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The Challenge has been made. Every day two men battle to transform bad ideas into good comic pitches. How long can this go on?

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Location: Buffalo, New York, United States

Bob "G. Bob" Roland is a filthy degenerate gambler who, at various times, has been a video game designer, a fortune teller, a fraud investigator, a journalist and a bad cartoonist. Eventually he was settled and tamed like a feral monkey by his loving wife Julia and his son Joe. Bob now works in the romance publishing business and is still learning how to juggle. If you really need more details you can go here

Monday, April 09, 2007

Challenge: Country and Western Ho-Down


"The Coldest Time Of Winter" It's a one-shot Christmas tale starring Captain Cold. Merle Haggard's "If We Make It Through December" If we make it through DecemberEverythings gonna be all right I knowIt's the coldest time of winterAnd I shivver when I see the fallin snow If we make it through DecemberI got plans of bein in a warmer town come summer timeMaybe even CaliforniaIf we make it through December we'll be fine I got laid off down at the factoryAnd there timings not the greatest in the worldHeaven knows I been workin' hardI wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girlNow I don't mean to hate DecemberIt's meant to be the happy time of yearAnd why my little girl don't understandWhy daddy can't afford no Christmas here If we make it through DecemberEverythings gonna be alright I knowIt's the coldest time of winterAnd I shivver when I see the fallin' snow If we make it through DecemberI got plans of bein' in a warmer town come summer timeMaybe even CaliforniaIf we make it through December we'll be fine Leonard Snart is Captain Cold, blue collar career criminal and longtime member of the Flash's Rogues Gallery. The story opens with Captain Cold walking alone across the Arctic tundra at night (think Jack Londron's "To Build A Fire"). He's stranded there with no transportation and nothing but his cold gun. Inside the framing story of him trying to get to civilization, we get a series of flashback which reveal the main story. Cold's stranded after a heist gone wrong, a job he tried to pull that was too dangerous, too risky. A job he never would attempt normally. But why? Cold's past has caught up with him. He has an illegitimate daughter, the product of a drunken one night stand. He pulled the job so he can give the girl enough money to get out of the abusive foster home she's stuck in. Cold's a villain, but his heart's made of stone not ice. Family's important to him, even family he didn't know existed (see past history re: Golden Glider). So, we've got Captain Cold trying to survive in the cold (get it?) and the little girl and the heist gone wrong. The flashbacks end where the main story starts, with Cold getting stranded, and the main story ends with the hanging question of does he make it though December? It's a sad, sad Christmas tale. 24 lines in the song. Each page of the comic begins with a caption box of the song's next lyric. PAGE 14, PANEL 1. COLD'S POV LOOKING DOWN AT HIS FEET. THE SNOW IS ALMOST UP TO HIS KNEES. VISIBLE IN THE PANEL ARE COLD'S HANDS, FINGERS CURLED UP AND NUMB. LYING HALF BURIED WHERE HE DROPPED IT, IS THE COLD GUN. CAPTION: "IT'S MEANT TO BE THE HAPPY TIME OF YEAR..." PANEL 2. COLD'S DROPPED TO HIS KNEES AND IS REACHING FOR THE GUN WITH NUMB FINGERS. PANEL 3. MATCH SHOT OF A LITTLE GIRL, KNEELING IN THE SAME POSITION. SHE'S IS A SPARSE, MOONLIT BEDROOM, KNEELING AT THE BED AND SAYING HER PRAYERS. GIRL: "AND IF I DIE BEFORE I WAKE..." PANEL 4. MATCH SHOT AGAIN, THIS TIME IT'S CAPTAIN COLD ON HIS KNEES FIRING HIS COLD GUN AT A PAIR OF SECURITY GUARDS, FREEZING THEM WHERE THEY STAND. BEHIND COLD, REACHING IN FROM OFF PANEL TO GRAB HIM ARE A PAIR OF HANDS WEARING FAMILIAR RED GLOVES WITH A YELLOW LIGHTNING BOLT DESIGN. COLD: "YOU'LL NEVER TAKE ME ALIVE! DON'T YOU KNOW I'M COLD!"
Bob's Pitch: Drop Kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life.
"Make me, Oh make me, Lord, more than I amMake me a part of your master game planFree of the earthly temptations belowI've got the will, Lord, if you've got the toe." JESSE CRISTOS is a high school Quarterback in Bethlehem, PA...but could he also be the future father of the messiah? DKJTGL is the story of JESSE and his protector, RABBI BEN JONES, the cowboy Rabbi, appointed by god to keep JESSE free from temptation and safe from the legions of hell set to stop him. DKJTGL is an action story filled with Mesopotamian chaos-monsters, a secret army of Zionist zealots posing as cheerleaders, the time traveling ninja hordes of the anti-pope, Judaic mysticism, an evil Santa Claus and high school football. It's H.P. Lovecraft meets Friday Night Lights Meets Hellboy with all of them getting their ass kicked by Clint Eastwood firing his gun and quoting the Talmud. Main Characters: RABBI BEN JONES is a hard bitten cattle rancher and former Vietnam vet who converted to Judaism after god saved his life as he laid dying in a rice patty. Scholar and warrior, cowboy and priest, he spent years battling the forces of darkness. Retiring to his ranch he watched as one of his cattle gave birth to the Red Heifer who fulfilled the ancient prophecy of the coming messiah. Armed with the Sefer Yetzirah (Jewish "book of creation" that creates Golems, can rewrite life, etc) and a trusty Smith and Wesson, the RABBI must prepare JESSE to face his destiny. JESSE is the son of a Honduran immigrant, and all around all-American. JESSE does not know that his father was a direct descendant of ABRAHAM, and that his blood carriers in it the fulfillment of 6 thousand years of prophecy. JESSE's son is due to lead the tribes of Judah and liberate Israel from bondage. Other Characters: PETER IV THE TIME TRAVELING ANTI-POPE: Pope of he second Babylonian Captivity (the first was when the Papacy moved from Rome and we had the reign of the "anti-popes". Also known as the Avignon Papacy in the 14th century.) from the year 2027 where great wars have ravaged Europe and JESSE's son now leads an army. PETER and his Cyborg legion has vowed to put a stop to JESSE by the power of their Time Engines. AHASUERUS the WANDERING JEW: A roman centurion "cursed" by Jesus to walk the Earth until the coming of the messiah. Over the centuries he decided that he quite liked being immortal and was in no rush for his "curse" to be over. Now JESSE stands in the way. To stop him, AHASUERUS has taken the job of JESSE's football coach. Can the RABBI foil him while still letting the team make the state finals? MIRIAM BITTER: Girlfriend of JESSE and distrustful of the RABBI ("How can he believe in god if he's not even a Christian!?") MIRIAM is believed by JESSE to be the mother of the Messiah. The RABBI suspects she's holding a terrible secret. KRAMPUS: Germanic precursor to Santa Claus, KRAMPUS holds the staff of Odin and Odin's flying horse Sleipnir. Only the RABBI can see the true form of the KRAMPUS. To the people of Bethlehem, KRAMPUS is the kindly bearded man, NICK. KRAMPUS wishes a return of the old Norse Gods so he can lay down the burden of Odin's staff. The story is that of accepting your destiny, even if acceptance means shooting a whole bunch of people. It's pickup trucks, exploding temporal bombs hidden as footballs, bibles, sacred cows, super intelligent Jewish dinosaurs, and allot of spent ammunition...all told to the soundtrack of a country and western song.
HALF PAGE SPLASH PANEL. WE SEE THE FUTURE RABBIT BEN JONES LYING IN A RACE PATTY. HE LOOKS LIKE A YOUNG CLINT EASTWOOD. HE'S BEEN SHOT NUMEROUS TIMES. A DEAD DONKEY LIES BESIDES HIM. RABBI BEN CAPTION: I WAS LYING DEAD WHEN I TURNED AND SAW THE BURNING RICE PATTY. PANEL OF RICE PLANT ON FIRE RABBI BEN CAPTION: GOD DIDN'T SPEAK TO ME IN WORDS BUT I KNEW WHO HE WAS AND WHAT MY MISSION WAS GOING TO BE. HE HEALED ME OF MY WOUNDS AND SET ME FORTH PANEL OF RABBI'S HAND PULING FREE THE JAW BONE OF THE DONKEY RABBI BEN CAPTION: JAW BONE OF AN ASS. GOD HAS A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR. IT WAS TIME TO GO OLD TESTAMENT ON SOME VC PANEL OF RABBI BEN'S BACK HOLDING THE BLOODY JAWBONE HEADING TOWARD THE UNSUSPECTING VC SOLDIER. HIS BACK IS IN SHADOW, BUT YOU CAN TELL THAT WHAT COMES NEXT IS GOING TO BE BLOODY AND VIOLENT.
"Bring on the brothers who've gone on beforeBring on the sisters who've knocked on your door.Bring on those sainted relations of mineAnd put them up front in the offensive line." Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 08, 2007

That Seventies Challenge


Challenge: Your comic company aquired the rights to a 1970's sitcom. You've been given the assignment to transform this show into a super-hero comic.

Bob's Pitch: The Super Heroic Adventures of Sanford and Son.

The Concept: Lamont and Fred are forced to sell their junkyard in Watts and make the move to New York City where they collect the junk that the Marvel universe leaves behind. If Damage Control cleans up the mess, it's the Sanfords who have to keep the junk. Set in the 1970's, he story taps into the rich legacy of the 1970's Marvel Universe

LAMONT: Look, you know I never wanted to work in a Junkyard. Joining SHIELD is my chance for a job that could really lead to great things!

FRED: Junkyard? This is an emporium! It's the family legacy! 'Sides, ain't no place in the superhero community for a black man. You think they ever gonna let Luke Cage in the Fantastic Four or Avengers? You're place is here.

LAMONT: Pop, you got to stop living in the past. It's the 70's, man. Even Aunt Esther says I can move up working for SHIELD.

FRED: That gorilla? She so ugly the skrulls won't take her. I'm going to lose my business! [PAUSES DRAMATICALLY]. Oh! My heart! 'Lizabeth, I'm comin' for you honey, I'm comin' for you!

LAMONT: [sighs] You haven't had a heart attack since you found that scrapped Iron Man chest plate. Knock it off.

FRED: Stay with me, Lamont! We can start our own SHIELD! No honkeys! All brothers. Tell 'em, Grady. Tell 'im we'll use the scrap parts to build our own helicarrier.

GRADY: No way, man. Remember when we tried fixing up that flying car? It's still on my roof. If I still had a roof. Man, trying to use that rebuilt Ronin to get it down was a mistake.



Mike's Pitch: "Kiss my grits, Lobo!"

Aspiring country singer Alice Hyatt was accompanying her trucker husband on a cross country haul when fate cruelly intervened. An errant Zeta Beam struck the highway in front of their semi, causing it to leap the concrete divide and crash head-on into oncoming traffic. Don Hyatt was killed instantly in the wreck, but Alice was trapped in the Zeta Beam's pull and whisked across the galaxy. One moment Alice's life is flashing before her eyes, a split second from death, and the next she's shaking in the fetal position on the floor of Mel's Diner, orbiting the planet Rann.

Mel Sharples, retired Khund mercenary is a veteran of the Invasion of Earth. Taking his back pay and pension he owns Mel's Diner, a restaurant and interstellar shipping rest stop orbiting the planet Rann. Mel's a grizzled old fry cook who hides the fact that he's a soft touch with a grim exterior. After his time on Earth during the war he grew to like humans... on the bone, with a brown sauce.

Mel's soft touch is reflected in the collection of cast-offs and misfits under his employ. The head waitress, who's also the head waiter (depending on who she's sleeping with at the time), is Flo Castleberry, a sassy, sex-hungry Durlan shape shifter.

Ver Go-man is a neurotic, scatterbrained Psion exile. Ver's trapped in the characteristic Psion loop of self denial, but lacks the typical Psion talent for science, hence a life of slinging Thanagarian hash at Mel's.

Rounding out the cast is an aquatic Gil'dishpan dishwasher and Mel's line cook, a snarling cyborg, one-armed Okaaran who served with Mel during the war.

Recurring characters will include Adam Strange and his wife Alanna, and Lobo, intergalactic '90s stereotype.

NEXT PAGE, NEXT PANEL. WIDE ANGLE OF A DINER. IT'S A TYPICAL GREASY SPOON BY WAY OF THE MOS EISLEY CANTINA. OUTSIDE THE WINDOWS IS THE BLACKNESS OF SPACE. CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR IN THE FOREGROUND IS ALICE. SHE'S DISORIENTED AND TERRIFIED. SURROUNDING HER IS THE ZETA BEAM'S FADING GLOW. STANDING OVER HER, DRESSED IN THE OUTERSPACE VERSION OF A 1950'S WAITRESS UNIFORM, IS THE REDHEADED DURLAN FLO, BALANCING A TRAY OF STEAMING PLATES.

FLO: TABLE FOR ONE, SUGAR?



The Winner: Mike



Bob's thoughts: The pitch has everything. Sanford and Son seems downright mundane compared to pure unflitered crazy of Mike's idea. The guy has everything in it. Aliens, set up for zany adventures, you name it. Mike is now in the lead 2-1. I did, however, really love the visual of Fred Sanford wearing an Iron Man chest plate under his shirt.

Challenge: Image comics


The Challenge: Take an Image title from the ninties and make it a readable comic. Fear the ninties overkill! Posted by Picasa

Challenge: Redeem the worst character ever


The Challenge: Take the dumbest character ever created. Reinvent him or her for a new era. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 07, 2007

What is the Slush Pile Challenge?

It started, as so many bad ideas do, in the middle of an e-mail exchange. While at work Mike, from Slective Continuity, and I decided to launch a daily challenge. Each day we would pick a topic and we would have to make a pitch for a comic book idea. A winner each day would be determined based upon difficulty of the challenge, the ability to capture the spirit of the theme, and if we could come up with an idea for a comic that we would actually want to read.

What does the winner get? Well, besides generating a 40 idea slush pile each month, we get bragging rights and the winner of the best idea for each month will be forced to write a full script of the comic at the end.

How is that a prize? Damned if I know, but there it is.

But here's where it gets good. We want you, the readers, at the end of each week to take one of our challenges and run with it yourself. We will award the winner at the end of the weekend.