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Old 04-29-2016, 07:21 PM   #1
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TPG Week 279: Choose Your Own LoD!



Welcome back, one and all, to another installment of The Proving Grounds. Once again, this is one of the last ones. (I know most of you don't come back regularly.) I'm closing up shop on 5/13/2016, so there are only two more after this. Enjoy it while it lasts.

This week, we have someone who is no stranger to these parts—our Brave One is Luke Pierce. (No Star Wars jokes. I've already made them…) We also have Steve Colle in blue, Ryan Kroboth with the pencil assist, and I'm the curmudgeon with the new office in red. (Yes, I have a new office. I'll talk about it throughout the script.) Now, let's all sit back and see what Luke does with the For—I mean

Love Reaper

Page 1 of 22

5 Panels

Panel 1

Tall panel. NIGHT.

Setting: Southlake Town Square: http://www.grapevinetxonline.com/southlake-town-square/

This is supposed to be small town America, however I realise that Southlake isn’t exactly a small town and is a shopping district. But this style of buildings, surrounding a small park, is exactly what I’m envisaging here.

The park itself has a few trees, but is generally quite an open space to allow families to have some fun together. (You’ve given us location, but what about timeframe [past, present, etc.], time of day, or even weather conditions [sunny, cloudy, rainy, etc.]. These details are also necessary to paint the picture of the setting.)

1 HENRY (blue): What did you think of tonight, Jasmine? (You know what? I want to kiss Luke right now. Lay a Leia on him. Why? Because he used a comma correctly. I'm very comma-deprived. Sorry. Continue, Steve.)

2 JASMINE (honey): It was, er, nice to just go out. (Here’s a suggested rewrite: “It was… er… nice to just go out.” The use of ellipses creates a better pause or sense of hesitation than simple commas.)

3 HENRY (blue): Good.

I’m a little confused with the colour reference bracketed after the speaker names above. I noticed that you made a comment in the attached lettering note about Amy’s caption boxes having white print on black, but there wasn’t anything about Henry and Jasmine’s. Is the above speech in caption? If so, then you need to identify them as such. I noticed the characters aren’t in the panel description, so does this make their speech coming from inside? If it is in captions, both of their dialogues here should be in quotation marks as voice over.

Panel 2

We have now shifted camera angle to see JASMINE HUNNYBUN and HENRY PARKER sitting next to one of the trees in the park. Their body language is polar opposites. JASMINE has her arms crossed across her chest and she isn’t being overtly engaging, showing no interest in what HENRY is saying to her. (You’re talking about her arm positioning, but her facial expression would probably give a better idea of her state of mind. What expression is on her face and is she looking at Henry or are her eyes deliberately avoiding contact?) HENRY has an arm outstretched, indicating the parkland. (Same thing here for Henry.)

4 HENRY: Doesn’t seeing this make it all worth it, Jasmine?

5 HENRY: Like how a perfect date should end?

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Old 04-30-2016, 06:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Panel 3
AMY has passed her scythe through JASMINE. AMY is looking away from JASMINE (or rather her hooded face should be looking away from the action).
JASMINE still has her neck being pushed by HENRY’s forearm; her eyes are wide open, suggesting that HENRY has finally killed her. (Rin? Why doesn’t this panel make sense when thought of in conjunction with the others?)
Because in superhero stories, the hero usually saves the victim by attacking the villain. Here, the “hero” appears to have killed the victim, saving only the villain the bother of bloodying his own hands. Page 2 panel 3 explicitly misdirects us into thinking Jasmine will be rescued; the page 3 panel 1 flashback misdirects us too, as parental advice is usually given to help us navigate life, not deal death. So, at the very least, Luke: kudos. You’ve found a new angle to do superheroes in a much covered medium.

My own 2 cents:
1) Though there were problems with this script, I didn’t find it nearly as egregious as the editors did.

2) What constitutes manga, bad or otherwise, and how can you tell from a / this script? (And why do you Yanks pronounce it as “monga”)

3) Did Mr Forbes mention the Wheel of Time series because it’s recently been optioned as a TV series? Cynics might suggest it was optioned to cash in on the Game of Thrones buzz; older cynics would point out that GoT was itself a cash grab of the Lord of the Rings hoopla.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiyoko, Rin View Post
2) What constitutes manga, bad or otherwise, and how can you tell from a / this script? (And why do you Yanks pronounce it as “monga".
It's pronounced "monga" because in Japan they do not have a hard A sound. So anyone calling it man-ga is pronouncing it incorrectly.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:16 AM   #4
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Thanks again to Steven, Steve, Ryan and Luke for this week's instalment.

Luke I'm with Rin on this one: It seems your hero is saving a person by killing them - a premise that I too find to be refreshingly original .

Also I had a suggestion for your Page 1 Panel 3:

Quote:
Close up of JASMINE. Her head is turned away from the reader (as if the reader were HENRY), but her eyes are looking towards us. (I want to clarify my understanding that she is looking at Henry/us out of the corner of her eye, showing avoidance but still making eye contact.) She has an uncomfortable look about her, as she’s going to be breaking some bad news.
Instead of using "Close up of JASMINE. Her head is turned away from the reader (as if the reader were HENRY)" maybe consider rephrasing along the lines of "Close up of JASMINE from HENRY's point of view"?

Quote:
9 JASMINE: I only agreed to come tonight to tell you to leave me alone. (So she wants him to leave her alone, and yet she goes on another date and THEN tells him to leave her alone? Shouldn’t this have been done a few different ways: by phone, text, email, through a friend or acquaintance, or even when she first sees him before the date starts?)(Yeah. This doesn’t ring true. It’s not that I don’t know of any women who wouldn’t go out with someone they’re not into in order to tell them to leave them alone, it’s that it’s very, VERY rare. Especially if she felt the other person was dangerous.)
Maybe it would ring more true if this were happening at the start of the date instead of at the end?

Anyway well done for submitting Luke, keeping living the dream mate!
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Panel 2

This is our impact moment. (Is she a witch? Will she turn him into a newt?)

Henry has pushed Jasmine against the tree and using it to help him push his forearm into her throat. Jasmine is reaching towards his arm, but her hands are nowhere near close enough. (I thought she was already against the tree? And this doesn’t make any sense. How are her hands not close enough to do anything? Is he Mr. Fantastic? Does she have T-Rex arms that are stubby and useless? Ryan? Forget the last one. Please see if you can make visual sense of this with your magic pencil.)



An interesting panel description this week, and here is what I came up with.



This one was a bit tough to choose an angle for. I tried a couple different ones, but I felt this one from behind was one of the better options for clarity of what was happening.

The big thing with this description was the hands not being close enough to reach his arms. I interpreted this as while she is trying to stop him, the pain, shock, and suffocation are keeping her from fighting him off. As though she is too weak at this moment to do it.

Is that what you meant? I'm not sure. But I do know that you don't want your artist guessing what it is you want, rather to bring your vision to life. But I know that you know this, and when you're close to your story sometimes you miss these kind of things. Opps.

For fun, I did consider throwing some Navy soldiers taking a stroll in the park in the background.

Overall, I feel like everything is able to be drawn, and I like how you talk to the artist telling them what you are going for in your panel descriptions. There are some instances (example, page 2; panel 3 where you say the character has every indication that they are going to save the girl) where the interpretation could be wildly different than what you're envisioning. If you're open to seeing how the artist puts their spin on it, that's fine. Otherwise be cautious where it goes prosaic.

I'll be looking forward to seeing what you come up with in the future, Luke. Best of luck with everything!
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Old 05-02-2016, 12:06 AM   #6
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Lot of instances where a critique was made and I didn't see the error.

Quote:
Who is this person coming out of nowhere? Why is this person running?
I don't understand the question. What exactly is the issue here?

Quote:
And why is a scythe appearing out of the blue?
Same deal here.

Quote:
Does anyone else think the prop matches the character here, because I sure as hell don’t.
Does it have to? I'm pretty sure Scott McCloud mentions something about having personalities that don't match appearances in one of his books.

One of the issues, Luke, is that you don't establish Amy as the main character very well. Readers will typically latch onto the first character(s) that get a significant amount of screen time. If Amy is the main character, try featuring her more on the first page.
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
HENRY has pushed JASMINE against the tree and using it to help him push his forearm into her throat. JASMINE is reaching towards his arm, but her hands are nowhere near close enough. (I thought she was already against the tree? And this doesn’t make any sense. How are her hands NOT close enough to do anything? Is he Mr. Fantastic? Does she have T-Rex arms that are stubby and useless? Ryan? Forget the last one. Please see if you can make visual sense of this with your magic pencil.)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkHalf05 View Post

An interesting panel description this week, and here is what I came up with.


To be fair, Jasmine's arms don't have a chance to reach Henry, not when he's wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.
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Old 05-03-2016, 05:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kiyoko, Rin View Post
To be fair, Jasmine's arms don't have a chance to reach Henry, not when he's wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.
That should have been her first clue to pass on the date, right?!
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
That should have been her first clue to pass on the date, right?!
Rule No. 1 Of Date Club:

1. Do not date Thanos.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:14 AM   #10
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Blimey, I was off the coast of Venezuela covering a dropped colleague and I come back to this!

Er, so...

Thank you to Steven and Steve for taking the time to go through my script, it doesn't seem like it went down that well.

I did actually give a time of day of sorts, in Page 1, Panel 1:

Tall panel. NIGHT.

I do have to concede the point on weather conditions, it's actually something that didn't occur to me to be perfectly honest.

It was poor scene setting in this panel. I wanted to give the impression that we were somewhere, but use coloured untailed balloons to indicate that there was more than one person talking, rather than some crazed maniac a la Norman Bates.


Poor phraseology for slightly leaning against the tree too. What I mean is, Jasmine was to lightly touch the tree with her back, so effectively the majority of her weight was still carried on her legs (good stretching exercise if you feel stiff actually), so she wouldn't have to make a great effort to either let the tree then take her weight or for her to decide to run. It's a common horror trope prior to being backed into a corner to be killed.

I do think Page 1 can be re-written better though, and I think this has been alluded to in a different way by others. I was very conscious that many previous entries started off at a slow, plodding pace, so I made the decision to speed it up. Reading back on it now, I'd actually speed ahead a bit further and just cut to the chase: Henry should be trying to kill Jasmine more or less immediately - thus allowing Amy to make her reveal much sooner and establish her as the primary character.
Would this be the wrong angle? Or would it still give the problems that it was still jarring to the reader? I'd think, at this point, Jasmine might actually be able to start making out Amy as she's an ethereal character when she has to be (it could be part of the job description).

The scythe appearing is deliberate though: Amy comes from a family of Grim Reapers. She's just a little bit different to the tradition, is how I can best put it.


For Alice, Amy's mom, both she and her husband are a blank slate, it shows itself more when they celebrate her first "kill". Sort of how when Death initially was when he turned up in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. This is how they are, because to have an emotional connection to sending anyone on, especially those who are undeserving like Jasmine, that would cause anyone to go certifiably mad. If this were a series, and it could be, Amy would be viewed as an aberration, because she's nothing like what she needs to be like and her powers don't exactly work correctly.

I have to say though, I really like the idea that she's a superhero. If I could write this as a series, rather than as a one-off, that was an angle I was looking to do, because the implications of her "taking sides" would have deeper ramifications for other Reapers and the next world - causing her to become quite the problem. But in a one-shot, it was very problematic to work in, especially to cause enough conflict to make sense. The ending closed it off enough to give the title some sense, but I think I do need to do some more worldbuilding to make it work.


Definitely some further thought here though. I need to catch up on some sleep, but I'll be back.

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Old 05-05-2016, 01:12 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by LukePierce View Post
I do think Page 1 can be re-written better though, and I think this has been alluded to in a different way by others. I was very conscious that many previous entries started off at a slow, plodding pace, so I made the decision to speed it up. Reading back on it now, I'd actually speed ahead a bit further and just cut to the chase: Henry should be trying to kill Jasmine more or less immediately - thus allowing Amy to make her reveal much sooner and establish her as the primary character.
Would this be the wrong angle? Or would it still give the problems that it was still jarring to the reader?
That might be a little too late. You should probably show some of the argument to give the reader some context.

I was actually thinking that you could start with Amy running. Maybe have a panel of her passing through someone (mostly to show that no one can see her). During this she is giving her inner monologue while Jasmine and Henry are arguing off panel. By the time you cut to Henry and Jasmine, Henry is getting aggressive and Jasmine is trying to escape. The first page could end with Amy about to drop the scythe, leaving the act of her cutting down Jasmine as the reveal on the next page.

Does Amy actually kill Jasmine? If so, then why is she in such a rush? What would happen if she didn't kill Jasmine in time?

Either Amy or Alice could use a name change. I'm already mixing the two of them up in my head.

Just some thoughts I had. Feel free to hate them (and me, by extension).
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