So, as I have been talking about writing comics, I figured it couldn't hurt to put up an excerpt from the first issue of "The Dreamers' Daughter" which I am working on with Charlie Harper. These will be the first page of our first issue, right now tentatively numbered "0". If you're really feeling adventurous, you can go to Charlie's site where he has posted the first few illustrated pages, and match the two for a full comic reading experience. Now, without further ado:
The Dreamers’ Daughter
Life is Beautiful Part 1 of 5: A Family Divided
Written by Jeremy Whitley
Created by Jeremy and Alicia Whitley
Page 1: (6 panels)
Panel 1: We open inside of a house in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The house is abandoned but clearly not empty. The remnants of a family’s possessions are still here. It looks as if the residents left in a hurry. Everything is covered in a layer of ash. The results don’t look as if the house itself has been on fire, but like ash had taken the place of dust. The windows are soot stained. A voice echoes from somewhere outside, accompanied by the sound of metal clinking against metal.
THE NEAR FUTURE. PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA. August, 28th. 3 PM
Clink, clink, clink
Ats right, ease it in just lak dat.
Panel 2: A desk lies abandoned. It too is covered in ash. A newspaper lies open. A partially covered headline reads: “Wildfire Fallout Sweeps Northward”. There are a number of books on the desk concerning race and politics as well as a book titled: “The Last Dreamers”.
Oh, come on, it ain’t dat damn complex.
Panel 3: A teen’s bedroom. Decorated primarily in yellow and black. Style should imitate as closely as possible (without copyright infringement) the styles of the Pittsburgh Steelers or Pirates. The bed is unmade and the room is left in a dirty state. There are clothes strewn about on the floor and bed. The floor is littered with books, papers, and toys.
I say na lak dat, ya dumb gull. Get outta da way, lemme do it.
Panel 4: The living room. The whole room is covered in ash. The couches are covered in plastic.
Good laad gal, ya’d think ya’d neva picked a lock in ya life. It’s ga-damned simple.
Panel 5: The front door, which leads into the living room, is being unlocked.
Do exactly what I tell ya ta fuckin’ do
Panel 6: The door pops open, the voice is coming from just outside the door. The arm of a hairy white man is opening the door.
And voila, the damn door opens itself.
Page 2: (1 panel)
Panel 1: Two figures stand in the doorway looking in. One of the figures is a white man with heavy body hair. He is dressed in a tank top, shorts, boots, and a gas mask. Voice 1 belongs to this figure, Terry Oliver. The second figure is a female who appears to be roughly sixteen years old. This is Lil. She wears a gasmask, a black hoodie, a skirt, and long black boots. Her skirt is worth particular mention as it is a patchwork of several different materials. The materials are collected scrap and contain things such as a piece of blanket, straps of cloth bed linens, and even a large piece of tin. She stands cowed and uncomfortable. The man is exasperated.
Page 3: (2 panels)
Panel 1: The man holds his arm out impatiently, indicating that the girl should enter.
What now, ya wanna damn invitation? What is with you today Lil? Ca’int ya do nothin’ without ma help.
Page 2: Terry looks around the house, as if surveying the ocean from the deck of his ship. Lil is opening a large burlap sack.
Yeah, dis is good. Cain’t believe all dis shit’s been sittin’ here ten years just waitin’ fer someone ta open Pittsburgh back up.
Where do we start?
Page 4: (5 panels)
Panel 1: Terry looks back at Lil.
Panel 2: Lil demonstrates with a sweep of her hand.
Where do we start?
Panel 3: Terry grabs the sides of his gas mask.
Damn it, hold on.
Panel 4: Terry removes his gas mask revealing a balding man in his forties. He looks irritated and uncomfortable. His face is red.
Oh, thank God. I gotta say Lil, of all da shit you come up wit, dese gas masks is da dumbest. It’s ash. It ain’t even in da air. Now what’d ya say?
Panel 5: Lil is still wearing her mask, but her head is hung extra low. She looks as if Terry were physically bullying her.
I was just asking where to start.
I’m startin in the kitchen. You start at the end a dat hallway, far away from me.
Page 5: (5 panels)
Panel 1: Lil pokes her head around the corner into the office.
Won’t be long now fore the Initiative starts hittin’ all the houses in Pittsburgh. Public servants ma ass!
Panel 2: Lil is dumping pens and office supplies into her bag wholesale.
The government tells em to clean up Pittsburgh, make it livable again. I ga-ron-tee ya; they’ll treat the whole damn city like a yard-sale.
Panel 3: Lil unfolds the newspaper. The headline is fully revealed as well as a lower headline that says, “Black American Movement holds rally in North Carolina”.
And dey’ll have da nerve ta call us thieves and gypsies while air own people do it rat unda dair noses.
Panel 4: Lil takes off her gas mask to read the paper.
It’s a damn shame ya’ cain’t trust the government no more. Reagan and Bush never woulda let it get lak is.
Panel 5: We get our first look at Lil’s face as she pours over the newspaper. She is a cute thin sixteen-year-old girl with dark hair, dark eyes, and vaguely Hispanic features. At least, she would be cute if she didn’t look so glum most of the time. She looks happiest when she is reading. She pours closely over the paper.
Ah swear, sometimes a don’t know who’s worse. Da government or da niggers dey’re supposed to be protectin us against.
Page 6: (6 panels)
Panel 1: Lil tosses the paper in the trashcan next to the desk.
Ya even lis’nin girl?
Panel 2: Lil picks up the book, “The Last Dreamers” from the desk.
Panel 3: Lil thumbs it open to the title page. It reads: “The Last Dreamers. A novel of hope. By Jonothan Wallace”.
Den speak da hell up, why don ya? It’s important ta know where ya’ come from. Damn niggers chased us right out a’ house and home.
Panel 4: She flips to the next page. There is a dedication. It reads: “For Zuri: The Dreamers’ Daughter”
We’ll get those niggers someday, Dad.
Panel 5: Lil closes the book and rolls her eyes. She’s clearly skeptical of Terry.
Damn raat, we will Lil. Don’t nobody take from Terry Oliver. Especially dat nigger Esau King. If I e’er see dat head nigger…
Panel 6: Lil drops the book into her bag as she exits. On the wall next to the exit is a poster. The poster has a picture of Esau King in multiple tones. His name is displayed across the bottom, with the letters BAM at the beginning. At the top it says: “WAKE UP!” Below that is a family picture of the family that owned the house, they are black and well dressed.
The dreamers’ daughter…
So there that is, the first 6 pages and the introduction to our story. There is more on the way in the near future, so keep an eye turned to both my and Charlie's pages OR join us at the Baltimore Comic Con to get the first look at the finished product.
Till then homies,