I was thinking this was going to be a twelve pager (a mini-and-a-half, as I like to think of it), but it looks like the Brontosaurus Minicomic is going to be a full fledged double, sixteen pages long. Those extra pages will be splashes and semisplashes, with big slow panels for these big slow subjects, contrasted with quick cuts and dialog on the multipanel pages. That’s the idea anyway.
Because the way I lay out my scripts makes them kinda sprawly when it comes to blog space, the final script is behind the cut. Click to read “The Day of the Brontosaurus, or Sidewalk Opinions.”“Day of the Brontosaurus” or “Sidewalk Opinions” a minicomic for Minicomics Live 4/15 v1
cast: Murphy, Moose, Mr. Spit, Nina, Anpu, Josef, some brontosauruses
page 1(right) / cover: a drawing of a weird device on the sidewalk in chalk. It has a screen on it and on the screen are sauropod dinosaurs. The title of the drawing is also the title of the comic.
page 2 (left) Pan back and there is Murphy peacefully drawing on the sidewalk
Some adult comes along (maybe we only see their legs)
Adult (off screen, patronizingly if possible) Is it a space ship?
Murphy: More like a time machine.
Adult: Those look like Apatosauruses to me—that’s the correct name for a brontosaurus, you know.
Murphy (not looking up, still drawing): Actually they just changed it back. The official ceremony was at Yale, on Tuesday. ( sidebar: Murphy is correct: the Peabody Museum at Yale returned the original specimen to its original name on 4/14/15.)
Adult (stiffly): I see. (Walks away.)
page 3 (right) Moose and Mr, Spit come along. Josef is with them. Josef walks over to the art and takes a look at it while standing on it.
Josef: Farank. Plit.
Moose: Even Josef knows it’s a brontosaurus.
Mr. Spit: Awesome keeping your temper, Murph. I hate it when people say dumb stuff to me.
Murphy: Well, don’t draw on the sidewalk if you don’t want to hear sidewalk opinions.
page 4 (left)
Moose: So, Murph, did you draw these guys from life or what?
Mr. Spit: C’mon. Moose. You don’t really believe that there are actually dinosaurs in the woods?
Moose: Why not? There are tapirs, and saiga antelopes …
Murphy: And we’ve all seen the mammoths. Heck., we’re friends with the mammoths.
Mr. Spit: True. Then there’s that sasquatch who stole my sack lunch the day of the bug hunt.
Moose: And we all know what Anpu is, even if he denies it sometimes.
page 5 (right)
Mr. Spit, OK, OK. People say you can see dinosaurs if you go over to Cliffside. But seeing is believing, and I’ve never seen them.
Moose: Me neither. They both look at Murphy.
Mr. Spit: There’s an obvious solution.
Murphy (looking down at the drawing): I guess I’ve said all I want to say about the Time Viewer idea right now.
page 6 (left)
Scene where they are riding their bicycles and talking about Monty Python brontosaurus sketch. Moose has a beat up mountain bike with Josef riding in a milk crate bungee corded to a rack behind the seats, Mr. Spit has his classic Schwinn Stingray, Murphy has an ancient racing bike with the handlebars on backwards. They are riding; they pass a Sinclair dinosaur gas station sign, and Moose cracks up laughing.
page 7 (right)
Mr. Spit: What’s so funny?
Moose: I was just thinking about that Monty Python thing.
Murphy: Anne Elk (Miss).
Moose: This is my theory, which is mine, and is as follows …
Together : “All brontosauruses are thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and then thin again at the far end.”
page 8 (left)
They get to Edison’s Cliff (the “ruins” of two barns and the Cliffside Motor Inn) Are Edison’s Radio Laboratory signs up as well?) and Anpu is there talking to the dinosaurs. There is no sign that the dinosaurs are talking back.
Anpu (smoking, meditative): You guys looked great that day, pacing around the pyramids, with your tails swinging back and forth, and the sun god sinking toward the horizon … way better looking than camels, that’s for sure.
page 9 (right)
The kids approach. They are sort of awed, but acting cool. The pace of the story slows as the meditative quality of the huge dinosaurs affects the others.
Moose: Are you guys discussing Ancient Egypt?
Anpu: Just trying out a bit of poetry (imaginative prose? Storytelling?) on the big guys. They’re good listeners. And they like (name of treats)
Everybody sits down on the edge of the cliff and starts feeding bits of whatever it is to the dinosaurs.
Moose: So, Mr. Spit. Dinosaurs.
page 10 (left)
Mr. Spit: Yup. Look like brontosauruses.
Murphy: You can tell because they’re thin at one end …
Anpu cracks up laughing, showing massive teeth.
Anpu: Thicker in the middle, then thinner at the other end. Monty Python. Nice to know you kids like the classics.
Murphy: It’s old, but it’s cool.
Anpu: Just like me, though I’m even a bit older.
Moose: and these guys are older than that.
Mr Spit (admiring), and they’re the coolest! (maybe he tosses a treat in the air and one of the dinosaurs catches it.) They sit and watch.
page 11 (right)
The idyll is broken and things start to move faster again. Josef has been sniffing at the dinosaurs the whole time– he suddenly jumps off the cliff and down into the dinosaurs—landing on their heads. They walk away into the woods.
Moose: We should go home too.
Murphy: Or at least back to the neighborhood.
Mr. Spit: By way of Duke’s Market for a Dinobar. I’m in the mood for some reason.
page 12 (left)
They leave, Anpu remains behind alone. Moose looks back at Anpu, maybe says something about him being far from home. Or does her face show it without a line.
Little transition at bottom of page, to replace the page turn that I just couldn’t get to work.
page 13 (right)
Last scene: back to first setting—Murphy is changing his original drawing. Nina has joined the group. Mr. Spit, Moose and maybe Nina are eating Dinobars, some kind of dinosaur shaped confection on a stick. Two adults come along.
Adult: Look at that weird little animal put in with the dinosaurs. Where do they come up with this stuff?
Adult: Is it a doggie, dear, or just something imaginary? Children have such big imaginations.
They walk away.
page 14 (left)
Nina (to Murphy, critically) I think it’s an excellent likeness.
Murphy: Hey, thanks. Don’t draw on the sidewalk.
The others: If you don’t want to hear sidewalk opinions.
page 15 (right)
Full page of Murphy’s drawing of the Time Viewer with Josef in the window with the dinosaurs.
page 16/back cover
Drawing of brontosaurus with story of how this comic is a tribute to the return of the name “brontosaurus” to the noble thunder lizard. Indicia.