THE BROADCAST: Anatomy of a Scene, Part 1

This week I wanted to give a behind-the-scenes look at how Noel and I collaborated on THE BROADCAST.

Below I’ve attached a small script excerpt that takes place near the beginning of the book’s second act. I’d love to tell you this is the first step in the creative process, but I’m just not that good. The truth is, this is what my scripts look like after endless outlining, note-taking and re-writing.

You’ll notice I use a sparse writing style, and it’s a very deliberate move on my part. While I usually have an idea how a panel should look, the truth is I try to give the artist as little description as possible. After all, he’s probably going to have better ideas on how the story should be told visually — why am I going to handcuff him with a list of things he “HAS” to include?

***

PAGE SIXTY-FIVE

PANEL ONE:

Emma and Sharon share a couch in the Shrader living room, three children crammed between them.

PANEL TWO:

Tom sits calmly behind his desk as Jacob and Dawson try to plead their case.

Jacob is in a chair. Dawson stands. The old man’s fingers are steepled in front of him.

DAWSON: PLEASE, TOM. YOURS IS THE ONLY HOUSE WITH A STORM SHELTER FOR TWENTY MILES.

TOM: THE CHURCH IN TOWN HAS A CELLAR.

JACOB: AN’ IT’S FILLED TEN TIMES OVER BY NOW.

PANEL THREE:

Tom leans forward.

TOM: I UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU TWO WANT, I DO. BUT UNTIL MY DAUGHTER IS SAFE NONE OF THIS IS OPEN FOR DISCUSSION.

PANEL FOUR:

Jacob fights to keep his anger at bay.

JACOB: BUT MY DAUGHTER’S HERE.

TOM (off panel, softly): I KNOW THAT, JACOB.

PANEL FIVE:

Dawson’s talking to Tom but has his eyes on Jacob as he does. He wants to make sure Jacob doesn’t lose his cool.

DAWSON: CAN YOU LET US DOWN FOR NOW? AS SOON AS KIM SHOWS, WE’LL…

TOM: IT’S NOT GOING TO BE THAT EASY.

PANEL SIX:

Jacob slams his fist down on the desk. It catches everyone off guard. They jump back from the outburst.

JACOB: GOD DAMN IT, SHRADER!

PAGE SIXTY-SIX

PANEL ONE:

Tom comes out of his seat, enraged and ready to let Jacob have it.

PANEL TWO:

Dawson comes between the two as Tom rounds the desk. He has a hand up to each man, hoping he can stop them both.

KIM (off panel): DAD!

PANEL THREE:

All three men turn to see Kim coming into the room.

TOM: OH, THANK GOD.

PANEL FOUR:

Kim and her father embrace.

KIM: IF I’D KNOWN…

TOM: I KNOW, SWEETHEART.

PANEL FIVE:

Jacob looks over at Gavin and Eli who just appeared in the doorway. He doesn’t look happy.

PANEL SIX:

Fuming, Jacob storms out of the room. He eyes Gavin and Eli as he goes.

JACOB: YOU TWO JUST REMEMBER WHO GOT HERE FIRST.

****

Time is running out! Be sure to pre-order your copy of THE BROADCAST!

THE BROADCAST: Cast of Characters

Putting the book together has been a lot of fun because it’s given me a chance to look through some of the early material that was created in the project’s development.

For Noel, the first step was to develop a look for each of the characters. The “behind-the-scenes” material in the book will give everyone a look at the earliest sketches Noel created, but here’s a quick look at the final designs and a little bit about each of the players in THE BROADCAST…

Eli and Gavin Baker

Eli’s worked his whole life to give Gavin the life he never had. When things got tough for the Indiana farmer, Eli went to the bank and mortgaged everything he had – including his farm – to ensure their survival and a future for his son. Now, Gavin’s returned from a four year stint at university and is making plans to follow the love of his life to New York – if only they can convince her overbearing father to let them go.

Thomas, Emma and Kimberly Shrader

After losing both sons to the war, Thomas moved his family from Chicago to the Indiana plains in hopes he could start anew and atone for the mistakes he made with his boys. That said, years later history seems to be repeating itself. Just as his sons left to enlist, never to be heard from again – now his daughter is talking about a move to New York with the Baker boy he’s never approved of – something he’s ready to prevent by any means necessary.

Jacob and Ally Lee

A broken man, Jacob has allowed a string of bad luck to twist him into a man fueled by jealousy and rage. While he does his best to suppress these poisonous emotions in the name of his little girl, raising her alone is a constant reminder of why he’s become so angry in the first place — a powder keg ready blow.

Dawson and Sharon Winters

The Winters are a typical family trying to make their way out of the Great Depression. Like his friend Jacob, Dawson sold his farm to Thomas Shrader and now works the land he used to own. Unlike Jacob, however, the Winters count their blessings, knowing there is always someone in the world suffering a bit more than them.

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of THE BROADCAST today! The release is quickly approaching!

Francavilla’s Orson Welles

It’s been three long years since I commissioned Francesco Francavilla to illustrate a cover for THE BROADCAST. Three years!! That’s a long time, especially in comics. They’ve two Harry Potter movies in that time, I think.

I’m sure Francesco reached a point where he assumed it wasn’t going to come out. Part of me thinks he probably forgot about it all together. Anyway, I was ecstatic to send him an e-mail a while back to let him know we finally had a publisher and the gorgeous piece he did was going to see print.

To celebrate the book’s debut next month, Francesco did a new piece over on his Pulp Sunday blog that features Orson Welles. I’ve already requested a print. I’ve pasted it below, but I highly suggest everyone take a look at his blog. He is incredibly talented and is a future star in comics. We’re going to work together someday… he just doesn’t know it yet. 😉

Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of THE BROADCAST.

One Million Words

There’s an old saying that every writer has a million bad words in them, and that the only way you can become a decent writer is to get through those first million words as fast as you possibly can.

Now, I can’t say for sure if I’ve written a million words. I think the chances are pretty high. I’ve written an awful lot. But while I can’t tell you for certain how many words I’ve put on the page, I can tell you there was a moment when writing THE BROADCAST when I felt as if the last bad word had escaped and I was finally writing something readers would find special.

Most my stuff sees huge changes as I re-write, but this scene is almost word-for-word exactly as I wrote it the first time out. I’ve written better stuff since. Heck, it probably isn’t even the best scene in THE BROADCAST. But this scene holds a special place in my heart. It was the first time I ever sat down, read my work and believed I actually had a chance to sell the damned thing. :o)

Enjoy:

Pre-order THE BROADCAST today!

Broadcast Orders Are Due Soon!

So Wednesday is new comic day. If you’re like me you’ll be making the trip early in the afternoon to check out what’s made it into your pull folder and what new books hit the shelf that you might be interested.

Well, don’t make the trip without this…

Broadcast Order FormThis week comic retailers will be making their final decisions on what to stock their shelves with come August. If you’ve decided you want to pick up THE BROADCAST you HAVE to let your local shop know. Things are tight these days, and stores aren’t ordering a lot from publishers outside of the big two. In fact, some aren’t ordering anything at all. I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t pre-order there is a very strong chance it won’t show up on the shelf on a Wednesday come August.

Of course, if you don’t have a local shop available to you then you can always pre-order it through the NBM Store.

And, don’t forget, there is a huge 21-page preview over on my site for those who haven’t had the chance to give it a look.

Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre Present…

I’m asked  where I get my story ideas from all the time. All writers are, I suppose. The truth is, I see stories everywhere. But I’ll never forget the first time I heard the Orson Welles’ WAR OF THE WORLDS radio broadcast. It sparked my imagination almost immediately. Of course, it did for more than one million Americans that night too. Enjoy…

Click here to listen to the original Orson Welles’ broadcast.

See the forthcoming The Boradcast graphic novel.

The Broadcast writing contest

Writer Eric Hobbs is putting on a writing contest around the theme of the forthcoming The Broadcast graphic novel announced for August and presently being solicited. Here’s his release on this fun challenge:

In 1938, Orson Welles used fake news bulletins to convince more than one million Americans the Earth was being invaded by visitors from the planet Mars. Most were outraged when Welles eventually stepped out of character and revealed the elaborate ruse, but everyone was relieved.

Almost everyone, that is.

 

Coming from NBM and already named one of the “hottest graphic novels of summer” by GraphicnNovelReporter.com, THE BROADCAST is about a rural Indiana town that loses power halfway through the infamous radio play having never learned the so-called attack is a hoax. Fearing the worst is upon them, four diverse families band together in an effort to make it through the night. But tensions build, as differences surface, and it isn’t long before everyone involved realizes they have as much to fear from each other as they do the “alien invasion” heading their way.

In anticipation of the book’s release, writer Eric Hobbs and Harvey-nominated artist Noel Tuazon are launching the “Your Broadcast” Writing Contest where one winning writer will receive a signed copy of THE BROADCAST along with an original piece of art based on their story.

“I’ve always been fascinated by that night,” Hobbs explained. “Not only by the stuff that happened with Orson… but by the events that took place all across the country. There are thousands of true stories but an endless number of stories writers can tell.”

Interested writers are asked to submit short stories that take place on the night of Welles’ infamous WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast. Hobbs will read the entries, and Tuazon will create an 11X17 sketch that serves as a depiction of the winning story.

“Noel’s work is perfect for a project like this,” Hobbs continued. “Forget the signed book. Someone’s going to get a beautiful piece of art for their wall by one of comic’s most unique talents.”

Stories should be sent as attachments to broadcastcontest@gmail.com. Entries should be no longer than 2500 words and must be received by August 30, 2010

THE BROADCAST is available in the June issue of PREVIEWS (page 301) and can be pre-ordered using order code JUN10 1062. Visit erichobbsonline.com for an exclusive 21-page preview of the project.

Eric Hobbs previously wrote the underground mini-series, AWAKENINGS, set to be collected this winter from Arcana. Noel Tuazon work on ELK’S RUN was nominated for the Harvey Award. His most recent work, TUMOR, debuted exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle before being collected by Archaia.

NBM in August: The Broadcast

Our main release this month is an intense psychological thriller with Orson Welles’ famous radio dramatization of The War of the Worlds as background:

THE BROADCAST
Eric Hobbs • Noel Tuazon
On the day of the historic broadcast of The War of the Worlds by Orson Welles which triggered panic in many places it sounded so real, a family in the countryside fears for its life and also has to deal with strangers and neighbors coming in for help. The tension brings to the surface long suppressed emotions and conflicts and a violent reckoning in a dark stormy night.
6×9, 180pp., B&W, trade pb.: $13.99, ISBN 978-1-56163-590-0

See previews. You might remember Noel Tuazon from ‘Elk’s Run’ published by Villard.

Also from Eurotica:

SIZZLE #47
Banana Games makes its long-awaited return, by Christian Zanier. This star-studded issue also has Kevin Taylor’s Girl, Peanut Butter, Kristina Queen of Vampires, and Omaha the Cat Dancer!
Quarterly magazine, 81/2 x 11, 64pp., b&w: $5.95

AND NOTE: we’ve got all the rest of the year’s books posted up now, so you can see all of the goodies we’ve got planned for 2009!

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Meantime, over at Papercutz, we’re busy launching Smurfs graphic novels! What most people don’t realize is that it all started with these classic comics by a Belgian giant, Peyo. We’ve got a $1 comic book coming to stores in July as well as the San Diego comic-con and the books start coming out in earnest in August/September.

You may have heard: a mixed live action/animated movie is in principal photography with Sony/Columbia to come out in August of 2011…

All of this being solicited at your comic bookstore now or you can order from us online right here.