Tag Archives: comicbook

A STARLIGHT Yarn: I might know a little something

8 Nov

Starlight DukeMcQueen

I started writing this as a sample script for the Millarworld writer comp. That’s where this started. Then it became something else when I realized I’d misread the submission entry. Typical me, I tell ya.  I was supposed to be writing about Starlight’s young Duke McQueen. But I’d already started, was too in love with the exploits of old Duke to stop telling this story (young Duke’ll get his shot later.) I had to finish it.

And ‘it’ was borne of my interest in old Duke’s genesis; a mix of Flash Gordon and Clint’s Walt Kowlaski from Gran Tourino. In the latter Walt started off a backwards, bigoted curmudgeon. He’s a xenophobe with fond memories of yesteryear. He hates what’s become of his neighborhood and he hates the invading immigrants he feels have taken over. But through a period of enlightenment and kindness Walt ends the movie having a new found appreciation for the Hmong people and their culture, despite his initial misgivings. He becomes a guardian of it, adding what he can in his own tough, practical way.

Now I thought, what would Duke McQueen, a man of Walt’s ‘can do’ generation, think of the current race riots in America? He comes from the American golden age. Same as Walt, Duke quite likely votes Republican. He believes in hard work, grit, truth, honesty and sticking up for whats right. But culture clashes aren’t always black and white. Entrenched values and bigotries interfere in what should be straight up moral crises. They get in the way of doing the right thing.

So what would Duke think? What would he do? And what would black America think of Duke? An interfering old white guy. When it comes down to it, what really matters when humans need each others help? It ain’t color or culture or pride. It’s something far more fundamental. Far more beautiful. Mark Millar seems to capture this. It’s his thing. I tried my spin on it here.

That’s what this stories about. That and intergalactic bounty hunters.

Hope you enjoy – Mark

“I MIGHT KNOW A LITTLE SOMETHING”
By
Mark McCann

24 Deramore Ave
Ormeau Road,
Belfast
BT7ER
07872924289
Mrk.mccann@gmail.com

PAGE 1

P1 EXT: A black, aqualine ship – the Shark Hook – hurtles through the cosmos – the Milky Way galaxy in the distance.

BOX
Deep space, 30 pico-minutes – Milky Way trajectory

GRADA
How long? This is a diversion from the real credits.

SENITOCK
That’s not what this is. This is honoring a glorious bargain, Grada.

P2 INT: Inside a huge, bestial humanoid un-shelfs a futuristic rifle from a rack in a lit chamber to the rear of the cockpit. In the cockpit, a lean dark shape half illuminated by the monitors in front hunches.

SENITOK
A good reputation hinges on kept deals. The Kingfisher might have fallen, but we took the contract. It’s paid for.

GRADA
You and your codes Senitok. Waste of time if you ask me. The Kingfishers gone. We could just keep the spoils. Easy creds.

P3 INT: Senitok’s boney talon points at a picture of young Duke McQueen along with his stats on the holo panel.

SENTIOK
Not so easy, I don’t think. We’ll take McQueen. By surprise. Honor the bargain. Win the glory.

GRADA
Humph. We wrap quick. McQueen is small fry. The real currency is elsewhere. Back there.

 

P4 EXT: The ships rear – hyper drive flaring as it jets towards earth.

 

SENITOK
Currency is false glory, Grada. When will you learn the true value of hunting …

P5 EXT: Close up of Earth – focus on the US

SENITOK
… Is the prey

 

PAGE 2

P1 Int: Duke McQueen works underneath his 1970 Dodge Camaro in a pair of oily overalls. His garage is stocked with tools – radio playing on a shelf – an older police officer – Ray Fernandez leans against the open garage shutter door. His squad car sits on the pavement outside.

 

RADIO
Now KMZ News at 12. Breaking …

FERNANDEZ
You got her working yet Duke?

DUKE
Not hardly. AC heating systems busted. I got a new one ordered at the garage. Damn expensive too.

 

P2 Int: Close on the radio

 

RADIO
The latest protests sparked by the shooting of local man Xavier Thompson in Downtown … have resulted in clashes between police and protesters. 4 Police officers were injured with over 20 arrests. The numbers are still coming in …

 

P3 Int: Duke from the rear – stood up from under his car – Fernandez still leaning – behind him 3 African American teens stroll past on the pavement.

 

DUKE
More riots. Seems like all over the country now.

FERNANDEZ
Goddamn savagery. Playing the victim and then listen to that, four officers hurt.

DUKE
Not sure it’s that simple Ray.

 

P4 Ext: Fernandez calls over his shoulder to the 3 passing teens (Tyrese, James, Holland.) They look on aggrieved. Duke wipes his hands in the background, hard faced.

 

FERNANDEZ
Sure it is. That’s right, keep walking.

TYRESE
Excuse me?

P5 Int: Duke looks on, stern and intense, hands pressed to his cars bonnet as Fernandez waves and walks to his car.

FERNANDEZ
Gotta go Duke. Keep on trucking.

DUKE
… yeah.

PAGE 3
P1 Ext: Downtown – Duke pulls his 1970 Wagon Queen Truckster into the lot of Big Glenn’s Auto.

 

BOX
Downtown, 30 pico seconds – U.S. Earth trajectory.

RADIO
Republican Candidate Oswald Jenner’s called the riots ‘animalistic’ while the reverend Jackson called for calm amidst …

P2 Int: Duke looks out his windscreen as he pulls into Glenn’s, the 3 teens from earlier stride in front of the car, looking in. Scowling.

 

RADIO
In other news

P3 Int: same panel lay out – directly behind the teens, spinning to look – the Shark Hook swings into view – obliterating half of Glenn’s store in the curve and a third of the parked cars in the yard.

DUKE
Sam Hill!

 

P4 Ext: splash panel – the Shark Hook overlooking Duke’s car – now swung sideways – all four teens crouched behind it as Duke Exit’s on their side. Forward guns unload laser shots on auto-pilot racking up destruction as Grada and Senitok exit by a side port on hover disc’s.

 

TYRESE
Get down old man.
DUKE
In a second. First I gotta know something.

 

P5 Ext: the teens, pensive along the side of Dukes Wagon Queen. Duke towers.

 

DUKE
Do you boys know how to fight?

TYRESE
Thought you was a racist?

PAGE 4

P1 Ext: Duke gives Tyrese a hand up – both smiling – as shots bounce off his car.

 

DUKE
Thought you was a punk. Guess we were both wrong. Can you fight or what?

TYRESE
Tsk. Yeah, well. I might know a little something.

 

P2 Ext: James grab Grada’s ankles as he passes over them firing shots wild with his laser rifle – Holland punches him in the groin, doubling him over.

 

HOLLAND
Guess they don’t play dirty where you come from, huh?

JAMES
And they complaining about immigration at the border.

 

P3 Ext: Senitok corners Duke – fists up – Senitok wielding a laser lash catches Duke’s left arm in a tight loop.

SENITOK
You’re an old debt McQueen. I’ll wear your death as glory.

DUKE
How about I wear your face like a glove. Now kid!

P4 Ext: Tyrese tackles Senitok’s legs and Duke slugs him hard in the kisser as he descends.

 

TYRESE
I don’t know what you are, man. But earth got enough problems.

DUKE
Good thing we got a pair’a problem solvers, right here.

 

P5 Ext: Tyrese, the other teens to his side, look on smiling as Duke load’s the unconscious merc’s into their ship.

TYRESE
You coming back old man? Just when I was starting to like you.

DUKE
Don’t worry kid. I ain’t done with you yet. You showed me something today. So we’ll be seeing each other.

 

PAGE 5

P1 Ext: Aerial view as the Shark Hook takes off from the street below – leaving dots behind

 

BOX
You showed me you can fight a good cause.

 

P2 Ext: same panel – crowds fill the street – one half police – the other protesters.

 

RADIO
This is KMZ News and Reports are in that a fresh swathe of protests have hit downtown … after 5 black teenagers we’re hospitalized in a showdown with police …

 

P3 Ext: Tyrese and his friends nose to nose with the heavily armed riot police. Pensive. A hooded figure hangs to their rear. Tension builds.

 

TYRESE
Get ready, yo. I don’t think these five’oh are playing.

JAMES
Go down fighting, homie.

HOLLAND
Got that straight. Ain’t no backing down from the blues

COP
Batter up punks.

P4 Ext: Front on – same panel composition – the hooded figure unveils himself – it’s Duke McQueen.

TYRESE
Holy …

DUKE
Looks like you boys went and picked a fight against impossible odds. Maybe I can be the one to help you out this time.

HOLLAND
RIGHT. ON!

P5 Ext: Duke lean’s in – a hard smile playing – the boys cheering to his sides. Tapping the riot shield of one of the front line cops – who lifting his visor reveals a shocked Ray Fernandez.

DUKE
Stick with me boys. I might know a little something.

“THE LADY OF THE LAKES” Preview Comic Script

15 Oct

Below is a two page Horror story I wrote for the Halloween edition of the Prompt. It combines local folklore and a predatory protagonist/antagonist?

It’s just a quick exercise in comic book scripting that I’m sorely in need of. I was lucky enough to get some pro-critiquing from 2000AD and Image artist PJ Holden. PJ told me it was too long by a country mile and I was a bastard for putting horses in it.  Artists hate drawing equines, which was news to me. Now I know better. No more horses.

Either way, this is just a quick piece. The hardest part was compacting it into two pages and 4/5 panels each. The original draft was 7 panels per page, before I had an intervention.

Still learning.

Any critiques are welcomed as always.

Love – Mark

PITCH

A woman is hunted through Belfast in the early 1980’s, by a man intent on savagery.

The woman isn’t just a victim. The man isn’t just a killer.

A ancient murderer walks in present day, having run 5000 miles from Louisiana to Belfast for sanctuary.

One of these people is harboring a terrible secret. One wants a terrible revenge.

Only one can live to walk away.

kelpie_short_detail_by_porcelianDoll

THE LADY OF THE LAKES

By
Mark McCann

24 Deramore Avenue
Ormeau Road
Belfast, BT7 3ER
07872924289
Mrk.mccann@gmail.com

 

PAGE 1
P/1 Ext: Winter. Snowflakes fall sparingly. From above – a pensive woman moves through a dark stretch of Alley (think Gina Torres) – it is wide/strewn with litter. Her shadow casts out behind her, illuminated by a street light. She glances over her shoulder, fearful. Two men are creeping in the shadows behind.#

Text
Belfast, 1982
BOX
Had to kill three men to get a bead on her.
GOON #1
(Whispers 🙂 Show her the blade and take what she’s got.

P/2 Ext: The men are tackled by a shadowy attacker – A hand reaches around one man’s neck, pulling him backwards – the other man drops forward, his knee kicked out from behind him. Knife falling from his grip.

BOX
She’s been running from me since we first met. Near five thousand miles across the water. I been following her that long. That far. She likes the water. Me, not so much. Not anymore.
DEMOS
Not tonight, fiends. Run.

P/3 Ext: Over shoulder; the woman turns, terrified. A man (think Idris Elba) stands over the fallen goons. He wears a black coat, woolen jumper, red checkered scarf. He holds an arcane blade. One goon is head-locked beneath his arm – the other is clamoring for his dropped knife.

BOX
Here on the land I can rely. Take her dry. Out of her element. Nowhere for her to go here.
GOON #1
Who da fuck!
DEMOS
Run. Now. Thank your gods it’s not you.

P/4 Ext: The woman, front on, fearful. The goons running away from either side of her.

BOX
I want her vulnerable. Desperate. It’ll add to my pleasure.
DEMOS
Thought you could run? I always catch my prey.
WOMAN
No. Please.
GOON #1
He’s a giant blade on’im!

PANEL 5
Ext: Close on the woman’s face from the lips upwards. She smiles, a sadistic delight in her eyes. The goons disappear into the periphery behind her.

BOX
When I take my revenge.
WOMAN
Finally. I thought they’d never leave.

PAGE 2
P/1 Ext: Helena (Gina Torres again) holds to the back of a mad stallion as it leaps into a deep pool in a wooded, gothic area of the swamp lands of Louisiana. A trail of dust should be seen to the stallion’s rear, relating to the path of galloping its cut.

Text
Louisiana swampland, 1 year earlier
HELENA
STOP! PLEASE, JESUS!
BOX
I never believed in anything. Not gods and especially not monsters. Definitely not Celtic shape-shifting ones.

P/2 Ext: On the verge over the pool, Demos reaches impotently. He is wounded, screaming. Below the horse, mid morph between a demon stallion and an evil demonic woman (think evil Chloe Moretz,) trails a struggling Helena into the mire.

BOX
Kelpie, they call them. Came here with the Irish. Swam in on the back of immigrant ships up ‘the Big Easy’ in the 1700’s. They play at being horses. Seduce their victims. Then drown them.
DEMOS
HELEEEENA!
KELPIE
Mine now. Forever. Hahahaha.

P/3 Ext: Demos looms, knife in hand, as the Kelpie pulls away – as if terrified. We can see it is morphing away from Demos gaze.

Text
NOW
BOX
There’s no water here. Nowhere to run. Nowhere to drown.
DEMOS
Helena liked horses. You wear her form, but you’re not her. I’m going to enjoy this.

P/4 Ext: Demos is thrown down as the Kelpie rears up in furious horse form – stomps his chest. Demos’ mouth explodes blood.

KELPIE
I would think Helen enjoyed my other form, surely. I gave her the ride of her life. And you the chase of yours.
DEMOS
NO!

P/5 Ext: Close up – the Kelpie in Demos form, smiling as it shrugs his coat on. The real Demos lain dead – eyes wide in horror – blood spilling from his mouth in the periphery.

KELPIE
There’s more than one way to drown a man Demos. Feel your lungs filling with blood? We’re all made of water, m’boy. It’s life for some. Death for many. Don’t worry. You’ll live on Demos. In me.