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Steven Forbes
01-12-2015, 11:02 PM
Okay, folks!

The first writing challenge went very well! Thank you for everyone who participated.

This week, we're going to do something a little different. Here are the rules:

The story cannot be a tragedy.
The story cannot be longer than 5 pages.
The story must have no fewer than 50 words of dialogue.
All pages must be 9 panel grids.
The dialogue must contain the word "pauper."
A digital timer must be an object, not just mentioned.
There must be an animal somewhere in the script. No cryptids, and no dogs or cats.

This contest ends on 1/24.

Let's see what you got!

(Comic book scripts, folks.)

Captainwhizz
01-13-2015, 03:17 PM
Ok, I want to have a crack at this, it will be my first ever comic script if I do. Just a quick question- if I included digital time displays (such as a digital watch on a wrist) as insets, would that be breaking the 9-panel grid rule? If so, I could just include the countdown as captions instead.

Steven Forbes
01-13-2015, 07:14 PM
I understand the question. I do.

Read the rules.

Captainwhizz
01-14-2015, 12:34 AM
Ah, was I misunderstanding "9-panel grids?"

Is this an example of how a page can be based on a 9-panel grid, but doesn't need 9 panels?


http://www.mothcity.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watchmen-nine-panel-grid.jpg

Steven Forbes
01-14-2015, 01:07 AM
There you go. :)

Captainwhizz
01-14-2015, 11:35 AM
Well, I am new to all this :)

gmartyt
01-15-2015, 05:31 AM
By dialogue do you mean all copy? For example, would written text count, or does it need to be spoken?

Steven Forbes
01-15-2015, 07:02 AM
I have no idea why people decide to make this more difficult than it has to be.

Read the rules.

Alyssa
01-15-2015, 07:08 PM
By dialogue do you mean all copy? For example, would written text count, or does it need to be spoken?


Dialogue's dialogue, or he would have said "copy". :cool:

I have no idea how to write specifically for a nine panel grid layout, but I'll see how I go. Time to pull out my Watchmen HC again. :banana:

Kiyoko, Rin
01-16-2015, 05:27 AM
I have no idea how to write specifically for a nine panel grid layout

Me neither, which is what makes this challenge such a pleasure pain. But my pain is nothing compared to the pain my artist would feel, having to do an epic-landscape establishing shot full of characters and copy...in 1/9th of a page.

Alyssa
01-16-2015, 07:38 AM
Me neither, which is what makes this challenge such a pleasure pain. But my pain is nothing compared to the pain my artist would feel, having to do an epic-landscape establishing shot full of characters and copy...in 1/9th of a page.

Just because you're working to the 9 panel grid, doesn't mean you have to have 9 panels on every page. Sure, you should have good reason to give a panel more real estate (which I think is what Steven's challenging us with), but you can have fewer panels if you want. Check Alan Moore's WATCHMEN. There are 9 panels on most pages, but not all. The 9 panel grid is 3 across, 3 down. If you have a good reason to make a panel take up more space, you fuse 2 or 3 panels together. Overall though, the grid layout remains. Again, check Watchmen to see what I'm on about.
Steven, if I've got this wrong, please correct me. :slap:

My main sticking point is that I don't know how to instruct an artist with this much precision. I've left most of the layout in my other scripts to the artist, because, you know, I don't really know what I'm doin , yet. :har:

Duane Korslund
01-16-2015, 09:08 AM
I would assume that fusing 3 panels no longer makes it a 9 panel page....its a 7 panel page...I think he's looking for 9 panels straight up right? If not you could fuse all 3 columns to make 3 panels and still call it a 9 panel grid....lest me logic be flawed? Which I'm sure is not outside the realm of possibility.

Schuyler
01-16-2015, 10:45 AM
I would assume that fusing 3 panels no longer makes it a 9 panel page....its a 7 panel page...I think he's looking for 9 panels straight up right? If not you could fuse all 3 columns to make 3 panels and still call it a 9 panel grid....lest me logic be flawed? Which I'm sure is not outside the realm of possibility.

You are incorrect, sir. You can indeed fuse the panels together. Look at Captain Whizz's post above. He shows an example of a page from Watchmen.

Steven Forbes
01-16-2015, 10:48 AM
From Hell and Watchmen are great sources to emulate...

Duane Korslund
01-16-2015, 10:53 AM
You are incorrect, sir. You can indeed fuse the panels together. Look at Captain Whizz's post above. He shows an example of a page from Watchmen.

Ok, so...by that logic...we could technically fuse 3 panels from 3 columns and have a 3 panel page that conforms to a 9 panel grid?????

Kiyoko, Rin
01-16-2015, 11:34 AM
From Hell and Watchmen are great sources to emulate...

I assume you mean the panel layout, and not the wordiness of the scripts. (Insert emoji: cheeky grin.)

Kiyoko, Rin
01-16-2015, 12:25 PM
Ok, so...by that logic...we could technically fuse 3 panels from 3 columns and have a 3 panel page that conforms to a 9 panel grid?????

Even if you fused the 3 together, you'd still be bound by the vertical gutters set out for a 9 panel grid. If you fused the tier together, you'd still be bound by the horizontal gutters, calibrated for a 9 panel page. You couldn't escape the 9 completely.

I believe this exercise is here to test our judgement re: when it's appropriate to use large panels. I also think this challenge is a direct result of the 3 splash pages in a row on the TPG entry this week.

http://www.comixtribe.com/2015/01/16/tpg-week-212-pause-to-think/

Everyone give thanks to Fabian for this opportunity to learn.

Stewart Vernon
01-16-2015, 01:36 PM
You could set your story on a clear day in the winter with a blizzard, and feature characters wearing white clothing that covers them from head to toe... or, alternately, at night wearing all black.

:)

Schuyler
01-16-2015, 02:54 PM
Ok, so...by that logic...we could technically fuse 3 panels from 3 columns and have a 3 panel page that conforms to a 9 panel grid?????

I think the answer is yes.

I personally like to work with more panels, though.

-Sky

scrappy
01-16-2015, 09:51 PM
Why can't you just fuse them all together? Have a splash page that is one big fused 9 panel grid.

Stewart Vernon
01-17-2015, 02:21 AM
Why can't you just fuse them all together? Have a splash page that is one big fused 9 panel grid.

Or a five-page foldout mega landscape panel!

Alyssa
01-17-2015, 03:26 AM
Watchmen. 9-panel grid. (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout01.jpg)

Watchmen. Also a 9-panel grid. Except now, the last panel is split in two. (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout02.jpg)

Watchmen. 9-panel grid with panel fused vertically. (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout03.jpg)

Watchmen. Now there are two fused vertical panels in this 9-panel grid. (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout04.jpg)

Watchmen. Horizontal fusion, now! (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout05.jpg)

CHEW. I'm pretty sure this isn't a 9-panel grid. It's all UNEVEN, and stuff. (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout06.jpg) :har:

Skullkickers doesn't use the 9-panel grid even once, that I'm aware of... (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout07.jpg)

But V For Vendetta uses the 9-panel grid! (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout08.jpg)

Though, not always... (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PanelLayout09.jpg) :cry:


I think using a 9-panel grid is another way to get the medium to work in interesting ways for you. For example, taking advantage of the page turn is one way to make a comic work for you. A 9-panel grid gives you enough uniformity that when you break from it, there's more impact.

Or, I could be full of it.

That's definitely possible.

Anyhoo, where are people's scripts?! You all did so well last time! I wanna see some kickass entries! I've got mine plotted. I'm going to write it up asap.

Kiyoko, Rin
01-17-2015, 03:21 PM
Here's a heads up for those participating...

while Mr Forbes said no fewer than 50 words of dialogue, the reality of a 9 panel page means that there should be at MOST 40 words of copy per panel, assuming you use all 9 panels on a page. - Alan Moore averaged around 35 words per panel in Watchmen; if a panel had more than that, it was usually fused or a caption.

Based solely on Watchmen, if you use more than 40 words of copy in 1/9th of a page, it's gonna look cramped.

Oh: the 35 words Moore used were usually always split into several balloons. Never one big balloon.

The above may be invalid if you only use small words.

Stewart Vernon
01-17-2015, 04:57 PM
I'm still thinking... since we had more time this time, I wanted to plan a little better (hopefully) for this one. I've also been working on my Web comics today so I've been distracted.

Kiyoko, Rin
01-17-2015, 06:41 PM
Here’s my script. It may or may not be a tragedy, depending how you see the ending. Just for the benefit of my nemesis, I upped my puns to an ungodly level.

TRAPPINGS

Page 1.

Panel 1.
Interior of a police interrogation room. Nighttime, lit by (unseen) overhead lights. At the interrogation table, Camella (female, adult) sits, leaning her head into her palm, opposite two police officers. Both male, one looks at Camella, the other leans back to stare at the female head protruding from the ajar door at panel right. A video camera on a tripod points at Camella, its On-light red. A glass wall is opposite us, behind open blinds.

FEMALE:
The solicitor’s here, Inspector. He’s requesting five minutes with the suspect.

Panel 2.
The two male cops are leaving the room. Luke (male, mid 40s, business suit, briefcase, should look trustworthy) holds the door open for them, looking towards Camella (off panel).

LUKE:
Camella Titherton, I am here to serve as your legal counsel, both for this interrogation…

Panel 3.
Camella is leaning back in her chair, arms crossed, frowning at Luke. He holds the cord on the blinds. The blinds are almost shut now.

LUKE:
… and the trial that is almost certain to follow.

CAMELLA:
Where’s Bagman?

Panel 4.
Watched by a suspicious Camella, Luke is closing the viewfinder of the video camera. The red light has disappeared.

LUKE:
Disbarred. In jail. Not only did your family lawyer fail to acquit your brother…

LUKE (connected):
… fail to report suspicions of money laundering and illegal activity, he then failed to exonerate himself at his own trial.

Panel 5.
Close up of Luke. His hands are pressed together, his face earnest.

LUKE:
Enter Luke: lawyer. Saviour. Willing to represent a mob family – no offence.

LUKE:
My firm, Corona, Spinam and Christie – have you heard of us? No? We’re trying to get the word out.

Panel 6.
Close up of Luke, eyes closed fervently, one hand over his heart, the other over his hand at a 90-degree angle.

LUKE:
Anyway. Our firm believes we can save you so you’ll live splendidly ever after. We believe in your innocence, that you can escape your past. We believe in you, Camella.

LUKE
Do you believe, in us? Are we your lawyers?

Panel 7.
Camella is mid shrug. Luke’s body language looks awkward, embarrassed almost; he is scratching his head.

CAMELLA:
Sure?

LUKE:
In that case I should mention this isn’t pro bono. We charge four hundred pounds an hour, payable to the second. Happy with that?

CAMELLA:
Sure?

Panel 8.
Close up of Luke’s hand holding a digital timer. The numerals on the microsecond are between numbers and could be anything.

LUKE (OP):
Alright, Luke 18:25 and we’ll start charging… now!

TEXT:
00:00:01

Panel 9.
Luke stands behind Camella’s chair his hands resting behind her shoulders. Her expression pleased as she looks up at Luke. The two male police officers are taking their seats.

LUKE:
Let the games begin.

Page 2.

Panel 1.
Exterior of a law firm on a commercial high street at daytime. Camella is walking through the door. She’s dressed differently than before. Blinds behind the full glass wall means we can’t see inside.

TEXT (sign):
Corona Spinam and Christie.

Panel 2.
Interior. Camella stands in a cramped reception staring at Mrs Matthews, the elderly receptionist behind the desk who looks ancient and whose expression is hard to tell through the squinting and wrinkles. Mrs Matthews points to panel left with a crooked finger. Of the two side-by-side glass-fronted doors behind her, Mrs Matthews’ outstretched arm should cover all the lettering of one door and the surname under Luke on the other. Use whatever room layout will help achieve this; if necessary have her hold a prop so she obscures the correct amount of letters. Note: she’s not pointing towards the door that says Luke.

CAMELLA:
Hello. Camella Titherton, I’ve an appointment with Luke?

MRS MATTHEWS:
Rightie oh, dearie. It’s that doorie there.

TEXT (door):
LUKE

Panel 3.
Mrs Matthews’ pointing hand is in the foreground, pointing to panel left. in the background, Camella – not moving towards panel left – is entering the door marked Luke, her head (turned to give the off panel Mrs Matthews a carefully veiled and neutral look) covering the letters below Luke. If we can see any of the other door, Matthews’ hand covers its lettering.

CAMELLA:
… Right. Thanks.

TEXT (door):
LUKE

Panel 4.
Inside Luke’s furnished office. We’re looking over Camella’s shoulder as she faces Luke. He sits at his desk threading a needle with intense concentration. A cross-stitch project lies on his desk. Certificates and qualifications line the walls, along with a large calendar showing a camel with baggage at its hooves.

CAMELLA:
Knock knock. It’s me. Your receptionist was too busy giving me wrong directions to buzz me in. How old is she, anyway?

LUKE:
Mrs Matthews? 19:24 was her birthdate. She mustn’t retire, her word’s gospel around here. Please, sit down.

Panel 5.
Luke’s POV. His hand, in the foreground, holds the digital timer aloft with an impact burst under his thumb to suggest he’s just started it. The numeral display is off panel. Opposite, Camella wears a dark / sardonic look.

LUKE:
Alright, Luke, let’s… begin!

CAMELLA:
Really focusing on what’s important, huh?

LUKE:
Think of the expense as a short-term pain for a long-term gain.

Panel 6.
Luke is pulling a paper file full of documents from his desk drawer. Use whatever camera angle and zoom you want. should it be included, his expression is grave.

LUKE:
The good news ys, your interrogation statement gave the police nothing to go on.

LUKE:
The bad news is, they’ve since uncovered new evidence that could be damning in court.

Panel 7.
Luke holding aloft a slew of papers spread out in a fan. There’s a lot of paper; make it seem never ending. We see his grave eyes over the top of the papers.

LUKE:
They link your house to your brother’s drug money. They say the cash used to buy your Bentleys was blood and cocaine-stained…

LUKE:
… your fur coats are stolen property and your Swiss banc manager is a convicted money launderer.

Panel 8.
Camella’s pov. Her hand reaches for a note Luke is passing her.

LUKE:
I’ll troubleshoot all that, but I can’t defend you in court, you’ll need a barrister. I’ve booked you the best – we call him “Deutsch Marc” because he’s so on-the-money.

LUKE:
Here. You’ll meet with him this Thursday.

TEXT (note):
Deutsch Marc 10:25 am
Inri Chambers
Law Street

Panel 9.
Profile views of Luke and Camella – him earnest her with her chin resting on her hand.

LUKE:
With my defence and his silver-tongued persuasion, we’ll turn their redoubt of evidence into reasonable doubt of evidence. Do you still believe?

CAMELLA:
Yes.

LUKE:
Attagirl.

Page 3.

Panels 1-2.
Establishing shot of the courtroom interior that merges the first two panels on the 9-panel grid. It’s daytime and we’re looking from on high at an angle so that the open doorway is central. Luke and Camella stand in the doorway. The courtroom is half full. If we see the clerks and prosecutor in the shot, they (like Luke) will be wearing wigs and black gowns.

CAMELLA:
Where is he?

Panel 3.
The camera’s in the aisle looking out towards the open door. Luke and Camella are in midshot. He’s serene, she’s worried.

LUKE:
I’m sure he’ll be here soon. Keep the faith.

CAMELLA:
If he’s not here soon, you’ll have to go on.

LUKE:
Y can’t. As a solicitor, I’m only allowed an administration role at court. You need a barrister to represent you.

Panel 4.
Profile views. Luke’s fingers are making quote marks in the air. Both he and Camella look towards panel right, Camella having turned her head. He’s pleased, she’s surprised.

CAMELLA:
Someone else at your firm then? Someone more superior. Your boss, perhaps?

LUKE:
Unfortunately, Corona and Spinam are more “silent partners,” Christie’s hands are pinned down at the moment and his father, who owns the whole thing--

MARC (OP):
Zorry I’m layd!

Panel 5.
Introductory shot of Marc. The white wig on his head looks healthier than he does. Caucasian, he looks even paler with flu; even his lips are drained of colour. His nose is red-raw, his eyes bloodshot and he holds a sodden, gloopy handkerchief.

MARC:
Ids dis blasded flu, ids sed my body clog bag a fuu ow ers. SpeagIn of whidj…

LUKE (OP):
Oh don’t worry. The meter’s running for sure!

Panel 6.
Close up of Camella’s face. She’s so worried she looks almost horrified.

CAMELLA:
You cannot be serious! Representing me like that – !

Panel 7.
Close up of Marc, violently sneezing into his hankie-holding-hand. There should be lots of energy to the sneeze – flying snot and spit, a well-billowed hankie.

MARC:
Doand wurry. Idyl be fwine you juss haff to haf faif indee lawd--

MARC (burst)*:
--ACHOO

*NOTE TO LETTERER: I want the burst balloon joined to the one above it, and I want the end “d” letter to stretch and physically bridge “LAW” with “ACHOO”, no matter how big a faux pas it might be or how weird it looks.

Panel 8.
Long shot of the very top of the defendant’s table. Camella is slumped forward over the table, her hands over her face. Luke has sunk so low on his chair we only see his head. He’s pinching the bridge of his nose his expression wincing with embarrassment. Leave a lot of space above their heads for the copy.

CAPTION:
As the trial proceeds…

MARC (burst):
ACHOO

MARC:
Zorry, Mabam Djuror I dydden mean for it to hit you.

MARK (burst):
ACHOO

MARK:
My apologeez your onner, I’rl whybyd off wyd my hankee…

Panel 9.
Low angle of an ominous judge (old, white, male. Put lots of dense shadow on him, especially around the wrinkles) gavel in hand, ready to bang it down.

JUDGE:
The jury have come to a decision and that decision is unanimous. We pronounce the defendant…

Page 4.

Panel 1-9.
Splash page, with the gutters acting as upright and horizontal prison bars. We’re inside with lighting so far away it only partially reveals her. The cell behind her is just barely visible crosshatched shadows of bed, toilet etc. Camella rests her head wearily against the bars; her fingers curl over the gutter / bars. Your choice as to whether or not she’s in uniform – some prisons do some don’t but if she’s in her own casuals give her a ratty tanktop to emphasise her gaunt leanness and that she’s been worn down to the point of death.

CAMELLA:
Seriously, that’s what you want to ask me?

CAMELLA:
Your firm cost me the Earth, your colleague prepared a shoddy defence, you paired me with an incompetent barrister who lost the case and made fools of us all…

CAMELLA:
… they took my cars, so now I’m a pedestrian. They took my freedom, so now I’m a prisoner. They took my house, so now I’m homeless. They took my money, so now I’m a pauper…

CAMELLA:


CAMELLA:
I’m glad they took everything. Used well, that money can erase my guilt and sleepless nights, my eating disorders and anxieties, my disassociation from the life that it came from…

CAMELLA (small):
… the lives that it took…

PAGE 5.

Panel 1.
Close up of Christie’s torso, the hands clasped together so that the fingers cover the back of his hands. Christie is monochrome but the order of those colours is up to you. either: black skin with white clothing and fingernails, or white skin with black clothing. You don’t have to go as extreme a contrast as Frank Miller’s Sin City, but something along those lines.

CHRISTIE:
You have suffered, and you have lost a part of yourself. But do you still believe?

Panel 2.
Extreme close up of Camella’s bitter, down turned mouth.

CAMELLA:
“Believe…”

CAMELLA:
I believed my father when he said he earned his money legally. I believed my mother saying I didn’t need my own career.

CAMELLA:
I believed my brother telling me if I looked after his money, I wouldn’t get caught.

Panel 3.
Side view of Camella’s head, tilted back. Her dangling hair looks brittle; her throat looks far too frail; we can really see the shape of the scull beneath her face.

CAMELLA:
My whole life, I believed what people told me without asking questions. Maybe I was too naïve. Or maybe I liked nice things too much to ask questions.

CAMELLA:
You ask me, “Do I still believe?”

CAMELLA:
Belief got me a life sentence.

Panel 4.
Close up of Christie’s torso. His hands are extended forward, palms open. We can see there are scars in the centre of each palm (black skin -> white scar / white skin -> black scar) but we don’t have the angle to discern its depth.

CHRISTIE:
What you lost was illusory. You were never happy possessing your riches. You knew, deep down that something was wrong.

CHRISTIE:
Ask yourself: when was the last time you felt you were doing something wholly right? Something good for you?

Panel 5.
Side on view. Camella, wearing a bittersweet smile, is leaning her forehead against the prison bar. A tear is trickling from her eye.

CAMELLA:
Honestly? Using your law firm.

CAMELLA:
I felt I was surrendering myself to the higher, exonerating power of justice that would wipe away my complicity. I believed in absolution.

CAMELLA (OVERLAPPYNG BORDER TO PANEL 6):
I believed in you.

Panel 6.
Standing at panel right is Christie’s torso. His right hand is out as if for a handshake, his left arm extends outside the borders of the panel so that his hand straddles the gutters of panel 5, 6, 8 and 9, turning the normally-white gutters into a gold cross. We also see the hollow, opposite-monochrome colour of his stigmata.

CHRISTIE:
Say the words, my child.

CAMELLA (OP):
Our Father
who art in Heaven,
hallowed be thy name…

Panel 7.
Both Camella and Christie in profile views. Her eyes are closed, she is at peace. He is leaning forwards, his lips kissing her forehead either through the bars or the bars having disappeared (your choice). On his head glows (or “is shaded,” depending on the monochrome) a crown of thorns.

CAMELLA:
… for ever and ever.

CHRISTIE:
Amen.

Panel 8.
We see enough of Camella’s body hunched at the bottom left corner at the foot of the bars to guess she has died. Her glowing, naked soul whose only features are her eyes and smile, is passing through the bars, a look of delight on her face. A benevolent Christie stands at panel centre gesturing to panel right.

CHRISTIE:
You have passed through the needle. Go in peace and love, my child.

Panel 9.
Open panel (other than the gold cross from panel 6). We should see soul-Camella standing outside or rising towards (your choice) an open set of pearly gates through which, on an idyllic bright landscape, we can see a lion lying peacefully beside a lamb.

NO COPY

Stewart Vernon
01-19-2015, 05:48 AM
I'm close... I'm on page four. I realized as I was writing that the maximum was 5 pages, but nothing says it has to be 5 pages if everything is satisfied in less pages.

My story might end on the fourth page. I'm still working it. I hope to be able to post later tonight or by Tuesday at the latest.

edit: Ok... I wrote myself into a bit of a corner. I'm trying to figure a way out of it... but I might be longer than I thought at posting my story. Hopefully in before the deadline, though!

gmartyt
01-22-2015, 01:29 AM
Setting: A suburban high school in modern day U.S. In other words, average.

Characters: High school students. Except for the teacher. Generic works fine.

Classroom layout: The door is at the right side of the class, near the front. The wall opposite the door has windows all across it. There is a blackboard at the front of the room. Near the blackboard is the teacher's desk.


PAGE ONE (nine panels)

Panel 1-2. Morning. Two teenage girls are walking down the hallway towards the classroom, talking to each other. Girl 1 is holding her books to her chest. Girl 2 has a small book bag over her shoulder. Other students are moving around the hallway.

GIRL 1:
See, I thought only the prince was defined by his social standing.

GIRL 2:
But the pauper was constantly reminded by the court that he didn't truly belong there.


Panel 3. The two girls have passed through the doorway of the classroom. The hallway can be seen behind them. They are still talking to each other.

GIRL 2:
He may not have been as vocal as the prince, but he certainly must have felt defined by his social standing.


Panel 4-5. Mark sitting at a school desk. He is looking down tentatively at his desk. He has a digital watch on his left wrist and a pen in his right hand. The two girls are walking by.

GIRL 1:
I thought I had something there...

GIRL 2:
Don't worry. As long as you put in some effort, you'll be fine.


Panel 6. Close-up of Mark sitting in his chair, looking down tentatively at his desk.

NO COPY


Panel 7. Over Mark's shoulder, looking down at a piece of notebook paper on his desk.

TEXT(notebook, sloppily written):
The prince was rich. The pauper was poor.


Panel 8. Mark is sitting in his chair, looking down tentatively at the notebook on his desk.

GIRL 1(OP):
How long did it take you to write?

GIRL 2(OP):
Just a few days.


Panel 9. Close-up of Mark glancing to the left.

GIRL 1(OP):
That's it?
PAGE TWO (nine panels)

Panel 1-2. Girl 2 is standing near a desk, pulling a book report out of her bag. The report has a plastic cover and is a few pages thick. In the background, Mark looks horrified.

GIRL 2:
Yeah. I didn't wanna spend too much time on it.

TEXT(book report):
The Prince and the Pauper.


Panel 3. Close-up of Mark writing frantically. Use motion lines.

NO COPY


Panel 4. Mark looks at his watch. He looks stressed.

NO COPY


Panel 5. Close-up of the Mark's watch.

TEXT(watch):
7:29


Panel 6. Close-up of Mark writing even faster. Use motion lines.

NO COPY


Panel 7. Close-up of the digital watch.

TEXT(watch):
7:29


Panel 8. Zoom in closer on the digital watch.

TEXT(watch):
7:29


Panel 9. Zoom in even closer on the digital watch.

TEXT(watch):
7:30
PAGE THREE (nine panels)

Panel 1. Close-up of a schoolhouse bell ringing.

SFX(bell, spills over into the next panel):
Brrrriiiinnggg


Panel 2. Close-up of Mark frantically writing. Use motion lines.

NO COPY


Panel 3. The teacher has stood up from his desk at the front of the classroom.

TEACHER:
Okay, class. Let's get to it.


Panel 4. Close-up of Mark stiffening up.

TEACHER(OP):
Class is in session., Mark. Stop writing.


Panel 5-6. Mark is leaning back in his seat, his hands on his head in distress. In the background the teacher is facing the blackboard at the front of the class.

TEACHER:
Now, since you've all finished reading “The Prince and the Pauper,”--


Panel 7. Mark is leaning back in his chair, his hands still on his head. He has gone pale and looks like he has just died.

TEACHER(OP):
--by the way, everyone pass your papers to the front.


Panel 8-9. Mark is splayed out across his desk, as if he is dead. To his right, Girl 1 is standing up and pointing to the left. The teacher is at the front of the class, reaching for a piece of chalk at the blackboard.

TEACHER:
Anyway, since you've all finished--

GIRL 1:
Look!
PAGE FOUR (nine panels)

Panel 1. Two deer are grazing outside the classroom window.

GIRL 1(OP):
Deer!


Panel 2-3. Mark is splayed out across his desk, as if he is dead. Around him, the rest of the class is hurrying over to the window.

SFX(background voices):
No way!

SFX(background voices):
Let me see!

Panel 4. From behind Mark. Mark has sat up abruptly in his chair (use motion lines) and is looking over at the window. The rest of the class has gathered around the window.

SFX(background voices):
Wow!

SFX(background voices):
They're so cute!


Panel 5. Reverse angle. Mark is looking over at the window.

SFX(background voices):
I've never seen any so close before!

SFX(background voices):
Do you think they live around here?


Panel 6. Mark is franticly writing in his notebook. Use motion lines.

SFX(background voices):
Quiet! You'll scare them away!

SFX(background voices):
I see deer at my house all the time.


Panel 7. Close-up of the teacher, his hand over his face, as if he is tired.

TEACHER:
Alright, we've all seen the deer. Back to your seats.


Panel 8-9. Mark is frantically writing in his notebook. The rest of the students are reluctantly returning to their seats.

SFX(class):
Awww.

TEACHER(OP):
I know, I know. Deer are so interesting.

TEACHER(OP):
But don't you want to learn about how Mark Twain satirized ceremonial rituals?


PAGE FIVE (nine panels)

Panel 1-3. Mark is holding up his arms in victory. The students have stopped and are facing Mark. The teacher has stopped writing on the blackboard and has turned away from the blackboard to face Mark

BOY:
Yes!


Panel 4-6. From behind Mark. Mark is looking around, confused. The students are staring at Mark, The teacher has fully turned away from the blackboard.

TEACHER:
Well, at least Mark agrees.

TEXT(blackboard, written in chalk):
Mark Twai


Panel 7-9. Mark has sunk down in his seat, embarrassed. The students are returning to their desks, still scowling at Mark. The teacher is writing on the blackboard.

TEACHER(OP):
Now, as I was saying, Mark Twain...

TEXT(blackboard, written in chalk):
Mark Twain's satiri

Stewart Vernon
01-24-2015, 12:21 AM
Ok... I'm mostly happy with this, but the real problem I had was... it is kind of a six page story crammed into five pages. I streamlined a bit once I hit the wall in page three and was stuck for a bit... but it still kind of needs another half page to feel like a complete story.

I'm not sure where I would go back and trim or change pacing... It probably is just a bigger story than this particular 5-page limit accommodates. In any event, here it is:

Page 1
This page is built around a nine-panel grid. Four panels on this page, some panels span multiple grid-panels as noted.

Panel 1
This panel uses four grid-panels (#1,2,4,5 on the grid). Overhead shot, daytime, looking down into an alley between two 3-story buildings. There is a dumpster next to one of the buildings, and in the middle of the alleyway is a sprawled male of average height/weight face down. The body’s clothes are that of a homeless man, but not too tattered, just old/worn and dirty. Near his left hand, on the ground, is a digital stopwatch laying display-side up. The alleyway is roped off by police tape, two policemen facing out of the alley are holding back the gathering crowd. Inside the alley, standing near the body is Detective Paige Turner, male also of average build wearing a trench coat and holding a notepad. There is another, slightly shorter, officer standing next to him. Mostly hidden behind the dumpster is a small monkey, naked, that no one has noticed.

Timer Display: “30:00”
Turner: “Officer, has anyone disturbed my crime scene?”
Officer: “No sir, I don’t believe so.”
Turner: “This man is dressed like a pauper, but that doesn’t look like a poor man’s timer.”

Panel 2
Single grid-panel (#3). View from point of view of officer standing next to Detective Turner, looking down as Turner kneels down next to the body for a closer look at the timer.

Timer Display: “29:45”
Turner: “…and why is the timer counting down?”

Panel 3
Single grid-panel (#6). Closeup of just the timer on the ground.

Timer Display: “29:40”
Officer: “I don’t know, sir.”

Panel 4
This panel uses the bottom three grid-panels (#7,8,9). View from slightly above the alley, to one side, looking down at the entire alley. The monkey is now out from behind the dumpster appearing to be waving frantically at the Detective as he is now standing and bagging the digital stopwatch as evidence. The monkey is to the left, then the dumpster, and the right-side is the roped off area where the crowd has gathered.

Monkey: Screeching sounds.
Turner: “Log this with the other evidence.”
Officer: “Hey, where did that monkey come from?”


Page 2
This page is built around a nine-panel grid. Four panels on this page, some panels span multiple grid-panels as noted.

Panel 1
This panel uses the top three grid-panels (#1,2,3). Same design as Panel 4 on Page 1, but with the officer now chasing the monkey out the back (left) of the alley way.

Turner: “Get that monkey out of my crime scene.”
Officer: “C’mere you.”

Panel 2
Single grid panel (#4). View from eye-level just behind the Detective as he approaches the officers at the front of the roped-off alleyway where the crowd has gathered.

Turner: “Officers, lock this down. No more monkey business.”
Officers: “Yes, sir.”

Panel 3
Two grid-panels (#5,6). View from Turner’s point of view as crowd makes room for him to leave but a reporter is there to ask him questions. The female reporter is wearing a “Channel 5” press pass and holding a similarly labeled microphone.

Reporter: “Detective, what can you tell us?”
Turner: “We are just beginning the investigation. No comment.”

Panel 4
Three grid-panels across the bottom (#7,8,9). View from curbside, a couple of car-lengths in front of the Detective’s car. The crowd and alleyway is to the left, the car and street are in the middle, and you can almost see the other side of the street to the right. In the background, a block away and to the left, you can just make out the monkey but no one else notices. The Detective is now beside his car, with the door open and about to get inside. The reporter is still talking to him as he gets ready to leave the scene.

Reporter: “Is it true there was a monkey in the alley?”
Turner: “No comment.”


Page 3
This page is built around a nine-panel grid. Six panels on this page, some panels span multiple grid-panels as noted.

Panel 1
This panel uses two grid-panels (#1,2). The view is from the dashboard on the front of the Detective’s car, looking inside. The Detective is on the right-side of the panel (left side of the car) facing the reader. Through the back window of the car, you can just see the monkey’s head and hands as he holds onto the back of the car in motion.

Detective: “A monkey, a digital stopwatch, and a pauper. You can’t make this stuff up.”

Panel 2
Single grid-panel (#3). POV view from the Detective as he looks down and to his right at the passenger seat where there are several bags of evidence from the alley. At the top of the pile the digital stopwatch can be seen, still counting down.

Timer display: “19:30”
Turner: “I wonder why it is counting down.”

Panel 3
This panel uses two grid-panels (#4,5). Same panel design as Panel 1 on this page, except the Detective is looking towards his rear-view mirror. The monkey can no longer be seen there. Instead the monkey is hanging from the exterior mirror on the left-side of the panel (passenger-side of the car)

Turner: “What was that? I thought I saw something.”

Panel 4
Single grid-panel (#6). POV view similar to Panel 2 on this page, except the Detective is looking a little higher this time towards the passenger-side window. The digital stopwatch can still be seen, but also the monkey can be seen hanging onto the exterior mirror, looking inside the car, and gesturing with its free hand.

Timer display: “19:15”
Monkey: Screeching.
Turner: “What the hell? Is that the same monkey?”

Panel 5
This panel uses two of the bottom grid-panels (#7,8) to show the Detective’s car skidding to a stop on the side of the street and crashing into a fire-hydrant. View is from driver-level as if POV of a car beside the Detective’s car as begins to skid out of control towards a stop on the right-side of the street and hits a fire-hydrant. During the skid, show the monkey clinging to the car.

Sound effect: “Skreeeee” as the brakes lock and the car skids.

Panel 6
Single grid-panel (#9). View standing-eye-level from behind the crashed car. The monkey is no longer in view and the hydrant is gushing water, with the Detective’s door open (he is still inside).

Sound effect: “Klang!” as the car hits the hydrant.


Page 4
This page is built around a nine-panel grid. Nine panels on this page.

Panel 1
Single grid-panel (#1). POV from the Detective looking up, groggy from the collision and seeing the gushing hydrant in front of him.

Turner: “Ohhh, I am going to be sore tomorrow.”

Panel 2
Single grid-panel (#2). Still POV from the Detective, now looking to the right and seeing all the evidence bags a mess in the floor of his car. The digital stopwatch is miraculously still in view from the floorboard.

Timer display: “16:30”
Turner: “I hope I didn’t lose any evidence.”
Monkey (off-panel): Screeching.

Panel 3
Single grid-panel (#3). POV from the Detective, now looking to his left and out his open door to see the monkey standing there gesturing towards him.

Monkey: “Quick, grab the stopwatch.”
Turner: “What?!”

Panel 4
Single grid-panel (#4). POV from the Detective, looking forward but up and into the rear-view mirror to see a reflection of himself with a bump on his head and some blood from that injury running down the side of his face.

Turner: “I obviously hit my head and am hallucinating.”
Monkey (off-panel): “No, you’re not… now c’mon.”

Panel 5
Single grid-panel (#5). Same as Panel 3 on this page.

Turner: “Then I have suddenly gone crazy.”
Monkey: “You’re not crazy either, but we’re running out of time!”

Panel 6
Single grid-panel (#6). View from outside the driver’s side of the car, close-up on the door opening with the driver staring into his rear-view mirror in a daze as the monkey crawls over him towards the passenger side. No copy.

Panel 7
Single grid-panel (#7). Same as Panel 2 on this page, but now the monkey is in the passenger seat reaching down to pick up the stopwatch still on the floor.

Timer display: “15:00”
Monkey: “Oh no, I’m later than I thought!”
Turner: “Late for what?”

Panel 8
Single grid-panel (#8). Same as Panel 7 on this page, but now the monkey is holding the evidence bag with the digital stopwatch inside and is opening the bag to remove the timer.

Timer display: “14:45”
Monkey: “I’ll explain on the way, but we have to go NOW!”

Panel 9
Single grid-panel (#9). Same as panel 6 on the page, but now the monkey is crawling from inside the car and coming out toward the reader. Also, the monkey is carrying the digital stopwatch in his hand.

Timer display: “14:40”
Turner: “Go where?”


Page 5
This page is built around a nine-panel grid. Eight panels on this page, one panel spans multiple grid-panels as noted.

Panel 1
Single grid-panel (#1). Eye-level view from just behind the Detective and the monkey as they are running away from the reader and back towards the alleyway, which is not visible because it is several blocks away.

Monkey: “I have to get back to my body before this timer reaches zero.”
Turner: “Your body?”

Panel 2
Single grid-panel (#2). Similar to Panel 1 on this page, but show that they have moved down the street by varying the view around them. The alleyway is still a couple of blocks away so not yet visible.

Monkey: “Back in the alley, that’s me.”
Turner: “I don’t understand.”
Monkey: “My soul can only stay in this animal totem for a limited time.”

Panel 3
Single grid-panel (#3). Similar to Panel 2 on this page, but again farther down the street. The alleyway itself is not yet visible but you can now see the coroner’s vehicle backed up to the alleyway, only a block away. There is still some crowd gathered nearby but less than before.

Turner: “So why did you follow me?”
Monkey: “I need to be with my body AND have the stopwatch to return.”

Panel 4
This panel uses two grid-panels (#4,5). Eye-level view from beside the coroner’s vehicle, behind the Detective who is standing near the front of the vehicle. The monkey has jumped on top of the vehicle and is running across the roof and to the left, towards the alleyway..

Monkey: “I’ll be back in a minute.”
Turner: “Do I need to do anything?”
Monkey: “Tell everyone to stay out of my way.”

Panel 5
Single grid-panel (#6). View from the alley into the open doors of the rear of the coroner’s vehicle. A body can be seen inside, and the monkey is on top of the vehicle looking down.

Turner (off-panel): “Let the monkey through.”

Panel 6
Single grid-panel (#7). View from POV of the monkey, crouching inside the coroner’s vehicle and looking at his own human body. He is holding the stopwatch so that he is seeing both the display and his human face. The hand not holding the timer is touching his human body. The hand holding the timer has one finger on a button at the top of the stopwatch.

Timer display: “05:00”
Monkey: “A few minutes to spare. I wish I didn’t always cut this so close.”
Sound effect: “Click” for the push of the timer button.

Panel 7
Single grid-panel (#8). POV view of the Detective looking towards the alley, but only able to see the coroner’s vehicle from the outside. A bright flash of light from inside the vehicle is visible.

Voice from inside the vehicle: “Can you move the car now so I can get out of this alley?”
Turner: “Pull the car out a little, please.”

Panel 8
Single grid-panel (#9). Similar to Panel 5 on this page, but the vehicle is now several feet outside the alley. Detective Turner has now walked around to the rear of the coroner’s vehicle and is standing behind it, looking into the rear of the vehicle to see the previously dead body now sitting at the back of the vehicle. The monkey is nowhere to be seen. The timer is sitting beside the man in the vehicle.

Timer display: “00:00”
Man in vehicle: “Thank you for your help.”
Turner: “Don’t mention it… ever, if possible.”

Schuyler
01-24-2015, 10:17 PM
Just for the benefit of my nemesis, I upped my puns to an ungodly level.

I must have crossed the line somewhere, because I feel like I'm being punalized. Hehe...

I failed to meet this challenge, because I am working on another script. However, I am trying to use the nine panel grid.

Sorry, everybody

-Sky

Alyssa
01-25-2015, 12:43 AM
Well, I'm horrendously late, and this is in dire need of an edit (most of the panels and dialogue are just scratchings straight from my notebook, among other problems), but here's what I've got so far:

"HORIZONS" Challenge Script pdf (http://alyssacrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Horizons-01.pdf)

I had A LOT of trouble with this one. Once I sat down to it, I didn't know how to take advantage of the 9 panel layout. I think what resulted is a pretty noob attempt at shoehorning a story into the grid layout, with no finesse. :har:

Happy for folk to tear apart my layouts- this is obviously an area where I need more ed-u-ma-cation. :banana:

Stewart Vernon
01-25-2015, 01:53 AM
People might debate how well I used the 9-panel grid... but it at least didn't feel alien to me.

For my daily comic strip on my blog I have two primary layouts: 3-panel grid, 4-panel grid. While most of my "episodes" use the grid as designed, I deviate when the story needs it. I have broken the 4-panel grid into smaller panels (which I guess violates the spirit of the grid in some ways) to slow down the action... and other times I have combined grid-panels to form larger ones when I need more room for characters and have less action that requires other panels to show.

I tried to write my story here in a similar way... using the panels individually when more things needed to happen in quicker succession, and using larger/combined panels when the story was lingering on a scene.

As I said, it will be up for debate how well I used it... but I used it! :)

Robert_S
01-28-2015, 10:40 AM
Is there going to be another challenge coming?

Steven Forbes
01-28-2015, 10:58 AM
Yep!