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Redstar
03-16-2013, 05:19 PM
I am currently working on an anniversary special comic serving as the continuation to the 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. film. This comic is based on notes from and discussions with the film's original screenwriter, so it is a canon take on what the sequel would have been.

Unfortunately, my partner and I are not experienced comic writers. While we have a vision for the story, we are struggling with structure and pacing. The first issue of the script is written, but it does not follow the three-act structure as much as we would like. The middle act is transitory while the climax has no cathartic value.

I'm posting it here in hopes that you guys might be able to help us re-structure the comic. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. We just want to provide the best possible story to the films fans.

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Page 1 of 20

Page 1

Panel 1

INT. PORTAL GUARDIAN CHAMBER

CAPTION: Several hours ago, in a desert chamber…

DAISY and a MYSTERIOUS MAN stand within a dimly-lit chamber while several workmen climb down a rope to join them. The dome-shaped chamber is littered with passageways leading in opposing directions. Sunlight filters through the hole in the ceiling, revealing thousands of metallic eggs placed around the chamber wall.

A single pedestal stands at the chamber’s center, upon which a metallic EGG sits. Thick cables connect into a control panel at its base.

DAISY is wearing a purple and pink-schemed version of Mario and Luigi’s jumpsuits. It’s form-fitting, the waist cinched in a way that accentuates her curves.

A MYSTERIOUS MAN in desert gear—robe, his face obscured by goggles, cloth over mouth and a turban—stands beside her. A FRY GUY FLAMETHROWER is strapped over his shoulder.

DAISY
What is this place?

Panel 2

Ornate hieroglyphics cover the stone wall in front of the console. Based on storyboard artwork.

View from behind as the MYSTERIOUS MAN gazes upon this wall, hand feeling the stone.

MYSTERIOUS MAN
Looks like a lost Portal Guardian sanctuary. I’ve heard theories of them being scattered throughout the wasteland.

Panel 3

Daisy approaches the pedestal.

DAISY
These incubation pods…what were they for?

Panel 4

A depression on top matches the shape of the meteorite shard around DAISY’s neck. The shard glows blue, reacting to the proximity of the EGG.



Page 2 of 20

Page 2

Panel 1

The workmen stand in bewilderment as the thousands of eggs begin to glow an eerie blue light, an energy building in the chamber.

MYSTERIOUS MAN
What’s happening?

DAISY
I don’t know…The crystal’s reacting to the pod…

Panel 2

A network of glowing lines spread out over the surface of the EGG now that its activated.

Panel 3

Beams of energy shoot from the EGG, hitting the chamber wall in the center of the hieroglyphics.

Panel 4

The chamber wall ripples like water.

DAISY
Amazing…


MYSTERIOUS MAN
Princess, I don’t think this is safe.



Page 3 of 20

Page 3

Panel 1

A sudden surge of energy emanates from the console, blasting Daisy onto the ground. The MYSTERIOUS MAN runs towards her in the background.

MYSTERIOUS MAN
Daisy!
Panel 2

The MYSTERIOUS MAN props DAISY up in his arms. DAISY’s jumpsuit is torn up and deep gashes are cut into her arms.

MYSTERIOUS MAN
Princess, are you alright?

DAISY
I’m fine. I just feel weak…

MYSTERIOUS MAN
We need to get back to the surface. It’s not safe down here.

Panel 3

Close-up on DAISY’s face as she looks past the MYSTERIOUS MAN (in the foreground) in horror.

DAISY
Oh, no…

MYSTERIOUS MAN
What is it?



Page 4 of 20

Page 4

Splash Page

DAISY and the MYSTERIOUS MAN look upon the chamber as dozens of creatures swarm from the portal. Some leer aggressively while others climb the chamber walls. Several HISS.

The MYSTERIOUS MAN cradles DAISY in his arms while the workmen look on in fear.



Page 5 of 20

Page 5
Panel 1

INT. Mario Bros. Apartment — Day

CAPTION: Earth — Brooklyn, NY
SUB-CAPTION: Now…

DAISY bursts through the door of the Mario Bros. apartment. She’s wearing a jumpsuit and wielding a FRY GUY FLAMETHROWER. The sleeves of her jumpsuit are tied around her waist, revealing her heavily battered upper body. Claw marks are visible on her arms and shoulders while blood has dried brown through her tanktop.

Her hair is loosely tied into a ponytail, strings of hair obscuring her face. A belt of Stomper cartridges is draped over her shoulder. She’s wearing fingerless gloves. She’s tired, but battle-hardened.

DAISY
Luigi! Mario! You gotta come with me—I need your help!

MARIO and LUIGI can be seen in the foreground.

Panel 2

LUIGI rushes forwards. In astonishment, he exclaims:

LUIGI
What’s wrong?

She cocks her FRY GUY FLAMETHROWER.

DAISY
You’re never going to believe this.

Panel 3

MARIO reaches for his toolbelt.

MARIO
I believe it.

Panel 4

LUIGI looks to MARIO.

LUIGI
You do?

MARIO
(laughs)
I believe.



Page 6 of 20

Page 6
Panel 1


DANIELLA
What happened? You look terrible!

DAISY
We have a bit of a leak…

Panel 2

MARIO
Aha! What did I tell you, Luigi? Everybody needs a plumber! What are we talking about? Broken dishwasher? Clogged toilet?

Panel 3

DAISY tosses MARIO a couple Bullet Bill cartridges, and points to the pair of THWOMP STOMPERS sitting on top of the television.

DAISY
Not exactly. You’ll need the boots.

Panel 4

MARIO
Must be some clog…

Luigi smiles, arm over his brother.

LUIGI
C’mon, Mario… Nothing two plumbers can’t fix!



Page 6 of 20

Page 6
Panel 1

The four now exit the apartment. Heads peek from apartment doors.

TENANT #1
What’s going on?

TENANT #2
It’s the Super Mario Bros.!

TENANT #3
Where are you going?

Panel 2

Shot on Mario’s face:

MARIO
(growls)
Gotta fix a leak.



Page 7 of 20

Page 7
Panel 1

INT. METEORITE CHAMBER

CAPTION: Soon…

Mario, Luigi, Daisy and Daniella make their way through the portal into the meteorite chamber. The shadow of the MYSTERIOUS MAN looms in the tunnel entrance.

LUIGI
Good to be back, eh Mario?

MARIO is holding his stomach. He looks like he’s going to be sick.

MARIO
I’ll never get used to that…

Panel 2

The MYSTERIOUS MAN appears. A FRY GUY FLAMETHROWER is strapped over his shoulder. He looks just as battle-damaged as Daisy.

Panel 3

Luigi lifts a wrench in defense, ready to attack.

LUIGI
Woah. Who’s this guy?

Daisy stands between him and the MYSTERIOUS MAN, easing him down with a raised hand.

DAISY
Don’t worry… He’s a friend.



Page 8 of 20

Page 8
Panel 1

INT. METEORITE CHAMBER

Panel 1

Shot on the MYSTERIOUS MAN’s face.

MYSTERIOUS MAN
I see our plumbers are ready for a fight. That’s good.

Panel 2 (wide)

Luigi is backed off, arms crossed and wrench still in hand as Daisy speaks with the MYSTERIOUS MAN. Mario stands off to the side, Daniella holding onto his arm.

DAISY
What’s the situation?

MYSTERIOUS MAN
We’ve held them from the city, but they just keep coming through the portal. We won’t be able to secure the digsite for much longer.

Panel 3

Shot on MARIO’s face.
MARIO
Just what are we dealing with, Daisy?

MYSTERIOUS MAN
The princess can explain on the way. Everyone onto the buggy. We’ll get there faster through the service tunnels.

Panel 4

The MYSTERIOUS MAN ushers them all onto the dune buggy.

There’s only room for four, leaving LUIGI to grab onto the buggy’s rear handlebars and ride from the back.



Page 9 of 20

Page 9
Panel 1

Close-up on DAISY’s and the MYSTERIOUS MAN’s faces. The MM drives the buggy beside her.

DAISY
Several hours ago we discovered a machine in a lost Portal Guardian chamber. It opened a portal.

Panel 2

Shot on Luigi’s face.
LUIGI
Hold on—A gateway? I thought our worlds were the only two…

DAISY
So did we, but these things aren’t from either world. We have to stop them.


Panel 3

MARIO
And how do you suggest we do that?


DAISY
The crystal. It’s keeping the portal open. If we can hold them off long enough I might be able to pull it out and close the gateway.

MARIO
Seems like a tall order for a couple of plumbers…


MYSTERIOUS MAN
Why do you think we asked you to bring your tools? We discovered the chamber while working on a pumping system. If you two can get it working we’ll flood them out. That should buy us enough time

Panel 4

“Light at the end of the tunnel” shot. We see the buggy from behind, about to emerge into the daylight.

LUIGI
Why didn’t you say so! Sounds like our kind of job, eh Mario?



Page 10 of 20

Page 10
Splash Page

The buggy emerges onto a desert landscape. Portal Creatures are completely swarming the area. Dozens ride wild Yoshi, much larger than Daisy’s. The digsite lies just ahead.


MARIO
We’d better get to work…



Page 11 of 20

Page 11
Panel 1

EXT. WATER RECLAMATION CAMP — EVENING

Luigi can't help but look at the ongoing fight.

LUIGI
What are those things?

MARIO
(scolding)
Luigi! Eyes on the job.

Panel 2

Luigi snaps out of it and gets right back to work...

LUIGI
You know, Mario—sometimes I think you take this 'professionalism' way too seriously.

Mario ignores this comment—for a second.

MARIO
Pipe Wrench.

Panel 3

Luigi, eyes rolling, hands Mario a pipe wrench.

LUIGI
Pipe wrench!

Panel 4

Mario continues working, speaking as he goes. A Portal Creature is creeping up behind him.

MARIO
Luigi, we come from three generations of plumbing excellence. I'm not about to tarnish that reputation just because I got some crazed lizards buzzin' in my ear.



Page 12 of 20

Page 12

Panel 1

EXT. WATER RECLAMATION CAMP — EVENING

Luigi smacks a Creature away with a plumbers' snake just as it attempts to grab Mario from behind.

Panel 2

Mario looks over at Luigi, who has his back turned at Mario. He's got the plumber's snake in his hand, looking for the next Creature to break through to them.

MARIO
Hey, I need that!

LUIGI
What? Do you just want one of those things to attack us or what?

Panel 3

Mario tosses Luigi the pipe wrench. Like clockwork, Luigi passes the plumbers' snake to Mario.

MARIO
Well, you're just gonna have to practice your close-range brawling skills for a moment.

Mario gets back to work. Sure enough, a couple more Creatures break through.

Panel 4

Luigi notices that a Desert Creature has the MYSTERIOUS MAN caught in a headlock.



Page 13 of 20

Page 13

Panel 1

He fights his way through several Portal Creatures, knocking out cold the one in control of the MYSTERIOUS MAN.

Panel 2

MYSTERIOUS MAN
Thank you, Luigi. But the princess needs our help!

The MYSTERIOUS MAN is right. A Desert Creature riding a quite intimidating YOSHI is headed right towards Daisy and a group of workmen.

MYSTERIOUS MAN
Let those stompers give you the high ground! I got us covered over here…


LUIGI
You sure?

MYSTERIOUS MAN
Hey, L-man, it’s not the first time I’ve helped you out…

Panel 3

Luigi is shocked.

LUIGI
Toad!?

TOAD
In the scales! Now give that lizard a thwompin’!



Page 14 of 20

Page 14

Panel 1

EXT. WATER RECLAMATION CAMP — EVENING

Luigi nods, and clicks his heels together.

Panel 2

He launches himself just as the boots kick into high gear.

Panel 3

He manages to land right on the opposing Creature, knocking him off his YOSHI, which scurries away.

LUIGI
Come on, don’t be shy!

Panel 4

In response, the Creature makes a terrible hissing sound toward the swarming cloud of enemies, bringing them to its aid.

DAISY
Looks like you spoke too soon.

Panel 5

A large band of five YOSHI-mounted Creatures move in to surround the group.


LUIGI
(yelling)
Okay Mario! You seriously need to back us up here!

Mario keeps working.

LUIGI
I'm not joking, bro!



Page 15 of 20

Page 15
Panel 1

EXT. WATER RECLAMATION CAMP — EVENING

Mario turns around, both hands on a large faucet.

MARIO
Take this!

Panel 2 (wide)

Mario turns on the faucet, releasing a huge, pressurized jet of water that hits the first Creature in the face, knocking it from the back of his YOSHI. The others behind him begin to trip and fall, the entire lot washing away.



Page 16 of 20

Page 16
Panel 1

The group finds their opportunity to reclaim the crystal.

MARIO
Daisy, take the crystal!
Panel 2

DAISY makes a run for the pedestal. Portal Creatures are in disarray, fallen onto the flooded ground of the chamber.

Panel 3

DAISY approaches the pedestal, attempting to retrieve the crystal. A Creature approaches from the left, which Mario punches away. Luigi and Toad fight off other Creatures.

Panel 4

Her hand moves over the pedestal, an energy encircling it as she pulls it out.



Page 17 of 20

Page 17

Splash Page

The portal begins to close, a large flash of energy emanating onto the group. The remaining Creatures appear pixelated as they dematerialize back into their home dimension.



Page 18 of 20

Page 18

Panel 1

EXT. WATER RECLAMATION CAMP —EVENING

CAPTION: Soon…

DAISY has her arms around MARIO and LUIGI. She’s smiling.

DAISY
Job well done guys. Looks like it's sealed.

Panel 2

Mario puts on a stone-cold, businessman stare as he's drying his hands off.

MARIO
You do realize there's an additional service charge for interdimensional threats and hazards. Will that be Koopons or cash?

LUIGI
Ha ha, Mario. What a kidder!

Luigi looks at Mario and whispers:

LUIGI
You are kidding, right?

Panel 3

DAISY
(smiling)
C'mon. Let's go back to the city. There's some people who want to meet you.

MARIO
Who would want to meet us?

DAISY
(smiling)
Everyone.



Page 19 of 20

Page 19

Panel 1

CAPTION: Meanwhile…

INT. SUBCON MILITARY BASE

A military base. CATHY and CLYDE walk through the corridors of the SUBCON facility, arriving at a large pair of industrial double-doors. They enter.

Panel 2

WART is in a vast, highly-technical chamber. He's at the control panel of a strange machine that resembles a huge power conductor. The control panel has an industrial-looking replica of Daisy’s metallic incubation egg protruding from its center. Wart is directing an assistant, CLIVE, in making certain adjustments. Other technicians work in the background.

They stand in silence for several moments. Finally, Wart spins:

WART
(in annoyance)
I expect good news from you two.

CATHY
The princess has opened the first portal.

WART
Good. Begin preparations for the next phase.



Page 20 of 20

Page 20
Splash Page

What appears to be miles of electrical grid and towering generators span as far as the eye can see. Lightning bursts through the air.

Cathy and Clyde depart. Wart returns to his work, his hand resting on the metallic egg. He strokes it, then:

WART
We’ll be opening the rest soon…

CAPTION: To be continued…

paul brian deberry
03-17-2013, 01:38 PM
Nothing really wrong here... just the awful cut & paste formatting. ugh.

The script itself is drawable. Some stuff will not translate onto the page.

Stuff like a character showing an expression. Something like that usually calls for it's on panel. Other things where you interrupt the dialogue to show a character speaking to the other character, needs it's own panel or left unsaid.

I've been told by a few artist (and editors) they will ignore stuff like that. Personally, my scripts nowadays look A LOT like this and I'm a big fan.

If you just remove the panels count on each page. It'll look like you're writing in the old Lee & Kirby "Marvel Style." This way it'll give the artist more freedom with his visualization of each page.