Another thing: you put me onto the possibility of a Future Shocks submission, which I’m really excited about, which you had no reason to do except to be helpful. So I really hope you don’t think I stepped on your toes or doubted your honesty or integrity in any way. These things happen, I guess; but I didn’t intend it and didn’t mean to imply anything negative whatsoever about anyone.
And just to try something completely radical (for me) I decided to count the panels in the 2016 annual instead of making a random statement about what I thought So here it is:
Shaun Brill’s Chrononauts: 4 - 5 - 5 - 5
Ricardo Mo’s Kick-Ass: 4 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 7
Cliff Bumgardner’s American Jesus: 4 - 5 - 5 - 7 - 5
Philip Huxley’s Kingsman: 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 4
Deniz Camp’s Starligh: 4 - 5 - 6 - 4 - 4
Mark Abnett’s Hit-Girl: 5 - 5 - 10 !!! - 5
So, yeah, that’s Millar picking writers that follow his own suggestions
What can I say? I guess I must have just written a terrible story then Wouldn’t be the first time!
I don’t at all Matthew, I just think your mistake is looking at one element over all others. As mentioned in the two last stories this year I did pick one lighter in tone and Mark agreed in his final decision but that wasn’t the reason. We liked the moody one over 80 other entries as it was really well written. The reason was basic storytelling and a satisfactory product for the end reader to enjoy on its own. Put basically it had a better payoff.
If you grab onto tone as the main issue then it would be getting the wrong message, writing a light hearted story with a poor conclusion would also end up in not being selected. I hope that clarifies, I’m not sure I can say much more on it.
That helps a lot – one of the other things that could possibly be said (and, in so many words, was said by someone on this thread) about my entry is that there’s no story.
I think Mike McCann’s now-much-lauded script last year didn’t have much of a story either, but to me it was still fantastic because I guess my preference is just for a good character piece. I remember reading a story in Heavy Metal once called ‘The Discreet Charm of Being Aesthetic’ – nothing happened. It was just these two people after they had broken up. I loved it. I showed it to my friend, he hated it. I think his exact comment was “Nothing happened!” I was also reading a bit of Harvey Pekar at the time I wrote my entry – and, as the writer of great short stories such as “Standing Behind Old Jewish Ladies in Supermarket Lines,” he probably influenced me a bit as well.
So maybe the lesson I draw is to focus a bit more on plot than I did in my most recent entry. Obviously I’ll never be able to read Mark’s mind but I’m gonna try, and this really helps! Statistically I’m still almost certain to lose, but it’s a leg up and so again any little behind-the-scenes things like that shines a little bit of a light on my fumbling! Thanks for bearing with me!
Statistically not likely to win
I would love to get feedback on my 3 page sequence.
I really want to understand my mistakes and work on it.
Thanks in advance for the opportunity !!
I can’t tell you any mistakes – it looks phenomenal to me. But I’m no artist. The only thing I could think of to tell you is that it doesn’t necessarily stand out: you look (to me) like you should be a professional comic book artist, but so do so many other entrants. I can’t see your specific ‘style’ here, and I can with some of the winners. But that’s the most ludicrously nit-picky criticism anyone could ever have – your stuff looks amazing to me. It’s just that, with artists, the quality of the entrants is so high that being ludicrously nit-picky would’ve been the only way to pick winners. You should be incredibly proud of your work, and do everything you can to get it in front of editors
Oh, the splash image on page 2 – Kick-Ass’s left hand looks really weird. It looks like it’s gone through the guy’s shirt, like a Kitty Pryde thing. Also, your very last panel, the angle of the foot looks a bit awkward – it seems to be bent at a very unnatural angle. Hope that helps!
Your figure work is really strong overall, and you’ve got a very consistent style through out the three pages. One that makes the pages very easy to read. I know exactly what’s gone on without any words at all, Your figures are also acting and not stone faced, which is a big plus as well. Over all I think these are really strong pages for sure.
If I had to pick points to critique I’ve got three.
- It’s kind of hard to tell which vehicles are moving and which are standing still.
- There is an awkward tangent where Kick-Ass’s foot appears to be breaking the border of page 2 panel 1 from the 3rd panel.
- The last one is entirely subjective. But you’ve maintained a certain level of realism though 2 1/2 pages Then have the front windshield of the car change size for Hit-Girl to jump through in the pose she’s in.
Points 1 and 3 are super nitpicky and subjective. But number 2 is going to follow you, one thing you’re going to hear from editors over and over is watch your tangents.
And you should be talking to editors already. Nice work.
Man, after the holidays my work life got back to crazy mode, so I’ve been away…I will try to catch up on this thread, but noticed people just posting links to their scripts. Well, I liked reading them inline last time, so I could quote parts, etc., so that’s what I’m doing with mine. If we were just supposed to leave a link, let me know.
HUCK – Pearls of Wisdom
Script by patrick j. clarke
Millarworld Annual 2017
Final Draft: October 21, 2016
1/ Morning and associated color palette with soft pinks, oranges and light blue. Wide, side shot of Huck running through a corn field. Huck is in his signature coveralls outfit. The sky should be prominent with Huck smaller, but recognizable and written in Airplane "sky writing” the title “Pearls of Wisdom”
2/ Mid to close-up of Huck, looking towards the morning sun with his hand above his brow shielding his eyes as he is scanning, looking for something. In this look we see the wide- eyed innocence of Huck, but also the resolute determination in his face.
3/ A row of corn should fill the frame, and Huck is coming through the corn, but Huck is scanning the ground in front of him.
4/ Huck is on both knees, corn row behind him, and he is picking something up off the ground.
5/ Close-up of Huck with his hand held out flat in front of him revealing a single white pearl in his massive hand.
1/ It is around noon now, the colors should be the green of the grass, and perfect blue sky with big puffy white clouds. Huck is a at different location, like another field, but this one is pasture grass. He is standing at the base of a HUGE, old, awesome oak tree, lush with leaves and is looking up with his hands on his hips.
2/ Huck is climbing up the tree, sweat on his brow, and determination in his eyes.
3/ Huck on his hands and knees heading out onto a gigantic bough, and about three quarters of the way out is a Robin’s nest with a female Robin nearby.
4/ Mid-shot of Huck. The Robin is perched on his should looking inquisitively at what Huck is doing and we see that Huck has plucked a single pearl (between his index finger and thumb) from the nest. Huck has sweat on his brow, but he has a smile on his face.
1/ It is now afternoon. Huck is picking up two pearls in a grass field and two horses are surrounding him, looking at what he is doing.
2/ Close-up of Huck’s mid-section. In his cupped left hand are a few pearls, and he is putting one pearl into his pocket (like he is counting them as he is putting them in his pocket)
3/ Another farm/field scene, this time there is an older 1976 Red International Harvester 686 tractor with a farmer lifting his cap and scratching his head. Huck is in front of the tractor on one knee and is looking down. With one hand he is picking up another pearl, and the other one is held out in front of him towards the tractor with the “stop” pose.
4/ Huck is running along the road, sweating, and his coveralls are sweaty and dirty like he knows where he is going and wants to get there quickly.
1/ It is now late afternoon. The sky should be getting orange, purple and dark blue. Huck is standing on the edge of a small lake and is looking across it. The late afternoon light is playing off the mirror-like lake surface
2/ Huck is leaping into the air and is at the top of his dive into the lake.
3/ Huck is at the bottom of the lake, cheeks puffed out as he holds his breath and is picking up pearls from the bottom of the lake. Muted late afternoon colors create an otherworldly kind of feeling. Other pearls should be in view.
4/ It should be evident that Huck has traversed the entire length of the lake, but he is still picking up pearls. Would be good to have this feel a little more silhouetted and shadowy.
5/ Huck coming out of the lake, sopping wet and a smile on his face.
1/ It is now early evening, more indigo and deep orange. We are at a small airfield with small planes around and it is all lit by artificial lights of the airport. A young, dark haired woman named Emily is in front of a pristine bi-plane that has a big sign behind it with “Bi-Plane Tours: An Adventure from Yesteryear!” The woman is holding a broken strand of pearls and she is crying. The pilot is standing next to her, hand in the “I don’t know what else to do” pose. Huck is going up to her, filthy, and sopping wet, but a big smile on his face.
PILOT: I don’t know what else to do, ma’am. They could be ANYWHERE!
EMILY: But you don’t understand! Those were -
2/ Huck is close to Emily and the Pilot. Emily is looking surprised; the Pilot is looking at Huck in disbelief. Huck is holding out his hands with ALL of the missing pearls. He has a huge grin on his face.
HUCK: Ma’am, I believe you dropped these.
3/ Emily now has all of the pearls in her hands and is still shocked looking and Huck and the Pilot are still there.
EMILY: Oh my gosh! I can’t believe you found them! I thought they were lost forever!
EMILY: These pearls have been in my family for 5 generations and I - I, couldn’t believe they broke while I was up in that plane. I should have NEVER gone up in that plane!
HUCK: I’m just glad that I could return them for you.
HUCK: And I understand about important family stuff. It’s these things that keep you connected to the people you love, even when they are gone.
4/ Huck is walking away and has pulled out the hand written note left with him at the Orphanage. He has a melancholic smile on this face. The note, of course says: “Please Love Him”.
HUCK: Sometimes it’s the only thing we have.
Guys, thank you very much for the feedback!
It’s really great to receive such high-level reviews. Often we do not perceive mistakes and outsiders see better!
I will definitely work to improve the points mentioned. And you can be sure that next Millarworld will be back, much better !!
Despite being an artist my art critiquing skills aren’t flexed very often, so hopefully this is helpful. I like what I see for the most part, the storytelling is clear, lines are clean and characters look good. I agree with the other critique that your style is very “mainstream” and could get lost in the crowd.
Others could do a better job nitpicking panel by panel but the biggest thing I’d say is a lot of open white space kind of confused my eye a bit from panel to panel. If colored this wouldn’t be such an issue, but I the line art would benefit from some gray tones to separate foreground and background elements, or even some Alex Maleev style texture/grit on the street and buildings.
I would love some serious nitpicking of my pages, which I scripted and drew specifically for the contest. Since I was also working on my Creators Grant pitch at the time, I tried a “less is more” approach that in retrospect was probably not the best choice to show off f my drawing skills. I came up with a 3 page gag that I knew I could finish in under a month (while working full time and other commitments). Overall I was happy with this but feel I might have been better served doing something a little more “flashy” in the genre/style Mark Millar tends to write in. I’d love some feedback.
Hi, everyone! I am pretty new here around, but I’d love to hear some feedback about my script for my Nemesis story “I Am The Light”. I’ve read other feedback and they were great and interesting. i’ll try to give my opinion to other Nemesis scripts as well! Thanks!
I think your script has a very interesting idea, but the 4-pages limit didn’t help you to develop the character of the journalist as she should deserve. As other before me have pointed out, the reader doesn’t have the time to get in an emotional connection with the character. When we understand her unlucky fate, we cannot really feel so much empathy for her. I guess it’s the same mistake I made with my characters in my script for Nemesis (if you want you check it below).
By the way, it was a great idea, with a lot of potential. I like the underlined critique to the mass media system and how you framed the story between the TV screen panel and the “real” ones. With more pages a your disposal it would have been a really good work.
Keep writing man!
Hey dude, really appreciate you taking a look and offering your thoughts. Extra character development was definitely the main take away from this thread. Thanks for your kind words on the concept too - I knew there was something there, but another couple of drafts would probably have tapped that potential a bit more! I figured Nemesis wasn’t such a fan of the mass media (unless it’s doing his bidding). Your script’s on my list!
Guys - fancy putting all that learning and feedback to good use? Enter @mattgarvey1981’s comp for a chance to get something printed! http://forums.millarworld.tv/t/make-your-first-comic-ill-print-it-in-the-back-of-mine-open
I really enjoyed your Huck script, “Pearls of Wisdom.” This is a concise, simple story that plays to the strengths of the five-page limit. In five short pages and very few words, the story is able to get to the core of what makes Huck an endearing character.
For a story of this kind, I particularly liked your choice to go completely wordless for the first four pages. In a writing competition, there may be an impulse for the writer to say “look at me and all my clever words”—and you went the other way, remembering the strengths of a visual medium like comics.
However, my main criticism of your story is that—once you get to the fifth page—we suddenly get an info-dump of expository dialogue (some of it stilted). If I were to make a suggestion, I would say that you could have opened the story with another wordless page that set everything up. As a result, you would have to lose one of the other four wordless pages—which would not be too much of a sacrifice because they basically do the same thing four times (three is probably enough). Panel One: We start in the plane and we see Emily and her necklace (which is coming undone). Panel Two: We see a single pearl fall off the string. Panel Three: The pearl lands on the ground with a bounce. Panel Four: We see the pearl resting on the ground. Panel Five: We see Huck’s boot as he approaches the pearl. That would have conveyed most of the expository information contained on page five in a manner that is more in keeping with the style of the rest of your story. On page five, I would then lose all of the “information” dialogue—and keep only the “emotional” dialogue. I think that would have more impact.
Another miscellaneous criticism: on page one, panel two, you describe Huck as simultaneously having a look of “wide-eyed innocence” and “resolute determination.” In much the same way that it is impossible for an artist to draw a person taking two separate actions in a single panel, I think it would be hard to draw two seemingly opposing facial expressions (one “open,” one “closed”) in a single panel.
Again, I liked this story. It was a good idea and well-executed. Keep writing.