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  • Last warning: The flight of Philippides – Plot Revisions

  • ASAP

    Member
    April 15, 2021 at 9:56 pm
    CBS Forum Member: Forum Acolyte

    I’m using this revision to flesh out some of the story beats from my pervious plot outline. I’m bookending “Time Inn” at the start and end of the story as a framing device, as if Time Inn is a tavern franchise in this universe.

    I’m also reworking the escape pod into a DIY project for the main character so it makes more sense for him to be the sole survivor of this attack. In my opinion, an escape pod shouldn’t have the ability to outrun an armada, but perhaps his hobby is building racing ships and he’s working these deep space colonies to fund his endeavors.

    It would also make sense for the racing vessel to be missing things like weapons or deep space communications since it’s a work in progress. In his eyes, he’s focusing more on engines and life support so he can joyride.

    Page 1: Establishing. Human colonists orbiting and landing on an alien world

    Establishing shot of a space colony orbiting an alien world. Cuts to a tavern called “Time Inn” where main character is sitting and talking with another character. Exposition setting up that main character is working the maintenance crew for the new colony to get enough money to finish his racing starship. Conversation establishes that his one man racing vessel is aboard the colony ship: engine is fast but non-essential systems aren’t complete.

    Page 2: Space battle! Colonists attacked by monstrous battleships

    Large panels of ships that look obviously different than the colony ships are attacking the colony. Reaction shots of the main character and civilians.

    Page 3: Survivor races to an escape pod but is unable to save others. Sadness.

    Main Character is running through corridors against the flow of bodies and panic. While everyone is confused, he is racing to his personal star ship as he knows it’s his only chance to survive.

    Page 4: Space battle continues! Escape pod launches and escapes unnoticed. Survivor tries to plot a “short cut” using FTL engines

    Main character is panic-patching his starship as the attack rages on. Last panel on page should be his ship shooting out of the explosion of the colony ship he was on. Close up of cockpit with him breaking looking over his shoulder at the battle.

    Page 5: Vast empty space with each panel showing the passage of time. Survivor is low on fuel, damaged/unresponsive comms (short-range radio only), and no weapons.

    Main character is performing various system checks over an unknown passage of time. Each panel should show more beard growth and him becoming more unkempt. Anxiety and solitude should be setting in as he complains out loud about how nothing works and how doomed he is.

    Page 6: Survivor tries to find the correct course home. Proximity alarms! An unknown ship is approaching.

    Main Character is tinkering with his ships computer in a cramped cockpit as the proximity alarm goes off, alerting him to a possible danger.

    Page 7: Survivor can’t identify the ship and can’t risk discovery. Shuts down life support and vents atmosphere to mask heat signature. They manage to escape!.

    Talking to himself in a panicked tone, the main character unsuccessfully tries to identify the ship. He can’t let the unidentified ship notice him or follow him back to earth or he is doomed. Against his better judgement, he turns off life support and vents his atmosphere to cool his ship down, in case the enemy has heat sensors. Knowing this is dangerous, he programs his ship reboot after a certain amount of time and broadcast a distress message with a warning about the invasion, just in case he passes out.

    Page 8: Survivor arrives in orbit around Earth. The message is received but Survivor dies.

    Establishing shot of Earth with a fair amount of space traffic. Cut to a shot of a military figure (admiral?) at a bar called “Time Inn” sharing having a drink with another person in uniform while off duty. A message comes up on his communication device saying they found a colony ship floating nearby broadcasting an old style “radio” signal about an impending attack on a deep space colony. The pilot had been dead for some time. The military is rallied and ready just as the first enemy ship appears.

  • jojabarker

    Moderator
    April 17, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Right-off-the-bat, <a class=’bp-suggestions-mention’ href=’https://create.comicbookschool.com/members/asap/’ rel=’nofollow’>@ASAP really enjoying this new direction with the go-kart-in-space!

    Page 1 — I like that the exposition covers a lot of where we’re at. I’m wondering if there shouldn’t be also discussion about why there’s this new colony. For example, “[reason for colony]” MC, “I don’t care. It’s just an ends-to-a-means for my racing!”

    Page 2 — What would be interesting is if the first panel is an explosion of the main building i.e. bridge of where all the commanders are to be the first that’s demolished…?! And, the MC and supporting character comment on it be just that, “Wasn’t that–” MC, “Yeah! We’re screwed!!!”

    Page 3 — Curious how we can lay this out: Bouncing between silent and bombarded with sfx…

    Page 4 — Ooo, I can almost see him wrestling with a part when a big hole rips open into the void of space at which point he stops figeting and slaps it into place!

    Page 5 — …so, here’s a thought: Uniformed panels (the more panels, the slower time is via the Jamal Igle livestream talking about McCloud’s insight) almost akin to some of Chris Ware’s treatments in JIMMY CORRIGAN: THE SMARTEST KID ON EARTH (see attachment).

    Page 6 — If we go with the above suggestion, then a fraction of the panels to instill that panic?!

    Page 7 — A lot dialogue is missing up to this point, so it’s interesting to see it here again. Maybe one consideration is alternating between thought and speech balloons? Since he’s be isolated for so long he’d more than likely fabricate a conversation…?

    Page 8 — I wonder if “they found a colony ship…broadcasting an old style ‘radio’ signal” will be convincing enough…? Maybe the enemy ships do more than appear — attack?! I feel there needs to be an extra push shrug

    Love working on this with you Alex! Hope we can hash out my input further on our next call. ~Kirbyspeed

  • ASAP

    Member
    April 18, 2021 at 5:54 am
    CBS Forum Member: Forum Acolyte

    Joel, love the ideas and as usual, “get outta my head, dude”.

    Regarding your notes:

    Page 1: Great Idea. I’ll flesh that out in when I do the actual dialog.

    Page 2: Also a great idea. Speaking of the supporting character (SC), I was toying around with the idea of having the Main character (MC) try to get help the SC escape but only to have them not make it. Might be a nice emotional gut punch, especially if the escape go-kart only seats one.

    Page 3: All silent. There’s no sound in space. 😉

    Page 4: Dig it. I almost want him to lose his favorite wrench or a good luck charm like that. I just had the crazy idea of giving him a little Wilson or treasure troll console toy that he can lose.

    Page 5: I was opting for more wide panels to show the sense of isolation and because they might be easier to draw, but I’m open to this. We can flesh this out.

    Page 6: Dig it

    Page 7: I would think that as the story progresses, he’s talking out loud to himself more often to show that isolation. Like inner monologue at the beginning, but by this point, full on conversations with himself. I’d envision he’s almost talking to himself through the comic panels, i.e. panel 1, he’s facing to the right, asking a question, and in panel 2, he’s looking to the left and responding to it.

    Page 8: Might have to think this through once more. I want the story to be a little hopeful, but still a bit of a downer, in that his message is received, giving them enough time to prepare to repel the attack, but the outcome is unclear. Maybe his message never gets through, but he trips some proximity alert and it raises alarms, getting everyone on high alert just as the invasion starts?

    This is great. Love the notes and I’m waiting for us to hash this out soon!

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