A View from Above
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One of the first things we wanted to do in our debut issue was to simultaneously establish our core cast of characters and the chaotic, alien landscape in which they exist. This is easier said than done, because we needed to have enough intimate focus on our heroes to make readers care about them, but we also needed to show the massive scope of the Biowars conflict.
So, a challenge — but one we hope we've met through the collaborative process. That’s writer-speak for, “we have a team of artists who can be asked to portray the impossible, and deliver.”
What follows is the script for Page Fifteen of Biowars #1. Up to this point, we’ve spent some time with the characters as they come to realize that a new enemy has invaded their world — an enemy that may bring on the fabled “Eternal Dark.” As this page begins, Blastor and Humron — two of our main BioWarrior heroes — have peered over the edge of a cliff to view the onslaught of an invading pathogen army:
PANEL ONE (Inset)
We’re looking up at BLASTOR and HUMRON as they peer over the crest of the hill.
HUMRON: That little talk we had about not being overconfident?
PANEL TWO (tier-wide, @ 2/3 page high)
Reveal shot of the “valley” they’re looking down into, which is being flooded by RAZE and his Strep Bacteria forces, which both run on the surface walls and leap. As he skitters across the fibrous surface, RAZE severs neural channels, causing them to rupture and burst in little puffs of energy. And, the storm we’ve seen increasingly obvious signs of on previous pages is strongest here, with the entire scene enveloped in maelstrom of swirling yellowish fog, severed nerve branches, and loose blood cells. If you’ve seen the opening of Lord of the Rings, with the onslaught of Sauron and his Orc army, that’s what we want here.
The NATURAL KILLER CELLS' beams scan the battlefield from above, and in the distance, we can see a forest of nerve branches beyond another hill (which we’ll momentarily learn is concealing the MACROPHAGES).
HUMRON (from off): Point taken.
CAPTION: Only a short time ago, it was a view that might have inspired awe, a perfect representation of the Cosmos’ majesty.
CAPTION: Now, what was once a wide valley covered by a glistening, striated surface has become a hellish charnel house overrun by monstrous invaders whose every step spreads poison and decay.
A few challenges here. One: we’re defining the visual look of this world even as we establish its defining conflict — so the artist must accomplish many things at one time. Moreover, the world he’s being asked to bring to life is very hard to describe — we didn’t want the BioCosmos to look like a Colonoscopy photo. We wanted it to look like a living, breathing alien world of enormous scope.
My descriptions left much to the artist’s interpretation — in other words, I left the heavy lifting to him. (No joke: as I wrote this I was thinking, Thank goodness I don’t have to draw this. I think I’d just start weeping.)
Look at what our artists Lucius, Goncalo and Joanna did with what I wrote:
Writer of Biowars