Page 1 of 2
1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: TPG: Week 32- Calvin Camp

  1. StevenForbes Guest

    TPG: Week 32- Calvin Camp

    Welcome back to The Proving Grounds!

    Our Brave One this week is Calvin Camp, who's doing something of an experiment with himself. Let's see how he does.


    Shadowdancer_excerpt
    5 pages

    Character description:
    Shadowdancer is not terribly tall (maybe 5' 8" or so), and he's a little scrawny but still muscular in a wiry way. He looks to be in his early 30s. He looks like kind of a freak, with sort of a crack-addled, goth, Morris dancer vibe going. He runs around in a long and ragged Victorian frock coat, with a poet shirt, torn jeans and engineer boots. He also has red ribbons tied in places around his arms and legs and wears a long, red scarf at his neck. His hair is a wild, black mess. He has a perpetually crazed look and he smiles waaaay too much.

    Format:
    Each standard comic page is to be divided into three equal, horizontal "rows". Each row will be presented as a single page for the web, while allowing future reassembly of a standard page for print. (This is going to look pretty strange, reassembled. Letís say you do this for the web, and you do a MWF update. Your first row is going to be your Monday, right? Wed your second, and Fri your third. Thatís all well and good. However, since these are rows, theyíre more than likely going to be the same size, like a comic strip with only two panels. Then, when theyíre put together, they arenít going to resemble a comics page with different size panels that each say something about the story. Instead, the page is going to resemble a collection of strips, stacked upon one another. Itís going to look unnatural, and it will hinder the storytelling when assembled as a page for print.)

    Page 1

    Row 1
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    Long shot. A city street, in a run-down and dangerous neighborhood - boarded up buildings, grafitti, etc. It's late at night. The moon is out, but make sure there's a streetlight or two to see by. A young woman walks along the sidewalk. Crouched atop the building she is passing by, we can see (as not much more than a silhouette against the moon) Shadowdancer looking down at her. His hair and ribbons drift in a light breeze. (Is she coming towards us, away from us, or doing like a side-scroll type thing? Or, are you going to leave that to the artist?)

    Caption:
    "In the wilds, in the night, a child is does stray." (Huh? This doesnít read well. The Ďisí throws it off, unless you put it there for some purpose I canít fathom.)

    Panel 2
    Close up on the girl. She looks nervous, unsure, glancing around.

    Caption:
    "Could she possibly know the price she might pay?"

    Row 2
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    Medium shot of the girl, farther along the street. Viewed from inside an alley. We can see her looking into the alley, wary of an ambush. But she's unaware of the two young men (one large & muscular, one smaller & thinner) slipping out the side door of a van parked on the street behind her. The van is a restored classic conversion van, custom paint, chrome wheels, etc. (No. First, youíre calling for a medium shot of the girl, from an alley. Thatís fine. The second part, the two guys slipping out of a restored van from across the street, isnít going to work well. Why? Because those people are going to be in the extreme background, barely seen. This would be better served with them in a separate panel altogether. And finally, who's going to care that the van's restored or not? Really. And that van? Magically delicious. It doesn't appear in the first panel with the woman. Make up your mind what can and cannot be seen, or where the camera's going to be. If we can see the woman and SD, we can more than likely see the van.)

    Caption:
    "She's so painfully unaware of the danger at hand." (Whoís talking to whom? If itís an internal monologue, then lose the quotation marks. If heís talking to himself, then yes, heís crazy, but isnít he afraid of being heard? Is he so crazy that he doesn't know how to whisper?)

    Panel 2
    Move the view to the roof of a nearby building (not the same one Shadowdancer was hanging out on earlier). Holding onto a projecting pipe, antenna post, or whatever, Shadowdancer leans dangerously out over the drop at the edge of the building, looking down toward the girl. (Where are the thugs? Did they just disappear?)

    Shadowdancer:
    It seems my assistance may be soon in demand.

    Row 3
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    Back to a ground-level view. Zoom in on the girl. One of the men (Thug 1 - the muscular, big guy) has grabbed her by the hair, yanking her head back. Her eyes are wide and scared. The thug is pressed up against her, face close to hers, as if whispering into her ear. The other man (Thug 2 - the shorter, skinnier guy) is coming up behind them, grinning wickedly.

    Thug 1
    Hey there, baby.
    What you doin' on my street?

    Girl:
    Wait!
    I just want...

    Panel 2
    Back to the rooftop. Shadowdancer is taking a swan dive off the edge of the roof. High angle, with the confrontation on the street visible below?


    Page 2

    Row 1
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    Back to street level. View of the van, with the roof caving in as Shadowdancer drops out of the sky onto it, landing in a crouch. The viewpoint will probably need to be a little high, so we can see that the roof is badly dented (don't crush it down so far the side door wouldn't function though).

    SFX (wrapping under the dent in the van roof):
    CRASH

    Panel 2
    Pull the viewpoint back a bit so we can see both the van and the thugs & girl. Everyone looks surprised, heads cranked around to look at the van. Thug 1 has let go of the girl's hair. No one sees Shadowdancer somersaulting over their heads, in a move that will put him by the mouth of the alley behind them. (Iím not seeing this. Heíd have to be DAMNED fast, and the only way to really get the ďno one sees himĒ is to do like a Spider-Man ghosting thing, where he lands and bounces off, the landing being a ďghostĒ where he was, possibly another ghost doing a somersault, and then showing him somewhere in the air, behind them, as his actual location. This would have to be one panel in order to come off well.)

    Thug 2
    Crap! (Iíd either reword this, or excise it.)

    Thug 1
    The hell was that?

    Row 2
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    View from in front of the thugs, looking back at the building from the direction of the van. Shadowdancer is standing in the mouth of the alley behind them, leaning nonchalantly against the corner of the building and smiling like a loon. Everyone else was just staring at the van, but are now turning toward Shadowdancer.

    Shadowdancer:
    Lady, I pray thee, seize this chance to retire.
    You shan't wish to view what is about to transpire.

    Panel 2
    View looking toward Thug 1, past Shadowdancer. Thug 1 has shoved the girl at his buddy to deal with, and he's now advancing threateningly toward Shadowdancer (and the camera), his fist clenched. (Hereís what I donít understand. Some guy just landed on a van, flipped away, YOU DIDNíT SEE IT, and yet, youíre going to play the tough guy and roll up on him? Iím no coward, and figure I can handle myself pretty well in a fight. However, I personally would have taken to my heels if I were in this situation. Some people are just stupid, I guess. This is a long-winded way of saying this sounds forced.)

    Thug 1:
    She ain't goin' nowhere!

    But you...

    Row 3

    Panel 1
    Focus on Shadowdancer's crazed grin and wild eyes, from over the shoulder of the approaching thug.

    Thug 1:
    Who you think you are, man, messin' in things ain't your business?

    Shadowdancer:
    Merely a humble wanderer of the shadowy night, seeking an innocent to save from a terrible plight.

    Panel 2
    Thug 1 snaps Shadowdancer's head to the side with a solid blow. (What kind of blow? A punch? Are we talking a left or right cross, a hook, something? Hereís where knowing something about fight choreographing comes in.)

    Thug 1:
    Save this, freak (Punctuation.)

    SFX:
    THOK
    Page 3

    Row 1
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    Shadowdancer is down on one knee, one hand braced against the ground as he wipes his mouth with the other. He's still grinning, even looking like he enjoyed that. The thug towers over him, posturing, trying to look intimidating (which shouldn't be hard for him). (Where is the camera? How is this being composed? In my head, Iím seeing this as being from a wormís eye view, down low looking up, or just down and even with SD [Iím not going with Shadowdancer. Thatís a bad name, and not bad meaning good, either.]. This means the thug canít be seen towering over anyone. Heíd barely be in the panel. And if you move the camera too much, itís no longer feasible for the previous blow to land the way it does. Composition, Calvin.)

    Shadowdancer:
    Thank you, Sir, for providing this chance.

    I must say I've been simply dying to dance.

    Panel 2
    Shadowdancer has stepped up to the thug, quite close, with his hands held out as if he's about to take the guy waltzing. The thug is recoiling slightly, staring at Shadowdancer like he just can't believe this guy is for real. (NOW he wants to recoil? How forced do you want to get?)

    Shadowdancer:
    Shall we?

    Row 2
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    Close up on Thug 1, looking over Shadowdancer's shoulder. The thug looks both disgusted and angry.

    Thug 1:
    You crazy, man!

    Panel 2
    Thug 1 takes another swing at Shadowdancer, who avoids it with grace and a swirl of his frock coat.

    Shadowdancer:
    Ah, I see that you prefer to lead.

    Well then, by all means, Sir, proceed.

    Row 3
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    Zoom in close on both. Thug 1 tried another swing, but Shadowdancer has caught his fist in mid-punch. He's leaning in close as if to whisper conspiratorially to the Thug. Shadowdancer's expression is almost serious (a bad sign for the thug) (Punctuation. Now, hereís the thing: because of your unnatural layout, youíre forcing yourself to put into a single panel what would work better in two. This panel works better as two, not one. The first is catching the fist, the second is the dialogue.)

    SFX:
    WHAP

    Shadowdancer:
    But, just so you know, I shan't merely wallow.

    For every step you take--

    --I'll follow.

    Panel 2
    Shadowdancer is moving in a waltzing turn around the thug, while still gripping the guy's fist like he actually thinks he's dancing with him. (This needs more description. Is he holding the fist high or low? Whatís the thug doing? Just standing there and taking it?)

    Shadowdancer:
    One. Two. Three.


    Page 4

    Row 1
    (three panels)

    Panel 1
    Having released the guy's fist, Shadowdancer doubles the thug up with a gut-punch. (Finally, we get three panels on one row. Too bad this doesnít flow from the previous panel.)

    SFX:
    WHUD

    Shadowdancer:
    One.

    Panel 2
    Shadowdancer straightens the thug back up with an uppercut. (I take it the camera is pulled in fairly close. And whereís the guyís partner in all of this?)

    SFX:
    WHAK

    Shadowdancer:
    Two.

    Panel 3
    Shadowdancer has spun around to plant an elbow in the Thug's face.

    SFX:
    KRAK

    Shadowdancer:
    Three.

    Row 2
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    The Thug is staggering back from Shadowdancer, who just stands there smiling at him. The Thug is enraged. (Three blows, and the guy only staggers back and is enraged? How strong is SD supposed to be? Normal human? Someone who works out intensely? Weíre talking about a guy that jumped off a building, landed on a van, and flipped offóall without hurting himself. He caught the thugís fist. Why isnít this guy on the ground, knocked out?)

    Thug 1:
    Oh, man...

    You gonna die!

    Panel 2
    Close-up on Shadowdancer, glancing sideways, with just his eyes, at the pistol pressed to his temple. He looks disappointed.

    Thug 2 (off panel):
    Enough of that crap!

    One more move and I blow your damn head off!

    Shadowdancer (small):
    Hrrmm.

    Row 3
    (two panels)

    Panel 1
    Move the camera out to show Thug 2 holding the gun to Shadowdancer's head. Thug 1 is smiling viciously, slipping on a pair of brass knuckles. The girl is cowering by the van. Shadowdancer is smiling again, charmingly. (Calvin, this is as forced as it gets. NOW the guy wants to put on a set of brass knuckles. The same guy who should be laying on the ground, unconscious. Right.)

    Shadowdancer:
    But you mustn't interrupt our dance so soon.
    I'd be crushed, dear Sir. I'm sure I'd swoon.

    Thug 1:
    Oh, we're gonna dance, funny guy.

    But we're gonna dance my way this time.

    Panel 2
    Thug 1 has moved up closer to Shadowdancer, brass knuckled fist raised in threat. Shadowdancer is still smiling at him, but it's a sad smile now. Thug 2 has backed away a few feet, still covering Shadowdancer with the pistol. The girl cowers somewhere in the background. (This is just a bad panel. This panel needs to be cut, and the thugís dialogue shifted up.)

    Thug 1:
    He tries anything stupid--

    --shoot the girl.


    Page 5

    Row 1
    (three panels)

    Panel 1
    Medium shot. Thug 2 has moved his aim to cover the girl. Thug 1 hammers a hard blow across Shadowdancer's face. Shadowdancer has not moved to defend himself (nor will he as this beating progresses).

    SFX:
    SMACK

    Panel 2
    Zoom closer on Thug 1 and Shadowdancer. Shadowdancer is staggering as Thug 1 lands another punch in the face.

    SFX:
    WHACK

    Panel 3
    Zoom closer on Thug 1, upward view from over Shadowdancer's shoulder as he staggers back. Thug 1's face is twisted in a horrid combination of anger and glee, as he winds up for another punch. Shadowdancer doesn't even have a hand up to block the blow.

    Thug 1:
    You know who you messin' with now, don't you?

    Row 2

    Panel 1
    Medium shot. Shadowdancer is reeling back, off balance from yet another punch by Thug 1.

    SFX:
    THOK

    Panel 2
    Closer on Shadowdancer, falling to the ground as Thug 1 hammers home another vicious blow.

    SFX:
    KRAK

    Panel 3
    Low angle view. Zoom in on Shadowdancer, on the ground and struggling to rise. Thug 1 stands over him, looking smug and ready to beat him back down again.

    Thug 1:
    Just stay down, funny man.

    Row 3
    (three panels)

    Panel 1
    Medium shot. Having risen almost to his knees, Shadowdancer is being knocked back down by Thug 1.

    SFX:
    WHOK

    Panel 2
    Closer on Shadowdancer. Thug 1 gives Shadowdancer a boot to the head as he struggles to get up yet again.

    SFX:
    KPOK

    Panel 3
    High angle, looking down over Thug 1's shoulder. Thug 1 kicks Shadowdancer viciously in the ribs, while Shadowdancer lies helpless on the ground.

    SFX:
    WHUD

    Thug 1:
    Shoulda' stayed down when I told you the fist time. (This last page is pretty unnecessary. Nine panels for what could have been done in five. And theyíre not even done well.)

    This is really where Iím going to stop.

    Okay, letís go over this.

    First, like I said, your pages are going to look strange and unnatural when put back together. Iím willing to bet that your artist will make all the panels the same size, so the page will look like two columns going down. When assembled as a page, youíre going to confuse the hell out of your reader because theyíll WANT to go down the left side first, and then to the right side, or wonder if they should go across first and then down. Either way, someone reading the assembled page is going to be pulled right out of the story, and theyíll leave this on the shelf, thinking you donít know how to tell a story.

    Now, letís talk about the name. Shadowdancer is not a good nameóespecially for a guy. Your readers will think him a fop, and that might be exactly what youíre going for. And at the same time, itís another strike against you when telling this story.

    The pacing is okay for the most part. Thereís the one place where you needed three panels instead of one, and the nine-panel grid that should have been done in five.

    The dialogue is okay. I could get into it, and wouldnít change much.

    The truly bad thing about this script is that the fight seems extremely forced. It seems obvious to me that SD is much stronger than average. First, the guys donít run, and second, when getting his ass kicked, the guy doesnít fall down unconscious. Iím not seeing that. If they guyís obviously crazy, after smashing your van, what makes you think that youíre going to be able to kick his ass? Itís like people in zombie movies or vampire flicksóthey act like theyíve never heard of how to stop the creatures, even though itís basically in pop-culture vernacular. If someone sees a guy in a hockey mask wielding a machete, you MIGHT try to take a swing at him, just in case, but if heís still standing, youíd take to your heels. I just find this entire fight to be terrible and forced.

    However, there is a really good part to this: you were able to write a coherent script without putting in a ton of unnecessary information! Congratulations! There was only one part where I wished you described a little bit more, but other than that, I could follow along and not roll my eyes and wonder when it was all going to end. Good job with that.

    If you keep this up, keep working on shortening the amount of information you put in your scripts (also called Trusting Your Artist), then you will probably look back at your first scripts and wonder what the hell you were thinking. (I know I look back at my early scripts and cringe.)


    Thatís all I have for this week. Look to the list to see whoís next, and letís discuss this.



  2. AdamH Guest

    On top of cutting it down to the essential information, you didn't have one moving panel that I could see in the script reviewed here. Congrats Calvin!



  3. StevenForbes Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamH View Post
    On top of cutting it down to the essential information, you didn't have one moving panel that I could see in the script reviewed here. Congrats Calvin!
    That's because you didn't read page six!

    Nah, I'm just joking.



  4. BarriLang Guest

    You're next Steve!

    Grab your pitchforks and torches! Burn the monster!!!!



  5. BarriLang Guest

    Ok so I liked it. It was... I dunno, quaint. I like the little rhyming that Shadowdacer did and though the fight was forced in the truest meaning of the word... I looked past it to the fight and again better still the dialogue. I'm not sure it was all authentic ye olde English, but it worked for me. What I would have like to have seen was SD getting a few verbal digs in, winding up his enemies by adding a rhyme to their dialogue.

    I'm not sure about the layout (as Steve said it could be an ugly block when laid out... but I'd be interested to have a peak if you ever get it done.

    I also wanna find out what the deal is with SD... is a an actual head case?



  6. CalvinCamp Guest

    Originally Posted by AdamH
    On top of cutting it down to the essential information, you didn't have one moving panel that I could see in the script reviewed here. Congrats Calvin!
    I've never written a moving panel. Never, I tell you! Well, maybe that once. But that's it. Honest.

    And thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by BarriLang
    Ok so I liked it. It was... I dunno, quaint. I like the little rhyming that Shadowdacer did and though the fight was forced in the truest meaning of the word... I looked past it to the fight and again better still the dialogue. I'm not sure it was all authentic ye olde English, but it worked for me. What I would have like to have seen was SD getting a few verbal digs in, winding up his enemies by adding a rhyme to their dialogue.

    I'm not sure about the layout (as Steve said it could be an ugly block when laid out... but I'd be interested to have a peak if you ever get it done.

    I also wanna find out what the deal is with SD... is a an actual head case?
    Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.

    SD is, indeed, a bit of a head case. He died, you see. And he hasn't slept for a few decades since. So, yeah, he's a little... off. But he also plays it up - he's cracked, but not quite as cracked as he'd like people to think he is.



  7. CalvinCamp Guest

    I'll have to stop by a little later for my usual session of response, commentary, and thinking out loud.

    In the meantime... Thanks, Steven. It's been a (brain-wracking) pleasure, as always.



  8. AdamH Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by BarriLang View Post
    You're next Steve!

    Grab your pitchforks and torches! Burn the monster!!!!
    Wait, we have to make sure he's a monster. If he floats in water...no...if he weighs the same as a duck...no that's witches. Damn.



  9. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenForbes View Post
    (This is going to look pretty strange, reassembled. Let’s say you do this for the web, and you do a MWF update. Your first row is going to be your Monday, right? Wed your second, and Fri your third. That’s all well and good. However, since these are rows, they’re more than likely going to be the same size, like a comic strip with only two panels. Then, when they’re put together, they aren’t going to resemble a comics page with different size panels that each say something about the story. Instead, the page is going to resemble a collection of strips, stacked upon one another. It’s going to look unnatural, and it will hinder the storytelling when assembled as a page for print.)
    Yeah… I’ve been a little torn on the format myself. I like the idea because I could double the number of web updates by splitting the page, and I’m not a fan of having to scroll to read a comic online. I’m also not a huge fan of landscape format books, but that may also be an option. Everything you say about the problems is absolutely true, though. I may play with it a little more, maybe try more variety in the number of panels per row, to see if that helps the reading visually. In the end I may just call it a failed experiment and toss it out. It’s definitely good to get an outside perspective on it though.

    (Is she coming towards us, away from us, or doing like a side-scroll type thing? Or, are you going to leave that to the artist?)
    I could probably leave that up to the artist, but it’d be nice if I was able to say I planned it that way. At the moment (on the latest rewrite) I’m looking at a layout that combines panels one and two in a single panel, with the girl walking toward the camera and the title superimposed on a backdrop of the neighborhood.

    (Huh? This doesn’t read well. The ‘is’ throws it off, unless you put it there for some purpose I can’t fathom.)
    The only purpose I can think of is to give me something to change when I managed a proper proofread. The “is” should not be there. It should read, "In the wilds, in the night, a child does stray."

    (No. First, you’re calling for a medium shot of the girl, from an alley. That’s fine. The second part, the two guys slipping out of a restored van from across the street, isn’t going to work well. Why? Because those people are going to be in the extreme background, barely seen. This would be better served with them in a separate panel altogether. And finally, who's going to care that the van's restored or not? Really. And that van? Magically delicious. It doesn't appear in the first panel with the woman. Make up your mind what can and cannot be seen, or where the camera's going to be. If we can see the woman and SD, we can more than likely see the van.)
    The van would be parked on the near curb, just across the sidewalk from the girl, so they wouldn’t be that far behind her. I’ll make it clearer that it’s only supposed to be a few feet between them. As far being magically delicious, I was visualizing this as taking place farther along the street from where she was in the first panel. I can see where that’s not clear, though, and I’ll fix it. For the camera placement, I called for it to be in the alley, But I should probably also note that it’s now a street level view. SD wouldn’t be visible, because he’s still up on the rooftops.

    I called out the van that way so it wouldn’t be a late-model van. These guys aren’t going to be rolling in a minivan, and full-size vans haven’t looked decent since the ‘80s. So it’s a restored classic. Will anyone else care what these guys are driving? Maybe not. But I do, so that’s what I asked for. Just like I’d ask for a new BMW, if that’s what I wanted. It made sense to me.

    (Who’s talking to whom? If it’s an internal monologue, then lose the quotation marks. If he’s talking to himself, then yes, he’s crazy, but isn’t he afraid of being heard? Is he so crazy that he doesn't know how to whisper?)
    It’s SD, talking to himself. Yes, he’s a little crazy. But he’s not terribly worried about being heard because he’s on the roof of the building. You will probably never see me do internal monologs in captions (first person narration, where the character is talking to the reader, sure - but not thoughts). If he was just thinking this to himself, I’d have used thought balloons. I really dislike the new craze of putting character’s thoughts in captions. It’s a personal thing.

    (I’m not seeing this. He’d have to be DAMNED fast, and the only way to really get the “no one sees him” is to do like a Spider-Man ghosting thing, where he lands and bounces off, the landing being a “ghost” where he was, possibly another ghost doing a somersault, and then showing him somewhere in the air, behind them, as his actual location. This would have to be one panel in order to come off well.)
    Actually, a “Spiderman ghosting thing” is what I’d love to see. I just wasn’t sure if it’d be too much to ask (you can read that as, “I’m not entirely sure if I could pull it off well”, if you like).

    (Here’s what I don’t understand. Some guy just landed on a van, flipped away, YOU DIDN’T SEE IT, and yet, you’re going to play the tough guy and roll up on him? I’m no coward, and figure I can handle myself pretty well in a fight. However, I personally would have taken to my heels if I were in this situation. Some people are just stupid, I guess. This is a long-winded way of saying this sounds forced.)
    I’m sure you’re both brave and tough. But are you the kind of guy who picks fights? Are you a street thug defending your turf? Defending it, I might add, from some scrawny little fop that likes to jump around and spout poetry? And, if you were, would you really want it getting around that you picked up your heels and ran like a little girl from this bouncing clown? After he messed up your ride? What would that do to your street rep?

    I don’t know. I’ve known people who would rather get their ass kicked than back down. I’ll think about it. But it doesn’t really seem like all that much of a stretch to me.

    (Where is the camera? How is this being composed? In my head, I’m seeing this as being from a worm’s eye view, down low looking up, or just down and even with SD [I’m not going with Shadowdancer. That’s a bad name, and not bad meaning good, either.]. This means the thug can’t be seen towering over anyone. He’d barely be in the panel. And if you move the camera too much, it’s no longer feasible for the previous blow to land the way it does. Composition, Calvin.)
    Yep… should have called that out. At first thought, I’m seeing a high ĺ view, from behind the thug, looking down at SD (I’ll be nice and not subject you to the name anymore). A low shot, ĺ behind SD, looking up at the thug might work too, and would emphasize the “towering” but I’d loose some of SD’s expression with that one.

    (NOW he wants to recoil? How forced do you want to get?)
    He’s not recoiling because he’s suddenly now scared SD will beat him up. He’s recoiling in disgust because “the little ***” is trying to dance with him. Maybe I need to make that more clear? Because it seems pretty natural, to me, for the guy to recoil a little from a move like that. Even if the thug isn’t a homophobe (and why would we want to give the bad guy any redeeming qualities?), he’s still likely to think it’s a little weird, isn’t he?

    (Now, here’s the thing: because of your unnatural layout, you’re forcing yourself to put into a single panel what would work better in two. This panel works better as two, not one. The first is catching the fist, the second is the dialogue.)
    I agree, now that you point it out, that it might work better as two panels. But I think I could still do that within the format. It would just require three panels for that row (or for the row above). I don’t think the format forced anything there, I just botched.

    (This needs more description. Is he holding the fist high or low? What’s the thug doing? Just standing there and taking it?)
    You’re right. It does need more. The hand should probably be high and out to the side. As for the thug just standing there and taking it, I’m picturing him being more or less stunned for a moment by his opponent’s idiocy.

    (Finally, we get three panels on one row. Too bad this doesn’t flow from the previous panel.)
    You lost me. How does it not flow? It’s supposed to be a continuation of the “dance”. SD does the waltz move to throw the guy off balance (blinding him with silliness) then turns the dance into an assault. I’m not sure how better to show that.

    Or do you mean it doesn’t flow because it’s on another row (and therefore another page, for the web version)?

    (I take it the camera is pulled in fairly close. And where’s the guy’s partner in all of this?)
    Yes, the camera should be in fairly close. I’ll note that. The guy’s partner is off-panel. “All of this” would only take seconds – more or less as fast as you can say, “One, two, three.” In the earlier few panels, the partner would be letting the big guy deal with it, since he initiated it (and I picture Thug 2 as more the type to run like hell, especially if the big guy wasn’t there to see it – slightly smarter in other words), but he steps in as soon as he realizes his buddy actually needs help.

    (Three blows, and the guy only staggers back and is enraged? How strong is SD supposed to be? Normal human? Someone who works out intensely? We’re talking about a guy that jumped off a building, landed on a van, and flipped off—all without hurting himself. He caught the thug’s fist. Why isn’t this guy on the ground, knocked out?)
    SD is not supposed to be strong. Not superhuman strong, not even idealized normal human strong. He’s athletic, quick, strong, and tough, but only within human limits, and only within the limits of his size – and he’s a scrawny little guy. The big thug is without a doubt stronger than him, but SD is faster and more agile. He caught the guy’s fist because he was quick enough to get his face out of the way and his hand in its place, not because he was stronger than the thug. SD’s only superpower is Wolverine-like regeneration. He almost certainly hurt himself when he hit that van. Even knowing how to fall and using the give in the van’s roof to break his fall, he probably at least broke an ankle, maybe even a compression fracture to a vertebrate or two – it was just all well on it’s way to healed by the time he landed on the sidewalk. (A drop directly to the pavement would have slowed him down though.)

    Now it’s possible the thug should still be knocked out, even though SD isn’t all that strong. But how many times have you seen the bad guy in an action movie go down with only three hits? How often do the extreme fighting guys go down in three hits? I just don’t think it’s that unbelievable. SD went down (and, admittedly, got back up) from just one of this thug’s punches. This should be reading like the thug is stronger, because he is.

    What’s confusing me is that you’re reading it as Shadowdancer not being strong enough to knock the thug out with one punch, but you’re not buying it. I guess I need to figure out how to get around that. Is it primarily the drop off the building that’s making you think he’s so strong? Maybe I should choose a different stunt for his big entrance.

    (Calvin, this is as forced as it gets. NOW the guy wants to put on a set of brass knuckles. The same guy who should be laying on the ground, unconscious. Right.)
    Why not? SD pissed him off. The thug doesn’t want to just punch SD around and run him off anymore. He wants to do some serious damage. He’s putting on the brass knuckles because he figures they’ll mess SD up more than bare fists. I could probably loose the brass knuckles, but I’m not sure I see the reasoning behind it.

    (This last page is pretty unnecessary. Nine panels for what could have been done in five. And they’re not even done well.)
    As for not being done well, this is the first time I’ve tried to write a fight scene, so I was expecting that. As for the number of panels, I was trying to get across the idea that the thug is taking his time. He’s not fighting SD now, he’s punishing him. I guess it didn’t work though.

    Now, let’s talk about the name. Shadowdancer is not a good name—especially for a guy. Your readers will think him a fop, and that might be exactly what you’re going for. And at the same time, it’s another strike against you when telling this story.
    Aww… I liked that name. And, yes, he is supposed to be somewhat of a fop - in the (wannabe) swashbuckling musketeer sense. The name tells so much about him, too. He’s a gymnast with a dancing shtick, decked out with all those morris-dancer ribbons, stalking evildoers in the shadows of the night… perfect. I thought. But I don’t want to turn off readers instantly either. I’ll think on it. Maybe I can come up with something else.

    He actually had a different name, originally. Long ago in my childhood days when I first came up with a version of this guy, he was called Spook – then I learned what that name was sometimes used for. I meant it in the ghost sense, but I figured it was too much to hope that people wouldn’t take it the wrong way. Kind of like I thought the Confederate flag was the coolest thing ever, when I was ten and a big Dukes of Hazzard fan, but I’d think twice before I painted the roof of my car with one now.

    The pacing is okay for the most part. There’s the one place where you needed three panels instead of one, and the nine-panel grid that should have been done in five.
    That’s good to hear. With the format restrictions, I’ve racked my brain pretty hard over that.

    The dialogue is okay. I could get into it, and wouldn’t change much.
    That’s a very pleasant surprise. I figured for sure you were going to call me an idiot for trying to do the rhyming thing. I’m really glad to hear I managed to pull that off.

    The truly bad thing about this script is that the fight seems extremely forced. It seems obvious to me that SD is much stronger than average. First, the guys don’t run, and second, when getting his ass kicked, the guy doesn’t fall down unconscious. I’m not seeing that. If they guy’s obviously crazy, after smashing your van, what makes you think that you’re going to be able to kick his ass? It’s like people in zombie movies or vampire flicks—they act like they’ve never heard of how to stop the creatures, even though it’s basically in pop-culture vernacular. If someone sees a guy in a hockey mask wielding a machete, you MIGHT try to take a swing at him, just in case, but if he’s still standing, you’d take to your heels. I just find this entire fight to be terrible and forced.
    I get what you’re saying, although I think some of the assumptions are mistaken. Like Shadowdancer’s strength – he’s obviously agile and can take a beating, but I don’t know what gives the impression of tremendous strength. It’s clear in the description (I think) that he shouldn’t look strong. He doesn’t bench-press the van. He goes to the ground with one punch. Assuming the thug is a swing first and ask questions later type, which seems reasonable to me, then pounding on the guy who just trashed your van and is trying to steal your “prize” (rescue the girl), seems like the obvious reaction. And he didn’t see where SD came from, so all he knows is that he jumped on the van roof. He might have just climbed up on it and used it for a trampoline, for all the thug knows - it’s not like, “He jumped off a two story building,” is the obvious answer, if the thug even bothers to think that much about where SD came from (he is a thug afterall). And when SD gets back up after going down the first time, the thug is probably just going to view that as stupidity – maybe acknowledge the twerp is a little tougher than he thought, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to make him look like that much of a threat.

    Now I know that if you’re making those assumptions I don’t intend, that means I failed to deliver what you needed to make the correct assumptions. So I need to go back and look at that. I’m just really having trouble seeing where I went so far wrong. I’m willing to accept that the entire fight scene is coming off as forced, but I’m not sure how to fix it because it makes sense in my head. Maybe I’m just not getting what’s in my head onto the page?

    However, there is a really good part to this: you were able to write a coherent script without putting in a ton of unnecessary information! Congratulations! There was only one part where I wished you described a little bit more, but other than that, I could follow along and not roll my eyes and wonder when it was all going to end. Good job with that.
    Thanks. I knew it would make a difference when I wasn’t world-building. I still don’t believe I could strip the descriptions for The Murdering God down this far though, and still get what I need to for the visuals. I did what I felt I could with streamlining it, but I guess we’ll see how that plays out when you get to the resubmit. I hope it will at least be clear that you had an impact.

    So, anyway… thanks again.
    Last edited by CalvinCamp; Saturday, August 29, 2009 at 03:08 AM.



  10. StevenForbes Guest

    If he's not strong, and can only regenerate a la Wolvie, then I think that's another strike against your format. I think you should do something to emphasize a broken bone or something when he lands on the van. I'm thinking a closeup/inset of his ankle breaking or something. Something that's going to matter and show he's not overly strong.

    I also don't believe he should be able to catch a fist and stop it--not from someone who's obviously stronger than he is. That's like Spider-Man catching and stopping a punch from the Hulk. Without some kinda amped up power source, it's just not going to happen. Now, that's not to say that he couldn't do a martial arts technique, using the thug's momentum against him, but that's not what you did here.

    The next thing has to concern Time and the second thug. With larger panels, they're going to seem to take up more time. Smaller, closer panels will seem to take up less time. I know how it's reading in your head, but that's not how it's coming out on the page. This, again, is another strike against your format.

    Then, you also have to think about your format yet again. You have a nine-panel grid to contend with. That's a week's worth of "punishment" (which, by the way, is also going to seem to take the same pace as before the second thug comes in: a LONG TIME). Do you really want to subject the readers of your webcomic to that? A week of doing nothing but watching the hero get the snot beat out of him? Me either.

    As an experiment in cutting down your panel descriptions, this is a success. With the new information about this script that you've given, this is the only success of it. It fails in a lot of other places. This needs to be thought out a lot more for it to work.



Page 1 of 2
1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Archive Forums (For Archive Purposes only): General Comics Discussion, Original Works, It's Clobberin' Time, Respect Threads, P'wned, General Chat, Beat Down, The Champagne Room (Mature), Marvel News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Archie News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here), Comics Are For People (See the latest columns here), Comics & Cinema (See the latest columns here), Comics Pro Prep (See the latest columns here), Bolts & Nuts (See the latest columns here), Seb-Standard (See the latest columns here), Webcomics You Should Be Reading (See the latest columns here), Development Hell (See the latest columns here), The Proving Grounds (See the latest columns here), Pixels Per Inch (See the latest columns here), Bargain Bin Gold (See the latest columns here), Dead Tuesday (See the latest columns here), Have You Considered... (See the latest columns here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here)
Project Fanboy is now Fanboy Buzz.
Fanboy Buzz is home to Comic Book News, Comic Book Reviews, Comic Book Columns, Comic Book Forums and Comic Book Podcast
Check out some of our past podcast hosts doing podcasts at GonnaGeek.com. Sci-Fi, Tech, Gaming, Comics and More!