Monday, October 5, 2015

The Orient Express - Somewhere New - Grant McLaughlin

1 – A big ol' train station, with a big ol' train not unlike the one in P.A.'s Why post taking up a good portion of our panel space. The main difference is that we're focused on the platform, where a line of people are boarding. Our protagonist, Penelope, stands out, a young woman dressed in darker colours than the rest of the travelers. If we can see it, she holds a ticket and a sad expression.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (1): My mother said the city would change me.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (2): I laughed at the idea.

2 – Penelope walks down the aisle, looking for her seat.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (1): She was right, of course.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (2): We're always changing.

COACHMAN (off-panel): Tickets! Tickets!

3 – Penelope hands her ticket to the coachman and sits down.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (1): But sometimes a place will change you into something you don't expect.

CAPTION (PENELOPE) (2): Something you don't want to be.

COACHMAN: Any baggage, ma'am?

4 – Penelope looks away towards the window, her sad expression softening.

CAPTION (PENELOPE): Fortunately.

PENELOPE (1): ...


5 – Outside of the train as it pulls out of the station, looking at Penelope looking out the window. She wears a small smile.

CAPTION (PENELOPE): There's always somewhere new.

PENELOPE: Not anymore.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Why The Orient Express?

Care of P.A., who is having some computer difficulties at the moment.

About 130 years ago, this little train company started up. You might have heard of it. Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits? ... Okay, maybe not. But I'll bet you've heard about their little train(s) that could: The Orient Express.

Yeah. Thought so.

Setting off for Giurgiu, Romania, le Express d'Orient left Paris on October 4, 1883, and even though the first train didn't exactly provide the most luxurious travel, that is exactly what The Orient Express and CIWL have become synonymous with.

The train itself features prominently in Bram Stoker's Dracula, Ian Fleming's From Russia, with Love, and, well, Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. But, if literature isn't your thing, you still might have heard about it from Doctor Who, Chuck, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or every piece of fiction with a train in it produced after October 4, 1883. Roughly.

Having said all of that, know that our theme for this week does not need to be taken entirely literally. If you don't want to write about a historic train, don't. Put it in space, or underwater, or through the center of the earth. Snowpierce it up. Just make it fancy!

And, as always, if you're one of those people still standing on the platform, gazing longingly down the track, it's time to get that ticket punched.

Perry Kent - Writer-in-Residence

Charlotte's wondrous wanderings with us have sadly come to their end, but happily we have another keen talent coming your way in the human existence that is Perry Kent.

Perry is yet another writer whom I met through Comics Experience, and I was such a fan of his scripts that I knew I wanted to have some of them grace our own pages.  Now, I can cheerfully say they will.

As Perry puts it:

Perry Kent is a writer who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been making up stories his whole life and has been putting pen to paper since the first time he fell in love with a book. After recently discovering that people actually want to read some of his stories, he has been earnestly clacking away at his keyboard. Still fresh to the cutthroat, swashbuckling world of serious storytelling, he hopes to be putting his work out into the world any day now. When he makes brief forays onto the internet he can be found on Twitter (@TheOtherPerry) stalking other writers and comic creators.

Please join me in welcoming him to our shores.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - OUROBOROS – Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (Splash Page)


Caption:  “Please state your name.”

Caption:  “You know my name.”

Caption:  “Yes, I do, but for the record: what is your name?”

Caption:  “Doom.”

Caption:  “And how did you come to possess the Cosmic Control Rod?”

Caption:  “I followed the Devil through the mirror.  Doom rules All, and All begs to be ruled.

Doom:  Oh - - I have such wonderful friends.

Caption:  “Once inside the mirror, the Devil became pieces, multiplying, insects emerging from a seventeen year sleep, breathing fire and breaking the armor of Doom. 
Caption:  “Sprouting new limbs, I vanquished the Devil and gazed upon the Hell that was now mine.” 
Caption:  “Why did you leave?”
Caption:  “I was exiled, pulled away from yet another kingdom.
Caption:  “We’re linked, you know - - your father and I. 
Caption:  “Ouroboros into infinite eternities.”

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - ...coming soon two... - Ray Wonsowski


Panel 1- outside the Best Western Hospitality House on E 49th St, a 50 ft tall, street-wide amalgamation of heroes groans and shambles on its motley of limbs. The core of it seems to be Henry Pym in his GIANT-MAN persona, but we can also see ICEMAN, ARCHANGEL, BEAST, VALKYRIE, NIGHTHAWK, Daimon "SON OF SATAN" Hellstrom, GARGOYLE, HELLCAT, NAMOR, HULK, LUKE CAGE, HERCULES, GHOST RIDER, IRON FIST, DAREDEVIL, BLACK WIDOW, and the SILVER SURFER, his board sticking out of Pym's neck. All the faces are absent of expression, mouths agape  in hypno-catatonia.

CAPTION: The magicks are powerful, but unfocused. The hands that wielded the spellrites, untrained.
CAPTION: A heroic cancer of champions and defenders, threatening to spread through the city.

Panel 2- on the roof top ledge, a purple booted foot is perched.

CAPTION: Oh, Stephen. If you could only see what has been wrought against you. By the Flames of the Faltine...

Panel 3- Full reveal, CLEA, in a purple version of Dr. Strange's tunic, standing on the hotel roof ledge, the cloak of levitation swirling about her, her white hair blowing in the breeze, the Eye of Agamotto at her throat, her head proudly back, in magical rapture, yellow tongues of flame in the palms of her hands...

CAPTION: I will heal this city and set it free...

A new multi-part story coming soon, stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes – Power Overwhelming – MK Stangeland Jr.

(6 Panels)

Panel 1: A SUPER ADAPTOID is out in space. It bears the visual hallmarks of some of Earth’s most powerful superhumans.

Panel 2: SUPER ADAPTOID is looking ‘up’ at someone – a shadow cast over it matches the form of GALACTUS.

Panel 3: SUPER ADAPTOID looks to be trying to copy the ‘power’ of GALACTUS – its body is taking on some of the physical features of GALACTUS.

Panel 4: Something has gone wrong – SUPER ADAPTOID is recoiling over as signs of overpowering energy seep out its joints and other appropriate point.

Panel 5: An explosion erupts from SUPER ADAPTOID as it is unable to handle the power it has been trying to copy.

Panel 6: SUPER ADAPTOID lies out in space, deactivated and heavily damaged from the power overload. GALACTUS passes on by, paying the fallen robot no mind.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - Expectations - Grant McLaughlin

1 - Captain America walks cautiously through an enormous room in an A.I.M. facility.  The room is filled with computer consoles and all the things you would expect, but everything is completely covered by flora and fauna that is wrong, potentially not of this world.  It's like a Lovecraftian jungle has invaded their HQ.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA) (1): There should be A.I.M. scientists and soldiers everywhere.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA) (2): Not... whatever this is.

2 - Inset panel.  A small bug / reptilian creature is climbing up Cap's boot / leg.

LETTER NOTE: If you can, have Cap's second caption be near this part of the image.

3 - The creature is now on Cap's leg.  It stabs him with a terrible stinger-thing.  Background could be red to emphasize the pain.


4 - Cap is on the ground, one hand nursing his leg (which is already swelling up) and the other to his head.  A shadow approaches from off-panel, its source unclear.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA): Too late, I realize my mistake.

5 - On Cap's eyes.  They stare out at the reader, red and without pupils (maybe bleeding?).  A shape is reflected in his eyes, but it's vague and indistinct.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA): So focused on seeing one problem...

6 - Back on Cap nursing his (even more swollen) leg.  A huge, monstrous creature is right in front of him.  It's made up of bodies of A.I.M agents, stacked and shambling one into another in a way that's impossible to tell where one ends and the next begins.  It's not a pretty sight.

CAPTION (CAPTAIN AMERICA): I missed the one staring me in the face.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes - The Artist - Charlotte Joyce Kidd

1 – Faceless, roughly drawn man lies naked at the bottom of some kind of pit, surrounded by dark foliage.

MAN: Oh God, what am I doing here?

2 – Sits up, looks around.

MAN: I’m in some kind of undergrowth. A jungle, maybe? Why am I all messed up?

3 – Close up of man in the dark.

MAN: Where’s the light? How did I get here? Was I drunk last night?

4 – Man looks up.

MAN: Or was it you? Yeah, you! What, you didn’t think I knew you were up there?

5 – A giant pencil appears above the man’s head.

MAN: Get your shit together, buddy.

As an added bonus, Charlotte graced us with her personal rendition of the script:

Why Ashkan Honarvar’s Heroes? - Charlotte Joyce Kidd

Because the world of comics is still a foreign one to me. I’m less than a tourist, I’m someone looking in a window onto a world that intrigues me, that I want to keep watching, but that I don’t necessarily know how to step into.

The first time I read a comic book was at a Best Western motel on a road trip with my parents. I must have been eight or nine. The Best Western had some kind of cross-promotional thing going on where kids who stayed at the hotel got a comic book and a disposable camera. I can’t remember what I took pictures of – in fact, I can’t even remember where we were going on that road trip – but I still remember the comic book. It stuck with me. I think there must have been some oversight or else poor decision making on the part of Best Western marketing management, because the comic book was one where Batman and Superman fought over Lois Lane, and it was sexy and dangerous in a way that clearly indicated that I was not its target audience. I felt the same way, reading it, as I did when I accidentally stumbled upon (and read cover to cover) a paperback teen drama in my elementary school library: that I was getting away with something, that unbeknownst to the adults, I was educating myself in the ways of a world that I didn’t yet understand.

And I guess I’ve felt that way about comics ever since. They exist in a sort of parallel universe, and though they’re all unique, they share a common language of fantasy without the loss of logic. People who read comics don’t just read them, they’re knowledgeable about them. They trace evolutions in characters, art and themes. They know who the masters are. As evidenced by Marvel’s current push toward diversity, they care about their world and even self-police it – make sure it’s a place with a conscience. I admire these citizens, but I’m not one of them.

So when I saw this series of collagesby Ashkan Honarvar, I was intrigued by them. They’re full of superheroes as confused by themselves as I sometimes am by them, wandering through dark foliage, fighting many-limbed faceless creatures and wandering what it’s all about. I get these heroes. I want to know their stories.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Just Imagine - Amethyst, Exile of Gemworld - P. A. Nolte

1/ A young woman looking cautiously over her shoulder as she walks down the street.  Behind her, not entirely visible, is a large man at an uncomfortable proximity and gaining.  It's no secret what happens to attractive blondes in bad parts of town at night, and it looks like it might happen again.

Amy (Cap): After the dreams stop, everything will go back to normal.

Amy (Cap): No more swords.  No more sorcery.  No more Gemworld.

2/ She ducks into a nearby alley.

Amy (Cap): At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

3/ The man follows, but is surprised to discover that the girl, Amy, has vanished.

Thug: Huh?

4/ Blocking the exit to the street is Amethyst.  She is no longer bundled up, but encased in a form-fitting stone armor.  Crystals jut out along her forearms and at her shoulders.  Her face is covered by a stone helmet, featureless save for the two gemstones where her eyes should be.  In her hand is a glowing sword hewn from the same unidentifiable mineral as the rest of her suit.  The image she projects is overwhelmingly powerful, and overwhelmingly purple.

Amethyst: You looked like the type.

Amy (Cap): But maybe it's time to admit--

Amy (Cap): I don't want to be normal again.

5/ She holds her sword up in front of her.  In the blade, we can see the true form of the thug, a hideous ogre, reflected back at him.

Amethyst: Let's dance.