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Doris Danger (vol. 1, Chpt. 3), page 013 – Script

Here is my original script for this five-page story. I’ll interpose my commentary on the script with parenthetical italics.

2/11/03

DANGER – PAREE

PAGE 2

PANEL 1.
APPROACHED BY A MYSTERIOUS MAN IN A LIMOUSINE, DORIS DANGER FINDS HERSELF TAKEN A PRISONER IN AN UNKNOWN LOCATION, WHERE GIANT etc.  [The original “title” for this feature was “Where Giant Monsters Creep and Stomp”, based on the 1970’s Marvel comics that reprinted the original 1960’s giant monster comics published by Atlas.  The reprints had titles “Where Monsters Dwell,” “Where Creatures Roam,” and “Monsters on the Loose.”]

Interrogated by cigar-man with patch! Republican, political powerhouse – millionaire club – hires its own police. Don’t want public to know it funds G Division of army – gets use of weapons and army – gets support of army for politics – AGAINST MONSTERS ONLY TO HELP POLITICAL CAREERS! Guards stand nearby. [Now there’s a little additional background for Felk that never got posted into the stories!]

DORIS: WHERE AM I? WHY WAS I BROUGHT HERE BLINDFOLDED? I KNOW YOU FROM/I’VE SEEN YOU IN NEWSPAPERS. YOU’RE GUY BELLAMONTE, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK! YOU SAY YOU’RE POLICE, BUT WON’T SHOW ME YOUR BADGES! [Guy Bellamonte? Governor of New York? Scripts continue to change and change, even after they’re drawn. Back then (2002-3), I would consider the story “unfinished” and utterly editable UNTIL the page was drawn and the letters were put on the page. Until that point, the page was still open road for changes.  But even this would change.  By the time of the first appearance of Luggash in Chapter Eight, I actually completed the page, scanned it into the computer, and THEN changed text. So NOW, a page is in its “finished” state when it goes to the printer, and once I publish a page I try not to pull a George Lucas, and just acknowledge that at that point, it’s been given life, and it is what it is.  This has been a difficult choice in some cases, not when I’ve found the pages to be of a quality lower than I wish, but when I’ve written something objectionable or offensive.]

PATCH: I’LL ASK THE QUESTIONS, GET ME? YOU’RE RAISING TOO MUCH PUBLIC INTEREST! BAD FOR POLITICS! DON’T BE SO NOSY. GET ME?

PANEL 2. Guards grab D.
PATCH: OBVIOUSLY YOU WON’T LISTEN TO REASON. GUARDS. ESCORT HER TO THE CELLS.

DORIS: CELLS? AM I UNDER ARREST? WHERE ARE YOUR BADGES? SHOULDN’T YOU READ ME MY RIGHTS? [Once again, I like this addition that these guys are claiming they’re police, but not showing Doris their badges. I was unable to include it, though, simply because I’d penciled the pages, and had run out of space for all this dialogue to fit inside the already-cramped panels. So I had to pick and choose from my enormous brainstorm paragraphs.]

PANEL 3. Guards escort D through hallway – “THIS WAY.”

PANEL 4.
GUARD: PSST! LISTEN CAREFULLY! WE HAVEN’T MUCH TIME! I’M A “MOLE”! I’VE BEEN SECRETLY HELPING YOU FOR YEARS, FROM THE INSIDE! REMEMBER THE AUSTRALIAN “PIDDLE PADDLE BOAT” AFFAIR? I WAS THE ONE WHO BLEW THE DIDJERIDOO!” *

REMEMBER WAY BACK IN #96? – ROB [Ah ha! Look at that! A starred footnote reference to a previous issue, established in the script! Naturally, this convention pops up in comics all the time. I’d be interested to see where it first started appearing.  DC Comics were using it in the late 1950’s, when Julius Shwartz was hired over from sci-fi magazines to edit their newly relaunched super hero line, and he would interject “science facts” to suggest why all the outlandish comic book happenings were plausible.  Stan Lee used it everywhere with his superhero books, specifically to point out what previous issues in which events had happened, that the characters were thinking about again.

Sure, it gives things a scholarly, well-researched literary feel. But when these were popping up in comics, a comic would come out on the shelf, and you’d buy it, and if you didn’t happen to find it, or if it sold out, you would never have the opportunity to see that story again! Unless maybe for some reason your friend had picked it up, I suppose. Because there weren’t comics shops, there wasn’t EBay. You couldn’t get back issues from the publisher. There was no system in place to help you hunt that issue down anywhere. You were just out of luck. So my confusion as to why comics editors would reference these previous issues is: What good is it to the reader, to know this information? Was it just to make the reader feel like sh%&!t because they didn’t have that issue? Was is to intimidate the reader, kind of subconsciously – “See, poor, unfortunate reader? How glad we are that we aren’t you! If you’d only bought ALL our previous issues, you wouldn’t be in this unfortunate situation of not having had the opportunity to SEE what had happened in the previous issue!”) I suppose IF the reader happened to OWN all the issues, then it would be important for that reader to refer back for her/his own well being. The whole premise kind of makes me laugh. I think it’s brilliant.]

[I don’t remember when it was, but my wife and I were on a flight, and she was reading David Sedaris, and she read me a paragraph or so he wrote about how comics always have the footnotes referencing these older issues. And I got a real kick out of that. It really spoke to me.]

DORIS: THAT WAS YOU?!!

I WORE A FALSE BEARD!

PANEL 5
HERE’S YOUR CAMERA! YOU’RE GOING TO NEED IT! BE READY!

PANEL 6. D put in cell full of mannequins – shadow lurking behind

D: WHO IS THIS “MOLE”? WHY WOULD HE HELP ME? WAS HE TELLING THE TRUTH? CAN I TRUST HIM?

PECULIAR – THIS CELL IS FULL OF MANNEQUINS . . .
CLUDDA CLUDDA CLINK!
WHAT’S THAT SOUND?!! WHO’S THERE?

PANEL 7. FRENCHMAN holding box, pointing at back of mannequins – wiring and buttons
MY NAME EES NOT IMPORTANT! TRUST ZAT WE ARE ON ZEE SAME SIDE! [Two drafts into the story, and still no “My name is Jacques t-shirt! This must have been a spur-of-the-moment last minute whim! And yet it was one of my favorite jokes in the story!]

A TIP LED ME TO A WAREHOUSE FULL OF ZEESE (HOW YOU SAY) MANNEQUINS! BEFORE I COULD DESTROY ZEM, SUDDENLY ZEE POLICE BURST IN AND GRABBED ME AND ALL ZEESE!

D: YOUR ACCENT IS SO THICK, I CAN BARELY UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’RE SAYING!

PAGE 3

PANEL 1. FRENCHMAN points at back of mannequins – wiring and buttons.
FRENCH: AND LOOK . . . ZAIR SEEMS TO BE MORE TO ZEE (HOW YOU SAY) MANNEQUINS ZAN MEETS ZEE EYE!

WE MUST DESTROY ZEM BEFORE ZEE GUARDS RETURN!

D: I’VE SEEN YOU HIDING AND TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE BEFORE!! YOU WERE COVERING UP GIANT FOOTPRINTS IN AFRICA! BUT WHY? [So this is now my third story, with previous references to “previously published issues,” BUT this is my first reference to a comic that I ACTUALLY HAD PRODUCED! But you’ll notice I didn’t bother to try footnoting it, for some reason. The issue number footnoting convention wasn’t yet so firmly established in my mind.]

ZAT WAS MY BROZAIR! HIS NAME EES NOT IMPORTANT . . .

PANEL 2. D examines mannequin.
HEY, LOOK AT THIS ONE MANNEQUIN. SOMETHING PECULIAR . . . IT SEEMS SHORTER, STOCKIER THAN THE OTHERS. YES . . . LOOK . . . ITS FACE PLATE HAS HINGES . . .

PANEL 3. Head of mannequin pulled off into D’S hands – reveals MAD SCIENTIST!
D: IT’S YOU! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!! HOW ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH THOSE MANNEQUINS?!

SCIENTIST: TEE HEE! THEY’RE NOT MANNEQUINS, THEY’RE JUST DISGUISED TO LOOK LIKE MANNEQUINS!

PANEL 4. SCIENTIST removes mannequin disguise – holding button box.
THESE POLICE HAVE NO IDEA WHY THESE “DOLLS” ARE SO IMPORTANT. WHAT THEY WERE AFTER WITH THAT WAREHOUSE RAID WAS THIS BOX I’VE DESIGNED!

PANEL 5. FOUR HOODED MONKS burst into cell.
KEEP IT DOWN IN HERE! YOU PRISONERS ARE TO BE TRANSFERRED AGAIN!

D: WHO ARE YOU? MONKS? EXECUTIONERS?

PANEL 6. Monks disrobe – MLA! Guards in background see what’s happening!
THE GASP . . . MLA! GUARDS! SET THE ALARM!

PANEL 7. fight – MLA! vs. guards – SCIENTIST pushes button –
SCIENTIST: TEE HEE! THIS OUGHT TO STIR THINGS UP!

SCIENTIST pushes button! TEE HEE! WHAT BETTER DISTRACTION TO GET THINGS REALLY STIRRED UP!

PAGE 4

PANEL 1. Monster explodes from mannequins – YAAGH!
WHAT! WHERE! IT’S AS IF IT WERE HIDING AMIDST THE MANNEQUINS, TINY SMALL AND SUDDENLY GREW TO IMMENSE SIZE BEFORE OUR VERY EYES! BUT HOW? COULD THE SCIENTIST’S PUSHING A BUTTON ON HIS ODD DEVICE HAVE BEEN SOMEHOW CONNECTED TO THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF THIS MONSTER?

PANEL 2. Monster bursts through wall.
I COULD SWEAR IT’S GROWING LARGER!
D: MY CAMERA!

PANEL 3. Monster plummets to ground.
LOOK! I CAN’T BELIVE IT! WE’RE IN FRANCE! WE’VE BEEN INSIDE A SECRET CAVERN/AREA/PASSAGE OF THE EIFFEL TOWER ALL THIS TIME!

PANEL 4. Monster thuds into ground. YAGGH!

[This page would have been nice as four panels, because I could have made the first appearance of the monster more explosive in scope, half or more of the page. As I laid out the page, though, I realized I needed one panel to show it walking, and one to show it bursting through the wall. Additionally, as I looked for photo reference of the Eiffel Tower, I found two shots I liked – the from below/angular shot, and the straight on. So I additionally chose to have two panels of falling. Pacing was better that way, too, because you could see the monster burst out from the wall of the tower, AND then see it falling, before crashing to the ground. So a four panel script became a six panel page, with less emphasis on the first appearance of the monster bursting out from under a pile of mannequins.]

PAGE 5

PANEL 1.
IS IT DEAD?!! OH, POOR CREATURE!
TEE HEE! I’LL LET YOU IN ON A LITTLE SECRET! YOU MIGHT SAY . . . IT WAS NEVER ALIVE!

PANEL 2. MONSTER pokes head out

PANEL 3. Leaps into ocean nearby
IT’S LEAPING INTO THE OCEAN! I THINK IT’S GOING TO TRY TO ESCAPE BY SEA!

TEE HEE! TRUST ME, THEY’LL NEVER FIND IT!

PANEL 4. SCIENTIST jets off with jet pack and propeller on head! [Notice the propeller hat was still in this script. A shame it didn’t make the final cut.  Adding a propeller hat to the giggling scientist in later stories, and then looking back at this one without a propeller hat and for that matter a scientist who spoke and didn’t just giggle, it took time to rationalize a believable and logical explanation for these differences this scientist exhibited.]

WELL GOTTA RUN! TEE HEE BUT I’LL BE BACK FOR THOSE MANNEQUINS!

WHERE DID THE MONSTER GO?! IT DISAPPEARED – IT’S AS IF IT SHRANK DOWN TO NOTHING! [Well well well! There’s a subtle HINT as to how the monster may have disappeared!]

PANEL 5. MLA grabs DORIS
MLA: NOW MAY BE OUR ONLY CHANCE! C’MON – COME WITH US!

MAIS NON! WAIT! WAIT FOR ME!

PANEL 6

[I didn’t write anything down for panel 6. I planned for it to be a “What happened – Don’t miss next issue” text panel. So I got the script down to five pages, but as you can see it still changed once I began drawing. I stumbled onto some Kirby monster pages of a monster lumbering about, and decided to integrate them into the last page sequence, and next thing I knew, it was eight panels instead of five, and no space left over for the “What happened – Don’t miss next issue” text panel at the end. So you can see I tend to let the stories go where they take me, let the stories pace themselves. 

I come up with the basic dialogue, and if necessary, a small description of what’s happening while they say it.  Then I jot it on the page and tighten up the language, maybe with a few stick figures so that I know about where things are, then I see how much space that leaves me for the drawings and start drawing, with the amount of space left after the text is on the page.

That’s why, paired with my desire to include more jokes that I was having to cut for space limitations, the later stories fell out of the five-page format, into six, eight, or even-more-page installments. For better or for worse.]



Chpt. 2   CHPT. 3   Chpt. 4

FOOTNOTES: See Issue 96!

Felk’s “Get Me” ($7 Patrons)
Felk’s Look ($7 Patrons)

DORIS DANGER 
FBI “G” DIVISION 
FELK 
FRANCE 
FRENCHIE 
FBI AGENT MULL
FBI AGENT SLEET 
MANNEQUINS 

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