Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lumberjanes – Lumberjills - MK Stangeland Jr.

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: JEN has lead the group to a large tree.

JEN (1): Alright, this will do nicely!

JEN (2): Let’s cut this tree down and start getting you girls your ‘Lumberjane’ badges.

APRIL: Aren’t we a little close to camp?

Panel 2: JEN.

JEN (1): No problem.

JEN (2): If it hits anything, we’ll use the tree to fix it.

JEN (3): In fact, that’s part of the origin of the ‘Lumberjane’ name!

Panel 3: The group.

JO: Really?

RIPLEY: Here I would have guessed it was because of all the manly Lumberjacks going to punch Hitler in the face and women coming in to cut down trees for them.

Panel 4: JEN hands RIPLEY a merit badge.

RIPLEY: What’s this?

Panel 5: RIPLEY takes the badge, but isn’t impressed.

JO (1): Backstory badge.

JO (2): For coming up with a creative yet plausible backstory.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lumberjanes - No Rain, No Gain - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Establishing shot.  It is a dark, rainy day, with a downpour falling upon the roof of the Lumberjanes' Roanoke cabin.  LETTERING NOTE: The word balloon emerging from the cabin should in some way connote despondance (either being black, extra wavy, extended, etc).

RIPLEY (from within): -sigh!-

2 - Ripley sits on a lowerbunk, looking out the window in infinte sadness, her hand resting longingly on the pane, as if reaching for the sunny days she once knew.  Molly sits next to her, looking kind of confused.  Jo and Mal play cards, while April writes in her diary.

RIPLEY: The world will never be dry again.

MAL: Rip, it's only been raining for, like, an hour.

RIPLEY: (quieter) never again...

3 - Jen rummages through a big ol' wooden chest.  Her heads is pretty much right in there, out of sight.  She throws various items related to the words she's saying out of the box and behind her (like board games, construction paper, safety scissors, etc).

JEN (1): Don't worry, girls.  I am prepared for all rainy day eventualities!

JEN (2): May I suggest playing board games, doing crafts, reading, sitting quietly, contemplating existence, slow motion tag, or the most thrilling pursuit of all --

4 - Pull back a bit to have Jen and the girls in frame.  Jen looks up from the box towards the girls.  She holds with her hand tracing an imaginary rainbow above her head (which actually exists as a real rainbow on the page, which reads: "Imaginations").  LETTERING NOTE: Jen's dialogue should come before the rainbow word.  The girls look over, stopping their activites in wonder of where this is going.

JEN: Using our --


5 - Repeat panel.  The rainbow "Imaginations" has disappeared.  The girls look on, stunned.  Jen holds her pose, as confident as ever.


6 - The girls look towards each other uneasily, unsure of what to do.  Ripley tursn back towards her window, reaching for absent sun once more.  Jen closes her eyes and shrugs, a knowing look on her face.

JEN: That's fine.  I'm just going to imagine you all liked my idea.

RIPLEY (quietly): Please come back, Mr. Sun...

Why Lumberjanes?

Is that a for real question?

The Lumberjanes burst onto the comic book scene last year, coming out of nowhere to become a mad popular book in what seemed like no time at all.  Indeed, it was quickly moved from an 8-issue limited series to an ongoing, and continues to go strong, with its twelfth issue due to hit shelves this month.

While its status as a critical darling took some by surprise, it's really not hard to see why it gets so much love.  It's a book helmed by some crazy talented female creators that stars an all-female cast that is, above all, extreme amounts of fun.

That last one is always important to any book's success, but the first two points obviously deserve some serious attention.  For all of the wonderful things that comics do, they still remain something of a boys' club, both when it comes to creators and characters.  Admittedly, having an all-female cast is foolishly rare in pretty much all types of media, let alone comics, so that in and of itself is already a cause for celebration.

However, Lumberjanes also happens to be adorable, funny, and wickedly clever.  So it's like win-win-win.

In case you aren't familiar with the concept, it focuses on a group of girls at summer camp that just so happens to be wacky and full of mystical danger.  Seriously, they get into all sorts of scrapes, including battling with ancient gods, fighting yeti (yetis? yeties?), and trying to earn their next merit badge (to name but a few of their many activities).  Also, it's all about exploring the true meaning of friendship, which one should always be on board for.

There's something for everyone, and with an ensemble cast there's always something new to be discovered, even if its accomplished solely by changing who is interacting with who.

Also, there's plenty of puns.

Also also, they do fastball special jokes.

(what more could you possibly want?)
So I ardently hope you'll join me in coming up with some exciting new adventures for our daring heroines of derring-do to get up into.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Gorilla Grodd - Gorilla My Dreams - R.A. Wonsowski


Panel 1- FLASH running toward us.

Panel 2- Same as above, except a small bloody hole opens in FLASH's forehead, his brains exploding out the back of his head. NO COPY.

Panel 3- Repeat Panel 1.

Panel 4- FLASH trips on a rock, stumbling. NO COPY.

Panel 5- FLASH impales himself on a spike that shoots up out of nowhere, sticking out his back. NO COPY.

Panel 6- Repeat Panel 1.

Panel 7- a drone flies left to right, pulling a filament wire behind, in front of FLASH, about neck high. NO COPY.

Panel 8- The filament, now pulled taut, lops FLASH's head clean off, bloodlessly, an almost cartoonish expression on his face, like an Oh No. NO COPY.

Panel 9- Panel center, in a futuristic lab below Gorilla City, FLASH hangs from the ceiling, suspended face down, unconscious, an overlarge sensory-deprivation helmet over most of his head, wires leading to a monitor on the wall showing Panel 1. On the left, in what looks like a giant fishbowl etched with circuitry and runes, DANIEL, the son of Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, pounds on the glass in desperation, silently screaming. Panel right, GORILLA GRODD, wearing the Helm of Morpheus, wrings his hands with sadistic glee, a leather pouch full of dust dangles from a sash about his waist.

GRODD: ...thus in dreams shall the world of humans end...
GRODD: ...but first...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gorilla Grodd – Baker & Grodd’s Psychotic Adventure! – MK Stangeland Jr.

(Admittedly, I was tempted not to do another edition of Baker & Grodd this week just to mess with you all. But these two are just too much fun to pull a stunt like that, honestly.)

(In this edition, ANIMAL MAN and GORILLA GRODD have found themselves on the wrong end of a PERSONALITY RAY built by the ULTRAHUMANITE, effectively reversing their normal personalities!)

(7 Panels)

Panel 1: ULTRAHUMANITE, in his lab, as he tries to hide. He remains relatively calm in spite of this, though with  the impression he realizes he’s bitten off more than he can chew.


Panel 2: ULTRAHUMANITE stops short as he just about runs into ANIMAL MAN. ANIMAL MAN looks particularly angry, verging on having a mild touch of evil to him. He also looks like he’s getting ready to strike. Surrounding him are the auras of a GORILLA and a HUMMINGBIRD.

ANIMAL MAN (1): There you are.

ANIMAL MAN (2): Revenge shall be mine!


Panel 3: GORILLA GRODD throws himself at ANIMAL MAN with a tackle move, but doesn’t directly hit ANIMAL MAN. Instead, ANIMAL MAN is being tossed aside by a ‘telekinetic tackle’.



Panel 4: GRODD grabs ANIMAL MAN. ANIMAL MAN is disheveled from GRODDs interference.

GRODD: This behavior is MOST unbecoming of you, Mr. Baker!

Panel 5: GRODD looks to ULTRAHUMANITE as he offhandedly tosses ANIMAL MAN across the room. ULTRAHUMANITE looks to be recomposing himself.

GRODD (1): Apologies for my friend here, Ultrahumanite.

GRODD (2): It appears as though he’s developed quite the anger issues!

ULTRAHUMANITE: No apologies needed.

Panel 6: GRODD leaps at ANIMAL MAN in an attempt to restrain him and get him under control.

GRODD (1): Oh irony of ironies!

GRODD (2): Long have I desired a moment such as this!

Panel 7: GRODD grabs ANIMAL MAN in a headlock.

GRODD (1): Yet now?

GRODD (2): I take no pleasure in it at all!


Monday, February 23, 2015

Gorilla Grodd - Monkey See - Grant McLaughlin

Apologies for the tardiness.

1 - Gorilla Grodd sits at a desk covered in books, papers, writings, and all manner of literary / academic signifiers.  He wears a smug look on his face, triumphantly closing the book he holds in one hand with a snap.

GRODD (1): At last!

GRODD (2): With our combined efforts, I will finally get my revenge on that despicable Flash!

VOICE (off-panel): Actually...

2 - Pull back to reveal that Deadshot stands on the other side of the desk.  We can perhaps focus on solely him this panel.  He can be cleaning his guns or whatever, only kind of paying attention.  (This is pre-New 52 Deadshot, natch.)

DEADSHOT (1): I've been meaning to ask you about that.

DEADSHOT (2): Why do you have such a hate-on for ol' Flashy?

3 - Now have both in the panel.  Grodd could perhaps have stood up from his chair, showing some annoyance at Deadshot's candour.  Deadshot maintains the same cocky, detached attitude he always has.

GRODD: What do you mean?  He's my nemesis.

DEADSHOT (1): And I get that, but what did he do to earn your bad blood?

DEADSHOT (2): Kill your best friend?

DEADSHOT (3): Steal your girl?

DEADSHOT (4): Or is moving really fast just the natural predator of super-intelligent, talking gorillas?

4 - Focus again on Grodd.  He beings to answer, but looks slightly hesitant.

GRODD: Well, you see...

5 - Same panel.  Grodd has stopped talking, wracking his brain for an answer.


6 - Grodd is back at the desk (reflecting panel 1), looking at his papers and books.  The light in the room is darker, as if the sun has set and Grodd has been sitting there a while.  A sheet of paper titled "Why I Hate the Flash" sits prominently in the middle of the desk (the reader doesn't need to see the whole title, but enough letters to be able to piece it together).  The important thing is that the paper is blank.  Grodd is perhaps chewing on his pencil or tapping his head in concentration.  He looks kind of worried.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gorilla Grodd - Missing Link - Travis M. Holyfield

Setup: THE FLASH has just destroyed one of GORILLA GRODD'S nefarious doomsday devices. In order to do so, The Scarlet Speedster has had to vibrate at a speed and frequency he has never achieved before. At the last moment, Grodd grabs hold of the Flash and they are both whisked away in a crash of lightning!

Panel One: Exterior. Daytime. A clearing in a junglescape. Foliage creeps up to nearly waist high. A hill in the background looms up over the tree line.

Panel Two: Continuation of previous, but now a flash of lightning fills the panel and the forms of The Flash and Grodd spill out into the clearing.


Panel Three: The Flash zooms towards Grodd, his fist cocked back to strike.

FLASH: You maniacal monkey! The device was a trap! This was your plan all along!

FLASH: Where have you taken us?

Panel Four: Grodd grins knowingly at the Flash. In the background, a group of humanoid figures crest the hill, their features shadowed.

GRODD: Not where, Flash! WHEN!

Panel Five: Grodd glances over his shoulder towards the hill with a devilish grin. The Flash stares past him at the figures on the hill, his face a mask of grim determination.

FLASH: It doesn't matter where or when, Grodd! You're insane if you think I'll let you harm any innocent bystanders!

GRODD: Bystanders, Flash? I don't see bystanders...

Panel Six:  Closeup of the figures on the hill. It is DOCTOR ZAIUS and a squad of Gorilla soldiers! We are on the PLANET OF THE APES!

GRODD (CAPTION): "... I see reinforcements."

Why Gorilla Grodd?

Dude. Gorillas are awesome. Why are we even having this conversation?

In the world of awesome comic book gorillas, Grodd reigns supreme. He was created by the legendary Carmine Infantino, so right there you know he's got to be great. Grodd is a hyper-intelligent, telepathic, SUPER-gorilla, who got his powers, depending on when you started reading comics, from either an alien spacecraft or a radioactive meteor.

Regardless, Grodd and a group of other gorillas are forever changed, made super intelligent, and, in the case of Grodd and his nemesis Solovar, telepathic and telekinetic.

The gorillas construct a super advanced city named, perhaps somewhat obviously, Gorilla City, and everything is pretty cool until some silly humans stumble upon the place, giving Grodd the opportunity to take over the city and start a campaign of world domination. Solovar calls the Flash for help, and it's been speedster versus gorilla ever since.

Grodd's enjoying a bit of a renaissance these days, with an appearance on the new Flash TV show. But even before he hit big screen stardom, Grodd was always my favorite telepathic, homicidal, despotic gorilla. And now he can be yours.

(BTW, if this week doesn't get us another edition of "Buddy and Grodd" from MK Stangeland, I'm calling shenanigans. I ask for so little in this life.)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mole Man - Directionless - Travis M. Holyfield

Panel 1: Exterior. Daytime. The FANTASTIC FOUR stand side-by-side in Times Square. Behind them crowds of onlookers are being held back  by barriers, police cars, and a small army of NYPD officers. The FF look grim, determined, and ready for battle.

Panel 2: Mister Fantastic stretches his arm and pulls back his sleeve to reveal a wristwatch,

MISTER FANTASTIC: Something's wrong here. Those lava men we apprehended swore that he'd be attacking Times Square at noon.

Panel 3: The Human Torch floats behind Reed, and the Thing leans in from the side to see the time on Mister Fantastic's watch.

HUMAN TORCH: Maybe he got lost?

THE THING: Very funny, matchstick.

Panel 4: Focus on the Torch, looking thoughtful.

HUMAN TORCH: No, I'm serious.

HUMAN TORCH: How does he even know where to pop out anyway? It's not like there are street signs down there.

Panel 5: Underground. The MOLE MAN sits on a rock, surrounded by MOLOIDS. He has a large map unfolded in front of him, and is squinting at it. Several Moloids are peering at the map with him, over his shoulder or from his side. One of the Moloids holds a compass. The Moloid's dialogue should be represented by squiggles.

MOLE MAN: Blasted map! What good are you?

MOLOID 1: | | | | | | | | | | | | |

MOLE MAN: Don't talk to me like that. YOU were in charge of directions. Are you even using that compass the right way?

MOLOID 2: | | | | | | | | | |

MOLE MAN: If we end up in New Jersey again, you're all dead to me.

MOLOID 3: | | | | | | |

MOLE MAN: NO, we can't go to Brooklyn instead!

MOLE MAN: Who ever heard of a hipster Moloid, anyway?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mole Man - Jerusalem - Ray Wonsowski

Panel 1-  Long shot, the sea, Monster Island. High noon, perfect blue sky. Towering astride the highest point, hundreds of feet tall, the dread DORMAMMU spreads his arms wide, the Flames of Faltine dancing in his palms. He has erected a clear magick dome over the island, his head is back, as if gazing into the sun.

CAPTION: Bring me my bow of burning gold!

Panel 2- In a subterranean cavern, a magic portal opens, an army of MINDLESS ONES breaching through. Countless MOLOIDS run away in fear.

CAPTION: Bring me my arrows of desire!

Panel 3- Walking purposefully from one cavern into a large antechamber, MOLE MAN, who looks p!$$ed-off as all get-out, comes toward us, surrounded by frightened MOLOIDS. One passes MOLE MAN his staff, another drapes his cape about his shoulders.

CAPTION: Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!

Panel 4- Reveal, a Kirby-esqe battle tank, gleaming rare metal and glowing circuitry, with an improbable double-barreled cannon on the top, a pilot's throne attached to the side. MOLE MAN,tiny in comparison, climbs up to take his seat.

CAPTION: Bring me my chariot of fire!

Panel 5- Close-up of MOLE MAN, strapping himself in, grim fury behind his goggles, impossibly ready to take the fight to Dormammu and his invaders, his demeanor should be almost that of a king defending his people.

CAPTION: I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand...

Inspired by William Blake's poem "And Did Those Feet in Ancient Times", more commonly known as the traditional hymn, "Jerusalem".