View Full Version : Rainbow Power Girls

09-06-2016, 02:41 PM
Here is an 8-page script for an all-ages book called, "The Rainbow Power Girls". I'm calling this "Issue #0" because I want this 8 page story to act as a preview for the first issue. But, I want the first issue to stand alone so that you don't need issue #0 to understand issue #1.

Here is the condensed version of the pitch:
The King and Queen of a far away planet have chosen two earthlings with kind hearts, vivid imaginations, and keen determination to save their people from impending doom. The King and Queen give sisters Charlotte, age 12 and Penelope, age 9, magic gemstones that transform them into The Rainbow Power Girls. Each day after school, they set out help their friends and neighbors and be back in time for dinner. But, they are unaware of their true destiny. Can they learn how to get along, figure out how to use their powers, save the Rainbow Planet and still do their homework?

Here are a few character designs:

And now the script:
Rainbow Power Girls issue #0
(8-page preview)

Page 1

(The first panel is completely black and we see the words, “beep beep beep” in large letters. The next panel is from Charlotte’s P.O.V. as she is lying in bed, waking up and opening her eyes. She is lying in bed, so we see a sideways view of her bedroom through a small slit of her eyes that are barely open. We still see the “beep beep beep” words across the panel. The next panel shows Charlotte’s POV of her alarm clock. The next panel shows Charlotte’s hand hitting the top of the alarm clock HARD. The alarm clock breaks and we still see “beep beep beep” across the panels. Then, in the next panel, we see Penelope’s face enter Charlotte's field of vision. We see a word balloon from Penelope with the words “Beep Beep Beep” in it. Last panel is Charlotte and Penelope nose to nose. Charlotte is still in bed, and Penelope is right above her.)

Penelope: Beep Beep Beep

Page 2-3

(On this page, the following dialogue is said over panels of Charlotte who is groggy and in her Pjs getting out of bed, and walking out of her room and into her bathroom. Penelope is following Charlotte like a puppy and bouncing the entire time.)

Penelope: Good morning, Charlotte! Did I sound like your alarm clock? I guess I did since you smashed your alarm clock. I fooled you. (maybe she jumps in the air for this one) I am the human alarm clock! Where are you going?

Charlotte: To the bathroom. I have to get dressed.

(Charlotte goes into the bathroom and closes the door. Penelope waits outside)

Penelope: Oh, right. I’m already dressed and ready for school.

Charlotte (from behind the door): Good for you!

Penelope: And, I’ve already had breakfast.

(Charlotte emerges from the bathroom fully dressed. Still groggy, she shuffles down the hall with Penelope close behind)

Charlotte: I’m so happy for you.

Penelope: Wow, Charlotte. You got ready fast. Did you know that I could make an alarm clock sound? I bet you didn’t. I can make a lot of sounds. My friend Maria says I sound just like a monkey. Listen.

(For each sound Penelope makes, we see her pose like the animal)

Penelope: Oooh Ooh Aah Aah (monkey)

Penelope: Brrrrrruuuuhhh (elephant)

Penelope: caw caw caw (bird)

Penelope: ribbit ribbit (frog)

(Penelope and Charlotte have entered the kitchen. MOM and DAD are sitting at the table drinking coffee.)

Charlotte: Mom, can I have a cup of coffee?

Mom: No dear, you are only twelve.

Dad: Why do you want coffee?

Charlotte: I was up late last night studying for my history test, and if I don’t get some caffeine I may have to strangle the human alarm clock over here.

(MOM gets up and walks off panel)

Mom: Cream and sugar?

Charlotte: Yes, please.

Dad: I think I hear the bus.

(Last panel should show Charlotte wide-eyed, in shock and horror. Penelope's face is lit up with excitement, and she leaps in the air)

Charlotte: ah, crud.

Penelope: yippee!

Page 4-5:

(The Rainbow King and Rainbow Queen have been watching Penelope and Charlotte through a magic bubble from their home planet. They are dressed majestically in Rainbow robes and crowns. We see them staring into the bubble and the bubble shows Penelope and Charlotte racing to catch the bus.)

Rainbow King: So these are the ones you have chosen?

Rainbow Queen: Yes.

Rainbow King: Why?

Rainbow Queen: The older one, Charlotte is strong, smart and very determined. The younger one, Penelope, has a vivid imagination and is very creative. Both are helpful, and always put others before themselves. See.

(The Rainbow Queen points to the magic bubble. We see both girls climbing onto the step of the school bus with the bus driver in the background. Penelope turns around, facing the camera and says)

Penelope: Wait!

Charlotte: What is it?

Penelope: Look! Charles is coming. Hold the bus.

Bus driver: I can’t wait for him. I have to go.

(We see a small boy, Charles age 7, running for the bus.)

Charles: Wait for me!

(Charles trips and falls. We see a panel of kids hanging out of the bus windows laughing.)

Penelope: I got this.

(Penelope runs off of the bus.)

Bus driver: I have to go. I’ll leave them both.

Charlotte: No you won’t.

(Before the bus starts to move, Charlotte runs off of the bus and runs in front of the bus, blocking it from moving forward. She is standing in a “superman”-type pose. Hands in fists, and fists on her waist, elbows out. She is standing tall and defiant. Penelope helps Charles onto the bus. He is crying.)

Penelope: It’s OK Charles. It’s OK.

Charles: They’re were laughing at me.

Penelope: Just ignore them. Come on. You can sit next to me.

(Charlotte comes back on the bus)

Bus driver: You are going to be in big trouble when I tell Principal O'Shaughnessy.

Charlotte: Go ahead and tell him. I’ll tell him that you roll through three stop signs a day without coming to a complete stop.

Bus driver: grumble, grumble, grumble

(The Rainbow King and Rainbow Queen are looking into the magic bubble at the bus as it drives away)

Rainbow King: Impressive. But, are you sure they can handle the power of the Rainbow Gems?

Rainbow Queen: I believe so. Let me show what might happen if we were to give them the Rainbow Gems.

Page 6:

(The magic bubble fills with mist and the Rainbow Queen narrates the rest of the story. It’s almost like a movie montage. We see the girls doing everything the Queen describes)

Rainbow Queen (narration): The gems would transform them into the most powerful beings on their planet. But, the gems work differently for each of them, bringing out their strengths.

Rainbow Queen (narration): For Charlotte, the gems will make her stronger, give her the power of flight, and allow her to create amazing objects from her mind.

Rainbow Queen (narration): For Penelope, She can posses the power of any animal. The only limits of her power are her imagination.

Pages 7-8:

Rainbow Queen (narration): Let the magic bubble show the potential that they have.

(We see Charlotte and Penelope’s house as the back door burst open and Penelope and Charlotte run into the back yard. Off-panel we here mom yell)

Mom: (off-panel) Be safe girls, and be back in time for dinner!

Charlotte and Penelope (together): Ok, Mom.

(During the next few lines, Charlotte and Penelope run to the back of the garden, and Charlotte lifts up a rock.)

Penelope: Hurry Charlotte. I want to to fly!

Charlotte: Hold your horses, Pen.

Penelope: I can do a horse sound. Listen. Niegh!

Charlotte: Ok, Here you go.

(Charlotte pulls an ornate jewelry box from under the rock. She opens it up to reveal two large gems. They emanate a rainbow glow all around them. Charlotte and Penelope put the gems into lockets that they wear around their necks. When they close the lockets, they lean in and hold their lockets out and touch them together)

Charlotte: Rainbow --

Penelope: Power!

(The girls transform into the Rainbow Power Girls costumes. And they fly into the air leaving a sparkly rainbow trail behind them.)

(For the first panel, the camera is above them looking down as they fly. We see them in the foreground, with the city streets beneath them. )

Penelope: This is my favorite part. Searching the city for signs of trouble.

(Then we see their faces as they fly towards the camera)

Penelope: Maybe we will stop a bank robber, or help put out a fire, or --

Charlotte: Be quiet Penelope, I can’t hear if there is trouble.

(From below we hear a lion roar)

Lion (off-panel) ROAR!

Charlotte: Penelope. I told you to be quiet.

Penelope: That wasn’t me!

Charlotte: Well, if it wasn’t you then why did I hear a lion roar?

Charlotte and Penelope (together) The zoo!

Charlotte: Let’s go!

(A lion has escaped from its enclosure at the zoo, and is scaring the zoo guests. We see them running in all directions. Penelope and Charlotte are hovering above.)

Charlotte: He’s going to hurt someone. We have to stop him.

Penelope: He’s scared. I’ll go talk to him.

(Penelope swoops down and lands in front of the lion. She then takes on a lion shape. When she takes on the shape, we should see Penelope crouching like a lion, and making a lion face. We see a translucent shape of a lion around her. Penelope roars and the lion sits down.)

Penelope: There, there, boy. It’s ok.

Lion: I just wanted to go for a walk. I got out and I got lost.

Penelope: It’s OK. I’ll help you. (turning her head up to look at Charlotte) Charlotte, can you pick him up?

Charlotte: I’ll try.

(Charlotte points her hands at the lion and rainbow translucent hands emerge and stretch down to grab the lion. We see the lion’s torso lifted, but his feet are still on the ground. He looks scared. We see Charlotte’s face. She is straining.)

Charlotte: He’s too heavy.

Penelope: you’re scaring him!

Charlotte: I’ve got an idea.

(Charlotte points her hands towards them, and a rainbow ribbon emerges and reaches all the way to the ground.)

Charlotte: I’ll make a bridge back to his enclosure. You get him to walk on it.

Penelope: OK! (turning to the lion) Follow me!

(Penelope walks across the bridge on all fours, followed by the lion.)
Penelope: (to the lion) I have to go now. But, I’ll come back and visit soon.

Lion: Thanks!

(The girls fly off and we see the crowd below cheering. This image then appears in the next panel inside the magic bubble and the Rainbow King and Queen watch)

Rainbow King: So, they will help others, and help themselves.

Rainbow Queen: Yes. Of that I am certain. And if they do --

Rainbow King: They may be the only hope to save the Rainbow Planet.

CAPTION: The Rainbow Power Girls will return to a comic book store near you with more exciting adventures!


09-07-2016, 03:02 PM
My biggest question for you, James, is are you drawing this?

Because if you're not, this would be a difficult script to work from (unless you have an artist attached and they asked for it like this).

You write it as if you already have the panel breakdowns planned. If so, why not actually break them down in the script? Let's say I'm drawing this. Cool, I just thumbed out panel 3. Now I have to dig through all the writing to find panel 4. Repeat for panel 5. So on. It's no secret that the art half of the creative process is the much more time consuming one. Why add that much more time to your artists part? When I draw from a script I reference it once for thumbs, double check it at rough pencils, and one last once over right before inks, just to be sure nothing is left out. That's a lot of digging through your script.

Second, it might not entirely be clear where your dialog is going. Maybe it's written in one part of something that *could* be two panels. The bubbles are part of the composition planning. Mistaking dialog for one panel when it should be in another can lead to more time on the artists part.

Third, your facing pages don't have a clear page end. Do you want to let this up to your artist? I mean, I guess you can. But then you can't really complain if they choose a moment that lessens the impact of the script.

This isn't quite full-script and not quite the Marvel method. It's a hybrid that makes the writer's job easier and the artists job more difficult. Again, if you're drawing it, then you can write it out however you want. But I think if you're collaborating on this that taking the extra few minutes on your part will go a LONG way in helping out the artist (and the letter. and the colorist. and your editor). Be a pal!

09-07-2016, 04:51 PM
These are good notes. No, I'm not drawing this, but I am working closely with the local artist who is. My background is in theatre, so as a playwright, I'm used to writing in a way that leaves a great deal of room for visual interpretation. Although I could write a panel-by-panel description including camera angles and composition, I'm afraid that it won't that leave the artist any room to contribute. I don't want to dictate the way the story should be told visually. I want the artist to bring his/her creativity to the process.

But, I do agree, that I can meet the artist half-way, especially in terms of page breaks. My previous scripts have been slightly more detailed in terms of page breakdowns, but not a full panel-by-panel. I like give the artist more freedom.

And you are correct. Its not quite marvel method, and not quite Bendis-level detail. My scripts are more like Dwayne McDuffie's, and as long as it is not frustrating for the artist, I'm OK with that. But again, these are good notes, and I think another draft with a bit more detail is needed.

09-07-2016, 09:40 PM
If you learn standard comics formatting, you're sending a message to those who read your script that you care about comics.

By choosing not to use standard formatting, it would take me longer to digest your script. And, unfortunately, my assumption is that if you haven't studied the format, you probably also haven't studied other aspects of comic storytelling.

A quick glance through and my eyes alight on this missing capital. Much the same: if you want to convince me to examine your writing and give feedback, convince me that you're serious by getting the simple stuff sorted first!

"Penelope: you’re scaring him!"

Hope this gives you some feedback that's useful. Sorry if it sounds negative.

09-07-2016, 10:02 PM
Hope this gives you some feedback that's useful. Sorry if it sounds negative.

Very helpful. Thanks!

09-07-2016, 10:14 PM
I wish I wasn't broke and could somehow invest in this.....listen to those guys they can help you hone your skills, me, not so much.....I wish I owned a comic book company, this sounds like a winner to me....Scott

09-08-2016, 01:35 AM
I don't mean to pile on, but I'm not a fan of the format. It makes it hard to get an idea of what the pacing is like, and that makes it hard to comment on how effective everything else is. Sure, the dialogue seems okay, but without knowing how it's going to be split up I can't tell if if it fits well or not. I can understand you not wanting to restrict your artist, but you can just let them know that the script is just guideline and that nothing is set in stone.

Other than that and a few other little things (who keeps their clothes in the bathroom?), my biggest issue is that Charlotte sounds too mature for a 12-year-old. When writing dialogue for children, I find it's usually safer to make then sound a little too young than a little too old. Making a 12-year-old sound like she's 8 probably won't be a big deal. Making a 12-year-old sound like she's 16 will.

Hope this helps.

09-08-2016, 09:03 AM
Scott - Thanks for the compliments. I wish you weren't broke, too :-)

gmartyt - Thanks for the feedback. It's clear to me that I need to add more detail to my descriptions. Although I want my artist to have some freedom, I don't want the script to be frustrating for an artist or editor to read. I appreciate everyone's point of view on this.

Thanks also for the other notes. I think I may have Charlotte carry her clothes to the bathroom to change. And, I agree about her dialogue. She should be smarter than an average 12 year old, but NOT more sophisticated than a 12 year old. I'll work on that.

09-09-2016, 03:08 PM
James, thanks....I'm o.k....heads above water. Got my blessings. Violins aside, just don't have the cash to get involved in any projects. Independents want completed comics with a team, just don't have that kind of cash, not now, but who knows, down the road maybe. That's my situation, but I still wasn't kidding about investing in this property if I could, or if i was an illustrator, or or inker, wanting in on this project. I see this in comics, but it sounds like a cartoon, and toys, that's were I picture it big, a Disney film with CGI?(hey, we're allowed to dream on here!, still, you never know) ....Scott