ADVENTURES IN PULP WRITER'S COMMENTARY
AND THE CASE OF
THE LITTLE GREEN MEN PAGE 2
As happy as I was with the exposition on page one, I was frustrated by page two. You can get by with a talky exposition page in a full book, but would people come back a week later after a page of yak-yak-yak? The page starts abruptly. Looks good in script form but once given life, it seems extraneous. It's completely my fault. I should have cut the bit about the drink and just asked Matt to draw Betty and Dick shaking hands. I included the drink because it seemed like every character is pouring and downing a drink in just about every available type of popular entertainment depictions of the post probation era.
I asked Matt to go blonde with Mrs. Lucas because most women of this genre are sultry raven haired femme fatales. I wanted to go the other way for the worried wife. I love the ping pong dialogue in the next to last panel. It's not witty but it does have a nice rapid pace. Credit has to go to Matt on that one. While the dialogue was unchanged, he restructured the panels. The reworking pressed a lot of dialogue into that single panel. I originally had it spread out more evenly across the page. I went big and over the top again in the last panel but, unfortunately, it was pretty much the same beat as the previous page. The only difference was that this time, I managed to tie into something that is embedded into our common cultural frame of reference. While necessary set up, it gets my vote for weakest written page. Notice that Matt works in more color this page leaving behind the sepia tones of the first page but he is really just smearing lipstick on my pig.
The main purpose of the page was to set up a case (missing person), which I decided would be trying to find someone who was, in turn, investigating something of their own. The reason for this was twofold: By using what the missing person had already uncovered helped me get Dick into the action quicker. It heightened the danger. If Eugene Lucas went missing following his leads, then things would certainly look bad for Dick down the road.
I used the
date as my starting point for Dick Ruby's timeline. Although unused on the
page, Mrs. Lucas does have a first name in the script - Betty. It's is a tip of
the hat to another beautiful comic book blonde: Betty from Archie comics.
Eugene Lucas is an homage to both Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas. One got me
get me into sci-fi as a kid with "Star Wars" and the other kept me
into sci-fi with "Star Trek" re-runs (three years was a long time to
wait between films). Of course sci-fi love eventually led to comics, and you
know, here we are. So really it's all their fault. Roswell