Mind Spiders of Madagascar – script by Rob Pincombe (with notes)

 

FIT TO PRINT 2011 presents: HOLMES INC. 2

TREY & EDGAR II in:

“THE MIND SPIDERS OF MADAGASCAR” – 7 pages

Script: ROBERT Pincombe

Art: DAWNSON CHEN Letters – KEIREN SMITH

I will add some visual reference weblinks for the final version.But you have the
important web and spider stuff.

In the mean time, have fun and kick ass! –Rob

OUR CAST:

1. Edgar – Arrogant, smart and physically powerful. He is a clothes horse and I’d like him see in slightly fancy, quirky clothes. The outfit from his turnaround on the web has almost a rock star/steampunk vibe.
2. Trey – Master swordswoman and nimble like a gymnast. She does flips and
leaps as she fights, like a brutal ballet. I think her skintight battle gear and robe like jacket with a hood will look good in this sucker.
3. Dr. Fanja Silver a.k.a. the Spider Queen (a Malagasy scientist turned spider
lady)
4. Rado – Dr. Silver’s Malagasy assistant turned spider zombie
5. King Spider – A giant mutant spider grown by Dr. Silver.

Secondary characters:

6. Lab Technicians (now spider zombies)
7. Lab guards (now spider zombies)
8. Spiders of all kinds and sizes

———————————PAGE ONE———————————————-

======PANEL ONE

WIDE ESTABLISHING SHOT: The wreckage of a large, experimental spider
lab covered in spider webs. Much of the equipment has been smashed.
Webbing cover the floors, walls and ceilings in a way that we can’t tell where
the web stops and the technology begins. Some of the webbing, for instance, is actually fibre optics. A large, panoramic window lines one wall, looking out of a  Madagascar jungle. This is our one chance to see the lab so lets make it seem like it was an amazing place.

In FG, Edgar watches a hanging monitor (perhaps tilted/partially damaged?)
looping an SOS message from a frightened looking Rado, the head technician.
Trey searches the ruins in BG.

1. CAPTION:
The Holmes Inc. R&D facility in Madagascar
is having a very bad day.

1. RADO (over monitor)
SOS! Attacking facility Kinoly are! Last survivor
to survive I am! – Dr. Fanja Silver –
SOS! Attacking facility Kinoly are!…

2. TREY
We’re too late. Dr. Silver’s
lab is right mullared.

3. EDGAR
Kinoly? Rado thinks mythological Malagasy
spirits of vengeful loved ones did this?

======PANEL TWO

MED WIDE SHOT amused Trey and wary Edgar in FG. They turn as Rado
enters with several technicians in the BG. The Techies share a haunted, vacant look and stand in oddly contorted ways. Each has small bites marks all around the tops of their heads. They all have their hands in their labcoat pockets.

4. TREY
Something tore this place apart. And Kinoly have those cool red eyes and long nails for disemboweling victims.

5. RADO
Welcome, Edgar and Trey Holmesss.
You have no need to fear. All isss well.

 

======PANEL THREE

MED: Edgar steps in front of Trey protectively as she draws her swords. Rado
and the Techies move closely, their bodies still contorted awkwardly.

6. EDGAR
Good to see you in the pink, Rado.
(whispering)
Trey, get back to the Deerstalker.

7. TREY
(whispering)
Why? ‘Cause Rado and the
techies are brainwashed?

 

======PANEL FOUR

CLOSE ON: A wary Edgar over Rado’s contorted shoulder.

8. EDGAR
Exactly. Rado’s English message has the unusual
Malagasy verb subject order. Suddenly he’s fluent.

9. EDGAR
Hemifacial spasms and spider bites circling
the cerebrum. Someone’s pulling their strings.

======PANEL FIVE

CLOSE INSERT SHOT: Trey’s sword jabs into the light switches, cutting the
lights in a shower of sparks.

10. TREY
You needed all that, big brother?
What about the obvious clues?

======PANEL SIX

WIDE: With the room plunged in darkness the Techies take on a zombie   appearance with glowing eyes and a glowing layer of fine spider webs/fibre
optics along their heads and arms.

Rado’s hands are out of his pockets now, reaching for Trey and Edgar and
revealing long, deadly nails. The other tech zombies skitter up the wall and along the ceiling!!! Trey is smiles, eager to fight spider zombies! An extremely worried Edgar reaches for Trey.

<ZOMBIE SFX: SKSSSSSS!!>

11. TREY
Like they glow in the dark!
Red eyes – Check! Nails – Check!

12. RADO
We are dissscovered! Attaaaack!

13. TREY
Oh come then black knights of Arachna’s bite.
Let metal test mettle of beastial spite.

——————————PAGE TWO———————————————

======PANEL ONE

MED SHOT: The spider/zombie/techies attack. As Trey raises her sword to strike
Edgar yanks her toward the window.

<ZOMBIE SFX: SKSSSSSS!!>

14. TREY
With hilt in hand and fear a’ banished,
Thy hope of triumph is now vanished!

15. TREY
Hey! My couplet’s incomplete!

======PANEL TWO

EXT. WIDE SHOT: The exterior of the facility is quite futuristic, standing in stark contrast to the jungle surrounding it. Numerous jeeps/trucks are parked in the compound below. Spider webs snake around the compound and building like wispy cables.

With an indignant Trey slung over his shoulder ( undignified as possible!), Edgar smashes out the third story window of the Research Facility. Spider
zombie techies leap after him or crawl down the wall.

<WINDOW SFX: KER-AAAAASSSHHH!!>

16. TREY
Edgar! Put me down, you plonker!

17. EDGAR
When I’m jolly well ready!

18. EDGAR
Requisition a vehicle while I deal with our arachnid friends.

======PANEL THREE

MED SHOT: Trey leaps into a jeep and starts it up. Edgar is tackled in the back
of the jeep by spider techies, leaping from the facility wall.

IN the BG, EXTERIOR GUARDS, also spider zombified, fire assault weapons.

<ZOMBIE SFX: SKSSSSSS!!>
<GUN SFX: POK POK POK!/POK! POK! POK!>

19. TREY
Where to, Bossy britches?

20. EDGAR
The Deerstalker. You’ll be
safe there while — Ungh!

======PANEL FOUR

MED SHOT: Edgar kicks away the spider techies as Trey veers to avoid pursuing
jeeps.

21. TREY
Don’t like that plan. Neither do the
itsy bitsys. We’re being herded!

22. EDGAR
That is extraordinarily bad.

======PANEL FIVE

INSERT PANEL: Trey hits the breaks and the jeeps skids to a stop. We can
focus on the tires or her foot hitting the brakes. As long as we now it’s a sudden
stop.

<SFX: SKRRREEECH!!!>


——————————PAGE THREE——————————————-

======PANEL ONE

WIDE SHOT: The jeep has stopped along the jungle road. Behind it lies a jungle road with spider webs running along the sides and through the trees like huge, snaking cables. In front, a massive spider web stretches over the entire jungle like some bizarre fairy world!

Trey stands on the front seat of the jeep leaning on the windshield staring
into a menacing tunnel leading deeper into the web. Edgar, still holding an
unconscious spider techie in the back of the jeep, is dumbfounded.

23. TREY
You think?

24. EDGAR
Incredible! A web this large requires dozens
of hostile spider species to work together.

 

======PANEL TWO

MED SHOT: Trey walks haughtily walks into the web, forcing Edgar to follow.
Lets see lots of spiders of different sizes crawling through the webbing around
them. It’s a creepy place.

25. TREY
That only happens when
there’s an abundance of…

======PANEL THREE

MED/CLOSE SHOT: Trey pulls aside webbing to reveal dried up husks of
people, their insides eaten out, spun up in the web. She looks grossed out.
Edgar is fascinated.

26. TREY
…food. Okay,
that is just wrong.

======PANEL FOUR

CLOSE-UP: Edgar is figuring out who’s behind the web.

27. EDGAR
Our missing Dr. Silver crafts Holmes Inc.’s bulletproof
clothing and fibre-optic networks from spider silk like this.

28. EDGAR
This is deucedly woman-made. Stay
here while I get this sorted, Trey.

======PANEL FIVE

MED SHOT: Trey draws her swords and turns on Edgar. She’s pissed off! He
holds his hands up, placating. Behind them a beautiful female silhouette (The
Spider Queen) can be seen in the web.
(**NOTE: please use creepy balloons and lettering for Spider Queen)

<SFX: SHIIINNNGG!!>

29. TREY
You’re my big brother, not our mum.
You’ve been smothering me all day.

30. TREY
I can take care of myself!

31. SPIDER QUEEN
I doubt that, little ssspiderling.

———————————–PAGE FOUR——————————————-

======PANEL ONE

CLOSE UP TWO-SHOT INSERT: Edgar smiles, raising an eyebrow and working
using his charm on the lady. Trey looks at him like he’s nuts.

32. EDGAR
Well hullooo, Dr. Silver!

33. TREY
Seriously, Edgar?

34. SPIDER QUEEN
(off-panel)
No more Dr. Silver. There isss only —

======PANEL TWO

BIG WIDE SHOT: The big Spider Queen REVEAL! Make it cool!! She could be
lowered down by webbing or stepping out of the web… anything you want. Just make her impressive and disturbingly sexy at the same time and we’ll be rocking and rolling!

Trey holds her swords at ready, still giving Edgar an annoyed look for his flirting. Edgar has draws his gun, disgusted. The Spider Queen grins at these “flies trapped in her web”.

35. SPIDER QUEEN
— THE SSSPIDER QUEEN!!!

36. EDGAR
Okay, THAT is just wrong.

37. TREY
I can’t believe I’m related to you.

38. SPIDER QUEEN
Edgar — My finessst catch!

======PANEL THREE

MED SHOT: The Spider Queen’s hand snatches out, lifting Edgar by the throat.
Web tendrils from her dress wrap around his gun hand, disarming him.

39. SPIDER QUEEN
My sssilky creations armored your family
and helped your data sscircle the globe.

40. EDGAR
Urk! And your experiments have cost you
your humanity, Doctor. The bite marks on
your staff match your new mandibles.

======PANEL FOUR

CLOSE SHOT: Trey puts a sword to the Spider Queen’s throat. The Spider
Queen smiles wickedly as she tightens her grip on Edgar’s throat.

41. TREY
Hands off big brub, Arachno Phoebie.

42. SPIDER QUEEN
Such a tasty morsel.

======PANEL FIVE

WIDE UP SHOT: Spider Queen turns the dangling Edgar so he is looking up.
Trey looks up too, swords at the ready.

Above them, a gigantic, mutant spider clings to the web above, eyeing them
ravenously.Glowing web fibre-optics and numerous cyber implants give it an
almost cyborg-like appearance. But mostly it’s a giant, hairy, mutant, badass
spider — formidable and dangerous. (Note: lets see

43. SPIDER QUEEN
A meal fit for my Spider King!!! Ahahaha!!!

44. SPIDER QUEEN
When I couldn’t duplicate spider silk I mutated a
spider large enough to provide all I could ever need!

 

———————————PAGE FIVE——————————————-

======PANEL ONE

WIDE SHOT: Swords in hand, Trey rolls aside as the giant spider drops down
and stabs at her with a sharp leg. In the BG, Edgar flips the Spider Queen into
her web.

45. TREY
Whoa! This thing is fast!

46. TREY
Queenie’s spikes are always hooked
into the web! It’s a fibre-optic network
controlling everything!

47. EDGAR

Obviously.

======PANEL TWO

MED SHOT: Trey duels with the spider’s forelegs. They are so thick they may as well be armored. Edgar fires up a hand-flare.

48. EDGAR
Can’t burn it. It’s fireproof as well as
bulletproof, just like our clothes.

======PANEL THREE

MED SHOT: Edgar leaps in front of the spider and holds the flare to its face,
setting it on fire! (maybe we see the fire or Edgar reflected in the eyes?) In the
BG the Spider Queen, crawling on her web, grabs her head, recoiling in shared
pain.

48. EDGAR
I trust Daddy Longlegs here — is not!!

<SPIDER SFX: SQUUUUEEEE!!!>

49. SPIDER QUEEN
Squuueeeeeee!!!!!
We burn! Flee my King!

======PANEL FOUR

MED SHOT: The giant spider rolls into the webbing dousing the flames as
the Spider leaps at Trey, claws out. Edgar steps in between shoving Trey off
balance.

50. SPIDER QUEEN
You hurt usss!!!

51. EDGAR
Trey!

52. TREY
Edgar, what are you — Unff!

======PANEL FIVE

CLOSE SHOT: The Spider Queen bites down on the top of Edgar’s head, her
mandibles sinking in.

53. EDGAR
Aaarrrgh!!!

———————————PAGE SIX——————————————-

======PANEL ONE

CLOSE SHOT: Trey (in BG) looks devastated as foreground Edgar falls to his
knees at the Spider Queen’s feet, a look of shock and pain on his face.

54. TREY
That was meant for me. Oh Edgar…

55. SPIDER QUEEN
Feel the venom. Do not resssissst.

======PANEL TWO

MED SHOT: Swinging both swords, Trey forces the Spider Queen away and
slashes Edgar free of the web. She is fighting back tears.

56. TREY
STAY AWAY FOM HIM!!!

57. SPIDER QUEEN
Too late, spiderling! He
belongs to me now!

58. EDGAR
(weak)
Trey…

======PANEL THREE

CLOSE SHOT: Trey’s swords and hands are blasted with a spray of webbing
from the half-burned giant spider, looking as angry as a spider can! Her arms
(and swords) are pinned!

59. SPIDER QUEEN
And you belong the my
Spider King — as promised!

======PANEL FOUR

CLOSE ON: Edgar’s face. His eyes are glowing red (no pupils now) but he is
resisting with all his will.

60. EDGAR
(weak)
The web Trey. They
see… feel… everything.

======PANEL FIVE

WIDE: The giant spider looms, ugly jaws slobbering as it pulls her in with the
long string of webbing (one end around Trey’s hands, the other end attached to it’s spinnerets).

Inspired by her brother,Trey kicks away the Spider Queen, snapping one of her back spikes.

61. TREY
In that case, feel this you nutter!

————————-PAGE SEVEN——————————————-

======PANEL ONE

MED SHOT: Like a master gymnast, Trey flips past the giant spider’s striking
legs and lands on it’s back. Her hands are still webbed so it’s like she’s dragging a long web chain or rope.

62. TREY
Think thine unyielding web shall faith abate?
Does light not pass through fearful woven gate?
When justice seeks to alter evil’s course…

======PANEL TWO

WIDE SHOT: Trey pulls a Red Sonja: muscles bulging she strangles the giant
spider with it’s own web! All kinds of Spiders drop from the web, dying with it.

<SFX: SQUEEEEEE!!!!>

63. TREY
Chaos forged strings may turn to true hope’s source!

64. TREY
Hiiiaaaaaaah!

65. SPIDER QUEEN
Squeeeeee!!!

======PANEL THREE

WIDE SHOT: The giant spider falls dead at Edgar’s feet as he gets up, still
groppy. Trey leaps nimbly down to help him.

<SFX: THOOOMP!!!>

66. EDGAR
Well, done Trey. Cutting me off from
the web before forcing the Spider Queen
to share her King’s death throes.

======PANEL FOUR

CLOSE TWO-SHOT: Trey helps Edgar back through the web. He leans weakly
on his little sister.

67. TREY
Take it easy, big brother.
I’ve sent for medical aid.

68. EDGAR
Guess I can stop worrying
about my baby sister.

69. TREY
Absobloodylootely, Edgar.

FINIS

 

—————————————————————————————-

NOTES from Ty:

HOLY WOW, that’s a GREAT script.  Almost textbook on how to build ’em.  I only have two editing note (and then a couple of minor technical points) and that’s this:

1)  There’s two spots where you build to a great line of dialog, and then toss out too many follow ups on the same panel.  In comics, that great line breathes so much better if you let it have the panel to itself, or perhaps with ONE follow up.  Here’s the bottom of two and top of three, just as dialog.

10. TREY
You needed all that, big brother?
What about the obvious clues?

 

—————-PAGE THREE:  PANEL ONE:———–

<ZOMBIE SFX: SKSSSSSS!!>

11. TREY
Like they glow in the dark!
Red eyes – Check! Nails – Check!

12. RADO
We are dissscovered! Attaaaack!

13. TREY
Oh come then black knights of Arachna’s bite.
Let metal test mettle of beastial spite.

 

And consider losing everything after the good line, and giving Trey’s first rhyming couplet the next panel to start.  Try this line-up.

 

10. TREY
You needed all that, big brother?
What about the obvious clue?

 

—————-PAGE THREE:  PANEL ONE:———–

<ZOMBIE SFX: SKSSSSSS!!>

11. TREY
Like they glow in the dark!

12. RADO
Attaaaack!

——————————–panel two——————————

13. TREY
Oh come then black knights of Arachna’s bite.
Let metal test mettle of beastial spite.

etc.

 

The same thing happens in this scene:

32. EDGAR
Well hullooo, Dr. Silver!

33. TREY
Seriously, Edgar?

34. SPIDER QUEEN
(off-panel)
No more Dr. Silver. There isss only —

———–panel-two ——–

35. SPIDER QUEEN
— THE SSSPIDER QUEEN!!!

36. EDGAR
Okay, THAT is just wrong.

37. TREY
I can’t believe I’m related to you.

38. SPIDER QUEEN
Edgar — My finessst catch!

======PANEL THREE—————-

 

39. SPIDER QUEEN
My sssilky creations armored your family
and helped etc…

And try it with a couple of lines that aren’t that important, out of the rhythm…

32. EDGAR
Well hullooo, Dr. Silver!

33. TREY
Seriously?

34. SPIDER QUEEN
(off-panel)
No more Dr. Silver. There isss only —

———–panel-two ——–

35. SPIDER QUEEN
— THE SSSPIDER QUEEN!!!

36. EDGAR
Okay, THAT is just wrong.

======PANEL THREE—————-

 

39. SPIDER QUEEN
My sssilky creations armored your family
and helped etc…

Again, it allows for those good entrance lines to breathe.  The other lines are a drag on a good moment without adding enough to pay for their stepping on the better line.

2) I wouldn’t mind two more lines added to the script.  One when they’re off the top, just to mention the “fibre-optics” aspects of the facility, just in passing….and one more line as they enter the giant web and talk about all the mixing species.  Make up a couple of local species, or look ’em up, but one more line with sick levels of knowledge there would add that insane level of memory for facts this guys have.

TWO TECHNICAL NOTES:

1)  There’s too much time between “this is extraordinarily bad” and “you think?” over page 2/3.   It travels over two panels and a page turn, which makes it a little hard to connect up.  I like the line, but could you pop Edgar’s line on the last panel of page 2, and that allows less time between the call and response.

2)  Your numbering of the dialog lines is more film based than comic based.  There’s no need in comics to know how many lines there are in the script/total.  In the long run, numbering dialog lines isn’t that common in a comic script, and I tend not to.  BUT, some company policies (such as IDW and the X-Men office for a while) had a policy of balloon counts for the page, but not the whole story.  So you’d restart the count at the top of each page, and make sure that every speech you wanted broken up or held together got its own number…it was a way of checking that there weren’t twenty long word balloons on one page, at a glance.   (that number would be high, but your balloon count is just perfect, actually.)

Okay, notes over.  Back to praising.  I LOVE the subplot playing out, I LOVE the monster, I love how you get Holmes Inc involved.  The pacing, the relationship, the general gleeful fun of it all, is fantastic.  You outdid last issues’ opus, sir.  There’s a reason you’re aboard with the editorial team this time out.

Ty the Guy.

  1. March 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Wow Ty. And there’s a reason you be the editor/captain of this ship!

    Great advice for loosening up the dialogue. It felt packed but I wasn’t sure where to begin. I can’t wait to make these changes and get the work version to Dawnsen

    – Pinc

  2. Aaron Feldman
    March 29, 2011 at 5:52 am

    I’m pretty blown away by the pacing of this one. By the time I got to the web part I remember thinking “Wow, I’m only at the top of page THREE?”

    I’m not sure if this is important, but I was personally wondering what happens to the other infected soldiers/scientists. Do they die, or are they okay because they weren’t physically connected to the web? Maybe a line at the end could be devoted to their status, or failing that, some sort of visual clue?

    • March 30, 2011 at 5:31 am

      Lovely catch, Aaron. A line could correct this…the very definition of a loose thread!
      Ty

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