Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Space Cabby – Baker & Grodd’s Inexplicable Adventure! – MK Stangeland Jr.

This time, the two found themselves somehow stranded far away from Earth! Good thing SPACE CABBY was there to lend a hand! Or is it…?)

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: ANIMAL MAN and GORILLA GROOD are stuffed in the back seat of SPACE CABBY’s SPACE CAB. ANIMAL MAN looks like he should be a lot more uncomfortable than he’s letting on, but he’s hiding just how squished he is right now for the sake of keeping thing – and GRODD – peaceful. In an unusual turn of events, SPACE CABBY looks concerned as he drives.

SPACE CABBY (1): Uh oh…

GRODD: ‘Uh Oh’ what?

SPACE CABBY (2): Seems we have a problem the likes of which I’ve never seen.

SPACE CABBY (3): I have no idea where we are!

Panel 2: GORILLA GRODD looks ready to get violent, but ANIMAL MAN is doing a pretty good job of holding him back. For the moment, at least.

GRODD: I swear, if you don’t fix that problem, I will feast on your brains!

ANIMAL MAN: My apologies for my friend here.

Panel 3: ANIMAL MAN looks at GRODD with a ‘tsk tsk shame on you’ look.

GRODD is not amused.

ANIMAL MAN: As I keep trying to tell him, he has anger issues.

Panel 4: ANIMAL MAN leans forward to see if he can help SPACE CABBY with his problem. He also looks secretly relieved to get a brief moment to stretch, if only just a little.

ANIMAL MAN: What seems to be the problem?

SPACE CABBY (1): I’m not quite sure.

SPACE CABBY (2): It’s almost as if…

BUGS BUNNY: (Off Panel) Eh…

SFX: *munch munch*

Panel 5: SPACE CABBY, ANIMAL MAN, and GORILLA GRODD all look out the windows. Standing there, leaning on the cab and enjoying a carrot is BUGS BUNNY.

This panel should also give us the first real good look at their surroundings, which should look like a wilderness scene taken from a LOONY TUNES cartoon.

BUGS BUNNY: Like ya took a wrong turn as Albaquoique?

SFX: *munch munch*


Monday, November 24, 2014

Space Cabby – Special Delivery – Travis M. Holyfield

Panel 1: Exterior. Deep space. Cab #7433 zips through the panel, with four members of the Green Lantern Corps in hot pursuit. One of the Lanterns has created a giant megaphone and is yelling through it.


Panel 2: Interior of the cab. Space Cabby’s hat is cocked back on his head, and he is sweating from tension.

SPACE CABBY: Sorry, fellas! I’m normally a very law-abiding sort, but I’ve got a lady in here about to have a baby!

Panel 3: Close-up on Space Cabby’s hand grabbing the thrust control for his cab.
Panel 4: Close-up of Space Cabby slamming the thrust control to full.    
Panel 5: Exterior. The Green Lanterns pull up short as the Cab blasts away from them.  

Panel 6: Interior. Space Cabby looks into his rear view mirror.

SPACE CABBY: Don’t you worry now, ma’am. We’ll be at that Med Vessel in no time! 

Panel 7: Interior. The back seat of the cab. LOBO is dressed like a pregnant woman – big flowered dress, big flowered hat. His hand is clutched over a fake stomach, which is likely concealing a bag of ill-gotten gains.

LOBO: Heh.  


Why Space Cabby?

Because... because he's a cab driver. IN SPACE!

Created by Otto Binder and Howard Sherman, Space Cabby was originally introduced in Mystery in Space in 1954. He served as a narrator for tales told to his fares, and later as a protagonist in his own stories. Hi tales have been penned by such all-time greats as Gardner Fox and drawn by legends like Gil Kane. In the modern age, Space Cabby has kept busy, teaming up with Lobo and Superman, and making an appearance in James Robinson's superb Starman series.


How does one get to be a Space Cabby? Well, our guy lives in the 22nd century, driving for 9-Planet Taxi. A natural at stellar navigation, he was once a fighter pilot, before picking up the keys to Cab #7433. He is a member of the 'Cosmic Order Of Space Cab Pilots' and 'Veterans Of Alien Wars'.

I have always loved the stranger, more fringe characters of the DC Universe. And ever since I read that particular issue of Starman, I have been obsessed with the idea of Space Cabby. Because, again, he's a cab driver. IN SPACE.

Yes, at least half of my love for this character is in the giggle-factor. Just saying his name genuinely makes me laugh. But the storytelling potential of a character like this is unlimited. Sure, he's probably not A-List material. I certainly don't envision DC green-lighting a SPACE CABBY series or anything. But how much fun would a Mystery in Space anthology be? And Space Cabby could be right there, anchoring the book, telling his fares stories about Adam Strange, and Lobo, and the Legion of Super Heroes. Like a cosmic Crypt Keeper. With a taxi. IN SPACE!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hawk & Dove – Questions & Answers – Travis M. Holyfield


Panel 1: Profile shot. Hawk is grabbing a thug by the shirt, pulling him in close and screaming in his face.   
HAWK: Five crates full of assault rifles! They didn’t just materialize out of thin air!
Panel 2: Close-up of Hawk’s fist smashing into the thug’s face, breaking his nose.
Panel 3: Close-up of Hawk’s other fist crushing the thug’s jaw. Teeth and blood fly from the impact.
Panel 4: Close-up of Hawk’s fist pounding into the thug’s eye.   
Panel 5: Another punch by Hawk, further demolishing the thug’s already ruined face.   
Panel 6: Hawk stands over the bloodied, battered, unconscious thug. The thug’s body slumps to the floor. Dove stands behind Hawk, covering his eyes.
DOVE: Are you finished? 
Panel 7: Close-up of Hawk. His face is contorted with violence and rage.
HAWK: Finished?
Panel 8: Three other thugs sit huddled in the corner. Their faces are filled with terror as the shadow of Hawk looms over them.
HAWK (OFF-PANEL): I haven’t even started…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hawk & Dove – View Askew – MK Stangeland Jr.

(I’ve decided to go ahead and create new version of HAWK and DOVE for this particular script. HAWK is HELEN JACKSON, a shorter, unassuming woman who’s far tougher than she looks. DOVE is DAVID JACKSON, her brother, who’s built like a the biggest, baddest wrestler you’re ever likely to meet but is actually a massive teddy bear of a softy deep down inside.)

Panel 1: Two gangs who were in the middle of a drug deal were interrupted by DOVE, who’s actually smiling and looks not concerned at all about all the people who look very much ready to kill him.

DOVE (1): Come now!

DOVE (2): Surely we don’t need to fall back on violence….


Panel 2: Everyone scatters as a large van flies through the air and crashes into another van. Everyone, that is, except DOVE, who does a limbo bend to duck just under the van.

SFX: Crash!

Panel 3: DOVE stands up and looks towards the crashed van. The others around him are beginning to pick themselves up as well.


HAWK: (Off panel) I’m sorry, did that van belong to someone? It was in my way.

Panel 4: Full view of HAWK, who looks furious. She stands nearby next to a support structure, which she punches dangerously out of shape with a single blow.

HAWK: And I hate it when things get in my way.


SFX: Creeeek

Panel 5: One of the GANG LEADERs has a look that’s one part anger, one part concern about what HAWK is doing.

GANG LEADER: HEY! You trying to bring this place down on top of us?!

Panel 6: HAWK stands on one leg in a pre-kick motion as he prepares to hit the support structure again.

HAWK: Oh, you mean I shouldn’t do…


Monday, November 17, 2014

Hawk and Dove - Birds of a Feather - Grant McLaughlin

I don't have a strong opinion as to which Hawk and Dove this should be, so for simplicity's sake, let's just go with the original Hall brothers.

1 - Hawk and Dove sit on a couch in their living room.  Hawk looks glum and tense, head in hands, while Dove lounges with one arm along the top of the couch and points with the other towards Hawk as if making a suggestion (in response to Hawk's words).  A coffee table sits in front of the two heroes, with a phone (cell or landline - your choice) on top of it.  The panel should be framed so that the phone is in the foreground in the middle of the panel, with Hawk on its left and Dove on its right (both in the background, of course).  The two heroes look towards the phone, of course.

HAWK: Why won't anyone call us to team-up anymore?

DOVE: Maybe everyone is intimidated by our cocksure ways!

2 - Hawk looks towards Dove quizzically.  Dove is already on his feet, starting to pace around the table looking serious with a hand to his chin in the Thinker pose.

DOVE (1): Or perhaps we unintentionally ruffled some feathers?

DOVE (quietly) (2): A foul thought, that.

3 - Dove walks towards an easy chair on Hawk's left, making the classic "crazy" circle gesture towards his head (that sounds way more awkward to describe than it should).  Hawk shakes his head in a disappointed / dismissive manner.

DOVE (1): Either way, they're loons not to calls us.

DOVE (2): Evil's goose is cooked when we're on the case.

4 - Dove throws himself onto the easy chair, landing in a sideways position (head and feet across the arms) and looking towards Hawk (Dove may be lounging so comfortably to be looking upside down at Hawk).  Hawk rolls his eyes.

DOVE (1): Our so-called friends will eat crow after they realize the error of their ways.

DOVE (2): In fact, you know what I think?

5 - Hawk facepalms, finally responding to Dove.  However, Dove has worked himself into a state and shouts out his finale, gesticulating wildly from his lounging position.  While Dove is shouting, his word balloon should actually be mostly covered by Hawk's to indicate that they are talking at the same time and that Hawk is ignoring Dove.  That said, you should be able to make out the last three or four words of Dove's interjection.

HAWK: Nevermind, I think I figured out the reason.

DOVE: I think they can go flock themselves!

Hawk and Dove - The Same Coin - Ben Rosenthal

1.  A thug sits in a chair.  He is lit up by the light of an opened door which is opposite him and off panel.  He is scared.  A shadow of someone entering the room can be seen cutting through the light from the opened door.

S-s-stay away. STAY AWAY!

2.  Reveal of the person coming through the door - it is Dove in full costume.  He looks concerned at the man's predicament.

What is it?  Are you ok?

THUG (off panel)
Thank God.  I thought you were Hawk.

3.  Dove is playing with the Thug's straps, looking like he is trying to untie them.

Hawk died years ago.

See that's what I thought.  'Til he jumped me, beat me and bought me here.

He's alive I tells ya.

4.  Dove is standing, looking down at the Thug who is still tied to the chair.  He is looking up in horror at Dove's face, but we cannot see why (as we cannot see his face).

I don't know about alive--

5.  Reveal close up of Dove's face.  It is horrific - a cross between a demon and a hawk.  Something you would see in old Japanese demon legends.  It's mouth is wide with a hint of a beak in stead of lips.  Sharp teeth point out from it.

But he would kill for a bite to eat.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hawk and Dove - The Madding Crowd, Part 11 - R.A. Wonsowski

The Story So Far: ECLIPSO has manipulated SHADE the Changing Man into separating people's animae from their human halves, sometimes with disastrous results. These shadow aspects have been channeled through ECLIPSO's Black Diamonds, into a weapon called the Sunset Gun, which has opened a dimensional gateway into the Area of Madness, where he will wage final war with his Creator...

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 4 1/2 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 10 1/2


Panels 1 and 2 are a diptych. It is dusk, and the sky is a rose red. Panel 1 is the end of a pier at the Gotham Naval Shipyard, which operates as an ordnance disposal site. HANK HALL, his back to us, looks out into the distance at the Gotham skyline. He is dressed in naval issue blue shirt and dungarees, white sailor's hat clutched in one hand, the other holding a cell phone to his ear. From one low roof, a thin black beam shoots into the sky in panel 2, opening a portal into the Area of Madness. On the water is a Coast Guard cutter, a lone figure is visible on the aft deck grasping the rail as a lone witness (this would be DON HALL). Copy is as follows:

Panel 1-
CAPTION: Gotham Naval Ordnance Disposal Site.
HANK: Jeezus, Don! Are you seeing this?!?

Panel 2-
CAPTION: Coast Guard Cutter Gavyn.
DON: I see it, Hank! Whatever it is...

Panel 3- We are now facing HANK HALL, still on his cell, and poised as if he's about to jump off the pier into action. He has tossed his hat to the side.

DON: (on phone)'s stirring up the harbor!
HANK: We gotta get out there, stop whoever's doing this!
DON: (on phone) Wait!

Panel 4- Close-up of DON HALL, one hand holding binoculars to his eyes in one hand, his cell to his ear with the other.

DON: There are other vessels caught in the chop! We have to save those crews!

In the gap between the second and third rows of panels, mystic lettering, copy reads: BROTHERS!

Panel 5- HANK's face is bathed in white light, but a hawk-shaped shadow falls across his eyes.

HANK: Yes!

Panel 6- Same as panel 5, except it's a dove-shaped shadow across DON's face.

DON: Yes!

In the bottom gutter beneath Panels 5 and 6, more mystic lettering, copy reads: SO BE IT. ONLY SPEAK THAT YOU SAY THAT I AM.

Panel 7- Leaping out of a flash of white light, two figures emerge toward us. Their leather-like white armor is fletched by blood-red and sky-blue feathers respectively, their heads covered by similarly adorned bird-head cowls. From above, talon-like hands extended, the aggressor avatar of war. From below, diving forward into an off-panel sea, the guardian avatar of peace. Both cry out their new namesakes.

DOVE: DOVE!! be continued...

Why the Hawk and the Dove?

In case you couldn't tell, I'm a bit of a fan of DC Ditko, but of all his concepts, the one that I think really got the shaft were these two.

Hawk and Dove were the Hall brothers, Hank and Don. When their father, a fair but tough-as-nails judge, was threatened, they were visited by the Lords of Order and Chaos and granted the powers of the avatars of War and Peace. As a reflection of the opposing viewpoints of late sixties America, they couldn't be more on the nose.
...hoo, boy...
The problem was that every writer after Ditko and his partner Steve Skeates has treated them as the worst of stereotypes. Hank has frequently been cast as a bullying jerk, and Don typically acts as a weeping dishtowel of a wimp. It wasn't until the excellent Brave & Bold #181, by Alan Brennert and Jim Aparo, that they finally started getting fleshed out.

This was actually my introduction to Hawk and Dove....

Unfortunately, just as they started getting interesting, Don was killed in the Crisis of Infinite Earths, and Hawk, without his Dove, became unbalanced. Even the introduction of a new Dove, Dawn Granger, couldn't fix the damage done, and belligerent Hank spiraled into villainy, first as the future despot Monarch, then as the time-travelling Extant. DC tried to revive the concept with the New 52, know...Liefeld...
...I...I don't even know what to say to this....

So other than the fact that they fill the third party in my Ditko trilogy, why pick them at all? Because the concept has so much unexplored potential. Hawks are sheltering nurturers of their young, and doves will protect their nests to the death. Imagine Hank as a Navy SEAL returned home to be a family man. And just because someone's a pacifist, doesn't make them any less brave; what if Don, instead of being the limp weakling, was a Coast Guard rescue swimmer, or a firefighter, protecting those in danger? Then there's the mystic aspect. Why did the Lords, in their infinite wisdom, pick these two to be their avatars? What powers might they have that have not been discovered yet? Can you picture them in a Vertigo book? I have.
The possibilities are as endless as the stars, my friends.

That's what makes comics great. Warriors, protectors, they are whatever you bring to the party. And feel free to bring your best interpretations and ideas. Just leave a page of script down here in the comments section. We'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Big Hero 6 - The Madding Crowd, Part ? - R.A. Wonsowski


Panel 1- WASABI-NO-GINGER looks over the edge of a building as he consoles a desolate HONEY LEMON, who is crying uncontrollably on his shoulder. HIRO and BAYMAX come up from behind.

WASABI-NO-GINGER: ...well, it was bound to happen sometime...
HONEY LEMON: *sob* Oh but WHY?!? Why NOW?!?
HIRO: Hey, guys? What's going on?

Panel 2- Two-shot, WASABI-NO-GINGER and HIRO.

WASABI-NO-GINGER: Do you not read Thoughtballoons(tm)?
HIRO: N-no...should I?
WASABI-NO-GINGER: We have been thrilling to the adventures of Jack Ryder, his mind trapped in the Creeper's body. We've been anxious to see how we'd fit into the story.
HIRO: So, what happened?

Panel 3- In the background, we can see the four members of Big Hero 6 looking down from the rooftop. Foreground, we see ME, lying on a sidewalk, laptop screen glowing and held in a dead-man's clutch, head crushed under a giant concrete cube. Carved in the most visible side, it reads: If found Please call JACK RYDER 1-800 U R WRONG.

WASABI-NO-GINGER: The author was hit by Ryder's block...

...don't worry, sports fans...Act III of The Madding Crowd starts with the next pick...oh, wait, that's me....