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View Full Version : Big League - I'd love some feedback


fourth_world
06-10-2016, 01:39 AM
I included some reference images in the script, but they aren't showing up for some reason.

PAGE ONE–1 PANEL
Here’s a some background to the scene to help you get a good sense of everything going forward:

This little league baseball game has already been going on for what seems like hours in a hot summer afternoon. A 11 yo, unathletic WUSSEY, sits in waiting to go to bat. Internally, he’s trapped in his own insecurities (literally) as he sits on a bench with Frank Miller-esque, cartoonishly huge, roided out adult players wearing white baseball jerseys (with red shirts tucked in underneath the white jersey) except WUSSEY who is wearing a plain white t-shirt and jeans with a batter’s helmet. Maybe some of the players have tatts and tons of body hair. Of course, he’s also sitting towards the middle of the bench, squeezed in tight, feeling small and claustrophobic by size. He’s being so squeezed in that his butt isn’t even on the bench, he’s being slightly lifted up off the bench. He looks bored and stares off into the distance. Mouth opened, he’s distracting himself, wiggling his baby tooth with his finger. He’s already scrawny so it definitely plays into his sense of self.

The page is laid out with a super close-up of the bottom half of his face with an open mouth and jaw slightly pushed forward with his finger (dirty with fingernails bit up) right underneath his baby tooth (himself), but his teeth are replaced by the players sitting on the bench yet he’s more occupied with his loose baby tooth. He is the baby tooth; a literal expression of the metaphor. Just like the close-up implies, the baby tooth version of him is playing with his tooth so it creates an endless loop illusion if you were to zoom in or out. The lips cover the rest of the players’ faces and bottom of their legs. The red shirts underneath help separate the top and bottom rows of teeth.

(NOTE: I provided a chart here to help visualize my concept, but it won't display for the forum.)

TITLE: BIG LEAGUE


PAGE TWO–8 PANELS

PANEL ONE
A BASEBALL DUGOUT IN A HOT SUMMER AFTERNOON. Behind a caged fence, the group of large, roided out, cartoonish (in a Frank Miller way) dudes on the bench are brutally fighting each other. I mean blood and gore with bare hands. Maybe one of them is getting their eyes gouged out. Towards the middle, (in the same spot as in the previous page) WUSSEY still stands out visually on the bench with his terrible, sad posture, skinnier body. WUSSEY sits uncomfortably playing with his tooth, staring off into the void. Just like in the previous page. A short fence on both sides of the dugout. In front of the cage, off to the right, COACH is standing, almost off-panel, reading a list off a clipboard.

CREDITS: ANDREW LEAMON – STORY
XXXXXXXXXXXXX – ART
COACH: ALRIGHT…
COACH: WUSSEY’S UP THEN DOMINIC.

PANEL TWO
Small panel. Zoom in on WUSSEY, not paying attention, looking ahead, still poking at his baby tooth.

COACH: LET’S GO, WUSSEY. NOW.

PANEL THREE
WUSSEY sits on the ground in front of the bench having been kicked off the bench by the guys. All the players laugh at him. Some get up to point and laugh in an exaggerated manner.

FX: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

PANEL FOUR
WUSSEY walks up to the base. Looking down at his feet as he slowly drags his bat along behind him in the dirt, kicking up a little dust in it’s path. With his other hand, he continues wiggling his tooth.

COACH (off-panel): AND PULL OUT THAT TOOTH ALREADY...

PANEL FIVE
Extreme close-up on the face of the cartoonishly athletic/muscular adult PITCHER. He’s grinning, maybe even foaming at the mouth if you can fit that. Otherwise just the crooked eyes.

PANEL SIX
WUSSEY holds up the bat to swing, looking nervously at pitcher. He’s biting his bottom lip and sweating. His hands are spread too wide on the bat. He’s never held one before. Just a fence behind him.

PANEL SEVEN
The cartoonishly huge PITCHER winds up to throw a fastball.

PANEL EIGHT
Wide panel. The PITCHER’S hand letting go of the baseball as the ball rips across the page from left to right.


PAGE THREE – 9 PANELS
I see this page as a nine-panel grid with the same locked/fixed frame for each panel. So even as WUSSEY moves off-panel, the frame position will never move between panels. This will play out as though it’s in slow motion so the panels will be somewhat similar as they transition from beginning (bracing for the pitch), middle (getting hit in the face by the ball), and end (falling unconscious to the floor). Behind him, words or images consume the background of each panel past the bleed. I just want the impact of those toxic words and phrases to be there and really hit you in the face (so to speak). I would also like to make it as visual with as few words as possible. If any of these suggestions won’t work or don’t inspire you, let me know and we can figure out something else. However, I trust your vision on this with whatever changes you want to make.

PANEL ONE
We only see the top-half of WUSSEY as he is nervously waiting for the ball with his body frozen in terror in the batting stance. As before, his hands are split too wide on the neck of the bat. The posture of his stance is terrible. He’s terrified that he’ll get hit by the ball. Yet he still looks ahead at the pitcher. Behind him, the following insults. I imagine these will go past the bleed, which is the intention as it should feel endless. It’s okay that most of it will be unseen.

BACKGROUND: DON’T BE SUCH A BABY! STOP CRYING. NO WONDER YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS. YOU’RE PATHETIC.

PANEL TWO
WUSSEY sees the ball approaching, his eyes open wide as his body tenses up. He starts to turn away from the ball. Behind him, I was thinking laughter like this famous panel from The Killing Joke. Everyone (including himself) mocks him.

BACKGROUND: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

PANEL THREE
WUSSEY thinks the ball is coming towards his face so he prepares to curl his in. He’s in panic mode. Behind him, a large lower case omega symbol. Omega being the opposite of an “alpha male” (from shitty seduction how-to books). He feels pathetic and weak.

NO WORDS.

PANEL FOUR
WUSSEY turns his head away from the ball (close to him) and closes his eyes, bracing for impact. Behind him, the PITCHER stands behind him. He stands so tall you only see up to his collar bone. He looms over WUSSEY. His bare-flexed arms and fists are positioned to crush WUSSEY’S head from both sides.

NO WORDS.

PANEL FIVE
The moment of impact. This panel resembles an x-ray scan of his skull and upper body bones from the same position as the previous panel and a black background. The ball hits his open mouth face right on the lower left cheek, but we don’t see the ball. The baby tooth is detached and flying out of his slightly opened mouth. If you want to add “spidey sense”-like emphasis to sell in the pain factor more, I’m totally down.

NO WORDS.

PANEL SIX
WUSSEY’S mouth is open, spit out and the tooth almost off-panel, as he begins to fall in a dramatic fashion. The bat is out of his hands and falling. Behind him, bloodsplatter to represent the consequence of violence.

NO WORDS.

PANEL SEVEN
WUSSEY continues his fall. Behind him, a superhero resembling Superman with a “A” in the crest instead, posing. “A” being uppercase alpha.

NO WORDS.

PANEL EIGHT
No background (all white) to emphasize how vulnerable and alone he is right now. WUSSEY is almost off-panel still falling.

NO WORDS.

PANEL NINE
All black.

NO WORDS.


PAGE FOUR – 7 PANELS

PANEL ONE
A wide panel of WUSSEY on the ground, passed out. (worm’s eye view) If you can fit it, maybe show the lower legs of the COACH and the UMPIRE standing near him.

PANEL TWO
My idea is that this panel is in the shape of WUSSEY’S tooth on it’s side. The fun part of this is because of the perspective of WUSSEY in the previous panel, this should be about where his tooth landed. Inside this panel, a mother cradles a playful infant with the babies arms reaching out to her. The comfort, safety, and innocence of WUSSEY’s childhood is over.

PANEL THREE
From the perspective of WUSSEY, COACH looks down. It’s blurry and the sun beams down from behind him so you can’t make out the details of COACH’s face as he speaks to WUSSEY.

COACH: ALRIGHT. COME ON. WAKE UP, WUSSEY.

PANEL FOUR
WUSSEY tries to get himself up off the ground, using one of his forearms to raise himself up. His other arm rubs the side of his head. He’s dazed and confused as he looks at the ice pack being handed to him by COACH.

COACH: HERE. TAKE THIS.

PANEL FIVE
WUSSEY presses the ice pack on his swollen and bruised jaw. Obviously, he’s in pain because “apparently” getting hit in the face so hard you pass out hurts.

WUSSEY: OW. OW. HHHHH. WHAT HAPPENED?
COACH (off-panel): WE LOST BY TWO RUNS.
WUSSEY: THE GAME’S OVER?

PANEL SIX
Wide-shot of WUSSEY’s bottom and top rows of teeth with the one tooth now missing and replaced with a scab and dried blood on his bottom teeth around the spot where the tooth used to be. He pokes the empty void with his blood-stained fingertip.

COACH: TWENTY MINUTES AGO—

PANEL SEVEN
Small panel. An open-palmed hand has just slapped the back of WUSSEY's head.

SFX: WHACK
COACH: WHAT DID I TELL YOU. STOP DOING THAT.


PAGE FIVE – 3 PANELS

PANEL ONE
WUSSEY shows off to COACH that the tooth is gone, trying to smile. He’s seeking approval. COACH is staring at his clipboard, not paying attention to WUSSEY.

WUSSEY: SEE? IT’S ALL GONE. THE LAST ONE.
COACH: I SEE THAT.

PANEL TWO
Small panel. WUSSEY holds the rotten baby tooth between his thumb and index finger, staring at it.

WUSSEY (off-panel): HEY DAD?

PANEL THREE
WUSSEY and COACH walk away together toward the parking lot with their backs turned toward us. As he walks, WUSSEY holds up the tooth and stares at it.

COACH: YEAH.
WUSSEY: DOES IT ALWAYS HURT THIS MUCH?
COACH: SOMETIMES...YEAH.
WUSSEY: OH.

THE END.

KevinLeeMcDougall
06-13-2016, 10:23 AM
Wonderful, beautiful little tale about maturing and the pains of adult-hood. I have no criticisms, the script is superb.

SamRoads
06-24-2016, 11:22 AM
Great stuff. Some very post-McCloud uses of the comic format to deliver a great synergy of concept and art.

P2P5 - I'm not sure we can know whose eyes these are.

I wish the very last line of dialogue was more than 'Oh'. Could it refer to whatever they're doing next, in a kind of 'life goes on' thing?

Great stuff.

fourth_world
06-24-2016, 11:01 PM
Thanks, Kevin and Sam! I really appreciate both of your kind words about the script. Your money is coming your way in the mail! haha But seriously though, thank you.

Sam -
P2P5: True story: I just had that same thought a day ago so I removed that whole sentence. "Great minds think alike!" My intention was to discuss the primary feature of his face in that he has crooked eyes; one eye being lower than the other. However, I'd rather let the artist come up with their own depiction in this instance so I killed the sentence.

P5P3: I know this will sound like a bad excuse, but the reason I made Wussey say "Oh." at the end was to make the reader feel as disappointed as Wussey was wanting a more comforting response from his dad. So in that sense I was totally successful, but you're right in that maybe it's not the best way to convey that wanting and I will think on that some more. I will work on some alt responses by Wussey.