Tomorrow is a big day for us at Mystery House Comics: we begin accepting submissions for our annual anthology,6x6.  Over the next month we'll start seeing 1-page comics illustrated by potential artists, and 5-page scripts written by potential writers.  The first year of the anthology everyone involved contributed a script or art chores while we got the project off the ground.  We'd never taken submissions from complete strangers before, and we wanted a few irons in the fire that we knew we could control the temperature of.  The next year we agreed not to publish ourselves, but to turn entirely to the community.  However, there's a danger in working with strangers.  What if someone isn't able to keep up with the deadline?  What if they pull their script last minute?  Shanae and I have made it a habit to plan for the worst case scenario.  How we handled it in this instance was to position ourselves as understudies.  Were this to happen, an artist with proven speed was ready to illustrate, and back-up scripts were at the ready.  Every editor was tasked with writing a back-up script, should an emergency call for it.

I thought it would be fun to unveil my back-up script from last year's anthology, Momentum.  Honestly, I don't know where else it will see the light of day.  But maybe it will act as inspiration for a writer thinking of submitting this year.  Maybe someone has never written a script and needs to look at an example to ape.  Who better to mimic than one of the people analyzing submissions?  

I'm not really good at fitting fictional concepts into short scripts.  Where I tend to thrive is autobiographical anecdotes (like the script I submitted to the first 6x6, Feral).  This is an example of that, based on a real incidence with one of my best friends, Weston.  Where I stretched the truth?  Weston was never in band with me, the girl is a composite of everyone in our lives at the time, and Weston didn't come to our 10 year reunion.  Other than that, I think you have a pretty accurate representation of our friendship.

Without further long-winded stalling... my Momentum script.



PAGE 1- The crash Part 1, ending with the car pulling in front of them.

PAGE 2- The crash Part 2.

PAGE 3- Them telling everyone the story, but it’s cut up between panels.  Ends with someone saying, “Maybe you could give that story a break.  For like... a few years?”

PAGE 4- Them not talking about the bike thing, and panel after panel of them getting farther and farther apart.

PAGE 5- 10 year reunion.  Hey.  Hey.  You remember that time- When I hit you with my bike?  YES!!!  Roll eyes.



JON is tall and skinny.  Brunette.  He has about a foot on Weston.  He has spiky hair and a Hawaiian shirt.  Each time we see him, he can have a different Hawaiian shirt to mark the passage of time.  

WESTON is short and fit.  His style of dress can vary more, but he bounces between sporty and preppy.  He’s blonde, wears pooka shells, and has big, entrancing blue eyes.  And he’s wicked good-looking.



1- Jon and Weston

Jon and Weston ride their bikes out of Jon’s garage and down a driveway.  They are 16 and best friends.  Inseparable.  They are ecstatic.  Not to be riding bikes, but to be sharing epic stories of friendship.  Whenever they’re telling stories, they’re wired and over-the-top happy.  On this particular day Weston is wearing shorts and a white tank top or wife-beater (though I’m not sure what the politically correct terminology for that is).



Remember that time I tried to-



-jump that ditch and missed?  I was thinking the same thing!


2- The boys ride around a street corner.  They’re on the wrong side of the road, but on the sidewalk, bikes alongside one another.  Jon on Weston’s left, in front by half a foot.



Your foot got stuck in the mud.



I was like, “Ahhhh!”


3- The road dips down steeply.  This is a big hill they’re going down.



If you hadn’t twisted, you wouldn’t have sprained your ankle-


4- They’re still on the hill, but it’s less steep.  The open mouth of a street has appeared on Jon’s left.  They’re coming to an intersection.  



This is where I live.






Turn left.





5- Jon on left with invisible arrows pointing his intention: forward.  Weston on right with invisible arrows pointing his intention: left.  These are conflicting intentions, that will end in a horrible wreck.


6- Close-up of their wheels connecting.  Uh-oh.



1- Weston’s bike is flipping, the back wheel rising into the air.  He’s going over the handlebars with a silly “Oh CRAP” look on his face.  


2- Jon skids his bike sideways and watches in shock.  We’re looking straight at him.


3- Weston hits the ground hard on his shoulder, almost fetal position.


4- Weston skids across the intersection on his shoulder on gravel in almost fetal position.  Tank top.  Ow.


5- Jon at Weston’s side, Weston on the ground.



Dude, that was so awesome!



Was it awesome?



Very awesome.

Dude, you’re bleeding a lot.



1- In class, Jon and Weston are at desks next to each other, talking to a girl in a seat next to them.  She seems interested.  



So, we’re on our way to Weston’s house...


2- Jon and Weston sitting on opposite sides of the girl in the bleachers at a football game.  She’s still interested.



I don’t remember what we were talking about at the time...


3- At a birthday party, Jon and Weston are regaling a crowd with the story.  In the middle of the crowd is the GIRL.  She isn’t thrilled to be hearing the same story again.  There should be a happy birthday banner and decorations indicating why they’re there.



We’re going down that big hill...


WESTON street is at the bottom.  We’ve turned left there like a million times!


4- In the cafeteria, again there are other people listening to the story and the GIRL is bored, stirring her mashed potatoes with her face on her hand.



But Jon keeps going straight...



And Weston turns left right into me...


5- In marching band, the GIRL is stuck between the two boys.  Jon has a clarinet, Weston has a trumpet, GIRL has a flute.  They’re in a parade.  Girl is the only one playing.



He skidded, on his bare shoulder, I’m not kidding you 10 FEET on the gravel!



-My shoulder was grated like cheese.


6- In the school hallway, in front of a line of lockers.  The lockers alternate colors between light and dark (red and yellow).  Jon and Weston on one side of her.  The girl is at the end of her rope.  She holds up a hand sharply.



So I said, “Dude that was awesome.”



You know what?  Maybe you could give this story a break.  For like... a few years.


PAGE 4- 

1- Jon and Weston sitting at desks next to one another in class.


2- Jon and Weston sitting on opposite sides of the GIRL in the bleachers at a football game.



Remember when-





3- Jon dancing with the GIRL, Weston dancing with another girl, at Prom.  They look sadly at each other.


4- Same setting as 4-1, but Jon and Weston aren’t sitting together anymore.


5- Weston approaches Jon in the hall.  He meanders and asks Jon to hang out in a passive, half-assed way.



You wanna hang out?





6- At graduation, Jon and Weston are being congratulated by separate crowds, their backs to one another.



1- Jon and girl are scooping punch at a table.  They’re 10 years older.  In the background is a banner that says “10 YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION.”


2- Weston walks up to get punch.





3- Jon notices, they all turn to each other in conversation.



Oh, hey.


4- Awkward.




How are you?





5- Awkward.  Weston looking away.





6- They’re both over-the-top ecstatic.  The GIRL is slapping her forehead and laughing in defeat.



You remember that time...



...I skidded 10 feet on the gravel?!  I was just thinking about that!



*A note about the images attached to this week's post.  They were taken the day of the legendary bike crash.  I want to say it was the Summer before our Junior year in high school.  You can see the bandage on Weston's shoulder.  Not as bad as we repeatedly described it.  However, I recently found video of the day and I had a pretty severe limp.

If you found this post helpful, be sure to tune in next Sunday at noon.  Next week's post will be a collection of tips to writing your 6x6 script, based on lessons I've learned over the last couple years.  

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