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View Full Version : What God Wants, Chapter One, Part One


Bob the Fish
07-29-2006, 03:57 PM
By Matthew Harris.

I've decided the best thing for me is to discuss layouts with the artist after figuring out the basic script. I have no artist as yet.

PAGE 1 (8 panels)

Panel 1.

The Vatican, yesterday. Well, 1187. Not that it matters in this panel, as it consists of an extreme close-up of an ornate and jewelled cross around the neck of Pope Gregory VIII.

CAP (TOP): IT WAS A TIME OF MIRACLES.


Panel 2.

Slightly further back. Now the Pope is holding the cross between forefinger and thumb.

CAP (TOP): A TIME WHEN THE LORD’S CHOSEN COULD FLOURISH.


Panel 3.

Further still. We can now see the upper body (but not the head) of the Pope as he holds up his pet cross.

CAP (TOP): THE LORD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE IN THE LORD’S CHOSEN LAND. AT LAST.


Panel 4.

Back again. We can see the torso, head and arms of Pope Gregory VIII as he holds the cross to his lips and kisses it.

CAP (BOTTOM): WHAT WENT WRONG?


Panel 5.

Pan up, as he lets go of the cross.

CAP: WHEN HE WAS BORN, HIS NAME WAS ALBERTO DI MORRA.


Panel 6.

Close in on his face. He stares sadly into the picture plane.

CAP: FOR A TIME, HE WAS PRIEST-CARDINAL DI MORRA.

Panel 7.

Again, panning still closer to his face.

CAP: THEN, CHANCELLOR DI MORRA.


Panel 8.

By now, should be an extreme close-up of his face.

CAP: BUT NOW…ALBERTO DI MORRA IS DEAD.

CAP: NOW HE IS GREGORY…

PAGE 2 (1 panels)

Splash page. Reveal Gregory standing on a terrace in the Vatican looking through one of those pentagonal glassless windows. Over Gregory’s shoulder, we see the sun rising over the steeples of the Holy See. (Shall have to research what may or may not have been there in the 12th century). Title displayed in corner: "CHAPTER ONE: KINGS"


Panel 1.

CAP: …AND SOON GREGORY WILL BE DEAD TOO.

CAP: AND HE KNOWS WHAT HE MUST DO BEFORE THAT HAPPENS.

PAGE 3 (4 panels)

Panel 1.

Black panel.

CAP: I CLOSE MY EYES…


Panel 2.

Square panel of a sheet of flame, a shadow just barely visible in the centre.

CAP: …AND I AM IN HATTIN…


Panel 3.

2x1 panel of the same sheet of flame, with the shadow somewhat closer now, so much so that we can now make out its shape. It is human.

CAP: …AND HATTIN IS IN ME AGAIN.


Panel 4.

As panel 3, but now the shadow is obviously a man, falling forward with one arm outstretched, desperately.

CAP: AND I…

CAP: I CANNOT BEAR IT. PAGE 4 (6 panels)


Panel 1.

First-person perspective of Guy of Luisigan (for it is he): blurred as he opens his eyes to see he’s still being marched in chains toward Saladin’s tent, at this stage a purple blur in the middle distance.

CAP/GUY: SO I OPEN THEM…


Panel .

Almost the same as above only advanced a step and not blurred anymore.

CAP/GUY: AND THE NIGHTMARE IS STILL NOT OVER.


Panel .

Back to the sheet of flame and the shadow, discernable to the same level as panel 4 on the previous page. One half in this panel.

CAP/GUY: I FAILED. MY GOD, I FAILED YOU, FAILED EVERYONE.


Panel .

Other half of the above.

CAP/GUY: THE SARACENS TOOK US APART LIKE CHILDREN PLAYING WITH ANTS.


Panel .

He’s about a yard from the tent. We can now make out the three Muslims, one on a horse, standing guard outside.

CAP/GUY: JERUSALEM IS THEIRS AND I AM IN CHAINS.


Panel .

Right in front of the tent now, the folds being pulled open by the two non-equestrian guards. We can just make out the shadowed lower half of Saladin sat inside.

CAP/GUY: I AM IN CHAINS, BUT STILL A KING.

PAGE 5 (1 panels)

Panel .

Splash page. First person again. Saladin, smiling, victorious, reclining on something I haven’t decided yet, with a jug of water next to him on a makeshift wooden table.

CAP/GUY: I AM A KING. AND SO IS HE.

SALADIN: لسلام علي

chrisjohnwagner
07-31-2006, 01:20 PM
I would be interested in seeing more, so I guess the script is pretty good. Check the script for some layout mistakes i.e. I seen one time where you put the page panel layout right with a CAP quote A good job at least I think.

entombed06
08-01-2006, 02:09 PM
Well I like the script in terms of almost anything religious is sort of haunting by it's very nature. I also, like your dialog.

But I was a bit lost because I think a quick history lesson is a pre-requisite for reading this. Maybe take some time and pages to do a little back story. I've heard of Pope Gregory and some of your other characters, maybe. But I'm lost because I don't know what they're involved with here.
The reader shouldn’t have to do research (unless they’re compelled by your story), the writer does.

Keep writing, I would like to know more!

Romaine
08-01-2006, 02:41 PM
Not much to go on for this sort of thing, but overall I thought this was done well. I could see an inventful artist really going to town with this.

Just be absolutely sure you get your facts right. :har:

I'd never attempt something like this. Just staying withing the bounds of historical data would drive me insane.

Unless, of course, you don't mind taking liberties on that front.

~Max Romaine

Bob the Fish
08-03-2006, 10:27 AM
Here's a bit more. I thought I'd mentioned, but it turns out I didn't, that this script is intended as one part historical epic, one part contemporary satire. Kind of like The Crucible.

Also I am taking a few liberties with history (Reynald as written comes across as somewhat younger than he really was at the time, and I doubt Guy was really as wracked with self-doubt as my version) but not too many. I actually like doing the research bit, so I'm okay.

This bit includes the requisite exposition as well.

PAGE 6 (3 panels)

Panel 1.

2x1 panels. Gregory VIII paces left-to-right, around the relatively bare grounds of the Vatican, in front of where St Peter’s Basilica will be in a few centuries’ time. Plain stone wall behind him with two pillars to the left and right of the panel.

CAP: THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN DE MORRA CONSIDERS.


Panel 2.

Gregory paces in the other direction. Behind him we can see a slightly ghostly version of St Peter’s Basilica as it will be superimposed over the wall between the pillars.

CAP: HE HAS BEEN HANDED THE KEYS TO THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD. THE CITY OF GOD.


Panel 3.

As the first panel, Gregory paces l-r, only now with a band of angels behind him where the wall was.

CAP: THE CITY OF MIRACLES. THE CENTRE OF THE WORLD.

CAP: AND HE IS ITS RULER.

PAGE 7 (3 panels)

Panel .

Gregory pauses in thought in the centre of the panel. The wall is a wall again.

CAP: NO.

CAP: THIS IS NOT THE CITY OF GOD.

CAP: THIS IS MERELY HIS BASE OF OPERATIONS.


Panel .

Gregory continues l-r. Behind him now is the Via Dolorosa.

CAP: THE CITY OF GOD IS THOUSANDS OF MILES AND A WAR AWAY.


Panel .

Gregory on the right of panel, contemplatively gazing into the middle distance\picture plane. The wall space now depicts a dreamlike image of Jesus’ crucifixion, surrounded by Saracens. Some of them are lighting the cross on fire, others are dancing in delight. It’s an exaggerated nightmare of the Muslim occupation of Jerusalem. Gregory’s nightmare.

CAP: THE CITY OF GOD IS FALLING INTO THE HANDS OF THOSE NOT BORN FROM SARAH.

PAGE 8 (3 panels)

Panel .

Gregory stands on the right of the panel, one hand over his mouth, contemplative again. Behind him the wall has become a version of the Medieval print of the Battle of Hattin.

CAP: HATTIN DID FOR GOD’S TROOPS. THE MUSLIMS DESTROYED THEM UTTERLY.

CAP: BARELY THREE THOUSAND CHRISTIAN MEN ESCAPED WITH THEIR LIVES.


Panel .

Gregory paces across r-l. The wall shows a similar pastiche of the Medieval picture as before, but adapted: now the battle is really raging and blood is being spilled. Corpses everywhere – mostly Christian corpses.

CAP: HOW?

CAP: HOW, IF THEY WERE DIRECTED BY GOD?


Panel .

Gregory now on the far left looking worriedly over his shoulder (to the right as we look) as if God’s going to smite him when he’s not looking. The wall now shows, still in the same style and at the same approximate place as the Medieval print, the aftermath of the battle. Dead knights litter the battlefield, the odd head on a pike if Kingdom of Heaven was at all historically accurate.

CAP: COULD GOD HAVE WANTED THIS?

PAGE 9 (3 panels)

Panel .

Gregory standing far left, with his head cupping his hands. Behind him the wall shows a replication of Reubens’ The Flight Of Lot, concentrating mostly on the right hand side of the picture showing Lot being guided by a red-winged angel.

CAP: AND GREGORY FINALLY FACES THE TRUTH.


Panel .

Gregory is still on the far left, but now on his knees, head in hands. The wall shows the Reubens again, now concentrating on the storm from heaven depicted in the sky of the painting.

CAP: GOD IS ANGRY.

CAP: AND AS GOD’S CARETAKER… HE MUST MAKE HIM HAPPY AGAIN.


Panel .

The wall shows a close-up of the angel from the Reubens. But Gregory is now right in the foreground, striding impressively forward with a determined look on his face dominating the left side of the panel.

CAP: THE LORD DEMANDS PAYMENT. IN BLOOD.

PAGE 10 (4 panels)

Panel 1.

The desert of Antioch. A Saracen caravan enters the scene from bottom left. Its progress continues throughout the page. Right now just a camel’s head and fore-body are visible.

CAP: THE YEAR OF OUR LORD, ELEVEN EIGHTY-SIX.

CAP: THE PRINCIPALITY OF ANTIOCH.


Panel 2.

The caravan’s moved on to the point where we can see one of the camels at rear in more-or-less the same position as the one in the previous panel.

CAP: ONE OF THE FIRST OF THE CRUSADER STATES.


Panel 3.

The caravan’s moved into the centre of the panel. Some knights have just arrived over a dune.

CAP: RULED IN ABSENTIA BY PRINCE REYNALD OF CHATILLON.


Panel 4.

The caravan's in the same place, but now surrounded by Reynald’s knights.

CAP: BOUND BY THE TRUCE BETWEEN THE CHRISTIANS AND THE SARACENS.

PAGE 11 (3 panels)

Panel 1.


1x2 panel. A throne room. Close on Guy of Luisigan's horrified face on left, with the speech bubble given space on the right. Guy's wearing his crown.


GUY: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? REYNALD, FOR GOD'S SAKE, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?


Panel 2.


2x2 panel. Reynald reclining on his throne, without a care in the world. Guy standing in front of him in a rage.


REYNALD: I WAS MERELY PROTECTING MY BORDERS.


GUY: FROM A CARAVAN?


REYNALD: AH, YOU'VE SEEN THROUGH MY RUSE. IT TAKES A KING, THE POET SAID, TO KNOW A KING'S LIES.


Panel 3.


1x2 panel. As the first, but the other way around - Guy on right, his speech bubble on left. Guy's eyes narrow.


GUY (linked): REYNALD...


GUY (linked): ...YOU ARE NOT A KING.




PAGE 12 (4 panels)


Panel 1.


4 1x2 panels. The two stare each other out for a moment. Guy's expecting a reaction.


Panel 2.


As before. Reynald smiles.


REYNALD: OH, I SEE, YOU EXPECTED ME TO LEAP UP AND FURIOUSLY REFUTE YOUR STATEMENT.


Panel 3.


Medium close on Reynald, still loafing on the throne, stretching out his arms.


REYNALD: I THINK YOU CAN SEE ENOUGH EVIDENCE OF MY MAJESTY BEFORE YOU.


Panel 4.


Close on a stone-faced Guy.


GUY: NO. NONE AT ALL.





PAGE 13 (4 panels)


Panel 1.


Another long panel. Guy reaches for a golden goblet resting on a table near Reynald's knee next to a flagon of wine.


GUY (linked): THIS IS ALL A GAME TO YOU. YOU'RE PLAYING AT BEING "KING REYNALD OF ANTIOCH", PRINCE OF CHATILLON, FIFE OF THIS DUNE AND DUKE OFTHAT GRAIN OF SAND...


GUY (linked): LORD OF ALL HE SURVEYS.


Panel 2.


Guy pours himself some wine.


GUY: AND YOU STILL CALL YOURSELF PRINCE OF ANTIOCH, DON'T YOU?


GUY: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU SAW ANTIOCH? A DECADE HAS NOW PASSED SINCE YOU WERE FREED FROM THE SARACENS. SEVENTEEN YEARS YOU WERE AT ALEPPO.


Panel 3.


Guy holds up the goblet into the picture plane, swirling the wine. Reynald's angry face is reflected in it.


GUY (linked): AND IN THOSE SEVENTEEN YEARS THE PATRIARCH AIMERY TOOK THE REGENCY AND KEPT ANTIOCH AS SAFE AS ONE COULD EXPECT IN THIS PLACE AND TIME.


GUY (linked): HE RULES STILL.


Panel 4.


Essentially the same but reversed so we see it from Guy's perspective, Reynald glaring into the picture plane.


GUY: YOU CAN TAKE ANY SCRAP OF LAND AND DECLARE YOURSELF ITS RULER. IT TAKES MORE THAN THAT TO BE A KING.





PAGE 14 (4 panels)


Panel 1.


Another 2x1. Guy smiles knowingly, still holding up the wine.


GUY (linked): IT TAKES A STRONG ARMY AND A STRONGER MIND IN CHARGE OF IT.


GUY (linked): IT TAKES THE ABILITY TO EXIST ALONGSIDE PEOPLE WHO WANT YOU DEAD.


Panel 2.


2x1. Over Guy's shoulder we see Reynald scowling at him.


GUY: IT TAKES THE INTELLIGENCE TO KNOW WHEN TO LET THE BLOOD IN YOUR HEAD POUND THE RHYTHM OF YOUR ACTIONS...AND WHEN TO SUPRESS IT.


Panel 3.


2x1 Guy drinks the wine.


GUY: THE JEWELS IN THIS GOBLET DO NOT MAKE YOU A KING ANY MORE THAN THE GRAPES THAT MADE THE WINE.


Panel 4.


2x1. Guy wipes his face with a cloth, or possibly his hand.


GUY: YOU'RE NO KING, REYNALD. YOU'RE A PIRATE WITH A BIG SHIP.





PAGE 15 (6 Panels)


Panel 1.


Normal sized panel at last. Reynald sits on the throne, scowling out at the picture plane.


Panel 2.


As before but now Reynald speaks:


REYNALD: FINISHED?


Panel 3.


Back on Guy watching sternly.


GUY: THIS ISN'T A DEBATE, REYNALD. YOU MIGHT HAVE DOOMED THE PLACE OF THE LORD'S PEOPLE IN THE LORD'S LAND.


Panel 4.


Back on Reynald, defiant.


REYNALD (linked): GOD'S PEOPLE CAN FIGHT THEIR OWN BATTLES.


REYNALD (linked): I ONCE CALLED YOU FRIEND. I FOUGHT ALONGSIDE YOU AT MONTISGARD.


Panel 5.


And back on Guy, now a little sad.


GUY: I WAS JUST ABOUT TO SAY THE VERY SAME.


GUY: YOU WERE A GREAT FRIEND TO ME AND TO ALL OUR FELLOW CRUSADERS.


Panel 6.


Profile of both of them, eyeballing each other.


GUY: UNTIL YOU BETRAYED US ALL. UNTIL YOU BROKE THE TRUCE.





PAGE 16 (6 panels).


Panel 1.


Full face on Reynald, who's gone from a scowl to a smirk.


REYNALD: YOUR TRUCE. NOT MINE.


REYNALD: I AM MASTER OF MY OWN LANDS.


Panel 2.


Extreme close-up of Reynald's face. Now he's serious.


REYNALD: AND I ANSWER TO NO-ONE.


Panel 3.


Full body of Guy, exasperated.


GUY: DO YOU THINK THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE TO SALADIN?


Panel 4.


As panel 1, the smirk is even bigger.


REYNALD: I NEITHER KNOW NOR CARE WHAT THE SARACENS THINK OF ME.


Panel 5.


Close on Guy's face. He's tired of arguing.


GUY: AND THAT IS WHY YOU WILL NEVER BE A KING.





Panel 6.


Reynald sits back, self-satisfied.


REYNALD: ON THE CONTRARY. IT IS WHY I AM A KING.





PAGE 17 (5 panels)


Panel 1.


Close on Guy, glaring at REYNALD with a face like thunder.


Panel 2.


As before, Guy speaks coldly:


GUY: GET OUT OF MY CHAIR.


Panel 3.


2x1 panel. Silhouettes. Guy stands threateningly above REYNALD.


REYNALD: WHA -


GUY: THAT IS THE THRONE OF THE RULER OF JERUSALEM. AS QUEEN AND KING-CONSORT, ONLY I OR SIBYLLA MAY SIT THERE.


Panel 4.


As previous.


REYNALD: BUT IT'S ONLY...


GUY: SILENCE. I COULD HAVE YOU EXECUTED FOR THIS. AS YOUR KING I COMMAND YOU, GET UP.


Panel 5.


As previous, but Reynald is now standing facing Guy.





PAGE 18. (5 panels)


Panel 1.


Full-face on the throne. Guy sits down.


GUY: YOU KNOW...I WANTED TO BE REMEMBERED. BY HISTORY.


Panel 2.


As before. Guy sits regally in his throne, his hands to his crown.


GUY (linked): AND WHEN I MARRIED SIBYLLA, WHEN I ACCEDED TO THE THRONE, WHEN SHE GRANTED THE TILE OF KING...


GUY (linked): ...THE MISSION WAS ACCOMPLISHED.





Panel 3.


Close on the crown, held by Guy between two hands. Crown in top third so there's space for a head below.


GUY: SHE CROWNED ME WITH HER OWN HANDS AT HER OWN CORONATION...


GUY: I OFTEN WONDER IF SHE DID IT FOR ME, OR FOR HERSELF.


Panel 4.


Mirroring previous panel, Sibylla in the same crown (which might not be historically accurate but never mind) wearing a look of steel.


CAP\GUY: SIBYLLA OF JERUSALEM. THE GREATEST WOMAN I HAVE EVER MET.


CAP\GUY: I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANYONE IN THE KINGDOM WHO THINKS I'M IN CHARGE OF HER.





Panel 5.


2x1 panel. Sibylla's coronation. Sibylla in the process of crowning Guy as her King-Consort. Observers astonished and\or furious.


CAP\GUY: RAYMOND, THAT OLD REPTILE, TOLD HER SHE HAD TO GIVE UP HER MARRIAGE TO ME TO BECOME QUEEN. SHE CONSENTED ON THE CONDITION THAT SHE COULD CHOOSE HER CONSORT.


CAP\GUY: AND SHE CHOSE ME. AND CROWNED ME WITH HER OWN HANDS, HER EYES FIXED ON RAYMOND THE WHOLE TIME.


CAP\GUY: I AM A KING BY A COMBINATON OF HER CUNNING AND HER SPITE.





PAGE 19. (6 panels)


Panel 1.


Guy on his throne, Reynald standing in front. Pick an angle.


GUY: BUT FOR HER GENDER, SHE COULD BE THE GREATEST KING OF JERUSALEM SINCE...


REYNALD: THE ORIGINAL?


GUY: QUITE POSSIBLY.


Panel 2.


Full-face of Guy staring seriously at Reynald.


GUY (linked): AND SHE WOULD BE MUCH HARDER ON YOU THAN I.


GUY (linked): I HAVE ISSUED AN OFFICIAL CENSURE, BUT I HOLD LITTLE HOPE OF SALADIN BEING PLACATED.


Panel 3.


Medium close of Reynald trying not to look chastised.


REYNALD: THEN WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST...SIRE?


Panel 4.


As panel 2. Guy's face is deadly serious.


GUY: FOR THE GOOD OF THE KINGDOM...FOR THE GOOD OF US ALL...AND FOR THE GOOD OF CHRIST...YOU MUST THROW YOURSELF ON SALADIN'S MERCY.


Panel 5.


As panel 3. Reynald's face shows he knows Guy is right.


Panel 6.


As the previous panel. Reynald smirks.


REYNALD: NEVER.





PAGE 20. (5 panels)


Panel 1.


The desert, a year later. Reynald on his knees being marched toward Saladin's tent as Guy was. He's fallen to his knees with thirst and exhaustion a few yards from the tent.


Panel 2.


Close on Reynald's face, cut and pale, as he's on the point of collapse.


REYNALD (whisper): M....m...


Panel 3.


As Reynald sees, a Saracen leans into his face and says something.


SARACEN: حامل قفص


Panel 4.


Reynald looks up into his face, defiant. Very close on Reynald.


REYNALD: ...NOTHING.


Panel 5.


2x1 panel. Medium shot of the procession in silhouette with the tent on left. Reynald rises to his feet.


REYNALD: I SAID NOTHING.

chrisjohnwagner
08-03-2006, 12:04 PM
I read the additional material. I have to say I like this more than I did the first read through. I am some what of a history buff, so I find it quite interesting.