Frontier War:Manipulation Family Curse


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This is my "Shooting script" for the first issue of Frontier War---Manipulation.

I say shooting script because once I start the art phase I usually do a lot of rewrites. I move scenes around. I cut dialogue. I add dialogue. And sometimes new story events occur organicly based on a background image etc.

The basic point I have is, the final product will probably have some differences from the version you're reading here. But this is the last version of the script I'm going to do.

I don't want to over-explain it so I'm going to cut myself off at this point. I hope anyone who reads this can see what I meant when I said I don't take a traditional approach to super-hero stories. And any feedback would be appreciated

---Landon

(Actions noted in italics)

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Frontier War: Manipulation

Issue #1

Family Curse

Script

By Landon Erp

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PAGE 1

Establishing shot of a funeral Ann's family is attending

It is Ann’s mother Allison's sister/Ann's and Alicia's aunt Ellen

There is a 3 to 1 female to male ratio at the funeral and all related events

Everyone's head is bowed

Though most of the immediate family is thinking about something

Other than what you usually think of when you're at a funeral

The father John Brenner, A strong man with a bit of a beer gut and a deeply receding hairline, is holding his wife and being there for her at a tough time

The mother Allison, a woman with auburn hair and a face of a woman twice her age, is experiencing a strange mixture of pain and mind numbing fear

Their two children fraternal twin sisters are there as well

Alicia, a slender young woman with bright red hair, looks bored in the background, she is twirling her gum

Ann is standing in the forefront pensively

Preacher: Ye though I walk through the Valley of the shadow of death, I shall not....

Ann: [narration] "I'm at a my aunt Ellen's funeral." "I'm glad her misery's over." "The tumor rendered her insane, after a while she just slipped into senility, then she finally just slipped away." "The undertaker did a good job matching pictures of her in the years when she REALLY alive." "I only saw pictures"

***************

PAGE 2

Ann:[narration]"Mom's family has a strange history" "as far back as we can trace, no one she directly descended from had a male child" "Two things run in this all female family, Mental illness and brain cancer" "Everyone calls it the 'Family Curse' " "It's the only thing on every woman's mind" "It's like I can tell the thoughts in each of their heads," "Am I next?" "Maybe that's part of the secret too" "when we were younger I think me and my sister came close to understanding." "That was a lifetime ago, Apathetic as usual, now I'm surprised she even showed up"

Alicia shoots Ann a mean stare

Ann:[narration] "She'll never admit it but, we gave up a lot when we ended those years of discovery"

Ann has a look of sad frustration on her face

the family gets into the car together to go to the post-funeral meeting place

John stays by Allison's side

Ann enters the house last

Alicia makes little attempt to enter but goes off to smoke with cousins

***************

PAGE 3

Ann is walking through the living room at her house

passing by people carrying on conversations

There are dozens of people there, lots of aunts and female cousins

Everyone is back at the Brenner’s house for the wake

It’s a mildly big house

a few big rooms but there are still places to hide from everyone if you choose

Allison:[to Angelica] So what did the doctor say about... your condition.

Angelica: He still can't figure out what's causing the headaches, or the hallucinations... I JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO FUNCTION! I don't want to die like Michelle and Ellen or locked up like Jennifer.

Allison:[hugging her sister] Me either sis.

Ann:[narration] I'm not hiding, I should be, but I'm not. No, it's expected for me to be here but it's too painful for me to talk to anyone. It's not grief I was never that close to Aunt Ellen anyway, it's the survivors... it's not grief. it's fear. they're hiding something. we all know part of it but no one knows all of it, except maybe Grandpa Anderson.

Grandpa Anderson:[mumbling to everyone and no one from his wheelchair] She could do such amazing things your grandma Anastasia, but that cost her so very much. I just wanted to protect you girls... and look what I've done to you... I even know how to stop it... for the young the one's I haven't poisoned... If only anyone still believed me.

Ann:[bending down to meet her great- grandpa's eyes says flatly] I believe you.

Grandpa Anderson:[gravely] That's what I was afraid of.

Allison: GRANDPA!!! Honestly could you stop, you'll scare you're great grand-daughters

Ann walks off

Ann[narration]: I DO believe him. His wife was Anastasia Anderson an orphan with no knowledge of who her parents were, from all the stories I heard she was a strong woman that escaped a tyrannical home and kept nothing but her first name. She was my namesake. He seemed afraid to talk about her and he spread that fear around. After she died he apparently became very protective of his 2 daughters... always told them to play it safe, don't take chances, back down at the first sign of trouble. so when the curse came, they didn't know how to fight it. And worse, they couldn't teach their daughters how to.

Ann finally heads outside

***************

PAGE 4

Ann sees Alicia leaning against a wall alone smokingAlicia: I'm ready to jet, do you plan on staying.

Ann: And where are you expecting to go?!

Alicia: My church youth group is having a meeting tonight I'm about to tell mom about it.

Ann: Your cult?

Alicia: GOD it's not a cult! You'd know that if...

Ann: Save it I'm desperate, I'll regret it but let's go.

Alicia: Ok then we get changed and I'll tell mom.

they go to their rooms

***************

PAGE 5

Ann changes in her room

Ann is scrawny, but any weight on her body is fat she is by no means in good shape

When she gets out she's dressed casually loose t-shirt and jeans

Ann is coming down stairs to leave out the back Runs into John

Ann: Hi Dad, did Alicia tell you where we were going.

John: Does Alicia ever tell me anything. Where you going?

Ann:[rolls eyes] To her youth group.

John: Be careful, they give me the creeps.

Ann: Then why do you let her associate with them?

John: You're both grown women, you make your own decisions. Besides they've helped get Alicia on track, she might even be going back to college soon. Your mom is insistent on me leaving her alone about it. But I don't want to see you get caught up in that stuff.

Ann: Relax dad, it's easier to dodge brainwashing when you can admit that's what it is.

Alicia, in the background, hears the last little bit and isn't pleased

***************

PAGE 6

The two girls walk silently to Alicia's car

they sit down

Alicia:[thinks] I didn't like what you had to say about my church group in there

Ann:[thinks back] What church group?! You and I both know this "Alarm" thing's only similarity to a real religion is the insane level of devotion it asks of you

Alicia:[Thinks] If you'd just give this a chance, who knows you might make new friends, it might change your life...

Ann gets out her copy of "Choke"

Ann:[thinks] I don't need YOUR kind of friends, and secondly if it was really this great thing you're always trying to say it is you wouldn't always be blocking stuff about it from me.

Alicia:[says aloud]Ann, could you pleeease grow up? This whole "mind reading" and "special powers" thing was cute when we were eight, but you seriously need to get you're life on track... Alarm can help.

Ann:[frustrated beyond belief] Whatever. It still doesn't matter. You're hiding something from me about this group.

Alicia: I'd love to continue this lovely little discussion but we're here.

The house is hidden behind a wooded area

It is a large, mildly modernistic log cabin

It has the obvious look of a leisure house

They walk to the door together in silence

They are greeted by John Morningstar, head of the world renowned self help organization Alarm

Morningstar is an older man (age indeterminate) with some wrinkles and long gray hair

He is much too buff for a man his age

He looks more like a pimp than a spiritual leader

In a smoking jacket, slippers, and pajama pants

Morningstar:[courteously] Hello! And welcome to my center for spiritual awakening. I'm James Morningstar.

Ann:[narrates] And pay no attention to the man behind the cheap cologne and the cheesy bathrobe.

Alicia shoots Ann a mean stare

Ann: Uh hi. [choking back laughter]

Morningstar: You must be Alicia's sister who we've all heard so much about. You know, you're sister's always talking about how amazing you are.

Ann:[staring confrontationally at Alicia] At some point I must learn what this greatness she speaks of is.

Morningstar:[caught off guard]Oh, of course. Come right in make yourself at home here.

Ann:[narrates] I hope he doesn't mean that literally

***************

PAGE 7

Alicia sees her boyfriend on the inside

He is a sensitive looking young man with modestly long brown hair

He is wearing a turtleneck and dress slacks, he looks mildly uncomfortable in them

He’s not used to dressing up

He looks a little scared and confused

This disappears as he sees the girl he wants to marry

Alicia: ROBBY!

Robby: Hey babe!

he grabs her and lifts her into a big hug and kiss

Robby: Look who finally showed up!

Ann: Hey Robby. Are we gonna pretend we actually have something to talk about? Or can we mercifully end the conversation now?

Robby: I just don't get you! You are nothing like your sister!

Ann:[fake astonishment] My god that's the greatest compliment anyone's ever given me.

Alicia: Look, we have some urgent business to attend to. Can I trust you to just mingle and not cause any trouble.

Ann:[her expression has gone sour] I'll just soak it in and keep to myself.

Alicia: Good, just whatever you do... just don't.

Ann walks around the crowded room for a little bit

There are lots of young men and women dressed casually participating in conversations, games and spiritual activities,… there are also many young couples playfully embracing

Everyone in the room is white

A young plumpish girl with mousy brown hair who has a couple strange growths on her neck

She wears a sundress that looks like it was made with very cheap material by someone who didn’t care very much about the person for whom it was intended

She looks too young to be here, far too sick as well

She is serving drinks

Little Lisa: Hi miss, would you like a drink?

Ann: Uh, are they..... safe?

Lisa:[looks down sullenly] I know what you mean. They're safe.

***************

PAGE 8

Ann: Ok I'll take a Pepsi then... but aren't you a little young to be working here? To be HERE at all.

Lisa: I'd be in class right now. Father says I'm not special enough.

Ann: You look really special to me.

Lisa: Thank you miss.

Ann: No it's cool you can call me Ann.

Lisa: Thank you Miss Ann.

Ann: Not what I meant but an improvement. I'm curious do you all call each other brother or sister in this group?

Lisa: No, many of us are Morningstar's children. I'm the only one who isn't special.

Ann: Doesn't that kind of make you more special?

Lisa cracks a sweet little smile. But just for a moment.

Morningstar: LISA!!! Get back to work and leave this guest alone!

Lisa: Sorry father I--I

Ann: Its ok we were talking and...

Morningstar: I'm sorry miss Brenner. You leave her alone for a minute and you never know what she'll do. On a lighter note we're starting empowerment circle shortly. I hope you'll join us.

Ann: That's ok. I'll try to drop in on it. But for now could you direct me to the bathroom?

***************

PAGE 9

Ann walks down a dark hall, she sees a shadowed figure smoking a cigarette

He is completely siilouetted, all that can be seen is the light of his cigaretteAnn: Awful lonely back here?

Skarr: I like it that way. Besides, I'm "Morningstar's" other dirty little secret.

Ann: Funny, you sound too old to be his kid.

Skarr:[rough chuckle] Wrong on both counts girlie. I'm just one of the suckers who bought his bullshit long ago... more importantly the least presentable to outsiders. Besides if you let the young'uns see me, Morningstar would have less of a chance of gettin into their panties... I don't think that's a possibility in your case though .

Ann: Good observation. Wouldn't even be here if Alicia didn't drag me...

Skarr:[notices something... lets out a little chuckle] So you're Ann huh? [another little laugh then he gets dead serious] Run.

Ann: What the hell are you talking about?!

Skarr:[measured intensity whisper]YOU THINK THIS IS JUST SOME CULT?! You have no idea. Imagine a street gang that thinks it's ready to openly take over a Major western power, but it's really just running drugs, guns and prostitution, and taking too big a cut of it's own product. Now imagine that same gang disguised as a spiritual movement with a billion times the firepower,... Destructive force to take over anything it tried to. But not a damn idea what to do when it gets there. But determined just the same.

Ann:[noticeable fear] What are you saying?

Skarr: I think you know. You also probably know about animals. You see we humans see a problem and we need to solve it, there's a lot of ways we can go about it. Any one of them will work just as well as any other. But you see animals have only two choices, fight or flight. You stand your ground and give everything you got to take something down, if you're able. Or you run like hell and escape if you're not. Right now, you're not strong enough to fight this battle... Run and hide until you are.

***************

PAGE 10

Skarr proceeds to open a backdoor for Ann he does so the light hits him

He is wearing what appears to be an Alarm “uniform”

It looks somewhat like a gymnast’s outfit with a large stylized “A” across the torso

It looks very abused, lots of burns and tears

Over it he is wearing a trench coat, a pair of black jeans and Combat boots

He doesn’t respect the uniform in the slightest

Light also hits his face for the first time

His face looks something akin to overcooked steak the burns are so bad

he proceeds to causally wipe his hand across his face

The path his hand took across his face left all the skin he touched in pristine shape

a small patch of hair has even started growing

he did this in front of Ann’s very eyes as he holds the door

Ann stands in unflinching terror

Skarr: I swear you're as dumb as my brother... GO!

Ann runs past him out the hidden back door

takes a back path out back to the road proceeds to walk home

***************

PAGE 11

Alicia drives up next to Ann matching the speed at which she walksAlicia: Had enough? I don't think I need to tell you how much you embarrassed me or how generous this offer is.

Ann: I've already walked three miles. I can handle the last two just fine ON MY OWN!

Alicia: Suit yourself.

Alicia drives off Ann continues walking

Ann:[narration] I had a long time to think about everything that night. More than I wanted. I'd tell her the stuff this group is into if I didn't think she was already in on it. Who am I kidding she's been a lost cause for years. All I can do now is keep her from dragging me down with her.

Ann is walking to her front door

***************

PAGE 12

John is waiting in the kitchen, he's stripped down to his dress pants, socks and a wife-beater

he looks overjoyed and relieved as Ann walks through the door

John: ANNIE!

He gives his daughter a big hug, he was scared and he’s just glad she’s home

Ann: Sorry I'm so late, why do you seem so surprised to see me?

John: I wasn't sure what to think after what Alicia told me

Ann: Whatever it was, it doesn't matter I'm fine.

Flashback sequence involving Ann and Alicia playing as children

They apparently spent a lot of time on make believe

Spending entire afternoons just creating amazing creatures with their minds

Everything in their world was as fluid as their imaginations

Ann:[narration] She wasn't always like this, we used to have so much in common… Not surprising being twins and all even if we are just fraternal twins. Something changed in her, ever since she met Robby and joined that "Church Group." She disowned almost everything we had in common. Little did I know that in just a few years I'd be looking back on 14 to 16 as the good old days of our relationship.

***************

PAGE 13

Ann is back with her Dad back to reality

Ann:[Narration] But I've accepted that it's over

John:[fighting back emotion] I'm sorry Annie, I just want to be able to help you.

Ann: I know dad, it's been a tough day I'm just going to get some reading in and go to bed. I love you dad.

John: Love you too Annie. Get some rest.

***************

PAGE 14

Ann enters her room to sit down and read

It is a medium sized room

There are two beds in this room, one for each girl

Alicia’s doesn’t look like it’s been slept in for a while

Ann:[narration] This was the main thing my father gave to me. He was reading constantly. He helped me expand my mind more than I may have ever done before. No, that's a lie. I probably would've developed like this no matter what. But he made sure I was always comfortable with it. Comfortable in my own skin, and on a search for truth.

Ann sits alone in her room reading

A look of fear passes her face

she knows what happens if she thinks too deeply and is alone too long

A small group of demonic monsters start circling her threateningly…

they appear seemingly out of nowhere

Ann:[narration] This is what Alicia gave me. She managed to turn a lot of people against me… I didn't always mind the solitude. I had my reading. I could wander and explore with my mind. Now it wanders bad places… scary places

***************

PAGE 15

One of Ann's demons sets a fire in Alicia’s bed

Ann is paralyzed with fear after too long she finally gets the strength to scream

Ann:[narration]Bad things happen…

Ann:[softly]dad?.. Dad!?…DAD!!? FIRE!!!…

John comes bursting through the door with a fire extinguisher

He rushes forward and puts out the fire the demons dematerialized right before John entered

John initially gets very angry

Ann is crying

John cries too

He holds his daughter in consolation

***************

PAGE 16

Allison, John and Alicia are having a tense conversation

John is the most tense, he looks like he's about to jump out of his seat and destroy something/anything

Allison looks like she's about to fall apart in every sense of the word, she's slouching in her chair avoiding eye-contact with everyone and trying not to volunteer too much information, what she does volunteer is usually gibberish

Alicia is sitting comfortably in her chair like a master manipulator whose plan is going far better than she ever expected

John: I just don't know anymore, she was fine just a few minutes before and then… then… this…

Alicia: I told you two a long time ago, she's disturbed, and the girl sincerely needs help.

Allison: ALICIA, HOW COULD YOU THAT'S… YOUR SISTER?

Alicia: Yes, it is my sister. That's why I want to see her go into intense therapy as quickly as possible.

Allison: No… no… there's nothing wrong with her. If we just ignore it and leave her be this will all get better, it'll blow over she'll stop talking about…

Alicia: She's sick. She needs help. You've heard her stories. The girl's clearly insane.

John: I admit she needs help but I don't think your kind is what she needs!!!

Alicia: Dad, I know a great therapist. I can get her in as soon as tomorrow

John: HOW CAN I TRUST YOU?! NOTHING THIS BAD EVER HAPPENED BEFORE YOU TOOK HER TO YOUR DAMN "CHURCH GROUP," CULT, WHATEVER THE HELL IT IS?

Ann has been eavesdropping the whole time, she slowly walks into her family’s view

Ann: Stop… look, maybe she's right. I don't understand what you get from that group, but nothing like what just happened ever happened to you. If you know someone who can help, maybe I should see them. I might regret this but I just want to be normal again.

John:[softening up to Ann] Annie, are you sure about this? You don't have to do this. We can find another solution.

Ann: I'm sure dad. Alicia could you help set me up with your doctor.

Alicia: Yeah, her name's Amy Smith…I think she can help you a lot, I'll call her first thing in the morning.

Ann hugs everyone***************

PAGE 17

Ann gets out of the car and walks up a long path into a woodsy out of the way house

It looks somewhat like Morningstar’s but more modest

She is then greeted by a slightly older woman (mid to late 20's) Who can only be described as gaunt, Her hair is White-blonde her eyes are the palest blue her skin is the lightest white you could imagine and she is very thin, Ann could break her in two even as out of shape as she is at this point in the story she is cold but courteous as she approaches Ann

Ann:[narration] I shouldn't listen to her. But she's right. We played the same games as children… she never did something like what happened last night, I'm putting myself and my family in danger, I have to do something.

Amy: Miss Brenner, welcome.

Ann: Hi you must be Dr. Smith.

Amy: That I am… come on in, and we can get started.

Ann: So is this what a normal clinic looks like

Amy: I try to keep a rather progressive set up here. Anyway, lets step into my office

Door shuts

***************

PAGE 18

The office is very homey and comfortable

Ann is in the office looking a little shaken

Amy: Thank you miss Brenner that was very informative, would you like to send the rest of your family in?

Ann: Ok. [narration] I am more confused when I went in, I can only hope that it's the foundation of something better

The family comes in

John: So what do you think about Annie?

Amy: From what I can tell your daughter will eventually be ok. I have some drug samples available that may be of great help to her. And I'd like to set up a treatment program with her

John: Ok if that what you think is best.

John takes the drugs

John: Thank you.

Amy and Alicia share a glance on the way out

Alicia:[thinks] So what do you think?

Amy:[thinks] I think she's ripe. those drugs should give you the final set up that you need.

Alicia leads Ann into the car behind the rest of the family

***************

PAGE 19

Sitting in the living room

The family has a roundtable discussion about the drugs sitting on the coffee table

John: Now Annie, you know you don't have to do this if you don't want to.

Ann: No, it's ok. I think this will help. I think I'll just take my first dose and get some sleep.

John:[alone to Ann] I just want us to be able to go back to being a normal, happy family.

Ann: Dad I hate to say it but I think it's a lost cause.

Ann takes the pills and walks into her room

Allison: John, all this has been way too much for me, I still have a few days off work can you take me to spend them at Angelica's? I'm so tired John.

John: I kind of want to stay with Annie tonight, but it's just an hour's drive each way. If you really need to I can do it. Alicia, can I trust you at home alone with Annie?

Alicia: Sure dad… don't worry we'll be fine, you just take care of mom.

Alicia plays the waiting game

She looks out the window for Robby

***************

PAGE 20

Robby enters the house in a very thuggish Alarm Jacket

It’s official but obviously not as sought after as an actual uniform

In a very military fashion he walks up to Alicia, they share a giant kiss when they finally break

Robby: You sure you wanna go through with this?

Alicia: Baby, we tried the easy route, this is the only way she'll crack. Besides, you know what it will mean to you, to us to bring me AND my sister into the fold for Morningstar.

Robby: Yeah you don't have to remind me, but... do you really think we can pull it off.

Alicia: We've been going over the plan all week, it will work.

***************

PAGE 21

Ann is dreaming she's seeing frightening versions of her parents, Morningstar and Skarr telling her things

in the dream world there is nothing but smoke and desolation, Ann is bound and gagged

Dream John: They think you're crazy.

Dream Allison: They may even be right.

Dream Skarr: You could've been one of us you know, that was our plan but you had to go and ruin it.

Dream Morningstar: A new day is dawning dear sister, and you need to awaken to the nature of this world you live in

Alicia: You see there are only two types of people in this world, I know what I am, which kind are you.

Victim or victimizer... but knowing that is not what's important right now

***************

PAGE 22

Ann is still asleep but getting shocked awake

Alicia:[telepathy] What IS important now is that you wake up!

Ann shoots up out of bed

She is coughing heavily because smoke is entering the room very quickly

She breaks a window, rolls out of it and escapes onto the ground

crawls to the next-door neighbors, claws at doorbell

when someone finally shows up

Ann:[screaming at the volume of a whisper] Help!

Ann points to the fire and passes out

***************

PAGE 23

John is returning home after the night out

he sees all the commotion, gets out of the car and rushes toward the first person who looks in charge

Ann is sitting up getting treated with oxygen

John: This is my house what happened?!

Firefighter: It's too soon to say.

John: Where are my daughters, I left them here alone...

Firefighter: We're treating the one that escaped the blaze, the other...

John: No no no no...

John sees the stretcher carrying Alicia's charred body from the wreckage of the Brenner home

John is struggling to keep his very sanity as he speaks the next sentences to Ann

John: Ann, please don't make this any harder for me than it already is... It's my fault, I thought you didn't need the help. That's the idea I acted on and one of my children is dead because of it. Your doctor had some brochures for some good facilities in her lobby. She even volunteers some of her time at one of them. I think it will be for the best. If we can salvage anything from this I'll send some of your clothes and books after you're there.

Ann:[choking back tears] Ok dad.

***************

PAGE 24

Ann is staring out the window of the car she's driving, she is carrying a small package in her lap

Ann:[narration] Hasn't even been a week since the last family funeral and I'm already missing another one. Dad salvaged a few outfits and books. The tests came back. They said that whatever caused the fire in my room the day before also caused the fatal one. Kind of a formality really. The arrangements were already in the process for me to go into psychiatric care... I'm going to this hospital so that I can continue my treatment with Dr. Smith.

***************

PAGE 25

Ann is walking with her package up the steps into the hospital

It is large and very imposing, very official looking

Ann:[narration] I'm sick and desperately need treated. That's what everyone says, and I'm beginning to finally think they're right. They can't all be wrong

enters door

there is a large corridor

Ann:[narration] Can they?

***************

PAGE 26

Ann is inside the hospital admitting area, a few established Alarm members are working as guards, Alicia's boyfriend Robby is an orderly walking by

a "Scarred" man is covering his eyes in frustration as he walks outIntercom: ...And as we bask in the light which leads us into the rebirth of the new day, we grow stronger and prepare to shrug off the burdens of those who've held us chained through all the centuries. In the name of the almighty sun, Amen.

Admitting nurse: Name?

Ann: Annastasia Marie Brenner.

nurse buzzes her in points

Nurse: Follow him

***************

PAGE 27

A bulky orderly (not Robby) leads Ann on the "walk of shame"

Ann:[narration] I've failed, worse than I ever thought possible. I've hurt people, people who for better or worse I loved. I'll do whatever it takes to get better no matter how long it takes or how much it drains me

***************

PAGE 28

Ann enters a common area where a number of patients are resting

Raven, A tall woman in fantastic shape with a slightly “gothic” feel to her look

She is wearing a tight black tank top and a pair of capris

She looks very mean, intense and confrontational

The look on her face towards Ann is best be described as "god damn they're going to eat her alive"

Phillip, is a fierce looking young man with a strong approachability and friendliness to his looks

He is wearing a red t-shirt with a little one-liner on it, sweat pants and a loose bathrobe

He has kind and understated smile for Ann as she walks through the door

Tanya, a young woman dressed in a nightgown and heavy coat

Her features are unimposing for the most part

She has a weak chin, and a birdlike nose, her hair is thin and scraggly

She is kind of hiding behind a piece of furniture she is very scared

Joshua, is an albino with what appears to be a bad rash, with strong cracks and flaking skin in addition to hair that seems to be capable only of standing on end,

He is scared as well, but there's a hint of a caged beast's rage in his manner

Ann:[narration] For better or worse, this is the beginning of the next chapter of my life.

***************

End Issue 1

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Fair enough.

As for the cast I used to do that when I wrote scripts for screen but this was basically for my eyes only, I even had to change a lot of the action captions from something like "set-up plot point x here" to something more vague and descriptive.

Thanks for your comments thus far.

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But fair enough:

The Brenner family:

Ann

Alicia

Allison (M)

John (F)

Angelica (aunt)

Ellen (aunt deceased)

Alarm movement:

Jim Morningstar (Spiritual leader)

Skarr

Robby (Alicia's boyfriend)

Lisa (Morningstar's daughter)

Dr. Amy Smith (psychiatrist associated with the group)

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Great job, Landon.

The characters are developing and the story is coming along nicely. I'd like to see how it takes shape visually. I'm also wondering about the name of the guy Morningstar and why the group is called Alarm. His name and the groups name seem like opposites, when they really shouldn't be. The one other thing that could possibly confuse the reader is Allison and Alicia are very similar names. Just a little constructive criticism... for the most part it looks really good.

What do you think of running a daily strip on OL?

Kat

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I do short character sketches (small stories that take place outside the main ones featring the smaller characters) on my myspace blog. Daily might be kind of rough (I have roughly one page of art half finished as I write this).

As to Alicia and Allison... I went through several A names before I came up with Ann. I thought it might be kind of interesting if John and Allison made a deal that all the girls would have A names and all the boys they had would have J names. And if John knew what I know he wouldn't have taken that deal.

So thats how I wound up with Allison Brenner giving birth to Ann and Alicia Benner.

As to Alarm/Morningstar. I took the name Morningstar from names like Manson (Man Son) Do (with his counterpart Ti). The man is equating himself with the sun it's kind of typical cult behavior. And Alarm is supposed to be representative of a reaction causing a force that brings change. And when it comes down to it everyone in Alarm has a big forceful name like that... Didn't Amy Smith seem like a pretty common sounding name. It's also kind of based on an idea that got adopted in X-Men, but comes from Malcom X and the nation of islam. The idea that your name was chosen by a culture you don't truly belong to so it isn't valid and the only valid name you can have is through the force of change.

All in all thanks for taking the time to comment and I hope that clears some things up.

---Landon

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Hey, Landon, just a note 'case you didn't know: the latin word for morning star is "lucifer." Literally, lucifer means, "light-bringer" or "dawn-bringer." In addition to being considered a synonym for "Satan," the term lucifer has variously refered to Venus, the Sun and, and somewhat obscurely, Jesus Christ. I suspect a lot of your readers will assume you intended to name your cult leader after the Devil--I know I did!

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