Most of these pictures use the same background. It’s to save time, truncate work, and it also ties into the theme. It’s a shot of a closet, filled with clothing, so much so that it’s piled outside. The only thing that might possibly change about the background would be the color. It might be interesting to shade it in different colors. Or not. Frick. I’m not an artist, and frankly, that kind of a decision is beyond my depth. This first panel is a five year old kid emerging from this closet, which is his parents’, dressed as a fireman. He’s wearing one of those plastic outfits, and a big, gap-toothed smile. To illustrate, he may have a big red plastic firetruck at his feet. Probably in the corner of this panel would also be the title and credits, just spread overlaid. Any time someone speaks, their speech balloons will be a different shade, to help the audience know what’s what.
JASON; WHEN I WAS FOUR, I WANTED TO BE A FIREMAN.
This is a picture of a cute little girl. She’s twirling a flower. You’ve got your option of background, because, well, I’m frankly torn on whether or not there should be any backgrounds other than just the closet. But either no background, or a simple field of grass, with the occasional dandelion springing up, with soft sunlight. Jenny’s quote should be a pink or purple.
JASON; JENNY SAID:
JENNY; YOU’RE CUTE.
JASON; I THINK SHE WANTED ME TO BE HER BOYFRIEND.
I think this one will make or break it. The kid is emerging once again from the closet. He’s wearing his father’s black button-up shirt, and a white collar. His father’s pants are trailing behind him on the ground, and he’s got his hand forward, covered in the long sleeve, with two fingers raised and his thumb across the two that aren’t.
JASON; PEOPLE AT CHURCH SAID I WAS A LAMB OF GOD.
JASON; AFTER DAVID’S OWN HEART.
And to pull off that last panel, you have to make people laugh with this. An eight year old boy, wrapped in stolen clothes, many from his mother, as a ninja. He’s partway kickass, partway cute, partway silly. Partway, apparently, is a word, although kickass gets me redlined.
JASON; WHEN I WAS SIX, I WANTED TO BE A NINJA.
This panel follows the same format as the Jenny panel last page. You should be noticing a pattern, here. This one stars Peter. He’s holding a turtle, and holding it out at us. If only I could figure out how to fit a teenager in the last panel… His text is in a green box.
JASON; PETER SAID:
PETER; WE’LL ALWAYS BE BEST FRIENDS.
JASON; I NEVER TOLD HIM HE WAS MY FIRST CRUSH.
In front of the closet again. The kid’s wearing water wings, now, and his bathing suit (not to be confused with his birthday suit).
JASON; AT THE POOL THEY SAID I COULD BE GREG LOUGANIS.
JASON; I DIDN’T KNOW WHO THEY MEANT, EITHER.
An interesting touch right here might be to get rid of the clothing on one side of the closet here, implying that one of his parents has left. It’s a nice, subtle touch that just gives it a bit more realism. With any luck, it will add to the loneliness of the story without people even being aware of it. The policeman uniform is far more elaborate than the fireman. It’s not believable, mind you, but he’s got all his plastic accessories, including handcuffs, and a whistle, and maybe even white gloves.
JASON; WHEN I WAS TWELVE I WANTED TO BE A POLICEMAN.
I think, at least for the mom/pop scene, that they should have no background. Dad is sitting in his easy chair, reading a paper, barely paying attention to the room. Mom is listening more intently, with concern on her face. They will be almost if not exactly the same in Pic 13- that’s right, we’re cutting corners, reusing stuff. Cause it’s easier. And because we’re getting paid in copies of the work.
JASON; MY DAD SAID I SHOULD BE A TEACHER. THEY GET SUMMERS OFF.
JASON; MY MOM WANTED ME TO GIVE HER GRANDCHILDREN. NOT THEN. BUT SOMEDAY.
He’s just curled up with the cat. The cat has that eyes closed, head up, regal thing going on while he gets his pet on.
JASON; MR. FLUFFYLUMPKINS WANTED ME TO FEED HIM.
JASON; THEN PET HIM.
JASON; THEN FEED HIM SOME MORE.
This kid is awkward. He’s gangly, and he hasn’t quite filled in, yet. And his clothes are just the teensiest bit too small and too tight. He’s not very masculine, and he knows it, and that only makes him more shy and less masculine. His eyes are timid, are almost hiding from the world behind his hair.
JASON; WHEN I WAS FOURTEEN, I WANTED TO BE NORMAL.
Alan is better looking than the scrawny kid in the last panel. And sad. He’s just had his heart broken. He’s just heard the news, and it’s crushed his spirit.
JASON; ALAN WANTED ME TO LOVE HIM. I JUST DIDN’T.
He’s just goofing around here, stepping out of the closet wearing all black, and a faux depressed/serious face. And a beret. If only he hated the world and stank of cheese he’d be French.
JASON; MY TEACHER SAID I COULD BE AN ARTIST.
I’m fucking with your composition, because, despite the wonderful groove we had going, I don’t like the sequence of this page without monkeying with it. Same picture of the mom and dad from before, only more grave concern from the mother. The dad is still sitting in his rocker, still halfway hidden behind his newspaper. Mom’s text should be pink or purple, whichever you didn’t use for Jenny.
JASON; MY MOM ASKS:
MOM; DO YOU HAVE TO BE GAY?
JASON; DAD JUST DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.
This time he’s GAY. I mean über super mega gay. He’s gussied up, wearing make-up, glammed out. And he’s uncomfortable. He’s slouching and nearly wincing. It isn’t him, and maybe he’s trying to smile and fake it, but we know better.
JASON; MY FRIENDS WANT ME TO BE QUEER.
JASON; DO THE CLUBS.
JASON; ACT GAY.
Pretensions are gone. This is just Jason. He’s wearing a pair of jeans, and a shirt, hair combed but not slaved over. He’s slouching a little because he’s comfortable like that.
JASON; I JUST WANT TO BE ME.