User talk:Geyser/Test

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Guido's cut

Page 1, panel 3

Horizontal, the rest of avatar's head, including the mouth hidden by his folded hands. This is the most text driven panel of the page -- which makes sense, because avatar is always shielding himself from observation and instead trying to lead others with words, right?

Avatar
Your twitching is distracting me -- (i want to minimize this line, so we'd put it next to the rest of the dialog)
Grieve
I'm listening, sir.

Avatar: Thank you. First, I wish to state how grateful I am to you for making me aware of the board's coup against me. It's been dealt with, and I'll soon deal with them. I assumed I had learned to expect disappointment from human behavior, but it seems life will forever outpace my imagination. The only thing working in the board's favor is that they're too stupid and petty to merit the effort it would take to punish them. They're no better than children, really. And I don't have time for them.


GC
I’d like Avatar to be less delicate here, try to use something like "The way people behave so stupidly outpaces my imagination" -- it is a frank conversation after all.
geyser
Same impression. Avatar's speech pattern is overly stylish in this scene. He truly gives out the impression of someone who loves to hear himself talking... and that annoying trait obscures everything else.

Page 2, panel 4

Grieve
You built everything here yourself, with your own money, in your own lifetime. There's not a transnational in the world even close to this. It's next to impossible in the global economy. What you've done, in this day and age... it's art. Inspiring. You poured your life into it. Yet you're just going to turn your back on it, like it was nothing --

Page 3

(I was too lazy to break this one up)

Avatar
Grieve, I sold military equipment to anyone I legally could under the law. I pressed the WCG on their laws as often I could so I could sell more. I could have cared less where anything ended up. I made a very good living off conflict. I wasn't proud of it, but my personal life offset it. Now -- well, I've been forced to reassess what I've truly accomplished.
Grieve
John, we're more legit than anyone in the world. Everyone respects you.
Avatar
I'm respected by men I despise, Anthony. Parasites. In a better world, the public would tear them limb from limb for allowing this to happen. The only reason WCG won't collapse is because humanity people has lost the backbone to pull them down. And so now, we're all going to drown together, and perhaps we deserve to. The only person I've ever truly cared for was Simone. And I've lost her forever.

GC
Use "people" or something more trivial than "humanity" -- it is quick exchange of thoughts and it is better to let Avatar speak on a small scale. Not general categories (human kind), well it would be better if in an implicit way...
geyser
"well it would be better if in an implicit way"???

Grieve
John, that was out of your control. You can't take something like this to heart.
Avatar
Everything happens for a reason, Grieve. That's the principle of good science. I was content to grow fat of humanity's appetite for destruction instead of fighting it. I was stupid to think I was untouchable. Hubris. This company will continue to operate, but I've finished with it. There's nothing here I want to remember. Nothing.




Random

Blackwater

(Avatar's last name as seen in Page 1, panel 1)

AF
Blackwater is a "private security company" (mercenary) operating out of the US, mostly in Iraq. It's just a placeholder name, which I may change to something less blatant, though I like the merc allusion.

geyser
No objection here. Blackwater sounds spooky enough even without the merc reference. Not an oxymoron, but almost.

geyser
As for the first name, unless "Jonathan" is a must, I would put "J. Blackwater" on the nameplate, and I'd have his close friends call him "J". Whether "Jay" is his actual name is nearly irrelevant, but if it is, it somewhat blends with the black color. "Noir de jais" is French for "jet black", and there's Blackbird, by the Beatles :
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night
Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
Fits Avatar's genesis a bit




His eyes

Hidden by mirrored sunglasses on Page 1 and following. Emphasized by Chistine's talk in PAGE 1, panel 1

GC
In this scene trial, Avatar is depicted wearing shades or trying to conceal his eyes from the attention of the people around. I thought Avatar's eyes can be instead one appealing feature that may be well exploited. I thought his eyes have both to shield and to show some kind of deepness of character or charisma.

geyser
I thought the same thing : the human eye is a very interesting object, and you can express a lot more by showing it than by hiding it (then again, AF's idea was "an expression that reveals nothing"...).
Specifically, I want to see what troubled Christine so much : "But his eyes, his eyes weren't any different. It's awful to see, and it scares me."

GC
The solution I adopted has been [to] sketch out the eyes of someone who is interrogating, or who is pondering how to answer a question. In [either] case, Avatar is watching straight [at/through/in] your face: and this attention reveals an intention.

geyser
So much for the "expression that reveals nothing", then... If he does look at the ones he's talking to, how about a black iris? Aren't black eyes much harder to track for emotions?
A trivial way for Avatar not to expose himself to his interlocutors is to turn his back to them (facing the window, either standing close to it or sitting in his armchair) : as for intimacy VS secrecy, one can still play with reflections (on the window).
When and if he leaves that back-to-viewer posture, he may go through another one before facing his intelocutors directly : turning the side of his face (and eyes) to them. Looking from that angle, you can see right through his cornea, and the iris appears flat (well, it is flat). It's a somewhat weird perspective to look at an eye from : disturbing, and quite "faceless".

geyser
As for the mirrored sunglasses :
"He wore a dark helmet, completely hiding his features. And it was made of that weird plastic [...]. Like, you looked in it, and all you could see was your own face."
Be it Good Omens (DEATH) or Vidocq (the Alchemist), it's not unusual for archvillains to hide their face behind a reflection of their environment... and that of their victims.
Oni too has such a villain : Mukade...




His mouth

Hidden by folded hands on Page 1

geyser
I tried drawing him like that, in front view, and if the hands cover his mouth completely (but not his nose), he looks like he's coughing or burping (there isn't much of an "actual" reason why a man would put both hands like that, is it?). One hand is OK.
Both hands folded over the mouth and nose are a somewhat more common gesture for men (not in conversation, though). They express tiredom (sorta face massage), or are just a put-on gesture (drawing on some kind of inner strength).
Interestingly, the latter (both hands folded over nose and mouth), when used in combination with the sunglasses, produces a kind of alien-looking mask. Darth-Vader-style. Could be worth one (symbolic) shot.




EXIT

Avatar handing his corporation over to Grieve, and then leaving?

geyser
Unless we see him leave, I think the scene relies too heavily on speech. A spooky guy is sitting in a big office, another guy talks to him and leaves, then chats with a coworker. What happened?
Practically, I think the talk with Grieve should be Avatar's last business in his former office. If he walks out at the end of the talk, leaving Grieve alone in his office (with someone who is clearly his new secretary), the transfer of power is clearly shown through the screenplay alone : the old boss is gone, Grieve is in charge, and must settle the business with Christine.
Additionally, it's appealing to show Avatar "leaving the building", even as Grieve and Christine talk about him : both lines can be symbolically intertwined (several narratives running alongside each other, down a page's columns).
There are at least two ways he can "leave the building" : either sink into the darkness of the parking lot, or soar up into the troubled skies (take an elevator to the helipad). Both ways call for different arrangement of the parallel narrative, and they also branch differently into the next scene. See Here.

Wucraft

If it's the helipad he's heading to, how about a large VTOL plane (e.g. the one Muro's escaping with in CHAPTER 05 . HOT PURSUIT)?

Time of year

Early winter (Mai's excursion at the STURMANDERUNG complex was in the first days of December, probably December 3). Allow for a thin layer of snow or frost.

Time of day

Sunrise. Not so early because it's winter, but still early enough so that Avatar can avoid the morning rush. He may have summoned Grieve and Christine out of bed.




Dead wife

Avatar's wife, Simone, died after the Cataclysm.

geyser
Did she die of her physical wounds (collapsed building) or did the poisoning help? Did she die before the rescuers arrived, or at the hospital?
Since the collapse occured in the middle of a winter night, with the couple lying "naked" in their bedsheets (effective heating)... there's a very real risk of freezing to death, especially for the pregnant woman.

geyser
People on Oni Central Forum have spoken up against "yet another scientist with a dead wife" (in this case, yet another guy who sets off on a radically altruistic course after his wife dies). While there's a fine line between a déjà vu and an interesting parallel, I hope for the latter.




Flashback

Avatar's words about his wife's death are complemented by Christine's story of what happened at the hospital (Page 4)

geyser
Same as above for Avatar leaving the building, it's a bit strange to see such a "spoken flashback", not illustrated in any manner. As a reader, I found it hard to connect with Christine's messy tale, which ends with a lame "it's so fuzzy, I can't say what". In a way or another, I ask to see at least some of that what she's talking about.

ACC explosion

AF
The other idea I toyed with was following avatar (of course, he wouldn't call himself that yet) from the time he's trapped under his collapsed apartment building (caused by the acc explosion) with his pregnant wife.

geyser
I always wanted to know how Oni's apartment buildings looked like : my mental picture is somewhat closer to Asimov's "Caves of Steel" than to the 1984 movie. And where they were located. Was there such a thing as commuting? downtown? suburbs? And in Europe?
The only public elaboration so far is that on WCG architecture
I also wondered how close the ACCs could be to a city's center/suburbs. A few considerations HERE.
Anyway, the immediate impact from a destroyed ACC is not so much the shockwave as the ensuing pollution. Those class 3/4 toxins are supposedly just as vicious as "the nightmare that killed [Jamie Hasegawa]".

Present some pain to the reader

AF
I decided I was being way too cruel to the reader though, and decided against it. Obviously I need to present some pain to the reader in order to show how we can transcend it, but I felt I was simply clubbing them over the head with one nasty scene after another. Fine line, right?

geyser
Fine line indeed. Showing pain directly is cruel/nasty/whatever, and it can also devaluate/cheapen pain... Fortunately, there are clever and subtle ways to handle such scenes.
Rather than showing the couple agonizing under the rubble, you can show the rubble itself (possibly hinting at the place where the people are trapped, but not more than a hint)
Rather than showing violent scenes taking place at the hospital, show nothing but the context : corridors with white walls, stone-faced medics, life support gear (inert : prefer drips and heart beeps to defibrillation, futuristic looks welcome).
I mean, you don't have to show the very things Christine is talking about (that would be redundant), but you can put them in context (complementarity).
Also consider showing simple pictures like one hand holding another, for both scenes above (collapsed building & hospital).
Since the contextual images have to accompany the actual dialogue (and there's Avatar's way out to take care of), you can split the narration in three columns.

Full restraints, hallucination, sedation

geyser
At what point were the "full restraints" applied? In how bad a shape was he to start with?
Could he have been able to move around (stay by her, hold her hand...) until she died? And then flipped off?
Or is the strength of the moment in the lack of physical contact? That it's more traumatizing to hear her "beep out" a few feet away, without being able to so much as reach out (not that it would help, but it still matters).
So, in a pretty bad shape as well, was he?

geyser
This whole scene looks like Avatar (and his wife if she died at the hospital) received a rather exceptional treatment after the let's-say-shockwave (hospitalization? a whole team of medics? a separate room? normal recovery period, with visits and such? everything nice and clean?)
OK, he's a big boss, and she's pregnant, but what about the few hundred (equally rich?) people who were sleeping in the same building as the couple, and in the buildings next to it?
My impression is that the cataclysm was an unprecedented meltdown : the medics were dramatically outnumbered (even if they only tended to the elite). Same for medical equipment, stretchers, hospital rooms...
Even field hospitals (tents, stretchers on the floor) seems too commensurate a response. "The dead and the dying now line the streets"...
I'd say big bosses such as Avatar could only be rescued by private means (e.g. BGI employees operating BGI paramilitary vehicles, summoned and coordinated by Avatar's secretary, or something).
The rescuing operation may have taken quite some time, so there's a good chance Simone was already dead (and Avatar very nearly dead) when they dug up the couple.
Then Avatar gets his convalescence (it makes sense not to place him in a hospital, but have him recover at BGI)
As he "thaws off", he exhibits a disturbing delirium-like state : he's been frozen in the very state of someone who's losing his sister soul and family, and keeps reliving the loss of his wife again and again. Even though he lived through, doctors and colleagues fear they may have lost him.
And then all of a sudden he gets back in focus. Correct?

amputating something

(emotional courage? empathy?)

geyser
I can't imagine Christine saying that in a regular speech bubble (the whole tirade is so long it would hardly fit in the panel, IMO). The two questions in parentheses are best set apart, in bubbles of their own (no speech tail, V.O.-style). That calls for a much lighter panelling, though, and a much smaller amount of speech.




Conspiracy

geyser
There are two events occurring simultaneously, that contribute to Avatar's claimed disgust of his profession and former life : his wife's death, and "the board's coup against [him]".
One of those events is clearly secondary, so for the sake of conciseness I'd scrap it completely. Let the conversation focus on Avatar's main reason to stay, and on his disgust ("I'm respected by people I despise" etc).