Sunday, March 29, 2015

Squirrel Girl - Food for Thought - Grant McLaughlin

Squirrel Girl, in her secret identity as Doreen Green, is going grocery shopping and discovers that Tippy-Toe has snuck along inside her bag.

We've got a lot of dialogue in panel 1, but it would be relatively small, with the page's focus being panels 2 and 5.

1 - Doreen stands in a grocery store aisle, her cart off to the side slightly.  The focus is on her and her bag, as she discovers that Tippy-Toe has come along for the errand.  Doreen is not please, grabbing Tippy-Toe (perhaps by the scruff of the neck) and brings her out of the bag entirely.

SQUIRREL GIRL: Tippy!  We discussed this!  Regular, non-superhero people like myself don't go grocery shopping with their squirrel companions!  It strains credulity.

TIPPY-TOE: Granted, but I needed to stop you from buying all that junky healthy food like fruit, vegetables, and - eugh - seeds.

SQUIRREL GIRL: Um, those things are all really good for squirrels?  What else would you want?

2 - Tippy-Toe has escaped Doreen's grasp and runs along the shelf.  This would be one of those "multiple pose" type deals, as Tippy appears throughout the panel and shelf in front of (or behind, beside, etc) various foodstuffs, calling out their names as she pauses (plus once at the start where she lands).  Doreen would watch on from the right-hand side of the panel so that she can comment at the end, a confused look on her face.

TIPPY-TOE (1): You know, the good stuff!

TIPPY-TOE (2): Cake!

TIPPY-TOE (3): Cookies!

TIPPY-TOE (4): Ice cream!

SQUIRREL GIRL: Conversely, those things are all really bad for squirrels?

3 - Tippy jumps back onto Doreen's forearm (which is maybe being held in a right-angled, "Snow White"-esque manner).  Tippy looks accusingly up at her friend, while Doreen smiles down knowingly, pointing at herself with her other hand.

TIPPY-TOE: But you eat them all the time!

SQUIRREL GIRL: That's because I'm a Squirrel Girl.

4 - Repeat panel.  Doreen realizes that Tippy's comment was somewhat insulting and doesn't appreciate it.  Tippy doesn't much care and keeps dishing it out.  Both are getting rather riled up and are possibly leaning towards one another.

SQUIRREL GIRL: And I do not eat them all the time!

TIPPY-TOE: That's funny, because that tub of ice cream emptied itself pretty quickly last night!

5 - Pull back to show the grocery store around Doreen and Tippy-Toe.  A decent-size group of grocery store patrons has gathered / stopped their shopping all around and are looking on in great confusion.  Some have stopped in the middle of grabbing something off the shelf, holding the pose.  Others have dropped items in surprise.  Some simply cannot look away.  Doreen and Tippy-Toe are in a similar pose to last panel, but both have stopped dead, looking at the assembled group in stunned confusion.


6 - A security guard steps up, and while confused, asks them to leave.  Doreen and Tippy-Toe look away, embarrassed (Tippy has climbed up to Doreen's shoulder).

SECURITY GUARD: I'm gonna have to ask you and your credulous squirrel to leave.


TIPPY-TOE: Chitty, chit.

Why Squirrel Girl?

Squirrel Girl is pretty much universally loved.

If she were a wrestler, Squirrel Girl, aka Doreen Green, would be the ultimate babyface.  Some of the cream of Marvel's supervillain crop have jobbed for her in a pretty serious way, with opponent after opponent going down in defeat to her bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ways.

Doctor Doom.  Thanos.  Galactus.

Heck, even some of Marvel's premiere heroes have gone down for the count when facing off against her - Deadpool and Wolverine, for example.  No one was safe against Doreen Green's popularity.

Thankfully for the rest of the Marvel Universe, things eventually settled down and Doreen took on the role of nanny to Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' baby girl.  Personally, I always thought this was a suitably adorable role for her to play.

That being said, outside forces have happily conspired to launch Squirrel Girl back onto the central stage of public awareness.  Ryan North and Erica Henderson were tapped to launch the brand-new Unbeatable Squirrel Girl monthly book.  And while we're only 3 issues in, I think it's fair to call the project a resounding success.

North has brought his trademark humour and wit and Henderson her superb cartooning abilities to deliver a Squirrel Girl who is all kinds of amazing.  Their SG is a very self-aware lady, as she knows she is a fish out of water starting up as a freshman at Empire State University.  But she's also rather self-assured, ready for anything, whether it's throwing down with Kraven the Hunter or making new friends on campus.  Above all, she - and the book - are all kinds of fun.  It's evident that the creative team is having a great time making this book and they want their readership to have the same going through.  Thankfully for everyone, that is coming through in a big way.

Seriously, I don't know of many more enjoyable books hitting stands at the moment, so I'm rather excited for a week of squirrel-y scripts.  Come on and join in if you'd like - you'd be nuts not to.

Shall we?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Beta Ray Bill - Everything Is a Nail - Travis M. Holyfield

Panel 1. Exterior. The Blue Area of the Moon. BETA RAY BILL and RONAN THE ACCUSER stand facing each other.

RONAN: A Korbinite. I had thought your kind extinct, washed away like the useless grime you are.

Panel 2. Focus on Bill.

BETA RAY BILL: And even with my eyes closed, I would know you as a Kree, for you talk too much and still say nothing of interest.

Panel 3. Focus on Ronan. He hefts his hammer and points it at Bill.


Panel 4. Bill hefts Stormbreaker and looks at it thoughtfully.

BETA RAY BILL: There is an Earth expression that I often ponder.

BETA RAY BILL: “When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Panel 5. Close up of Bill’s face as he glares at Ronan.

BETA RAY BILL: Tell me, “Accuser”, what do you imagine you look like to me right now?

Panel 6. Bill and Ronan rush at each other, swinging their hammers in mighty arcs!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Beta Ray Bill - Sleeping with the Television On - Ray Wonsowski

Panel 1- Foreground, SUE STORM, sits at a table in the middle of one of the big rooms in the Baxter Building, overcome with ennui, cupping her chin in her hand exasperatedly. She is in her classic FF uniform. In the background, REED has his back turned to her as he tinkers with something Kirby-like, while BEN, JOHNNY, and young FRANKLIN and VALERIA kick over a board game as they argue with each other animatedly.

SUE: But woe, even in mine own home, I am invisible.  I yearn for, long for...

Panel 2- Standing in an open window, BETA RAY BILL, looking very Fabio, extends his hand to SUE. His hair is flowing gold, blowing in the breeze, unfettered by his usual helmet. His hammer hangs at his hip, and his cape flies from his shoulders. SUE clasps her hands to her heart in bliss, eyelashes aflutter.

BILL: Soft, fair Susan! Never hast thou disappeared from mine eye...or my heart!
SUE: Oh, Beta Ray!

Panel 3- SUE has torn open BILL's tunic, resting her head against his bare chest. BILL holds her by the small of her back, looking sidelong at something profound in the distance. They stand on a jetty, waves crashing on the rocks as the sun sets.

SUE: I cannot stop, desire overwhelms me. But what of Sif, and Reed...?
BILL: No matter, fair Susan. All there is, is our passion!

Panel 4- cut to the guest suite in Avengers Tower. A TV can be seen as SUE STORM is doing an interview on a talk show. BILL, in full costume, is asleep in a recliner, head back, snoring. SIF is coming up from behind with her shield held above her head with two hands as she's about to blasther him angrily, her teeth gritting in red faced fury.

BILL: (in his sleep) ...oh kiss...
SIF: (whispered) coming right up...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BETA RAY BILL – Of Course Of Course – MK Stangeland Jr.

(I really wanted to go with something better than a simple pun script this week, but sometimes you work with what you’re able to come up with rather than what you want to write.)

(5 Panels)

Panel 1: BETA RAY BILL is attempting to speak to THOR, SIF, and the WARRIORS THREE. He looks a touch distressed.


SIF: Something distresses you, mighty warrior Bill?

THOR: Tell us what is wrong, Oath Brother!

Panel 2: BETA RAY BILL is moving his hands about as he tries to signal what’s wrong.


HOGUN: You’re suffering from a terrible disease!

FANDRAL: You accidentally wore out your lungs wooing a lady!

VOLSTAGG: You’re choking on the bone from a meal!

Panel 3: All stop as they hear LOKI from off-panel.

LOKI (1): (From Off-Panel) Isn’t it obvious?

LOKI (2): (Off-Panel) He’s a little hoarse!

Panel 4: All look in the direction of LOKI. He stands with a wicked, mischievous grin on his face as he holds on hand behind his back, hiding something. BETA RAY BILL looks angry, the rest are surprised.

Panel 5: BETA RAY BILL angrily flies after LOKI, who is running away at top speed, though he’s laughing his head off all the same. THOR, SIF, and the WARRIORS THREE follow in persuit.





Monday, March 23, 2015

Beta Ray Bill - Life Lessons - Grant McLaughlin

Three rows of panels.  Row one is made up of panels 1 through 3, while rows two and three are made up of a single panel each (4 and 5, respectively).

1 - Beta Ray Bill in his pre-Thor armor - the stuff he would have worn just when he got to Earth.  He's in what looks like a field, although there isn't much in the way of distinct elements in the background.  Bill has one hand to the side of his head, sliding up towards his temple, as if trying to calm his frustration.  Facing the reader, he looks off and to the side.

BILL: You refuse to give me your full attention.

2 - Bill starts pacing towards the left, hands nervously grasping each other in front of him.

BILL: You rarely speak.

3 - Bill paces back towards the right, both hands up and splayed in evident frustration.

BILL: And whenever you finally do, it is always in the negative.

4 - Pull back and switch angles to show that Bill is in a field with a couple of very confused horses.  Bill grabs the head of the one nearest him with both hands in desperation and brings his own cranium up close in a futile attempt to emphasize his point.  The horse is rather disturbed by this, while the others in the background aren't appreciating it much more.

BILL (1): What have I do to offend you so?

BILL (2): Why do you insist on ignoring me?!

5 - Switch scenes completely.  Bill (now in his regular Thor getup - or if we want to really yuck things up, wearing a traditional professor's jacket complete with suede elbow patches) is standing at a podium, looking out a room filled with aliens who are seated and looking towards him (like a university lecture, perhaps).  The aliens can be of all shapes and forms - established Marvel races and brand new ones alike.  Behind Bill can be a blackboard (or something similar) that reads "Living on Earth: Important Things to Know".

BILL: was near this juncture I began to suspect I may have misread which was the planet's dominant species.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Why Beta Ray Bill?

Are you really into Thor, but secretly wish he was also an alien?

Do you  dig Norse mythology, but also kind of imagine a world where it was actually horse mythology?

Do you think the power of Mjolnir is fine, but feel like it would be even better if it were equine?

Well then, does Walt Simonson have a comic book character for you!

There are many figures who could make a case for being the poster child for how ridiculous comic book can be, but Beta Ray Bill may be one of the filliest.

He's pretty much an oranger, cosmic version of Marvel's God of Thunder and shouldn't work in a lot of ways, yet is somehow incredibly engaging and alluring.  What's the deal?  Is there foal play afoot?

I don't know if I could tell you, but I think it would behoove us to explore the question together this week!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Haunted Tank – Jeb Stuarts Wild Ride – MK Stangeland Jr.

(7 Panels)

Panel 1: A military cargo plane flies through the sky.

Panel 2: Back of the cargo plane – its back is open, and a high-tech looking TANK is rolling out the back end.

Panel 3: The TANK in free-fall, the plane it rolled out of high above it.

JEB STUART: (From inside tank) YEEE-HAW!

Panel 4: TANK fires jets to slow and right itself as it nears the ground.

SFX: kkkooooooooooooo

Panel 5: TANK lands safely on the ground.

SFX: thud

Panel 6: TANK in transition as it transforms into a tank mech suit.

SFX: wrk wrk wrk

Panel 7: TANK MECHA after final transformation. The ghost of JEB STUART’s horse stands on the MECHA’s shoulders as JEB sits on the horse.

JEB STUART: Man, do I ever love the future!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Haunted Tank - The More Things Change - Grant McLaughlin

Panels 1 and 2 make up row one, panels 3, 4, and 5 make up row two, and panel 6 is row three.

1 - Outside shot of National War Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.  It's a beautiful, sunny day.  People are strolling about and enjoying the weather.

JAMIE (from within): I can't believe it's actually here.

2 - Inside the museum, two people stand looking at the Haunted Tank, which looks to be the institution's newest display.  The two figures are Jamie Stuart, a junior curator of the museum and granddaughter of Jeb Stuart (new character), and Valoric (who goes by Val).  If you were already aware of Viking Commando, that's some bonus points to you, but his role here is as an aged curator for the museum (he's old, but not as wizened as he should be due to reasons and Viking magic).

JAMIE: My grandfather used to tell me all sorts of stories about this tank...

VAL: It is certainly an amazing machine.

3 - Jamie turns to Val, a concerned / embarrassed look on her face.  Val smiles good-naturedly, happy to grant her request.

JAMIE: Um, would you mind if I take a moment alone with it?

VAL: I don't see why not.  Seems only fitting.

4 - Jamie stands before the tank, her hand on one of the treads.  Her eyes are closed.


5 - Jamie opens her eyes and pulls back her hand in (a positive) surprise as a familiar (to the reader) voice comes from off-panel.

GENERAL STUART (off-panel): Jamie...

JAMIE: You are real!

GENERAL STUART (off-panel): Of course I am!

6 - Pull back to show Jamie looking way surprised by the ghostly appearance of General Jeb Stuart.  The General looks the worse for wear, haggard and worn as if he's been up to some ghostly trouble.

GENERAL STUART: And I need your help.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Haunted Tank - Prog 3 - Ray Wonsowski

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends...

Continuing the prog-rock-fueled adventures of the Wonder Twins, Zan and Jayna, having narrowly escaped a Thanagarian warcraft. Today's selection is based on "Tarkus" by (again) Emerson Lake & Palmer.

Panel 1 - The Haunted Tank is rolling over the snow-dusted Norwegian countryside, away from a decimated village, moving ahead toward the next Nazi stronghold, the Confederate flag flying in the winter wind.

(from within the Tank): ...this intel believable, Stuart? Nazi death camps?
(from within the Tank): Don't know, that's what we're on our way to find out...

Panel 2 - JEB STUART opens the hatch and pokes his head out, his breath visible in the winter cold. The ghost of GEN. STUART is foreground, pointing off panel, a look of confusion on his face.

JEB: Hey, Slim, why're you stopping?
GEN. STUART: What in tarnation...?
SLIM (from inside the Tank): You seeing this?

Panel 3 - POV from the tank turret. Standing in front of the Tank in the snow, ZAN and JAYNA standing beside the wreckage of their escape craft. They both have a "you gotta be kidding me" type smirk on their face.

ZAN: <Were you there to watch the earth be scorched? Did you stand beside the spectral torch?>
JAYNA: <Zan, please...that's a Tarkus?!?>

Panel 4 - Inset, the Twins' fists bump and spark.

ZAN: That's not a Tarkus...

Panel 5 - largest panel on page. JAYNA, panel left, has changed into a Tarkus, a bone-eating three-story tall red-eyed armadillo made from gleaming living metal and dragon scale, ready to roll on its muscled tank treads (instead of legs), its forearm cannons trained on the Haunted Tank, ready to breathe nuclear fire upon it. ZAN, tiny next to his sister's new form, gestures his arms toward her in a showman's "ta-da". The Tank, panel right, should be backing away almost cartoonishly as JEB slams the hatch shut. The Ghost, and his ghost horse, disappear in a wisp.

JAYNA/TARKUS: <THAT'S a Tarkus!!!>

GEN. STUART: Yipe! be continued...