The Long and Winding Road

AND SO WE COME TO WHAT I HAVE BEEN REALLY CONCENTRATING ON THE LAST FEW WEEKS. THIS PROJECT IS SOMEWHAT DEAR TO MY HEART AND HAS BEEN A FEW YEARS GESTATING. I SUPPOSE THAT IT REALLY WAS INEVITABLE THAT I WOULD PULL THIS ONE TOGETHER, WHETHER IT EVER SEES PUBLICATION I REALLY DON’T KNOW, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE IT OUT THERE.

THE REAL IMPULSE TO PUT THIS ONE DOWN WAS A CONVERSATION I HAD WITH SOMEONE “IN THE BUSINESS” AND I THREW OUT THE IDEA OF PUTTING TOGETHER A COMIC OR GRAPHIC NOVEL AND SELL IT WITH A SOUNDTRACK CD, OR DOWNLOADABLE MP3 FILE OR SOMETHING. BUT THIS NEVER REALLY GOT ANYWHERE THROUGH EXTREME DISINTEREST FROM THE PROFESSIONAL FOREMENTIONED, NOW I READ TODAY THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE A FEATURE OF THE iPAD WITH SOME COMIC APPS…QUE SERÁ, SERÁ! ANYWAY, MY IDEA WAS TO BE A LITTLE MORE TIED IN WITH THE STORY OF THE COMIC(OR GRAPHIC NOVEL) AND FROM THIS WAS BORN “THE GLORY DAYS”: A SEMI-AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL STORY…WITH MUSIC.HA!

THE GLORY DAYS PART, THE FIRST:

PAGE 1:

7 PANEL PAGE with three staggered panels along the top of the page, a page long panel down the left-hand side of the page two panels slightly staggered (one off-set slightly down from the other) in the middle and a long panel along the bottom of the page.

PANEL 1:A young man in mod dress (Fishtail parka, nice tailored suit, button down shirt, thin tie, black and white jam shoes), hunched into his parka walking past a pub door. The sign above the pub read “The Nickel Bag”. It’s a drizzly night and the yellow light from the pub door highlights the dreariness. The Streets are slick with the passed rain, puddles here and there lit by the sodium lamps and the light of the full moon

PANEL 2: Mid-range the mod has just passed the door and 3 skinheads are coming out of the pub.

PANEL 3:Mid-shot as the skins see the mod.

SKIN 1:

HEY. POOFTAH!

PANEL 4: A long panel down the left hand side of the page. The Mod has stopped and the 3 skins stand bathed in the light of the doorway.

MOD:(under breath)

Shit

SKIN 2

SHAGGED ANY YER NANCY BOY  MATES LATELY?

PANELS 5/6 The Mod boy turns.(close up)

MOD:

NO, BUT I FUCKED YER MOTHER —

MOD:

–AND SHE WAS SHIT!

PANEL 7: We see in outline the boy running as the skins come pounding after him. The shop fronts(those not boarded up could be a butcher, a baker’s and a newsagent’s/corner shop) in their muted nighttime lights the background of the chase.

MOD: (Shouting)

WOOO HOOOOOO

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PAGE 2:

10 PANEL chase scene. What’s important that there is a sense of movement from panel to panel.

PANEL 1 should be down an alley

CAP:

(Song lyrics from “Down in the Tube station at Midnight: The Jam)

“HEADLINES OF DEATH AND SORROW THEY TELL OF TOMORROW

PANEL 2: The MOD is being chased down an alley still, this time seen from the front the mod in front parka flying, three horrible skins faces grimacing.

CAPS:

MADMEN ON THE RAMPAGE

PANEL 3: Back shot of the skins slightly above, we can see the mod in front. We can see he’s approaching a chain link fence.

CAPS:

BEHIND ME

PANEL 4: Here the Mod leaps the fence we can see him in silhouette against the moon (a Batman moment) his parka flapping around him.

CAPS:

WHISPERS IN THE SHADOWS

PANEL 5: He lands on the ground knees bent, then up and running again.

CAPS:

GRUFF BLAZING VOICES

PANEL 6 TO 9: Being chased down a series of streets, the 70s concrete and steel and old car parks. Graffiti on the walls and hoardings, badly drawn swastikas etc.:

–    SHANE LUVS STACEY

–    NF

–    UK DECAY

–    CRASS

–    SID LIVES

–   SUPPORT THE NUR

–   I.R.A.

–   FUCK THE IRA

–    SWP

–    KILL THE SPG

The mod eventually takes a wrong turn as he turns into an alley behind a Chinese restaurant blocked by three massive steel rubbish bins. (those wheeled kind, big round fuckers).

CAPS ACROSS 6&7:

THEY SMELT OF PUBS, AND WORMWOOD SCRUBS AND TOO MANY RIGHT WING MEETINGS.”

PANEL 8: The Mod is visibly knackered and he stops facing the rubbish bins.

MOD: ( Softly)

Fuck!

PANEL 9: The three skins coming to a stop at the mouth of the alleyway and they are grinning fiercely.

SKIN 1:

GOT YER FUCKWIT.

PANEL 10: The  Mod is seen turning his parka swishing around like a cape ( a batcape? Yes! It’s the second Batman moment) And he stands in a pool of light from an open door, his backdrop is the three rubbish bins and it seems that he is in a circle of light.

MOD: (Normal speaking voice)

Come on then ya baldy ‘eaded bastards!!

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

PAGE 3:

7 PANEL PAGE

A PUB INTERIOR:

PANEL 1:  Two young men sitting at a pub table, we can see part of a fireplace behind them, there is a collection of pint glasses before them and an overflowing ashtray, crisp packets and assorted pub debris in front of them including a newspaper. The punk (Stuart) is dressed in punk attire per the period: black leather jacket across the back of his chair, “Never Mind the Bollocks” T-shirt, black jeans and boots, short, spiky, black hair. He looks down in the dumps, and there are more than pint glasses in front of him, a couple of short glasses as well.

The other boy(Jim) is smartly dressed with a Fred Perry shirt, jeans and D(oc)M(artin)s, his hair is short, but not a skinhead, he is wearing a trilby and dark glasses.

PANEL 2: A POV down the pub looking from a high vantage point showing the length of the bar up to the front door ( if Paul is drawing this, remember The Cock’s front bar, long and thin?)

PANEL 3: Close up, we can see that STU is really sad, and pretty drunk.

PANEL 4: Close up on JIM, he’s looking over his glasses.

JIM:

C’mon Stu. D’ya want another pint?

PANEL 5 : (close up) STU looks daggers at his friend.

STU:

Course I want anuvver fuckin’ pint.

PANEL 6: JIM sits back in his chair, hands up in a placating gesture.

JIM:

Cha guy! Chill, I’ll get you your pint.

PANEL 7:  this is a snapshot of the table, strewn with debris, cigarette packets, lighters beer mugs and a newspaper. The Sun 3rd February 1979. The headline is: SID VICIOUS DEAD ; Punk Star Killed by Overdose.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

PAGE 4:

PANEL 1:  JIM is at the bar, he catches the attention of the barmaid.

PANEL 2: JIM is leaning against the bar as the barmaid asks him.

BARMAID:

What can I get you, duck?

JIM:

Two Snakebites love…dry cider.

PANEL 3: The barmaid puts down 2 pints

BARMAID:

Your mate looks a bit miserable.

PANEL 4: (mid-shot) JIM and Barmaid as he’s picking up the pints.

JIM:

Yeah, well…he got a bit of bad news today.

BARMAID:

Oh dear. Well…tell ‘im that worse things ‘ave happened at sea.

That’ll be one fifty-eight luvvy. Ta.

PANEL 5: JIM turns and sees a figure standing in front of him, he looks shocked.

JIM:

FUUUUUUUCCKKK!!!

PANEL 6: SPLASH FRAME  A shot of ALEX  (the Mod), his hair is disheveled, his Parka is torn in several places, his tie is awry and there’s blood coming from his nose  ( think of Otter’s entrance into Delta house after he was been up by Greggy and Dougie and the rest of the welcoming committee in the hotel room from Animal House). He’s framed by the doorway, on either side of which is a window alcove with a table and a seats, people are sat there ALEX is kind of in the doorway propping himself up on the frame like William Hurt when he was going through the final change in that scene in Altered States. The patrons in the pub that are near him are visibly shocked. They are a mixture of (mostly) males of varying ages, a couple of women, one who is about 30-ish. All are dressed in the clothes of the time.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

PAGE 5:

SIX PANELS BACK AT THE TABLE.

PANEL 1: ALEX has obviously cleaned himself up a bit. His nose is no longer bleeding and his tie is straight.

JIM:

So what the fuck happened, guy?

ALEX:

Three Boneheads decided that they wanted to play kiss-chase with yours truly.

PANEL 2: STU’s problems have disappeared for the nonce.

STU:

Well let’s get the fuckers then.

PANEL 3:  ALEX looks at his mates.

ALEX:

Nah. Let it go, I managed to hurt a couple of them with my face anyway.

JIM: (Burst)

SHIT!

PANEL 4: Mid-shot of the three, ALEX is lighting a cigarette.

ALEX:

So…we still on for the Blockers tonight then?

JIM:

Yeah, if dopey bollocks here is still interested.

STU:

Fuck off!

PANEL 5: Close up on STU and ALEX, ALEX looks with sympathy at his friend.

ALEX:

Yeah. I heard it on the telly. Sorry mate.

STU:

Fucking wankers killed him…

PANEL 6: Close up of STU draining his pint.

PANEL 7: STU looking into his empty pint pot.

STU: …cunts fitted him up.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

PAGE 6:

PAGE 6:

8 Panels reading linearly

PANEL 1: Close up on JIM beer glass half-way to his lips.

JIM:

So, you got the gear then?

PANEL 2: ALEX reaching into his parka, looking around shiftily.

ALEX:

Course I did. I toldchya there wouldn’t be no problem..

PANELS 3/4/5 ARE THE THINNER PANELS. Each panel shows a close up of ALEX’s hand, in the first he’s showing some little pills, in the second it’s a foil twist of hash and in the third one is Stu and Jim looking at the stuff as if it were candy.

PANEL 3

ALEX (OP):

This is some wicked speed. Georgie told me it was the dog’s bollocks.

PANEL 4

CAPS:

“The public gets what the public wants,”

PANEL 5

JIM(OP):

Put that shit away Guy!

PANEL 6: A mid-shot of ALEX smirking and shrugging into his parks.

ALEX:

Right. I’m off to the bog for a slash, then we’ll be off then,eh?

PANEL 7: A shot of STU and JIM from ALEX’s POV.

STU/JIM (both):

YEAH.

PANEL 8: We see ALEX’s back as he’s disappearing towards the toilet through the crowd, there’s the big RAF roundel on the back of his parka, there’s a crowd of people all around him which seems to part as he walks his way through the crowd.

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

PAGE 7:

10 PANELS:

PANEL 1:  A long shot from the door of the pub, we can see the glass and steel windows of the tech college on the other side of the road to the left and on the right, the depressingly large bulk of the Arndale Centre rising in all of it’s early 70s monstrosity.

PANEL 2: Another long shot as we see the lads disappear down the hill and around the corner.

PANEL 3: A mid range shot front on of our three heroes, not exactly laughing and joking, it’s too wet and cold for that, but ALEX is skinning up.

ALEX:

So what you up to this weekend then Stu?

STU:

Well I get me dole on Friday so me an’ Mark an’ Chris are off down to the Smoke. Prob’bly end up at the Roxy

PANEL 4: This is the long panel in the middle of the page, once again a long shot side on of the boys as they walk past the church. We can see the yew trees and the flint wall around the front of the church, behind which lie the remaining gravestones, the church is in darkness but the wall of dark is punctuated by the dim outlines of the stained glass windows that are illumned by the street lights coming from behind them, relieving the blackness. Clouds of smoke billow from the three boys smoking. This panel is the width of the page.

STU:

What you up to Jim?

JIM: (mumbling)

Going….Cinderella’s….Dunstable….Sunday

ALEX:

What?

PANEL 5: A close-up of JIM looking a bit lary, shame-faced, not really wanting to repeat what he said.

JIM:

I said, “I’m goin’ to Cinderella’s in Dunstable on Sunday

PANEL 6:  A mid range of STU, his head thrown back in laughter.

STU:

HAHAHAHAHA…Jim’s goin’ to the kiddie disco…HAHAHAHAHAHA

PANEL 7: Mid-range shot, JIM is in STU’s face, a wee bit aggressive .

JIM:

Shut the fuck up. It’s fuckin’ got good Ska and 2-Tone there, most of the lads is goin’, so just shut the fuck up. It’s under-18s don’t mean it’s a kiddie disco.

STU: (appeasing hands up)

Calm down you knob-head…I mean if you wanna go kiddie-diddling…

PANEL 8  Mid-range shot side on. JIM is advancing on STU his fist raised, arm cocked back.

JIM:

Shut your gob you cunt! I’ll fuckin’ deck yer.

PANEL 9: Long shot of JIM and STU squaring up on each other JIM has STU’s leather jacket lapels in his hands. STU has JIM by the lapels as well. This is going to kick off.

PANEL 10: Close up of the two lads, growling into each other’s faces.

ALEX (OP):

Jim’s got another reason for going, don’t you Jim?.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————

PAGE 8:

10 PANEL PAGE: I’ll have to explain the layout a little. Panels 1 to 6 are normal comic book layout, but panel 10 will occupy the bottom left hand corner of the page, a triangular panel. Panel 7 to 9 occupying the space on the right hand space. 7 and 8 on one row and panel 9 on its own at the bottom half of the right hand side “triangle” of panels.

PANEL 1: Long shot, we see ALEX leaning against a lamp post smoking the joint, an amused smile on his lips.

ALEX:

What’s the “reason’s” name Jimmy boy?

PANEL 2: Close up of JIM and STU again, still with each other’s lapels in their hands, but JIM’s face is now uncertain, a little abashed.

JIM:

Jane

PANEL 3:  Mid range of STU now a little calmer, an amused smile playing around his lips.

STU:

Bollocks mate. Why didn’t you say so.

JIM (OP):

You din’t give me a chance you prick.

PANEL 4: STU puts a magnanimous arm around  JIM’s shoulder.

STU:

Well, now. Everything is dif’rent,innit?

Changes everything, does a bint.

JIM:

She ain’t a bint!

PANEL 5: A shot of ALEX as he pushes away from the lamp post and hands the joint to STU.

ALEX:

Leave the poor sod alone Stu.

PANEL 6: A shot over a little above of ALEX We can see his top half and half his face as he’s speaking to JIM, We can see JIM front on and STU off to one side, puffing on the wacky-baccy.

ALEX:

Come on then Jimbo. What’s so special about this un?

JIM:

Well, she really nice

PANEL 7:  We see JIM, he’s got a happy little smile on his face as he’s explaining about his passion.

JIM:

She’s kind, and brainy. She loves music…an’ she’s pretty…an’ she cool…an’ …

Panel 8:  The same shot of JIM but something has deflated him a little. Perhaps the thought of what he’s going to say next, and he knows what the reaction of his mates will be.

JIM (in a quiet voice):

…she plays the cello.

PANEL 9: A mid shot front on of ALEX and STU as they look at each other in amazement at what they just heard from their friend.

PANEL 10: A full length shot of STU and ALEX in the circle of light cast by the street lamp, heads thrown back in laughter. STU’s right leg is up of the floor he’s laughing so hard tears flying from his face, mouth open. ALEX is almost bent double with mirth, hanging onto STU’s arm to keep from falling down in amusement. Obviously the hash has something to do with this.

SFX:

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

END OF EXCERPT

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