Preview Art: The Joy of Motherhood

Art by Eran Aviani
Instagram Eran Aviani

Here are a few rough page layouts for a piece I wrote some time ago now. It’s called ‘The Joy of Motherhood’ and was to be published in ‘Decay’ by Dark Oz Publishing here in Australia. Unfortunately I have lost contact with Eran and haven’t heard anything for a while. Pity, because he absolutely nailed the feel of the script. Still, Eran did volunteer his time for the project, and, for that, he has my everlasting gratitude and admiration! Enjoy!

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Shameless self promotion: Fractured Scary Tales

Time for some shameless self promotion (if that isn’t what a blog is for, I don’t know what is!).

My short ‘Undead Poet’s Society’ is about to land! Issue two of ‘Fractured Scary Tales’ from Scary Tales Publishing will feature my print debut. Art is by Jeff Sadzinski (Jeff Sadzinski Deviantart link).

Fractured Scary Tales features 40 pages of horror parodies of famous movies by various artists and writers created by publisher (and horror movie producer) Kevin M. Glover. Fractured Scary Tales is on the website now (Fractured Scary Tales) and will be available in print soon for only $US10.

Previews of the other stories can be found on the Fractured Scary Tales website, but here is page one of ‘Undead Poet’s Society’ for your enjoyment. Don’t forget to order your copy today.

Undead Poets Society Pg 001

Comic script: Where There Be Thieves

This is a script I finished a few weeks back. It’s a first draft, so please ignore spelling or grammar issues (if there are any – I think it sorted them all out). It’s called ‘Where There Be Thieves’ and is a superhero/horror comic. It is the first eight pages, plus the cover page. I really enjoyed writing, especially the names of the bad guys. They were a hell of a lot of fun to come up with.

This post is going to be a lengthy. The formatting doesn’t look exactly like it does in Word, but it is pretty close.

WHERE THERE BE THIEVES

By Travis STUNT

Eight page crime/horror comic script.

Date of last revision: 5th January 2015

CHARACTER NOTES:

PAPA FREAK:                     Overall leader of the gang. He is huge, violent looking thug of a man, who                                                                               has been in a thousand fights and won them all. There are knives all around him – in the                                                       chair/throne he is sitting on, in his belt, jacket, everywhere.

BIG KILLA:                           Big, mean motherfucker. Leader of the crime group (which includes the                                                                                   next three).

SHEISTY and

RAGGITY WORM:             Generic thugs. Still look pretty bad-ass though.

DIZZEE BOOTAY:               PAPA FREAK’s right hand man. Looks like a pimp. Distinctive glasses.

THE FORSAKEN:            Could be the spawn of Hell, could be a lunatic dressed up as a demonic                                                                                   creature. Go crazy. No real guidelines needed.

PATROLMAN:                    Typical patrolman.

DETECTIVE:                         Typical, cliqued detective. Grizzled.

ART NOTES:

Occasionally I’ll use camera angles, descriptions of particular shots I have envisioned. Please take these only as a guide. Use whatever works best. If my description sucks, chuck it out. I’m not sensitive like that.

PAGE ONE – SIX PANELS

PANEL ONE

Exterior – night. Three gang members are walking down a dirty alleyway, heading back to their clubhouse. They are large, tough, angry looking people. One is carrying a bag of some description. They all are carrying guns concealed under their clothing. These can be seen – gun grip popping out the top of the belt or poking out from under a shirt. They all seem pretty happy with themselves.

  1. BIG KILLA: We smoked his ass, yo!
  1. RAGGETY WORM: Ya, we did, man!
  1. SHEISTY: And got a fat bag of loot to show for it.

PANEL TWO

All three have arrived at a door leading from the alleyway into a warehouse. There is a closed viewing hole at eye level. BIG KILLA is reaching out to knock.

  1. BIG KILLA: The boss man is gunna love us.

PANEL THREE

BIG KILLA raps his knuckles on the door.

PANEL FOUR

Close up on the view hole. It has slid open. A pair of angry looking eyes are now peering through. The eyes belong to DIZZEE BOOTAY.

  1. DIZZEE BOOTAY: WHAT?!

PANEL FIVE

BIG KILLA is looking closely through the hole at DIZZEE. BIG KILLA looks extra angry.

  1. BIG KILLA: Yo! Open the damn door, you idiot! Tell Papa Freak Big Killa is here.

PANEL SIX

The door is opened and the gang members are moving inside. Above, on the roof of the warehouse, we can catch a glimpse of our anti-hero, THE FORSAKEN

PAGE TWO – THREE PANELS

 PANEL ONE

Large panel. BIG KILLA, RAGGITY WORM and SHEISTY are standing in front of a large gang member and leader of the gang, PAPA FREAK. He is huge, violent looking thug of a man, who has been in a thousand fights and won them all. There are knives all around him – in the chair/throne he is sitting on, in his belt, jacket, everywhere. DIZZEE stands next to him. If room permits, other random gang members can be seen doing gang member stuff.

  1. TITLE: WHERE THERE BE THIEVES
  1. PAPA FREAK: Big Killa, my main man. What have you got for me?
  1. BIG KILLA: Some major cashola, Papa Freak. Knocked over a gas station.

PANEL TWO

Close on PAPA FREAK. He doesn’t look impressed.

  1. PAPA FREAK: A gas station?
  1. PAPA FREAK: A little … small scale for you, isn’t it? Big Killa?
  1. BIG KILLA (OP): Well … I mean we … the cash was good –

PANEL THREE

PAPA FREAK and BIG KILLA look up as they here a crash somewhere in the warehouse.

  1. SFX: CRASH!
  1. PAPA FREAK: What the f –

PAGE THREE – FOUR PANELS

PANEL ONE

PAPA FREAK begins organising his troops to meet the potential threat. DIZZEE BOOTAY and RAGGITY WORM and heading off towards out of the room and towards the noise. Both have handguns drawn.

  1. PAPA FREAK: Dizzee Bootay, Raggity Worm – you two find out what that                                                                          noise was.
  1. DIZZEE BOOTAY: Yes Boss.

PANEL TWO

More commotion from off panel. DIZZEE and RAGGITY WORM stop at the door, hesitating.

  1. SFX (OP): BAM! BAM! BAM! BAM!
  1. UNSEEN THUG (OP): ARRGGHH!

PANEL THREE

PAPA FREAK is out of his throne now. He is screaming in anger at DIZZEE BOOTAY and RAGGITY WORM.

  1. PAPA FREAK: MOVE YOU TWO USELESS PIECES OF SHIT!

PANEL FOUR

Closer on the door that DIZZEE and RAGGITY WORM are going through. They move through is guns aimed straight out in front. They look terrified.

 

PAGE FOUR – SIX PANELS

 PANEL ONE

DIZZEE and RAGGITY WORM have moved into a darkened area of the warehouse complex. It is a larger room, with packing crates and boxes stacked high. Shadows are everywhere. DIZZEE has reached out to a light switch on a nearby wall. It doesn’t work.

  1. DIZZEE BOOTAY: Shit!

PANEL TWO

Both men spin towards a noise, guns aimed.

  1. SFX: creek

PANEL THREE

Both men swing around again towards another noise. This time they open fire.

  1. SFX: BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM

PANEL FOUR

They approach the area they just shot up. There is nothing there except destroyed crates and boxes. RAGGITY WORM is standing slightly behind DIZZEE.

  1. DIZZEE BOOTAY: Nothing.

PANEL FIVE

The clawed hand of THE FORSAKEN reaches out from the darkness behind RAGGITY WORM and grabs him by the shoulder. He half turns to see what it is.

  1. RAGGITY WORM: Huh?

PANEL SIX

THE FORSAKEN yanks RAGGITY WORM out of the panel, so that his legs and feet are the only things showing.

  1. RAGGITY WORM: AAIIIEEEE!

PAGE FIVE – SIX PANELS

PANEL ONE

Back in the room with PAPA FREAK, BIG KILLA and SHEISTY. BIG KILLA is holding a small machine gun at hip height. SHEISTY has a hand gun. Both have the guns point off panel towards the noises. PAPA FREAK has several knife blades held in between his fingers, ready to launch them at the killer when he makes his appearance.

  1. BIG KILLA: What the fuck is going on out there?!
  1. PAPA FREAK: Shut the fuck up.

PANEL TWO

Something is thrown through the door and into the room. We see it bounce several times, without really being able to tell what it is (it’s DIZZEE’s head, but don’t tell anyone yet).

  1. SFX: BUMP! Bump bump

PANEL THREE

The item stops, and, sure enough, it is DIZZEE’s head. BIG KILLA and SHEISTY look terrified.

  1. SHEISTY: Oh, fuck me.
  1. SHEISTY: That’s Dizzee’s head, Killa!
  1. BIG KILLA: I can see that, Sheisty, you idiot. I seen heads before.

PANEL FOUR

Darkness. Someone has turned out the lights.

  1. BIG KILLA: Where’d the fuckin’ lights go?
  1. SHEISTY: We gunna die. We gunna die.
  1. SFX: creeek

PANEL FIVE

Gun fire lights up the room. They hit nothing, but we can see another glimpse of THE FORSAKEN. Maybe a leg this time.

  1. SFX: RATATATAT!
  1. SFX: BAM BAM BAM

PANEL SIX

Darkness again as the gun fire stops.

  1. SHEISTY: ARRGGHH!
  1. BIG KILLA: SHEISTY!

PAGE SIX – FIVE PANELS

PANEL ONE

Larger panel. PAPA FREAK has lit a flare which has bathed the room in a red glow. There are still heavy shadows all around. BIG KILLA is looking down at the corpse of SHEISTY, whose head is now backwards. SHEISTY is very dead.

  1. BIG KILLA: fuck me

PANEL TWO

Again, a noise causes a reaction. PAPA FREAK spins around, looking for something behind him. BIG KILLA continues to stare at the corpse of SHEISTY.

  1. SFX: creek
  1. PAPA FREAK: Come out and face me, coward!

PANEL THREE

Close on BIG KILLA and a clawed hand punches through his chest. BIG KILLA’s face is contorted in agony, but no sound comes out. Blood and guts spray everywhere.

PANEL FOUR

PAPA FREAK has turned to face BIG KILLA’s killer. He has blood and gore dripping from him.

  1. THE FORSAKEN (OP): I am your reckoning.

PANEL FIVE

Small inset panel. Extreme close up on PAPA FREAK’s eyes. For the first time, there are showing fear.

  1. PAPA FREAK: Oh sweet Jesus …

PAGE SEVEN – SIX PANELS

PANEL ONE

Large panel. THE FORSAKEN stands in the room, facing PAPA FREAK. PAPA FREAK is still motionless, too terrified to move.

  1. THE FORSAKEN I cast judgement on you, Papa Freak.
  1. THE FORSAKEN And that judgement …
  1. THE FORSAKEN … is DEATH!

PANEL TWO

PAPA FREAK regains his composure and starts flinging his knives at THE FORSAKEN. Multiple knives fly out, seemingly simultaneously.

  1. SFX: FFT FFT FFT

PANEL THREE

THE FORSAKEN puts his forearm in front of his face and the knives slam into it.

PANEL FOUR

Front on shot of THE FORSAKEN. He painlessly pulls a knife out of his arm.

PANEL FIVE

Close up on the chest and face of THE FORSAKEN He looks pissed.

  1. THE FORSAKEN Pathetic.

PANEL SIX

A shot from outside the warehouse, similar to the shots on Page One.

  1. PAPA FREAK: NO NO NO ARRRGGHH!

PAGE EIGHT – FOUR PANELS

 

PANEL ONE

Outside the warehouse. Same shot as panel six page seven, except the sun is coming up. And there are lots of police cars with lights flashing stopped in the area.

PANEL TWO

A grizzled detective steps out of a car. A patrolmen approaches him. The patrolmen looks stressed.

  1. PATROLMAN: Sir! You gotta come see this.

PANEL THREE

The detective is entering the door to the warehouse. The patrolman follows him in, briefing him of the situation.

  1. PATROLMAN: A bum called it in. Said he heard gunfire.
  1. PATROLMAN: I got here a short time ago. Like I said on the radio, I haven’t                                                                       touched nothing.

PANEL FOUR

PAPA FREAK’s throne room. PAPA FREAK has been nailed to the wall with his own knives. He has been gutted, or similar. Whatever you want, really. He needs to look like someone has really done a number on him. On the wall behind him, in blood, has been painted the words ‘THE SINNERS WILL BE PUNISHED’. The detective looks shocked. In all his experience, he has never seen anything like this.

  1. DETECTIVE: Dear god…

Shafted

Here’s my latest completed work. It was pretty fun to write, but I don’t think it is suitable for submission.

It is a good example of the script formatting I use. I feel it breaks up the pages and panels nicely, and the bolding of the PAGE and Panel titles really assists this. Generally, I am not too detailed in the scene descriptions. I like to leave the artist as free as possible to interpret the work and put it on the page. I’m not an artist, and I’d prefer to allow the artist, who hopefully will see the page visually better than I could, the freedom to improve on what I have put down and really make it zing.

I don’t always leave it entirely to the artist, though. In another recent work, I had a very specific set of visuals I wanted to get across, and so, as a consequence, the panel descriptions tend to have more details and perspective suggestions. I say suggestions, because, as I always try to be, I’m open to differing ideas.

Anyway, hope you enjoy. There’s not much in the way of characterisation in this one, just a little horror. Enjoy.

***EDIT – after having a quick look through, there seems to be a few editing issues (mainly extra lines) that didn’t appear in Google Docs when I wrote it. Sorry about that. Normally, I would only leave one blank line between each section (panel description and dialogue) ****

**** EDIT TWO – I think I fixed most of the formatting issues. I have indented the dialogue/SFX/Captions just to see how it feels to have them that way. I normally don’t, it the whole script did look like one massive wall of text. It looks a little easier to follow now ****

PAGE ONE (five panels)
Panel One:
Outside a mine shaft that has been closed off by timber palings in what seems an excessive amount. A crucifix has been painted over the timbers. Outside the entrance stand six miners. They in are classic mining gear – helmets with lights on top, pickaxes, steel cart – but they don’t look like professional miners. They are led by Gavin Miller. He stands at the front of the group, pointing towards the mines entrance. Two other miners stand nearby with crowbars. Everyone but Miller look apprehensive.

GAVIN MILLER:
There IS no danger. The mine was closed because of an accident. Not because it was unstable.

MINER ONE:
But … we heard –

Panel Two:
Profile shot of Miner One and MILLER. Miller has his arms crossed over his chest. He is listening to something he has heard before and getting sick of hearing again.

MINER ONE:
We heard that the mines was haunted. By – ya know – monsters.

Panel Three:
Closer on MILLER. He is slapping his thighs with laughter. Really over the top laughter.

MILLER:
Ahahahaha! Monsters! You lot kill me!

Panel Four:
Closer again on MILLER. He is lost all laughter from his expression. He now looks serious; and dangerous.

MILLER:
Get this mine open, now.

Panel Five:
On the mine shaft again. The two miners with crowbars are prying off the wooden panels.

 

PAGE TWO (six panels)

Panel One:
The wooden panels on the front of the mine have now been removed. There is only darkness beyond. One miner holds an old fashioned kerosene lamp high and well out in front of him. It doesn’t illuminate much.

MILLER:
Alright, let’s go and get rich, shall we?

Panel Two:
The group of six miners have entered the mine and are slowly making their way down. MILLER leads, using a modern style flashlight. The Kerosene Lamp Miner is closed behind. There is light, but only a small circle around the miners.

MINER ONE:
Mike, why do you even bring that stupid kerosene lamp? It is worse than useless.

MIKE:
It’s a classic. It wouldn’t be mining if there wasn’t a kerosene lamp. Real mining, I mean.

Panel Three:
The last miner in the group, Jeff, stops. He is looking behind, back the way they have just walked.

JEFF:
Did anyone else hear that?

Panel Four:
Jeff has turned around and is peering backwards into the darkness. He can’t see anything.

MIKE: (off panel)
C’mon, there ain’t nothing back there.

Panel Five:
Jeff has turned back towards the group and is following the rest of the gang.

Panel Six: (inset panel)
Looking into the darkness behind the men. A pair of red eyes flash in the darkness. There is something in there.

PAGE THREE: (five panels)

Panel One:
The group have reached a large cavern and have all gathered around Miller, who is reading a map. There are tunnels branching off in a few different directions.

JEFF:
This looks to be where the mining ceased last time. From what I have heard, they had just struck a deep vein of gold prior to the accident.

Panel Two:
Mike is using his kerosene lamp to look into one of the deeper tunnels. It is not doing a particularly good job.

MIKE:
For being so deep underground, the mine shafts still look remarkably stable.

Panel Three:
Mike turns back to the rest of the group. He now has his back to the mine shaft he was just looking in to.

MIKE:
That’s really pretty good considering no-one has been down here for over fifty years –

Panel Four:
Something from the darkness, unseen, is yanking Mike back into the shadows of the tunnel behind him. Whatever it is must be strong as it has ripped him right off his feet.

MIKE:
ARRGGHH!

Panel Five:
The remaining five miners have turned towards the mine shaft where Mike just was. Mike is no longer there. All the miners have shocked expressions on their faces.

PAGE FOUR: (five panels)

Panel One:
Two of the miners approach the tunnel entrance, pickaxes in hand.

MINER TWO:
Mike? You in there, buddy?

Panel Two:
Much to the relief of the other miners, Mike pops his head and chest out from the darkness. But only his head and chest. Mike has no expression on his face. He looks dead.

MINER TWO:
Mike, buddy. You had us worried! Thought something bad had happened to you.

Panel Three:
The top half of Mike’s body is thrown into the cavern. It appears to have been bitten in half and is trailing guts and blood.

Panel Four:
The five remaining miners stand in stunned silence, mouths agape.

Panel Five:
In the all the remaining tunnel mouths, red eyes start glowing. Whatever killed Mike had friends. Many, many friends.

 

 PAGE FIVE: (six panels)

Panel One:
The monsters emerge from the tunnels – demonic looking, fangs and claws dripping with saliva, ready for their feast.

Panel Two:
Jeff and Miller make a dash for the tunnel back to the surface. The other two miners are massacred.

SFX:
ROOWWRR!

Panel Three:
Jeff and Miller are running as fast as they can.

JEFF:
Run!

MILLER:
What do you think I’m doing, dumbass?

Panel Four:
A shot from behind Jeff and Miller. The entrance is in sight.

JEFF:
Nearly there!

MILLER:
If you just shut up, we’d be there by now.

Panel Five:
At the entrance now. Two of the monsters appear at the tunnel entrance. Jeff and Mike have spotted and look resigned to their gruesome fate.

JEFF:
Let’s go into the old, haunted mine, he says. It’ll be fun, he says.

MILLER:
At last, we agree.

Panel Six:
From outside the tunnel. Blood and gore explode from the tunnel as the monsters tear Jeff and Miller apart.

Work in progress

This is something that I have been working on for a while. When I wrote this, it was intended to be the start of a novel. But, I am now thinking of migrating it to another medium.

Anyway, it’s a little bit disturbing, but it’s meant to be:

 

 

The world had failed.

He lay on the side of a road which he did not recognise. Wounded, perhaps mortally. Blood was oozing from his stomach where the spear had punctured him. The pain was fading, and he was becoming scared.

He stumbled to his feet. The sounds of battle could still be heard to the north, and he knew, if there was battle, there would be medics. Perhaps, if he could only find his way there, death may not reach him first.

He took a step, and his pain resurfaced. His vision clouded and he dropped to his knees. He tried to rise again, but felt a ripping sensation near his wounded stomach. He grit his teeth and forced his legs under him one more time. Blood was flowing freely now, down his legs in red rivers of life.

He staggered a few steps, making it to the middle of the road. There were bodies everywhere. Torn, slashed, crushed. So much pain, so such suffering. It would be hard for a man’s mind to take, if he hadn’t already seen far worse. Things to make this road seem tame. Like a child’s playground in comparison.

Several more steps and he tripped. His knees drove into the dirt, sending shockwaves of pain through his wounded gut. He grimaced, and his hands instinctively clutched to his stomach. When the waves of pain had passed, he pulled his hands away, only to find them red and dripping. He didn’t know how much more blood he had to spare.

Up he climbed again. Darkness tried to grip him and push him back down, but he fought against. If he passed out now, he knew he would not wake up.

But the darkness seemed to beckon him. Almost, speak to him.

‘Feast,’ he heard it say.

Feast? he wondered? Had he really heard that? He wasn’t sure. The pain was slowly ebbing away. He took another step. His mind cleared.

‘Feast!’ The voice was far more insistent this time. He looked around, but could see no-one. He shook his head. It must be the blood loss, he thought.

‘FEAST!’ The voice was powerful, and appeared to come from every direction at once. The ground trembled with the sound. The man looked left and right, up and down. Still nothing. Fear was coursing through him. He felt the voice. Its power had blasted through his body.

The man continued to walk. Slowly, step by step.

Up ahead, the man noticed something strange. A tree started to fall into shadow. Just one, seeming with no reason.

He moved towards the darkness. ‘Good,’ the voice whispered quietly to him. ‘Feast.’

As he approached, he could see something in the shadow. He moved in closer, the pain forgotten in his imagined madness. The sunlight penetrated the shadow, but only enough to let the man see glimpses of what was inside.

‘Enter. Feast.’

He slipped into the shadows. There was a darkness of a kind. It was oppressive, and hung in the air like fog on a windless morning. He could see, but only barely. There was an eerie red light. He couldn’t see where is was coming from, but it seemed everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

He took a cautious step, then another. A third step, and he tripped. He toppled forward, landing hard on his chest. His face hit something soft and wet, cushioning the blow. He crawled to his hands and knees and lifted this face. There was something on the ground in front of him. He couldn’t make out what it was, but it was warm. He licked his lips, tasting the liquid. It was meat.

He reached out and picked up some of the meat and took a bite. It was good. Almost immediately, he felt stronger. The pain in his stomach dimmed to almost nothing. He took another bite, and another wave of invigoration swept through him. He began to gorge, stuffing handfuls of meat into his mouth. Chewing and swallowing. Over and over. More than he thought he could possibly eat.

Soon, he slowed. He felt strong, stronger than he had ever felt. He felt for the wound on his stomach and found it gone.

The darkness started to dissolve. The world around him came back into view. He looked down, curious to see what he had been eating. Revulsion flushed through him as he saw his meal. He scrambled backwards, trying to put distance himself and what he had just done. He slammed into a tree, a large one, and heard the trunk crack behind him. Still, his eyes would not, could not, look away.

It was a fallen angel.

Half the creature was missing. Bones, flesh, everything. Gone. He hoped he wasn’t responsible. But, deep down, he knew that he was. He had eaten, and enjoyed, the flesh of God’s soldiers.

He sat, shuddering. For how long he sat there, he wasn’t sure. His mind worked through what had happened. He should have felt worse. Like vomiting. Or even ending his miserable existence. But he didn’t. The new strength he possess intrigued him. His mind felt open, free.

A rhythmic stomping came from the west, along the road he had been walking. Soldiers appeared from the mist. Red eyed soldiers. Rapture soldiers. The man stood. For a moment he was unsure. The soldiers marched towards him, all red eyes faced forward. Disciplined and deadly. Without a word, they stopped. They turned in unison, facing the man.

The voice again echoed, but this time the man was sure he heard it only in his mind. It filled him with strength. Purpose. Clarity.

‘Now – rule!’