Hey Jim, hope you’re well. How’s Melissa? Hope she’s well! And the kids? Hope they’re well too. Bet you’re glad they’re all back at school, huh? Good – now let’s get some drawin’ done!
This is the first page of our new miniseries. I’m determined to stretch this bugger out to ten issues, but apparently that’s a maxiseries. Like, whu-? Anyway, until Ye Old Editor gives us the go-ahead, I’m going to go as slow as humanly possible with the pacing. I know you love your atmosphere shots, and big quiet panels, so hopefully you’re cool with that.
OK, first panel. I reckon make it, like, half the page or something? The horizon bisects the frame. Above: Beautiful blue sky, a few cumulus clouds gathering. Below: The shore, water lapping up towards the camera (God, I wish I was writing television. You know how much frikkin’ money those guys make? Geez. Then I wouldn’t have to live in this shithole! Did I tell you the mice are back? Anyway…) and right ahead of us a large semi-sphere of rock, wet moss dangling from its apex. Maybe throw an island deep in the background.
Wet footprints in the sand, leading from left to right. I’m imagining this being a page wide, thin strip of a panel, but what do I know? I can barely string a sentence together. Ten years, I’ve been doing this. Ten frikking years, Jim! Can you believe that? Still getting the same damn page rate I got when I was thirty! And any sniff of an Eisner, or even a bloody Eagle Award? No. Bet I don’t even get a posthumous one. Bastards. No one works harder at this crap than me. No one. I’m telling you – if even one of my spec scripts get in to Hollywood, I’m outta here!
Of course… If that ever happens I’ll ask if they’re looking for storyboard artists.
Come on baby, walk with me. Out to the sea.
Right – young couple. Sickeningly young. Make ‘em seventeen or thereabouts. They haven’t wasted their life yet, and they have no idea how damned lucky they are. Holding hands. The girl is wearing a bikini with one of them wrappy things round her waist. The boy is wearing surfer style clothes, if that phrase even means anything.
Hey we should totally sit on that rock.
I dunno, Brad. I think the tide’s coming in!
Close up on the boy and girl. God I frikking hate them. They’re young. In love. They know nothing of the disappointments ahead of them. I remember being like that, once. How about you, Jim? Any regrets? Yeah, I bet you do. What about that close shave you had with that crazy chick who turned out to be pre-op at San Diego Comicon back in ’09? Right? You know what I’m talking about.
Boy and girl, sitting on rock. Girl is not so sure about this.
I’m not so sure about this.
We’ll be fine! What’s the worst that could –
OK – I’ve had enough of this surfprick’s bullshit. In fact I’ve had enough of this whole thing. I’m going to go work on my screenplay. Fuck FutureDrama Comics.
Rock turns out to be head of giant monster. It rises from the sea – girl and surferprick still on it. But now they’re shitting themselves with fear.
Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurgh – –
Wah? Oh no – help us!
Brad?! Brad? What’s going on? You promised we’d be safe!!!
Giant monster eats them both. Blood dribbles down his chin as he munches on their young, ignorant bones. In fact, draw some bones. Maybe a sharp shin, splitting through some leg meat and hanging out of the monster’s mouth. Serves them right. Bastards. I was that age once. I was. I wish I was again! I’m allowed to be bitter. Look at me. A forty year old man, sitting in a mouse-infested house, writing comics in his underpants. I can’t even afford to go on holiday. Marjory’s alimony payments bleed me dry. You know what I’m having for lunch today? Tinned tuna. TINNED fucking TUNA! Not even WITH anything. Just on its on. If I’m feeling fancy I might take it out of the TIN and put it on a PLATE. But I’m scared to do that because then the mice will get it. I’ve had enough of this shit, Jim. I really have… Why does the universe hate me, so?
HA HA HA HA HA – burp!