Page 1: Three large rectangular panels of equal size, arranged top to bottom.
Panel 1: The cruel white sun, suspended in a bright cloudless blue sky at the center of the panel. At the left side of the panel the tiny dark shape of a buzzard flies against the bright blue sky towards the right side of the panel.
Panel 2: The buzzard from the previous panel. The buzzard is significantly closer, and is now seen from a side-on orientation at the left side of the panel. Behind the buzzard perhaps five miles or so in the distance, the bright cloudless blue sky joins with a distant range of low-lying mesas. The land below the mesas is a reddish-tan desert which continues to the bottom of the panel.
Panel 3: The buzzard from the previous two panels. Here the buzzard is seen from the right side, and slightly above and behind as it dominates the left side of the panel, before it is cut off by the left and lower borders. Below the buzzard, the reddish-tan desert fills the panel completely. The ground is cracked in jagged tessellations from the dry heat. On the right side of the panel, a single short figure walks towards the right edge of the panel, kicking up a thin trail of dust as it goes.
Text: (lower right corner of panel 3) They say the desert goes on forever...
Page 2: A background illustration with a column of inset panels half the width of the page running down the right side of the page. The column is arranged as though there were five inset panels, but there are only four; the inset panel that would have been on top is absent, leaving a clear space for the background illustration to fill.
Background: The figure from page 1, panel 3. The figure is coming head on in a full-body view. The figure is very short for a person and is dressed in a baggy, light-grey outfit with heavy leather boots, a stiff wide-brimmed hat, a white bandana over its lower face, a pair of tinted goggles, and a large pack strapped to its back. The figure walks with a large walking stick, currently in its left hand. At the right side of the figure, a metal canteen hangs on a bandolier. This figure is placed on the left side of the page; keeping it largely out of the way of the inset panels on the right side, but overlapping the panels wherever it meets them. This figure is the traveler. Behind the traveler, the desert stretches towards the horizon where it vanishes beneath a low mountain range. Above the horizon, in the space where the top inset panel would have been; the sun beats down upon the traveler from behind. Near the top left corner of the page, the buzzard from page 1 hangs in the air, waiting for what it thinks is an easy meal.
Panel 1: The traveler is seen from behind and slightly to the right and upward, so that it occupies the bottom left corner of the panel looking into the distance. The traveler casts a long afternoon shadow on the tessellated ground before it; while in the distance, the sky begins to darken slightly with just a touch of twilight. To the traveler's left, a large rock stands beside the traveler's shadow and casts a shadow of its own to accompany it. To the forward right of the traveler in the lower right corner of the panel, the shadow of the buzzard hovers in the air.
Text: (outside of panel 1, just above the upper left corner) They say you could walk for a thousand, thousand lifetimes, and still never reach the edge of the desert.
Text: (upper right corner of panel 1) But I know they're wrong.
Panel 2: The traveler stands beside the boulder which dominates the left side of the panel. The boulder is seen from the side, though its shadow is now parallel with the upper and lower borders of the panel. This view is therefore one of the rear of the boulder, relative to the previous panel. The traveler has set its walking stick against the rear of the boulder, and now the traveler stands to the right of the boulder. The traveler is standing facing away from the audience, and is beginning to remove its large pack. Behind the traveler and the boulder, the landscape expands back to the mesas in the distance, and the sky darkens with just a subtle hint of twilight
Text: (upper left corner of panel 2) There's a city somewhere to the west, beyond the mountains.
Panel 3: The traveler leaning against the boulder, seen in a medium close view from the forward right side. The traveler sits on its large shoulder pack, and leans against the boulder. The traveler's walking stick leans against the stone just to the right of the traveler. The traveler's right hand reaches down to fetch the canteen, while the travelers left hand reaches for the bandana over the travelers mouth.
Text: (upper right corner of panel 3) A real city; with buildings as tall as the sky.
Text: (lower right corner of panel 3) And I'm gonna find it.
Panel 4: The traveler drinking from the canteen. The traveler is seen from head-on in a close-up view of its head and upper torso. The traveler's left hand is holding its bandana down, revealing tough olive skin; while its right hand holds the canteen to its lips. The traveler's walking stick leans against the boulder to the right of the traveler.
(the following speech bubble originates from above the panel frames but sits in the lower right corner of panel 4)
Thug Leader: GOTCHA!!!
Page 3: One large half-page panel at the top of the page. The bottom half divided into a row of five vertical panels, each about 1/3rd page height, and two panels at the very bottom of the page, both 1/6th page height; the left bottom panel is 1/3rd page width, and the right bottom panel is 2/3rds page width.
Panel 1: A line of five silhouettes, perched atop the boulder; some on all fours. The silhouettes are clearly human, but somehow savage and animalistic in nature. They all wear goggles which gleam brightly, like cats eyes. The silhouette in the center of the line is larger and noticeably less savage than the rest, carrying a pair of handguns whereas the others carry assault rifles or shotguns. He is the thug leader; and it was he who spoke the final line of page 2. In the foreground, the traveler has leapt up from its seat on the pack of supplies and in one fluid motion has grabbed its walking stick with its left hand and whirled around to face the foes which are now perched atop the boulder. The background of the scene is faded and indistinct; the silhouettes of the thugs are clearly being backlit by the sun, but we cannot see, nor do we need to see the sun itself. Instead a mat of colors serves as the background; with lighter colors at the top, slowly transitioning to the reddish-tan of the desert soil at the bottom. Behind the silhouetted thugs, the silhouette of the buzzard from page 1 can be seen against the background at the top of the page
Thug Leader: We've been tracking you for miles, little man!
Thug Leader: (cont'd) Now let's have those supplies!
Text: (bottom of panel 1, to the right side of the traveler) Bad guys!
Panel 2: Downward view of the traveler standing before the boulder. The traveler stands facing the left edge of the panel and holds the walking stick in a combat stance, with the tip pointed towards the goons atop the boulder (who are not in this panel). At the bottom of the panel, part of the boulder can be seen. The reddish-tan desert soil beneath the traveler fills the background.
Text: (top of panel 2) I need these supplies for my journey.
Text: (at the halfway point of the border between panels 2 and 3) And I'm not about to let these bad guys take 'em!
Panel 3: Slightly upward view of the thugs from their right side. The thugs are perched on top of the boulder, and are still silhouetted against a bright but indistinct background with gleaming eye-gear. The leader is at the center of the panel, and he appears to be gesturing to his thugs to attack. Another thug to his left is visible, though he is cut off by the right edge of the panel; and another thug is also visible in the foreground to his right, overlapping the leader before vanishing behind the left edge of the panel. At the bottom of the page, the boulder dominates the panel, creating space for the following text box...
Text: (bottom of panel 3) Not without a fight!
Panel 4: Head-on view of the thugs leaping towards the traveler. The leader is clearly at the center, and the two thugs from the previous panel are visible on either side of him. As before, the background is bright but indistinct. The leaders face is no longer silhouetted; his face is heavily scarred with a brown ragged goatee, a mouth full of crooked teeth and face covered in scar tissue. The right lens of the leaders goggles are cracked. In the foreground, the back of the traveler's head fills the lower third or so of the panel.
Panel 5: Close on the Traveler's goggles. The thug leader is seen reflected in the goggles in the same general position as panel 4. Through the tinted visor, the outline of a pair of eyes can also be seen. The eyes communicate a sense of sudden distress. The traveler's hat and bandana are also visible
Text: (bottom of panel 5) Uh oh.
Panel 6: Side view of the thug leader grabbing the traveler by the neck. The traveler is seen in profile, looking towards the left edge of the panel, from which direction the thug leader's hand has emerged. The traveler's hat has been knocked off by the force of the thug leader's blow and is now in midair, revealing a head of brown shoulder-length hair. As before, the background is bright but indistinct.
(the following speech bubble represents an involuntary choking sound, similar to a hiccup. The bubble should reflect that with a slimy border.)
The Traveler: Hurk!
Panel 7: The silhouette of the thug leader slamming the traveler against the ground. The thug leader's attack is defined with motion lines. The traveler's hat is wobbling in midair, along with the traveler's staff. The background is still indistinct.
SFX: WHAM!!! (the sound of the thug leader slamming the traveler into the ground)
Panel 8: Close on the travelers face as the thug leader pushes her head into the dirt. The view is tilted to the right side about 10 degrees. The traveler lies in a supine position with the thug leader's hand forging her head backward so that her face is seen upside down. The traveler's bandana has been pulled down, and her goggles hang limp about her neck, revealing the face of a tough olive-skinned young girl, barely into her teens. Her eyes are shut tightly and her jaw is set in an expression of pain and endurance. The thug leader's hand is still at her throat, forcing her head back into the dirt. In the background, the legs of the other four thugs are visible; and the boulder fills out the rest of the space.
Thug Leader: Hey, whaddya know? It's a girl! We've been tracking an itty-bitty little girl this whole time!
Thug Leader: (cont'd) Ain't that a riot!
Text: (bottom right corner of panel 8) I hate bad guys!
Page 4: A background illustration with ten inset panels: a rectangular panel in the upper left corner, a small right-triangular panel tucked into the top right corner, a circular panel below the second one about halfway down the page, a long rectangular panel half the page width located below the mid-point of the page, a diamond shaped panel tucked to the left of the long rectangular panel like a sliver, and a row of five panels at the bottom of the page. The center panel of the bottom row is narrow, the side panels are wide, and the middle ones are halfway between the extremes.
Background: the silhouette of a tall man in a long brown coat and a wide hat, seen from the front right side, and facing towards the right side of the page. The figure stands at the top of the boulder looking down over the scene below. A rifle is slung over his shoulder and a .45 is holstered on his right hip. The figure's coat billows in the wind behind him. This man is the gunner, and he is positioned in the free space created by the inset panels in the upper right corner. The silhouette of the buzzard from the previous pages alights upon the gunner's right shoulder and turns its head towards the left side of the page. Behind the gunner, the desert sun renders the background bright and indistinct. Below the gunner, the boulder fills the rest of the page with its silhouette.
Panel 1: Close on the gunner's face, seen in profile from his right side. His hat shrouds the top of his face in shadow, from the bridge of his nose upward. His chin is covered in light fuzz, except for a small line of scar tissue on the right side of his strong jaw. His mouth is slightly open in speech. The background is bright and indistinct, just like the background illustration itself.
(The tail of this speech bubble, and of all the gunner's speech bubbles on this page point towards the gunner's silhouette in the background illustration, regardless of their position, or the interactions of the characters in the panels. Also, remember to position the speech bubbles so that they lead the action in the direction indicated by the panel numbers.)
The Gunner: Hey.
The Gunner: (cont'd) You're gonna want to let the little traveler go.
Panel 2: Forward-left close on the traveler's head, still being shoved into the dirt by the thug leader's left hand. Her head is oriented so that the top of her head roughly coincides with the top right corner and the thug leader's left arm vanishes behind the hypotenuse edge of the triangular panel. By now, the traveler's face has recovered from the initial shock and is now contorted with frustrated determination. Her eyes are open and looking towards the lower left corner of the panel and the source of the following speech bubble. The background consists of the reddish-tan desert sand.
The Gunner: Else I'm gonna get a little upset.
Text: (positioned over the thug leader's arm) Who's that?
Panel 3: The thug leader, seen from an upward left view. The thug leader has just turned toward the upper left corner of the page, as indicated by motion lines, and he now points the handgun in his right hand at the gunner. His hand extends out beyond the border of the panel and over the background illustration. The thug leader's goggles are shining with the light of the sun and his face displays an expression of annoyed surprise. His mouth is open in a shout.
Thug Leader: I don't know who you are or where you come from,
Thug Leader: (cont'd) but you better clear out of here before me and my boys poke you full of holes!
Panel 4: Downward front view of the five thugs including the leader in a line. The leader at the center still holds the traveler down with his left hand while pointing his gun up at the gunner with his right. The other thugs raise their weapons at the gunner.
Panel 5: Close on the .45 at the gunner's side from the right side. The gunner's gloved hand reaches down and grips the gun, slightly lifting it from its holster. The gunner's thumb disengages the safety of the gun. The desert and orange sky are visible in the background.
SFX: Klik (the sound of the .45's safety disengaging)
The Gunner: If that's the way you want to play it.
Panel 6: Upward front view of the gunner's silhouette against a bright and indistinct background. The gunner holds his .45 at eye level and shoots it towards the middle-upper left edge of the panel, as his head tracks with the gun. His left hand brushes back his jacket to reveal a second .45 holstered at his left side. The buzzard on the gunners right shoulder spreads its wings to take flight.
Panel 7: Upward front view of the gunner's silhouette against a bright and indistinct background. The gunner holds his .45 at eye level, though it is now closer to the forward position, and fires it towards the upper left corner of the panel as his head tracks with the gun. His left hand gasps the .45 which is still in its holster. The buzzard that was once on the gunner's right shoulder has now taken flight. And is vanishing from the panel.
Panel 8: Upward front view of the gunner's silhouette against a bright and indistinct background. The gunner shoots his .45 straight towards the upper edge of the panel as his head tracks with the gun. His left hand has now pulled his second .45 out of its holster, and he is quickly raising it to eye level.
SFX: BANG!BANG!BANG!BANG!BANG! (the sound of five shots from the gunner's two .45's. This sound effect should be positioned at the bottom of the row to compliment the muzzle-flashes of the .45's)
Panel 9: Upward front view of the gunner's silhouette against a bright and indistinct background. The gunner shoots his second .45 towards the upper right corner of the panel as his head tracks along with his second gun. The gunner lowers his first .45 back towards its holster.
Panel 10: Upward front view of the gunner's silhouette against a bright and indistinct background. The gunner shoots his second .45 towards the upper-middle right edge of the panel as his head tracks with the gun. The gunner has placed his first .45 back into its holster.
Page 5: A top-half panel with a taller-than-wide rectangular inset panel in the upper right corner and a circular inset panel in the lower right corner, and a row of three panels filling the lower half. The last panel in the bottom row is actually split into two panels, a 1/6th page height panel at the top and a larger 1/3rd page height panel at the bottom.
Panel 1: Downward front view of the traveler. She is still in the same location as she was when the thug leader held her down, though she is now holding herself up in a sitting position. The thug leader and the rest of his thugs are sprawled on the ground behind the traveler, with headshot wounds and pools of blood spreading beneath them The buzzard has landed on top of the middle-right one and is picking away at the raw flesh. The desert sand fills the background, except for the lower part of the panel, where the top of the boulder peeks above the lower border of the panel. The entire scene takes place in the shade of the boulder.
Panel 2: The gunner puts his second gun back into his left holster.
The Gunner: Amateurs...
Panel 3: Close on the traveler's face. She is looking towards the gunner and smiling broadly with a look of wide-eyed amazement. The traveler's goggles and bandana are hanging around her neck.
The Traveler: Wow! Thanks mister!
The Traveler: (con't) You must be a good guy!
Panel 4: Medium length view of the traveler from the knees up. The traveler has picked herself up, has picked up her hat and is putting it back on her head. She stands facing slightly towards the lower left corner, and adjusts the brim of her hat with her right hand while holding her walking stick in her left hand. The brim of her hat covers he eyes, but her face is visible from the bridge of her nose down. Her mouth is bent in a wide grin and slightly open. In the background, the boulder dominates the left side of the panel, giving way to the orange twilight sky on the right side.
The Traveler: This is so awesome! You know, I could really use a partner like you!
Panel 6: Rear-left view of the traveler. She occupies the foreground in the lower right corner, but is still entirely within the panel. She walks towards the pack of supplies which leans against the boulder in the background. The traveler is in the middle of putting her goggles back over her eyes with her right hand, while her left hand holds her walking stick.
The Traveler: We'd make a great team, you and I! You could keep the bad guys away, and I would...
Panel 7: One of the gunners .45's silhouetted against a bright indistinct background. The gunner holds the gun in his right hand, and points it toward the lower left corner of the panel.
SFX: Klik (the sound of the .45's safety disengaging. This sound effect should be positioned so that it interrupts the traveler's previous speech bubble)
The Gunner: Not so fast, little girl.
Panel 8: Upward view of the traveler, as though seen from the top of the boulder. The traveler's goggles have fallen back down to their previous position around her neck. The traveler's face is frozen in a look of dumb surprise.
Text: (bottom right corner of panel 8) Wait, what?
Page 6: Quadrants: Top left: a single panel. Top right: two panels separated by a slightly slanted vertical partition (\). Bottom left: two panels separated by a slightly slanted vertical partition (\), exactly like the top right quadrant. Bottom right: one two panels, separated by a slightly slanted vertical partition (/). The left panel is significantly larger and the right panel is separated into a vertical row of three panels.
Panel 1: Rear view of the gunner sliding down the face of the boulder. His left hand is on the boulder to guide his descent and his boots are about to make contact with the ground. His right hand is holding his .45 which is pointed at the traveler. His long coat is flying wildly behind him almost like a pair of wings, though the practical function of this is to make sure that the traveler is still visible on the right side of the panel. The traveler is hurriedly backing away from the gunner, the forward end of her walking stick dragging on the ground as she goes. The bodies of the thugs are sprawled out behind her. The pack of supplies still rests against the boulder, exactly where the traveler left it back on page 2. The orange sunset sky dominates the background, creating a contrast with the traveler and the gunner who are in the shadow of the boulder.
The Gunner: Now drop your little stick, missy
The Gunner: (cont'd) and step away from my supplies.
Panel 2: Front view of the traveler from the knees up. She stands dumbfounded with an expression of stupefied shock. She holds her walking stick limply in her left hand. The forward end of her walking stick rests on the ground. Behind her, the desert stretches off into the distance before the dark plateaus merge with the orange sunset sky.
Panel 3: Front view of the traveler from the knees up. She still stands dumbfounded with an expression of stupefied shock, but now she had dropped her walking stick and holds her hands in the air. Behind her, the desert stretches off into the distance before the dark plateaus merge with the orange sunset sky.
The Traveler: But...
The Traveler: (cont'd) you're supposed to be the good guy...
Panel 4: Front view of the gunner. He holds his .45 at the ready with his right hand while he bends down to pick up the pack of supplies with his left hand. His hat shades the top of his face, from the bridge of his nose upward. The boulder stands in the background.
The Gunner: Sure kid, whatever you say.
Panel 5: Front-left view of the gunner, very similar to the previous panel. He is now standing upright, with the pack of supplies slung over his shoulder. He holsters his .45 with his right hand, and holds the pack with his left hand. His hat shades the top of his face, from the bridge of his nose upward. The boulder stands in the background in the exact same way as the previous panel.
The Gunner: There's a trading post nine miles west of here.
The Gunner: (con't) Take the weapons off those thugs and sell 'em. Probably won't get you too much, but money's money.
Panel 6: Slightly downward front view of the gunner from the torso up. His hat covers his face from the bride of his nose up. He walks forward, and away from the boulder which fills the upper half of the panel. Behind the gunner, at the right side of the panel, the traveler stands dumbfounded, staring at the gunner.
Panel 7: Medium close on the traveler from the shoulders up. Her face is frozen in shock. Her bandana and goggles hang loose about her neck. The brim of her hat is upturned, so that her face is completely visible. Behind her, the orange sunset sky fills the background.
Text: (left border of panel 7 and panel 6) I don't believe it!
Panel 8: Close on the traveler from the base of her neck up. Her face is now contorted with frustration; her eyes are closed, her brow is furrowed, her jaw is set and her teeth are clenched. The background is the same as panel 7 though less of it is visible.
Text: (left border of panel 8 and panel 6) This can't be right!
Panel 9: Tight close on the traveler's head. Her mouth is open in a scream, her eyes are wide open and her eyebrows are pointed with rage. The background is the same as panels 7 and 8, though considerably less of it is visible.
The Traveler: NO!!!
Page 7: Splash
Splash Panel: Wide downward-right view of the gunner walking off into the desert towards the oncoming night with the pack of supplies on his shoulders. The buzzard follows close after him. He casts a long shadow, as he is now at least ten meters beyond the shadow of the boulder which dominates the foreground. Also in the foreground, the traveler hurries after the gunner, holding her hat down with her right hand, and holding her walking stick in her left hand. The traveler is just outside of the shadow of the boulder, and so she also casts a long shadow. Far in the distance, the darkening orange sky is finally giving way to the blue of the evening. The first stars of night begin to dot the sky.
The Traveler: YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOOD GUY!!!
Text: (bottom right corner) TO BE CONTINUED...