Thumbnails/Layouts: The Order #3

Here’s a cool little bit from Matt Fraction–

Q: Do you/have you ever done little thumbnails for your artists at all? How have you found your scripts translating to page? Pretty accurate? Horrid changes?

Fraction: Very rarely. I think the last time I did it was for Barry Kitson on THE ORDER because I got a goofy bug up my ass to be clever:

along with this page of script:

Okay. I know what you’re thinking. Here were are. Page thirteen. And page twenty-four of physical papers in-hand. We’ve shed a few pages from our last issues. The panel descriptions are getting more terse; we’ve broken bread and hung with Mr. Drippy himself. Surely, you must be thinking, the team is gelling. Well now. This is the page to ruin all of that.

It’s one LARGE IMAGE of a morgue that’s been set up in a Bradbury subfloor. We’re angling down directly overhead on AVONA’S BODY on the slab as PEPPER and HOLLY make their way around it. The space/the image is divided into 6 Jack Kirby panels, with HOLLY and PEPPER occupying different places in each, as though they’re moving through the morgue but the camera remains fixed overhead.

So, the one rule it breaks is that the last panel read on the page is technically “Panel 5.” But as long as we make sure, in the pagination of the book, that it remains either a right-facing page or that there’s an ad so a page-flip is required at the end of thirteen and we’ll be good to go.

For the purposes of “clarity”, the script is numbered


1/6 OVERHEAD: HOLLY enters the room as though she were entering a UFO made of glass for the first time. Everything she sees is fantastic but might shatter if she touches it. PEPPER shepherds her in from behind.

PEPPER We try to keep the trainees separated from the active roster, so I’m not sure if you two ever met.
PEPPER Mulholland Black, this is Avery Allen. We called her Avona.
HOLLY Ho-lee… crap, dude. She’s dead.

1/6 OVERHEAD CONTINUOUS: HOLLY approaches the slab, fascinated by the sight of the corpse, unable to look away. PEPPER, arms folded, outlines some of the facts of the case.

PEPPER She is indeed. Found dead on the Metro– Red Line– about six hours after she was fired.
PEPPER Avona was a gifted swordswoman, and her gimmick was a psychokinetic link to a… well, a gifted sword.

1/6 OVERHEAD CONTINUOUS: We’re angling on AVONA here, mostly, at the mouth of the mortuary slab, a long lab-lamp hanging overhead obstructing her bare breasts from our view. We can see a large stab-wound, though. Cleaned and under the lights it just looks like a black gash in her gut.

PEPPER (OP) It was more than just a weapon– we infused it with top of the line Stark AI.
PEPPER (OP) It was like a sidekick Avery had a psychic bond to.

HOLLY and PEPPER stand at the foot of AVONA’S SLABS. HOLLY actually touches the poor dead girl’s ankles with sympathy; PEPPER touches Holly’s shoulder. Their word balloons obscure Avona’s genitalia.

HOLLY A sword? Because you know that looks like a big stabby-hole in her, right?
PEPPER Yeah. We retrieved the sword from the crime scene.

HOLLY and PEPPER come around now past an array of monitors and such on their way to the head of the slab.

HOLLY She kept it? I was told I had to sign, like, 200 forms if I even thought about leaving the building with my hammer.
PEPPER We’re not sure how or why she had her sword. We’re looking into it.

HOLLY and PEPPER now stand at the head of the slab. HOLLY turns her head and leans down a bit to look at AVONA’S FACE closely. PEPPER stands back some, letting Holly intuitively go to work.

HOLLY Jeez, Ms. Potts–
PEPPER Pepper.
HOLLY Pepper. This is– this is awful. Why are– why am I seeing her like this?

So, really, the lesson here is I’m too clever by half and Barry is a prince.

nine times out of ten the pages come back even better than i saw ‘em in my head. every now and again i gotta retweak dialogue to match art. collaborative medium and the train leaves the station every 30 days. c’est la vie.

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