pornolar porno seyret

TPG Week 126: Define Your Characters

| May 24, 2013


Welcome once more to The Proving Grounds! This week, we have Brave One Liam Hayes, who we all know is no stranger to these parts.


We’re still needing scripts, writers! We can’t do this without you!


Now, with that said, we have Steve Colle back in blue, I’m in red, and we have Liam telling us about being




Please note in advance, dear readers, that there are two different ways in which I could have approached editing this script. I’ve decided to go the route of critical analysis, but there is a punch line to the script that sets the tone for the direction Liam was taking. I’ll comment on those points once the time comes.

PAGE 1 (Five Panels)

PAGE 1, Panel 1

A wide shot of Captain Zeal perched and looking stern on the edge of a modern day two storey building at early evening. (Where is he looking? Straight ahead? Down, but in the distance? Straight below him? This is important as it plays into the next panel. And why early evening?)

CAPTION (CAPTAIN ZEAL): HOW DARE THEY… (This is a question, right? So it needs a question mark, not a trailing ellipsis. The above question regarding the direction of his gaze also plays into this, as he may be thinking of a situation which is playing in his mind vs. a scenario that is taking place in the here and now. Another question I have is this: Why not have it said out loud, even as a whisper in disbelief that someone is doing something on his watch?) (I disagree about needing the question mark. It depends on how the writer wants the words to impact the reader. To me, it reads more of an outraged declaration than as an actual question. I wouldn’t suggest the change without asking what the writer was going for.)

PAGE 1, Panel 2

We’re looking down past Captain Zeal and into an alley below. In the alley we see a man in business suit with his back against a wall that ends the alley, looking frightful. He’s surrounded by three Thugs, all of whom face him. The thugs have shaven heads and wear jeans with tank tops. One of them, Thug 1, has a knife and a lit cigarette between his grinning lips. He stands closest to the business man, with the other two unarmed thugs behind him, comparatively closer to Captain Zeal. One of the others is holding a leather bound wallet, inspecting the contents. (I’m already seeing the word “stereotype’ flash across my eyes, not only in the look of the aggressors, but in the scenario and in the shot as well. It’s an easy out for a writer to use this kind of situation. It’s overused. Since I’ve been on board editing The Proving Grounds, I’ve seen this type of alley scene at least twice in less than 50 scripts, once where a man walks out the back door of a restaurant with a waitress and gets attacked in the alley by that same waitress, and the other when a young man with stretching abilities kills the aggressor of an older woman in an alley. Why an alley? It lacks imagination, my friend, something that you’ve shown us you have plenty of in previous scripts.)

CAPTION (CAPTAIN ZEAL): I WILL NOT ABIDE THIS SPREAD OF CORRUPTION IN MY CITY. (Really not liking the use of the word “corruption” here. It doesn’t fit. You could have said “violence” instead to better effect. The other problem with the dialogue is it’s campy, like old Adam West BATMAN-type of campiness.)

BUSINESS MAN: I GAVE YOU MY WALLET… PLEASE! (There’s a problem here beyond stereotype, and that’s the use of the ellipsis to continue the dialogue in the same sentence. If the attacker were asking “Can I have your wallet… please?”, that’s one thing, but what you’re doing is trying to make two sentences into one. Let the fact that he’s given his wallet end in one sentence and then go to another sentence for the plea to be let go. It makes more sense and reads better, too.) (Okay. The ellipsis can be used in two ways. The first way is to give a trailing sound to the end of a sentence, and the second is to give the feeling of an unfinished thought. It can also be used to indicate the omission of words or entire phrases or sentences when quoting something, but that doesn’t happen too often in comics. I see what Liam’s done here, and I have no problem with it. The first sentence ends at the ellipsis, giving a plaintive, trailing sound. The second ends at the exclamation point. It works for me.)

PAGE 1, Panel 3

Medium close up of Thug 1 as he grins and hold his knife out at the business man. With his other hand he has taken the cigarette from his mouth and exhaled smoke. (Why did you add a cigarette to the mix? It’s like this thug should be the ringleader and not the muscle, but you’ve tried to make him both while having the other thugs doing nothing more than checking the wallet. Decide which you want him to be. If he’s the muscle in the gang, have him pin the man against the wall with the hand that isn’t holding the knife. It seems less threatening the way you have it currently.) The business man remains pinned to the wall with fear.



PAGE 1, Panel 4

Wide shot of Captain Zeal as he has leapt from the edge of the rooftop and is mid-air in his descent into the alley. Angle the camera so that we’re looking up at him from the alley. (Boring. That’s all I can say to this shot, as it’s all been done before.)


PAGE 1, Panel 5

Captain Zeal has landed in the alley, facing the thugs with his knees bent and one hand on the ground. All three thugs have turned to look at him with shock. Thug 1 placed his cigarette back in his mouth. The camera is behind Captain Zeal, looking over him and at the thugs. (More boredom. There’s nothing new or original to this sequence of actions. It’s like a plot to a story. Just because there are a limited amount of basic plots out there, doesn’t mean you have to settle for what’s already been done. Dynamism and a new approach to an old sequence can make this pull the reader in instead of completely turning them away.)


THUG 1: WHA… SUPE! (What is with the use of the ellipsis? First off, “WHA–?” should be written like this, as it’s a cut off speech and is also a question. Second, what is “SUPE”? Is it meant to be a nickname or general criminal-speak for “superhero”? Separate the words into their own short outbursts.)


I’m completely beside myself, honestly wanting to stop here. As an editor, one of the things that stopped me dead in my tracks is the line “I WILL NOT ABIDE THIS SPREAD OF CORRUPTION IN MY CITY.” That type of over-the-top dialogue, whether self talk or spoken aloud, is the beginning of the end of my interest in what could happen next. It isn’t real. Then you follow up with “THIS EVIL WILL BE STOPPED. THESE SOCIETAL POLLUTANTS ARE TO BE GRANTED NO REPRIEVE. THIS CANCER MUST BE CUT OUT.” Who talks like this? It isn’t even comedic or making fun of itself. The rest of the dialogue isn’t working either, making this a very hard read.

Your organization of the images in this sequence makes the page extremely dull. The hero reacts [mildly] to something he sees below him, then you show what he sees, close in on what’s happening, have him jump down, and lands. There are so many alternatives to this sequence that would have made it more dynamic, such as having an over-the-shoulder shot from behind the hero on the roof as a first panel, moving to a medium shot of his lower half stepping off of the roof to jump down to where the attack is taking place, and then having a close-up of the gang hearing a sound behind them as the hero has landed a short distance away. Just having these three panels alone would have created more tension and suspense. Not only that, but you wouldn’t be revealing who the hero is until the next page. Right now, the actions on this page are a major stereotype of “hero sees crime in alley and reacts”. It’s the beginning of the end for this script, one I expected much more from given your history of storytelling, Liam.


Okay, we’ve got P1 down.


What do we have? We’ve got the goddamn Batman, that’s what we’ve got. It looks to be a Miller-esque parody, and while that isn’t wrong in itself, it feels very ho-hum. Why? Because we’ve seen it all before. Even Miller has parodied himself with All Star Batman and Robin, so there’s nothing new here.


The camera angles are somewhat predictable. Again, it isn’t bad, it’s just boring. As for what’s happening in the panels…


The biggest problem I’m having is the cigarette. I’m not a smoker. As a matter of fact, I hate cigarette smoke with a passion. I also hate liver. If given a choice between smelling cigarette smoke and eating liver, just pass me the knife and fork. With me? Okay.


I have no problem with the fag being there. (Calm down, folks. I didn’t call him gay in any way, shape, form, or fashion. Just go look up the word, English slang.) I have a problem with you setting the artist up for failure by having the it pop in and out of the thug’s mouth. That’s how it’s going to seem. In one minute, out the next, in the next. It’s going to look like the artist can’t make up their mind.


The dialogue? I had no problem with it. I remember the first time I had read the script to The Standard. I thought that John Lees had gone completely out of his mind, because one set of dialogue was so over the top and campy that it was almost painful, and then the next set was deep and moving. It was the very first time I’d read a TPG script all the way through. This reminds me of that. It’s terrible for a reason.

PAGE 2 (Four Panels)

(Here’s where the reveal of the protagonist should have been made.)

PAGE 2, Panel 1

Medium shot of one of the unarmed thugs angrily taking a swing at Captain Zeal. A determined Captain Zeal has dodged the blow to the side. (Typical action and reaction. This could have started out with more punch instead of being a missed attempt at hitting the mark, both figuratively and literally.)

CAPTION (CAPTAIN ZEAL): RETRIBUTION WILL BE SWIFT. (Why continue with the captioned thoughts instead of speaking aloud? Why have his thoughts at all, instead letting the actions speak louder than words? It detracts from what you’re trying to accomplish, which is to bring the reader into the story.)


PAGE 2, Panel 2

Captain Zeal has grabbed the unarmed thug’s arm and bent it inwards, snapping the bones and forcing them out of the skin with a spray of blood and a display of anger. The thug’s face has contorted into a display of agony. (Okay, so the hero has avoided a blow from the unarmed thug and then suddenly has his opponent’s arm in his grasp and is graphically breaking it. How did the arm get caught in the first place? You should have had the thug’s arm being caught in the first panel and then having said arm being broken in the second. You need to have the first action to establish the second.)

CAPTION (CAPTAIN ZEAL): MERCILESS. (More needless blah blah blah…)

SFX: CRRRK (This is more the sound of ice slowly cracking under the weight of someone standing on it than a major break. “CRACK!” it, for God’s sake.)

THUG 1: ARGHH! (Is this supposed to be speech from Thug 1 or the unarmed thug?)

PAGE 2, Panel 3

Angered, the other unarmed thug has attempted to kick Captain Zeal in the face. Captain Zeal remains resolute and has blocked the strike with his forearm. The thug with the broken arm is on his knees in pain, holding his bleeding wound. (You need immediacy instead of a missed swing here and a block there. Consider the choreography of a fight sequence in martial arts, where a block doesn’t end with a block, but rather has a block with the left arm and a punch to the chest with the right fist happening simultaneously. Create that type of wicked fluidity to your hero’s motions and you’ll have a much more intense action scene.)




PAGE 2, Panel 4

Close up of the kicking unarmed thug in pain as Captain Zeal has punched him in the face, ejecting a handful of bloody teeth. (Consider the strength that this image can have if the thug has his back to the camera and we are seeing the Captain’s punch spin the thug’s head almost all the way around, teeth and blood spewing out to the side. Make it high energy. It’s obvious that the hero is more of an anti-hero with his propensity to cause major damage to his opponents, so take advantage of his skewed values by making this a no-holds-barred situation.)



I’ll mention it again: This page could have been a great intro to a full view of the hero. You could have started the page with a standing shot of the Captain as the unarmed thug raced towards him and then gone into the action. I’m seeing potential, but it isn’t being realized. Also, the captions HAVE TO GO! All they do is slow things down. Let the action speak for the words.

Next up is the confusion of who is talking. You have Thug 1 and then have two unarmed thugs, one of whom starts out as “unarmed thug” and quickly turns into “unarmed thug with broken arm”. You need to make this a lot clearer.


Page 2 down, and we’ve got more of the same.


Steve’s right when it comes to the dynamic, fluid motions being missing from here. Here’s where I’d ask the question, though: is CZ a martial artist, or is he a brawler? Danny Rand, the Iron Fist, is a martial artist. Luke Cage, Power Man, is a brawler. Two distinct fighting styles. What’s coming across is the brawler. It’s not wrong, and in fact, I think it’s fitting for the character. Generally, martial arts teaches restraint. You get into it, you get philosophical about it. It’s like learning magick. Natural magick has been “corrupted” by ceremonial magick, so much so that the two are almost inseparable. Martial arts is very much like that, too, when it comes to philosophy.


Since he’s “overzealous,” being a brawler works better for him than being a martial artist. What you need to do, though, is clean the fight up some so that it is more brutal. You’ve got the short amount of panels to show speed, but you’re also not showing the fight as being as dynamic as it could be. There are two choices that you have to get this to come across better: you can get someone to choreograph it with you, or you could do it with action figures. It all depends on what you have with you


Again, I have no problem with the captions. They’re working for me.


Steve is also right about the naming conventions for the thugs. It doesn’t work because you’re naming them as things happen to them. Shame on you for that. You should know better.

PAGE 3 (Four Panels)

PAGE 3, Panel 1

High shot of the alley. Captain Zeal is now stood between two downed thugs, staring sternly at Thug 1. The broken arm thug has passed out in a pool of blood. The other thug is unconscious from the punch. Thug 1 hatefully points his knife at Captain Zeal, with the cigarette continuing to hang from his lips. The business man remains behind Thug 1 with his back against the wall looking frightful (fright filled). The leather bound wallet is on the ground. (For a high shot, you’re seeing a lot of details that would only be seen from a closer range. Are you sure you want to use this type of shot?)

CAPTION (CAPTAIN ZEAL): THEY DESERVE NO LESS. (Again, more captioned blah blah to start a new page.)

THUG 1: THOSE GUYS WERE WET, SUPE FREAK. I’M THE REAL DEAL. (I’d love to know why the dialogue is so terrible. You’ve done much better than this in the past, Liam. Also, you have an opportunity to name your hero here, but instead go for “Supe Freak”. Why?)

PAGE 3, Panel 2

Side shot of a stalwart Captain Zeal dodging a knife strike from an enraged Thug 1. (This panel should show the lunge towards the Captain, not the stepping away yet. This will show the speed to Zeal’s movements better once you get to the next panel description.)



PAGE 3, Panel 3

To Thug 1’s surprise, Captain Zeal has knocked the knife from his grip by striking down on his hand, all the while maintaining severity. (What do you mean “all the while maintaining severity”? Do you mean that Zeal still has a severe look on his face or that the actions are supposed to be more severe than a simple knocking away of the blade?)



PAGE 3, Panel 4

Big Panel. We’re looking over Thug 1’s shoulders at Captain Zeal as he has leapt up and is about to strike him. Captain Zeal’s face is contorted with rage.



I thought the dialogue was bad before, but then Thug 1 opened his mouth and all that came out was bad BAD BAD! On top of that, he’s still got the cigarette in his mouth while saying all of this stuff. Wouldn’t it fall out at some point?

P3 down.

Yeah, you’re confusing in your panel descriptions sometimes. That “maintaining severity” line? No idea what that means. Your artist is going to ask what you’re talking about. Terrible, that.

Supe freak? Sounds terrible when said aloud. It sounds like “super freak,” really, and none of these guys are Rick James.

What’s missing from this? The fun. Sure, the dialogue is bad, but it isn’t fun. The fight? It’s brutal, but it isn’t fun.

Things are going quickly, but it isn’t fun. Hopefully, that changes soon.

PAGE 4 (Five Panels)

PAGE 4, Panel 1

Close up of the cigarette in Thug 1’s mouth as Captain Zeal has clasped it between finger and thumb. (So here’s the punch line: The cigarette was the main villain in this scenario, playing off of super-hero comics. Does this make the story, as written, any more viable? Not in my opinion. I’ll explain in a bit.)

CAPTION (CAPTAIN ZEAL): I HAVE YOU, DEATH BRINGER. (You’ve finally made contact with the villainous cigarette, and yet still have Zeal’s dialogue in captions. Why wouldn’t this be said aloud so that the thug gets the message?)

PAGE 4, Panel 2

Wide shot of Captain Zeal staring at the cigarette with disgust as he has thrown it to the ground at his feet. Use motion lines to show its path from a bemused Thug 1’s mouth. Thug 1’s knife is sighted on the ground nearby. The business man, if you can fit him in, continues his frightened stance against the wall. (Why hasn’t the businessman run away by now?)

CAPTION (CAPTAIN ZEAL): BEFOUL THIS CITIZEN… (Again, this should be spoken, not thought.)

THUG 1: …HUH? (Why have you used ellipsis marks before “HUH?”? And shouldn’t this read “HEY!” instead?)

PAGE 4, Panel 3

Close up of the cigarette on the ground as Captain Zeal has stomped on it. The end sticks out from under his boot.


PAGE 4, Panel 4

Medium close up of Thug 1 looking annoyed.



PAGE 4, Panel 5

We’re now looking over Thug 1’s shoulder and at Captain Zeal, who offers nothing but a deadpan gaze.



Okay, you’ve done your deed of making this a public service announcement against smoking. I never thought I’d say this, but this story would have been better without any dialogue. Why would I say such a thing?? Because the actions are more important and more powerful than the words. They speak for the situation. Imagine having taken out all dialogue and captions. What you would have had are a series of intense actions, of breaking bones and teeth being punched out and of a hook that ended your third page. Would the reader have expected anything short of a full-page killing blow? No, because the action was intense and moved the story along at a nice energetic pace. Then you could have done the grabbing of the cigarette, the throwing to the ground, a large panel of the crushing of the vile enemy of society, and then a smaller panel with the Captain running off to save another innocent victim. End of story. But wait. You added another page. Let’s see what this did to your story, where my comments will be at the bottom.


So, we have another fast read with P4. However, we finally get to the punchline.


I’m torn. The problem is the dialogue. Sure, it’s funny on this page because we finally understand what the hell he’s talking about, but the Captain doesn’t do much verbal speech in this piece at all. Partly, that’s the eerie Batman thing going on, but another part is that some of this should really be said out loud. However, in saying some of this out loud, the thugs would then have to react to what he’s talking about.


Then, if he actually does verbalize this stuff, he’s going to be seen as even crazier than he is.


It’s a tough spot to be in.


However, there are some good things going on here. Not once did you telegraph the real “culprit.” Not once, so when it’s finally revealed, it’s a total shock to the system. Good work with that.


Again, don’t make your artist look like an idiot. If you’re going to play with the placement of the fag, the character has to be seen moving it. Otherwise, it’s teleporting.

PAGE 5 (Four Panels)

PAGE 5, Panel 1

Angle the camera so that we have a determined Captain Zeal running down the alley in the foreground. In the background, Thug 1 stands watching him with confusion.



PAGE 5, Panel 2

Medium close up of the business man still pressed to the wall with fright.


BUSINESS MAN: P… PLEASE… CAN I GO N… NOW?(You don’t want ellipses here. Here you want dashes, especially for the stuttering.)

PAGE 5, Panel 3

We’re looking at Thug 1 as he has bent down and grabbed hold of his knife. In the background we see Captain Zeal as he runs off down the alley.



PAGE 5, Panel 4

Big Panel. Medium close up of Thug 1 as he grins widely at the business man (off-panel) and holds his knife up, ready to strike.




This last page did absolutely nothing to forward or continue the story. Your story should have ended on Page 4. The businessman should have already run away, leaving the thug wondering “What the hell just happened?!” Get rid of this page and you’re golden. Think of it this way: Let’s say you were to make this an ad or even a mini comic to promote the war against smoking. Fold that paper in half and what you’ve got are four pages, all in the perfect positions to do what they need to do. It’s self-contained. Once the message has been given and the point made, end it on a high note.

I don’t believe this story was well written, though you did manage to tell your message across. Get rid of all text, in my opinion, and let the actions tell the story. End it on your high note. Make it more intense and less stereotypical. You could have the makings of a great commercial here. So in the end, I could kick you in the ass for how you’ve gone about telling the story, but then given you a handshake for the attempt. All in a day’s work.


Let’s just run this down.


Format: Flawless Victory.


Panel Descriptions: They need some work. Part of this is due to the fact that the characterization needs some work. Once you decide what fighting style CZ has, then you’ll be able to more accurately choreograph the fight. This is a little sloppy, but only because you haven’t truly defined it. You do that, and then you’ll see where you can tighten it up. Again, I believe CZ is a brawler, not a martial artist.


Pacing: I had no real problem with it. It moves fast, as a fight should. The fighting itself is unclear at times, but again, that’s because the fighting style isn’t defined. The dialogue? I believe there is a good amount of it on the page. It keeps up the flow. The twist was nicely done, and the last page puts a cap on things very nicely. Overall, I think the pacing works.


Dialogue: Over the top, but it was supposed to be. I think it was nicely done. However (no, there are no tones of doom here), there wasn’t much for contrast. What could be nice here is a point/counterpoint type of story. You have CZ’s internal monologue, and then have the victim’s. That would ramp up the funny and the fun, throw a bigger spotlight on the fact that CZ is out of his gourd, and give the final stinger on the last page. I think that could work. It’s at least something to play with, and is easily removed if it doesn’t work out.


Again, I’m torn. I think part of this should be said out loud by CZ, but I also see why you kept it an internal monologue. A small rewrite of that section may be necessary to remove the ambiguity.


Content: I liked it, overall. It dragged a bit as a script, but from a reader’s perspective, this could be a fun, short piece. The over-the-top attitude of CZ and his focus on what he considers to be “crime” and the way he dispenses “justice” are great send-ups of superheroes.


I do have to disagree with Steve, though. While this could be a commercial, it isn’t. It isn’t about the “war against smoking.” That “war” is easily won by making smoking illegal. Then, people would grow their own tobacco leaves and it wouldn’t be as addictive nor as deadly. If the government is supposed to be looking out for our welfare, what intrinsic value does smoking have? How does that contribute to the common good? How do tobacco companies get away with making smoking as addictive and deadly as it is? Just another example (among a myriad) that our government doesn’t care about our welfare, and that we’re sheep to allow it.


Anyway, rant done. Okay, so this isn’t a commercial against smoking. What is it? Superhero satire. That’s why the dialogue works, the pacing works, and the last page works. The last page really drives it home.


Editorially, I’d ask for a rewrite to add some dialogue from the victim’s point of view. We don’t care about the thugs. They aren’t important except as the catalyst. We don’t care about their point of view. Getting the victim’s thoughts, though, could provide a nice counterpoint to CZ, making him seem even more bizarre. Then I’d compare the two and see which one worked best. We’d also talk about possibly changing up some of the camera angles in the beginning. We’d definitely talk about defining what type of fighter CZ should be.


Overall, not bad. Not bad at all.


And that’s it for this week. We still need scripts, writers! Don’t forget to check out Who’s Next to see who’s coming up!


Click here to make comments in the forum!

Related Posts:

Tags: ,

Category: Columns, The Proving Grounds

About the Author ()

Steven is an editor/writer with such credits as Fallen Justice, the award nominated The Standard, and Bullet Time under his belt, as well as work published by DC Comics. Between he and his wife, there are 10 kids (!), so there is a lot of creativity all around him. Steven is also the editor in chief and co-creator of ComixTribe, whose mission statement is Creators Helping Creators Make Better Comics. If you're looking for editing, contact him at for rate inquiries.

Comments are closed.

pornolar brazzers sex hikayeleri porno filmleri mobil porno mobil porno hd porno porno video antalya escort sikis
cheap sex dolls imitation watches
Luxury Replica Watches imitation cheap imitation audemars piguet watches best replica watches knockoff patek philippe new york copy Watch Michael Kors Fake Rolex Datejust imitation watch repair Replica Breitling SuperOcean watches tag heuer replicas which replica watches site to trust