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    P.O.W.! Challenge 12--The Other Side

    P.O.W.! Challenge 12--The Other Side


    P.O.W.! Challenge 12
    Deadline: Sunday, August 17, 2008, 11:59 pm anywhere in the world.

    Topic: The Other Side


    Thanks to Forum Member and Writer Nathan Long, we have something special this time out--you get to work from a script. I've inserted it below as full text, and he has explained quite well what's involved. The trick for us is to think as creatively as we can within the structure he's created for us. As in most scripted pieces, you DO NOT have to LITERALLY do everything he tells you in the words he gives you--you can make some small changes in interpretation as long as they don't change the story in a major way. The story as he has it rules. Your visuals should convey what he is saying as much as possible. Think of it as a work in collaboration. Physically, you can interpret the art any way you wish, and the more creatively, the better. Any media. B&W or Color.

    The story as presented should be FOUR pages which adhere to standard comic specs as below.

    Standard Comic Book Size:

    --Trim size: 6 5/8" x 10 1/4"
    --Live art area: 6" x 9"
    --Bleed size before trimming: 6 7/8" x 10 1/2" (1/8" in all directions)

    This thread will be the place you ask questions on this challenge, trash talk, post WIPs and your final art. See the READ THIS FIRST thread for all specs.

    Good luck.

    P.O.W.! Special Challenge 13 will be posted before Sunday Midnight, August 17, 2008.


    Reminder: Make sure you've read everything above. I've made some changes to the deadline date and Challenge timing.


    ************************************************** *******

    Nathan Long lives and works in Los Angeles, and isn't just off the turnip boat. He was the writer of the Blackhearts and Gotrek and Felix novels for Warhammer Fantasy, and is head writer of the up-coming CW4Kids live action adventure series, Kamen Rider Dragon Knight.

    He's offered to do more for us if we like what happens here, so let's show him much we appreciate his efforts by turning his work into some really incredible...

    ************************************************** ******

    THE OTHER SIDE
    by Nathan Long


    INTRODUCTION

    I am deliberately leaving the descriptions of what people and things look like vague so that the artists can have fun inventing costuming, props and interiors. It is a fantasy story, but it can be any kind of fantasy culture you can imagine, and the people can be any race.

    NOTES ON FORMAT

    I'm more a screenwriter than a comic writer, so I've borrowed some formatting from scripts. (Sorry if all this is obvious to any of you. Just want to cover all the bases.)

    (O.S.) means the dialog comes from Off Screen, and indicates that the word balloon should have a tail coming from out of the panel.

    (V.O.) means the dialog is Voice Over, and indicates that what is spoken is narration, and the word balloon doesn't get a tail.

    P.O.V. means Point of View. And indicates that the panel shows what a particular character sees.



    PAGE ONE

    PANEL ONE

    A biggish splash panel.

    A high angle of a prostitute's boudoir, overly fancy and cluttered. A thin, sly looking man sleeps half naked in a rumpled bed, a sated smile on his lips. This is THE ASSASSIN. He is alone, but three human shadows stretch across the bed, touching him, as if three people were casting their shadows from just out of frame.

    His clothes are strewn near the bed. They are black and functional - assassin's wear. A sword, dagger and sword belt hang from a bedpost. There are empty bottles of wine, dirty cups and plates, and a woman's under-garments all over. It generally looks like a good time was had last night.

    The Bride's word balloon comes from the middle shadow.

    THE BRIDE (O.S.)
    Good morning, assassin.


    PANEL TWO

    On the Assassin, opening his eyes and looking puzzled. Close in the foreground in a woman's hand and sleeve, down at her side, seen from behind. (She is standing at the side of the bed, and the camera is behind her.) Her clothes are a bridal costume, but we can't see much of them yet.

    What is important is that her hand and her clothes are transparent. We can see the assassin THROUGH THEM!

    THE BRIDE (O.S.)
    Enjoying the spoils of your latest kill?

    THE ASSASSIN
    Who...?


    PANEL THREE

    A low shot looking up at THE BRIDE, and two shadowed men who stand behind her. We cannot see the men's faces, just their silhouettes.

    The bride we can see. She is a beautiful, but very grave young woman, dressed in a beautiful bridal dress, with her hair done in a fancy, ceremonial style - but she has a trail of blood running from one corner of her mouth and dark blotches on her otherwise perfect skin. She is looking down into the camera.

    THE BRIDE
    You don't remember me?

    PANEL FOUR

    The Assassin, sitting up in the rumpled bed and backing away a bit, looking frightened.

    THE ASSASSIN
    You! The bride! But I killed you!


    PANEL FIVE

    The bathroom of a wealthy house. The bride is naked in the bath, her body twisting in pain. She clutches her throat as her eyes bulge out. An overturned cup on the floor beside the tub is spilling a dark liquid. Her bridal gown is draped over a chair nearby.

    THE BRIDE (O.S.)
    Yes. So another man's daughter could marry the baron.


    PAGE TWO

    PANEL ONE

    And exterior shot of the house the Assassin is sleeping in. At the front door, a BEAUTIFUL PROSTITUTE is letting in THREE SHADY MEN, all with swords and daggers at their belts.

    The Bride's word balloons come from an open window above the front door.

    THE BRIDE (O.S.)
    The suicide love note to my uncle was a clever touch. The scandal ruined my family. My sister was forced to turn to prostitution.


    PANEL TWO

    Back in the prostitute's boudoir, the bride is turning to, and speaking to, the man on her right (our left) who is stepping forward out of the shadows. This is THE COUNCILOR, a thin, older man with a balding head and a long face - and his throat cut from ear to ear. He wears wealthy, sober clothes, but they are soaked from the neck down in blood. He is speaking too, and he is also transparent.

    The third man still remains in the shadows.

    THE BRIDE
    But I am not your only victim.

    THE COUNCILOR
    You killed me too, assassin.


    PANEL THREE

    Close on the Assassin as he stares up at the camera, a hand to his mouth, unnerved.

    THE ASSASSIN
    The councilor!

    THE COUNCILOR (O.S.)
    Yes. Killed by you so another man could gain my position.


    PANEL FOUR

    An exterior shot of a public square. Close on two handsome young men hanging dead from two nooses on a gallows as a crowd watches and a priest and some nobles stand on the platform looking solemn. But one noble isn't solemn. He is staring at the bodies with a smile on his lips, gloating malevolently.

    THE COUNCILOR (V.O.)
    And arranged so it seemed my sons had murdered me, thereby getting them out of his way as well.


    PANEL FIVE

    The Assassin, leaning back, more relaxed, smirking.

    THE ASSASSIN
    My apologies, Councilor...


    PANEL SIX

    A stairway within the house. The beautiful prostitute leads the three shady men up a set of narrow stairs. She is beckoning to the men to follow her.

    THE ASSASSIN (V.O.)
    But I have to admit, I'm rather proud of that one.


    PANEL SEVEN

    Back in the prostitute's boudoir, the third ghost steps out of the shadows. This is another up-shot, and the man is THE GENERAL, a tough looking, powerful older man, his face set in a hard expression. He wears a rich military uniform - but there's an dagger buried to the hilt in his chest. Blood soaks the uniform from the wound.

    The pommel of the dagger is decorated with a crest that looks like the sort of symbol one would see on an ancient flag - an eagle or a wolf or a sword, or something.

    THE GENERAL
    You have reason to be proud. You are a master of your craft. My death was brilliantly done.


    PAGE THREE

    PANEL ONE

    Close on the Assassin again, looking up and even more worried than before.

    THE ASSASSIN
    The General!

    THE GENERAL (O.S.)
    Yes. Killed by you to goad two nations into war.


    PANEL TWO

    The inside of a military tent at night. Torches blaze in the corners, a table is on the left, papers and maps and books cluttering it. Behind and to the right of the table, the Assassin, dressed in his assassin's clothes, is painting the same symbol from the pommel of the dagger on the wall of the tent, and looking back over his shoulder, smiling smugly.

    What he's looking at is the general's body, lying on his back by his desk, with the dagger sticking from his chest.

    THE GENERAL (V.O.)
    Painting the symbol of our enemies above my body was genius. Thousands died in that war. Tens of thousands.


    PANEL THREE

    Back in the prostitute's boudoir, and close on the Assassin, frowning up, both confused and apprehensive.

    THE ASSASSIN
    But I don't understand. Are you here for vengeance? Don't you know ghosts can't hurt the living?


    PANEL FOUR

    A straight on shot of the three ghosts looking down. The Councilor on the left, looking solemn, the Bride in the middle, smiling slyly, and the General on the right, looking angry.

    THE COUNCILOR
    True.

    THE BRIDE
    But a ghost can hurt a ghost.

    THE GENERAL
    For eternity!


    PANEL FIVE

    A medium shot, showing both the Assassin in bed, and the ghosts standing beside it. The Assassin is waving them away with a dismissive hand. The bride smiles down at him sweetly.

    THE ASSASSIN
    Ha! I'm no ghost! I'm in the prime of life. This is but a foolish dream!

    THE BRIDE
    Yes. Only a dream.


    PANEL SIX

    The beautiful prostitute and the shady men are in the upstairs hallway of the house, outside a closed door. The men stand in poses of readiness, their daggers drawn, while the prostitute has one hand on the handle of the door while looking at the men and holding a finger to her lips.

    THE BRIDE (V.O.)
    But yours is not the only dream I visited this night.


    PANEL SEVEN

    Back in the boudoir, and close on the Assassin - but here he is still asleep, still in the same position he was in in the first panel of the first page. (In other words, this is reality, not the dream he's having.)

    THE BRIDE (V.O.)
    While you slept, I visited my sister's dream as well, and told her what you had done to me.


    PANEL EIGHT

    A small inset inside panel seven.

    The sleeping Assassin's eye opens wide, and frightened.

    THE ASSASSIN (V.O.)
    Your sister?


    PAGE FOUR

    PANEL ONE

    The Assassin's P.O.V. A severe upshot of the shady men looming over the bed, daggers raised and off-hands reaching down to grab, as behind them, the beautiful prostitute looks on from the door, both apprehensive and eager.

    THE BRIDE (V.O.)
    Surely you know my sister?
    (another balloon)
    You spent the night with her.


    PANEL TWO

    On the Assassin, on the bed, struggling and terrified, his eyes wide, one of the shady men's gloved hands covering his mouth as the other two hold him down. All we should see of them is their arms and legs, cutting into the panel so that we see the Assassin through the gaps, like we were looking at him through a dark screen of trees.

    THE BRIDE (V.O.)
    She promised me she would do to you what you did to us.


    PANEL THREE

    A big splash panel.

    A wide shot of the three shady men murdering the assassin, who is mostly hidden by their bodies. We can only see his naked legs, flailing desperately as they stab him brutally on the bed.

    On the left side of the panel, the beautiful prostitute stands at the door, one hand on the handle, the other over her mouth, repelled but fascinated.

    To the right side of the panel, the three ghosts stand shoulder to shoulder by the side of the bed, even more transparent than before. Their hands are at their sides, as if they were in their coffins, but they each wear calm, satisfied expressions on their faces as they look approvingly down at the murder.

    THE BRIDE
    We will see you on the other side, assassin.
    (another balloon)
    For eternity.

    THE END

    Last edited by Ilaekae; July 28th, 2008 at 12:58 PM.
    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
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  3. #2
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    Yay! It's up! I can't wait to see what you guys do with it. I'm so excited!

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    http://sabrepunk.com/
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    Nice one... will see, if I find the time. The writing lets the images appear infront of my eyes...

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    This is an interesting story, Nathan, with a lot of effects. It might bring back some of the zombie aficionados.

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    <trashtalk>The "I can't write" excuse is not available now. You can lurk if you want, but you will have to admit to yourself: "I hang around on a professional art forum but I'm unable to draw four pages in three weeks." How pathetic is that?</trashtalk>
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    Considering it has my old namesake as the title, I think I've got an edge on you guys. Here's a rough layout/lighting for the first page.

    Working on the second page now...did a couple of breakdowns before settling on the third. Next time I'm going to double that and do six breakdowns first.

    Arttorney: Very curious as to what your final work will look like. and thanks for the info about bleeding! I admire very much the panels of the Akira manga so I imagine I'm drawing alot from it. No pun intended.

    I like what you've done! You're right it's very cartoony and I have to say that there isn't alot of structure which further strengthens the graphic/cartoon feel. That said however, there is a consistency to it which is great! I can see in my lighting alot of inconsistencies between each session.

    Rabbithole: So you're rocking the asian theme eh? Everyone has such different genres going on. Your sketches look good so far!

    Sudsy:
    I really like the alien arabic feel! You handled the hanging scene well n my opinion. You have a nice 2d graphic style going on too. I'd almost suggest keeping the BG's flat as much as you can.

    Donalfall:
    I like the arrangement of the characters in the 2nd to last panel and I esp. love how you have the blood dripping down into the final panel! The only thing I'd suggest is to go higher with the camera so you're looking more downwards on the assassin. Maybe even crop out the head shoulders of the assassin so you only see his arms and legs? Would give you more space to get everyone else in.

    Skorpi: Your pencil sketches remind me alot of the way that I draw with pencil. I hope you have the time to finish the comic!

    Okay well I def. didn't get enough work done on my comic pages. In order to get this done in time, I'm going to have to move away from the fully rendering lighting and switch to a more graphic style. If any of you have ever see Dave McKean's work. You'll see just how much I admire the man.

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    Last edited by Ian Mack; August 16th, 2008 at 03:42 AM.
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    I'll try, I hope, I find time for this

    Forgive me my bad english

    my sketchbook and my homepage
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    Mr Long, how lenient are you towards adding panels. I'm brand spanking new at this (well, never worked professionally anyway), so I'm not quite sure what kind of limitations are set on the artist. I've read that it varies from writer to writer, just wanted to know how you felt.

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    Ilaekae's Avatar
    Ilaekae is offline P.O.W.! Leader, Complete Idiot, Super Moderator
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    I'm fairly certain that he wouldn't mind if you thought you needed to jiggle his directions a bit. We all imagine scenes differently and at a different cadence, so it's actually fairly common to make small changes back and forth.

    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

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    Rabbithole, no problem with that at all. As long as you do your best to tell the story that's there, do what you need to do.

    And great work so far, Arttorney and Ian Mack. It's really exciting to see my words turning into pictures. Carry on!

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    on second thought, after doing the layout, I don't have to make any changes at all. Thanks guys. This is fun.

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    Thanks for your thanks, Nathan. I hope to tighten this stuff up just a wee bit before the deadline though.
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    Arttorney, Ian Mack, it seems we're the only swinging dicks around here. The story was even written for us. (Oooh, and the noob drops some trash talk!).
    I couldn't quite figure out how to do panel 3 on page 4. Mr. Long, you're killing me.

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