Thanks for taking the time to provide detailed feedback, Calvin. And don't worry, I didn't find it nasty or judgemental. In fact, I was jokingly saying to Jamie Fairlie a couple of days back that I should steel myself for a bad review whatever happens, because even on the off-chance of Steve liking it, Calvin was sure to tear it to shreds due to his views always being diametrically opposed to Steve's! So I guess you could say I was already ready for it!
I appreciate that you didn't like it, and why you didn't like it. Because to be honest, I was AIMING for juvenile here. I wanted something anarchic, stupid and unashamedly lightweight (after all, I end the issue with NEXT: AN ANGRY WOMAN RIPS A MAN'S **** OFF!), so I knew right from the off I was writing something that would likely be off-putting to a lot of people. I'm frankly surprised you're the only person who didn't like it.
Between you and Steve - and some of the feedback from others - it seems the major problem of the script is the narration. Should I redraft this, I'll definitely need to look at ways of framing the voiceover, better ways of utilising it. I definitely see how the omniscient outside author saying "EARLIER" could get mixed up with a character narration, and things get even more confusing later when I introduce another type of caption in the form of a voice in a different character's head. Maybe Steve's advice of speciifc coloring instructions could help remedy any confusion. But otherwise more radical restructuring might be needed.
In terms of that opening panel on page 3, however, the intention with the neutral background was to create a sense of ambiguity. With the first panel of the page, we as the readers think he is talking directly to us. In the second panel, however, we get the reveal that this is the story he tried to tell the police. Like a mini-punchline, which might work better visually than it does on the page.
I think I have to defend my switching of locations, though. I've tried to do my homework, and study what's gone wrong with a lot of the previous Proving Grounds submissions. And a recurring weakness, something which Steve repeatedly associates with "boring", are scripts that are static. Those crucial opening pages lingering on a single scene in a single location for far too long. The whirlwind tour across multiple locations may be disorientating, but I want it to be a bit of an assault on the senses.
The argument that pages 3-6 are boring holds more water. This was something else I discussed with Jamie, the perils of what I myself called "calculated boredom". Namely, would the action of the first 2 pages provide enough excitement to tide over a reader through 4 pages of deliberately-induced boredom to depict an incredibly boring life, before the action kicked back in on page 7? It was definitely a tricky balancing act, and my failure to grab you shows it wasn't an entirely successful one. But I'm still generally happy with how the intro to Artie's life pans out.
I think the main recurring problem though, Calvin, is that you see a different story here than I was intending. You say that buried underneath all the gore and juvenile humor, there is a potential for some emotion and characterisation. While I kinda looked at it as "once I get the emotion and characterisation out of the way, I think there's some gore and juvenile humor in here to have fun with!"
Thanks again for the feedback, Calvin.