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MattBailey
09-17-2014, 10:26 PM
Hello everyone,

My name is Matt Bailey and I have a script that I think would make a pretty cool comic. As requested, I will post the script for the first issue in sections. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!

Versus …The Legend! #1
Page One:
Splash page: Open on a dimly lit warehouse somewhere in the outskirts of Los Angeles. Crane shot over and slightly in front of Alfredo Cortez, current head of the Los Angeles Cortez crime family. Alfredo is dressed in a tailored three piece suit and holding a submachine pistol in each hand. His arms are held straight out. Alfredo is looking skyward and shouting angrily. On the cement floor all around him are dead men in suits. Some of the men still clutch pistols, assault rifles, and other firearms. Scattered among the dead bodies we can see several metallic spheres, about the size of a softball and emblazoned with a large green capital letter ‘L’ each On the floor are open suitcases - some are filled with bags of narcotics, some filled with cash. As Alfredo shout to the ceiling, an 'L' ball rockets toward his back.
Alfredo: I get it – savin’ the best for last, huh? Okay then you want Alfredo – come get Alfredo!

Page Two:
Panel one: A 747 airliner flies through the clouds against a backdrop of bright blue early daytime sky.

Panel two: Cut to inside the airplane, where Major Miguel Cortez, and Army intelligence officer, sits patiently in his coach class aisle seat. Miguel is dressed in his class ‘A’ uniform. A flight attendant pushes a cart down the aisle. Throughout the cabin we see other passengers of all colors and creeds, indicating that Miguel is flying in from an ambiguously international departure site.

Pilot: …should arrive in Los Angeles in about twenty minutes – on behalf of the crew I want to thank you for flying…

Panel three: Miguel’s airplane lands at LAX.

Panel four: Miguel passes through customs. In the background the walls are plastered with advertisements for movies, albums, fragrances, all featuring the same beautiful woman, which we will later discover it Mata Moray, Miguel’s former flame.

Panel five: Miguel is leaving airport and starts toward a nearby taxi when he a confronted by a large muscular man in a suit standing in his way. Just as inside the airport, the waiting cabs and buses are covered with ads featuring the lovely Mata Moray.

Mob Soldier Ramon: Captain Cortez -

Miguel: It’s Major now, actually – Ramon, isn’t it?

Mob Soldier Ramon: It is, Major. Welcome back to Los Angeles. I’m sorry it couldn’t be under better circumstances.

Miguel: Yeah, well – I can’t think of too many other circumstances that would actually get me to come back to Los Angeles.

Mob Soldier Ramon: If you’ll please follow us, we have a car waiting to take you back to –

Miguel: Yeah well, I appreciate the gesture, but I can find my own ride along with a place to stay - so thanks, but no thanks. And what do you mean, “us”?

Panel Six: Two more even larger and muscular men in suits appear behind Miguel.

Miguel: It’s actually funny when it doesn’t happen to you.

Mob soldier Ramon: I’m sorry sir, but I am under strict orders to escort you to the estate. So what do you say we get your bags and –
Miguel: No bags – I’m not going to be in town that long. Fine – let’s take a ride.

Page Three:
Panel one: A black stretch limousine cruises down a Los Angeles freeway. Once again we see Mata Moray on billboards advertising a variety of upcoming movie/TV projects, as well as other products and services.

Panel two: Miguel sits between the two thugs in the back seat.

Panel three: The limo enters into a posh neighborhood.

Panel four: The limo passes through some open security gates. In the background we see a large mansion at the end of the driveway.

Panel five: A chauffeur holds the door as Miguel steps out of the limo.

Panel six: We are looking over the shoulder of Mr. Vizier's he looks down from his third floor office window at Miguel walking toward the mansion front door.

Panel seven: Miguel steps inside the mansion's main entrance hall. There he is greeted by a large crowd of people all apparently dressed for a funeral. We see mafia soldiers towards the back, captains, lieutenants in the middle, and at. the forefront are his six sisters, their husbands and his sister-in-law/Alfredo’s widow, along with their children.

Page Four
Panel one: As the crowd gathers closer around him, Miguel gives a hug to one of his sisters.

Panel two: Miguel gives a hug to his sister-in-law/Alfredo’s widow.

Miguel: I’m sorry about Alfredo –

Sister-in-law/Alfredo’s widow: No you’re not, but I’ll take it anyway.

Panel three: Miguel hugs another sister.
Sister #2: We wanted to meet you at the airport, but Mr.Vizier thought that it would be a security risk.

Mr. Vizier(off panel): Miguel -

Sister #2: Speak of the devil.

Miguel: Please – calling Vizier the devil would be an insult to the devil

Sister #2: Be nice.

Panel four: Miguel and the others watch as a well-dressed middle aged man of Middle Eastern descent is walking down the staircase. This is Mr. Vizier, the family consigliere.

Panel five: The crowd parts to allow Vizier to approach Miguel.

Panel six: Vizier shakes hands with Miguel.

Mr. Vizier: Miguel – welcome back – although I do wish it could be under better circumstances.

Miguel: What – you mean like your funeral?

Mr. Vizier: Well, so much for the old adage about absence and the heart. Miguel, before we leave for the funeral I was wondering if I could speak to you in private.

Miguel: Sure, why not.

Page Five
Panel one: Vizier leads Miguel through the crowd toward the stairs.

Sister# 2: I thought I said to be nice.

Miguel: He’s still alive, isn’t he?

Panel two: Vizier and Miguel step inside Vizier’s office.

Panel three: Vizier steps behind his desk as he directs Miguel to sit in one of the chairs situated in front of the desk.

Mr. Vizier: Please – have a seat.

Panel four: Vizier and Miguel take their seats.

Mr. Vizier: First of all let me say how –

Miguel: Just get to the point okay? I don’t want to be here any longer than I have to.

Panel five: Profile shot of Vizier and Miguel.

Mr. Vizier: I’m sure you you’ve already surmised that your brother’s death did not occur in the manner that it was reported to the press.

Miguel: Yeah, so?

Panel six: Medium close up of Vizier.

Mr. Vizier: Well, aren’t you at all curious about how he really died?

Panel seven: Miguel starts to get up out of his chair.

Miguel: Not really. So if you’ll excuse me, I -

Page Six
Panel one: Vizier stands up and pleads with Miguel to return to his seat.

Mr. Vizier: Miguel – please – hear me out – one minute.

Panel two: Miguel sits back down and looks at his watch.

Miguel: (sigh) One minute – not a second more.

Panel three: Vizier reaches into a desk drawer.

Panel four: Vizier places an L-ball on the desk in front of Miguel.

Panel five: Miguel, dumbfounded, looks at the ball.

Miguel: The %$#@ is this?

Panel Six: That, Miguel is your brother’s killer – not this exact one, but -

Page Seven
Panel one: Miguel picks up the L-ball and examines it.

Miguel: This? Killed Alfredo? What happened – somebody fire a cannon at him?

Panel two: Miguel places the L-ball back on the desk.

Mr. Vizier: One of a laundry list of details I was hoping that you would be able to discern for us.
Miguel: Okay, I’ll bite -

Panel three: Vizier reaches into another desk and pulls put a dossier file.

Panel four: Vizier tosses the file and the desk next to the L-ball.

Mr. Vizier: We call him “The Legend.”
Panel five: Miguel picks up the folder and begins to read through it.

Miguel: “The Legend,” huh? Wh-

Mr. Vizier: We just do.

Schuyler
09-19-2014, 01:20 PM
Hi Matt,

Did you write this for film? Have you had a chance to read any of the Bolts and Nuts articles written by Steven Forbes?
http://www.comixtribe.com/category/bolts-nuts/

Here is a link to the articles. Check out some of the early weeks that talk about panel descriptions and stuff.

Here is what I noticed about your script. It looks like you know how to write a story, but it looks like you do not know how to write for comics yet.

One problem is moving panels. Page two, panel four. Miguel passes through customs. Then you describe some background.

Is there someone there checking him through customs? Does Miguel have his papers out or something? This has to be a freeze shot, a picture of one single moment. It has to be described as if it was a photograph.

Same thing with the next panel. He is leaving the airport but he is also headed towards a cab and stopped by a large man. You can fit this all in a large panel but you have to explain it so all those things would be interpreted from the image, not the other way around.

Also page two panel five. There are six bubbles in this panel. That is a lot. I usually feel awful when I am trying to fit four. Typically in comics, a guy can say something, another guy responds, and the first guy can say one more thing. That means that you need a whole other panel to cover this amount of dialogue.

It seems like you know how to write, you just have to learn all the little rules. Once you learn them you can break them at your leisure as long as you understand why they were made.

-Schuyler

MattBailey
09-20-2014, 11:07 PM
Schuyler,

Thanks a bunch for the feedback - hell, thanks for reading it. A while back I got this crazy idea that I could somehow get into the screenwriting biz. I bought a bunch of how-to books and screenplays to study, but eventually I realized I had a snowball's chance, so, being a lifelong comics fan anyway, I switched gears. Also, thanks for the link to the Steve Forbes articles. Both the articles and your input have already been a great help in my revision. I will continue to post my first draft, so don't think I haven't taken your advice to heart if you see the same issues pop up in the rest of my script. Thanks again!

Matt Bailey

Schuyler
09-21-2014, 12:02 AM
Panel five: Profile shot of Vizier and Miguel.

Mr. Vizier: I’m sure you you’ve already surmised that your brother’s death did not occur in the manner that it was reported to the press.

Miguel: Yeah, so?

Panel six: Medium close up of Vizier.

Mr. Vizier: Well, aren’t you at all curious about how he really died?

Panel seven: Miguel starts to get up out of his chair.

Miguel: Not really. So if you’ll excuse me, I -

Hey Matt,

I looked it over again and had some more thoughts.

How long is your script? Are you shooting for a standard 22 pager?

I'm asking because I think you need to get right to the L-ball on page one. The L-ball and the Legend are the interesting parts of the story and if you hook us with that, you can can later take time to talk about the airport and the funeral. What do they say in TV and movies? You have to hook them in the first five minutes? For comics it is the first five pages. But really, it's the first page.

I quoted the above material because it could be a first page. Within the first piece of dialogue it tells us that Miguel's brother is dead. You could include a name drop somehow and we would have two very important pieces of info already. Guy's name is Miguel and his brother is dead. Then we find out that the brother was killed by the L-ball and we turn the page because we want to know what's up with this L-ball.

I think we want to get to know Miguel a little before we meet his family.

What's up with Miguel? He doesn't want to know how his brother got killed? Not even a little? I know Miguel doesn't like his brother but I would want to know how my family got killed, even the ones I don't like.

MattBailey
09-21-2014, 12:49 AM
Page Eight
Panel one: Close up of Miguel still reading the file.

Miguel: So what’s he got against us – er – the organization?

Panel two: Medium shot of Vizier standing up and looking out of the window.

Mr. Vizier: Actually he’s been harassing all of the Los Angeles outfits – likes to stake out high dollar deals –

Panel three: Cut to a helicopter shot of a dilapidated warehouse at night.

Mr. Vizier(caption): You know – the kind that takes place at some abandoned warehouse in the middle of the night –

Panel four: Limousines, Humvees and other luxury vehicles enter through the warehouse’s long garage doors. Gunmen provide security at the doorway.

Mr. Vizier(caption): The parties arrive and set up security –

Panel five: Both parties square off against each other in a large open space at the center of the warehouse.

Mr. Vizier(caption): The parties greet each other –

Panel six: A representative of the buying parties checks out the merchandise, which is not seen.
Mr. Vizier(caption): The merchandise is checked out –


Page Nine
Panel one: A briefcase is opened revealing it is full of cash.

Mr. Vizier(caption): The money makes an appearance –

Panel two: The leaders of each party shake hands.

Mr. Vizier(caption): And then –

Panel three: An L-ball smashes into the face of one of the gunmen providing security, crushing his skull.
Panel four: Gunmen fire in the direction of where the L-ball came from.

Mr. Vizier(caption): The parties put up a fight –

Panel five: An L-ball rockets into the midsection of another gunman. The force of the blow takes the man, still firing his weapon, off his feet.

Mr. Vizier(caption): But it never goes well –

Page Ten
Panel One: An L-ball strikes across the face of another gunman, causing his head to swivel around to an angle sufficient to snap the man’s neck.

Panel Two: Another gunman goes down.

Panel Three: Another gunman is taken out.

Panel Four: An L-ball smashed into the face of another gunman.

Panel five: One of the leaders is taken out.

Mr. Vizier(caption): Once the security is taken care of, he takes out the leadership – sometimes at distance -

Panel six: Close up as the Legend’s gloved hands grab a boss’ head and twist sharply, snapping his neck.

Mr. Vizier(caption): Other times -

Page Eleven
Splash page: Crane shot: we see the aftermath of the Legend’s attack from above. Bodies are scattered in a sort of circular pattern around the epicenter of where the illicit deal was taking place.

Page Twelve
Panel one: Close up of the Legend’s shoes as he walks over the dead bodies of the gangsters.

Mr. Vizier(caption): The Legend steps out from the shadows -

Panel two: The Legend kneels down in front of the briefcase containing the buy money and begins to transfer it into his duffel bag.

Mr. Vizier(caption): He collects his spoils of war –

Panel three: close up of the Legend’s hand as he picks up one of his L-balls.

Mr. Vizier(caption): Retrieves his weapons –

Panel four: Using a small flamethrower, The Legend incinerates the illicit merchandise.

Mr. Vizier(caption): Destroys the merchandise –
Crane shot of the Legend casually walking away from the carnage.

Mr. Vizier(caption): And vanishes back into the night.

Page Thirteen
Panel one: Medium close up of Miguel.

Miguel: So what does this have to do with me?

Panel two: Medium two shot of Miguel and Vizier.

Mr. Vizier: With your experience in military intelligence, I was hoping that you could help us identify who this vigilante really is.

Miguel: So – you want to hire me as some kind of investigator?
Mr. Vizier: Not exactly- I’d like you to consider staying on and becoming head of the organization.

Panel three: Close up of Miguel.

Miguel: And why the %$#@ would I want to do a thing like that?

Panel four: Two shot of Vizier and Miguel.

Mr. Vizier: Well, aside from the fact that it was the Legend that killed your brother, may I remind you that you are the only surviving male heir to the position?

Panel five: Close up of Miguel

Miguel: First of all, Alfredo was a mobster, a criminal, a lowlife gangster – if this “Living Legend” –

Panel six: Medium close up of Vizier

Mr. Vizier: Actually, it’s just “The Legend” –

Panel seven: Medium close up of Miguel

Miguel: Whatever – if this Legend hadn’t got him, it would’ve been a cop, a hitman, or some pissed off %$#@ in a prison jail yard with a sharpened spoon. And if I wanted to get into the family business, don’t you think I would’ve done it a long time ago?

Page Fourteen
Panel one: Miguel tosses the dossier in the desk in front of Vizier

Miguel: Sorry – find yourself another godfather.

Panel two: Miguel walks out of the office

Panel three: Crane shot overlooking Alfredo’s funeral. Alfredo’s casket is being lowered into the grave. Alfredo’s immediate family sits in the front row while the rest are standing. Visible in back of the crowd are Thomas Gunner and his current, as well as Miguel’s former flame, Mata.

Priest: -ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Panel four: The funeral has concluded and the crowd begins to disperse. A number of nefarious characters pause offer their condolences to the immediate family.

Mob Boss #1: I’m sorry for your loss.

Alfredo’s widow: Thank you.

Panel five: Miguel kisses one of his sisters goodbye.

Miguel: Hey, I gotta go if I’m going to make my flight.

Sister: You’re leaving now? You just got in.

Miguel: Sorry, but I’ve got some business I’ve got to take care of.

Page Fifteen
Panel one: Miguel starts to leave and bumps into Mata, his old flame, who is accompanied by Thomas Gunner.

Miguel: See you later –

Mata: Oh!

Panel two: Miguel grabs Mata to steady her and realizes who she is.

Miguel: Sorry, about - Mata?

Mata: Miguel – hello –

Miguel: What – why -

Panel three: Medium shot of Miguel, Mata and Thomas

Mata: I-I’m sorry about Alfredo –

Thomas: Yes – if there’s anything we can do –

Miguel: Yeah sure – thanks, mister –

Panel four: Thomas and Miguel shake hands

Thomas: Sorry – I just assumed – Thomas Gunner.

Miguel: Thomas Gunner – of Gunner International?

Thomas: That’s me.

Miguel: Well, if you really want to help out you can sell the Army an assault rifle that isn’t a piece of crap. Excuse me, but I have a flight to catch – nice to see you again Mata.

Panel five: Miguel walks off

MattBailey
09-23-2014, 10:32 PM
Page Sixteen
Panel one: A chauffeur holds the door of a waiting limo as Miguel climbs into the back.
Miguel: Airport – make it snappy.

Chauffeur: Yes, sir.

Panel two: Miguel’s limo cruises down the LA freeway.

Panel three: Close up of ‘Delayed’ notice on the LAX airport flight schedule board

Miguel (Off Panel): Oh, you have got to be %$#@ing kidding me.

Panel four: An announcement over the airport PA system gets Miguel’s attention>

Announcer: Mister Miguel Cortez you have a call on the white courtesy phone – Miguel Cortez, white courtesy phone –

Panel five: Miguel picks up the white courtesy phone

Miguel: Hello?

Page Seventeen
Panel one: Extreme close up of Mata’s mouth speaking into a phone.

Mata: You didn’t think you were getting out of LA that easy did you?

Panel two: Miguel has a perplexed look

Miguel: Mata?

Mata: Sorry, but I just couldn’t let you go without a proper goodbye.

Miguel: So you had my flight delayed? How in the –

Panel three: Close up of Miguel listening on the phone.

Mata (voice): Well, next time you need to make a getaway, make sure you don’t book a flight on an airline that is owned by my boyfriend – which isn’t easy, because he owns a bunch of them.

Miguel: Look, Mata – I really don’t have the time for this, so just do me a favor and un-delay my flight so I get the %$#@ out of this town.

Panel four: Medium close up of Miguel.

Mata: I’ll tell you what – you come have dinner with me and I promise you’re on the next flight out of here. Thomas had to leave for some business thing in Tokyo, or Paris, or somewhere – I don’t know. The point is I got his penthouse suite all to myself. There’s a car out front.

Panel five: Miguel hangs his head as he relents

Miguel: %$#@ –

Mata: See you in a few.

Panel six: Cut to the front of the airport, nighttime, where a chauffeur, who is about Mata’s height, sporting a red goatee, and whose eyes are hidden by a cap, holds the door for Miguel.

Panel Seven: The limo cruises down the LA freeway.

Page Eighteen
Panel one: Miguel’s limo approaches Thomas Gunner’s building.

Panel two: The limo enters the underground parking garage of Thomas Gunner’s building.

Panel three: As the chauffeur holds the door, Miguel steps out of the limo.

Panel four: Miguel, escorted by the chauffeur steps into the parking garage elevator.

Miguel: Thanks for the ride, pal – I can take it from here.

Chauffeur: Sorry sir, but the elevator has a biometric scanner that restricts access to the penthouse, and I’m guessing you’re not on the list.

Panel five: The chauffeur presses the ‘penthouse’ button, doubles as a fingerprint reader. An LCD screen reads ‘Access Granted.'

Panel six: The elevator begins to rise
Page Nineteen
Panel one: Medium two shot of Miguel and the chauffeur.

Panel two: Close up of the chauffeur’s hand grabbing Miguel’s ass.

Panel three: Miguel brushes the chauffeur’s hand away.

Miguel: Better be an accident -

Chauffeur: Sorry, sir.

Panel four: Close up of the chauffeur’s hand as it once again reaches for Miguel’s ass

Panel five: Miguel, angry, grabs the chauffeur by the lapel of “his” jacket and threatens to punch him.

Panel six: The chauffeur’s hat falls off, revealing that it is actually Mata in disguise.

Miguel: The %$#@ – Mata?!

Page Twenty
Panel one: Mata remove her wig and fake mustache.
Mata: And they say I can’t act.

Panel two: Miguel and Mata step out of the elevator into Thomas Gunner’s expansive penthouse suite.

Mata: - and after arranging for the limo, I called a makeup artist friend of mine to meet me at the airport. Well, here we are.

Miguel: Cozy little place your boyfriend has here.

Mata: Meh.

Panel three: Mata strolls out towards the center of the room, leaving a trail of clothes behind her.

Miguel: Mata – wha -

Mata: Come on now – you didn’t actually think we were going to have dinner, did you? Now what do you say we skip all the witty banter and cut straight to the good part?

Miguel: %$#@ me -

Mata: Exactly.

Panel four: Cut to Thomas Gunner’s bedroom – in the foreground we see Miguel’s Class A uniform on the floor. Far in the background we see Mata and Miguel in bed.

Mata: Oh – Miguel –

Panel five: Mata, lying on top of Miguel, kisses him.

Mata: Now that is what I’m talking about.

Panel six: Mata, still atop Miguel, takes a second to catch her breath.

Panel seven: Mata kisses Miguel while reaching underneath a pillow with her right hand.

Page Twenty One
Panel one: Mata pulls a cell phone from underneath the pillow and makes a call.

Mata: I need a car ready – my guest will be leaving shortly – thank you.

Panel two: Mata slides off of Miguel, allowing him to sit up.

Miguel: So – you’re kicking me out of here – just like that?

Mata: That is what you wanted – right?

Miguel: Sure, but –

Mata: Oh let me guess – you were expecting me to beg and plead for you to stay, right? Silly
Miguel – call me the next time you in town okay?

Panel three: Miguel gets out of bed.

Miguel: And the wonder why I left.

Panel four: Miguel finishes dressing.

Panel five: Miguel leaves the bedroom.

Panel six: Miguel exits the elevator at the parking garage level. The black starlit sky indicates that it is fairly late in the evening.

Page Twenty Two
Panel one: A chauffeur hold the door open as Miguel steps into a waiting limo.

Panel two: Miguel’s limo cruises down the freeway.

Panel three: The limo gets off at an exit.

Panel four: Miguel notices that the limo has taken a wrong turn.

Miguel: The %$#@ – this isn't the way to the airport – driver – yo – driver!

Panel five: The limo enters a warehouse – the entrance is guarded by gunmen

Panel six: As the chauffeur holds the door, Miguel steps out of the limo

Panel seven: Miguel is standing in front of a collection of mobsters from various outfits.
Mob Boss#1: You’re probably wondering why you've been called here. Well, pardon the expression, but we’d like to make you an offer you can’t refuse.