DC Comics Sequential Pages

I decided to draw a mock cover for the sample Birds of Prey pages I was working on.  My thanks to Derek Dow for the colors.

PAGE SIX:

PANEL ONE: The AERIE ONE (the Birds’ new mobile headquarters…which is a Cessna Citation X, reference available), on a small lot beside a very rural and tiny airstrip in the middle of Kansas.

DINAH CAP: Nowhere Central, Kansas.

DINAH CAP: I’ve done some stuff…ridden horses with nomads in

Mongolia, slept in trees in Kenya.

DINAH CAP: I’m not afraid of getting dirt on my teeth or bugs in my hair.

PANEL TWO: Inside the plane, again, we want to stay consistent with previous issues. Not that the chairs inside the meeting area swivel, so that the Birds can face each other. They look fairly nicely dressed up, city style, but not formally or overly so. Dress casual, you might say, but tasteful. This time of year in Kansas is cold, so they’re not dressed for the heat.

DINAH CAP: But it still kinda surprises this Gotham girl that there

are stretches of America where neighbors might live a mile apart, and

cows have right of way on the roads.

ORACLE: Nine ritual murders with no suspects, nine desiccated, prematurely-aged corpses…

ORACLE: …that’s too much to let SLIDE.

PANEL THREE: Oracle, showing a green, three-dimensional sketch of Harvest (somewhat exaggerated, because the eyewitnesses were clearly scared out of their mind) from the table top holographic projector in the table beside her comfy airplane chair.

ORACLE: This is about all we have, based on the witness accounts.

ORACLE: The police won’t discuss the matter, and the nearest town’s newspaper won’t even report the stories.

CANARY: It’s like American Gothic, but with a serial killer?

ORACLE: Stay on target, Dinah.

PANEL FOUR: Oracle switches off the holographic display.

ORACLE: Couple hundred years ago, the townspeople would be

cutting up lambs in tribute to this woman.

ORACLE: Now, she gets found, if she exists.

ORACLE: And she PAYS for her crimes.

PANEL FIVE: Dinah looks concerned, as Babs places a hand on her own stomach, looking a bit pained.

DINAH: Hey, you okay, Babs?

DINAH: You look pale.

BABS: Fine. Little indigestion.



PAGE SEVEN:

PANEL ONE: Helena’s face as she drinks from her coffee mug, which says HELENA on it.

HELENA: I thought we were going after vigilantes, Barbara.

BA

BS: In five of the cases, I was able to dig up info connecting

the victims to homicides they’d taken part of, intentionally or by

misadventure, and never paid for. I’ll bet the rest did, too.

BABS: And Helena…

PANEL TWO: Oracle looks at Helena and gives a gentle smile.

BABS: …My friends call me Babs.

PANEL THREE: Oracle turns to both of them, her face a bit more serious.

BABS: We’re near the lake where the last incident occurred.

BABS: The only social gathering places near here are a church and a bar.

BABS: Guess which one you two are going to?

PANEL FOUR: Helena and Dinah stand up.

HELENA: Bet the church would have better MUSIC.

DINAH: Cuter guys, too, I bet.

O RACLE: Whine complain moan.

ORACLE: Oh, and don’t wear belts, or shoes with laces.

PANEL FIVE: Oracle, smiling slyly.

ORACLE: Trust me on this.

ORACLE: Have fun, get loud.

ORACLE: Just…

PANEL SIX: Dinah and Helena’s skeptical faces.

ORACLE: Just be yourselves.


PAGE EIGHT:

PANEL ONE: Dinah and Helena walk out the plane’s hatch, grumbling, as Lady Blackhawk opens the cockpit door to yell out. She’s wearing jeans and a black Bomber jacket. Remember, Zinda’s hair is a wavier than Dinah’s, and her face is a bit fuller and rounder.

CANARY (whisper): … ‘be OURSELVES?’

HELENA (whisper): I KNOW. She WANTS us to get arrested. I’m tempted to behave just out of SPITE.

ZINDA: Hey, skipper…I couldn’t help but hear the word “BAR.”

ZINDA: You mind if I…?

ORACLE (off-panel): No, Zinda…have a good time. I have some…

research to finish.

PANEL TWO: Babs, leaning way back in her chair, to make sure Zinda’s leaving. We should get the sense .

ZINDA (off-panel): Hot DOG. Be back late, Ma.

ZINDA (off-panel): If I’m LUCKY.

PANEL THREE: Oracle, watching out the corner of her eye to make sure she’s alone. This can be a small panel.

PANEL FOUR: Dinah pulls a polished teakwood box from behind her cushion. It’s maybe three inches deep, and fifteen inches by fifteen square on top.

PANEL FIVE: Dinah and Helena, now both wearing jackets, with a small bit of winter’s chill coming from their mouths, as Zinda comes up from behind. The three of them are walking on the tarmac away from the Aerie One. It’s evening now.

ZINDA: Hey, you gals okay with a tag-along?

HELENA: More the merrier, Zinda.

DINAH: You guys notice that Babs seems a bit…

DINAH: …off, somehow?


PAGE NINE:

PANEL ONE: Helena, walking towards the small gravel road leading from the ‘airport,’ as Dinah looks back at the plane, squinting.

HELENA: I…don’t know her that well.

DINAH: Don’t know.

DINAH: Something felt weird.

PANEL TWO: Long shot, as the three walk on the road together…we see them from behind, and a small, but neat sign says, RED RIDGE, 1 MILE. From behind, we see Harvest, standing, silently watching them as they walk away.

DINAH (distant): Hope she’s OKAY.

PANEL THREE: Oracle opening the box. We see that it’s a green, metallic mask, a solid, non-cyber version matching exactly the green Oracle Delphi mask she uses on her computer to show her ORACLE identity. Let me know if you need reference, Tom!

PANEL FOUR: Taking the mask in both hands, she holds it up, inside facing her own face. We see the outside of the mask is polished green metal, but the inside is full of circuits.

PANEL FIVE: Oracle, full on, holding the mask to her face. This should be a dramatic, and slightly disturbing image, as up til now, we’ve never seen a real world version of the mask–it’s only been a computer avatar.


PAGE TEN:

This page will be most effective as a stack of rows, with panel three taking up the bottom half (at least) of the page.


PANEL ONE: The inside of a semi-busy redneck bar, with the patrons stopping what they’re doing to stare dead still towards the ‘camera.’ They’re amazed at whatever’s walked in the door. We see a bartender with a slightly dirty apron stacking beer mugs (note that he has a rag hung loosely around his neck, the ends hanging down over each shoulder), the bar itself, with several patrons turned around to gape in surprise and maybe a bit of hostility, most have a beer on the bar near them. There are beer signs on the wall, a mirror behind the bar, and a sign that says NO CREDIT THIS MEANS YOU!

ORACLE CAP: There’s an old legend that God loved Kansas so much he put his handprints on it, and that’s why it’s flat.

ORACLE CAP: Endless stretches of FLAT.

P ANEL TWO: Similar, the other half of the bar, where there’s a nice old jukebox, a couple of couples dancing, some tables with guys wearing jeans and cowboy boots, and again, most everyone has stopped to see what’s come in the door. Most everyone is wearing jeans and t-shirts or flannel shirts, some girls wear faux-silk blouses and cowboy boots. One or two big guys wear denim overalls. We also should see part of a pool table, with two guys playing. If you have to drop some of this, that’s fine, but it’s ESSENTIAL that we see a big front window to the place, with smoked glass.

ORACLE CAP: Takes a special kind of person to love it here.

ORACLE CAP: Same as Gotham, I guess.

PANEL THREE: Helena, Dinah, and Zinda (who is behind the other two) have walked into the bar, which is a complete redneck joint, frequented mainly by locals. Everyone is staring at them. Dinah and Helena look uncomfortable and out of place, but Zinda seems delighted.

HELENA: Uh…

DINAH: I think we overdressed.

ZINDA: Hey! I know this song!


PAGE ELEVEN:

PANEL ONE: Zinda, delighted, talking loudly but too herself, as she stares closely at the jukebox.

ZINDA: “Honky Tonkin’” by Hank Williams!

ZINDA: I KNOW this song!

PANEL TWO: Helena and Dinah sit at the bar, as the overly-made-up girl on the stool next to them looks down her nose in contempt at them, and Dinah tries to be friendly.

DINAH: Hey. Don’t mind us, we’re just…

GIRL: Hmmph.

HELENA: I just KNOW Oracle’s sending me to small towns to torture me.

HELENA: Hey, look at this…

PANEL THREE: On the bar, next to Helena, as Dinah leans over to see. On the solid wooden bar, there are two chunks missing, in the shape of female hands. The edges of the missing pieces are smooth, as if the shapes had been cut out by a laser.

HELENA: Are these…what, handprints?

DINAH: In a solid oak bar counter?

HELENA: I know, but that’s what they LOOK like…

HELENA: Who would do this?

PANEL FOUR: The bartender comes by, a rag over his shoulder.

BARTENDER: Help you ladies?

HELENA: I’d like a nice white wi…

DINAH: We’ll both have a beer, please.

BARTENDER: Uh-huh.

PANEL FIVE: Helena’s got her back turned to the dance floor, she’s facing forward at the bar. Dinah’s turned around in her seat, a surprised look on her face as we see, from the back, a silhouette of a man approaching her. Dinah clearly thinks this is a good-lookin’ fella.

HELENA: Real FRIENDLY place, I notice.

DINAH: guh…

MAYER: Excuse me, miss.

PANEL SIX: We see the VERY handsome, dark-eyed and dark-haired Sheriff Mayer, dressed not in his uniform, but just a black dress shirt and jeans.

MAYER: But I was wonderin’, if you might like to dance.

MAYER: I mean, that is…if you and your lady friend aren’t…

MAYER: If I’m not INTRUDIN’.


PAGE TWELVE:

PANEL ONE: Dinah, flustered, but smiling.

DINAH: Oh, no…

DINAH: I mean Yes. When I said no, I meant, she and I aren’t

together.

DINAH: I mean, we’re together, but not TOGETHER, if that’s what you…

PANEL TWO: Dinah puts the fingertips of one hand on her heart as Huntress looks on, amused.

DINAH: Yes.

DINAH: I’d love to dance.

PANEL THREE: The bartender drops two glass mugs of beer in front of Helena.

HELENA: Hey, maybe I didn’t WANT to dance.

HELENA: Great. Ignore the ol’ school marm.

PANEL FOUR: Helena smiles at the bartender.

HELENA: All right, let’s do it this way.

HELENA: I’m buying a round for every young, unmarried guy in this room.

PANEL FIVE: Inside the Aerie One, Oracle, still wearing the mask, is sitting in her chair, arms outstretched above her head, as though she was flying.

CAPTION: AERIE ONE


PAGE 13:

PANEL ONE: Huntress, smiling, as she surrounded at the bar by five strapping young men. Let’s not make them all look too similar, so they’re of different heights, hair colors, and such.

HUNTRESS: Took you guys long enough.

PANEL TWO: Dinah and Mayer, dancing close. She’s holding his hand, and he has his other arm around her. It’s a slow dance, and Dinah looks like she might be enjoying herself a bit dreamily.

MAYER: You dance real nice. Kinda gentle.

DINAH: My mom, she made me take ballet.

DINAH: I don’t…uh, I don’t tell people that.

PANEL THREE: She’s got her head close to his chest.

DINAH: I have to ask you…

DINAH: Why do you smell like baby formula?

MAYER: I’m one of those notorious single dads.

MAYER: Got my…got a friend watching my daughter.

PANEL FOUR: Pull back, to again show them dancing.

MAYER: Figured I deserved a night off.

MAYER: Reckon I made a smart choice.

DINAH: hmmm.

DINAH: Reckon.

PANEL FIVE: Zinda, at a table with a skeptical looking, smaller, slightly nerdy looking guy. They each have a beer on the table in front of them.

ZINDA: No, scout’s honor. I saw him play live, in Alabama.

ZINDA: Why are you looking at me like that?

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