Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Case of the Missing Prisoner

I present to you another gem from my elementary school archives. I think I made this "book" in 2nd grade. How do I know? Because it's not about dinosaurs. Everything in 3rd grade had a decidedly extinct reptile theme. But evidently I decided to take my first crack at a crime caper at age 8.

 Okay, we're starting off strong. We have a main character, and he seems pretty likable.

Not bad. Alex can hoist a handcuffed man by his belt loop, and he does it with a smile. However, he seems to be driving some sort of spaceship. And the criminal appears to be shackled to an anti-gravity ball and chain. Also, I don't know why he doesn't just walk out between the bars.

Only minor problems here. I seem to have forgotten how to draw elbows, even though two pages earlier I was doing just fine. I've made the criminal a bit cocky and placed a handy dandy map of his entire plan on the back wall. It starts with a shovel and ends with a hole, and these are really the kinds of schematics you're bound to forget if they're not prominently displayed. Also, that's the brightest moonlit night I've ever seen.

Interesting. We find out that Alex is a redhead (and a bit of a drama queen). But things really start to fall apart on the right-hand page. It looks like all my artistic energy went into drawing that rolling fortress, and I had to make do with a red felt-tipped pen in a pinch. That's okay. I'm sure no one will notice. They probably won't notice that the ticket counter is located on top of the train, either.

Three things I love about this spread: 1) I didn't know what to call the passenger car, so I went with "people carry," which I think cuts right to the chase. 2) I knew that there was a double letter in "caboose," dammit, but I chose the wrong one. 3) The most exotic destination I could conjure for the train was New Mexico.

On the previous page, we established that "Alex is the boss," and boy, is he authoritative. And now bald, apparently. But look how he commands attention. I'd obey anyone who knew how to say "hurry up" in two different ways. Especially if he had six fingers.

On your left, you'll note that not only is Alex a crack shot with his "pop" gun, but he manages to look downright jaunty while doing it and even throws in a sassy comment to boot. Although it appears he's now a midget. I think that, while Alex was aiming at the criminal, I was aiming for perspective. 

On your right, in a bizarre twist, Alex and his "helper" Jon (who has not been introduced until just now) disguise themselves as clowns before arresting the criminal (whom I now refer to as "the stupid guy"), and a previously unknown plot point involving peanut shells turns out to be the key to the entire case. When pressed for an explanation of this tidy wrap-up, and asked why I chose not to draw any of these colorful shenanigans, I can only speculate that I simply ran out of room.

But sometimes our visions just have to be crammed into 12 pages, no matter how grand they are. You work with what you got, man. You work with what you got.


Gumdrop said...

There is definitely a screenplay in here somewhere. Perhaps Denzel and Clive Owen can re-team (Clive as the jailbird/peanut eater/"stupid guy" of course. LOVED IT. :)

Jen Whiting said...

I was laughing out loud at your detailed explanation of your story. =) So glad you saved it to share with us. It was great!

Courtney said...

Gumdrop -- Ha ha. Yes, a movie is in the works for sure! Jen -- Thanks :-)