Graphic Novels

My Adventures in Graphic Novels

So I wrote this two part Sci-Fi Horror Space Opera which asks, “Why do monsters always have to be so big?” Like many of my projects, this one started out as a short script which was well received and showcased on Shootin’ The Shorts. I was encouraged to expand the storyline and did. In a mere two or three years, the expanded work turned into a two part, novella length, self-published ebook written in my own patent pending not-so-wordy style – Why use 400 words to describe a sunset when 10 or 15 will do?

For those unfamiliar with self-publishing, it’s a lot like pissing yourself while wearing a dark blue suit. It will make you fell warm for a little while, but then nobody notices. So unless you can catch lightening in a bottle, your Magnus Opus can soon be buried under by the approximately 400 newer titles uploaded each day on Amazon – That’s approximately 12,000 newer titles in a month…And many of these are offered for FREE.

The term fierce competition does not do justice to the reality of epublishing. I can not speak with first hand knowledge of the expensive promotional campaigns and stratagems used by other aspiring authors to recoup pennies on the dollar, but guys talk and you do hear things.

At this point in my journey, I sobered up and wandered off in the direction of the wonderful land of Graphic Novels. A wondrous place ripe with the promise of fame and fat profits!

Someone in the back raises their hand and asks, “So how’s that going for you?”

I look a the ground and softly reply, “The jury is still out…”

How hard could it be? Well, in my brief study of the subject, your Rain Man’s Gotta Mad Skills or you must have deep pocket. To play this game requires a Writer (you maybe?), a very good digital illustrator or old school artist with outrageous pencil and ink skills, a Colorist with way impressive talents, a Captions-Dialogue person and a Publisher who is willing to take a quick look at the first 10-15 completed pages of your highly speculative work. 

I hasten to add, most publishers are flooded with many submittals – Some good, some bad and some are just awful. In addition to first pages, a proof of concept will be required from new creators: A graphic novel script with page-by-page and frame-by-frame breakdown

If you still have the strength to even think about Graphic Novels after this beat down, read my Lighten Up posted here on this blog and then just do it!

Lighten Up

whipping post

Please excuse my long absence. I’ve been oh so busy slacking and streaming ‘Why the hell did I watch this crap?’ films on the internet. As an act of contrition, I here humbly offer a short piece about not being afraid to fail.

This inspirational ‘Go Get’em’ is a re-post from the Blog Section on Script Revolution (www.scriptrevolution.com/profiles/john-hunter) where many of my scripts languish in digital obscurity awaiting to be discovered.

Lighten Up

Don’t tie yourself to the whipping post. If you enjoy to write, write. It can be cathartic and in most cases harmless. While you may or may not be any good at it, who cares? Flex your muscles, put that brain to work, develop your own unique voice. As long as it makes YOU happy and you’re not harming yourself or others…Do it!

Feverishly create all the non-commercial, unsolicited and never compensated for dreck you like. Don’t hold back. Do it to your heart’s content! Do it until you need glasses. Create and fling all that stuff out into the void…Who knows? Perhaps something will stick?

“There’s no such thing as an innocent pixel!”

And don’t worry about all those pixels – There’s infinite storage capacity in the digital clouds for all the dull, lifeless, sleepy-time shorts, features, pilots and episodic content this and future generation can produce.

On the downside, your efforts will never receive much more than a tepid “That’s nice dear” from your enabling mother or long suffering significant other, but hey, they knew the job was dangerous when they took it, right?

On the upside, while writing, you won’t be out and about robbing liquor stores or pinching the heads off of little bitty ones. So where’s the harm?

I do hasten to add one small caution: If you see black SUVs with darkened windows circling your block, cut back on the violent rants posted on social media.

True Confession: I’ve enjoyed writing all manner of not-so-wordy stuff for many, many year. To date, I haven’t seen enough glitter in the bottom of the pan to buy a pack of chewing gum. Be that as it may, onward and upward!

Bad Hair Day

bad hair day.png

Logline:

“Late to work and in a hurry, a completely ordinary young woman has a nagging suspicion something extraordinary is happening around her.”

Intro:

As a completely ordinary and disheveled young woman walks to her completely boring job at a call center, she passes through multiple times lines. Each of these time lines is similar, but all have different outcomes. At the end of her journey, all she retains is a vague suspicion something extraordinary may have happened in her dull and uneventful life.

Bad Hair Day is actually a less expensive re-write of my Time Lines which was dripping car crashes, shoot outs and expensive FX. The original version was optioned several times, but then reluctantly abandoned due to its BIG budget requirements.

The lesson learned in this (5) page short? Keep it inexpensive and easy does it on the FX…Especially in a short-short.

Here’s the script and enjoy the read!

Bad Hair Day V3

© Copyright 2017 | John Hunter | x32792@yahoo.com

 

Yum-Yum

yum-yum2

Logline:

“A drug and alcohol addled homeless man living on the streets gets a once in lifetime opportunity to give back to the community.”

Intro:

This is a dark, (6) page, low budget, horror short with minimum sets, small cast, no slashing and no FX.

Script:

YUM-YUM V10

© Copyright 2018 | John Hunter | x32792@yahoo.com

 

Above the Maze

Maze

Everyone has to be somewhere, doing something all the time. The obvious caveat being IF you’re alive, on this side of the grass and not taking a dirt nap.

The slacker, gamer, politician, salaryman, narcissist, thot, incel and housewife, all find ways to fill their time and push back the great unknown.

From birth, we are raised within “realities” complete with norms, cultures, belief systems, goals and expectations. Most never imagine there are other ways to live our lives. At best, some may recognize others as foreign or different, but only in terms of, “They’re different from us and we’re not like them.”

Some realities are more attractive than others. Some are restrictive, others offer more so-called personal freedom, but without exception, most offer an array of activities designed to give our lives structure and purpose. Without purpose, what would we do with our time? How would we be able to gauge our level of satisfaction, success or failure?

So many things to do and so little time. What to do? Well, you could join a Jihad, toil your life away to enable another, become a writer, SJW or live on social media – The possibilities are endless. Readily available to most is a cornucopia of compartmentalized, self-sustaining, mini-realities to fully absorb your every waking hours and torment your dreams. Enough to keep us from ever looking up.

Without being judgmental, entanglement in one of these boxes is our birthright – It’s inevitable – Good enough for everyone that came before us and those to follow. These realities engulf us from the moment we take our first breath of life and end only with our deaths.

Now for a moment let’s imagine at some point in your journey through life, you were able to climb up above your section of the maze to gain a different perspective.

From an elevated vantage point above your maze, you might see what people like Elon Musk and others have described as a simulation, but not just one…A gaggle of them.

Beyond our own personalized simulations, it is suggested there is a hidden, and unseen base reality. Something completely different from the everyday world we live in.

For me, this is the exciting part. What would this ‘other place’ look like? And what is the purpose and function of the beings or people who run this unseen base reality? Do they dismiss us as inferiors or envy us?

© 2019 Copyright | John Hunter | x32792@yahoo.com

The Lean Times

theleantimes.jpg

This is the pilot for the Lean Times Series, a collection of interrelated stories which uses an apocalyptic event as a common time reference. My award winning Baby Soup which won the 2013 Florida Independent Filmmakers Contest is one of the stories in this series. A complete series outline and other episodic content is available. This series needs a good home. Let’s talk.

Logline:

A paranoid delusional homeless man accurately predicts an apocalyptic event which nearly wipes out humanity and ushers in a dangerous new reality.

Intro:

A paranoid delusional homeless man accurately predicts an apocalyptic event which nearly wipes out all of humanity. The event throws the Earth off of its axis enough to radically change the weather. Those lucky(?) enough to survive the Event find themselves in a much colder world with dark skies. There is no law, order, power, grocery stores or modern conveniences of any kind – This new world is ruled by necessity, brutality and barter. As The Lean Times begin, a small potato is more valuable than a woman’s virtue and predation of the weak by the strong is commonplace.

Please enjoy the first pages of The Lean Times:

LEAN TIMES PILOT 14 pages v6

© Copyright 2016 | John Hunter | x32792@yahoo.com

BUY NOW!

Phablet

Intro:

This is my tribute to the overmedicated personalities on those wonderfully cheesy, high pressure TV Infomercials – The guys making all manner of outrageous claims in an effort to sell you products too good to be true.

In this (8) page short script, the fictional product being offered is a handheld device that allegedly does it all. Low budget, small cast, single location, minimal set, contains some green screen. 

Please enjoy BUY NOW! and thanks for the read.

Script:

BUY NOW!

© Copyright 2016 | John Hunter | x32792@yahoo.com

Lucid Dream

sisyphus

Warning: This story is not for those familiar with The Myth of Sisyphus in Greek Mythology, faint of heart or easily discouraged.

In a lucid dream, I imagined myself at the seaside. It was a beautiful day. Between me and the water’s edge was perhaps two hundred yards of sandy beach.

This beach extended both left and right as far as my eyes could see.

When I glanced down at my feet, it seemed the individual grains of sand on this beach were moving. I was transfixed in horror until I realized that each grain of sand was in fact an aspiring writer. 

The beach almost imperceivable seemed to sway or ripple as the multitude of tiny writers tried in vain to get my attention. 

A soft humming noise filled the air. Thinking the noise might be a swarm of insects about to attack me, I instinctively raised my hand to protect myself. I dropped my hands when I realized the noise was the unintelligible cries for attention coming up from the masses of writers at my feet. 

As the hopeful writers looked up at me, they waved their tiny little arms in the air and shouted,

“Hey, I’ve got something you just gotta read!”

My perceived threat level went to zero.

I shook my head and grinned when I considered what if all the hopes, dreams, unsolicited pixels and frustrations on this beach could be turned into fossil fuel…

The simple answer is the energy market would collapse. A tankful of premium gasoline would cost about five cents – Heck, they might even pay you to haul it off and burn it?

Completely unenlightened by my vision, I sat down and wrote this account.

Note: The graphic above depicts Sisyphus or Sisyphos who was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down when it nears the top, repeating this action for eternity.

© 2019 | John Hunter | x32792@yahoo.com

Speed Trap

speed trap

As evidenced by old photographs, my maternal grandmother was once a very handsome woman in her youth. By the time I came along, she was a heavy set woman with a care worn face who kept her grey hair pulled into a tight bun on the back of her head.

She only attended school for three years, but this did not prevent her from becoming a wealthy woman way back when a dollar was still a dollar.

I can not remember ever seeing her dressed up. She wore nondescript inexpensive cotton dresses from a now defunct department store and carried a small plastic pop-open coin purse clutched in her hand – She never carried a handbag.

She had lived through the Great Depression and getting her to part with her money was not an easy task. Even so, I could sometimes talk her into giving me a few coins to buy a soda. On these rare occasions, she would root around in her coin purse and begrudgingly give me a few coins. These coins came with a painful look on her face as if she was giving me one or two of her vital internal organs.

During these times, it was common for small towns in south Georgia to stop and fine both real and alleged speeders. These places were called “speed traps.”

The most notoriously in our little part of the world was a small pulpwood town named Ludowici which we pronounced “lew-dah-witch-chee.” 

An outraged and embarrassed Lester Maddox, a former governor of Georgia, posted warning signs on the narrow two-lane road going into and out of this town. These signs did not stop the practice of fining the few motorist who did pass through.

On one lazy summer day, my grandmother was stopped for allegedly speeding in Ludowici.

For anyone familiar with the reality of the situation, the idea of her speeding was preposterous. She drove a pre-WW2 sedan with faded black paint and huge fenders. The car could not go faster than the speed limit even if it had it been shot out of a cannon.

When the arresting officer asked her to pay a fine, she broke down into tears and explained she was a poor widow woman with three children. She pleaded with the officer to let her go and told him she had no money.

The unsympathetic officer led her back to the station where she was to be held until someone paid her fine. On the way to the police station, she hid her money under the front seat in her car.

At the police station, my grandmother was threatened, yelled at and put in a cell. As the afternoon wore on, she produced more tears and made impassioned pleas for leniency, mercy and charity.

She insisted she simply could not pay a traffic fine and wept openly as she explained she did not even have enough money to buy the gasoline she needed to get back to her children in nearby Brunswick. As she wiped away tears, she told the police her children would be worried and certainly go without supper if she was not released and allowed to continue on her way.

Hours later and just before dark, the police finally let my grandmother go without paying a fine. They may have even given her a little money to help pay for the gasoline needed to make her trip home.

As a child, I enjoyed hearing stories about this hardy, self-sufficient and waggish old woman who was as clever as a fox and tight with her money. I only hope some of her DNA was passed on to me. 

© Copyright 2019 | John Hunter | x32792@yahoo.com

Surefire Storytelling Formula

cat w:fiddle

For aspiring scriptwriters everywhere seeking a surefire storytelling formula which is neither Save The Cat or The Hero’s Journey, I here offer the following as a guide:

   Hey diddle, diddle

   The cat played the fiddle

   The cow jumped over the moon

   The little dog laughed to see such fun

   And the dish ran away with the spoon

It’s tightly written, has an unapologetic opening, there’s a strong leading character, the storyline is non-derivative, loaded with interesting supporting roles and has a romantic B Story. 

What’s not to like?

One last word of caution – In the event you want to take your writing beyond the hobby stage, a well monied executive producer and a good agent not currently in rehab may also be helpful.

All the best and carry on.

© Copyright 2019 | John Hunter | x32792@yahoo.com