Wednesday, December 12, 2012

HANDS DOWN: How it was supposed to go...

It's been nearly two years since Hands Down, the first and so far only comic strip I've ever written, had it's last "issue" see the light of day. It wasn't supposed to end with episode 24. In fact, I had written several more before that one was even released. However, due to a number of reasons, the incredibly talented artist for the series (and the strip's co-creator) John Merker could no longer continue the tough, work-heavy, unpaid position.

I won't get into my personal feelings for the project but if I tell you that it's one of the best things I've ever been involved with, you can probably gleam from that how fond I am of it. So to have it forever stalled and unfinished has bugged me for the last two years. I would have liked to end it properly. It was a love-letter to friends and the online community so I'd like to finish that letter and send it, so to speak.


As a result, I have taken the decision to release my scripts for the comic that would have finished off the story arc we had started before it finished.


I'll present them here the same way I would send them to John. I would leave the descriptions for each scene pretty sparse as John had a wonderful way of directing the art himself that I didn't want to micro-manage or stunt by over-describing the scenes. He has a gift with design and giving him free reign took advantage of that so I only got into the direction if I had something important or specific required. But hopefully despite the lack of detail you can still enjoy the story and maybe your imagination will be just as good as his.


The last couple of episodes at the end need more work and probably would have been re-written before being released along with maybe extending the arc by a couple episodes but that's not happening now so you might as well see them in all their original awkward glory.


I hope you enjoy...





EPISODE 25 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This comic is a split screen. On the left side is Charnita and Colin, on the right side is Aaron and Brian. Because Aaron and Colin will be asking the same questions to their counterparts they will be sharing speech bubbles. I’ll draw you a mock-up of what I’m talking about because I have a specific idea for this.


PANEL 1

Aaron/Colin: So whats going on with you two any way?

Charnita: Nothing, it’s complicated really. I guess it was just a one off kiss. Nothing serious. I mean, it’s not like it meant anything.

Brian: I dunno.

PANEL 2

Aaron/Colin: Do you think it might ever happen again?

Charnita: No. It might. I don’t really want it to but I’m not saying that I would definitely say no if he asked. I do like him a lot. He’s a good friend.

Brian: I dunno.

PANEL 3

Aaron/Colin: Do you think it’s going to make things awkward now?

Charnita: I hope not! It better not. It didn’t mean anything so it shouldn’t. It’s not like we did it or anything. It was only a kiss. Oh gosh, you don’t think it’s going to ruin things, do you?

Brian: I dunno.

PANEL 4

Aaron and Colin are now on the phone to each-other. They’ve turned away from their counterparts and are looking more towards each-other. Charnita and Brian are now out of frame. Their speech bubble is still shared.

Aaron/Colin: We’re screwed.


EPISODE 26 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PANEL 1

Brian is playing video-games on the couch. Aaron is standing behind him drying a dish, looking on.

Aaron: Brian, I was just thinking...

Brian: Careful now. Down with that sort of thing.

PANEL 2

Aaron: ...how long have we been living together?

Brian: I can’t remember. What month did you move in?

Aaron: What? You moved in with me!

PANEL 3

Brian pauses the game and looks at Aaron. Aaron is starring back. They both look puzzled.

PANEL 4

Brian returns to playing his game.

Brian: The answer to your question, Aaron, is “too bloody long”.


EPISODE 27 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first three panels are just small thumbnail pictures really, I’d place them side be side as together they should equal the same size as the other panels.

PANEL 1

Aaron’s hand is holding a cup of tea but the hand is shaking so much it’s spilling the tea over the sides.

PANEL 2

A close-up of Aaron’s shifty eyes.

PANEL 3

A close-up of Aaron’s mouth as he bites his nails.

PANEL 4

Aaron is sitting in between Brian and Charnita on the couch as the three of them watch a movie.

Aaron: (screaming) “I can’t stand this tension!”

PANEL 5

We see the edge of Aaron as he leaves the room. Brian and Charnita are left sitting on the couch look at Aaron with confusion.

Charnita: “What the hell is he talking about? We’re watching Muppets Take Manhattan”

Brian: “I think Kermit’s amnesia is getting to him”

PANEL 6

We’re in the garden. The cowboy is sitting in his make-shift tent. Aaron is standing over him.

Aaron: “When they get married, you’ll hang out with me, won’t you?”


EPISODE 28 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PANEL 1

Brian is on the couch playing video-games. He seems intent on ignoring Aaron who is standing behind him making a speech.

Aaron: ...and I just feel it’s time for me to go out on my own. I’ve never lived on my own. I also think it might be wise to give you and Charnita space. So me moving out is the best for all involved.

PANEL 2

Brian pauses the game.

Brian: You know you’re being a tit about this, right?

Aaron is quite shocked by his statement.

PANEL 3

Brian goes back to playing his game. Aaron starts to get angry.

PANEL 4

Aaron shouts at Brian like a jealous lover.

Aaron: It was her tits that caused this problem in the first place!

Brian rolls his eyes.


EPISODE 29 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PANEL 1

Charnita, Colin and Brian are watching Aaron pack his bags onto a bike. They’re standing at the front door of the house but Aaron is at the end of the garden. Colin watches with a kind of amusement/fascination, Charnita is being sympathetic but Brian has a more stoic face.

Charnita: This is so sad.

Colin: I don’t know, I think it will be good for him.

Charnita: No, I mean trying to fit all his stuff onto a bicycle.

PANEL 2

Colin: Yeah, it’s a bit like that board game with the donkey. What was it called?

Charnita: ”Buckaroo”

Colin: That’s the one.

PANEL 3

Charnita: You know, Colin, you could have offered your car to help him.

Colin: That’s right, I could have.

The bike falls over with a crash.

Aaron: Damn it!

Brian is getting teary eyed.

PANEL 4

Brian runs off back into the house. Charnita shouts after him. Colin is just amused by the bike falling over.

Colin: Buckaroo!

Charnita: Are you alright?

Brian: HE’S THE BEST DONKEY A FRIEND COULD ASK FOR!


EPISODE 30 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PANEL 1

Aaron is daydreaming, we can see this because of the cloud border around the edge of the image that you normally see in cartoons and Aaron’s real head is just below this thought balloon.Brian is begging Aaron not to leave in this dream.

Dream-Brian: No, Aaron! I can’t live if living is without you. Please! Say it ain’t so. Don’t leave me!

PANEL 2

Back in the real world Aaron is standing at the front door saying goodbye to Brian.

Aaron: So... I guess I’ll see you around then...

PANEL 3

Brian pushes Aaron out the door and slams it shut.

Brian: See ya!

PANEL 4

Aaron is left standing outside of the house alone in the dark. He’s still staring at the door. It suddenly becomes apparent in the window that Brian is now having a party with a bunch of people.


EPISODE 31 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PANEL 1

A hand knocks on a door.

PANEL 2

Aaron is standing in a door way. The Cowboy is lurking in the bushes in the garden. The occupant is just a dark shoulder in the foreground of the panel.

Aaron: Hi, I’m here about the advertisement in the paper, you have a room for rent.

PANEL 3

Aaron starts to look worried now as he tries to explain the hobo following him.

Aaron: Oh him? I don’t know him... No, really...

The Hobo Cowboy: Boobies!

PANEL 4

Aaron is outside the garden now on the street, he’s chastising the Cowboy for messing it up. The Cowboy is like a child getting chastised by their teacher.

Aaron: That’s the 8th time you’ve ruined it for me! I told you to hide better. Anyway, who is looking after the fort that we made for you in the garden while you’re here following me?

PANEL 5

Squirrels have invaded the Cowboy’s tent. They have a table in the middle with maps and monitors at the back of the tent. They’ve turned it into a military base.

Squirrel General: Yes, this is the perfect place to launch our next attack from.


EPISODE 32 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


PANEL 1


Brian is playing video games in the living room. The room is a complete mess. Empty crisp packets are everywhere along with dirty dishes, empty cans, and items of underwear.


PANEL 2


Something moves in the dirt. It can't really be seen but we hear a squeek.


PANEL 3


Brian: Quiet down, little Aaron!


PANEL 4


Something in the dirt barks. Brian is shocked.


PANEL 5


Brian: Woah... that one is new.



EPISODE 33 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Charnita is on the phone to Brian, so you can split-screen their conversation. She is at work in an office. He's at home.


PANEL 1


Charnita: When are you two going to make up so he can move back in?


Brian: I don't know... there's enough food to last me a while here


PANEL 2


Brian: How is he anyway?


Charnita: I'm worried. He's still having problem's finding a place to stay. If he keeps this up he'll end up homeless on the streets.


PANEL 3


Brian creates a thought bubble and imagines Aaron wearing slutty clothes (think Rocky Horror Picture show) with a sign saying "will time-warp for food".


PANEL 4


Charnita: Brian? ... Hello? Can you hear me?


Brian: ...He had a certain naive charm, but no muscle...


Charnita: What?!



EPISODE 34 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


PANEL 1


Aaron is lying on the ground outside a convenience store with a cup in his hand begging for change. His belongings are in a pile beside him. He looks disheveled. The Hobo Cowboy is beside him. People walk by but we only see their legs.


PANEL 2


Aaron looks down, he is clearly depressed about his situation.

The Cowboy looks around and takes a sip from his hip-flask.

PANEL 3


Something is thrown into Aaron's cup. He hear a clunk.


PANEL 4


We see inside the cup. It's a house key.


PANEL 5


Aaron looks up in amazement. Brian is looking down at him and smiles.


PANEL 6


The pair are walking off home, into the sunset.