Sleep In Fright

Script seeking illustrator – please contact me for full script.

Synopsis

An old man in a wheelchair, with a saline drip, is being prepared for the “dreamer procedure” by a doctor. The procedure is to remove his brain from his dying body. The brain will then be able to dream forever.

Unfortunately, the doctor is stabbed to death by her assistant. The assistant then turns on the old man.

An alarm attached to a brain in a vat starts ringing. The assistant is looking at the brain, and alerting the doctor, who is alive. It appears the brain has been trying to awake from a nightmare. As we zoom out, we see thousands of brains, all in the same alarm state.

Writer’s note: I know, I know, it seems like a hokey old sci-fi plotline. “It was all a dream” and “he’s stuck in a nightmare” – nothing new here. But I think it’s still fun for 2 quick pages!

Length

1-2 pages. The first page is pretty dense (8 panels), then the second is sparser.

Monster [Drama]

Script seeking illustrator – please contact me for full script.

Synopsis (major spoilers ahead)

Elise is 12 and she’s bullied by a bunch of kids. She’s bookish and physically big and awkward. She identifies with Frankenstein’s monster and wonders if people would understand her better if she looked more like the monster.

After being chased into a tool shed, Elise finds some bolts to screw into her ears. A doctor tries, and fails, to take them out. Elise is perfectly happy though – she can’t hear what the bullies are saying any more.

Length

1-2-pager – depending on how you want to tackle it, extra panels could be added.

Coat Check [Horror/Drama/Commentary]

UPDATE

This comic has been wonderfully drawn by Hugh Madden – it will be appearing in the upcoming Short, Dark & Peculiar!

Length

4 pages, 4-6 panels per page.

Synopsis

Louise (Lou) is a coat check girl at a semi-upmarket venue – it’s not clear what the event is.

Rich elderly guests enter, leave their coats and leave generous tips. Once they’re all in, she talks to the manager, Javed.

He spots that there’s blood on her hands. It appears that it came from one of the coats. Louise searches and searches, until she turns around holding a human heart in her hand.

Javed and Louise worry that there must be a killer on the loose and this is his coat. They try to deduce who the coat could belong to. Javed prepares to enter the ballroom where the event is underway, to try to identify the owner.

A nice old man appears and says sorry for the trouble – thanks for finding the offering in his coat pocket. He grabs the heart, puts a twenty pound note in the tip jar, then heads back in.

There’s a moment of silence between Lou and Javed. They contemplate whether to see what’s happening in the ballroom.

Louise looks over at the tip jar. “We could…” she says, “But – you know… They tip really well.”

END

Just to unpack this a bit, what I’d like to convey in this one is that we can very easily get behind the hunt for a single bad person, but when a number of people are doing something questionable, there’s a normalising effect. It’s a bigger problem, harder to deal with, more morally ambiguous – and that makes it all the more tempting to just be grateful for the money these morally ambiguous agents hand over… It’s also a classic story of the middle class that’s paid off (albeit minimally) by the upper class to keep them under the thumb!

Private Room [Horror/Drama/WTF]

Script seeking illustrator – please contact me for full script.

Length

6 pages, 5-6 panels per page.

Synopsis

Eva and Sun-Hi (Sunny) – female, gay couple, mid-30s. They’re saying goodnight to the person that’s hosting them. They have a private room in a ‘URooms’ (airbnb) flat. The owner is an artist who seems to draw exclusively male nudes.

Eva is a bit freaked out by the whole arrangement. While Sunny goes for a shower, she looks through the collection of old pictures the owner has stacked in the spare room and finds a picture of a guy who left a positive, but slightly cryptic, review for the flat.

Eventually Eva falls asleep and Sunny comes in after her. While they sleep, the man comes in with an easel and brushes and paints them, though we can’t see the details.

When they wake up the next morning, having slept soundly, they awake in male bodies. There is no moment of realisation, however. They are as they were, in every other way. Eva agrees that after all her concern, she was worrying over nothing.

END

The thought behind a short story bears some explanation. The goal of this scenario is to prompt a “Huh?” reaction. The characters don’t get turned straight – they remain gay. Nor should they change race (Eva is Italian, Sun-Hi Korean). The implications of the change are also not explored. The characters don’t register any kind of change of cognition or self-identity. Part of the ‘horror’ is that they fail to understand what’s happened to them – it feels like something important has been taken away from them without their knowledge.

Horror: Good Hat

UPDATE: I’ll be collaborating with the brilliant Jon Aye for this one – check his stuff out at The Sidewinding Beat

Synopsis (major spoilers ahead)

Miles, a first year university student, heads out to a party with his friend. He starts talking to various people about his amazing gap year adventures in Borneo, until one girl starts repeating his experiences back to him as her own.

Confused, he moves on, eventually overhearing a conversation about a guy’s rugby injury – an injury that Miles swears is his own – except that when he pulls up his trouser leg to reveal the scar, it’s gone.

He retreats to the bathroom, where he pulls himself together, only to meet someone who looks exactly the same as him coming in the opposite direction.

Miles is totally freaked out at this point, and finds his friend. But she no longer recognises him. People begin to notice items of his clothing that belong to them, then they begin claiming his skin, his eyes and so on. They crowd in, and take everything. When they disperse, Miles is gone.

Style

Panel-heavy (avg. around 8 per page). Quite a busy comic with lots of people who each need to be clearly identifiable. Open to increasing page length to reduce panel density.

Length

8-pager.