I Heard A Rumor
I don't know if it's true. Seems like poor judgment.
A ribald old-timey revue, featuring the Scots Flying Monkey Battalion and Shakey Pervy Pete, the Inelegant Dinner Guest.
Note To All Concerned:
Let’s think of this as a sexy late night horror/action movie...just a fun, off-beat little story with that sort of Creature Feature sensibility and tone, and a bad heavy metal soundtrack. These characters are serious in their own books...let’s let them loosen up a bit here, I think.
Also, I know it’s technically THE
Joyce, panel arrangements are just suggestions, please feel free to ignore or improve, as needed.
LETTERER’S NOTE: Please note that all Farrin’s dialogue balloons should have a thick back border to indicated that he’s creepity.
PAGE ONE: Four tiered panels, with the second and fourth panels split into three pieces each, each showing one of our heroines.
PANEL ONE: Thin establishing shot, from high above the convergence of three dirt roads in rural (EXTREMELY rural)
FARRIN (tailless, off-panel): So, I’m sitting on the steps of my
humble concern, as I am wont to do, remembering past
joys and sadnesses...
PANEL TWO: Split three ways, each showing the feet of one of our heroines, in full costume, as they come to the end of their journey. Each should be facing the direction they were facing on their particular road to the convergence. The order should be; Patience, Sara, Vampirella. They kick up a bit of dust, perhaps, as they walk.
FARRIN (tailless, off-panel): ...and suddenly, I says to myself, I says,
“Self, you know what this celebration needs?”
FARRIN (tailless, off-panel): And I answers, “New blood.”
PANEL THREE: An old, battered wooden sign, with a smiling clown’s face painted on it. The clown’s eyes are just x’s. The paint is faded and the wood is rough and uneven, posted on a single, large wooden stake in the ground. Handcuffed to the stake is a dessicated corpse, face up, and he’s been drained of blood. The sign says, YOU MUST BE THIS DEAD TO ENTER!
FARRIN (tailless, off-panel): Then I thought, why not invite
some real A-LIST types...?
FARRIN (tailless, off-panel): I’ll be honest, my position in the social
hierarchy is NOT what it should be. And so, I invite the three
PANEL FOUR: Similar to panel two, but now we show their faces; Patience and Sara look angry, Vampi looks bemused.
4b. (Witchblade) FARRIN: The Weapon.
4c (Vampi) FARRIN: And the Traitor.
FARRIN: Or as I collectively like to call you...
This is a two-page spread, as moody and creepy as you can make it, Joyce. :)
What we have here is the Emporium in the background, leaves from dead trees blowing in the wind and a bright moon in the sky. Our three girls stand, defiant, in front of the Emporium, facing towards it. In the center, in front of the doors, is a raised podium, where Prince Farrin stands, like a carnival barker, with boater hat and cane, looking every bit a carny showman. He’s got a huge grin and an evil mischief in his eye, as he addresses the women.
Around the grounds in front are more wooden signs, the largest of which says only the title, CONVERGENCE. Then several smaller signs, stuck hastily into the ground, with the creator credits.
The ‘Emporium’ itself is a shabby and ramshackle roadside attraction, the kind that used to be quite popular on long rural roads, and still exist today...however, it’s pretty clear that Prince Farrin isn’t exactly appealing to casual passersby, as the attraction is in serious disrepair. Remember, it’s triangular in shape, and the podium is at one corner, in front of the doors. So we should see two of the three walls. On the right wall, we see:
Is seeing believing? Thank Your Maker You’re Not On Display!
On the left:
PRINCE FARRIN’S GENUINE ODDITY EMPORIUM
Nature Laughs, Man Weeps!
FARRIN: ...THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY STRUMPETS!
PANEL ONE: Farrin, smiling, twirling his cane (note, he’ll commonly be swinging or playing with his cane, absent-mindedly).
FARRIN: Ladies and...well, other ladies!
FARRIN: Let me introduce you to a roadside attraction so exclusive,
so specified, so SINGULAR in dimension and presentation that
only the most DISCERNING and WORLDLY of guests may
venture inside at all! Why, it’s nothing less than the crown
spectacle of spectacles, and aren’t YOU fortunate to have been
FARRIN: I ENVY you the miracles you’re about to see!
PANEL TWO: He’s spinning a wheel of tickets on the end of his cane, the unspooling tickets flying wildly.
FARRIN: And, because I invited you, none other than the Lord of the
Lords of Misrule, the Duke of Deformity, Prince
FARRIN hizzown self...
FARRIN: ..Admission for this limited engagement is, that’s right
friends, FREE. That’s zero, zip, nada, and I got the
golden tickets rightchere!
PANEL THREE: Stepped down, he hands a ticket to Patience.
FARRIN (musical notes): “Are you going, to Bartholomew Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and geeks?
Remember me, to the Siamese Twins
They once were, my most popular freaks...”
FARRIN: ...HEALTHY girl, ain’t ya?
PANEL FOUR: He hands a ticket to Sara.
FARRIN: What are you, the chrome variant?
FARRIN: Never mind, I got bolt cutters somewheres.
VAMPI (possibly off-panel): Why’d you bring us HERE, Farrin?
PANEL FIVE: He hands Vampirella her ticket.
FARRIN: Why, I’d think YOU of all people would know...it’s a
TREAT to beat your feet in the
VAMPIRELLA: I’ve heard of you -- they call you the Gourmand.
VAMPIRELLA: People like you give undead bloodsucking serial
killers a bad name.
PANEL ONE: Ferrin, smiling, this view has to be towards the camera, showing him from his stomach up, arms wildly gesticulating.
FARRIN: That’s a grave, cold, cold-grave injustice they do me with
that epithet. See, I really AM of royal linea...
PANEL TWO: Similar pov, but now, Patience’s sword point is protruding from his torso (she’s stabbed him from behind).
PANEL THREE: Side view, as his body still faces Vampirella, and his head has twisted back 180 degrees, to face Patience, who still holds the hilt of her sword.
PATIENCE: Unclean creature!
FARRIN: Ma’am, you wound me, you really do. A little.
PANEL FOUR: Witchblade speaks quietly to Vampirella.
WITCHBLADE (whisper): How much trouble are we in here, V?
VAMPIRELLA: Vampire lords get stronger as they age.
VAMPIRELLA: This one’s old enough to remember a time before
WITCHBLADE (whisper): Seems to have the knack of it NOW.
PANEL FIVE: Vampirella, standing and pointing (Joyce, if possible, it might be fun to have her pose her match the classic poster that I think Frazetta did, of Vampi, standing tall, holding out her extended arm with a bat on her wrist, sans bat of course...let me know if that makes no sense).
VAMPIRELLA: You called us and we came, Farrin.
VAMPIRELLA: Let the innocents go.
PANEL SIX: A smiling Farrin, pushing the blade out of his body, painlessly.
FARRIN: Well, it’s true, and a deal is a deal.
FARRIN: On the other hand...
PANEL ONE: Farrin, closer up, crocodile grin.
FARRIN: ...A MEAL is a MEAL.
FARRIN: You want the brats, er, I mean the delightful young
PANEL TWO: Three children, eyes closed, floating inside a sawdust-floored pit. Their heads are nearly touching, and their bodies are rigid, as they float a few feet above the ground, apparently in some type of trance. We see, in the shadows behind them, red glowing eyes, several pairs, watching.
FARRIN: You’ll have to go inside to get them.
FARRIN: I hope you will...I’ve been planning this amusement for
PANEL THREE: Sara, speaking up.
SARA: Is that what this is all about, Farrin? You’re BORED?
FARRIN: Young lady, mind your tone.
FARRIN: Do you eat only vanilla ice cream? Listen only to AM
PANEL FOUR: Farrin, on a stone wall in old Scotland, wearing a torn cloak, but otherwise not looking much different. He looks contemplative. At his feet is a body, sprawled and dead.
FARRIN: I’ve been bored for more centuries than you have pointy
sharp bits on your swimsuit.
FARRIN: I’d tried everything...supping from body parts as chosen
alphabetically--now that was a dull six months!
PANEL FIVE: Farrin, walking behind a dwarf in an old English village. The dwarf doesn’t see his smile.
FARRIN: Then it came to me that I wasn’t meant to eat the typical
fast food...I was destined for more RARIFIED treats.
PANEL ONE: Farrin, sitting in John Merrick’s small but pleasant hospital room, talking earnestly with the Elephant man...
FARRIN: I had the lightest of suppers from General Tom Thumb --
nearly exsanguinated Chang, leaving poor Eng to die of
what the doctors called a flu...
FARRIN: ...I even gave John Merrick his first genuine embrace.
PANEL TWO: Farrin, turns to them.
FARRIN: And now I’m REALLY going to test my palate.
FARRIN: You’re my Hungry Man Dinner, ladies. Come and
kiss the cook.
PANEL THREE: Sara puts her gauntlet on Farrin’s neck.
SARA: I think you’re out of your game, creep.
SARA: I don’t think you can take the three of us at once.
FARRIN: Maybe I don’t NEED to.
PANEL FOUR: Sara and Vampi turn at the sound of a child’s scream.
KID (off-panel): EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
FARRIN: Those are the children I selected as hostages slash
appetizers. The trance I had them in is wearing off.
FARRIN: It’s okay, really...they’re with FRIENDS of mine.
PANEL FIVE: Vampirella and Sara look at each other meaningly.
PANEL SIX: Sara turns to Patience, who is holding her sword in battle stance.
SARA: He’s got us, Patience. We’ve got to go get those kids.
PANEL ONE: Patience, eyes focused tight on Farrin.
PANEL TWO: Sara, protesting.
SARA: No...? Are you insane? There’s three KIDS in there with
GOD KNOWS WHAT.
PATIENCE: My duty is clear; kill the abomination.
PANEL THREE: Sara turns to run after Vampirella, headed into the Emporium...Patience stays behind to stare at Farrin.
SARA: If any of those kids die, Patience...
SARA: I’m coming back for you. Believe it.
PANEL FOUR: Farrin, facing a battle-ready Magdalena, whose sword is at the ready.
FARRIN: Well, gabba gabba hey, hey, hey, little lady...you SHORE
you don’t wanna join your li’l exhibitionist friends to
save those young’uns?
PATIENCE: My code is two thousand years old, monster. Protect the
PANEL FIVE: She strikes, in a vicious move, slicing Farrin’s arm and a portion of his shoulder off with her sword.
PATIENCE: ...by destroying the CORRUPTED.
This page might work best as a stack of rows...
PANEL ONE: Sara and Vampirella facing opposite directions, protecting the three frightened children between them, in a large round makeshift arena. Around the peripheries, we see the shadows of the vampire oddities...but only the silhouettes, fangs, and eyes (or suitably scary image).
The oddities are (we don’t have to see them all at once, of course):
A set of fraternal female Siamese Twins (we’re counting them as two for our ten-in-one sign out front)
A midget (Let’s put him in an Admiral’s outfit)
A human skeleton
A fat lady
A bearded lady
A tattooed man
A ‘giant’ (a man about eight feet tall, in a cowboy outfit)
A dog-faced boy (Jo-Jo is the most famous, if you need reference)
SARA: Stay behind us, kids...it’ll be all right.
VAMPIRELLA: I count ten, Sara. Be ready.
VAMPIRES (tailless): We accept you.
VAMPIRES (tailless): One of us.
VAMPIRES (tailless): Parched. I’m PARCHED.
PANEL TWO: Sara, turning to talk to the children, forcing a smile. The kids are sniveling and crying, one is still in her pajamas.
SARA: I’m a police officer, guys...you know we help kids, right?
So listen very closely.
SARA: I want you all to close your eyes very tightly.
PANEL THREE: Vampirella, in close on her hands, as she removes the gold Bat design from the pubic naughty area. Turns out it’s a weapon, a sharp thin slice of metal.
VAMPIRELLA: Sara, I’m going to need your full attention on the
problem at hand...
PANEL FOUR: Vampirella, cocking her hand back, with the weapon, as the vampires charge at the circle.
VAMPIRELLA: ...Or I’m afraid it won’t make much difference what
they see in the next few moments.
VAMPIRES (tailless): WE ACCEPT YOU!
VAMPIRES (tailless): ONE OF US!
PANEL ONE: Side view of the vampires attacking en masse, as the dog-faced boy is knocked backwards by Vampi’s bat-weapon, which is most inconveniently lodged in his skull. The rest are unfazed, snarling and snapping.
VAMPIRES (tailless): ONE OF US!
PANEL TWO: The carnage, as the vampires attack...Sara has formed the Witchblade into a trident shape on the end of her arm and is skewering the tattooed man, as Vampirella, in full fury with teeth bared, is fighting the giant.
VAMPIRES (tailless): Accept you.
VAMPIRES (tailless): ACCEPT.
PANEL THREE: The three children, wide-eyed in terror, as a slinky shadow (of the geek) falls over them...one spindly, filthy clawed hand approaching them as they sit in the dust. The oldest boy, perhaps ten, is trying to protect the other two...the youngest, in pajamas, has her leg out, as if to kick.
PANEL FOUR: Similar, but closer in on the youngest girls leg, as it’s grabbed by the geek’s hand, and we see his face, with the few remaining teeth all filed sharp.
PANEL FIVE: Patience, turning to hear the girl...
GIRL (off-panel): EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
FARRIN: When the TIMER goes off like that...that means the
ENTREE is done.
FARRIN: Still gonna stay and slice ol’ Farrin deli-style, sweetie?
PANEL ONE: Sara, using the witchblade with one arm, and firing her cop-issue automatic with the other, as Vampirella lifts the snarling Geek off the ground. It’s a battle of nightmares.
VAMPIRELLA: Save three bullets, Sara. Just in case.
SARA: What? But...
PANEL TWO: Sara looks at the terrified kids.
PANEL THREE: Sara is knocked off her feet.
PANEL FOUR: The Siamese twins are on her, smiling, holding her down as she struggles.
TWIN ONE: She wants to kill you slow...
TWIN TWO: She wants to kill you fast...
TWIN ONE: We NEVER agree anymore!
PANEL FIVE: A flashing blade...
PANEL ONE: Patience appears, sword in one hand, helping Sara up with the other. Note that (let’s do this tastefully) there’s a dead twin on each side of Sara, as Patience has severed their connective tissue. We don’t need to see that, just that there’s one dead one on each side.
SARA: You came back.
PATIENCE: Stand and ready the Digitablum, Sara Pezzini.
PANEL TWO: The girls, back to back, all three of them...on the ground we see the bodies of the twins, the giant, the Geek, and the tattooed man. The rest are circling our heroes.
PATIENCE: There are innocents to protect.
PANEL THREE: Back outside, as an irritated Farrin is holding his severed arm, as if trying to reattach it.
FARRIN: I suppose I could NAIL it back on...
FARRIN: The things I go through to get a novel dining experience, I
PANEL FOUR: Farrin turns, apprehensively, to see the three women emerge from the entrance, proudly, but wearily. Vampirella is in the middle, clearly in charge at this point.
FARRIN: Should you oughtta be, you know, tied down and subdued
PANEL FIVE: Side view, our three heroines. All are determined, but Vampirella is smiling.
VAMPIRELLA: Did you bring what I requested, Magdalena?
PATIENCE: It has been twice-blessed.
VAMPIRELLA: And you’re a strong shot, Sara?
SARA: A little better than good enough, I’d say.
Some of these panels can be small, or insert panels. We just want to convey the sequence of events as quickly and snappily as possible.
PANEL ONE: Vampirella, tossing what looks like a wineskin into the air, at Farrin.
PANEL TWO: Sara, taking aim, intent...three shots fired.
FX: BLAM BLAM BLAM
PANEL THREE: The wine skin, just over and in front of Farrin’s face, as it’s shot through with three bullets, spewing clear liquid towards him.
FARRIN: Well, shoot.
PANEL FOUR: The rain of holy water as it splashes his face, and he clutches at his melting skin with his one good hand as steam rises off of his face.
PANEL FIVE: Farrin, bent over, on his knees, skin melting and burning, face on the ground, as Vampirella places her boot on the back of his head, forcing him down.
VAMPIRELLA: Since you enjoy fine dining so much, I thought
we’d marinate you awhile in HOLY WATER, Farrin.
VAMPIRELLA: But to be honest...
PANEL SIX: Vampi’s smiling face in close. We don’t see it, but the sound effect tells us she’s just stomped her foot down, hard.
FX (boot crunching skull): KRACCK
VAMPIRELLA: I find I’ve lost my APPETITE.
This page is two smaller panels at the top, and one larger one on the bottom.
PANEL ONE: Sara, dropping her armor and talking to the kids...while
Vampirella, not looking behind her, somehow realizes that Patience still has her sword up.
SARA: Just a bad dream, kids. You’ll be home soon, I promise.
VAMPIRELLA: Patience, I know you don’t like me, or what I am.
VAMPIRELLA: Are we going to have a problem here?
PANEL TWO: Patience putting away her sword.
PATIENCE: I suppose not.
PATIENCE: But this is twice in one night I’ve betrayed my training.
PANEL THREE: The three walk off, the kids huddling close to the now non-armored Sara, in the moonlight and wind. We see the lower half of Farrin’s body, except he’s become completely fleshless, just a skeleton. One of his shoes is off and his feet are at an awkward angle. We see in the bottom right corner...a wooden sign. THANK YOU, COME AGAIN!
VAMPIRELLA: I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
VAMPIRELLA: I hear the church has got this whole
FORGIVENESS thing down to a SCIENCE.
Full page panel, the Six, in formal civilian clothes (tuxes and gowns), exiting an off-Broadway theater. Catman and Ragdoll wear theirs fantastically (Ragdoll still has on his mask and wig), Deadshot is yanking at his collar in disgust,
They’re walking out of a theater that’s just shown the musical, ‘CATS,’ which we want to hint at, but not convey blatantly. So perhaps, a bit of the poster or marquee, but not the full thing. Some other theater goers come out behind them, including a heavy-set woman wearing a leopard-skin stole around her shoulders.
DEADSHOT: Well, THAT was a complete DUMPLOAD.
TITLE AND CREDITS (Dale, it might be fun to put the credits on newspapers blowing by, and the theater posters, maybe?)
VICTIMS OF AGGRESSION
Gail Simone: Writer
Dale Eaglesham: Penciller
Wade VonGrawbadger: Inker
Jared K. Fletcher: Letterer
Harvey Richards: Asst. Editor
Stephen Wacker: Editor
PANEL ONE: The ParaDemon, forlorn and sad, as a calm RagDoll tries to console him.
PARADEMON: But...but it was so SAD when the disgusting old hag cat is making that hideous noise about her happier past!
PARADEMON: Will she EVER be happy AGAIN, I ask you all?
RAGDOLL: there, there, little ParaDemon.
RAGDOLL: i was sad, too, but mainly for myself, having to sit
through it all.
CATMAN: Don’t say that--it’s making me sick to my stomach.
RAGDOLL (off panel): an affliction we share, Catman. I think
it was the lyrics.
PANEL THREE: Deadshot, lighting up a cigarette, his tie and collar undone.
DEADSHOT: All I can say is, them felines are lucky I came
DEADSHOT: One clip cleans an alley, I always say.
PANEL FOUR: Catman, looking puzzled for a second...as an outraged ParaDemon screams towards Deadshot, right behind him (catman).
CATMAN: WHAT did you just say,
PARADEMON: Don’t shoot the KITTIES!
PARADEMON: THE POOR, DANCING KITTIES!
CATMAN: Repeat what you just said.
PANEL SIX: Blake, close up, squinting a little bit.
PANEL ONE: The group stands, as Scandal takes her communicator inconspicuously from her handbag as Deadshot watches her, a bit contemptuously.
CATMAN: Come on, we can beat the traffic...
SCANDAL: Just checking in with Mockingbird. Won’t be a
DEADSHOT: Lady, you take to the leash better than any
dog I know.
PANEL TWO: Scandal’s eyes, flashing with anger. ParaDemon and RagDoll are behind her, not paying attention at all.
SCANDAL: You don’t KNOW me, Deadshot. Let’s keep it that
PARADEMON: I’ll eat his LIVER if he shoots the KITTIES.
RAGDOLL: yes, yes, we’ll all eat his liver if he shoots the kitties.
PANEL THREE: Catman turns to the woman with the fur, who just reeks of privilege...
CATMAN: Pardon me, Madam...might I ask if that stole is real?
WOMAN: What a RIDICULOUS question.
WOMAN: Of COURSE it’s re...
PANEL FOUR: Catman smashes the woman in the face with his fist, to
FX (punch): WHAAMM
PANEL FIVE: Catman, dragging a grinning
CATMAN: Fur is murder.
CATMAN: Let’s go.
PARADEMON: Let’s see it AGAIN!
PANEL ONE: They walk into a parking garage, again, it’s night. There’s a large black van, that’s where they’re headed. They’re still in their formal outfits, obviously.
CATMAN: You SURE the van’s clean of bugs, Scandal?
SCANDAL: I swept it myself, Catman.
SCANDAL: I guarantee--neither MOCKINGBIRD nor the SOCIETY can hear us.
PANEL TWO: Catman following
CATMAN: Good. We have some new BUSINESS to cover.
DEADSHOT: Listen...uh, Scandal.
DEADSHOT: What I said back there--
DEADSHOT: That wasn’t cool. Sorry.
PANEL THREE: Deadshot, looking at her sincerely, but with intent, still holding her arm.
DEADSHOT: I need to SEE you tonight.
SCANDAL: I can’t...
DEADSHOT: All right, I said it.
PANEL FOUR: RagDoll is in the driver’s seat, ParaDemon riding shotgun, with Catman and
PARADEMON: I feel a lust in my blood for CHICKEN NUGGETS.
RAGDOLL: as I evacuated during the ‘show,’ I can’t see the harm.
CATMAN: All right, people. We’ve been avoiding the subject.
CATMAN: Knowledge is power. It’s also, occasionally, a hand grenade with the PIN pulled.
PANEL FIVE: Catman’s face, every bit the jungle lord, very serious.
CATMAN: The Society intends to mindwipe every superhero on
CATMAN: The question is--
CATMAN: --what do we DO with that little scrap of intelligence?