Funnybooks

I’ve already shown you my character designs for the Spaceship Zero comic book.

Now I’m gonna give you s’more: thumbnails and script.

Steve gave us samples of actual comic scripts that he has worked on, including MEK by Warren Ellis. The three he gave us had similarities but the format differed somewhat. Basically, comic scripts are a lot like TV/movie scripts. Mine is very loose because at the moment it’s just written for my own reference – so I know who is saying what and how many balloons it’s going to take up. Skip it if you want. There’s pics below.

SPACESHIP ZERO #1
By Toren Atkinson

PAGE ONE

Panel 1.

CAPTION: Antarctica, 2023

WALTERS: Professor Ashton, I’m John Walters.

ASHTON: Dreadful.

WALTERS: Uh, I hope the trip wasn’t too uncomfortable.

ASHTON: I despise flying. Where is the site?

Panel 3

WALTERS: It’s about one mile southwest. We couldn’t pitch camp any closer due to…

ASHTON: Are we to travel in that thing?

WALTERS: Yes. We’ve prepared a room and a meal for y…

ASHTON: I would like to go immediately.

Panel 4

(beat)

WALTERS: Certainly.

Panel xxx

IN THE HALFTRACK

WALTERS: I gather from the Commodore that this vessel is tied into your project in a very profound way.

ASHTON: Seemingly

WALTERS: Well you’ve seen the data we’ve sent so far. Steveston took a carbon dating reading on the hull but the results were…

ASHTON: …completely meaningless.

Panel xxx
WALTERS: Well the surrounding ice is DEFINITELY thousands of years old. And if the ship isn’t SpaceCorp then it’s a good goddamn replica. I’m no ship buff, but from what I’m told it’s a hopper.

ASHTON: The images you sent didn’t transfer very well.

WALTERS: I apologize for that. We couldn’t get any clear, wide shots due to the weather. We took some this morning but of course that’s no…

ASHTON: Has anyone been inside?

STEVESTON: We’re just clearing the hatch now, Professor Ashton.

Panel xxx

WALTERS: This is Heather Steveston, Professor.

STEVESTON: Here’s this morning’s readings. The tanks are apparently spent. Just residual traces of xenon as you can see.

Panel xxx

ASHTON: Is that it?

Panel xxx

STEVESTON: Hold on to the rope, Professor. We’ll have a much better view at the bottom.

Ashton slips?

Panel xxx
(Big shot)

ASHTON: Good heavens!

Panel xxx
(C.U)

ASHTON: It can’t be.

STEVESTON: What is it, Professor?

ASHTON: Those tines…. Staggering!

WALTERS: What about the tines?

STEVESTON: They’re not standard to the Mark V Space Hopper, I know that much.

WORKMAN: That’s got it, Jensen.

Panel xxx

ASHTON: Let me through!

WORKMAN: Woah, hold up there, sir. Give the metal a chance to cool.

Panel xxx
(Walters produces an open box of ray guns)

WALTERS: The commodore insisted we carry these, Professor.

ASHTON: What on Earth for?

Panel xxx

Walters shrugs

ASHTON: I have never in my life discharged a firearm.

WALTERS: Commodore’s orders.

ASHTON: SIGH (takes a gun and holster)

Panel xxx
This metal is rather deteriorated.

STEVESTON: That coincides with our readings from this ice.

WORKMAN: Okay. Here are some torches.

Panel xxx

They move through the hulk by flashlight

Panel xxx

STEVESTON: Looks pretty intact to me.

WALTERS: What level is this?

STEVESTON: Reactor is up one more. Readings are normal.

Panel xxx

ASHTON: Hmm. I wonder….

WALTERS: Weir, do you have that cable ready?

Panel xxx

WALTERS: The T6 has completely lost its charge and the heads are shot. Give me three minutes.

STEVESTON: Where’s Ashton?

Panel xxx

Steveston looking for Ashton

Panel xxx

STEVESTON: Ashton?

ASHTON: It’s here. This is it. The entire module. It’s staggering. It’s completely impossible.

Panel xxx
Power comes on revealing the BTL Drive.

ASHTON: Completely impossible.

PAGE FOUR

Panel xxx

Ashton and Walters in dim room

WALTERS: Yawn! You want something to eat? Professor? PROF!

ASHTON: No, for heaven’s sakes, Walter! No!
WALTERS: Walters. John Walters. Well I do. Download is slow going. I’ll bring you something back. Give a yell on the blower if you need anything.

Panel xxx

Monitor reads: 7 LIFEFORMS IN DECON

ASHTON: Hello, what’s this? Walter, look at this. Eh?

Panel xxx

Ashton on computer.

DATA FILE CORRUPT. REPAIR / DIAGNOSTIC / EXIT

BIOSPEC INTACT
DECONSTITUTION INITIATED

Panel xxx

Ashton watches as decon does its thing

Panel xxx Ashton reacts to deconstituted thing out of frame

Panel xxx
Hand reaches for gun

Feel free to comment/proofread! One of the most challenging things for me is arranging the characters and the word balloons so they flow properly, naturally, and clearly. It’s actually pretty difficult to do that and still keep the panel compositions interesting! As you can tell from the text above, when I wrote the script I didn’t really know what panels were going to be on what page, except for page four. Here are the almost completed first two pages.

spaceshipzerothumbnails.png

I think at some point I’ll take some reference photos of poses in winter coats. Any volunteers? Who wants to be in a comic boooook?

Spaceship Zero: The Comic

The comic book production course I’m taking at Van Arts is pretty good so far. I dropped $90 at Loomis but I didn’t really have to. I just wanted the good brush, the aluminum cork-backed ruler, and a few other things. Has anyone heard of the Aames Lettering Guide?

As I may have mentioned, the other kids in the class are kind of weird. But then, that’s comic geeks for you. Oh wait – none of them read comics. So that is weird. At any rate, I’m learning, and making decent progress. We had our third class last week, and we talked about storytelling and whatnot. Steve is always apologetic for the amount of handouts but I think it’s great. That way I don’t have to commit anything to memory! His teaching style is mostly to just go over the handouts and he usually does so verbatim which kind of useful but I’d rather get something on top of what’s on the handout, but I guess if there were more information he’d just put it on the handout to start with.

I handed in my character sketches for the four pages I’ll be doing. This is really just the prologue for the big story (will I ever finish it? Who knows) so the only main character present is Professor Ashton. But there are a few supporting characters. Here are the results:

ashton.png
ashtonclose.png
walters.png
steveston.png

Soon I should have some thumbnails for you all.

In other news, I’m nearly done Guitar Hero II on HARD, much to Stewie’s chagrin. Hey, it’s not my fault he leaves it in the living room and then doesn’t play it. He says if I finish it before him he is going to charge me. So I’ll just get 99% through Free Bird and then hit the reset button.

Does anyone know what causes that ‘BZZZZZZZZZZZT-BZT-BZT-BZT-BZT” sound that I hear in my headphones when I pass a certain place in the city on the Greyhound, and that I hear in my computer speaker when my cell phone goes off nearby?

World Wildlife Federation of Justice and their foes

Greetings, False Believers! If you’re viewing this page from another link, there’s a much nicer and more recently updated WWFJ page here:

http://www.worldwildlifefederationofjustice.com/

Okay here’s what I did at work today. Get excited! Preston Blair’s animation book really helped me come to a happy medium between cartoony and superheroicy. More in style with Captain Carrot than my previous attempts in ’04. As many of you know, I ran a Mutants & Masterminds/Spaceship Zero game set in a “funny animal” universe which I ran at home and at VGG Game Days. These are some of the characters that were played by players, and NPCs that worried the players or fleshed out the background. I’ll be adding more characters in the not-too-distant future.

First off: Mandrill…or Astromandrill? He was a big gun in the World Wildlife Federation of Justice universe. He was actually a founding member of the WWFJ.
astromandrill.jpg

wolverini.jpg

The Great Wolverini – Master of the Mystic Skills. Note the moustache and arcane eyebrows. Also a senior member of the WWFJ.

After looking at some cool Alex Toth drawings, here’s a redux for GW:

wolverini2.jpg
dupligator.jpg

He’ll bite your head off, man. Dupligator is a new addition I just made up. He strikes me as a low-level hero. Maybe a part-time member or someone who hasn’t proved their worth yet.
pandroid.jpg

Modelled slighty off of WB’s Junior Bear.

Who’s next? Why, it’s Stewie’s favourite (and the love child of Grape Ape and Magilla), Go-Rilla. He was part of the player character group who was striving to gain the notice of the WWFJ.

go-rilla.jpg

porcules.jpg

The WWFJ’s strong man, Porcules. Note the beard.

hypnopotamus.jpg

Oh my god why do I love this guy so much? And what’s going on with the costume there? A foul villain.
And why do so many of these guys have the stiff cowls? Don’t ask the ubiquitous Rhinosferatu:

rhinosferatu.jpg

He’s evil!

I’ve got so many more to go! Gnucleus…Tarmadillo…Psyrax (who knows what a hyrax is?)…Mad Cow…Haardvark…Tasmanian Daredevil…etc etc. I wanna do a comic. Even if it’s only a one-shot.
ADDENDUM:

earthquack.jpg

Better that he looks like Daffy than Donald. Try to imagine green feathers and maybe a dark blue costume. I may even get rid of the shirt and just have the metal vest and belt. I picture Earthquack as a bad guy.

octopussycat.jpg

Sorta ran out of paper on the left there. Oops. Originally I pictured Octopussycat as sort of a Batman character. She was a gadget girl, but everything was octopus-themed. Now she strikes me more as a gal with octopus powers…camouflage, ink, sticky suction. I guess mostly I just liked the name. Cuz I’m not sold on the visuals, even though she’s got a kind of blue-ringed octopus motif going there.

Okay here’s a redux on Octopussycat:

octopussycat2.jpg

Still not satisfied. This third version is a little leg-bendy, but my favourite so far:

octopussycat3.jpg

MORE ADDENDUM:

Here’s one of the WWFJ’s founders, the Llamazon(ian).

llamazon.jpg

Move over Gleek, Blip and Abu, here’s the WWFJ’s answer to Aquaman–Sea Monkey! Are those fins still there when he takes his costume off? I don’t know! I don’t wanna know!
seamonkey.jpg

What if you took Tex Avery’s big bad wolf (you know, the one from Red Hot Riding Hood) and mixed him with Wile E. Coyote and gave him a super suit? Why, you’d get Crackerjackal of course.

crackerjackalwider.jpg
But is he a good guy or a bad guy? Hard to tell with that moustache.

STILL FURTHER ADDENDUM (How many more can I do?)

Woe betide the fool who crosses the infernal deviant, Elk Diablo

elkdiablo.jpg

and his incompetent sidekick, Hellhound!

hellhound.jpg

Here’s a little guy who is also destined to stay in the Sidekick Lounge, Bugbear. Note the dial on his belt that he uses for…something.

bugbearwider.jpg

A little cutesy, I know. But wait! Here by special request is Shaolin Monkey (you can’t really see the shaved head but I did make a point of not adding hair):ironmonkey.jpg

One of my new favourites, Dynamole:

dynamole.jpg

I was gonna give him big thick glasses, like every cartoon mole must have, but then I thought goggles were cooler, and the antenna, gizmo belt and backpack followed naturally.

But no one can trump my new favourite (except for Rhinosferatu of course), arch-nemesis of The Great Wolverini, the ruthless Salamancer:

salamancer.jpg

There’s something so right about funny animal supers getting the Kirby treatment. In hindsight I should have added some extravagant technodoodle to the tip of his tail just to busy it up that one notch further.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t draw guns. Oh well, here’s The Toad Warrior:

toadwarrior.jpg

Beware the diamond claws of Haardvark:

haardvark.jpg

I like Tasmanian Daredevil, but I think he would be cooler as a she. Maybe later. Meantime:

tasmanian.jpg

Or, what if Tasmanian Daredevil was a woman?

tasmanian.jpg

Here’s Elephantom. I don’t know why I coloured in bits of him, he should be transparent. Too much like Gentleman Ghost? I think so. I’ll give him another pass later on.

elephantom.jpg

Ok let’s try this one:

elephantom2.jpg

Here’s the evil mastermind, Dark Horse:

darkhorse.jpg

And the terror of tiny toon, Micronewt:

micronewt.jpg

I don’t know what the deal is with the tuning forks, I just thought they looked cool.

What happens when Sylvester gets abducted by the Master Control Program? You get Datalynx.

datalynx.jpg

I really enjoy Cardinal Sin, though I think his outfit needs work. Or maybe less work.

cardinalsin.jpg

Thanks to Kerry for this one – Orangutangler:

orangutangler.jpg

And this one – Baboom!

baboom.jpg

The Wooly Marmot. Not to scale. (He’s huge!)woolymarmot.jpg

This costume is too generic for my tastes, maybe I’ll give him a makeover later, but in the meantime, this picture of Starbuck will have to do. Silly thing is while I was drawing him I thought “this one should be female” but then of course I realized that I’d have to rename her Stardoe and that didn’t have the same ring to it.

starbuck.jpg

drgnucleus.jpg

redrover.jpg

Some time later…
Tarmadillo!