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Archive for September, 2009

A Story on Pindeldyboz

Check out my short story, “How Was It During the Inquisition?” now up on Pindeldyboz, the amazing online literary magazine. And while your there, pursue the archives, there’s some wonderful stories that have received a great deal of acclaim over the years.

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PAGE TEN

PANEL 1

We cut to an angled shot of Modok throwing himself shamelessly at the feet of Mr. Hatchell. Modok remains in his flying chair as he does this.

MODOK (cont’d)

Please don’t shut us down! We just opened last week. Opening weeks always go like this! Please! I, I mortgaged my flying chair to fund this place! That loan shark we borrowed money from to build the floor will take my legs next! They’ll call me stumpy on the street! Do you want that? DO YOU?! “Hey look, it’s stumpy!” That’s what they’ll say!

PANEL 2

We cut to a close-up of Mr. Hatchell.

MR. HATCHELL

Please, Mr. Modok! I am a health inspector, sworn to uphold the law of this state and country when it comes to matters of food and cleanliness. You can beg me all you want! Not even a large suitcase full of unmarked cash, in bundles of 100, say ten-thousand worth—

PANEL 3

Modok rises from the ground, hovering above the rambling health inspector.

MODOK

Yes, yes, I see. Fine. Begging will not do.

 PANEL 4

Modok fires his deadly mind beam at Mr. Hatchell, incinerating him instantly.

MR. HATCHELL

AGGHHHHH!

JULIE

Modok, what are you doing?!

PANEL 5

The former Mr. Hatchell is now a pile of dust on the kitchen floor. The dust is framed in the extreme foreground. We see Modok starring down at the pile, and next to him a baffled Julie.

MODOK

Are you not aware by now that this is how I handle every crisis situation?

JULIE

But he wanted a bribe!

MODOK

?

PANEL 6

Julie is completely flustered. A dumbfounded Modok is visibly trying to re-run the entire incident in his mind.

JULIE

He wanted you to give him cash so that the restaurant would pass the health inspection!

MODOK

What? No–really? Well I completely missed that. I mean, I’m usually not that oblivious. Just look at the size of my head! Does it look like I would be oblivious?

 

PAGE ELEVEN

PANEL 1

Rocky has now positioned himself atop the head of the hypnotized chef, Pierre, and is pecking madly away. Chef Pierre and Rocky are pictured in the foreground, while Modok and Julie linger in the background near the pile of dust.

JULIE

Now what do we do?

MODOK

Hmmmm, let me think. Meanwhile, I’ll scratch my back via this big spoon I found.

PANEL 2

Modok produces a giant wooden spoon and begins scratching his back.

PANEL 3

We cut to a two-shot of Modok and Julie awkwardly standing in the middle of the ruined kitchen.

MODOK (cont’d)

So I saw you coming out of that knife shop the other day. What is it called, “The Cutting Edge”?

JULIE

Oh, yeah. Right.

MODOK

Buying some knives?

JULIE

No, just getting some sharpened.

MODOK

Oh, I see. That’s nice.

JULIE

Yeah, it is.

PANEL 4

Meanwhile, outside, Sir Chips has smashed into almost every car in the parking lot, while a mob of angry patrons are already queued up at the valet parking booth wanting their vehicles. The Cadillac that Sir Chips is driving lumbers along, having been smashed and scratched in every conceivable way. Galactus is still beside himself with anguish.

RED SKULL

Look, I know how hard it can be. One minute they want all of your attention, then the next they’re gone…

GALACTUS

Exactly!

RED SKULL

…Off to the Bahamas with some waiter named Miguel

GALACTUS

(confused)

Well…

RED SKULL

I could have had a head of hair like that. You know they do have such a thing as hair transplants. God knows I’ve got plenty on my back. I would have had one if that was what she wanted

GALACTUS

Yes, but…

PANEL 5

We cut to a close-up of Red Skull with a faraway look in his eyes.

RED SKULL

Plus, he’s twenty-two and in graduate school studying Andalusian Coat Making. I mean, how is making a Andalusian coat going to help anyone that’s not living in Andalusia? I’ve got skills, real skills! Life skills, people skills…What? Sorry, I sort of trailed off there. Yes, yes. You have to tell him how you’re feeling.

PANEL 6

We cut to a two-shot of Red Skull and a suddenly jubilant Galactus.

GALACTUS

Wait, I’ve got an idea! You talk to him!

RED SKULL

What? Me?

GALACTUS

Yes! You’re good with all of the emotions having to do with feelings!

RED SKULL

I can’t get involved

 

PAGE TWELVE

PANEL 1

Galactus motions toward Sir Chips who is still driving the battered Cadillac.

GALACTUS

I’ll help you with you’re monkey problem…

PANEL 2

We see a shot from over Galactus’ shoulder angled down at the Red Skull.

RED SKULL

OK. But you have to return everything to normal. And get rid of that angry mob. Without eating them.

GALACTUS

No problem. But turn around first. And close your eyes.

RED SKULL

Why?

GALACTUS

Just do it! It’s like knowing the answer to a riddle or why the Sphinx isn’t simply referred to as “that guy who needs a nose job”. You would prefer it remain a mystery. Believe me.

RED SKULL

Fine.

PANEL 3

The Red Skull turns around then closes his eyes.

RED SKULL (cont’d)

You better not be taking my wallet like last time.

PANEL 4

A blast of light occurs behind the Red Skull, then is gone as quickly as it appeared.

GALACTUS (V.O.)

OK, all done. You can turn around now!

PANEL 5

The Red Skull turns around and the parking lot has been returned to its prior state. The angry mob is gone. There are no damaged cars to be found. Galactus holds a small white bunny in his hand.

RED SKULL

Fantastic! But where’s Sir Chips?

GALACTUS

Oh, I turned him into this bunny.

PANEL 6

We see a shot framed from behind the Red Skull angled up at Galactus lovingly stroking the bunny.

RED SKULL

(angry)

What?!? Why did you do that for?!?

GALACTUS

Because I love bunnies! (begins talking directly to the bunny) Yes I do! I love bunnies, don’t I? Here you go.

PAGE THIRTEEN

 

PANEL 1

Galactus hands the bunny to Red Skull from off-screen. All we see are Galactus’ gigantic hands holding the bunny.

RED SKULL

What am I going to tell the zoo? They’re expecting me to return a Chimpanzee that knows sign language and can drive like an 80-year-old from Florida.

GALACTUS (v.O.)

Can’t help you there.

RED SKULL

Of course you can! Look at what you just did!

GALACTUS

Gotta go. See you Sunday. We’ll have brunch. You and the Silver Surfer will have a nice chat. I’ll make my famous Bloody Marys!

PANEL 2

Galactus flies off into the sky, disappearing quickly. The Red Skull looks down at the bunny that he holds in his hands.

PANEL 3

We cut to a medium shot of Red Skull looking at the bunny. 

PANEL 4

The Red Skull continues looking down at the bunny.

RED SKULL

You just peed in my hands didn’t you?

PANEL 5

The Red Skull continues looking down at the bunny.

PANEL 6

Same shot as the previous panels.

RED SKULL (cont’d)

And there goes the poop.

 

PAGE FOURTEEN

Panel 1

We cut back inside the kitchen of the restaurant. Modok has donned a chef hat, an apron and is stirring a giant pot of Jambalaya on one of the industrial stoves.

MODOK

Now, this is the way you make Jambalaya!

PANEL 2

Just then the Red Skull bursts through the double doors of the kitchen. Red Skull is mystified by the current state of the kitchen.

RED SKULL

(enraged)

Modok! What the hell is going on! Why are there chicken fingers stuck to the ceiling? Tell me that’s not what’s left of Rocky!

PANEL 3

We cut to a wide shot of the Red Skull approaching Modok. Modok has an immense grin on his face.

MODOK

(casually)

No, no silly. Just a little food fight you might say. My goodness Red Skull, you’re always so angry.

RED SKULL

(suspicious)

You sound uncharacteristically relaxed. Are you drunk?

MODOK

Oh, I had a few glasses of Scotch. I love Scotch. Love it. If I could wear Scotch like a fine velvet track suit I would. If I could call one of those 900 numbers and hear Scotch’s voice on the other end I would be on the phone a lot. Want some?

RED SKULL

No!

MODOK

I don’t think those anger management classes actually worked. Were you listening and taking notes?

PANEL 4

Cut to a shot framed with Red Skull in the background and an empty bottle of Scotch laying on its side in the extreme foreground.

RED SKULL

Bite me!

MODOK

(not listening)

You know we all have our own problems to contend with. I’m a recovering alcoholic— at least I was up until a few minutes ago–I have crippling problems with intimacy and then there’s my paralyzing fear of blind people

RED SKULL

(frustrated)

Modok! What happened here? 

PANEL 5

Modok and the Red Skull are framed in a wide, narrow panel; the Red Skull behind Modok, to the left of the frame and Modok at the stove cooking, on the very right edge of the frame.

MODOK

Oh, we had a minor problem. I, as usual, took care of it.

RED SKULL

Why are you cooking? Where is Pierre?

MODOK

Oh, he’s still coming out of the hypno- spell I put him under. It’s a long story.

 

PAGE FIFTEEN

PANEL 1

Modok is framed from the front, with the Red Skull peering over his shoulder.

RED SKULL

Where is the rooster? Where is Texas Bob’s prize-winning cock fighter?

MODOK

Oh, yes, Rocky. Right. Well, Rocky got a little out of hand and I had to send him to Dimension X.

PANEL 2

We cut to a close-up up of Red Skull, burning with rage.

RED SKULL

Dimension X?!?

PANEL 3

A two-shot of Red Skull and Modok. Modok suddenly becomes emotional.

MODOK

(whining)

He was horrible! He kept pecking at my face! My face is everything to me! Without my face how would people recognize me?!?

RED SKULL

So where is Rocky now?

PANEL 4

We cut to a close-up of Modok.

MODOK

Well, the good news is that I finally brought him back from Dimension X. The bad news is that he’s a little, well, shall we say, different. He’s out back behind the restaurant. I’ll show you.

PANEL 5

A wide shot of the parking lot in the back of the restaurant. Texas Bob, Modok and Red Skull all stand around the newly transmutated Rocky: He is gigantic, twenty feet tall by thirty feet wide and has the head of President Woodrow Wilson. Rocky seems extremely lethargic, his massive body slumped against the restaurant. Rocky GROANS a bit. Texas Bob is hopping mad.

CAPTION: Two days later…

TEXAS BOB

What in tarnation happened to Rocky?!?

MODOK

Well, I had a little trouble with inter-dimensional travel. It’s all very scientific.

TEXAS BOB

Scientific my ass! He’s got the head of Woodrow Wilson!

RED SKULL

Well, on the bright side, he appears more relaxed.

MODOK

And presidential!

TEXAS BOB

Look at him, he’s lost the will to fight! Rocky, what have they done to you?

END.

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Mad Women

WomanSmoking

I’ve recently started watching the show Mad Men with more and more keen interest, (OK, OK, I really enjoy the show, there, are you happy!?!). I love the fact that men and women get dressed to the nines, go to work in uber modern offices on Madison Avenue, drink themselves giddy in the middle of the day and smoke ALL THE TIME (even when they’re sleeping). It seems like EVERYONE smoked in the early sixties, even children and pets.

Above, an illustration that was inspried by the show.

And the women of Mad Men, Christina Hendricks and Elisabeth Moss…

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