Friday, July 3, 2015

B'wana Beast - Girls Just B'wana Have Fun - R.A. Wonsowski

Panel 1- Looking heroically out into the distance from a high cliff off Mount Kilimanjaro, arms akimbo, one foot forward and resting on a rock, stands B'WANA BEAST. The sun is setting, and a campfire burns at the mouth of a cave. VIXEN and POWER GIRL, dressed in tiny jungle pelt versions of their costumes kneel on the ground, holding tight to his powerful thighs. BATGIRL, costume torn, is behind him, draped about his broad, manly shoulders.

CAPTION: Having single-handedly saved the Just-us Ladies from certain doom, the Beast considers his next adventure...
B'WANA BEAST:  So, who wants to see what else we can merge...
LADIES: Oh, B'wana...!

Panel 2- same as panel 1, in mid-crumple.

Panel 3- B'WANA BEAST is staring ME down, pleading in growing frustration. We are in my kitchen, and DJUBA is at my table pounding away on an electric typewriter. I have tossed the crumpled above page over my shoulder, into a wastepaper basket overflowing with more crumpled balls.

B'WANA BEAST: ...but this is what DC editorial wants...
ME:, no, No, NO...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

B’wana Beast – The Brazen Adventures of B’wana Beast and Vixen! – MK Stangeland Jr.

(5 Panels)

(Each panel should be framed as if to be an image on a TV Screen. The imagery should try to evoke the style and thematics of MYTHBUSTERS but tilted more towards animals and with children’s education in mind.)

Panel 1: Title panel – a plain-ish blue background, on top of which is the title as well as B’WANA BEAST and VIXEN. VIXEN wears her normal outfit, while B’WANA BEAST has a field-friendly lab coat on in addition to his normal outfit – it should look like B’WANA BEAST is making a poor attempt as looking scientific with an intentionally humorous slant in mind.

SFX: [Music Notes]

ANNOUNCER: Today, on The Brazen Adventures of B’wana Beast and Vixen!

Panel 2: B’WANA BEAST and VIXEN are by a mobile laboratory setup somewhere in Africa. B’WANA BEAST is in the foreground holding an insect container with one or more magnified fleas. He takes up most the panel, as if in the middle of a humerous antic.

VIXEN is in the background with a Kangaroo.

SFX: [Music Notes]

ANNOUNCER: The team ‘hops to it’ as they test the limits of the animal kingdom’s jumping strength!

Panel 3: The backdrop is in blueprint style. In front of it are paper-cutout style pictures of a FLEA and a KANGEROO, but each with a human head superimposed on it. The FLEA has the head of MICHAEL JORDAN in ‘AIR JORDAN’ tongue out style, while the KANGEROO has the head of LEBRON JAMES. Both are in the air and have dotted motion lines indicating jumping.

SFX: [Music Notes]

SFX: wwWHOOoop!

Panel 4: B’WANA BEAST is in a cross between a wrestling ring and a rodeo pen with an angry-looking bull. He looks ready to wrestle the bull with his bare hands. His costume has been replaced with a variant that looks mostly the same except for that it’s a solid red.

VIXEN is hovering overhead. A ‘ghost’ image of a Hummingbird is behind her to indicate she’s using the animals flight and hover ability. She has a lasso at her side ready to deploy in an emergency, though it’s currently not out. Her costume is mostly the same, but modified a touch to have a cowgirl feel to it.

SFX: [Music Notes]

ANNOUNCER: Then, B’wana Beast explores the age-old tale about the bull’s rage against red!

Panel 5: B’WANA BEAST is next to the same bull, but the bull is now safely contained. Nearby, VIXEN is with a dog.

SFX: [Music Notes]

ANNOUNCER: Then, the team finds out what happens when you make one color blind with the help of man’s best friend!


Monday, June 29, 2015

B'wana Beast - Weak Are Meat, Strong Will Eat - Grant McLaughlin

Splash page (panel 2) with three inset panels (1, 3, and 4).  1 is towards the top of the page, while 3 and 4 are at the bottom.

1 - B'wana Beast looks at the sight before him in shock and horror.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (1): The strong will always prey on the weak to survive.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (2): But this...

2 - Pull back to reveal that B'wana Beast is standing in something of a clearing that is littered with the desecrated corpses of African animals of all type and variety.  It is a scene of death and destruction.  Perhaps the animals are arranged in something of a circle of death.  But perhaps the true depravity of the scene is not visible, either due to panel layout or shadow.  Up to you to decide how much to show / hide.  That said, B'wana is overwhelmed by it all, horrified by it.  The final touch should be "WEAK ARE MEAT, STRONG WILL EAT" written over and over again in blood throughout the scene.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (1): This has nothing to do with survival.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (2): This is slaughter for slaughter's sake.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (3): A message written in the guts and viscera of stolen lives.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (4): I can't yet grasp its meaning.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST) (5): But the intent is clear.

3 - Close-up of B'wana Beast's face again.  He looks down, saddened at the sight before him.  His exact expression could (should?) be covered in shadow.

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST): A darkness has descended on this land.

4 - Close-up of B'wana Beast's fist clenched in determination.  This could also be shadowed (if not fully silhouetted).

CAPTION (B'WANA BEAST): And it must be stopped.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

B'wana Beast - Another Wednesday In The Jungle - P. A. Nolte

1/ Over the heads of four grubby mercenaries, all dressed like low rent Indiana Jones(es), a figure of solid muscle in a hood and a leopard skin loincloth leans playfully against the trunk of a very large tree, balancing expertly on a low, thick branch. The leader of the mercenaries below holds a small jade idol in the shape of a parrot.

B'wana Beast: I'm afraid that doesn't belong to you. 

2/ The leader nearly foams at the mouth with rage. His pistol is already drawn and discharged. If only his men would back him up. 

Leader: It's THE BEAST! FIRE!!! 

3/ B'wana Beast is between the three stooges, firing their weapons blindly up into the air as they are attacked. One gets a punch to the face while another gets kicked in the stomach, sending him flying back into the third stooge, but not knocking him over. 

B'wana Beast: That's B'WANA BEAST to you jokers. LORD of the JUNGLE! KING of CHIMERA! 

4/ B'wana Beast has landed skillfully, but the gun barrels of both men still standing are aimed at his head. Still, he grins. This is a fun game. 

B'wana Beast: HERO of the D-- 

SFX: KLIK Leader: That's enough. Any other last words before Eddie and I perforate your skull?

B'wana Beast: Just one... 

5/ Suddenly, a large blue monkey/warthog hybrid with powerful arms and dangerous tusks has crashed through into the clearing where his master fights the mercenaries. The leader and the last stooge are trampled, but B'wana Beast has jumped out of the way. 


6/ The hybrid nuzzles at B'wana Beast, who scratches under its chin affectionately, though his gaze never diverts from the incapacitated mercenaries on the ground. In his other hand, he holds the idol. 

B'wana Beast: Ha ha! GOOD boy! Er... BOYS. 

B'wana Beast: NOW. Let's get this LITTLE BIRDY back to KEN. I have a feeling the ZAMBESI will be glad to see it RETURNED.

Why B'wana Beast? - P. A. Nolte

In college, Mike Maxwell made friends with Rupert Kenboya, son of Chief Kilo of the Zambesi. When Rupert returned to Africa to serve as a Police Commissioner, Maxwell joined him, accepting a job as a game warden. But, their plane went down on Mt. Kilimanjaro, and while Ken tried to revive Maxwell with some water from a cave, they were beset upon by a large, purple gorilla. Maxwell sprang to action, stronger and faster than before, and after defeating Djuba, the gorilla, he was given a mask that lets him communicate with and command animals, as well as combine them into more powerful hybrids.

A creation of Bob Haney, also known for co-creating the Teen Titans and Metamorpho, and Mike Sekowsky, the premiere artist on Justice League of America, B'wana Beast's adventure fighting the possibly-immortal Hamid Ali and his giant, orange, crocodile-shaped tank from DC Showcase #66-67 (1967) somehow failed to resonate with readers, and he was doomed to the back-issue bin for almost twenty years. When Grant Morrison re-introduced him in the late 80's, Maxwell teamed up with Animal Man to save Djuba from wayward research scientists, ultimately retiring and passing on his mantle, only to re-emerge some time later as the evil Shining Man. When he was promptly killed. 

And that's pretty much it. 

According to there was supposed to be a third DC Showcase issue, but Sekowsky found the concepts to be racist, left the project, and was never replaced. He was probably justified. And, while the jungle tropes used were outdated by a few decades when the story was first printed nearly 50 years ago, B'wana Beast is still just so darn cool. Well, ... maybe not "cool." 

With less than a dozen issues under his loincloth, Mike Maxwell's defining characteristics are still up in the air. His comic origin plays like a greatest hits mashup of unlikely circumstances just begging to be streamlined, and his powers are essentially Aquaman's but on land, except Aquaman never merged a seahorse and a hammerhead shark together to attack a submarine. In his appearances on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, he wasn't even a game warden, but a wrestler who was splashed with radioactive waste. 

So, in the spirit of exploration, you have a cumbersome (and potentially offensive) name, a bizarre set of powers, an exotic locale, the unusual battle cry of "KI KI KI KIUIIIIIII!", and ultimate free reign in tone and canonicity. 

What more could you ask for?

Writer-in-Residence - P. A. Nolte

We've had a most excellent time hosting Derek Adnams, but this week sees a new writer joining us: P. A. Nolte!

Another talented writer I came across through Nic Shaw's The Prompt, P.A. wowed me with his scripts and ideas (and also his lettering, something that the man has down on lock).  Looking more into his work, I thought he'd be a fine fit with our motley crew and he thankfully agreed.  You may remember him from various play-at-home postings in the weeks leading up to his residency, but enough from me.  Let's hear what he has to say:

Who Are You?
P. A. Nolte. I cover art with words.  
Why Comics?
I love the collaboration. And the exploratory nature. And the rules. Which sounds stupid, but is totally true. If you're going to go exploring, it helps to know the constellations so you can orient yourself. If you're going to make comics, it helps to know the 180° rule so you can orient your readers. But, once you know what plants to leave alone, or how to use a page-turn effectively, there's no wrong way to go. And, if you're lucky, you get to do it with someone who shares that same passion for exploration as you do.  
Where Can One Find You?
I'm on Twitter (@PANolte) and Facebook (/PANolte and /InkspotComics), I pop up over at David Brown's Fifth Dimension Comics from time to time, I just finished letters on Eric Palicki's Red Angel Dragnet, and I hope to have a new project or two of my own see release by the end of the year.

Wicked.  Welcome aboard, my friend.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Snake Plissken - Escape from Snake Plissken - Derek Adnams

Page 1 – (6 Panels)

1.1:  Exterior, sunset, Snake Plissken’s face illuminated by the sun’s rays.  He is high above the Earth, meditating on top of the World Trade Center.  His eye is closed.

Snake (caption):  What is the sound of one eye closing?

1.2:  Exterior, Snake standing inside the vaudeville theater from Escape from New York.  The stage is visible, the curtains drawn, some homeless prisoners acting out a pantomime onstage.

Snake (caption):  Is it the same as the air rushing past your face when the curtain’s pulled back to reveal the mask beneath the mask.

1.3:  Exterior, Snake walking up the steps of the NY Public library, on his way to meet Brain.

Snake (caption):  What is the sound of one eye closing, that inward search for meaning that is always just beyond the grasp of our rational minds?

1.4:  Snake walking through the main concourse of Grand Central Station, surrounded by the Duke’s men.

Snake (caption):  Is it the destination we arrive at easily, with no journey to build character and test our resolve?

1.5:  Snake fighting Slag, the tail-end of the fight when Snake gets the upper hand.

Snake (caption):  Every battle we wage is just an exterior reflection of an interior truth.

Snake (caption):  Never an opponent.

Snake (caption):  Always a teacher.

1.6:  Exterior, sunset, Snake, eye open, floating in lotus posture above the roof of the World Trade Center.  He has achieved Nirvana, bathed in a blue halo of enlightenment.

Snake (caption):  I am the sound of one eye closing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Snake Plissken – Cheat Code – MK Stangeland Jr.

(1 Panel)

Panel 1: The streets of NEW YORK, where an upside down box travels through the city. It’s large enough to hide two or three full-grown adults. There are a number of criminals about, but none of them seem to notice the box.

SNAKE PLISSKEN: (Thought Balloon) Wish someone had told me about this trick years ago.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Snake Plissken - Maybe a Peninsula - Grant McLaughlin

Three rows of panels.  First row is long and thin, made up of panel 1; second row is panels 2 through 4, all equal sized; and third row is the final two panels, with more focus on the last one.

1 - A plane flies through a dark night.  A single, silhouetted figure is visible jumping from its tail.

CAPTION (WATTERS): "From the beginning, I knew the mission was going to be different."

2 - Still night time.  A forest.  The figure (Captain Adam Watters) walks away from a tree where his parachute rig has caught.  He's spec ops, decked in out all manner of equipment and tech to get him through the wilderness.

CAPTION (WATTERS): "As if its very existence would change everything."

3 - Dawn is creeping over the horizon.  Captain Watters fords a river, his equipment over his head and the forest at his back.

CAPTION (WATTERS): "And it did."

4 - We're well into the afternoon, early evening.  Captain Watters is climbing a mountain.  It's not easy going, but mountain climbing so rarely is.

CAPTION (WATTERS) (1): "It was only a gut feeling back then.

CAPTION (WATTERS) (2): "But it was right."

5 - Getting towards night.  Long shot.  Captain Watters trudges through snow towards a lonely cabin in the distance.  Both the man and the building are small, isolated - the only things visible in the shot.

CAPTION (WATTERS): "Knowing what I know now, I still believe that no man is an island"

6 - Captain Watters has arrived at the cabin.  We're well into night at this juncture.  Snake Plissken sits on the porch, smoking and disinterested in this new arrival.

WATTERS: Mr. Plissken, the world needs--

PLISSKEN (interrupting): Not interested.

CAPTION (WATTERS): But Snake Plissken is as close as you're going to get.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Snake Plissken - The Leningrad Ruse - Ray Wonsowski


Panel 1- the skyline of wartorn Leningrad, night. Blue gas explosions dot the buildings and black sky.

CAPTION: Captain Berrigan called it "the Ruse". Dragoon choppers would loudly attack the west end fortifications of Leningrad...

Panel 2- SNAKE PLISSKEN fighting the controls in a Gullfire ultralight cockpit, the glider plane on fire around him. He's wearing flare goggles, but he's removed the air mask from his lower face, his teeth grit from the effort.

CAPTION: ...while Black Light squadron glided in silently and carpet-bombed the Russian premier's bunker.
CAPTION: Bullshit.

Panel 3- the Gullfire crashes down the middle of a gas-strewn street, anti-American graffiti in Cyrillic marking the walls. The gas is a toxic pea-soup green fog.

CAPTION: Plane controls jammed on all of us when we tried to release our payloads. We were expected to kamikaze to complete the mission...

Panel 4- SNAKE retreats down an alley, Desert Eagle .50 caliber pistols in his hands as he steps over the dead homeless. We can see the goggle glass over his left eye is shattered.

CAPTION: Brass didn't expect any of us to stumble back behind our lines. They tried to polish the turd best they could...

Panel 5- SNAKE looks at his reflection in a cracked bathroom mirror. His left eye has lost all color, and is a sickly milky grey. His shirt is off, and we can see that he has hastily taped his ribs.

CAPTION: ...gave me a Purple Heart and the Medal of Valor. After the ceremony, dropped'em in the White House urinal.

Panel 6- close-up, the eyes of SNAKE PLISSKEN. The left is covered by the infamous black eye patch, but the right burns with rage.

CAPTION: Government wants to play by prison rules, fine.
CAPTION: But I'm making'em my bitch first.