Sample script for screen-based comic

This script is written in a format developed specifically for screen-based comics in the panel delivery format.

For more on this and other screen-based comics format, check out Fredrik Rysjedal’s digital comics research project Frozen Moments in Motion.

Click here to compare with the finished comic.

The Birds of Twilight Park

SCREEN 1

1) Panel A

Small panel in the lower left of the screen. Full shot on a bird, a brightly colored swallow, sitting in the open left hand of a young woman. The swallow is facing right and looking up toward the upper right hand corner of the panel. The young woman’s hand is white, slender and ringless. The rest of her is off-panel. If we see her wrist in this shot, it is completely bare. We are outside, and it is a warm, sunny spring day.

1×2) Caption: I SHOULD HAVE REMEMBERED.

2×3) Panel A2

Same frame on the woman’s hand, but the bird has taken off and is now off-panel. The woman’s fingers are a little more splayed.

2) Panel B

Fullscreen panel, bleeds behind A2. Wide shot on the swallow flying through the air, midway between the bottom left hand corner and the upper right hand corner of the panel. In the background we see trees – some of them in bloom – and a clear blue sky with a few fluffy, white clouds in it. We may see the top of a simple high-rise building jutting up beyond the trees, just to help establish that we are in a park in a city. There’s some pollen in the air, which gives the image a dreamy, fairy tale-like quality.

3) Panel C

Small panel in the upper right of the screen. Medium close on a tree branch near the bottom of the panel. We see the swallow’s feet coming in from above, about to land on the branch.

4) Panel C2

Same frame. The swallow is now sitting on the branch.

4) Caption: SOMETIMES THINGS AREN’T WHAT THEY SEEM.

SCREEN 2

1) Panel A

Fullscreen. Full shot on the young woman, Mavis Yates, throwing bird seeds into the air with a bright, hopeful smile on her face; today, she’s in love with life. Mavis is standing on the fresh, green grass of the park, and ten or so swallows are gracefully swooping through the air around her, almost as if they are enticing her to dance. It is a perfect moment: World War II has just ended, and Mavis is on the threshold of what she believes will be a life of peace, love, and long-awaited happiness. It’s the springtime of the year, the world, and Mavis herself. Way off in the background we see a gazebo and a couple walking arm-in-arm. They’re wearing clothes similar to this: http://www.u5uk.com/you/masquerade/images/artimg/FCHYJ-6/forties.jpg. We might also see the tops of high-rise buildings above the trees in the background. But the focus should be on Mavis and the birds. In the background we also see the swallow from page one, perched on a tree branch some ten feet over the ground. Mavis is 25 years old, pretty, with a blonde 1940s Rita Hayworth-type hairstyle (http://en.loadtr.com/Rita_Hayworth_has_nice_smiling-473639.htm). Big, green eyes. She is wearing a dress that looks something like these: http://thumbs2.modthesims.info/img/3/1/4/8/5/MTS2_hedgekat_878456_40s_dresses.jpg. The dress should probably be pink and white, innocent and hopeful-looking. A gentle breeze makes the skirt billow ever so slightly. Mavis holds a small rolled-up paper cone in her right hand; this is where she keeps the bird seeds.

And here’s a short bio just to help you get a feel for her: Mavis was born on a small New Hampshire farm in 1920, the youngest of seven children. Her oldest brother died of pneumonia in 1925. She started going to school in a nearby town. When she was nine, the Great Depression hit, forcing the family to sell the farm (though her father remained to work the land) and send the older kids off to make a living in Manchester’s cotton industry. In the mid-thirties, Mavis’s father died in a farming accident. Her mother and two older sisters moved to Manchester, where they managed to eek out a living. Her mother always told Mavis how the future would be so much brighter for them. When the depression ended, Mavis’s oldest sister had gotten married to a well-connected local business man, who helped take care of the family. Mavis’s mother took up a loan to get her daughter through college, with the business man as collateral. When he went broke in 1941, Mavis had to quit college and start working as a waitress to pay back the loan. She met a young airforce lieutenant called Harry, and they started dating. In 1942, the US and entered World War II, and Harry had to fight. Before leaving, he proposed to Mavis, but she said no; she was afraid she’d lose him to the war. She told him to find her again when he came back, if he still loved her. Harry went off to war. Mavis etarted working as a schoolteacher. She rejected the advances of many men, finding herself unable to stop thinking and worrying about Harry. Finally, the war ended – and that’s pretty much where we are now.

Some park reference: http://www.manhattanstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Central-Park.jpg, http://www.zastavki.com/pictures/1024×768/2010/World_USA_New_York_Central_Park__NY_021678_.jpg, http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblarge_484/1268008182conREG.jpg, http://www.centralparknyc.org/visit/things-to-see/images/cherry-hill-l.jpg.

1×2) Title: THE BIRDS OF TWILIGHT PARK

2) Panel A2

Mavis moves with fluid, graceful elegance, her arm swinging out as she throws bird seeds into the air, a radiant smile on her face as she looks up at the birds. The birds in the air fly around her as if in a dance. The ones on the ground. The couple in the background walk on, looking at Mavis with smiles on their faces.

2×3) Credit: WRITTEN BY LARS SCHWED NYGÅRD

2×3) Credit: ART BY TORGEIR TRAPNES

3) Panel A3

Startled, Mavis turns her head as she hears her name. The voice interrupts her just as she is about to scoop another handful of seeds out of the cone. The birds move about around her, and the couple keeps walking.

3) Voice (off): MAVIS, DARLING.

4) Panel B

Inset in A. Close on Mavis as she looks adoringly into the camera, head tilted, smiling, with a happy tear just starting to form in the corner of her eye. (This was originally the silent panel 2 on page 3; I think it works better here, and with the balloon.)

4) Mavis (to herself): HARRY…

SCREEN 3

1) Panel A

Fullscreen. View over Mavis’s shoulder on Harry, jollily sauntering toward her across the grass, carrying a gunny sack slung over his shoulder, smiling confidently as he approaches. Harry is in his late 20s, white, pretty well built, a strong, robust sort of fellow. His face is wide, round, handsome, with a pair of dark, prominent eyebrows over intense, brown eyes. Clean shaven, except for a thin Clark Gable-like mustache. Harry’s He’s wearing an airforce captain’s uniform. Reference for the uniform: http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photodb/web/090427-F-7824S-113.jpg. Hat and jacket like this: http://rallypointmilitaria.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/danks1.jpg. Boots: http://www.epicmilitaria.com/product.php/1486/american-service-shoes. We see a park bench, off to the side between Mavis and Harry. In the background way behind Harry we see the edge of a park, marked by a tall wrought iron fence. Beyond the fence we can just make out a city street. A 1940s Chevrolet (http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/1940-chevrolet-master-and-special-1.jpg; http://www.chooseyouritem.com/classics/photos/401500/401973-2.1940.Chevrolet.Master.85.2-Door.Town.Sedan.jpg) is driving past in the street, from right to left in the panel. (These little background details don’t need to take up much space, but they are important to establish that it’s the 1940s.) In the extreme foreground we might see one or two of the birds fluttering happily around Mavis.

1×2) Mavis: I…WORRIED THAT YOU WERE GONE. SHOT DOWN.

1×2) Mavis (linked): BUT YOU’RE…

2) Panel A2

Harry moves closer, his free arm opening in an inviting gesture.

2) Harry: ALWAYS NEAR MISSES, DARLING.

3) Panel B

Inset in A. Close on Harry, a charming, playful smile on his lips,

3) Harry (linked): AND NOW I’M BACK.

3) Caption: SOMETIMES PEOPLE AREN’T WHAT THEY SEEM.

SCREEN 3

1) Panel A

Left half of the screen. Medium two-shot on Mavis and Harry as she grabs his free hand and looks lovingly into his eyes. Her other hand is caressing his cheek. Harry is looking at Mavis with an expression of vague surprise.

2) Panel A2

Mavis closes her eyes and leans in to kiss Harry. Harry turns away, his brow slightly knotted in worry. He has dropped the gunnysack; his hand now gently pushes against Mavis’s shoulder, keeping her from kissing him.

2) Harry: PLEASE, DON’T…

3) Panel B

Upper right quarter of the screen. Close on Mavis looking into the camera, disappointed and confused.

3) Mavis: WHAT…WHAT’S WRONG?

4) Mavis (linked): HAVE YOU…DID YOU…MEET SOMEONE?

5) Panel C

Lower right quarter. Close on Harry, brow slightly knotted, uncomprehending.

5) Harry: …

5) Harry (linked): WHAT?

6) Panel B2

Mavis looks worried, bracing herself for disappointment.

6) Mavis: SOMEONE…TO REPLACE YOUR GIRL?

SCREEN 4

1) Panel A

Medium on Harry, backing away from Mavis, startled and unsettled by her suggestion. In the background we see a bird taking flight.

1) Harry: NO! OF COURSE NOT!

1) Harry (linked): DON’T EVER SAY THINGS LIKE THAT!

2) Panel B

Wide shot on Harry and Mavis, standing some three feet away from each other. Harry is displaying his hands in a gesture of openness and honesty. Mavis is looking at him with cautious, questioning optimism, her hands absent-mindedly unrolling the empty paper cone. The gunny sack is lying on the ground next to Harry. A couple of birds in the foreground, flying. A few more in the sky in the background. In this shot we probably also see the gazebo from page two farther away in the background, as well as the park bench from panel 1, page three.

2) Harry: I’D NEVER LEAVE MY GIRL.

2) Mavis: YOU STILL CARE FOR ME?

3) Panel C

Medium on Mavis and Harry as Harry gently grabs Mavis’s elbow and gestures toward the park bench.

3) Harry: WELL, SURE. OF COURSE I DO.

3) Harry: PLEASE, LET’S JUST SIT FOR A MINUTE.

SCREEN 5

1) Panel A

Fullscreen. Full on Mavis and Harry, sitting together on the bench. Mavis is on our left, Harry on our right. Mavis is looking expectantly at Harry out of the corner of her eye. She has unrolled the paper cone and is holding it in her lap, absent-mindedly folding it. The fold she is making corresponds to step 1 in this diagram: http://www.marcels-kid-crafts.com/images/easter-origami-bird-pattern-new.jpg. Harry is leaning forward, resting his elbows on his knees, and looking at the birds on the ground. He’s searching for words. We see a few other birds flying around in the background.

2) Panel A2

Mavis continues to fold the piece of paper in her lap, now at step 2. The birds have all moved a bit. Harry is in the same position.

2) Harry: DO YOU REMEMBER THE QUESTION I ASKED YOU?

3) Panel A3

Mavis turns her head toward Harry, who remains in the same position.

3) Mavis: OF COURSE I REMEMBER. BUT YOU WERE LEAVING FOR THE WAR, AND…

4) Panel B

Close on Mavis, looking levelly at the off-panel Harry with hope and resolve in her eyes.

4) Mavis: I WAS YOUNG. I MADE A MISTAKE.

4) Mavis: WOULD YOU LIKE TO ASK ME AGAIN?

SCREEN 6

1) Panel A

Left half of the screen. On Mavis’s hands in her lap, starting to fold the paper as per step 3 in the diagram.

1) Harry (off): UHM…HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE THE LAST TIME WE SAT HERE TOGETHER?

2) Panel A2

Mavis’s hands complete the step 3 fold.

2) Mavis (off): THREE YEARS, ELEVEN MONTHS, ONE WEEK, AND THREE DAYS.

3) Panel B

Right half of the screen. Medium close on Harry, cocking an eyebrow and looking at the off-panel Mavis with mild surprise. He’s still resting his elbows on his knees.

3) Harry: REALLY? THAT LONG?

SCREEN 7

1) Panel A

Medium on Mavis, looking down at the paper she is folding (at step 4 now). We have the silhouetted profile of Harry in the foreground, still in the same position, except he’s looking ahead. The outline of his profile looks subtly different; I’ll explain later.

1) Mavis: I THOUGHT IT FELT LONGER.

1) Mavis (linked): IT’S HARD FOR A GIRL TO BE ALONE.

2) Panel B

High camera, looking down at Harry and Mavis from the branch where the swallow from page one is still perched. We see the bird in the extreme foreground. Down below, Harry is in the same position and Mavis is looking over at him.

2) Harry: I KNOW.

2) Harry (linked): AND IT’S HARD FOR A GUY TO MISS HIS DARLING.

3) Panel B2

Mavis looks back at the piece of paper she is folding. The bird tilts its head.

3) Mavis: SO…DO YOU WANT TO ASK YOUR QUESTION?

SCREEN 8

1) Panel A

Medium close two-shot on Mavis and Harry as Harry turns to look at her, a little concerned. Mavis silences him with a finger to his lips and a reassuring smile.

1) Harry: BUT I ALREADY DID. YOU–

1) Mavis: SHH. EVERYTHING’S DIFFERENT NOW.

2) Panel B

Medium profile on Mavis in the foreground, contentedly looking at the off-panel birds. We see her hands still folding the paper, now at step 5. Harry in the middleground is looking up at her through the corner of his eye, concerned.

2) Mavis: THIS IS WHERE OUR FUTURE STARTS. HERE, TODAY, IN LIVINGSTON PARK.

3) Panel C

Close on Harry, looking into the camera, cocking a slightly concerned eyebrow.

4) Panel C2

Harry speaks, tentatively questioning.

4) Harry: YOU KNOW THIS IS TWILIGHT PARK, RIGHT?

SCREEN 9

1) Panel A

Close on Mavis, looking into the camera out of the corner of her eye, also her head a little and smiling crookedly, wondering if Harry is confused or setting her up for a joke.

1) Mavis: …

1) Mavis (linked): UHM…NO, HONEY. IT’S LIVINGSTON PARK.

1) Mavis (linked): ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?

2) Panel B

Medium close on Harry, looking down and pointing at something in Mavis’s off-panel hands. For the first time we see the name printed on his shirt’s name tag: “Darling”.

2) Harry: I’M FINE.

2) Harry: THAT’S A VERY PRETTY BIRD, MAVIS. WHEN DID YOU LEARN ORIGAMI?

SCREEN 10

1) Panel A

Medium close on Mavis, looking intently into the camera, head slightly tilted, the finished origami bird in her hands (which of course corresponds to step 6).

1) Mavis: …

1) Mavis (linked): YOU DON’T REMEMBER? HONEY, IT WAS TOKYO, IN ’51!

2) Panel B

Medium close on Harry, looking intently into the camera.

2) Harry: OKAY. AND WHAT YEAR IS IT NOW?

3) Panel C

Medium two-shot. Mavis leans toward Harry, worried, grabbing his arm. Harry is looking at her, calm but insistant.

3) Mavis: OH GOD…DID YOU GET SHELL-SHOCKED?

3) Harry: PLEASE, MAVIS: WHAT YEAR IS THIS?

SCREEN 11

1) Panel A

A lonely panel in the middle third of the screen. Medium close on Mavis looking into the camera, confident and concerned for Harry; is her poor darling confused? We see the origami bird in her hands, which are resting in her lap.

1) Mavis: HONEY, IT’S 19–

2) Panel A2

Mavis goes wide-eyed, like her brain just short-circuited. Her lips are slightly parted.

3×4) Mavis: IT’S 1945.

4) Mavis: WE HAVEN’T LIVED IN TOKYO YET.

5) Panel A3

Mavis bows her head a little to look down at the bird in her hands. She’s very confused.

6) Panel A4

Mavis looks up again; exact same image as panel A2.

6) Mavis: WHAT’S GOING ON?

SCREEN 12

1) Panel A

Medium on Harry, looking calmly and reasonably at the off-panel Mavis.

1) Harry: OKAY. OKAY, LISTEN. I THINK–

1) SFX: DI-DA-DOO-DOO-DI-DA-DOO-DOO-DI-DA-DOO-DOO-DUUT

2) Panel B

On Harry’s hand reaching into his pants pocket in the foreground. His head is off-panel. In the middleground, Mavis looks on, uncomprehending and confused.

2) Harry: DAMMIT. SORRY, HANG ON A SEC.

2) SFX: DI-DA-DOO-DOO-DI-DA-DOO-DOO-DI-DA-DOO-DOO-DUUT

SCREEN 13

1) Panel A

Close on Harry, holding a Nokia mobile phone to his ear and speaking into it, turning a little away from Mavis. He raises his eyebrows and smiles slightly, trying to come off as calm and chipper to the person on the phone.

1) SFX: DI-DA-DOO-DOO-DID–

1) Harry: HEY HONEY, LISTEN, I’VE GOT A WORK THING, CAN I–

2) Panel B

Close on Mavis, looking into the camera with increased fear and confusion. She’s limply pointing at the off-panel phone.

2) Mavis: …

2) Mavis (linked): W-WHAT IS THAT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

SCREEN 14

1) Panel A

Covers middle third of the screen. Medium on Harry, apologetic, speaking into the phone with a slight panic in his eyes, which are looking away from Mavis; he’s completely focused on the phone conversation. He raises a finger toward the off-panel Mavis, gesturing for her to wait a second.

1) Harry: OH SHIT BABE, I’M SORRY, I FORGOT, I’LL BE RIGHT THERE, OKAY?

1) Harry (linked): I’M SORRY, OKAY? I LOVE Y–

2) Panel A2

Harry holds the phone away from his ear and looks at it; the person on the other end just hung up. He’s a little angry, but at himself, not the person on the phone. Text on the phone display reads “Call ended”.

3) Harry: GODDAMMIT.

4) Mavis (off): …W-WHAT…

SCREEN 15

1) Panel A

Fullscreen. Ground level camera, wide on Harry getting up from the bench and grabbing his gunny sack, moving toward us. Mavis is still sitting on the bench, reaching for him, confused and frightened. In the foreground we see a bird pecking at seeds on the ground. We may see a few more birds around as well, but one of them should be front and center.

1) Harry: SORRY, I GOTTA GO.

1) Mavis: WHAT–NO! THIS DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE!

2) Panel B

Inset in A, over on the left of the screen. The whole panel (including copy) is at a slight off-angle, like a playing card that has been slapped down on top of panel A. On the bird, squawking in terror as Harry’s hand shoots in from off-panel to violently grab it, breaking its back and wings in the process. Some blood spurts from the bird’s beak.

2) Bird (burst): SQUAAACK!

3) Panel C

Inset in A, on the right. The same size as panel B, this one also a little tilted. Low camera, uneasy angle, looking up at Harry as he tosses the mangled, bloody corpse of the bird into his gunny sack. There’s bird blood on his hand. His expression is a little stressed; he’s in a hurry, but he considers his actions perfectly normal and rational.

3) Harry: I REALLY GOTTA GO, SORRY.

4) Panel D

On Harry’s body as he grabs a second bird off the ground, blood spurting. Harry’s head is probably off-panel here. In the background we see Mavis jumping up from the bench, screaming at Harry in abject horror. (From here on, the panels on this screen keep piling up like discarded playing cards, chaotic, randomly covering each other. The effect probably works best if all the panels are all the same size and shape, but let’s see.)

4) Mavis: NO!!!

5) Panel E

Medium on Harry, looking over his left shoulder at the camera with an almost apologetic smile as he throws bloody corpse of the second bird into the sack.

5) Harry: IT’S OKAY, I’LL BE BACK TOMORROW.

6) Panel F

Full on Mavis and Harry as she throws herself at him, trying to stop him as he grabs a third bird from the ground. She’s crying desperately, furiously. Harry’s face registers sudden shock at Mavis’s (in his opinion completely unprovoked) attack.

6) Mavis: NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING STOP–

6) Harry: THE FU

7) Panel G

Medium close two-shot as Harry grabs Mavis by the wrists to restrain her, forceful but controlled. Mavis is struggling, crying, screaming, staring at him with terror in her eyes.

7) Harry: HEY, TAKE IT EASY!

7) Mavis: WHAT’S HAPPENING HARRY STOP IT!!!

SCREEN 16

1) Panel A

Middle third of the screen. Medium close on Harry, looking into the camera, eyes wide with a sudden realization. We see the name tag on his shirt, and the name on it: “Darling”. Near the bottom of the panel we see his slightly bloodied hands holding Mavis’s wrists, her hands clenched into fists. We see the park in the background. Birds flying.

2) Panel A2

Same expression on Harry. The birds are the only things moving.

2×3) Harry: OH SHIT.

3) Panel A3

Harry’s expression changes to one of compassionate resolve. The birds fly around in the background.

3×4) Harry: OKAY. MAVIS, LISTEN TO ME:

4) Panel A4

Harry stares into the camera, compassionate. The birds all suddenly stop, like they’ve all been electrocuted by invisible lightning.

4) Harry: HARRY’S BEEN DEAD FOR TWENTY YEARS.

5) Panel A5

Same frame, same background, but we are no longer looking at Harry’s face. We are looking at the face of a 21 year old man named Jack Tailor, who is looking into the camera with the same expression as Harry wore in panel 3. Jack is on the skinny side of slim, white, has dyed blond hair in short, spiky dreadlocks, big blue eyes, a thin face with a protruding chin, a short dark goatee and an ear piercing similar to this one: http://www.happynews.com/living/livingimages/ear-piercing-stretching.jpg. He’s not wearing an airforce uniform, but a nurse’s uniform like this: http://i.istockimg.com/file_thumbview_approve/9099090/2/stock-photo-9099090-african-american-male-nurse.jpg, only without the stethoscope. In the spot where Harry’s name tag was, we now see a clip-on name tag that says “Hello, I’m Jack”, with the first two words in printed letters and the “Jack” scribbled with a marker pen. Near the bottom of the panel we still see Jack’s hands around Mavis’s wrists. There’s no blood on them. Jack has a ring on his left thumb. Mavis’s hands are still clenched, but they are now the hands of an old woman: wrinkly and liver-spotted. We don’t necessarily see it in this panel, but she is wering a wedding ring on her left ring finger. In the background the birds fall from the sky, all dead.

5) Jack (linked from Harry’s previous balloon): REMEMBER?

SCREEN 17

1) Panel A

Fullscreen. Cut to wide shot on Mavis, now ninety years old, and Jack, standing face to face in the middle of a large, sad and sparsely furnished room – the living room of a nursing home. The floor around them is littered with paper planes of the “swallow” variety (http://www.paper-airplane-designs.co.uk/thumb2.gif, http://www.paper-airplane-designs.co.uk/thumb2.gif). A plastic trash bag lies among the paper planes. A few feet away from Mavis and Jack we see two simple kitchen chairs, one lying on its side from when Mavis toppled it over getting out of it. Mavis’s hair is grey and unruly, possibly with a rolling pin in it that she has forgotten to remove. Her body is frail, hunched over, carrying the weight of a long and hard life. Her face is recognizable, but lined and wrinkly, and carrying a sad expression. She is wearing the same type of dress, but it is worn and tattered, and the colors are washed out. I’ll give you a quick bio of the last 65 years of Mavis’s life at the end of this panel description, but first let’s have a look at the room we are in. The room is big, cold, run-down and impersonal, white grey walls and a high ceiling. A few old pieces of furniture – a couple of comfy chairs, coffee tables and the like, all apparently bought at flea markets – are scattered around the room in a failed attempt to make it feel homey. The plaster on the walls is cracked. In the wall to our left there is a door with an “Exit” sign glowing above it. An old television set shows an image that is scrambled by snow and static. No one is watching the television. In the wall opposite us there are two big, tall windows, each with four panes that can be opened separately. The bottom panes are very tall, leaving the top ones unaccessible to anyone on the floor. The bottom panes are all locked with padlocks. All the panes are closed, except for the top right pane of the right hand window. It is partly open, and one of the paper planes is stuck in it. It is too foggy outside to give us much of a view through the windows. In the background we see the back of an old man in a rocking chair, looking out of the window. A middle-aged woman (his daughter), is sitting on a kitchen chair next to him, turned to face him. She’s holding one of his hands, and looking down in sorrow, her other hand pressed against her eyes as if to stem her tears. I couldn’t find any suitably run-down and grim reference for the room. This image gives a vague idea, but it is not nearly as bleak and hopeless as we are going: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-G-pT3ojaPbg/TZCd1adG-YI/AAAAAAAABNo/_ao8appGFp8/s1600/nursing_home.jpg.

Okay, the rest of Mavis’s life: When Harry returned from the war in 1945, she actually did meet him again in Livingston Park, and he proposed to her. She said yes, and became Mrs Mavis Darling. In 1947, Mavis gave birth to their first child. It was stillborn. In 1949, Mavis got pregnant again, this time with twins. Only one of them survived the birth. Mavis and Harry lived together in Manchester until 1952, when Mavis’s mother died. After that, Harry’s military career took them from state to state, always moving. They spent some time in Japan, and Mavis learned origami. Their daughter was never able to set roots aywhere; they never stayed in the same place for more than a couple of years. As a result, their relationship with the daughter suffered. In the early sixties, the family finally settled back in New Hampshire. Harry started working with a security company. The daughter went off to UCLA in 1968, just in time to get swallowed up by the counterculture movement. Estranged from their daughter, Mavis needed something to occupy herself with, and she started working as a teacher at her old school. She worked there all through the seventies, retiring only after Harry suffered a debilitating stroke in 1981. Mavis took care of him for years. In 1989 he had another stroke, this time fatal. At his funeral, Mavis’s daughter and granddaughter showed up, but the reunion was bitter and sad. They soon returned to Seattle, where they were now living, and Mavis entered a deep depression. In 1997, Mavis’s granddaughter came to see her, saying she wanted to stay in touch. The granddaughter wanted to reunite Mavis with her daughter, but in 2004 the daughter died in a car accident before they ever had the chance to make up. The granddaughter remained Mavis’s lifeline. In 2008, Alzheimer’s set in. Mavis was living alone with no one to take care of her. When the granddaughter found out, she told Mavis to come live with her in Seattle. Mavis went, but the granddaughter abandoned her in 2009, when she realized how hard it was to take care of someone in Mavis’s condition. She put Mavis away in this nursing home, where Mavis ever since has been living in her memories of better days.

1) Mavis: OH…

1) Mavis (linked): OF COURSE.

2) Mavis: I’M VERY SORRY.

SCREEN 18

1) Panel A

Medium on Jack as he hurriedly throws another paper plane into the trash bag, which he is now holding in his hand. He is looking at the off-panel Mavis with a polite, slightly overbearing, smile.

1) Jack: DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT, MRS DARLING.

1) Panel B

Medium close on old Mavis in the foreground, staring into empty space with sad, frightened eyes. In the background we see Jack hurrying through the exit door with the trash bag across his shoulder.

1×2) Jack: I GOTTA RUN, I’LL SEE YOU TOMORROW!

2) Panel B2

Same frame. The door slams shut behind Jack, leaving Mavis desperately alone in the room. She closes her eyes as a wave of loneliness washes over her.

2) SFX: SLAM

SCREEN 19

1) Panel A

Fullscreen. Wide back shot on Mavis, looking frail and old alone as she stands in the middle of the big room. Her head is lowered. The wall with the windows is now on our left.

2) Panel B

Inset in A. On Mavis’s old, liver-spotted hands. We see the wedding band around her left ring finger.

SCREEN 20

1) Panel A

Left half of the screen. Close frontal on Mavis, eyes closed, shoulders shuddering with grief.

2) Panel A2

Her shoulders stop shaking.

2×3) SFX (off): RUSTLE RUSTLE

3) Panel A3

Mavis opens her rheumy eyes and looks up to her left (our right).

4) Panel B

Right half of the screen. Our POV is just in front of the top right window pane, and we are looking down at a 45 degree angle. Medium wide on Mavis, standing in the same spot, looking intently up at the camera, her sadness for the moment suspended.

4) Caption: I REMEMBER NOW.

5) Panel A4

Shift to view over Mavis’s shoulder, looking up at the the half open window with the paper plane stuck in it.

5) SFX: RUSTLE

6) Panel B2

Pull back a little. The camera is now placed just outside the half open window. In the foreground we see the paper plane, loosely wedged between the frame and the window, rustled by the wind. Down in the background we see Mavis standing in the middle of the room, same position, looking up at the plane, but she’s probably partly obscured by the plane in the foreground. Near one of the panel edges we see a small autumn leaf caught in the wind.

6) SFX: RUSTLE RUSTLE

7) Panel B3

The plane tumbles out of the window, caught in a gust of wind. We see Mavis down in the background inside the room, still in the same position.

7) Caption: SOMETIMES THINGS AREN’T WHAT THEY SEEM.

SCREEN 21

1) Panel A

Not quite fullscreen, but placed in the middle of the screen. Full on the paper plane as it tumbles through the air, falling down from the window, the bottom part of which we see in the background near the top of the panel. The background is all bricks: the dull exterior wall of the building. A few more autumn leaves are flying about, caught in the wind, just like the plane.

2) Panel A2

Pull back to a wide shot on the plane, still falling and tumbling in the wind. We see more of the exterior wall, including its ground floor and basement windows. Near the bottom of the panel we see the ground, covered with the pale grass of autumn. The weather is wet, cold, and foggy. Leaves bustling in the wind.

SCREEN 22

1) Panel A

Fullscreen. Pull way back and up to a full shot on the brightly colored swallow from page one triumphantly swooping up toward the camera, speed lines indicating the curve of its ascent from where the paper plane was in the previous panel. In the background down below we see the nursing home building through a thin layer of fog. It’s a square, boring-looking building, five stories tall. Some inspiration for the design and feel of the building: http://www.ltlmagazine.com/sites/ltlmagazine.com/files/archive/www.ltlmagazine.com/Media/PublicationsArticle/028_LTL_DES_0903_ufig1.jpg, http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3655/3326079668_5a90bbba7a.jpg, http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlyneparis/7114196139/, http://216.14.120.105/~robert/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Foster-Medical-Building.png. The grounds around the home are badly tended, and a couple of narrow walkways snake across them. A driveway leads to a small parking lot outside the home’s front entrance. A couple of cars are parked there. There are trees around, their few remaining leaves yellow and red. More leaves are tumbling through the windy, foggy air. The grounds are encircled by a tall fence. Near the bottom left corner of the panel we see the fence’s front gate, with a sign above it that reads: “Twilight Park Nursing Home”.

1) End caption: END.

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