Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Friday, 18 April 2008

Monday, 14 April 2008

Friday, 11 April 2008

First Scribblers, pages Five, Six and Seven

I decided to do the last ones in one go, it was just easier. Although: apologies for the complete change of timezone throughout. I actually only noticed as I was obeying the 'fly into the sunset' final instruction. Oh, well. This is why I don't do this professionally.

First Scribblers, page Four

It strikes me that this is actually a very short comic. It feels much longer when you read it. Also, ninja!Jom is fun to draw.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

First Scribblers, page Three

Third page! And one for Jom to approve, actually, because I in no way asked him about the costume first. I took the coward's way out with Wraith. He's just invisible.

This picture is just the reference sketch for us all (for reference, read 'template'. I copy and paste.)

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

First Scribblers, page Two

Page Two! These are so quick to do, you wouldn't believe. It strikes me, though, that as I never finished designing costumes for Jom or Millywiggs I can't finish this without just drawing them as stickmen. Oh, well.

First Scribblers, page One

Just a little thing, because I was bored and needed a break from writing. You know how it is. Anyway: page one of Jester's seminal first Scribblers comic!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Friday, 4 April 2008

Scribblers, Part ?


The Scribblers, minus Lyric, are in training. They are in their enormous back garden, in plain clothes, and have split into two teams to practice. SHIFT, WRAITH and FINESSE are on one team, with AMITY and CHRONAL on the other.

SHIFT, as a TIGER, is running towards AMITY, who is facing her. CHRONAL is a long haired blur, heading towards the two of them, and FINESSE is standing to the side of SHIFT with her hands reaching out, strengthening SHIFT’s morphic field.


FINESSE has turned her attention to the blur that is CHRONAL, and is forcing him to come back into real time. CHRONAL is looking rather more solid as he tries to regain control of his power.

SHIFT has almost reached AMITY, although she does look rather upset.

Back you come, Steff.

WRAITH has become visible and is, it turns out, sitting on SHIFT’s back. He is leaping, knife out, at CHRONAL, who is now completely solid again.

SHIFT is leaping on to AMITY at the same moment so SHIFT and WRAITH are moving at right angles to each other.

War cry.


Victory for team A! FINESSE looks smug, AMITY is pinned by SHIFT, who is giving her a victory lick, and CHRONAL is pinned by WRAITH, who looks like he has forgotten it is only a game.

OK, OK! Time out!

Quit it! You win!


Everyone has relaxed onto the grass. SHIFT is human again, though her hair is a bit stripy.

Not bad, guys.

We thrashed you!

They were one person down, though.


WRAITH looks amusedly sinister. I can’t believe “amusedly” is actually a word…

Best way.


CHRONAL is standing up, and pulling FINESSE to her feet. Everyone else is still lounging.

Can I pick the teams this time?


CHRONAL, surveying his team with a critical eye.

No, I’ve got an idea. I want to try putting the non-physical powers together. Finesse and Amity take us three.


WRAITH, same shot as before.

Blood bath.


FINESSE, standing defiantly opposite CHRONAL – the team captains.

Well, you say that. Come on, Amity.

Chin up.


FINESSE beams, AMITY smiles.


CHRONAL is holding a big, brightly coloured flag on a pole. Everyone else is watching it.

Right, this time, I thought we could turn it into a game!

We’re going to play “Capture the Flag”, aren’t we?

Yes! Now, here’s how it…



LYRIC is leaning around the door frame, obviously having been travelling at high speed. He has a crumpled letter in his hands.

I’ve got bad news. Really. Really bad.


Close-up on Lyric’s face, the paper just in view.

It’s my brother. He’s enrolled in a writing course.

What do you do to indicate a dramatic pause in a comic book? Anyway, that’s what happens, and then it cuts to a new scene.


The gang are sitting in the living room. LYRIC is despondent, the paper still in his hands.

Well, we knew we’d have to deal with him sooner or later, now we just know it’s sooner.

How much does he know? Under our noses…

Let’s face it, we may not be dealing with an idiot any more.


Close-up on CHRONAL: inspiration strikes!

I’ve got a plan!


CHRONAL goes into a whirring blur, the others are motionless.


The table in the living room is suddenly covered in papers, and CHRONAL is on the other side of the room, carrying in a tray holding four cups of tea and two glasses of orange squash.

AMITY is leaning in to pick something up from the table.

What is all this?

This is the syllabus for the writing course that the Narrator is enrolled in, along with a few work samples. The Narrator is on week two.

Shame Lyric’s mam didn’t mention it sooner.


CHRONAL hands out the tea. Most of the team have a copy of the syllabus in their hands. SHIFT has transformed into an owl to be Intellectual.

Well, we know now. Read on!

So, presumably, he’ll follow every lesson to the letter.

He’s still dangerous though. Even people with no imagination can learn to write by numbers.


Lyric, getting it.

But we know which numbers he’ll be using.



AMITY, looking worried, curled up into a ball.

These are high stakes though, guys. If he beats us, we’ll be trapped in a world of clichés - a universe controlled by a man with no imagination.

I liked him better when he couldn’t string a narrative together.


CHRONAL, standing in a clear space.

Lyric, can I have a flip chart, please?


LYRIC lazily waving one arm in the air, while a clip board stands half-materialised beside CHRONAL.

I love guilt-free paper-usage.


The clip board. It reads:

“What do you learn in Creative Writing Lesson 1?”

(Text in bar across top)


The Scribblers in various attitudes of repose. LYRIC is pacing, and has reached the far wall.

It says here that you will “master basic storytelling, and get comfortable with linear narrative.”

Ah, but by week 2, he’s onto complex storytelling, and “really getting to grips with character.”


CHRONAL has written the above things on the board.

Right, well obviously he’ll want to apply what he’s learned to his powers. But what if he skips ahead of the lessons?

He won’t. No imagination, remember?


WRAITH, looking as usual amusedly sinister. I’d like to muck about with this image so that it looks so incongruous it’s almost as if it’s been spliced from another comic – it’s all dark and a bit crazy.

Complex narrative.


Back to the world the others inhabit.

Bingo! Oh, did I say that?





Everyone is starting to look a lot more prepared.

Suit up, team. Let’s give Lyric’s little brother a sneak preview of lesson 3.

Right, now I’ve got that out of my system, I’ll go back to writing my incredibly depressing radio play! J

Thursday, 3 April 2008


Track 1: Doctor Waters

Doctor Waters, having completed her examination of the room, focused on its only other occupant; the dead man on the bed.

This was most unusual, of course. An open and shut case. The perpetrator was in the cells, and all that remained was trivial. Administrative stuff. Clean-up. Someone lower down the food chain ought to be taking care of this. Hell, one of the newbies should be doing this. Get their hands dirty. But Doctor Waters had chosen to oversee the matter herself.

The man's face was barely recognisable. No problem. Waters knew exactly who he was.

Examining the corpse, she realised how long it had been since she'd gotten her own hands dirty. Forget the newbies – she was losing her touch.

Waters rarely mixed work with leisure, but just this once, she allowed herself to put on her MP3 player. It was too quiet otherwise.

The first song that came on was Seven Nation Army. Waters surprised herself by laughing. The song reminded her of the twins.

And then she surprised herself further by crying. The song was her husband's favourite.

She collapsed on the bed, and placed an arm around the body.

Admin could wait.

Track 2: Howard

Baby, wife, work, self. Such is Tom Howard's list of priorities.

Secretly, the next is pornography.

Track 3: Gemma

Even though Claire is fat, and tells her the endings of films she hasn't seen, Gemma is in love with her. She has never told Claire this, even though they have slept together twice. Gemma thinks Claire thinks they're just messing around. Gemma thinks Claire thinks that Gemma thinks the same, but Gemma is ashamed that she loves Claire, and that she's taking advantage of Claire. Gemma thinks that if Claire knew that Gemma loves her, then Claire would be freaked out, and would never want to see Gemma again.

Gemma knows that Claire knows she cuts herself. Gemma thinks that Claire thinks it's because she's seeking attention. Gemma is starting to think Claire might be right.

Track 4: Mrs Rowlands

Mrs Rowlands's fingers danced along the keyboard, trying to type quickly enough to crack the website before the bot changed the passwords. This could mean the difference between five minutes' work and an hour's.

Finally. Mrs Rowlands hadn't lost her touch. She found her way into the company's personnel file, and created a new folder. It was a big company – hopefully, they wouldn't notice a new employee any time soon. She entered the individual details – some fictional, some real. The name – fake. The photo – real. The date of birth – close, but inaccurate. National insurance – so, so fake. Address – a real building, but kept empty for corporate purposes.

There. That should be enough to allow Vera to gain access to all the necessary resources. She sent off an encrypted e-mail on a secure connection to tell Vera the good news.

And then, she shut the laptop. She could easily have kept working all night, but Doctor Waters had told her off for working too hard. So nowadays, Mrs Rowlands tried hard to finish earlier, and spend time with her family.

Suddenly, she remembered that she hadn't sorted out Vera's cards and codes. Tutting to herself, she opened the laptop again. A shame, but it couldn't be helped – sometimes, work had to come first. And anyway, her grandson would have plenty more birthdays in the future.

Track 5: Probert

Jackie Probert opened her eyes. For two seconds, she didn't remember the rash, and as such was happier than she would be for the rest of the day. Then, wondering why her alarm hadn't woken her up, she remembered.

She got up. Checked her gloves were still on. Went downstairs – as usual, someone had delivered her breakfast to the airlocked porch. Weetabix, and as ever, it contained two brightly-coloured pills.

At least they couldn't make things worse.

Track 6: Yolanda

Yolanda Salvar sat back in her seat, typing away. Two CCTV cameras could see her, she knew, but none could see her screen at this angle. It would appear as though she kept working for hours, though in truth, she was using the server to communicate with her friends, and spying on her ex-boyfriend.

The last thing she'd do tonight was wipe the computer logs for the last five hours and replace them with copies of older logs – from a few years ago, when she genuinely worked longer shifts.

It seemed her ex was now cheating on his new girlfriend. Good.

Track 7: Chris

The last four minutes before he got home, Chris always played a game as he rode his bike. He had to think of as many things that made him happy as possible. That way, when he arrived at his house, he'd be in a good mood.

Alright. Scrambled eggs, Sky Plus, second-hand books, Garfield, the smell of freshly-cut grass, cycling, Euripides, Pepé Deluxe, shy men, leather suitcases, windmills, teddy bears, aliens, Lego, the twins, jig-saws, guns, Wikipedia, playing cards, Penn and Teller, blacksploitation films, first class train carriages, Red Bull, The West Wing, DVD box sets, pizza, collections, lonelygirl15, technology.

And with that, Chris was home. As always, he was in a thoroughly good mood.

Track 8: Sergeant Alfred

Sergeant Alfred Morris shot the figure three times. It fell to the floor, apparently dead. To be on the safe side, Morris shot the figure again. He moved towards it, and checked its face.

"You all look the same," he said. He shot his gun again, this time destroying his victim's face. "Scum, the lot of you."

He left the body, replacing the gun in his holster. He'd be in trouble for this.

Regardless, he still locked the cell door on his way out.

Track 9: Rhodri

Rhodri checked his e-mails. As ever, there were plenty from Tom Howard, with suggestions for promotions or lines of expertise – even one that implied he could move into working for the government.

Rhodri deleted them all. He liked it here.

Track 10: Newbies

"So, how's your first day been?" asked Eric.

"Scary," said Amy. "Which I expected, but you know – wow."

"I know. My mum used to work here. She told me a lot about it. Not the confidential stuff, obviously."

"But you still knew what to expect?"

"Yeah," said Eric.

"Don't say 'yeah'," said Amy. "Very American. You must say 'yes'."

"Alright," agreed Eric. "Yes."

Amy smiled with satisfaction.

Track 11: Howard (Reprise)

Baby, wife, work, self, pornography, sister, dog, parents, soap dispensers, ER, hardback Terry Pratchett books, cheese, wine, board games, cars, Shakespeare, sleeping, Deal or No Deal, Rubik's Cubes, Will Young, salt, Ant and Dec, FreeCell, South Park, watching CCTV footage.

That's the list as it stands.

Track 12: Vera

Vera's daughter doesn't know why her mother sometimes vanishes for days at a time. She also doesn't know why her father sleeps on the sofa now.

Track 13: Claire

Claire opened her eyes. Shit. Gemma, naked, next to her. That must have been some night.

Memories come flooding back, but not all of them. Shots, cocktails, wine. More and more people leaving, until only the two of them were left.

She found her eyes drawn to Gemma's breasts. No, look away. Danger lies that way. Still in the haze of leftover drunkenness, she was tempted to place a hand on her naked body. She got out of bed, mostly to get away from the temptation.

Claire realised that she was naked too. She found herself comparing body to Gemma's. Gemma went to the gym five times a week, while Claire was rather fond of cakes. But there was more of a difference than the size of their bodies. Their colouring was different – Gemma was dark-haired, while Claire was blonde.

Indeed, strangers never realised they were twins.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008