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Archive for August, 2009

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I recently found out I was one of the winners of the Draw Parker! contest sponsored by Almost Darwyn Cooke’s Blog . I’m simply floored by all the really wonderful things Darwyn Cooke had to say about my entry (seen below).  It was cool to see all of the great interpretation’s of Richard Stark’s anti-hero, Parker, and I look forward to reading Darwyn Cooke’s adaptation of The Hunter which is already getting rave reviews.

  

TheHunter

Also, check out the coverage of the Draw Parker! contest on the Violent World of Parker.

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PAGE FIVE

PANEL 1

The Red Skull emerges from the restaurant into the parking lot. Sir Chips is driving a behemoth of a red Cadillac in a circle, honking the horn and leaning out the window bearing his teeth. An enraged patron stands near the valet booth.

PATRON

Who’s in charge here? That monkey’s got my car! And I just had it detailed!

RED SKULL

I’ll take care of it, sir!

PANEL 2

The Red Skull throws himself onto the hood of the car as it passes.

PANEL 3

Sir Chips turns on the wiper blades and sprays wiper fluid at the Red Skull.

RED SKULL (cont’d)

My eyes!

PANEL 4

The Red Skull is thrown from the car as it turns a corner. The car continues driving around the parking lot erratically.

RED SKULL (cont’d)

AAAIEEEEE!

PANEL 5

The Red Skull stumbles to the curb and sits next to the valet parking booth, rubbing his stinging eyes. The patron from before stands next the Red Skull, glaring down at him, exasperated.

PATRON

(angry)

Is that all you’re going to do?

PANEL 6

The panel is framed from the patron’s P.O.V., looking down at the disheveled Red Skull sitting on the curb. Red Skull cranes his neck to look upwards.

RED SKULL

(whining)

He turned on the wiper blades and squirted wiper fluid at me! It’s out of my hands…

 

PAGE SIX

PANEL 1

We cut to the kitchen where Modok is trying to hold the rooster which is becoming increasingly agitated. The French Chef, Pierre, is also becoming unhinged.

MODOK

I, Modok, have destroyed armies of super heroes, won world chess tournaments— twice against that arrogant Russian computer—yet I am left watching over this lowly life form!  

PANEL 2

Rocky pecks at Modok’s hands while he holds the agitated rooster.

MODOK (cont’d)

Oww! Those are my fingers! I just had them manicured! NO TOUCHY!

CHEF PIERRE

I cannot cook with that filthy animal in my kitchen! You must remove it at once!

MODOK

Please, Chef Pierre, I am doing all I can to calm this thing down! (singing) How do you solve a problem like Maria?…

CHEF PIERRE

If you don’t remove him I’ll quit!

PANEL 3

We see an extreme close-up of Modok’s puckered face; he is losing his patience with both Rocky and Chef Pierre.

MODOK

There is no need to become hasty

PANEL 4

We cut to a wide shot of the kitchen, with Modok on one side of the frame and Chef Pierre, at the stove, on the other end. Modok fires his mind ray at Pierre, incasing the chef in an electrical red glow.

MODOK (cont’d)

You will not quit, Chef Pierre. You will continue creating your culinary masterpieces. The rooster will not bother you. You will take three thousand less than we are paying you now…

PANEL 5

Chef Pierre is utterly hypnotized by Modok’s mind ray.

CHEF PIERRE

I will not quit…the rooster will not bother me…I will take three thousand more than you are paying me now…

MODOK

What?!? Oh, close enough…

 

PAGE SEVEN

PANEL 1

Rocky begins frantically moving about in Modok’s arms. Modok is unable to contain the energy of the rooster.

MODOK (cont’d)

Rooster! If you do not calm down you too will feel the awesome power of my mental ray!

PANEL 2

Rocky suddenly lunges at Modok’s face, pecking and scratching with abandon.

MODOK (cont’d)

(in pain)

AAACCK! No, not Modok’s beautiful face!

PANEL 3

We cut back outside the restaurant to the parking lot. Sir Chips is still driving the commandeered Cadillac around the parking lot. The Red Skull has given up on trying to stop the chimpanzee.

RED SKULL

Well, that’s the last time I try to skimp on the valet service. I guess we’ll have to go back to using processed Yak meat for our burgers.

PANEL 4

At that very moment a figure descends from the sky, dropping into the restaurant’s parking lot. It is GALACTUS. Galactus appears to be in a foul mood.

GALACTUS

It is I, Galactus! Eater of Worlds! Belcher of Suns! Behold my mighty stomach and unending appetite! But do not look upon my buttocks, for it is there that I have gained much weight! I have come to devour the Earth, and there is nothing you can do to stop me! Nothing!

PANEL 5

A patron walking towards the restaurant cowers in fear, then pulls a Hostess Twinkie from their coat pocket.

PATRON 2

Here, have a Hostess Twinkie! They’re delicious!

PANEL 6

We see an extreme close-up of Galactus’ face.

GALACTUS

BAH!

PANEL 7

Cut to a wide-shot of Galactus as he scoops up the patron holding the Twinkie and tosses him into his mouth. Galactus then scoops up a few more partons and pops them into his mouth as well. Galactus BELCHES loudly.

 

PAGE EIGHT

PANEL 1

The Red Skull moves forward. The panel is framed at a worms-eye-view just behind The Red Skull as he looks up at the insatiable Galactus.

RED SKULL

Hey, what the hell do you think you’re doing? Those were probably paying customers! I’m trying to run a business here!

GALACTUS

(surprised)

Red Skull! I didn’t know you owned this restaurant! I would have stopped by sooner.

PANEL 2

We cut to a wide-shot of the parking lot. Galactus sits down upon a row of parked cars next to which Red Skull stands.

RED SKULL

Yeah, Modok and I are partners. Look, could you eat the Earth some other time, I’m kind of in the middle of something…

GALACTUS

(melancholic)

Why does he do it Red Skull?

RED SKULL

(confused)

What? Why does who do what?

PANEL 3

Galactus is framed in the foreground and from the side at an angle that is stationed slightly above him. His chin rests pensively in his right hand. The Red Skull is in the background, looking up at Galactus.

GALACTUS

Oh, it’s the Silver Surfer. We had another fight.

RED SKULL

Again? I thought you two patched things up.

GALACTUS

I thought we had too. It’s just that he’s always flying all over the universe. I hardly get to see him anymore. He claims that I’m too needy and that he wants his own space. I’m mean, do I look needy to you?

PANEL 4

The Red Skull sits on the hood of a car next to Galactus.

RED SKULL

Well, no, not really. I mean, I really don’t know you very well.

GALACTUS

He says he wants to be his own man. Well who doesn’t?

 

 

PAGE NINE

PANEL 1

Galactus reaches out and grabs a few more people walking on a nearby sidewalk, swallowing them whole. Galactus still appears depressed. The Red Skull places his head in his hands out of apparent frustration. Galactus BELCHES again.

PANEL 2

We cut to inside the restaurant. Julie is leading a man into the kitchen. The man, MR. HATCHELL, a health inspector, wears an ill-fitting, crumpled suit, and sports a bad comb-over. He carries a notebook.

JULIE

So, Mr. Hatchell, you’ll see that our kitchen is completely up to code, and that there are absolutely no health violations to be found. In fact it’s so clean you could eat off the floor…if you wanted to that is. Not that anyone really would. That’s just gross.

MR. HATCHELL

Well, I look forward to seeing this kitchen which, I’m sure, is impeccably clean and has absolutely no problems of which I could record in this notebook that I have in my hands…

PANEL 3

Cut to inside the kitchen. This panel will take up the entire middle section of the page. In the extreme foreground, on the left side of the panel, we see Julie and Mr. Hatchell coming through the double doors while in the foreground, covering the rest of the layout, is a kitchen that is in shambles: cooking pots are overturned, food is strewn across the floor and Rocky is running amok while Modok flies around, desperately trying to grab him.

MR. HATCHELL (cont’d)

Sweet Baby Santa Claus! What is going on here?!?

MODOK

I, Modok, command you to stop, lest you be annihilated by my awesome powers!

ROCKY

Swwwwaaaaakk!

PANEL 4

We cut to a medium close-up of Mr. Hatchell, busily writing in his notebook.

MR. HATCHELL

Food on the floor! A rooster running rampant! A French chef possibly hypnotized and or drunk. A man with a rather large head floating around on what appears to be some sort of floating toilet

PANEL 5

Julie grabs Modok as he flies past her.

JULIE

(whispering)

Modok, that’s the health inspector. It’s a surprise inspection!

MODOK

The health inspector? I will handle this…

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SophiaMacelloColor

 

Sophia Macello’s character has been evolving of the past several months, as does her back-story. She has become a much darker character than what I first started with, but still with a slight camp appeal (maybe a little more serious than, say, Danger Diabolik which, initially, was my primary inspiration). She has become motivated by revenge, and, the character herself, has become much more mysterious.

I thought I would present her current back-story. I like creating back-stories for characters, even when the characters appear in illustrations; this helps me define the the character overall when I’m working over various designs.

Sophia’s story begins in Rome in the late 60s. Historically the late sixties, early seventies was turbulent time in Rome. These were the “Years of Lead”, wide-spread social turmoil and terriorsim  ripped across Rome.

Sophia is an agent for a secret government agency of highly trained assassins. After the killing of innocent civilians, an incidnet that was blamed on terriorist groups, she decides to leave the agency, no longer wanting to be a part of this corrupt arm of the Italian government. Of course, the shadowy leaders of this agency will not let her do this, and they plant a bomb in her car which kills her (presumably) and her father.

Now, weeks later, government officials are being killed one by one. Soon Sophia reveals herself to be the one who is doing this, that she is now a rouge assassin, taking her revenge for the killing of her father. But is she really a ghost, as many believe, or did she indeed survive the car bombing, and if so, how? No one seems to know.

This is where her real story begins.

This idea had various inspirations, namely the British movie Deadlier Than The Male  and Mario Bava’s Danger: Daibloik as well as Japan’s Pinky Violence films. The character herself, at least the latest version, was inspired, to a great extent, by the Italian film actress, Edwige Fenech.

For more information on all things realted to 60s cinema, go to Cinebeats.

 

 

 

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The following is a script that I pitched to Marvel Comics a few years back after an inquiry for “new ideas” and new writers. Nothing ever came of this, but I thought it was kind of a funny idea nonetheless. Here’s part one…

 

PAGE one

PANEL 1

We open on a SPLASH PAGE showing that of “Sir Reginald’s Olde Tyme Eatery and Fun Factorium”, a theme restaurant complete with antiquated gadgets, turn of the 20th Century photos, and moose heads. The Factoruim is busy this particular evening. There is a flurry of action. The wait staff are dressed in Barber Shop quartet uniforms, adorned with red and white stipes and wearing straw hats. The RED SKULL and MODOK linger at the back of the restaurant watching the action unfold. The Red Skull is dressed in a sport jacket and jeans while Modok still retains his super villain uniform. Leave room at the top for the title: Red Skull and Modok in: When Animals Distract! 

RED SKULL

Who would have thought a week ago we’d have this place up and running, eh Modok? Hmmm?…

MODOK

Yes, yes. I am aware of your keen powers of observation, Red Skull. However, there is still time for something to go horribly wrong!

RED SKULL

Relax…you’re a ‘the glass is half-empty’ kind of person aren’t you?

MODOK

Enough with your allusions to partially drained glasses of water! I must see how our new chef is doing in the kitchen!

PAGE TWO

PANEL 1

The Red Skull is pictured in the extreme foreground watching Modok in the background who is sitting in his thought- controlled magnetic powered mobile chair, heading off toward the kitchen.

RED SKULL

What a crazy bastard! He’s always so neurotic about everything: “We shouldn’t build anything without a permit”, “No flaming desserts of any kind”, “Always use real eggs!” Jeez, what a killjoy!

PANEL 2

One of the waitresses, JULIE, a young woman in her twenties with jet black hair, cropped short, wearing glasses with thick, black frames, approaches the RED SKULL and pulls him to the side momentarily.

JULIE

(flatly)

You better take a look outside. Our new valet isn’t quite working out.

RED SKULL

You mean Sir Chips? He just needs a little practice that’s all.

PANEL 3

We cut to a wide panel with Julie on the left edge of the panel, making broad gestures with her hands, while on the right edge, Red Skull looks indigent, starring off-screen.

JULIE

People are complaining. He keeps taking off with cars and throwing car keys into the on-coming traffic. One person claimed he gave them the finger.

RED SKULL

The finger? I doubt it. That’s advanced sign language. You know, they should try training a chimpanzee to be a valet much less putting one of those uniforms on one! It’s not as easy as it looks! Alright, I’ll have a talk with him. We’ll get this straightened out, or may name isn’t…

PANEL 4

The Red Skull is framed in a dramatic, worm’s-eye-view dutch angle.

RED SKULL (cont’d)

 THE RED SKULL!

PANEL 5

The framing of the panel returns to a medium wide shot of both Julie and the Red Skull.

JULIE

You’ve got a little piece of spinach in your teeth.

RED SKULL

(suddenly self-conscious)

Really, where?

JULIE

Right there…between your two front teeth…(pointing)

RED SKULL

(picking at his front teeth)

Right here?…did I get it…

JULIE

No…wait…yeah…you got it…

RED SKULL

(embarrassed)

Man, I wonder how long that was there! I bet I’m turning red! I hope that Cynthia didn’t notice…

PANEL 6

The same framing as panel 5.

JULIE

Who?

RED SKULL

My doctor. I had my physical earlier today. I was thinking of asking her out.

JULIE

You’re going to ask a woman on a date that had you turn and cough?

RED SKULL

You make it sound so sorted. Besides, I don’t get the chance to meet that many women, much less a professional such as Cynthia. She has a job, probably makes a good salary, is extremely articulate. She has warm hands. Plus, we’ve already gotten passed the hardest part.

PANEL 7

The same framing as 5 and 6.

JULIE

What, the viewing of the family jewels?

RED SKULL

That’s just crass. No, she saw me naked. I mean that’s the most difficult part of dating someone. Getting passed the nudity. 

JULIE

You were completely naked?

RED SKULL

Of course. She said it was better if I were naked for the examination. Especially with all of the lights she had set up. Apparently me being completely naked works better with the lights and the camera.

JULIE

(suspicious)

She was taking photos?

RED SKULL

Well, duh. You act like you’ve never had physical before.

 

PAGE THREE

PANEL 1

Julie exits the frame, leaving the Red Skull looking slightly awkward. The Red Skull is framed in the extreme foreground still picking at his teeth.

RED SKULL (cont’d)

That’s the last time I use Spinach Souffle flavored dental floss.

PANEL 2

Just as the Red Skull is about to turn and leave, a stocky man in a white suit, gold cowboy boots, a holster with two pistols and a ten gallon hat, marches into the frame carrying a rooster. This is TEXAS BOB, Red Skull and Modok’s longtime friend, a brash and somewhat obnoxious used car dealer.

RED SKULL (cont’d)

Texas Bob! Look, I can’t talk…

Texas bob

Whoa, slow down partner, you always have time to talk to Texas Bob! Now lookie here son…

RED SKULL

Really, I—

TEXAS BOB

Now, what’s more important than an old friend like me? I got a favor that needs a askin’!

PANEL 3

The Red Skull pulls Texas Bob aside.

RED SKULL

You can’t bring roosters into the restaurant. There are regulations…

TEXAS BOB

Regulations, smegulations boy! This heres’ business. And business is my middle name! I’m serious, I had it legally changed! Anyhow, I need you to look after Rocky here for a few days. He’s my prize-winning cock fighter! He’s got a regiment of vitamins, exercise, what have you, that must be done every day without fail!

RED SKULL

You know, cock fighting  is illegal!

TEXAS BOB

Well, so are concealed weapons, but that doesn’t stop me from having four hand guns stuffed down the front of my pants! Oh, and he likes to watch re-runs of Barnaby Jones at 2:00 and 10:00.

RED SKULL

(surprised)

Wait. You’re serious? You want me to baby-sit your rooster?

PANEL 4

Cut to a medium close-up of Texas Bob, leaning forward and pointing his index finger at the Red Skull.

TEXAS BOB

No, I want you to read him 18th century poetry and give him a manicure. What the hell have I been talkin’ about for the last thirty seconds?!

RED SKULL

Well

TEXAS BOB

You owe me one, Red Skull. Remember when you went on vacation last year and I watered your plants and picked up all your mail? Huh? There sure as hell would have been a lot of dead plants and uncollected mail if it wasn’t for me! And don’t forget the great deal I got you on that Le Baron! 

PANEL 5

The Red Skull and Texas Bob are tightly framed from the side; Texas Bob looks up at Red Skull who looks extremely uncomfortable being that close to Texas Bob. Texas Bob’s fat, stubby finger pokes Red Skull in the chest.

RED SKULL

(frustrated)

Alright, alright I’ll do it!

TEXAS BOB

(jubilant)

Hoo-Wee! It’s just for the weekend while I hop on a plane to Las Vegas to try to stop my sister from marrying some damn Yankee from Vermont!

 

PAGE FOUR

PANEL 1

Texas Bob thrusts Rocky the Rooster into the Red Skull’s hands. The Red Skull and Rocky look at one another briefly.

PANEL 2

The panel is framed looking over-the-shoulder of the Red Skull watching Texas Bob as he runs out the front door of the restaurant. Texas Bob fires off both his pistols while patrons duck and scream.

TEXAS BOB (cont’d)

I’ll see you in a few days! Yee-Haw!

PANEL 3

Modok floats back into frame looking aggravated as usual. Red Skull is still holding Rocky.

MODOK

I, Modok, wielder of all that is powerful, was told to leave the kitchen. There is more than one way to prepare good Jambalaya! But would he listen? Of course not! Damn French chefs! I would incinerate him with my deadly mind powers if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve already done that to the last three chefs!

RED SKULL

(not phased)

Yeah, yeah, your powers are deadly. Here, take this rooster into the kitchen and keep him there until we close!

PANEL 4

Modok, confused, takes the rooster.

MODOK

What in the name of Fin Fang Foom’s Florida timeshare is this?

RED SKULL

It’s Texas Bob’s prize-winning cock fighter. I said I would watch it for the weekend. I owe him a favor.

MODOK

What, for that Le Baron? It took you three weeks just to get the blood stains out of the trunk. Some deal!

RED SKULL

(angry)

Would you just take him back to the kitchen already?

PANEL 5

Modok floats away to the kitchen carrying the rooster, just as Julie enters the frame again. The layout is from a birds-eye-view.

JULIE

Red Skull, you better get out to the parking lot, Sir Chips is starting to throw crap at people.

RED SKULL

What, like rocks?

JULIE

No, he’s literally throwing his own feces. It’s getting pretty ugly.

Panel 6

The Red Skull is framed dramatically, in mid run, while Julie watches him leave.

RED SKULL

I’m on my way!

JULIE

(calling after Red Skull)

You might want to wear a poncho!

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