I’m Back Again

YUP, I WENT OFF FOR A WEEK TO RECHARGE MY BATTERIES AND SEE IF I COULD GET ANY SERIOUS WRITING DONE. WHICH I DID. I POLISHED OF AN EC/WARREN MAGAZINE TYPE STORY, SET HERE IN THE NORTHEAST OF BRAZIL. I KINDA LIKE IT, IT FLOWED PRETTY WELL WHEN I SAT DOWN AND PECKED IT OUT ON THE CANTANKEROUS KEYBOARD OF MY ANCIENT LAP TOP. I ACTUALLY DID SOME RESEARCH FOR THIS AND WENT OFF TO READ A FEW ECs AND CREEPIES, I FOUND THEM QUITE REFRESHING AND THERE WERE A HOST OF YOUNG CREATORS(SPECIFICALLY IN THE CREEPY MAGAZINES) THAT ARE AROUND TODAY AND I NEVER REALISED THAT THEY WERE ABOUT WAY BACK WHEN, THERE WAS SOME REALLY AMAZING EXPERIMENTAL STUFF MIXED IN WITH THE REPETITIVE MOTIFS OF VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES AND GHOULS. SO HERE’S A GRATUITOUS PHOTO OF UNCLE CREEPY AND THE SCRIPT BELOW:

TM & (c) whoever owns the rights to Warren characters now

PAGE 1:

A 3 PANEL PAGE. The page layout is as follows. One large panel that takes up the whole page and two smaller panels dropped in at the bottom. If we want this as an homage to EC and Warren comics then perhaps we should have a ‘host’ like “The Crypt Keeper” or “Uncle Creepy”. I suggest “The Mausoleum Manager”.  He would be in the upper right hand corner of the page, just his upper body and his head, I´ll leave it up to you to design that. His dialogue would then be across the top part of the page, with the title of the story immediately below that.

MM:

Hee hee heee kiddywinks, welcome to another bloodcurdling tale of terror from me, your host with the most, the Mausoleum Manager, step on into my humble abode and pull up a tomb. This is a little story of unrequited lust that I like to call…

TITLE:

…A SIREN’S SONG

PANEL 1: I say panel 1 but in fact this is the whole page. We are looking from a slightly elevated angle on a nighttime tropical beach. We can see the line of breakers marking the divide between sand and sea. Though there are also several large flat rocks taking up a large portion of the beach too.  The full moon is peaking above the horizon and causing a silver path along the surface of the ocean from the horizon to the beach. At the divide between the beach and the foreground there are a line of coconut palms silhouetted against the background.

CAP:

The palm fronds click together like old dry bones marking a rhythm to the counterpoint of the soft susurration of the surf gently breaking on the sand.

PANEL 2: Here we are looking from the beach at an isolated beach house, we can see more palm trees and we can see that the house is on a slight rise above the beach, a dark line of ground hugging vegetation, a demarcation line between the pale sands of the beach and the true land. We can see that the house is two storeys with a wide verandah on both the ground and the first floor. It is flat rooved with wide windows on both upper and lower storeys. It is an oasis of light on this dark night. We can see a figure standing on the upper verandah silhouetted against the light coming from the inside of the house, he is so obviously alone. He is leaning against a waist high railing that runs the length of the verandah, looking out towards the sea.

CAP:

I KNOW she’ll be here tonight. The ‘Pai do Santo’ told me so. This is HER special night. My whole body is vibrating and I feel the night breezes thrumming through my veins making me feel more alive than I have ever felt in my short span on this earth.

PANEL 3: Here we have come in closer to the man on the verandah, this is a full body view of him. We can see that he is about 6’ tall and around 40 years old, with short greying hair and aquiline features and a short cut beard and moustache. He is solidly built without being fat. He is wearing a loose white cotton shirt with the top three buttons undone which is slightly billowing in the breeze and loose white linen trousers and a pair of light shoes. He has a glass of some kind of drink in his left hand and is bringing up a cigarette to his mouth.

We can see the house behind him, it’s obviously a bedroom/sitting room. There’s a large bed with several round pillows scattered on it on the left hand side of the room and some cane furniture with upholstered cushions, a mosquito net is above the bed, a large glass coffee table between the armchairs on the right hand side of the room and a large ceiling fan above the whole room. On the back wall there is some shelving with books and other knick-knacks on them, we can see a small drinks tray on a sideboard on the back wall as well with a number of glass tumblers and an ice-bucket. The door to the entrance to the upper room is on the right hand side of the room in the wall opposite the bed.

On the verandah itself we can see a smaller coffee table made of wicker and two more upholstered wicker chairs on either side of the table.

CAP:

Twenty years, three failed businesses and a failed marriage behind me in this country. A country that intoxicates but nothing has intoxicated so much and so totally as she has.

CAP:

The clean smell of ozone fills my nose, inflates my lungs. Rejuvenates me, clearing away the tobacco taste of my cigarette. I close my eyes and memories come tumbling in and the sound of the surf breaking on the sand I hear the street vendor in a busy open market…

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PAGE 2:

A SIX PANEL PAGE. 2,2 and 2. This is a market scene. The market is like many here in the northeast of Brazil. Crowded and dirty and they sell everything from screws and nails to furniture. Food, fruits and household goods are mostly in evidence. The market stalls are rickety affairs, close together and built of wood, with the rooves generally made of those heavy duty plastic tarpaulin affairs. There’s possibly enough room for two people to walk abreast down the alleys formed by the stalls.

The people are simple people most of the men should be dressed in Bermudas (torn and dirty would be good for some, well worn for others), a variety of hats ranging from the ubiquitous baseball caps to round straw brimmed hats and battered felt trilby type hats. Shirts are generally t-shirts and ordinary shirts generally open at the front. Footwear should range from battered sneakers to flip-flops and open-toed sandals.

Women will be wearing (younger): Short shorts generally leaving very little to the imagination, tank-tops, bikini tops and t-shirts. Some may be wearing mini-dresses mostly with floral patterns. All will be wearing sandals of various descriptions.

Older women: will be wearing dresses and sandals, some would probably be in platform shoes but those with tops like women’s sandals. The stalls themselves would be selling everything from fruit to furniture. We can see stalls that are selling tropical fruits and vegetables, others which are selling things like clothes, underwear and electrical goods such as mp3 players, cd cases and a bunch of other stuff.

We see our “hero” mooching around the stalls, which are hung with herbs of unsavory origin, fruits like mango, oranges, etc. He is dressed in Bermudas and sandals, a big flowery shirt, a panama hat and dark glasses. He is dickering with a vendor over the price of some spices.

What would be nice would be to have instead of normal panel borders have us see OUR HERO as seen through the stalls. Their silhouettes making the panel borders, as if we are standing in adjacent stalls watching the action.

VENDOR:

…will be six reis doutor.

OUR HERO;

Minha senhora, I think that if I pay you in cash you will accept the 5 reis I am offering.

VENDOR:

Doutor you are taking food from the mouths of my children. But as a favor to you I will sell to you my mangoes at this price.

OUR HERO:

I thank you for your KINDNESS and here is your money.

PANEL 2: this is another scene of the market. Our hero is turning away from the market stall and walking into the rough and tumble of the market populace.

PANEL 3: a side full body shot of OUR HERO as he walks past the fruit and veg. stalls. We are looking at him as he strides past the stalls with his bag of mangoes.

PANEL4: OUR HERO meets an old friend we can see them side on whole body and from the side. The little man, dressed in a white tropical suit, white cotton shirt, white linen trousers, white shoes and a white panama hat, he also has on dark glasses. He is mulatto and probably around 50 years of age. He has a young girl with him she is around 20 years old, almost as tall as OUR HERO, with long dark hair, smooth, with a sheen to it. She is lithe and beautiful. Her skin is the color of coffee, with a hint of milk, healthily dark but not black, her face has fine features and she has a natural grace. She is wearing a simple wrap-around dress that comes to just above her knees, with a bright floral pattern and low open-toed sandals.

OLD MAN:

Doutor Mark! How wonderful to see you!

MARK:

Seu Itamar! This meeting is indeed well met. I haven’t seen you in a long time.

SEU ITAMAR:

Indeed. Indeed. How is that lovely wife of yours? And those wonderful children? They are keeping well I hope.

PANEL 5: Here is a close up of MARK we can see from his shoulders up, he looks a little sad and a little sheepish.

MARK:

Ahh. Hmmm. Well she has left me and gone back to ENGLAND Seu Itamar. She found that she couldn’t take the heat and the corruption anymore. Me, I actually prefer it here. No grey skies and cold winter evenings for me.

PANEL 6: This is a close up on SEU ITAMAR and the girl. He has a look of concern on his face and we can now see that he has a very thin moustache over his generous lips, his dark eyes hold a twinkle of mischief as well as concern. As this is a head and upper body shot of the old man and the girl we can see that the dress has a bit of a plunge to the neckline, her full breasts are barely contained by the simple material of the dress, we can see that she has slightly alien cast to her eyes, as they have a slight upturn to them as if there was some Japanese in her ancestry and that they are really dark, almost like two midnight pools, the stars reflected in their depth.

SEU ITAMAR;

That is such a shame doutor. Your wife was a singular woman–

–well this is my niece, Inez, she is staying with me as her parents recently passed away and I am her only living relative.

Say hello to the good doutor Inez.

INEZ:

Good day doutor Mark. My…uncle has told me much of you.

MARK (OP):

Really?

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PAGE 3:

A FOUR PANEL PAGE once again this should have a full page illustration with the other panels dropped in. The full page illustration is actually PANEL TWO, with the other panels dropped in. I’ll describe it when I come to it.

PANEL 1: This is a normal sized panel in the top left hand corner of the page. We are once again on the verandah. MARK is leaning on the railing smoking a cigarette and looking out to sea. We are looking at him slightly from behind and we can see that the moon has risen a little higher. The silvery path is still there.

CAP:

That was six months ago. Six heady months. There was nothing that Inez and I didn’t do…

PANEL 2:  This is the whole page illustration of INEZ and MARK dancing close together, passion in their eyes. Around them there is a party going on, coloured banners and streamers, almost carnival but not, it’s obviously a street scene and they are close to a building. She is wearing the same dress and he is in his white trousers and shirt. The street is full of revelers laughing and dancing.

CAP:

…all but that one little thing. Always we stopped short of that one little thing.

CAP:

I yearned to feel her around me, engulfing me with her femaleness. But always she held me off. Which doesn’t mean to say that there was no pleasure–far from it. There was always pleasure.

Panel 3: Two are silhouetted in a bed, the sheets are crumpled and a full moon is shining through the window, the window is open and the thin curtains are fluttered by a night breeze. She’s obviously giving him a blow job.

MARK:

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!

PANEL 4: A head and shoulder shot of INEZ and MARK in bed, we are looking down on them, she is curled into his embracing arm on his right. He is lazily smoking a post-coital cigarette, a happy smile on his face, like the cat that got the cream and the mouse. The thin sheets are crumpled covering their bottom halves, but we can see INEZ’s breasts quite clearly. She has her right arm across his chest and she is nuzzling his ear.

INEZ:

Querida, I LOVE you so much. I love you more than you could know. I am happy the day my uncle and I met you in Santa Luzía that day.

MARK:

Oh DARLING, so am I.

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PAGE 4:

This is A SIX PANEL PAGE. 2,2 and 2 again. Maybe this could be done without panel divides, one panel bleeding into the panels around it, here there will be quite a lot of exposition as we need to do this in 6 pages, this is when MARK discovers some of INEZ’s true nature. Enough room needs to be left for the caption boxes (will you be lettering this as well?) maybe we could do something interesting with the caption boxes and lettering. The lighting should be pretty specific here. In the scenes in the ‘terreiro’ the light source is flickering torches, thrust into the ground around the outside of the action. Remember that this is outside, an enclosed outside space, organic and tropical. The other scenes are in normal daylight, a hot dusty tropical (there’s that word again) daylight. Except the first panel which is night time.

PANEL1: Here we see MARK speaking to ITAMAR earnestly. They are standing outside a little street bar, its interior is brightly lit, there’s no door as such, just the big entrance, there are rickety metal tables and uncomfortable fold-away wooden chairs inside and outside on the pavement. The tiling on the inside walls is blue and white chess pattern, there’s a nudie calendar pinned on the wall. A sign for ‘Guaraná Antartica’ (a soft drink, I have reference for this if need be, though it wouldn’t be hard to find it from the internet, the older the better though), skol beer and ruffles potato crisps adverts abound on the wall. There should be a ‘Flamengo’ flag on the wall (every fucker supports Flamengo here). Generally in the bars here you’ll see beer and soft drink crates piled up in the back or against one of the walls in bars here. NOTE: If you do search online for references, be sure that it’s for the northeast of Brazil as the bars are different in the south, generally closed in.

CAP:

This is when ITAMAR told me who Inez was and how important she was. My old friend was a “Pai do Santo” a leader of CANDOMBLÉ, a mixture of African religious beliefs and primitive Catholic ones.

PANEL 2: Here we see INEZ dancing in the middle of a group of people, she is dressed in only a simple white skirt that comes down to her bare feet. She is naked from the waist up. Her hair is swirling round her head like a dark curtain. This is the “terreiro” or worshipping place of those that practice candomblé. The people around her are all dressed in white, the men in loose fitting white trousers, almost like pyjama pants, tied at the waist with coloured rope-like belts. They are naked from the waist up and very sweaty, they are playing fuck off big drums called ‘zabumbas’ and chanting. The women are dressed as ‘Bahianas’, these are the matriarchs and females of the community. The ‘Bahiana” dress is wide-skirted dresses, with lace and white turbans on their heads. They also wear lots of beaded necklaces around their necks, generally beads and seashell necklaces and lots of bangles around their wrists. Everyone is barefooted and singing and chanting, the light source for this panel is torches set up around the ‘terreiro’ they are all in state of religious ecstasy, no one, though so much as Inez who is dancing sinuously in the centre of the group. They are calling down the ‘orixás’ to inhabit her body and they can make their requests the embodiment of the goddess. The ‘terreiro’ is generally outdoors.

CAP:

Little did I know of this, but such was my intoxication with this girl that soon I was inducted into the cult. Not unheard of for a ‘gringo’, though it seems this particular group was considered…’hardcore’!

PANEL 3:Here we see MARK being inducted into the sect, he is kneeling before ITAMAR, we are looking from behind, ITAMAR he is wearing white trousers, and a white suit jacket but no shirt covers his scrawny chest, he also has one simple necklace of beads and is also wearing a slightly more ornate turban. He  is standing over MARK his hands in the air clasping an obviously dead rooster, its blood dripping onto MARK’s head, the rest of the group is arraigned behind ITAMAR looking on (this includes INEZ) ITAMAR is crying something out, exalting the gods to bless the newest member of the cult. Once again the light source for this panel is torches behind the assembled group.

CAP:

I would do anything for my Inez, my darling —’minha neginha’ she had become the centre of my life and I could not imagine another day on this planet without her.

PANEL 4: MARK  is prostrate in the background, face down on the floor, his arms outspread and the rest of the group is assembled around him, pouring ‘cachaça’ and water on him. In the foreground on the right hand side of the panel, INEZ and ITAMAR are huddled in conference, INEZ’s eyes have an evil gleam to them and ITAMAR is holding her left arm above the elbow as if he is attempting to calm her down, they are facing towards us in shadows, their faces in darkness.

CAP:

A fool! This is my fate, always to be the fool, but in this case a willing one. So ensnared was I by her charms. But what did I care? May God strike me down now, if I lie.

PANEL5: A street scene full body we are looking from the front. There are shops, bars and restaurants lining the street, our couple are strolling arm in arm and laughing together at some shared private joke, heads thrown back in laughter. The street is crowded with shoppers and people just passing the time, a couple of them have stopped and are looking at the happy couple, smiles on their faces, happy at the couple s happiness.

CAP:

We spent nearly every waking moment together. I certainly was caught up in the experience that was Inez.

PANEL 6: The two lovers are now kissing at the ‘terreiro’. They are in a passionate embrace, MARK covered in blood and liquid, INEZ naked from the waist up, just a simple shift, we are looking at them from the knees up he has her in his manly arms and she is crushed against him, sweat, blood and other liquids glistening, forming a sheen on the parts of their bodies that are naked. This is the foreground, in the background the ‘Candombistas’ are ranged around the couple, giving them some space and looking on with extreme happiness, echoing in some twisted way the people in the street crowds from the previous panel. Once again the light source for this panel is flickering torches; there should be lots of shadows and mystery.

CAP:

May Heaven help me, though I fear that I am far from Divine aid now- -now I must face my fate—for tonight is my wedding night.

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PAGE 5:

A FIVE PANEL PAGE: Panel 1 should be along the full width of the top of the page, as should panel 2.  Panel 3 should be half of the bottom tier of the page, with panels 4 &5 taking up the bottom two spaces at the bottom left hand side of the page.

PANEL 1: This should be a repeat from panel 2 on page 1, but obviously with less space, maybe the perspective could be from further out. The difference her also is that the figure that was on the verandah is no longer there. Whereas in pge 1, pnl 2 it was a dark silhouette against a bright background, now we have a white silhouette against the dark background of the dark vegetation, the house is still a bright oasis in the background, slightly elevated.

CAP:

The crickets have now grown silent. All the night creatures have been unvoiced. They know what is coming. Even the soft sound of the surf has become muted. I stand here at the high tide mark. I can feel the springy seaweed beneath my feet. It feels like an old and mouldy mattress that I once stepped on as a child.

PANEL 2: we are now looking from MARK’s perspective down the beach to the sea. The moon is fully risen and casts its silvery sheen over everything (this should be one of those big fuck off Bruce Jones moons, where you can see all the craters and shit). The sea is calm and dappled by the moon’s light. Standing knee deep in the water, a dark silhouette and completely naked is INEZ, her hair fanned out around her head like some dark halo.

INEZ:

Come to me my DARLING. Come drink deep from the well of your sweet. I am here like a flower waiting for your embrace.

CAP:

God help me! But I cannot RESIST, all that I have dreamed of these past months stands before me.

PANEL 3: INEZ and MARK are standing face to face at the surf line. We are looking from the right hand side, MARK is now naked.  His clothes in a crumpled heap behind him on the sand, INEZ’s arms are outstretched coaxing him into the waves.

CAP:

“With this silver cup of mystery from beyond the veil of night. Come I to take the rainbow in my shrine of hidden light.”

PANEL 4: Once again it is a side on shot of MARK and INEZ, this time close up from the shoulders up, they are close coming in for a kiss. INEZ’s hands are now cupping MARK’s head as she opens her mouth (perhaps a hint of reptile tongue can be seen here, but it needs to be subtle). Their heads bent at angles the easier to kiss.

CAP:

“You’ve left my heart shaken with a hopeless desolation, I’d have you to know it’s the wonders of admiration your quiet face has taken and your beauty will haunt me wherever I go.”

PANEL 6: this is from behind MARK. We can only see the back of his head and INEZ’s face as she is kissing him, the moon is behind her, her hands are at the sides his face, her hair is now wild and we can see a slight mottling to the shade of her skin, her elbows are up, the eye we can see is slitted and reptilian.

CAP:

“In Stygian doom I see you bloom, whilst my heart is wracked on midnight’s bench. I lie soul down on tellurian ground.”

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PAGE 6:

A THREE PANEL PAGE. In actual fact one large panel with two “panels” dropped in at the top, and leaving a space at the bottom of the page for our ‘host with the most’ to sign off.

PANEL 1: this is a close up of MARK he has broken away from “INEZ”, there is a look of stark raving horror on his face.

CAP:

NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

PANEL 2:  This is from the same perspective but pulled out a little. We can see MARK’s chest and shoulders as well as his head. His chest and upper arms are encircled by what look like tentacles. The look of insanity in his face is enough to show us the horror that he is wrapped in. but still, there is a hint of the love that he felt for the INEZ creature.

THE REST OF THE PAGE: this is a full illustration of the monster that has MARK in its grip. It’s something out of Lovecraft, a mess of tentacles, really giant, taking up most of the space on the page, we are looking from the beach so it is silhouetted by the moon. Hundreds of tentacles writhing, a beak of a mouth, though it would be described as a maw, something like Cthulu. MARK is held up in the air in some of its tentacles, he is screaming (You can go nuts with this one).

MARK:

INEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE: we have the mausoleum manager wiping a tear of happiness from his eye.

MM:

I love a happy ending. What? Not HAPPY! Well it was their wedding night. At least mark got INSIDE Inez.

————————————————FIN———————————————————————————————-

I ALSO WORKED A LOT MORE ON “THE GLORY DAYS” OVER THE WEEK AND STARTED ON A (I THINK) SHORT STORY INSPIRED BY A NICK DRAKE SONG AND VOLTAIRE’SCANDIDE‘ WHICH I HAVE RECENTLY RE-READ.

SEE YA

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