A little bit of responsibility

“Our hero is a shy, mild-mannered, kid. Matt Millward. Thick glasses, nerdy. Works on the school paper. Official photographer. Uses the badge to take snap shots of the girl he’s sweet on. Sara May Halford. Redhead. His neighbour. Know each other since they were kids. She’s gorgeous. He’s quiet. Unrequited love. You get the idea.

“School trip. The zoo. Class is walking around the insect room. Door to the lab is ajar. Cut to inside of lab. One of the White Coats is panicking, shouting. A Suit is trying to calm him down, find out what the big deal is. Pan across and tighten focus to show container with shattered glass, radiation warnings, hole in the corner. Sounds of fluttering from behind. Fast zoom back and flip to show moth fluttering away, down the corridor. Camera tracks moth through door, up into high ceiling, looking down onto school trip. Look down to at hero, nose against a spider display. Look back up at moth; it divebombs down into the crowd.

“Moth lands on Matt’s hand. He looks at it, chuckles. It bites him. Zoom in on hand, microscopic level. Rushing of blood, pounding of heart. Zoom out, Matt yelping, swipes at moth, misses. Sara May rushes over, grabs Matt’s hand, glowing red.”

“We’re going to have to stop you there,” one of the panel says, holding a flat hand up.

“What?” he wipes the sweat from his brow. His cheap suit shows large dark patches under his arms and on his back. “But this is just the origin part of the story. This is just the first part.” He grabs at his notes, sending paper flying in all directions. “Wait, this next bit. This is good. Let me just…”

“Son, it’s okay. The job’s yours.” He stands up and offers his hand. “Welcome to Amazing Comics. Cigarette?”

8 thoughts on “A little bit of responsibility”

  1. This is a story about a comic book author pitching an idea to a publisher, Amazing Comics. The idea sounds a lot like the origin myth for Spiderman, except with a moth instead of a spider. He’s nervous, but they like the pitch and hire him.

    This is brilliant and well conceived. The language, movie type pitch, works really well, and succeeds at putting a lot of story into a small space. The pitch is perfect, and describing the camera movements really makes this into a movie in your head.

    There are a couple of small niggles:
    He works _for_ the school paper, not _on_?
    Divebombs – I would prefer dives.
    “down to at hero” sounds awkward – down to hero?

    I also was not sure if his whole hand glowed red at the end.

    My big questions are:
    Throughout, I thought this was a movie pitch, not a comic book pitch. The descriptions of camera angles and particularly of camera movements made me think this – there was a lot of motion which would not come across in comic panels?

    I’m not sure if “Mothman” is going to precede Spiderman, compete with him, replace him? What is the significance of the title? I suspect I missed a crucial something!

    I liked the story very much. Thank you!

    1. Thanks!

      “for school paper” and “down to at” are typos. Will change for printening.

      Re movie / comic pitch: um, yeah. I think I was a bit confused myself. Had a couple of ideas and I don’t think I quite split them out properly. Oops!

      Re precede / compete / replace: I don’t think it’s clear from the story, so you didn’t miss anything! I had an alternate universe kind of feeling in mind when writing it, but other interpretations are equally valid. :)

  2. With great power comes the inability to turn from the light.

    Really enjoyed the tone and the general 1970-something feel of the pitch/business environment. The short sentences give the impression of nervous excitement which really works for me.

    Enjoyed the play around the spider-man ideas, especially the watching the spiders when attacked by the moth.

    Think you handled the switch from pitch to sweating men in cheap suits well – had a very real feel to it for me.

    I was a little confused by the retro still comic studio at the end in opposition to the movie-style camera directions of the storyline.

    Also found ‘held up a FLAT hand’ odd – I think just ‘held up a hand’ would give me the idea .

    Dig that the parody obviously holds Spiderman in respect.

    1. Thanks, dude!

      > … retro still comic studio … movie-style camera directions …

      Yeah, bit of a fliflop mixup. To be honest, the story was a bit rushed, and I think that I didn’t quite end up making a decision either way as to what I should be doing. So you get both – two for the price of one!

      > Also found ‘held up a FLAT hand’ odd…


  3. Great! But agreed on the movie vs. comic book issue. In one of the Sandman novels’ intro Gaiman talks about the notes he uses to communicate to the artists, might be interesting to look at that as a reference.

    On the whole Mothman thing, this might amuse you:
    “Mothman (real name Byron Lewis): A former member of the Minutemen who suffered from alcoholism and mental illness later in life.”
    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Characters_of_Watchmen#Mothman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *