Dec 20 2012

Nayan’s Review Forum

Published by at 10:30 am under Review Forums

Nayan is working on a comic book miniseries. Please see the comments below.

55 responses so far

55 Responses to “Nayan’s Review Forum”

  1. Nayanon 30 Dec 2012 at 7:23 am

    I am working on a 3-issue comic book miniseries titled as ‘The Killer Within’ (thanks for the title, B. Mac). I will be posting everything related to the series here. I hope to get constructive criticism from everyone.

    Genre- Dark action thriller.

    Target audience- 16 to 18 years old boys and girls who love action mixed with emotions.

    I want to get published. Be brutal in criticism but in a polite way.

  2. Nayanon 30 Dec 2012 at 8:04 am

    I will start posting the script for the first issue as soon as it’s finished. I am posting a short synopsis and the list of characters below-

    Short synopsis- A 20 years old engineering student suffering from severe depression is forced to become a masked vigilante by circumstances and his father. He gets involved in a war against a powerful terrorist organisation which is planning to destroy the city. Will he able to save the city? Will he able to save himself from the killer within his own mind i.e. depression?

    Characters-

    Jason Walker/Faceless- Central character. An engineering student suffering from depression.

    Dr. David Walker- Jason’s father and a psychiatrist.

    Xavier Martin/?- Jason’s teammate in crime fighting. A master archer.

    Ayumi Nara/Black Angel- A female ninja and Jason’s teammate.

    Frank Gonzalez/Lion- Head of the terrorist group.

    Robert D’Melo- a corrupt police officer.

    Neeraj Malhotra- Jason’s classmate and a brilliant student.

    Christina Ross- Jason’s girlfriend and an aspiring writer.

  3. Anonymouson 30 Dec 2012 at 8:34 am

    For the most part, this is good, but you seem to be putting a little too much emphasis on the depression. If youhave not done so already, I would work on developing his personality more, beyond his mental illness.

  4. B. McKenzieon 30 Dec 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I agree that the character could be developed beyond his condition. What’s his personality like? I’d recommend checking out Homeland here–the main character has a personality besides bipolar disorder and it’s interesting to see how her extreme determination combines with her emotional issues.

    Also, I’m not seeing the connection between depression and killing (besides, well, suicide). It might be possible to come up with a better explanation? For example, I’d recommend checking out Dexter (which made serial killing more a question of addiction than depression) and Watchmen’s Rorschach (where the character shows SOME symptoms of depression–like a total loss of hope in pretty much everything–but passed on depressive symptoms which would have made the character less interesting, like lethargy/inactivity, irrational feelings of guilt, and extreme boredom/loss of interest in everything).

  5. Nayanon 30 Dec 2012 at 8:21 pm

    @B. Mac.
    Can I send you the full synopsis of the series by e-mail? I don’t want to post the whole story on an open forum.

  6. Nayanon 30 Dec 2012 at 8:43 pm

    It will not take much of your time. The synopsis will be of around 200 words.

  7. B. McKenzieon 30 Dec 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Sure, go for it.

  8. Nayanon 30 Dec 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I have sent the synopsis. Please check when you get time. I want to know if the story has potential. Is it good? Which part of the should be developed more and which part should be removed? Send your reply to my e-mail address.

  9. B. McKenzieon 31 Dec 2012 at 4:22 am

    I’ve already responded to the email, but I’d like to add one thought here: I notice that the synopsis only mentioned two characters, but your summary above mentioned 8. First, I think it might help to incorporate a third character into the synopsis (preferably someone who has an interesting relationship with both Jason and his father). Second, if you find it difficult to use 8 characters effectively in a three-issue arc probably totaling ~66 pages, it might help to merge Xavier/Ayumi and/or Christina/Neeraj.

  10. Nayanon 01 Jan 2013 at 6:49 am

    ”three-issue arc probably totaling ~66 pages”

    I am actually planning for 90 pages. 30 pages per issue. I checked Dark Horse and Image’s FAQ list. Both says that they are flexible in number of pages in an issue.

    In your email, you said,”It
    might help if Jason has a more
    proactive role, rather than
    receiving training for something he’s not really a part of.”

    Now, I will make Jason aware of his father’s goal of making him ready for the war against the terrorist organisation through training. But he will suddenly refuse to be a part of father’s plan. Will that be more interesting?

  11. Nayanon 01 Jan 2013 at 7:12 am

    Then you said,’It might be hard to believe Jason carrying
    out these acts without any extraordinary capabilities.”

    Jason has been undergoing many kinds of training for almost five years. Plus, he has a unique talent of mastering any ability easily. Thats why his father chose him. Does that sound believable?

    One general question-
    Can I give the series one title and name each issue separately?
    For example-
    issue 1-The Killer Within#A Weapon In The Making.

    Issue 2-The Killer Within#On A Killing Spree.

    Issue 3-The Killer Within#The Last Kill.

  12. B. McKenzieon 01 Jan 2013 at 10:54 am

    BM: It might be hard to believe Jason carrying out these acts without any extraordinary capabilities.

    Nayan: Jason has been undergoing many kinds of training for almost five years. Plus, he has a unique talent of mastering any ability easily. That’s why his father chose him. Does that sound believable?

    BM: He’s an engineer against a terrorist organization. I’m not sure he could believably fill the role of a Batman or Punisher. Something along the lines of Dexter, maybe. Dexter is a serial killer that relies more on stealth and subterfuge to find and eliminate his targets and then uses mental skills to prevent the police from catching him.



    Nayan: I will make Jason aware of his father’s goal of making him ready for the war against the terrorist organisation through training. But he will suddenly refuse to be a part of father’s plan. Will that be more interesting?

    BM: What causes his sudden change of heart?



    Nayan: Can I give the series one title and name each issue separately?

    BM: I think that would be fine. If the series were otherwise publishable, I couldn’t imagine a publisher rejecting the series over that–it’d be very easy to change the issue titles if they wanted to.

  13. Nayanon 01 Jan 2013 at 9:51 pm

    @B. Mac

    you said,”He’s an engineer against a terrorist organization. I’m not
    sure he could believably fill the
    role of a Batman or Punisher.”

    But in Kick Ass, an 11 year old girl destroys a mafia gang. I think readers accepted that.

    Then you said,”What causes his sudden change of heart?”

    Actually his change of heart is not sudden. When he started undergoing combat training, he was about 14 year old. So he just followed his father’s orders. When he grew up, he started having his own opinion. He thought starting a war against a powerful organization was a bad idea. It could kill him and his father. Also due to depression his confidence was low. Does this sound interesting?

  14. B. McKenzieon 02 Jan 2013 at 6:32 am

    “But in Kick Ass, an 11 year old girl destroys a mafia gang. I think readers accepted that.” That’s encouraging, though readers might have given Kick-Ass a pass there because it was a slightly ridiculous comedy.

    I anticipate the character’s upbringing/training could raise significant issues for his relatability. Relatability isn’t everything (for example, Tony Stark and James Bond and Dirty Harry have been very, very successful even though they have virtually none), but unrelatable protagonists need to work especially well on some other level (e.g. charm/charisma, wit/humor, an exceptionally interesting personality, etc).

  15. Nayanon 04 Jan 2013 at 8:09 am

    @B. Mac.
    You said,”If you find it difficult to use 8 characters effectively in a three-issue, it might help to merge Xavier/Ayumi and/or
    Christina/Neeraj.”

    I think I will merge Christina/Neeraj to Christina only. I was planning to make a brilliant engineering student who would help Faceless/Jason to find the terrorists’ hideout using his knowledge. I was going to use Christina to create a emotional relationship with Jason. Jason would seek her company whenever he gets depressed. So merging the two characters into one will make Christina more than one dimensional. What do you say?

  16. TheNexton 04 Jan 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I think it would be great, if you merge Christina and Neeraj.
    Maybe you can make the merged character an Indian female(geek/archer).

    I like the “what causes his sudden change of heart?” part.(Sounds Plausible to me)
    🙂

  17. Nayanon 04 Jan 2013 at 11:58 pm

    @TheNext
    Thanks. But I have to work more on the characters.

    @B. Mac
    what do you say about merging Christina/Neeraj into Christina as I described above?

  18. Nayanon 05 Jan 2013 at 4:29 am

    I am a bit confused whether to make the storytelling emotion heavy or action heavy. Can I have your opinions about these two type of storytelling, SN followers? Which works better in comic books?

    @B. Mac
    You have read the synopsis of my series. So which type of storytelling will suit my comic books?

  19. TheNextKarmaon 05 Jan 2013 at 9:14 am

    Your character right now sounds very much like Batman(only the abilities).
    As batman is a story which portrays his loneliness(emotions) maybe you can go for a diff approach . (I have seen a lot of characters which look like Batman-Wannabes)

    Go for a different Personality, Fighting style(Nunchuck?Indian?)…etc

    If Batman is a lonely character,then maybe you can make Faceless an Extrovert(Tony Stark) and show emotions in some other way.
    I didnt quite like “Jason would seek her company whenever he gets depressed”…thats just my opinion,but I am sure if your execution is good you can make these all work. ^_^

  20. B. McKenzieon 05 Jan 2013 at 12:05 pm

    “I am a bit confused whether to make the storytelling emotion heavy or action heavy.” Regardless of whether the book is heavy on action or not, I would expect it to be emotionally effective (although the emotions in question would probably be different for a tragedy vs. an action-thriller vs. a comedy vs. a romance).

    As far as action-heavy vs. action-light, I think the medium (comic books) boxes you into a corner here. Compared to novels, you have MUCH less space but better visuals. Generally, visuals are most interesting in action scenes. If an author were looking to write something that was light on action (which isn’t the impression I got of your series, by the way), I suspect it’d probably work better as a novel.

  21. Nayanon 06 Jan 2013 at 7:38 am

    ”Your character right now sounds very much like Batman(only the abilities).”

    This comment worries me. Does my character really sound like Batman? I am giving a little more description of the character. I want to see some opinions.

    Jason/Faceless is not anti-social like Batman. He is just a serious person and a bit short tempered.

    He is not a rich playboy like Bruce Wayne. He is a engineering student.

    He is not a crime fighter. His fight is against a specific terrorist organisation only.

    He uses firearms (revolvers, shotgun, explosives etc.) during fights and kills opponents.

    Other than using weapons, he uses his intelligence to create innovative ideas to beat opponents.

    Does he still sound like Batman? Opinions, please.

  22. Karmaon 06 Jan 2013 at 8:11 am

    This description is much more detailed than your previous ones.

    #”Jason is not anti-social…” – faceless seemed a bit like batman to me because of the Depression element.But now I see the diff.

    #”He is not a rich playboy…”-I like that he is an engineering student. 🙂

    #After reading the whole description, I think now faceless seems quite an interesting character and not a Batman wannabe.

    ^_^

  23. Nayanon 08 Jan 2013 at 4:24 am

    I am planning to post some small sequences from the script of my comic book. I hope to get opinions regarding the scenes so that I could know which scene to be kept/removed.

    I got this idea from B. Mac. He used to post funny scenes from his comic. How is the production of your comic book going, B. Mac?

  24. Nayanon 08 Jan 2013 at 6:10 am

    Scene 1
    Jason & Xavier in a heated conversation

    Xavier- Don’t patronize me, kid. You were in nappies when for the first time I killed a man. I have been fighting crime for the last 15 years.

    Jason- And you still don’t know that wearing a cape without any reason is a bad idea?

    Xavier (with a smile)- Oh really?

    Jason- Yeah. It might be injurious to your health.

    Later in the climax, Jason kills Xavier using Xavier’s cape against him.

  25. Karmaon 08 Jan 2013 at 8:00 am

    Nice…^_^

    Arent Jason and Xavier partners?
    So Xavier turns against him? Interesting…What makes him do so?

  26. B. McKenzieon 09 Jan 2013 at 3:30 am

    “I got this idea from B. Mac. He used to post funny scenes from his comic.” In retrospect, I think it would have been more effective to just do scripts (i.e. scenes in sequence rather than scenes randomly jumping around). I think it is very hard for readers to follow along my forum. In addition, while alpha/beta reviews will probably give some ideas about which scenes are most memorable, I’d hold off on eliminating scenes based on the reviews of people that haven’t actually read the entire script in sequence, because it may be hard for a beta reviewer to see how scenes fit together if they haven’t actually read all of the scenes in sequence.

    “How is the production of your comic book going, BM?” I should have a submission ready for 2014, but the book of Pixar movie reviews and my superhero writing guidebook will probably be out first.

  27. YellowJujuon 09 Jan 2013 at 9:13 am

    Killing him with his cape reminds me of Incredibles.

  28. Nayanon 10 Jan 2013 at 2:27 am

    @Karma
    That’s the twist in the climax.

    @B. Mac
    I don’t feel safe posting the script on a public forum. I have not even told anyone the full synopsis except you. I am planning to hire your service of proofreading after the final script is done. It will take time as many revision and rewriting have to be done. I hope you remain available for hired services at that time.

    @YellowJuju
    I think you are talking about Syndrom’s death.

  29. B. McKenzieon 10 Jan 2013 at 4:59 am

    “I don’t feel safe posting the script on a public forum.” Good thinking. However, if you ever get the inclination to post a few pages of the script, publishers would not be alarmed by that disclosure and there wouldn’t be enough to interest a thief. (Anyone good enough to turn 5 sample pages of a comic book into a publishable comic book is probably a professional author, and 1) professional authors don’t need to steal and have more to lose and 2) if they were going to steal, it’d be from an already-published work by a very successful author.

    “I hope you remain available for hired services at that time.” Not on a hired basis, but I can help you with the proofreading pro bono. (If you’d like to contribute an Amazon review in lieu of payment, I would appreciate that very much).

  30. Nayanon 13 Jan 2013 at 7:40 pm

    ”If you’d like to contribute
    an Amazon review in lieu of
    payment, I would appreciate that very much.”

    I will surely do that. In fact, I will do that even if you don’t accept my proofreading proposal. I would have reviewed a lot earlier. But the problem is I don’t have a pc. I have to go to a cyber cafe even to read your book. Thats why I have not completed reading your book. I am planning to buy a pc within a couple of months. Then I will review. Even if I don’t buy pc somehow, I will review from a cyber cafe.

  31. Nayanon 14 Jan 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I am a bit upset after reading message boards of Dark Horse. On one message board Randy Stradley (vice president of DH) writes that it’s extremely hard to break into comics as a writer. Even if a publisher likes someone’s writing style, it’s very unlikely that his original comic book will get published. The publisher will hire him for different books. This is a bad news for someone like me who just wants to publish his own story but does not want to work as a full time writer.

  32. Nayanon 16 Jan 2013 at 8:45 pm

    @B. Mac
    How much a good letterer generally costs per page? And what about a good artist who can do penciling, inking and coloring?

  33. B. McKenzieon 17 Jan 2013 at 4:25 am

    Maybe $20-30/page for good lettering (and extra for the logo design–that takes a lot more creativity). If you’re submitting to a publisher, it’s okay if the lettering doesn’t look great; it’s very easy for a publisher to redo the lettering with one of its letterers, so an otherwise publishable manuscript wouldn’t be rejected on this basis. In contrast, forgettable art WILL probably get a submission killed. PS: If you submit a cover as part of your submission package, the logo should be good. It’s not just lettering.

    As for a good penciler/inker/colorer, I’d probably budget $100-200/page for that. (Miscellaneous tip: put a lot of thought into which artist is actually the best for you. Key cost-saving tip: just because someone charges more does not mean they are better–I’ve seen shockingly average or subpar artists charging 2 or 3 times as much as actually professional-grade artists).

  34. Anonymouson 21 Jan 2013 at 2:17 am

    I am posting the first two pages of the script of the first issue. I have used Dark Horse’s format. I want to see some honest opinions.

  35. Nayanon 21 Jan 2013 at 2:18 am

    PAGE ONE (three panels)

    Panel 1. Large panel covering top half of the page. Establishing shot. An amusement park in a bright sunny day. Roller coaster, shops, fast food stalls … everything related to an amusement park is there. A giant wheel can be seen in the background. But all of those are on fire. Huge fire flames have spread throughout the park. Not a one person can be seen except a TEN YEAR OLD BOY. We see him from behind standing alone in the middle. He is holding a camera in his right hand.

    1. CAP: TIME HEALS EVERY WOUND. AS TIME PASSES, EVERY SCAR FADES … EVERY PAIN BECOMES TOLERABLE … EVERY HORRIBLE MEMORY BECOMES BLURRED.

    Panel 2. Medium sized panel covering left half of the remaining space of the page. Close shot on the head of the boy from behind. But this time we can see his face as he is turning his head to look behind. We see tears of blood come streaming down his face.

    2. CAP: BUT MY WOUNDS HAVEN’T HEALED IN FIFTEEN YEARS. IT FEELS LIKE TIME HAS STOPPED SINCE THAT DAY.

    3. OFF PANEL VOICE: WE ARE HERE, JASON.

    Panel 3. Same sized panel as the previous one. Close shot on the face of the boy from front. He looks extremely terrified as if he has seen a ghost. His eyes and mouth are wide open.
    4. CAP: THE MORE I TRY TO ERASE THAT DAY FROM MY LIFE…

    PAGE TWO (four panels)
    Panel 1. Large panel covering one third of the page. It’s from the boy/Jason’s POV. A THIRTY FIVE YEAR OLD WOMAN and a TEN YEAR OLD GIRL are surrounded by huge flames. But for some strange reasons, they are smiling. There is no sign of terror in their faces. The little girl has a cotton candy in her hand.
    1. CAP: … THE MORE I FIND IT STANDING IN FRONT OF ME.
    2. JASON (scream): MOM! JENNIFER!

    Panel 2. Medium sized panel. Medium shot on Jason from angle so that we can see that he is running towards his mother and Jennifer who are surrounded by flames. They are still smiling.
    3. CAP: I RUN FOR COVER…
    4. JASON: DON’T WORRY. I’LL SAVE YOU.

    Panel 3. Same sized panel as the previous one. Medium shot Jason has almost reached them. But a huge explosion takes place in front of him and he is thrown backwards in air. His camera has flown out his hand.
    5. CAP: …BUT I CAN’T ESCAPE IT. IT GRABS ME WITH ITS HANDS…
    6. SFX: BOOM.

    Panel 4. Large panel. Long shot from top angle. Jason is lying on the ground unconscious. May be he is dead. His body is covered with wounds. The camera and Jennifer’s cotton candy are lying beside him.
    7. CAP: …AND CRUSHES ME TO DEATH.

  36. YellowJujuon 21 Jan 2013 at 9:58 am

    Nayan, that was some really deep stuff. I liked it. “Crushed me to death” seemed out of place though.

  37. Nayanon 21 Jan 2013 at 8:09 pm

    @YellowJuju
    Thanks. It is just the first draft. A lot of things will change. That is why I am looking for opinions.

  38. B. McKenzieon 22 Jan 2013 at 12:08 am

    I feel like the narration could be more subtle. It might help to show more (with visuals, perhaps) and narrate less. For example, one possibility which comes to mind would be doing this flashback silently–no narration or dialogue. Alternately, if you use narration/dialogue, I’d recommend using them only to do things which visuals can’t.

  39. Nayanon 22 Jan 2013 at 2:26 am

    ”I feel like the narration could be more subtle.”
    Would you elaborate on this, please?

    ”I’d recommend using them only to do things which visuals can’t.”

    Which parts of the above pages should be removed?

  40. B. McKenzieon 22 Jan 2013 at 2:48 am

    Okay, so here’s the dialogue/narration from the two pages:

    TIME HEALS EVERY WOUND. AS TIME PASSES, EVERY SCAR FADES … EVERY PAIN BECOMES TOLERABLE … EVERY HORRIBLE MEMORY BECOMES BLURRED.
    BUT MY WOUNDS HAVEN’T HEALED IN FIFTEEN YEARS. IT FEELS LIKE TIME HAS STOPPED SINCE THAT DAY.
    OFF PANEL VOICE: WE ARE HERE, JASON.
    CAP: THE MORE I TRY TO ERASE THAT DAY FROM MY LIFE…
    CAP: … THE MORE I FIND IT STANDING IN FRONT OF ME.
    MOM! JENNIFER!
    I RUN FOR COVER…
    DON’T WORRY. I’LL SAVE YOU.
    BUT I CAN’T ESCAPE IT. IT GRABS ME WITH ITS HANDS…
    AND CRUSHES ME TO DEATH.

    I think all of that could be portrayed visually and removed from the text–for example, it would not take a masterful artist to convey what the guy is feeling as his family gets lit on fire. Or to show him thinking back on this in a way which shows that this is still really hard for him.

    In general, when characters speak, I would recommend having them imply what they are feeling.

  41. Nayanon 22 Jan 2013 at 9:42 pm

    @B. Mac

    I can see what you are trying to say. But I think if I make the scene narration/dialogue free, readers would find it hard to understand that this not an ongoing event, rather a past one. With the narration/dialogue, readers would know that the main character is recalling the event.

    As a general question, what do you think of my writing? I know it needs more inputs, but does my writing has the potential to become publishable? I think I have problem with punctuation and grammar.

  42. B. McKenzieon 22 Jan 2013 at 10:58 pm

    “I think if I make the scene narration/dialogue free, readers would find it hard to understand that this not an ongoing event, rather a past one.” Hmm. If you were inclined to make the scene silent, I think your artist would have several options to show readers that the character is experiencing a flashback.

    1) The main character has one pose in one panel and we see a younger version of the character in a very similar pose in the next panel. It’d make for a logical transition–I think most readers would be able to figure out that the reason the character has suddenly become a child is because he’s having a flashback. (Either that, or he has a really worthless superpower 😉 ).

    2) Shifting artistic styles (e.g. going from a more realistic style in the present to a more dreamy/hazy style for the flashback). Or going from black-and-white to color (or vice versa). For example, in The Matrix, the scenes in the Matrix are visually much more saturated and bright than the scenes in the post-apocalyptic “real world.”

    3) The main character does something in the present which suggests he’s thinking on the past. For example, if he is doing something special with a memento or any recurring object (e.g. cotton candy or the camera), that’ll help set up the flashback.

    4) We see the character falling asleep before the flashback starts. This will cue us that the upcoming panels are a dream, and readers will probably be able to infer that the dream is a recollection of past events rather than his imagination (e.g. based on the way he responds when he wakes up. Also, I think that most people would readily infer that a guy having dreams about his childhood is probably recalling a traumatic event).

    5) Using any sort of symbolism associated with remembrance, memorials, or funerals. For example, if he leaves flowers (or something else which is obviously a memento), I think most readers would be able to infer that he’s come here to commemorate the death of a loved one(s). If your execution were really solid, you could do this more subtly by having the character have two of something which almost always comes alone. For example, if a depressed-looking guy in a black suit and tie* (READ: funeral clothes) buys two bright-pink cotton candies, I think a lot of readers would be able to infer that he’s not here for the sugar rush. Then when you cut to the flashback, I think people would be able to tell pretty easily “oh, that’s what the cotton candy was for.”

    *Or whatever would be recognizable as funeral attire to the target audience.



    “As a general question, what do you think of my writing? I know it needs more inputs, but does my writing has the potential to become publishable? I think I have problem with punctuation and grammar.” Publishable, yes, though if your authorial development is anything like mine, the book you get published won’t look anything like it did when you started writing it. (The Taxman Must Die had TWO changes of main characters, a change of title (from Superhero Nation), a change of antagonist, etc).

    “I think I have problems with punctuation and grammar.” First, I don’t think that occasional typos are as huge a deal with comics as they are with novels–it wouldn’t be as hard for a comic book editor to scour a 1000-2500* word comic script for typos as it would be for a novel editor to sandblast a 70,000-100,000 word novel manuscript. I could proofread the on-page text in a comic book within 1-2 hours, so let me know if you need any help right before you submit. Second, with an author that’s not native to English, basic writing mechanics can be learned with practice. In contrast, if a native English speaker had major issues with basic writing mechanics, then it’d raise questions of intelligence, maturity, and/or work ethic–those are much harder to overcome. Lastly, your punctuation and mechanics strike me as generally sound. I’m 95% confident that your mechanics are not a major (and certainly not an insurmountable) obstacle to publication.

    *Only counting the words the audience will actually read. While you’d still want to make a good impression on your artists and prospective editors by writing the scene/panel descriptions cleanly (especially early on), the scene/panel descriptions won’t ever be printed for readers, so typos there are much less of a concern.

  43. Nayanon 29 Jan 2013 at 9:19 am

    Here are the next three pages of the script.

    PAGE THREE (five panels)

    Panel 1. Large panel covering top one third of the page. We cut the scene to a gym. Medium shot on 25 YEAR OLD JASON WALKER from front angle as he lands a punch on a punching bag. It’s clear from the sweat dripping from his strongly built body that he has been practicing for quite some time. Anger all over his face. We don’t see anybody in the gym other than his father DAVID WALKER as it’s their personal gym. David is standing beside him. He is 55 year old and he looks extremely knowledgeable from his appearance. Give him specs and French cut beard.

    DAVID: AND THEN YOU WOKE UP, RIGHT?

    JASON: YEAH. THIS HAS BEEN THE STORY OF MY LIFE FOR THE LAST FIFTEEN YEARS. ALMOST EVERYNIGHT I GET REMINED HOW I LOST MY MOTHER AND MY BEST FRIEND.

    Panel 2. Medium sized panel. Close shot on Jason as he lands another punch on the bag.

    JASON: THESE WEIRD NIGHTMARES DON’T LET ME FORGET THAT CURSED DAY. THEY MAKE ME WEAK. SOMETIMES I GET VERY DESPERATE TO OVERCOME THESE THOUGHTS.

    Panel 3. Same sized panel as the previous one. The shot is on Jason from a side angle over the shoulder of David. Jason is holding the punching bag with both hands to make it static.

    DAVID: DON’T LOSE FOCUS AT THIS CRITICAL MOMENT, JASON. WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO START OUR MISSION. ONCE THE MISSION IS ACCOMPLISHED, YOUR MIND WILL BE AT REST AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BEAT YOUR DEPRESSION.

    Panel 4. Large panel covering bottom one third of the page. Long shot from behind as we see Jason moving towards a water basin to wash his face. David is standing at the same place.

    DAVID: TRUST ME ON THIS, JASON. I AM A PSYCHIATRIST. DON’T WASTE ENERGY ON ANYTHING ELSE. JUST BE READY FOR ‘MISSION- ERASE THEM ALL’.

    JASON: I DON’T KNOW, DAD. I AM NOT SURE IF I AM THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB.

    OFF PANEL VOICE: HE IS RIGHT, DAVID …

    PAGE FOUR (three panels)

    Panel 1. Large panel covering top half of the page. Long shot. At the foregroung we see Jason from the front angle who is turning his head backwards to see whose voice was that. At the background a 40 year old strongly built man named XAVIER MARTIN and a Japaneese woman of same age named AYUMI NARA are entering the gym through the door. Ayumi is wearing full black. The off panel voice was Xavier’s.

    XAVIER: … THIS IS A JOB FOR REAL MEN, NOT FOR CRYING BABIES.

    JASON: LADIES & GENTLEMEN, LET’S GIVE A BIG HAND FOR THE DEADLY COUPLE – XAVIER MARTIN AND HIS WIFE AYUMI NARA. WORLD’S GREATEST ASSASINS. BUT THE PROBLEM IS- ONE TALKS TOO MUCH AND THE OTHER DOESN’T SPEAK AT ALL. BECAUSE SHE IS DUMB.

    Panel 2. Medium sized panel. Medium shot at such an angle that we can see Xavier walking towards Jason.

    XAVIER: MY WIFE LOST HER SPEAKING ABILITY IN A WAR. A WAR SUCH BRUTAL THAT YOU CAN’T IMAGINE. IF YOU WERE NOT MY OLDEST FRIEND’S SON, I WOULD HAVE TORN YOU APART FOR INSULTING MY WIFE.

    Panel 3. Same sized panel as the previous one. The shot is taken at such an angle that we can see Jason and Xavier at the front from one side standing face to face, looking at each other fiercely. At the back David is standing placing one hand on Jason’s shoulder and the other on Xavier’s shoulder. He is trying to calm them down.

    JASON: I WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY.

    DAVID: CALM DOWN, BOYS. WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM.

    PAGE FIVE (two panels)

    Panel 1. Large panel covering top half of the page. Medium shot on all of them from front as they are standing together giving the impression of a strong team.

    DAVID: SAVE YOUR AGGRESSION FOR YOUR OPPONENTS. A WAR IS COMING. WE WILL WIN THE WAR ONLY IF WE CAN HAVE EACH OTHER’S BACK.

  44. Nayanon 29 Jan 2013 at 9:34 am

    I think my english is too plain. It lacks strong words and sentences. I guess I have to find a co-writer.

  45. Nayanon 30 Jan 2013 at 3:34 am

    Can anyone tell me how do the first five pages of my script looks? Most publishers want to see 5 sample pages. So, the 5 pages are crucial. Would you want to read more after reading my above 5 pages?

  46. B. McKenzieon 30 Jan 2013 at 5:28 am

    I feel the conversation between Jason and his father could be more urgent and/or higher-stakes. For example, maybe his father asks him how long he’s been having these nightmares and the son either lies or gives a non-answer, and then his father might pointedly note that his focus/determination/energy has been off for weeks.

    The conversation between Jason and David could do more to imply that the two know each other very well. For example, David might say/do something which implies that he knows Jason well enough to know that something is wrong? (E.g. if Jason claims that everything’s going fine, his father would probably know him well enough to be able to figure out the truth).

    Jason is narrating the situation a little bit hard (e.g. “This has been the story of my life for the last 15 years. Almost every night I get reminded of how I lost my mother and my best friend”).

    I feel like the Jason-David conversation could add more to what we learned earlier. For example, maybe develop the J-D relationship more. What’s David’s take on Jason’s mental state? Is David concerned/frustrated/worried? Is there some conflict between the two?

    I’d recommend cutting the extraneous lines. E.g. “And then you woke up, right?”

    I’d recommend renaming “MISSION – ERASE THEM ALL.” I think just “the mission” would be okay.

    I think Jason’s self-doubts are interesting. It sets up an interesting dynamic with the much more qualified, confident assassin.

    “JASON: LADIES & GENTLEMEN, LET’S GIVE A BIG HAND FOR THE DEADLY COUPLE – XAVIER MARTIN AND HIS WIFE AYUMI NARA. WORLD’S GREATEST ASSASINS. BUT THE PROBLEM IS- ONE TALKS TOO MUCH AND THE OTHER DOESN’T SPEAK AT ALL. BECAUSE SHE IS DUMB.” I think this would work better as internal monologue/narration than as dialogue. Alternately, if you keep it as dialogue, I’d recommend rephrasing it so that it feels like something they’d be naturally saying to each other rather than narrating for the benefit of readers. (For example, could you come up with a smoother way to introduce their jobs into the conversation and cut their last names?)

    “A war such brutal that you can’t imagine” –> “A war more brutal than you can imagine.”

    It seems sort of strange that the assassin doesn’t react more forcefully to this verbal insult at his wife in front of him. At the very least, perhaps some minor physical confrontation here.

    I regard muteness as a red flag for a female character written by a male author. Among other things… Jason insulted her for no reason and she doesn’t have any response? She’s an assassin—even if she can’t speak, she can surely come up with some response. 🙂

    The characterization strikes me as pretty strong and I think the conflict between Xavier-Jason is interesting. I’d recommend fleshing out Jason-David more and making the conversation more natural in general.

  47. Nayanon 30 Jan 2013 at 7:43 am

    ”I regard muteness as a red flag for a female character written by a male author”

    You are right. If I make Ayumi mute, she would be boring. Maybe I will remove her completely. But that will leave only one female character – Christina. Will that be a problem?

  48. Nayanon 04 Feb 2013 at 10:03 pm

    If I use multiple POVs in the narration of the script, will that be a problem? In The Dark Knight Returns, multiple POVs were used. Batman, Jim Gordon, Superman etc. But I got confused a few times while reading it.

  49. B. McKenzieon 04 Feb 2013 at 10:53 pm

    If executed well, it’s not a problem. That said, I think it’s more of a challenge to execute well (especially on villains and side-characters). For example, do all of the POV characters warrant their screen-time? Are all of the characters part of the same story rather than off doing their own things? Personally, when it comes to The Taxman Must Die, I wouldn’t worry at all about rotating between either of the 2 main characters (as long as they’re doing things relevant to the central plot), but I’d be super-sparing about getting away from them for extended periods. (However, when I’m pitching the comic, I wouldn’t mention the rotating POV–unlike a book like Superman/Batman, the rotating isn’t a major plot element and I think that mentioning the rotating would make the structure sound more experimental than it actually is).

  50. Nayanon 05 Feb 2013 at 9:12 pm

    What are the average dimensions of a comic book page? I want to know so that I can visualize the panels size while writing the script. I read comics in digital format. So I don’t know the dimensions. Is it same for Dark Horse? I am writing the script specifically for DH.

  51. Nayanon 19 Feb 2013 at 11:57 pm

    I have revisedthe first four pages of the script. I have completely removed Ayumi from the story. I want to know if these four pages are better than the previous ones.

    PAGE ONE (four panels)

    Panel 1. Large panel covering top one third of the page. Establishing shot. An amusement park in a bright sunny day. Roller coaster, shops, fast food stalls … everything related to an amusement park is there. A giant wheel can be seen in the background. But all of those are on fire. Huge fire flames have spread throughout the park. Not a one person can be seen except a TEN YEAR OLD BOY. We see him from behind standing alone in the middle. He is holding a camera in his right hand.

    1. CAP: TIME HEALS EVERY WOUND. AS TIME PASSES, EVERY SCAR FADES … EVERY PAIN BECOMES TOLERABLE … EVERY HORRIBLE MEMORY BECOMES BLURRED.

    Panel 2. Medium sized panel covering left half of middle one third of the page. Close shot on the head of the boy from behind. But this time we can see his face as he is turning his head to look behind. We see tears of blood come streaming down his face.

    2. CAP: BUT MY WOUNDS HAVEN’T HEALED IN FIFTEEN YEARS. IT FEELS LIKE TIME HAS STOPPED SINCE THAT DAY.

    3. OFF PANEL VOICE: WE ARE HERE, JASON.

    Panel 3. Same sized panel as the previous one. Close shot on the face of the boy from front. He looks extremely terrified as if he has seen a ghost. His eyes and mouth are wide open.

    4. CAP: THE MORE I TRY TO ERASE THAT DAY FROM MY LIFE…

    Panel 4. Large panel covering bottom one third of the page. It’s from the boy/Jason’s POV. A THIRTY FIVE YEAR OLD WOMAN and a TEN YEAR OLD GIRL are surrounded by huge flames. But for some strange reasons, they are smiling. There is no sign of terror in their faces. The little girl has a cotton candy in her hand.

    5. CAP: … THE MORE I FIND IT STANDING IN FRONT OF ME.

    6. JASON (scream): MOM! JENNIFER!

    PAGE TWO (four panels)

    Panel 1. Medium sized panel covering left half of top one third of the page. Medium shot on Jason from behind at an angle so that we can see that he is running towards his mother and Jennifer who are surrounded by flames. They are still smiling.

    1. CAP: I RUN FOR COVER…

    2. JASON: DON’T WORRY. I’LL SAVE YOU.

    Panel 2. Same sized panel as the previous one. Medium shot. Jason has almost reached them. But a huge explosion takes place in front of him and he is thrown backwards in the air. His camera has flown out his hand.

    3. CAP: … BUT I CAN’T ESCAPE IT. IT GRABS ME WITH ITS HANDS…

    4. SFX: BOOM.

    Panel 3. Large panel covering middle one third of the page. Long shot from top angle. Jason is lying on the ground unconscious. May be he is dead. His body is covered with wounds. The camera and Jennifer’s cotton candy are lying beside him.

    5. CAP: … AND THEN EVERYTHING ENDS.

    Panel 4. Large panel covering bottom one third of the page. We cut the scene to a gym. Medium shot on 25 YEAR OLD JASON WALKER from the front angle as he lands a punch on a punching bag. It’s clear from the sweat dripping from his strongly built body that he has been practicing for quite some time. Anger all over his face. We don’t see anybody in the gym other than his father DAVID WALKER as it’s their personal gym. David is standing beside him. He is 55 years old and he looks extremely knowledgeable from his appearance. Give him specs and French cut beard.

    6. DAVID: ARE YOU FEELING GOOD NOW?

    7. JASON: NO, I AM NOT FEELING GOOD. EVERY NIGHT I GET REMINDED HOW I LOST MY MOTHER AND MY BEST FRIEND.

    PAGE THREE (four panels)

    Panel 1. Medium sized panel covering the left half of top one third of the page. Close shot on Jason as he lands another punch on the bag.

    1. JASON: THESE WEIRD NIGHTMARES DON’T LET ME FORGET THAT CURSED DAY. THEY MAKE ME WEAK. SOMETIMES I GET VERY DESPERATE TO OVERCOME THESE THOUGHTS.

    Panel 2. Same sized panel as the previous one. The shot is on Jason from a side angle over the shoulder of David. Jason is holding the punching bag with both hands to make it static.

    2. DAVID: DON’T LOSE FOCUS AT THIS CRITICAL MOMENT, JASON. WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO START OUR MISSION. ONCE THE MISSION IS ACCOMPLISHED, YOUR MIND WILL BE AT REST AND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BEAT YOUR DEPRESSION.

    Panel 3. Large panel covering middle one third of the page. Long shot from behind as we see Jason moving towards a water basin to wash his face. David is standing at the same place.

    3. DAVID: TRUST ME ON THIS, SON. I AM A PSYCHIATRIST. DON’T WASTE ENERGY ON ANYTHING ELSE. JUST BE READY FOR THE MISSION.

    4. JASON: I DON’T KNOW, DAD. I AM NOT SURE IF I AM THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB.

    5. OFF PANEL VOICE: HE IS RIGHT, DAVID …

    Panel 4. Large panel covering bottom one third of the page. Long shot. In the foreground we see Jason from the front angle who is turning his head backwards to see whose voice was that. In the background a 40 year old strongly built man named XAVIER MARTIN is entering the gym through the door. He does not have one eye. He is wearing full black. The off panel voice was Xavier’s. At one side in the background we see DAVID who is looking towards XAVIER.

    6. XAVIER: … THIS IS A JOB FOR REAL MEN, NOT FOR CRYING BABIES.

    7. DAVID: JUST IN TIME, XAVIER. WE WERE WAITING FOR YOU.

    8. XAVIER: LOOKS LIKE THE BABY IS CRYING AGAIN.

    PAGE FOUR (three panels)
    Panel 1. Medium sized panel covering left half of the top half of the page. Medium shot at such an angle that we can see Jason walking towards Xavier.

    1. JASON: IT WOULD HAVE BEEN GREAT IF YOU HAD LOST YOUR TONGUE ALONG WITH THE EYE. YOU SAY TOO MUCH CRAP. MAYBE ONE DAY I’LL CUT OUT YOUR TONGUE.

    2. XAVIER: CAREFUL, KID. YOU DON’T WANT TO BE MESSING WITH THE GREATEST ASSASIN OF THE WORLD. IT MAY PROVE INJURIOUS TO YOUR HEALTH.

    Panel 2. Same sized panel as the previous one. The shot is taken at such an angle that we can see Jason and Xavier at the front from one side standing face to face, looking at each other fiercely. At the back David is standing placing one hand on Jason’s shoulder and the other on Xavier’s shoulder. He is trying to calm them down.

    3. JASON: THEN BRING IT ON. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU TRY.

    4. DAVID: CALM DOWN, BOYS. WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM.

    .
    Panel 3. Large panel covering the bottom half of the page. Medium shot on all three from front as they are standing together giving the impression of a strong team.

    5. DAVID: SAVE YOUR AGGRESSION FOR YOUR OPPONENTS. A WAR IS COMING. WE WILL WIN THE WAR ONLY IF WE CAN HAVE EACH OTHER’S BACK.

  52. B. McKenzieon 20 Feb 2013 at 2:17 am

    Some thoughts and suggestions:

    On the whole, this is significantly better.

    There is a lot going on in page 1, panel 1. In a case like this, I’d recommend taking 60-90 seconds and doing a crude thumbnail sketch of the major elements of what you have in mind for the panel to make sure that it’s remotely possible for your artist to cover everything you have in mind in the allotted space. If the artist’s portrayal of this scene is zoomed out enough to cover large elements like a roller coaster and a Ferris wheel, will we actually be able to see the relatively small details like the camera he’s holding?

    “We see him from behind standing alone in the middle. He is holding a camera in his right hand.” I’m having trouble visualizing this. I’m not an artist, so take this with a huge grain of salt, but I think it may be challenging for an artist to show someone holding a small object from the rear, because the object is small enough that the person’s hand and perhaps the arm will obstruct our vision. If this turns out to be a problem, it may help to have him oriented at an angle (rather than just his back to us) so that we can see a bit more of the camera.

    In panel 2, tears of blood are streaming down his face. It may help to be more subtle (e.g. perhaps one drop of blood streaking down his cheek like it might be a tear).

    “But my wounds haven’t healed in fifteen years.” Could you show/imply this? Also, instead of him narrating his status without an emotion or take on the scene, perhaps he offers unexpected layer of emotion here. For example, is there some way in which his emotions have changed in the 15 years since? (For example, perhaps he’s still grieving now as he did then, BUT now he’s distinctly annoyed with himself that he can’t just move on… it’d add a bit of internal conflict and might also help with the issue that having him just narrate what happened without adding a personal take makes the story a bit more flat than it needs to be).

    “I run for cover.” There appears to be a discrepancy between him saying he runs for cover and the picture showing him running towards his endangered family members. Is this intentional?

    Will most of your readers understand why there was an explosion in the amusement park?

    I really like panel 3. I’d recommend ending the page here.

    I’d recommend cutting the numbers before each line of dialogue. (It’s making me think there are more panels on the page than there actually are).

    The first line of dialogue from his extremely knowledgeable psychiatrist father is “Are you feeling good now?” It might help to make his tone and language more clinical and/or have him say something most other characters wouldn’t say in the same situation to make him feel more distinctive. It might also help if he had a clearer opinion/take on the situation.

    For example, if you’re familiar with The Taxman Must Die, you could imagine how someone like Agent Orange could handle grief counseling in a way which is distinctive to him, like “The American people grieve with you. However! That was fifteen years ago, and the need for badassery is now upon us.” This would give us more implicit conflict than “Are you feeling good now?”: AO is implicitly criticizing the character for being insufficiently badass and suggesting that there is some dire situation which is more important than Jason’s family.

    “These weird nightmares… make me weak.” Okay, good. I’d recommend having the father respond to this in a way which helps remind us of their fight against the enemy and what they’re fighting for. For example, perhaps “No. Decent people feel, and your feelings are a strength. Jennifer and [Mother’s Name] would want us, want you to stay strong and finish what we’ve started.“ “What if I can’t?” “Dr. Freud once said that adversity elicits talents which, in prosperous times, would have lain dormant. It is precisely these days of struggle and uncertainty which will strike you as the most beautiful.”

    “Careful, kid. You don’t want to be messing with the greatest assassin [in] the world. It may prove injurious to your health.” While I love the phrase “It may prove injurious,” it’s a very different tone (far more formal) than “Careful, kid. You don’t want to be messing with…” Perhaps something like “If you’re still freaking out about something that happened 15 years ago, messing with the greatest assassin in the world would be a very bad career move.” That said, I’d recommend having him NOT narrate himself as the greatest assassin in the world — him declaring himself a great assassin implies that he isn’t (he’s careless).

  53. Nayanon 23 Feb 2013 at 11:43 pm

    @B. Mac

    “There is a lot going on in page 1, panel 1. In a case like this, I’d recommend … small details like the camera he’s holding?”

    I too thought about this. I think this panel has to cover atleast top half of the page.

    ““But my wounds haven’t healed in fifteen years.” Could you show/imply this?”

    If I show some wounds on his face in this panel, will it work? I think you understand that this is a weird nightmare form of the actual event.

    “I run for cover.” There appears to be a discrepancy between him saying he runs for cover and the picture showing him running towards his endangered family members. Is this intentional?

    Actually he wants to escape from the painful memories of that event. Deep down he knows that he can do that only if somehow he starts not letting same things happen to others what happened to his mother and friend. So I want to show that running for cover and trying to save his mother and Jennifer in dreams are equivalent. His mother and Jennifer represents innocent people. Are you getting this?

    “I’d recommend having him NOT narrate himself as the greatest assassin in the world — him declaring himself a great assassin implies that he isn’t (he’s careless).”

    He is a great assasin, but egocentric. I want to show that he has huge ego.

  54. B. McKenzieon 24 Feb 2013 at 2:46 pm

    “I think this panel has to cover at least half of the page.” If the first panel on page 1 takes up the first half of the page, I think panels 2-4 will be very challenging.

    “If I show some wounds on his face in this panel, will it work?” It’d probably help, but I think the main issue is that his narration is too explicit.

    I still don’t understand the discrepancy between him saying he’s running for cover while he’s actually running towards his endangered family members.

    “He’s a great assassin, but egocentric.” It may be easier for readers to take him seriously as a great assassin if we see something which makes him look remotely competent before he starts running his mouth. For example, perhaps we’re introduced to something he’s DONE before he brags about how great he is? (E.g. perhaps the purpose of his visit today was to inform the father that he successfully killed a very challenging target, and he wanted to make his presentation as dramatic and/or self-serving as possible*). Or, at the very least, perhaps Jason’s father compliments the assassin before the assassin himself does?

    *AGENT ORANGE: “During the congressional hearing, a would-be alien invader teleported on top of Gary the taxman. To the delight of both of C-SPAN’s viewers, I used my chair and the taxman to administer a mauling which will surely rank among the top four in the history of the Senate. Between the auction of the glorious chair and the Pay-Per-View rights to the autopsy video, Congress may actually run a surplus this year.”

  55. Nayanon 28 Feb 2013 at 2:57 am

    @B.Mac

    “If the first panel on page 1 takes up the first half of the page, I think panels 2-4 will be very challenging.”

    If I make the first panel that large, then I will end the 1st page with panel 3. Panel 4 will go to page 2. These 4 pages will turn into 5 pages.

    “I still don’t understand the discrepancy between him saying he’s running for cover while he’s actually running towards his endangered family members.”

    If you don’t understand, then there will be many readers who may not understand. So, I have to change the narration on that panel. I will have to think.

    Another question. The only female character in the story, Christina Ross, is very lively, cheerful and confident. She can deliver great one liners even in desperate times. But I am not good in writing good punch lines. How can that quality (writing good punch lines) be earned? You are pretty good in that.

Comments RSS

Leave a Reply