PAGE 1 (6 Panels)
NOTE: For this page, as well as page two, we're going for a grid layout; 6 panels per page, equal size (two rows of three). The pertinent details for each image are listed briefly below.
A view looking straight ahead onto a sandy beach. A massive expanse of water lies beyond the shore, with mountain peaks in the far distance estimating the end of the lake. On the beach (this is around forty feet from our viewpoint) sits a beat up red, wood picnic bench. About half the distance between us and that the beach gives way to dirt and sparse thin trees and tall grass. Right at this intersection sits a red wooden shed. In the foreground, to the left of the panel, a tree trunk breaks into view.
CAPTION- THESE ARE THE HAPPIEST PLACES OF MY LIFE.
A cheap, faux velvet, red couch, three cushions wide. It sits on green carpet.
We're looking out at a rap concert in a large, neon-lit venue, from the crowd. The artist performing on the stage in front of us is Tech Nine. People crush in from all directions, but the lights from the show are centered momentarily on a short girl directly in front of us, her hair is bouncing in the air as she's moving with the music, but we can only see the back of her head, and the top of her shoulders.
CAPTION- DESTINATIONS THAT BLEW MY WORLD APART, THEN FUSED IT ONCE AGAIN IN LOVE AND PASSION AND EMOTION; IN ALL THE THINGS I HATE, THE THINGS I'VE NEVER TRUSTED.
We're looking through the front window of a sedan (the dodge stratus which we'll describe shortly) as the car drives down a slightly inclined, left curving single-lane road. Along the road are trees planted on either side, which have grown up and over, nearly connecting above the road, creating the illusion of a corridor.
A dirt coultesac, about 60 feet in diameter. In the foreground we can see some asphalt, indicating that a road runs down and away from this cleared area. At the far end of the dirt circle, a wooden message board is mounted by two posts into the dry desert earth. Next to this is a dirt track, running off into the background, beyond the sign. Hills rise up directly to the left of trailhead itself, while beyond, where the track is running, the land dips into a bowl, rising up on the far side into another hill. The deep, massive, Nevada sky caps off everything.
CAPTION- THE LOCATIONS OF ALL THE BATTLES I'VE LOST FIGHTING NATURE. THE PLACES I SHOULD HAVE SURRENDERED IN THE FIRST PLACE. HISTORICAL LANDMARKS OF MISTAKES, AND MAYBE REDEMPTION. OR JUST THE FUTURE.
We're looking in to a small, 10x12 room, all white walls except the one to the right, which is a deep navy blue. Pressed into the far corner opposite us, is a single twin bed with wood posts, and a plaid, patterned blue comforter. Next to this sits a night table on the blue wall, just beyond which is a cheap computer desk with a laptop and a number of books and papers scattered about. The floor, and walls, and everything else is devoid of decoration. Directly across from us is a large, wide, rectangular window, with wooden blinds dropped and drawn to cover it. On the left wall near us, is a door for a closet, and a grey bookshelf, stacked haphazardly with books.
PAGE 2 (6 Panels)
A pair of beautiful, thin, woman's legs crossed, white flip-flop sandals dangling suggestively from her small perfect feet, tipped with just a splash of teal on her toenails. A sundress, white and light orange striped, just covers the spot her legs meet, hiding her panties.
We look out on Venice Beach boardwalk, in Santa Monica, California, from within a dirty teal-colored tile alcove, just off the stained concrete boardwalk. Beyond the walkway, a few rolling grass utterances give way to a beach path, and then soft, fine sandy beaches. The Ocean wakes up lazily in the background, throwing yawning waves lapping against the beach. A few people mill about doing various things (walking, chatting on a cell phone, a few might be working out on the beach, maybe a surfer in the far background).
CAPTION- MY NAME IS JOHN MECCA-
A four door, green/gray, Dodge Stratus sedan. It looks beat up, there's bird crap on top of it. It's parked at the Trailhead described on page one.
A whole panel painted with the color teal.
A beautiful woman's smile, her top lip pulled back over perfect teeth, one of which is just biting the corner of her lip-gloss painted lips.
CAPTION- - AND THIS IS A THING ABOUT A GIRL.
We're looking across a 2 lane highway (four lanes total, with a center lane separating them), directly at a small, brick, rectangular building. It has two windows facing us, large rectangular ones with a few different neon coffee signs in them. The building itself is a light taupe, or tan color, while it wears a bright red sheet metal roof. The parking lot surrounding it on the far side looks shoddy, as do the 'strip mall' businesses we can make out bordering it. The time is early morning; we can tell by the weak sunlight.
PAGE 3 (8 Panels)
Panel 1- ¾ shot down, extreme close-up
We're looking into a puddle of coffee pooled on a flat surface. We can see nothing but the liquid, a bit of reflection from it's surface, and the barest hint of a styrofoam coffee cup rim in the top left, without it's lid.
CAPTION- WHEN I WAS A KID, I HAD THIS IDEA IF YOU JUST SAID THINGS THE RIGHT WAY, USED THE RIGHT WORDS, YOU COULD CONVINCE ANYONE OF ANYTHING.
Panel 2- ¾ shot down, close up
We've pulled back about six inches from our previous view, bringing the styrofoam cup into focus, lying on it's side on a glass table, half in the coffee puddle.
CAPTION- YOU COULD CHANGE PEOPLES MINDS, IF YOU JUST USED THE PERFECT PHRASING.
CAPTION- I COULDN'T FOR THE FUCKIN' LIFE OF ME TELL YOU WHERE I PICKED THIS UP. NO CLUE. BUT IT STUCK WITH ME.
Panel 3- ¾ shot down, med close up
Retreating even further back (now about two feet distant from the tables surface) we begin to get a sense of the area. We can tell now that light is entering into the room from a window off panel (coming in from the direction of the top of the panel), through the slats of a set of blinds. We get the sense this is early morning light as it flows in but still leaves those gray, morning shadows lying about. On the glass tabletop (circular) we see the spilled coffee and its former vessel near the edge, some of the liquid is dripping off the side. Beyond the puddle on the far side of the table lay a haphazard stack of graphic novels, and another equally haphazard stack of college textbooks. Along side the two stacks a laptop stands open, its screen black. Somewhere near the center of the glass circle sits a small, colored glass pipe, and a plastic bag with a few nugs of marijuana.
CAPTION- IT GOT ME THINKING ABOUT ALL SORTS OF SHIT. LIKE, WHAT WERE WORDS, ANYWAY? WHY DID THEY HAVE ALL THIS POWER, AND HOW DID THEY DO WHAT THEY DID?
CAPTION- THE DICTIONARY TOOK ON A MYSTICAL PROPERTY FOR ME.
CAPTION- IT HELD THE WORDS. THE WORDS THAT WERE THE KEYS TO OTHER PEOPLE. TO THEIR THOUGHTS AND THEIR FEELINGS AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY-
CAPTION- -THEIR ATTENTION.
CAPTION- SO I READ THEM, I LEARNED THEM.
Panel 4- shoulder height, straight on view
We've shifted our view to the left, and upward so we're no longer looking at an angle. To the bottom right of the panel we can see a bit of the table sticking into the frame. Ahead of us is a doorway leading into another room. We can see a tall window on the far wall, torn up blinds blocking most of it from view. Below it is an old chair pressed against the wall in profile, and a bookshelf, with a lamp and a bust of Beethoven atop it.
CAPTION- AND IT TURNED OUT I WASN'T WRONG. THE RIGHT WORDS- TO THE RIGHT PERSON AT THE RIGHT TIME- THEY CHANGE HISTORY.
CAPTION- SOMETIMES EVERYONE'S HISTORY, OR MAYBE ONLY A GROUP.
CAPTION- MAYBE, JUST YOURS.
CAPTION- WORDS HAVE BROUGHT ME MORE LOVE, HATE, HARDSHIP, AND HOPE, THAN ANYTHING IN THIS LIFE. THEY'VE RESCUED ME. THEY'VE HOUNDED ME. THEY'VE MURDERED ME AND SPURNED ME AND TURNED ME INTO A MAN.
Panel 5- shoulder height, straight on view
We've moved through the doorway now, and can make out more of the right side of the room. In the corner an old tube television sits on top of a rectangular wooden coffee table. Along the right wall is another window, covered over by a blue bed sheet, and under which is an old-school radiator. To the left of the panel we can now make out another doorway, and through it we can just make out the bottom edge of a mattress atop a box spring (there's no bedframe).
CAPTION- DRUGS, FUCKING, FAME, LOVE, HATE, I'VE PASSED EACH OF THEM; CLOSED DOORS IN LIFES HALLWAY.
CAPTION- EACH ONE WITH ITS WORD, EACH WORD WITH ITS POWER.
CAPTION- WHEN I WAS A KID, I BELIEVED THAT THE RIGHT WORDS COULD CONVINCE ANYONE, OF ANYTHING.
CAPTION- MAYBE THAT'S WHY I BECAME A WRITER.
Panel 6- inset panel, close up, top down view
Close-up on a cell phone screen with the alarm going off. The time reads 6 AM
Panel 7- inset panel, extreme close up, straight view
A mans eye just cracks open.
Panel 8- inset panel, close up, ¾ shot down
We see a pack of cigarettes with the top of the pack open, a few smokes sticking their filters out. A bic lighter sits next to the pack.
PAGE 4-5 (1 Panel; Double Page Spread)
Panel 1- ¾ angle, top down med distance, front shot
We're now inside the bedroom, looking directly at the bed. The room is about 10x12 feet in dimension, with that cheap wood slat paneling running from the ground to halfway up the wall, around the entire perimeter of the room. The bed and boxspring are pushed against the far wall, and into the left corner (situated then, in the corner of the far and left walls). At the base of the bed is a doorway opening into a closet, on the far side of which the room turns another corner, with another window right at the turn. The blinds are dropped on this one as well, but shut completely, letting in only the slimmest shafts of morning light. Below this window and running out from under it about two feet along the wall, is another old radiator. In front of the radiator a few laundry hamper sit, and just beyond those, slightly past the wall mounted heater, an elliptical workout machine is shoved against the wall. The near wall is off-panel. In front of us, our narrator is finally given form. He has sat up from the bed, the covers pushed back behind him, his legs over the side of the mattress. To his right, against the left wall and the head of the mattress, stands a square, green night stand, with three drawers. On top of the stand, a few pieces of paper are scattered, on top of which the previously seen pack of cigarettes rest. Also, a green lamp with a very 70's lampshade takes up some of the top space. On the lamp shade itself we can make out a rectangular piece of paper, with what appears to be a few clothing tags attached, tacked in by a push pin. Our main character is a stout man, mid-thirties, heavily tattooed on the chest and upper arms. His face has high cheekbones, and very articulate eyebrows, above which a noticeably receding hairline is hidden by virtue of a shaved head, a single strip of orange hair left to run down the center. On the left side of the scalp, just above the forehead, is a spider symbol tattoo. The man has a bearded/mustached mouth, trimmed close, which then runs in a pencil thin design along his jaw line and terminate right at the point where his ears meet his skull. He wears rectangle, black glasses with rounded edges, a lit cigarette dangles from his lip, trailing tendrils of smoke into the air of the room. Though he's shirtless, he does wear a pair of maroon gym shorts, and ankle socks. One arm lays across his legs as he hunches forward a bit, the other is dragging his hand across his head, halfway down his thin mohawk.
CAPTION- I'VE BEEN TRYING TO FIND THE RIGHT WORDS TO MAKE SOMEONE STAY.