech balloon – Ria:

    8. Speech balloon – Ria:

    Panel 4
    Ria is coming closer to The Man, who’s still standing on the right of the panel. She’s holding up one of the tentacle fingers up at him.

    9. Speech balloon – Ria:
    So, my little upload finally worked…

    10. Linked speech balloon – Ria:
    The power’s off - no one’s coming to rescue you…

    11. Speech balloon – The Man:
    But the air, water and food systems… The security systems - we’ll all die!

    Panel 5
    Close-up on The Man, as Ria is using a piece of the bot’s tentacle fingers to give the man a similar cut to his face that she got!

    12. Speech balloon – Ria:
    As long as you die first…

    13. Linked speech balloon – Ria:
    This is payback for everything all of you has ever done to me…us...

    Panel 6
    Insert panel, with just the lettering below arranged from top to bottom.

    14. SFX:

    Page 5 (4 panels):

    Panel 1
    Similar panel to P4, panel 1, but now The (dead) Man is lying on the chair, with the tentacle knife sticking out of his forehead. Robots still bowing, offline. Ria is on the right side of the panel, holding The Man’s phone in front of her & dialing. She is illuminated by the glow coming off it as well.

    1. Speech balloon – Ria:

    2. Linked speech balloon – Ria:
    Hey little brother…

    3. Linked speech balloon – Ria:
    D’you think the oppressed masses will buy this look?

    Panel 2
    Panel showing a video-chat app-like window, with the main screen showing the person Ria is talking to Ric, her brother. Then a smaller window on the right of the screen/panel shows Ria, with her bloodied face. Note to letterer - above this side window there should be some call-related data info, to be done by computer lettering.

    4. Speech balloon – Ric:
    Ria, where the hell did they take you?!

    5. Speech balloon – Ria:
    The Cloud Tower sub-basements, and pretty sure there are a lot of other persons of interest here as well. Not that we'll be freeing them of course...

    6. Linked speech balloon – Ric:
    Everything is going just as you planned – with the bots and life support systems off, the people are rising up…

    7. Linked speech balloon – Ria:
    Great. I take it you still have full access to the system through the virus I uploaded?

    8. Computer lettering – above Ria’s chat window.
    Location: Unknown
    Name: Riannon Wayd
    Age: 29
    History: No crimes, no misdemeanors.
    DNA check: Confirmed.

    Panel 3
    Ria is standing by the exit door of the room, with her hand on the handle. Next to it should be a fingerprint reader, with a sign on it that shows it is still “Locked”.

    9. Speech balloon – Ria:
    Let’s meet at the Power Plant, to livestream switching on the power – then we’ll be the ones ruling.

    10. Linked speech balloon – Ria:
    Ric, open the door.

    11. Computer lettering (over fingerprint reader):

    Panel 4
    Close-up on Ric, smiling.

    12. Speech balloon – Ric:
    Sorry sis, was just thinking about that…

    13. Linked speech balloon – Ric:
    Why shouldn't I be the ruler? Something I’ve learned from you, big sis – you always looked out for yourself, the rest of us always came second...

    14. Linked speech balloon – Ric:
    And one more thing - watch out for the bots, when the power comes back on, they’ll resume with their last command.

    The End

  10. #70
    Let's definitely continue this anthology discussion in it's own thread. Back to dystopia! Eager to read your entry, Chris.

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