Well that was real mature...

Well that was real mature...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Living and Dying in Starlight

While I wait for announcements on the status of my entries for this year's Top Cow Talent Hunt and Darby Pop's Women of Darby Pop contest, I thought I would post my losing entry to Mark Millar's MillarWorld Annual Contest. I wrote this back in October and received the sad news that my entry, a five page tale based on Mark Millar's Starlight (the cover off issue 1 with art by Goran Parlov is pictured at right), didn't make the cut in December. As I have said before, it's very difficult to break in as a writer so you must take every possible opportunity to get your work in front of editors. While the 4 short stories I wrote for Adventures in Pulp were named Best Digital Comic of 2015 by pipedreamcomics.co.uk it was still technically an amateur publication put out via a (now defunct) website and Comixology Submit (still available, and all proceeds go to the artist). I was a huge fan of Starlight with it's pulpy Flash Gordon flavor and since my piece didn't make the book, I wanted to share it because I am proud of it and want it to be read. Here it is:

Page One

1/ Young DUKE MCQUEEN is urgently swimming underwater. He has a clear domed helmet on for oxygen (like the one he wears in issue 5), one hand is stretched out in front of him and the other hand is pulling QUEEN NEPTUNIA with the other. The page should play like it could be part of the untold story, "The Under Sea Peril" referenced on page 16 of issue 4.

DUKE: Come on, Highness. They're gaining.

NEPTUNIA: I can't believe the Charybdis turned on me.

2/ New angle we see four Charybdis in hot pursuit, but Duke and the Queen have stopped swimming and Duke has pulled his sword out.

DUKE: They are too fast. Time to make a stand.

NEPTUNIA: I can't believe you are willing to protect me after I took your prisoner.

3/ Duke launches himself at the foursome of Charybdis.

DUKE: What can I say? I'm a swell guy.

4/ Close up of Neptunia.  She has a look of awe on her face.


5/ Duke swimming back toward Neptunia. Random severed body parts of the Charybdis are floating by.

DUKE: We are safe for now but more are coming.

NEPTUNIA: If we make it out of here alive, perhaps you and I --

6/ Close up of Duke with an aw shucks look on his face.

DUKE: Sorry Queen Neptunia, I'm a landlubber. The sea ain't for me.

Page Two

1/ DUKE is riding a red dragon like the one on page 13 of issue 1. Also riding the dragon is an eagle-woman. She looks human save her yellow eyes with vertical slit pupils and a pair of wings growing out from her shoulder blades. One of her wings is singed and broken. Her name is TALEN and she is clinging to Duke who is firing his blaster pistol into the distance. The page plays like it could come from an tale that might be called "The Scourge of the Sky Pirates."

TALEN: You're going to get us killed.

DUKE: They're gonna kill us, I'm trying to save us.

2/ Cut to a new angle we see two Sky Pirates using jet packs.  The lead pirate is shooting the dragon's head.

TALEN: What do we do now?!

DUKE: Wait here, Talen.

3/ Duke leaps off the dead, falling dragon at one of the sky pirates tackling him in mid air.

TALEN: Wait here?!

4/ Close up of TALEN, she has a look of shock on her face.


5/ Duke flying back toward Talen wearing the first sky pirate's jet pack. He is holding the other's in his hand.

DUKE: Here, get this on.  The ground is coming up quick.

TALEN: If we survive this, perhaps we could --

6/ Close up of Duke with a polite look on his face.

DUKE: Sorry ma'am, I like the ground under my feet. The sky is too high for me.

Page Three

1/ DUKE and ATTALA are surrounded by Ice Apes in a snow covered pass near the foot of a mountain. He is stabbing one ape with a sword while she is shooting one with a blaster pistol. The page should play like it could be part of the untold story, "The Ice-Apes" referenced on page 16 of issue 4.

DUKE: I see Princess Neve over there.

ATTALA: You'll never make it. There are too many.

2/ New angle.  We see the white haired, blue skinned Princess Neve in the clutches of an Ice-Ape.

DUKE (from off panel or in a caption): I have to try.

3/ Duke jumps onto the Ice Ape holding Neve.


4/ Close up of Attala.  She has a look of fear on her face.


5/ Duke walking Neve back toward Attala. Dead Ice-Apes littering the snowscape.

DUKE: We are safe for now but I'm sure more are coming, Princess.

NEVE: If we make it back to the ice castle alive, perhaps you could stay with --

6/ Close up of Duke with a sad look on his face.

DUKE: Sorry, Highness, I only like my beer cold. Your kingdom is lovely, but too frosty for me.

Page Four

1/ DUKE is in a jungle and has is sword out hacking at the plant monsters. He is being aided Attala and Princess Typhona, daughter of the evil Typhon. The page should play like it could be part of the untold story, "The Plant Monsters" also referenced on page 16 of issue 4.

DUKE: Keep swinging, ladies. We just have to hold out until --

2/ Cut to new angle revealing Duke's spaceship hovering above them.  The door is open and a rope ladder is hanging from it. In the door is Prince Bauhm.

BAUHM: Hold them off, McQueen. Ladies, start climbing.

3/ Attala and Typhona climbing the ladder. With Duke fighting off the Plant Monsters while Bauhm shoots at some of the plant monsters from the hatch of the ship.

DUKE: What took you so long, Bauhm?

BAUHM: Couldn't find the keys to your ship, McQueen.

4/ Close up of Typhona she looks down and has a look of admiration on her face.

ATTALA (from off panel): Forget it Typhona --

5/ Pull back to show both, Typhona is looking up at Attala.

ATTALA (continuing): -- If he makes it out of here alive, someone will offer.  They always do, but he will decline.

TYPHONA: Does he not like girls?

6/ Close up of Attala looking sad.

ATTALA: Sorry, Typhona. It breaks my heart but he's not of this world. He won't find love here. I've tried.

Page Five

1/ Single panel splash page with title and credits. The night sky as it appears in an over Duke's shoulder angle. One star burns brighter than the others. Duke is holding up a photo of Joanne. It's weathered and looking ragged but you can still make her out.

DUKE: Sorry, sweetheart. I've been gone too long. This world is amazing, but it's not home without you.

The story title "Soul Mate" is written in a soft loving font as we end.

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