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17 September 2008 @ 09:51 am
Fiction Week: Previously, on Take A Chance…  

While I was considering what to write for Fiction Week, Ted suggested a Chance prequel. I could write it as news reports, he suggested, and that sounded like a pretty good idea.

Except when I sat down to do the job, it came out in comic script form. I decided it leave it that way for several reasons: one, it was clearly the natural format for a Chance story. Two, I thought perhaps a few people would be interested in seeing the basic structure I use in writing a comic script. Three, I thought what the hell, maybe somebody’ll want to draw it, and if I get good enough material, I’ll see if I can add it into one of the graphic novels at some point, as a DVD extra. So if you’re an artist or know one, please feel free to consider this an audition script!

Enjoy!

TAKE A CHANCE

Issue #0: PREVIOUSLY ON TAKE A CHANCE…

Story: C.E. Murphy
Pencils: Up For Audition

PAGE 001
(4 panels)

PANEL 1–HOLLY PERRY, a lovely Halle Berryesque news reporter, is on screen.

HOLLY:
In an act of INTERNATIONAL DEFIANCE, NORTH KOREA says it will go ahead with the TESTING of its WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION program, widely believed to be NUCLEAR in nature.

PANEL 2–This panel dominates the page. An American flag flies in all its glory. Perhaps there are people saluting it–a real “The country needs you” kind of war-movement poster. It’s still on a tv screen, though.

HOLLY (VOICE-OVER):
PUNDITS say there’s NO COINCIDENCE that the NORTH KOREAN PRIME MINISTER has selected OCTOBER FOURTEENTH as the day to BREACH INTERNATIONAL PROTOCOL. The FOURTEENTH is FLAG DAY in the UNITED STATES, a PATRIOTIC DAY held in WIDE REGARD since SEPTEMBER 11, 2001.

PANEL 3–Back to Holly, now with the flag in the background. This panel can be inset into #2, if that works for you.

HOLLY:
We’ll have MORE on this developing story TOMORROW. This is HOLLY PERRY for CHANNEL THREE NEWS.

PANEL 4–Horizontal frame, crossing the bottom of the page. The screen has gone black with a thin white line through it–you know, that representation of a TV being turned off.

SFX:
*CLICK*!

TEXT BOX:
That’s how it STARTED.

TEXT BOX:
A SCOLDING REPORT on the SIX O’CLOCK NEWS.

TEXT BOX:
And the NEXT MORNING…

PAGE 002–
(3 panels)

PANEL 1–A splash page: Times Square, full of life and vitality. Lots of people, lots of energy. This uses the bleed space.

TEXT BOX:
…NOTHING HAD CHANGED.

PANEL 2–Set in at the bottom: Holly on TV again.

HOLLY:
There’s WORLD-WIDE RELIEF tonight as no sign of NUCLEAR CAPABILITY has emerged in NORTH KOREA. Whether the PRIME MINISTER offered HOLLOW THREATS or has CHOSEN A LESS DISASTEROUS PATH, world leaders are COMMENDING his CHOICE.

PANEL 3–Asians in surgical masks are now on screen.

HOLLY (VOICE-OVER):
In OTHER FAR EAST NEWS, a FLU OUTBREAK in SOUTH KOREA is taking AUTHORITIES off-guard. It’s early in the SEASON for virulent cases, and DOCTORS are now ENCOURAGING everyone in New York to schedule INNOCULATIONS.

PAGE 003–
(4 panels)

PANEL 1–This is a big panel, showing a hospital/doctor’s office/whatever set up for flu innoculations. There are half a dozen empty stations and FRANKIE KEMP standing at the reception area, signing paperwork.

TEXT BOX:
For SOME REASON, I actually GET MY SHOT. I haven’t done this since I was about FOURTEEN.

PANEL 2–FRANKIE KEMP, a pretty SANDRA-BULLOCK-type woman in a pants suit, sits at a nurse’s station. She has a suit jacket over her lap or the back of her chair, and the sleeve of her shirt is pushed up to expose the shoulder.
She has muscular arms: Linda Hamilton in T2 arms.

NURSE:
You WORK OUT, huh?</b>

FRANKIE:
NAH.

PANEL 3–The nurse is pushing a needle into her shoulder. Frankie’s making an “Ow!” face.

TEXT BOX:
Teach ME to be a smartass to somebody with a WEAPON in her hand.

PANEL 4–A horizontal panel with people lining up outside a hospital or doctor’s office. They trail out of sight down the sidewalk. Lots of ‘em.

TEXT BOX:
TEN DAYS LATER, EVERYBODY’S getting their shots.

TEXT BOX:
By THEN, it’s TOO LATE.

PAGE 004–
(5 panels)

PANEL 1–Holly Perry stands outside a hospital. She looks worried.

HOLLY:
The REALIZATION is only NOW EMERGING: with international FOCUS on NUCLEAR WEAPONS, no one was PREPARED for a VIRAL weapon of mass destruction.

PANEL 2–There are ambulances and hospital beds being wheeled around, sick people everywhere. Many people are wearing medical masks.

HOLLY:
The MODIFIED FLU STRAIN has been compared to the 1918 strain, which killed over THIRTY MILLION PEOPLE worldwide. Authorities are afraid those numbers may PALE in comparison to this modern, GENETICALLY ALTERED, virus.

PANEL 3–A woman is sitting on a gurney, hunched forward, her hands over her face.

TEXT BOX:
It was a GOOD IDEA. A BRILLIANT strategy. Take an EASILY-SPREAD disease and LOAD IT with extra KILLING power.

PANEL 4–Razor-sharp glittering wings erupt from the woman’s back. She’s arched forward now, screaming. Her hospital gown is in shreds.

TEXT BOX:
Somehow I DON’T THINK this is what they WERE PLANNING.

PANEL 5–Horizontal panel. The woman with the wings is to the left. Holly Perry’s to the right, having spun in horror to watch what’s going on. There’s a GIRL BLAZING WITH LIGHT, all her lines reversed and the things around her in shadow. There’s a man turning into a GIANT. Add in a few others, if you’ve got space and inclination.

PAGE 005–
(7 panels)

PANELS 1-2: A diagonally split panel.
#1–A group of African women are running together.
#2–One of the women has surged ahead, leaving the others literally in her dust. They’re astonished.

CAPTION:
AFRICA.

PANEL 3–A boxer with the tattered remains of boxing gloves dangling from his oversized stony hands stands over his fallen opponent, horrified.

CAPTION:
IRELAND.

PANEL 4–A little kid holds the back end of a car in the air so his mother can escape from under the wreck.

CAPTION:
AUSTRALIA.

TEXT BOX:
It happens ALL OVER THE WORLD.

PANEL 5–Another horizontal panel, this time of a graveyard with a weeping family.

TEXT BOX:
And so does THIS.

PANEL 6–A hospital room: family embracing a parent.

TEXT BOX:
PLENTY of people RECOVER, UNCHANGED.

PANEL 7–A man is given a piece of paper with CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH emblazoned on it.

TEXT BOX:
Some are simply IMMUNE.

PAGE 006–
(5 panels)

PANEL 1–Holly Perry again, looking earnest and pretty.

HOLLY:
It’s October thirtieth, seventeen days from the initial OUTBREAK of what is more and more commonly known as the SUPER-FLU.

HOLLY:
For the FIRST TIME, NORTH KOREAN SCIENTISTS are SPEAKING OUT on the EPIDEMIC.

PANEL 2–A North Korean military man addresses the screen.

MILITARY MAN:
<We are dismayed to report that our private SUPERSOLDIER PROGRAM has been released to the GENERAL PUBLIC. We maintain all human beings manifesting EXTRAORDINARY SKILLS are by necessity CONSCRIPTS of the NORTH KOREAN MILITARY and will pursue NEGOTIATION with the governments of the world to REGAIN our lost PROPERTY.>

PANEL 3–A handsome young black kid in a storebought cape drives a THUG’s head into a wall.

TEXT BOX:
It’s THAT NIGHT the first IDIOT goes out and tries to GET HIMSELF KILLED by being a HERO.

PANEL 4–Four more THUGS come out of the darkness and jump the kid, who looks terrified.

PANEL 5–A staff clobbers one of the thugs across the back of the head.

PAGE 007–
(6 panels)

PANEL 1–The thug who’s been hit drops while the guy next to him turns around, eyes wide.

PANEL 2–The end of the staff slams into Thug #2’s belly.

PANEL 3–He’s doubled over. The staff is slamming down on the back of his head.

PANEL 4–Horizontal frame. We get a shot of Chance’s midriff here. She has a taser in her left hand and is shooting it, and is swinging her staff in a clothesline kind of movement with her right hand.

SFX (taser):
BZOT!

SFX (staff):
SHWWWF!

PANEL 5–We do not see Chance in this frame, though we see from her point of view. The guy who’s been tasered is twitching, little bolts of electricity dancing over his skin.
The guy she just hit in the stomach is on his hands and knees, wheezing. The other two are down. The kid is on his backside and elbows, gaping at all the beat-up thugs.

PANEL 6–The thugs are aaaaalllll tied up together and unconscious. Tud.

PAGE 008–
(1 panel)

PANEL 1–Finally, your money shot. We see this from behind the kid’s shoulder: he’s on the ground, pushed up on his elbows, staring up at:
CHANCE, in full costume. Her coat’s flapping in the wind, her hair’s wild, she’s holding her bo staff and looks utterly gorgeous, kick-ass and dangerous as she stands there, larger than life, over the kid.

TEXT BOX:
I started DOING THIS JOB to SAVE CHILDREN.

TEXT BOX:
This ISN’T what I HAD IN MIND.

THE END

(x-posted from the essential kit)

 
 
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
 
 
 
Sanguine Pensanguinepen on September 17th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC)
That was such a cool story. I've never seen the comic script format before either. Chance is made of awesome.
kit: chance2mizkit on September 17th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
Oh! I'm glad you liked it. I wasn't at all sure if it would work for people (and I'm sure it won't for some), but I actually really enjoyed doing this. :)
Mary Annepers1stence on September 17th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC)
I'm curious about the interspersed all-caps. What is the purpose behind that?
kit: murkowskimizkit on September 17th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
Oh! A very good question. I guess I've done enough of these now I've stopped thinking about it. :)

It's how comics emphasize words and break up the patterns of speech. The capital letters are slightly darker or larger or bolder in a finished comic, and help to keep a text box/word balloon from just sort of running together into one large mass of block letters.
Mary Annepers1stence on September 17th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC)
nifty. now i'll have to go back and take a look at the graphic novels I have at home. I knew that the text in the graphic novels i've read certainly aren't generally interspersed with random all-caps, but I also know you well enough that there had to be a reason.

Thank you for explaining.
kitmizkit on September 17th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's much more subtle in an actual comic than it is in a script. *laugh* The terrible thing is if I've been writing a lot of script stuff I start wanting to use that kind of emphasis in novel writing. Doesn't work! :)
omegaromegar on September 17th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC)
So where can i get chance issue one????

kit: takeachancemizkit on September 17th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)
With any luck I'll have an answer for you in about seven days. :)
omegaromegar on September 17th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Cool. I am hoping ;)

of course everytime i see Take a chance i am reminded of Space: Above and Beyond
kit: chancemizkit on September 17th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
*laugh* The AIs? I hadn't thought of that. Maybe I should have an AI storyline as a homage sometime. :)
omegaromegar on September 17th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
That would be interesting.

of course the AI's reappeared in the New BSG as the Cylons......
Brian: panda bouncinglogrusboy on September 17th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
*sigh*
kit: staticmizkit on September 17th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
Sigh?
Brian: Horrible: Geniuslogrusboy on September 17th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
Happy sigh because all your writing makes me happy and because it was fun to see a comic script.

Sad sigh because I don't know when or even if I'll ever get to see it as a finished comic.

Oh, and it occurs to me that "widely believed to be NUCLEAR in nature" is a tell and you might consider dropping it or changing it to something about their controversial reactor program. I'd offer specific text if I had anything that wouldn't take half the page.... Or perhaps ignore me since you need to keep the South Korean flu bit and that's only one page later. I dunno. Maybe I'll leave it to the professionals to decide. ;)
irishkate: Storm prettyirishkate on September 17th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
I want a poster of that last image of chance with the coat in the wind...
Grace Dudley: Up To No Goodgrian_ruadh on September 17th, 2008 06:42 pm (UTC)
Dammit. Now I have ABBA lodged in my head again. Thanks, Kit. :/ ;)