Forums Forums 8-Page Challenge #2 8-Page Challenge #2 > Step 5 > Scripting & Revisions The Last Warning: Flight of the Marathon

  • The Last Warning: Flight of the Marathon

  • ASAP

    April 30, 2021 at 8:52 am
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    (Decided to change the title to “Flight of the Marathon” as it probably would be easier for most people to make the connection and read)

    Page 1:

    Establishing. Human colonists orbiting and landing on an alien world

    Panel 1: A fleet of starships approaching an alien world

      SC: You ever been this far out? It feels like we’ve come a long way from the old neighborhood.
      MC: This far? Never. But I’ve come close a few times.

    Panel 2: Shot of a tavern on a star ship. Huge windows that look out to space. Fleet ships should be in the background. The Sign of the bar should say “Time Inn”. Main character and Supporting Character are in the background talking with random civilians and military in the foreground

      SC: Can’t beat the view, am I right?
      MC: Yeah you can’t beat this Heh he. It’s far out.

    Panel 2: Side profile of the two characters laughing and talking over drinks, mid-range shot

      SC: I wasn’t expecting to run into my favorite space janitor this far out. Did the colonists need some toilets installed when they made landfall?
      MC: Yeah, it’s been a while since we caught up. These colony runs actually pay pretty well and are great for slingshotting.

    Panel 3: Close up on Supporting Character looking shocked, over the shoulder of main character, who shrugs

      SC: Slingshoting? Isn’t that...kind of insane?
      MC: (shrugs)  Aren’t we all a little nuts? You’re all schlepping a billion miles from home to play in the dirt. I just do it in a tin can at high velocity. Call it competitive physics and leave it at that.

    Panel 4: Over the shoulder of Main Character, close up of Supporting character

      SC: And you brought your own ship?
      MC: Yeah, the captain let me store on the flight deck and lets me go and tinker with it when I'm off duty.

    Panel 5: Main character puts his hands up in a somewhat defeatist gesture

      SC: You always did like to work on your off time.
      MC: Well, it’s not like anything exciting ever happens on a colony ship.

    Page 2:

    Space battle! Colonists attacked by monstrous battleships

    Panel 1 (wide): Enemy ships appear, surrounding the colonist ships.


    Panel 2: Missiles firing

    Panel 3: Explosions

    Panel 4: Main Character and Bar Friend reaction shot

      SC: <span>“Huh? What’s that alarm for? Is there a fire?”</span>
      MC: <span>“Oh no. We’re under attack!”</span>

    Panel 5: SC looking panicked. Main Character looking off to the right

      SC: <span>“Attack? But we’re civilians! Who would attack us?”</span>
      MC: <span>“Good Question. Let’s make sure we’re alive to find out. C’mon”</span>

    Page 3:

    MC races to an escape pod but is unable to save others. Sadness.

    I’d like to see some broken panels here. I know it’s against the rules, but it’s my damned story

    I’m thinking the space battle is in the background, and the panels of them moving throughout the ship are in the foreground

    <b style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>Panel barriers should act as blast doors

    Panel 1 (wide, split into sections): Halfway corridor. People racing to the left, MC and SC are racing towards the right. Each section should be MC and BF in different states of running to show movement and progress down the hall.

      SC: <span>Where are we going? The escape pods are the other way.</span>
      MC: <span>Yeah, and that’s where every other panicked colonist is going.</span>
      SC: <span>Oh, I get it, your ship’s on the flight deck.</span>
      MC: Yeah, keep moving.
      SC: <span>But aren’t slingshotters single pilot vehicles? Isn’t that...uh...cramped?</span>
      MC: <span>We’ll figure it out. C’mon.</span>

    Panel 2 and 3 should be horizontally linked

    Panel 2: SC is running to the right in a corridor. MC’s balloons are coming from off panel

      SC: Does it feel like it’s getting hotter in here?
      MC: Keep moving, I think there’s a fire in the corridor behind us. We need to move before we get trapped by….

    Panel 3: MC is running to the right but he turns his head to the left. SC’s balloons are coming from off panel

      SFX: SHUNK
      MC: Oh no...

    Panel 4: Black

    Panel 5: MC Walks off to the right slowly, hand covering his face to hide the tears

    Page 4:

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

    Same space battle background of ships exploding?

    Panel 1: MC sitting in the cockpit of his ship, flipping switches. Canopy is open.

      MC: (thinking) Ok, Keep it together. Focus on getting out of here.
      MC: (out loud) This is Marathon to Flight Deck Control. Anyone hear me?

    Panel 2: Canopy is closed as MC is strapping in. Scene could be shot inside the cockpit instead.

      MC: (thinking) Damn. I forgot I had to cannibalize the coms for navs. That sure won’t come back to bite me.
      OK. Coms are future me’s problem. I need to G.T.F.O.

    Panel 2: Close up of control panel with a finger hitting a start button.

      MC (off panel) <span>What the? Error? Really!?!</span>

    Panel 3: MC tangled in wires behind a panel, almost like being attacked by snakes. He’s got a roll of duct tape in his hands and cutting it with his teeth

      MC: <span>[string of expletives]</span>

    Panel 3: Main character is pushing buttons looking more and more panicked

      MC: <span>Note to self if I survive this: Don’t buy second hand power converters….</span>

    Panel 4: MC pushes the button. Screen should have some sort of progress bar

      MC: <span>Please work please work please work</span>

    Panel 5: Colony Ship explores but a single vessel can be seen shooting out of the explosion with a faint blue ion trail

    Panel 6: Close up of the cockpit window with MC looking to the left at the explosion he just survived

    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.

    Completely black page (space)

    3×4 grid layout with “blank” spots in between

    Each “active” panel contains closeup of MC literally aging and becoming more and more depressed

    No dialog, but just a single panel with a word balloon and ellipsis on the last panel

    Page 6:

    MC tries to find the correct course home. Proximity alarms! An unknown ship is approaching.

    Panel 1: Shot of MC’s ship as it banks around the orbit of a planet with two rings

      SFX (two different kinds): BEEP BEEP BEEP / WHOOP WHOOOP WHOOOOP

    Panel 2: Inside cockpit, MC is roused from what appears to be slumber. Should have a full beard with drool on it.

      SFX (two different kinds): BEEP BEEP BEEP / WHOOP WHOOOP WHOOOOP
      MC: Zzzzzzz. --snort-- I’m up I’m up I’m up!

    Panel 3: MC turns his head to the left, flicking some switches with his right hand and tugging on some wires with the left.

      SFX (two different kinds): BEEP BEEP ….. BZZZT / WHOOP WHOOOP WHOOOOP
      MC: Ok ok, I’ll reboot life support. Just quit that infernal beeping.  I can’t hear myself think.

    Panel 4: MC looks to his right, confused.

      MC: Wait, that’s not life support, that’s a proximity...

    Panel 5: Inside MC’s cockpit, over the shoulder. A giant ship that looks vaguely like the initial attack vessels is in the distance. MC’s face is obscured but body language reads deer in headlights.

      MC: (out loud) Oh no oh no oh no...

    Page 7:

    MC 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!.

    Panel 1: MC Panics and starts flipping switches, sweat forming on his brow

      MC: Please please please don’t notice me. I’m just going to leave life support off so his sensors don’t pick it up.

    Panel 2: Close up of the ship’s engine plume extinguishing

      MC: Yup...Just a hunk of space junk. Nothing to see here.

    Panel 3: Close up of the ship’s engines without any engine plume

      MC: No engines, see. Nothing to see here. Don’t you dare turn around.

    Panel 4: MC fits a helmet head, attaching two hoses to the side.

      MC: OK, breather on and pray I don’t suffocate or freeze to death.

    Panel 5: “Enemy” ship is in the foreground, facing towards the viewer and to the left. MC’s ship is in the background, floating without engines off towards the right.

    Page 8:

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

    Panel 1: Establishing shot of a moon base with earth rising in the background


    Panel 2: Shot in Time Inn Tavern with Admiral having a drink looking annoyed.

      Admiral: What in the seven hells is that noise? Is the alarm on the fritz again?
      Admiral’s wrist communicator: Sir. You’re needed in the hanger bay. ASAP.

    Panel 3:Admiral and soldiers standing around the MC’s ship.

       Soldier: (Saluting) Sir, we found this ship in orbit. Came in screaming like a bat outta hell and nearly crashed into one of our patrol boats sir. 
       Admiral: hmph. Looks like my kid’s go-cart. How’d it almost hit us? Don’t we have long range sensors?
       Soldier: Unclear sir. Techs are on high alert and investigating, sir.

    Panel 4: Soldiers pull out a body on a stretcher, covered in a shroud. Arm falls to the side and we see it’s the MC’s sleeve.

        Soldier: Poor bastard must have been insane. He’s obviously a slingshotter, but wearing a mechanical systems engineer patches from a colony ship.
        Admiral: The deep space one that went silent a few weeks ago?
        Soldier: I think so, sir.
        Admiral: Wonder why he was in such a rush to get home.

    Panel 5: Admiral looking to the right over his shoulder, as if he can see the next panel

        Admiral: Is everything broken on this station? Why is that alarm going off again?

    Panel 6: Outside shot Enemy ships appear in orbit around the moon base.

        Soldier: (off panel) Those aren’t the same alarms, sir. I think...I think we’re under attack!
  • jojabarker

    May 13, 2021 at 10:09 am
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    Looking good, @ASAP!!! Hopefully we can get some more eyes on this, no matter if we can get you caught up?!?

    PAGE ONE — Are there 5 or 6 panels? Seems there are two panels named “Pnl 2”…

    • Pnl 1 — Is the dialogue “off-panel”? If so, I suggest indicating it somewhere.
    • Pnl 2[a] — I’d be curious at what angle: Looking outside in, or inside out; or even put ‘em on a terrace with a dome so you include everything in the description as well as the view?!
    • Pnl 2[b] — I like how instead of “toilets scrubbed” you went with “installed”!
    • Pnl 3 — Nice jab, twist on different-strokes-for-different-folks lol
    • Pnl 4 — I wonder if the MC should even mention why the captain could care less whether he brought an extra ship or not, an extra little laugh, “Yeah, the captain saw it and chuckled. But hey, it’s here and I can ticker with it when off duty.”
    • Pnl 5 — Lots of good banter!

    PAGE TWO — I’d be curious if the antagonist ship reveal should be near the end of the page rather than near the beginning…to emphasize the last line, “Let’s make sure we’re alive to find out.”

    • Pnl(s) 1 [thru] 3 — It’s action, so leave it up to the planning/plotting stage with the artist lol
    • Pnl 4 — Will this be a close-up? And, wonder if the humor can be punched-up here too?! Instead of “is there a fire” more along the lines of “did someone forget to restock [x]?”?
    • Pnl 5 — I enjoy that the MC is more relaxed than the SC. Not to say he’s a Bruce Willis, but more a proactive I’m-gonna-save-our-butts-and-then-worry-about-the-who-and-what-of-it lol

    PAGE THREE — This is becoming one of my favorite pages, not so much what could be happening in back of the panels but more the use of blast doors as “gutters” and that “death” panel being blacked-out!

    • Pnl 1[a,b,c] — Still concerned about how much dialogue there is with how much that’s going on. Especially if these panels are broken up and/or “floating” over the space battle.
    • Pnl(s) 2 [thru] 5 — Again, this is gonna be neat when pulled off!

    PAGE FOUR — I’d suggest keeping the exploding ships behind the panels to a single page, not both 3 and 4… Also, like with page 1, looks like the panel numbers are inconsistent again; so, is it 8 panels? Might need some trimming if so…unless it’s a lot of tiny framings?!

    • Pnl 1[a] — Love that the MC’s ship is called “The Marathon” huzzah!!!
    • Pnl 2[a] — Yes, drawn from inside cockpit out. (…and, love that humorous banter is continued even with it being the MC talking to himself lol)
    • Pnl 1[b] — I see this being an example of a tiny framing 😉
    • Pnl 2[b] — “Almost like being attacked by snakes” is great!!!
    • Pnl 3 — Another example of a tiny framing 😛
    • Pnl 4 — More tiny framing but instead of another sequence of pushing [a] button(s), consider a close-up of the MC’s brow, mouth, etc.
    • Pnl 5 — Bingo-wingo-dingo!
    • Pnl 6 — Can’t decide if this is the largest panel, or the previous…

    PAGE FIVE — Love this experiment (and it’s economical lol)!!!

    PAGE SIX — To shake things up from the previous page, maybe consider angled gutters to emphasize the induced anxiety…

    • Pnl 1 — Gonna be interesting how to fit and differentiate the two alarm sfx’s
    • Pnl 2 — (“drool” heh heh)
    • Pnl 3 — Again, once the panel 1 sfx is sorted then when the first alarm shuts off it’ll be a nice effect!
    • Pnl 4 — Wonder if there should be a shadow that the MC’s looking at…?
    • Pnl 5 — Right, “over the shoulder” we wouldn’t see his face “read[ing] deer in the headlights” so it’ll be interesting how to pull that off…

    PAGE SEVEN — More angled gutters until last panel…

    • Pnl(s) 1 [thru] 4 — I’m enjoying that now the MC is talking, OUT LOUD to himself lol
    • Pnl 5 — Again, all previous panels could be angled until this one where it takes up the whole width of the bottom of the page?

    PAGE EIGHT — The differentiating between alarm sfx’s is great because it adds to the impact of the echoing proximity alarms!

    • Pnl 1 — Curious that the alarm is introduced so soon…
    • Pnl 2 — (This might be a good spot to introduce the alarm sfx so that the previous panel can stand alone bringing the reader into a new setting…?) I do like the admiral being agitated by the possibility he’s working with a bunch of “idiots” lol
    • Pnl 3 — I’m just really enjoying the go-kart bit!
    • Pnl 4 — Seems there’s two actions happening here: 1) Pulling out the body; and 2) Hand dropping…consider one or the other, or break this up between two panels?
    • Pnl 5 — Hahaha!!!
    • Pnl 6 — BAM[full-stop]


    Again, I’m looking forward to however you get this story finished. Kirbyspeed, my friend! ~Joel

    cc @krisburgos @redheadeded @thesurrealari @buddyscalera @MisterAnderSiN @mikedoestheart

  • ASAP

    May 15, 2021 at 2:51 am
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    Joel, Thanks for the feedback. I’m thinking a lot of this could probably be addressed during the next phase like thumbnails.

    Since this post has been sitting around ignored for so long, I’m thinking we should make like our protagonist and race post-haste towards our goal!

    Unless anyone else tagged has any specific feedback that is. (hint hint)

  • thesurrealari

    May 17, 2021 at 10:18 pm
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    Overall, I really like the story. The strength of this story is in the action. It’s paced well, and carries a good momentum all the way through.

    My favorite page was the grid page. I really like the repeated panels as a storytelling technique (I use it often in my own work as well) and it’s a device that really only works in comics. Interspersing the black panels is a nice touch as well.

    Some suggestions:

    1. Consider naming the characters. A specific name would help the reader identify with the character, as well as provide some additional opportunities for collaboration.
    2. I would like to see–at least obliquely–a bit more about the stakes. The threat of war is there, but there are ways to get in a bit more background, especially in a comic, by adding visual ques–someone reading a newspaper or a news report on a tablet, something on a screen in the background, etc.

    3. I wonder if you could put in a few more allusions to the original Marathon story, either in the dialogue or as easter eggs throughout the story. Even the character names, should you decide to add them, could allude to characters in the original story. That would add another layer of complexity/subtext.

    Overall though, I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to seeing it drawn. The dialogue is done well, and I like the little colloquial phrases that naturally affect the wordbuilding without being obvious about it.

  • thesurrealari

    May 17, 2021 at 10:19 pm
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    @krisburgos @Dave @redheadeded , Alex joined the challenge a bit late, so he missed out on the feedback when everyone was in this forum. He’s reached out for feedback, so if you could look over his script, that would be much appreciated.

  • ASAP

    May 19, 2021 at 3:26 am
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    Thanks for the feedback Ari. Maybe I just love unnamed protagonists too much, so I tend to ignore names unless I absolutely have to.

    Since the original character from the story of Marathon was Philippides, I could just call him Phillip. Maybe I can have other ships or references to the Ancient Greek war as well, with characters or ships in the background named “Spartan” or “Thermopylae”.

    Perhaps the ship that finds him could be the Salamis or the general could be called Pireas, an important battle site and a major port, respectively.

    Definitely something to think about.

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