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The Great War (1 Viewer)

N

Nails

Since January, 2005 I've been submitting a complete script to various comic book companies every month in a desperate attempt to break into the business. This was my December '05 offering, Issue #1 of a book called "The Great War. It's one of my favorites. It's (very) long, but I'd like to get a second (and third, and fourth) opinion on it.


PAGE ONE (four panels)

Panel 1. We’re outside a massive concert hall or convention center at night. Signs and glowing electronic screens everywhere proclaim the presence of the last show in the “Arthur Shepherd, Knights of the New World Order Tour.” Several of them also bear the likeness of the talented Mr. Shepherd, a solidly built man in his early thirties with closely cut black hair wearing a black leather jacket over a black shirt and black jeans. The night is dark and overcast, threatening to rain, but the lights of the city and the concert hall cast an almost surreal glow over the scene. A large crowd has congregated around one of the hall’s exits.


Panel 2. We’re in amongst the crowd now. They’re all bundled up against the night chill, and their excitement is obvious. Several of them look up at the off-panel signs and pictures of Arthur Shepherd as they wait by the entrance, like lions stalking prey, for their idol to appear in person.


Panel 3. Close on the phosphor-dot image of Arthur, displayed on one of the massive outdoor monitors. We get a slightly distorted sense of his facial features; his sharp eyes and craggy face and intelligent but compassionate expression. He looks like a man who knows all the answers.


Panel 4. We’re looking at the facade of the concert hall, just outside the massive doors, which remain closed and darkened.
PAGE TWO (five panels)

Panel 1. Close on Arthur’s electric guitar, a beautiful white Stratocaster. His large but well-kept hands are visible playing it.

Panel 2. We’re looking up at Arthur as he plays his electric guitar. He’s very calm and collected, and doesn’t look as though he’s having a very good time.


Panel 3. Close on the bass player: an attractive young woman with short red hair wearing a short pink dress. She looks as though she’s having the time of her life.


Panel 4. Close on the backup guitarist: a young man in a white suit with waste-long blonde hair. He smiles to himself as he plays, also heartily enjoying himself.


Panel 5. Close on the drummer, a bald woman with the anarchy “A” on her shirt. She is totally absorbed in her playing, and looks slightly beatific as she pounds away on the drums.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE THREE (five panels)

Panel 1. Straight shot of the whole stage, with all four performers and the various rock ‘n’ roll doodads visible. Multicolored lights and mist have exploded onto the scene, and Arthur is finishing the song off with a dramatic flourish of his hand. The title of this issue, “Revolver,” was chosen to indicate that Arthur is going through a transitional period, and crops up visually throughout the issue.

TITLE:
The Great War
Chapter One: Revolver
Credits


Panel 2. Close on Arthur as he gives a low, Victorian bow to the audience.

ARTHUR:
That’s all she wrote.


Panel 3. We’re looking down at the screaming, happy audience from the perspective of the stage.


Panel 4. We’re in the midst of the crowd outside the concert hall. Through the throng of people we can see Arthur coming through the back door, flanked by security and followed by the rest of the band.


Panel 5. Arthur has arrived at a waiting limousine and is ducking inside it in much the same way a soldier under artillery fire would duck into a foxhole. The other three musicians aren’t in such a hurry, and are taking their time smiling and waving at the crowd.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE FOUR (six panels)

Panel 1. Close on yet another image of Arthur’s face, this time on the CD case to his latest album. He’s standing with his hands in his pockets in the center of a crossroads and looks rather dour. His eyes are hidden behind a boxy pair of black sunglasses and he appears to be wearing a chain mail shirt under his leather jacket. Behind him, stretching down the road he’s been traveling, are an army of fully armored, anonymous mounted knights. Above the image his name is printed, along with the album title: “Knights of the New World Order.”


Panel 2. We’re in an airport gift shop, looking at Arthur as he stands looking down at the CD case in his hand. He’s dressed in a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans and has a duffel-bag over his shoulder. His expression is forlorn as he regards the CD in his hand.

ARTHUR:
*sigh*


Panel 3. Arthur is standing in front of the giant airport window, standing in front of a pretty blonde woman and a clever looking man. These are Colette and Roger, his wife and manager respectively She wears a brown leather jacket over a green t-shirt and blue jeans. He’s dressed in a dress shirt and slacks. Behind them we can see the planes taxiing about on the runway. Arthur’s duffel bag sits on the floor beside him.


Panel 4. We’re looking up at Arthur, Colette, and Roger from the floor. They’re all looking up slightly as they listen to the automated airport voice.

AUTOMATED AIRPORT VOICE:
Now seating Flight Number 8533…


Panel 5. Close on Arthur’s faces as he leans down to retrieve his duffel bag.

ARTHUR:
That’s me.

CAP/ARTHUR:
That’s me.


Panel 6. Arthur has stood up, and is smiling feebly at his off-panel companions.

ARTHUR:
I guess I’d better get going.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Arthur Shepherd, Rockstar Supreme (in case you hadn’t figured that out yet).
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE FIVE (six panels)

Panel 1. We’re on Arthur’s shoulder as Roger shakes his hand, giving him a half-hearted smile as he does so.

ROGER:
Guess so. Take it easy, buddy.

CAP/ARTHUR:
That’s Roger. He’s my manager and one of my closest friends.


Panel 2. We remain hovering on Arthur’s shoulder. Colette is giving him a hug that, while genuine, does not have the intensity one might expect of someone whose spouse is leaving on a jet plane for an indefinite period.

COLETTE:
Be sure to write, sweetheart.

CAP/ARTHUR:
And here’s my wife Colette. Also a close friend.


Panel 3. We’re looking down the boarding hallway. Arthur stands framed in the center of it, turned back slightly to half-wave at Roger and Colette, who wait at its entrance. There is no one else in the hall with him, indicating that he is embarking on this journey alone.

CAP/ARTHUR:
One thing I found surprising was that neither of them really tried to stop me from going off on this … this …

CAP/ARTHUR:
This whatever this is.


Panel 4. Arthur sits in a couch window seat on the airplane, staring out the window at the landing strip.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Too much precedent, I guess.


Panel 5. Arthur has a CD player on his lap and is putting the headphones on.

CAP/ARTHUR:
“Disillusioned Celebrity Seeks Mysteries of the Orient. Returns – Spouts Rhetoric.” Not a very original headline anymore.


Panel 6. We’re looking down the airstrip as Arthur’s plane takes off.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE SIX (six panels)

Panel 1. Arthur is moving through a revolving door (“revolver”) and into the neon streets of Tokyo. A few passersby are whispering to one another and pointing to him.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I don’t know why I’m doing this, really.


Panel 2. Arthur is walking through a Japanese garden filled with beautiful plants and buildings. A few teenagers are stalking him, giggling to themselves and taking his picture with their cellular phones.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Because I can, maybe. My music’s gotten me that much at least. The freedom to act on any whim.

CAP/ARTHUR:
But my music is failing.


Panel 3. Arthur is standing atop the Great Wall of China, staring contemplatively into the sky. Near him, a tourist sits reading a copy of Rolling Stone magazine with his face on the cover.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Rock is dead. Nobody cares anymore. It’s just another spectator sport now.


Panel 4. Arthur is trudging past a giant, aging statue of Buddha (perhaps identifying him as a sort of symbolic Buddha figure).

CAP/ARTHUR:
I can play for myself. I can play for my friends. But the people I’m really playing for –


Panel 5. We’re looking down the aisle of another airplane at all the pitiable shmucks crammed together in the shared misery of low-cost air travel. Arthur is visible sitting in an aisle seat in the front row (he rides cheap to mingle with them, presumably).

CAP/ARTHUR:
These people.

CAP/ARTHUR:
They don’t care. They don’t listen.

Panel 6. Arthur sits in the foreground, looking at the person sitting next to him: a hip young man in his early twenties animatedly listening to music on an iPod while typing away at his computer.

CAP/ARTHUR:
They hear my songs and they cheer and they nod their heads and say it all makes sense.

[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]
PAGE SEVEN (six panels)

Panel 1. Close on the screen of the young man’s computer. It’s filled with charts and graphs, soul-crushing symbols of the working world he lives in.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Then they go right back to work in the morning.


Panel 2. Arthur is walking down a busy marketplace in India, taking in the local color.

CAP/ARTHUR:
They don’t have my freedom. I’m trying to give it to them but they don’t seem to want it.


Panel 3. Arthur is standing at the base of a towering Hindu temple dedicated to Chamunda Devi.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Maybe that’s why I’m here. They say you should look for strength in something higher than yourself. Maybe I’m searching for that.


Panel 4. Arthur is looking out over the river Ganga in Varanasi, India. Several people, among them a number of holy men, are in the river. A similar sight appeared in Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles, a book to which this work owes a great debt (acknowledged in Arthur’s narration).

CAP/ARTHUR:
Some wise mystic or invisible academy to tell me all the Answers (big “A”).

CAP/ARTHUR:
To set my head on straight and send me back home with a Plan (big “P”).


Panel 5. Echoing the narration, Arthur is passing in front of a building adorned with intricate carvings of various deities while walking by a starving child on the ground.

CAP/ARTHUR:
So far nothing. There are gods everywhere, but none of them are talking and I have to step over starving children to cross the street.


Panel 6. Arthur is walking through another revolving door, into a hotel.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I still don’t know why I’m doing this.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE EIGHT (one panel)

Panel 1. At the center of the page is the picture of Arthur’s face from the “Knights of the New World Order” album cover. The image, however, is made up of phosphor dots. Thus the picture, a televised representation of an artistically controlled portrait of the man, is two steps removed from his actual face. Arranged around the face like the chambers of a revolver pistol are six circles each containing the image of a famous Asian landmark, be it a temple, shrine, or palace (these could be construed as panels of their own, I suppose, but they’re all part of the same image). The narration captions are free floating in the white space around the images. The image is meant to reinforce the narration; Arthur sees all of these great things in the world but has given the world nothing but the media version of himself, which he has already admitted to considering worthless.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Like a modern-day Don Quixote on an airborne steed I ride through time and space.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I travel to a dozen Meccas on a continental pilgrimage everyone should take.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I see new things and meet new people, but remain apart from them all.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I take the gifts my destinations offer, but have none of my own to give.

CAP/ARTHUR:
And eventually I get tired --
PAGE NINE (five panels)

Panel 1. Arthur is stepping out of the hallway at the airport, walking towards Roger and Colette, who stand with their backs to us. He’s giving them a tired smile.

CAP/ARTHUR:
-- and I come back home.


Panel 2. Arthur is hugging Colette close to him. She smiles and hugs him back. Nearby, Roger grins at his newly returned friend.

CAP/ARTHUR:
And they greet me with smiles and hugs.

CAP/ARTHUR:
The prodigal son.


Panel 3. Arthur, Roger, and Colette are piling into Rogers’ fancy BMW. They’re all laughing and smiling.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I guess they’re just glad I’m not dead.


Panel 4. We’re looking through the glass of the car window at Arthur, who rests his head wearily against it as they drive along.

CAP/ARTHUR:
That’s a silly thought, though. They should know –


Panel 5. Arthur’s face is in the foreground, turned away from us looking out the window. On the plywood wall over a construction site a series of posters for the “Knights of the New World Order” tour are posted, one after the other.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Arthur Shepherd can never die.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE TEN (five panels)

Panel 1. This is a long horizontal panel taking up a whole row of its own. In it are two clocks (one digital and one analogue), a sundial, a calendar, and a little image of each of the four seasons.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Time Passes


Panel 2. Arthur is in the foreground, walking away from us and towards a little hole-in-the-wall shop called “Lighthouse Records.” He’s wearing a green sweater over a black shirt and blue jeans.


Panel 3. We’re inside Lighthouse Records, a small shop filled with dusty vinyl records holding out the vain hope that someone will buy them. A few people are milling about, browsing. Arthur is opening the door and entering.


Panel 4. Arthur is passing by the clerk and giving him a little salute. The clerk sits with his feet on the counter with a comic book in his hands, which he glances idly up from to acknowledge Arthur’s greeting.

ARTHUR:
Hey.

CLERK:
Hey, how ya doin’?


Panel 5. Arthur is flicking through the assorted records in their little wooden shelves. From this angle we can see that he’s wearing thin rectangular glasses and that he has a slight goatee. He’s put on a little weight since we last saw him, but he looks better rested and much less spacey and melancholy. He doesn’t look much like a rockstar anymore, though.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE ELEVEN (seven panels)

Panel 1. Arthur has just pulled a copy of The Beatles album “Revolver” from the shelve and is turning his head to look off-panel at the person addressing him. This page and the ensuing conversational pages might be done in a seven panel grid of two rows of three and one bigger panel, if you like. Do whatever you want, though.

VOICE (OP):
Excuse me, sir?


Panel 2. A man is approaching Arthur with a pointed finger and an uncertain smile on his face. He’s wearing an expensive looking lavender coat and pants over a silver colored dress shirt. His long platinum blonde hair is tied back into a pony tail and face is young and handsome. This is Sterling Gold, or at least that’s what he’d tell you.

STERLING:
I uh … I hate to be a pain in the ass, but are you …


Panel 3. Sterling is leaning in to pear at Arthur’s face. Arthur gives him a modest, patient smile.

STERLING:
Are you Arthur Shepherd?

ARTHUR:
Ah … yes. Yes I am, actually.


Panel 4. Sterling is punching his fist into the air in victory. Arthur looks a bit embarrassed.

STERLING:
Ha! I knew it!

ARTHUR:
Aheh … heh …


Panel 5. Sterling, apparently realizing he’s making Arthur uncomfortable, holds his hands in front of him. Arthur is waving it off, but looks impatient to go.

STERLING:
Oh, hey man, I’m sorry.

I don’t mean to make a big fuss. Just lost my head for a minute there.

ARTHUR:
It’s okay.


Panel 6. Sterling is shaking hands vigorously with Arthur with a million dollar smile on his face.

STERLING:
I’m Sterling Gold, by the way.

ARTHUR:
Oh … pleasure to meet you.


Panel 7. Sterling, still smiling, is waving his hands in front of him, as though dismissing Arthur’s statement.

STERLING:
No, no, man. The pleasure’s all mine!
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]
 
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Nails

PAGE TWELVE (seven panels)

Panel 1. We’re looking up at Sterling and Arthur from the rows of Records in front of them. Sterling looks more subdued now, more earnest. Arthur is smiling a bit more genuinely.

STERLING:
You know, I really dug your latest album. All that about getting off your ass and doing something, right?

STERLING:
It’s because of that that I started up a little zine.

ARTHUR:
Oh yeah?


Panel 2. Sterling stands with his hands on his hips, nodding and smiling at Arthur, who looks to be warming up to him.

STERLING:
Oh yeah! I used to just sorta … “walk the earth,” you know?

ARTHUR:
I’ve done a bit of that, myself.

STERLING:
That’s what I hear, yeah.


Panel 3. Close on Sterling. He’s gesturing with one hand as he talks.

STERLING:
So anyway, I was just doing my globetrotting thing and having a grand old time of it, but then I got your album.

STERLING:
And as I absorbed it, I started thinking.


Panel 4. Sterling is shrugging animatedly as he acts out his previous thoughts. Arthur is running a hand through his hair as he listens attentively.

STERLING:
And I thought, “hey, all this stuff I’m doing is great for me; but how’s it helping anybody else,” you know?

ARTHUR:
Well … yes.


Panel 5. Sterling is laughing and giving himself a slap to his forehead.

STERLING:
Haha! ‘Course you do, what am I saying? You wrote the album.

But what I’m trying to say is that it got me to put a little small press zine together.


Panel 6. Arthur stands with his arms crossed, smiling freely. Sterling, happy at this reaction is smiling back.

ARTHUR:
No kidding?

STERLING:
No kidding.


Panel 7. Sterling is giving a vague wave of his hand and turning to the records on the shelf. The lettering in his speech bubble gradually fades off, as though he’s mumbling by the time he gets to “magic and stuff.”

ARTHUR:
What’s it about? The zine, I mean.

STERLING (receding):
Oh you know … magic and stuff.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE THIRTEEN (seven panels)

Panel 1. Sterling talks to Arthur over his shoulder as he flips through the records.

STERLING:
Now I’m not saying I’ve got all your stuff figured out – I’m sure I haven’t – but I like what I have figured out.

ARTHUR:
Well it’s not too terribly deep, really.


Panel 2. Arthur stares off into space as he searches for the right words. Sterling has turned his head to face Arthur and interject his own suggestion. He’s holding the next record in the row up slightly, allowing us to see that it’s the Youngbloods “Ride the Wind.”

ARTHUR:
I mean, you’ve really grasped the root of it. It’s just about … doing your thing –

STERLING:
And making your little corner of humanity a little bit better?


Panel 3. Arthur is smiling and pointing with his open hands to Sterling, who half-shrugs.

ARTHUR:
Yeah. Yeah, exactly! Not the most complex idea in the world is it?

STERLING:
Nah, I guess not. A lot of people sure seem to have a hard time with it, though.


Panel 4. Arthur runs his hand through his hair again and looks glum, as though remembering something painful.

ARTHUR:
Yeah, no kidding.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Later, after words like “synchronicity” had become painfully familiar to me, I’d realize how me and Sterling met.


Panel 5. Close on Arthur’s face. His smile is entirely friendly, not forced at all now.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I didn’t know anything about him, or where he’d eventually lead me. I just knew that he was somebody who was actually paying attention.

ARTHUR:
Say, Sterling …


Panel 6. Arthur gestures to Sterling, a bit shyly. Sterling is absolutely thrilled.

ARTHUR:
My wife’s’ not expecting me back for another couple hours. You want to grab a bite?

STERLING:
With the king of the New World Order! Are you kidding me, hell yes I do!


Panel 7. The clerk sits in the foreground, reading his comic book. Arthur and Sterling can be seen behind him, leaving through the door. The size of their lettering gets progressively smaller, as though they’re gradually walking away (which they, of course, are).

ARTHUR (fading):
Well I’d hardly call myself the king of anything…

STERLING (fading):
What would you call yourself?
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE FOURTEEN (six panels)

Panel 1. Sterling and Arthur are seated across from one another at a fairly standard sit-down restaurant. Sterling is drinking a chocolate milkshake and Arthur has a soda. The remains of their lunches are on plate in front of them.

STERLING:
So tell me, why’d you disappear?

ARTHUR:
Disappear?

STERLING:
From the public eye, I mean.


Panel 2. Arthur shrugs as he takes a sip of his drink.

ARTHUR:
I don’t know. It just wasn’t working. The whole rockstar thing. It wasn’t getting my point across.

ARTHUR:
But it was taking me away from my family and friends.


Panel 3. Sterling leans forward over the table with a coy grin. Arthur looks away, out the window.

STERLING:
So to be with your family and friends you ran off to Asia for a year?

ARTHUR:



Panel 4. Arthur holds out his hands in defeat, acknowledging the foolhardiness of his actions but begging understanding.

ARTHUR:
Yeah, okay. It was a stupid thing to do.

I just hoped that … well that maybe I’d find some kind of meaning or … or something.

Panel 5. Arthur hunches over his drink, his face grim. Sterling casually licks some excess shake from his straw.

ARTHUR:
But I didn’t find anything.

I was just a damn tourist for twelve months.

STERLING:
Drag, man.


Panel 6. Sterling has turned himself sideways so that his back rests against the wall and his feet are stretched out in front of him. He rests an arm on the table and inspects his fingernails. Arthur looks glumly down at his drink and fiddles with his straw.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE FIFTEEN (six panels)

Panel 1. Arthur is looking up at Sterling and pointing at him. Sterling has apparently decided that one of his fingernails requires immediate attention, and is gnawing on it.

ARTHUR:
Hey, earlier – in the record store -- you mentioned magic. You said that’s what your magazine was about.

STERLING:
Yeah.


Panel 2. In the foreground Sterling has gone back to scrutinizing his fingernails. Arthur has a bemused smile on his face as he tries to get a straighter answer out of the other man.

ARTHUR:
So … are you a magician?

STERLING:
Yep.


Panel 3. Sterling is drinking out of his shake, using the spoon to guide it down towards his mouth. Arthur patiently waits for him to elaborate.

ARTHUR:
Well, so what does that mean? Cards up your sleeve, rabbits in your hat? That sort of thing?

STERLING:
I tried the card thing once, down in Vegas.


Panel 4. Sterling slides the empty glass away from him.

STERLING:
I really cleaned up, too, until they caught on. Almost didn’t make it outta that one.

STERLING:
But I don’t really like rabbits. Never had much use for ‘em.


Panel 5. Sterling is finally making eye contact with Arthur, and looks much more serious.

STERLING:
But no, I’m not a stage magician, if that’s what you’re asking.

ARTHUR:
What are you then?


Panel 6. Sterling is gesturing into the air, as though trying to find the right words there and pluck them down.

STERLING:
I’m an … I don’t know. I’m a magic magician.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE SIXTEEN (six panels)

Panel 1. Sterling leans back against the wall once more, gesturing with his hand towards Arthur, as though willing him to understand.

STERLING:
Magick with a “K,” you know? Do what thou wilt, alter reality, hang with gods and ultraterrestrial intelligences.

That sort of thing.


Panel 2. Arthur and Sterling look at each other from across their table.

ARTHUR:
I … see…

STERLING:
You don’t believe me.

ARTHUR:
Well I…

STERLING:
No, it’s okay if you don’t believe me.


Panel 3. Arthur looks somewhat at a loss, but Sterling is taking his doubt in stride. It’s all in good fun to him.

ARTHUR:
Well … can you do a demonstration?

STERLING:
Sure! Sure I can do a demonstration.


Panel 4. Sterling is pointing energetically at Arthur’s glass, which by now is almost empty. Arthur looks down at it and shrugs.

STERLING:
You look like you could use a refill there.

ARTHUR:
What? Yeah, I guess so.

STERLING:
Groovy. Now then …

Panel 5. Close on Sterling’s both of Sterling’s hands as he runs his index fingers over the tabletop.

STERLING (OP):
Observe.

CAP/ARTHUR:
He drew some kind of pattern on the table with his fingers.


Panel 5. Close on Sterling’s eyes, which are wide open and staring down at the tabletop.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Then he stared down at his invisible illustration for a few moments, and his eyes went all glassy…


Panel 6. We’re looking at Sterling from across the table. Arthur’s nearly empty glass sits at the center of the panel. Sterling is staring at it and his fingers are poised to snap.

STERLING:
And now, what was empty shall be --

[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE SEVENTEEN (seven panels)

Panel 1. Close on Sterling’s fingers as they snap. His speech bubble looks very arcane and magical.

STERLING (OP, magicky):
Filled!


Panel 2. Close on Arthur’s nearly empty glass.


Panel 3. Our angle on the glass is the same, but more soda is now pouring into it.


Panel 4. A waitress stands just behind Arthur’s shoulder, having approached from behind him, and is refilling his drink from a pitcher. He looks over at her, unimpressed.


Panel 5. Arthur has turned his highly skeptical gaze to Sterling, who is smiling as though fully vindicated.

STERLING:
Magic!

ARTHUR:
Oh, please.

STERLING:
What? Your glass is filled now, isn’t it?


Panel 6. Arthur looks a little irritated now, but Sterling just smiles and puts a finger to his temple, encouraging his companion to think.

ARTHUR:
You just saw her coming from behind me.

STERLING:
Or did I cause her to come, hm?

Magic is like arson: if you do it right, nobody knows you did anything at all.


Panel 7. Arthur rolls his eyes, wholly unconvinced. Sterling just smiles.

ARTHUR:
If you say so.

STERLING:
I do.

But look, man, I gotta go.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE EIGHTEEN (six panels)

Panel 1. Sterling is standing up and shaking Arthur’s hand.

STERLING:
It was a real honor to meet you, Mr. Shepherd.

ARTHUR:
Likewise.


Panel 2. Sterling is reaching into his coat and producing a beautiful ballpoint pen from the inside pocket.

STERLING:
And hey, I know you’re busy and all, but I’ve got a lot of friends you might like.

I know they’d be thrilled to meet you, too.


Panel 3. Sterling is writing something on Arthur’s unused coaster. Arthur leans over to see what it is.

STERLING:
So why don’t I give you this, just in case.

ARTHUR:
What is it, your phone number?


Panel 4. Sterling is handing Arthur the coaster and tucking his pen back into his pocket.

STERLING:
Nope, an address.

Come by and hang out if you can, it’s a great place. We’ll talk music.


Panel 5. Sterling is walking away, leaving Arthur sitting by himself, looking down at the coaster.

STERLING:
Maybe we’ll even get you sold on the magic bit too, eh?

CAP/ARTHUR:
And with that he winked and walked away.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] Panel 6. We’re looking down at the coaster in Arthur’s hand. The words “764 Loop Street. See you there. -- Sterling Gold” are written on it in elegant, flowing handwriting. This small sigil is drawn next to Sterling’s name:

CAP/ARTHUR:
Leaving me with only a coaster and the bill to pay.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE NINETEEN (five panels)

Panel 1. Arthur stands in his (rather fashionable) kitchen, looking down at a yellow post-it note in his hand.

CAP/ARTHUR:
At home I found another note, this one from Colette. It said she’d gone to he store.


Panel 2. Arthur walks into his living room, flicking the light on as he does so. It has a state of the art sound system and very nice, elegant furniture, but no television. There are several large bookshelves and numerous racks of CDs and vinyl records, all largely filled.

CAP/ARTHUR:
An interesting coincidence that allowed me time to reflect on …

CAP/ARTHUR:
Things.


Panel 3. Arthur is pulling the Beatles’ White Album from one of the record racks.


Panel 4. A record player sits in the foreground, onto which Arthur is putting the White Album. He looks calm and largely expressionless.


Panel 5. Arthur is easing himself into a comfortable looking armchair, his face still a mask.

CAP/ARTHUR:
So I sit, and I listen to the voices of my heroes. Those who came before me.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE TWENTY (six panels)

Panel 1. Close on Arthur from the shoulder’s up. He’s slouched back in his chair with one hand thoughtfully resting against his face.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I think of their thoughts and their ideas and their principles.


Panel 2. Move in closer, so that only Arthur’s face is visible.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I think of the people who believed in them.


Panel 3. Close in even further, so that one of Arthur’s eyes takes up the whole panel. The faint reflection of the record player can be discerned within it.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I think of their failures, and see in them my own reflection.


Panel 4. We’re looking directly down at the record player, from the ceiling.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I think of the record itself.


Panel 5. Close in on the record player, so that the needle and spinning disk itself are the focus of the panel. The narration here refers to the times a person can revolutionize themselves more than it refers to the actual record.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I wonder how many revolutions it’s gone through in its life.


Panel 6. We’re looking at Arthur, lazily slumped in his chair with a dour expression on his face.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I wonder how many more it has in it.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE TWENTY-ONE (four panels)

Panel 1. Close on Arthur’s ear. This panel is little more than a small inset at the upper left-hand corner of the next.

CAP/ARTHUR:
And then I just sit back, and listen.


Panel 2. Switch to a more panoramic view of the whole room, with Arthur and the record player at the center of the image. The slightly rough speech bubble comes from the speakers. The song being played is, of course, “Revolution 1.”

JOHN LENNON (electric):
… we all want to change the world …


Panel 3. Arthur is in the foreground, standing to greet Colette with a smile as she walks through the door carrying two bags of groceries.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Eventually Colette comes home.


Panel 4. Arthur and Colette are in bed reading, cuddled up close to one another.

CAP/ARTHUR:
We have a good evening together, and then we go to bed.
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT] PAGE TWENTY-TWO (five panels)

Panel 1. We’re looking right down at Arthur as he lies awake in bed. Colette, fast asleep, is curled up facing away from him.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I’ve spent my whole life searching for something.


Panel 2. Arthur has turned slightly to look at Colette’s sleeping form. Beyond her we can see an electric guitar propped up against the wall. These represent two of the things that Arthur has sought and found: love and artistic/financial freedom.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Several times I thought I’ve found it. That my search was over.

CAP/ARTHUR:
But it never is.


Panel 3. We’re in the doorway of Arthur’s bedroom, looking in at the darkened room and the bed.

CAP/ARTHUR:
I’ve searched far and wide; in all the far corners of the earth.


Panel 4. We’re moving down the hallway, away from the bedroom.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Maybe …


Panel 5. Close on the coaster with the address written on it. It sits right in front of the dormant record player.

CAP/ARTHUR:
Maybe its time I tried searching in my own back yard …

CAPTION:
Next: “A Shattered Visage Lies”
 
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