Not Random's Manga ideas / script, writing critique request ( plus manga ideas. )
(repurposed the thread instead of creating another one, now more critiquey in nature as well as idea based... Plus the page 1 Atrophy script is involved now. )
Thought I'd create this thread in order to lay down some synopsis for other potential Manga projects ( one shots ) - one or two I may even do as part of a learning process when I reach the stage I'm able to throw a few panels together. [ Thinking this could be in the next year. Don't want to draw it out too far and end up five years, some nice artwork to boast but nothing larger to show for it... But anyway! ]
I'd appreciate some critique on the synopsis - happy to elaborate and extrapolate anything that needs be. Only so much you can convey in a quick plot synopsis and such. I don't particularly plan on doing anything 'big' with the concepts however still, obviously I'd be a bit miffed if I found someone using the story piece for piece without my expressed permission.
Idea 1 - No current title
Warning - Pretty dark, especially in the final closing section. Although there are hints towards drug use, prostitution and indeed, rape, none would ever be 'on camera' and merely suggested.
Setting: Post Apocalypse, traditional non mutants galore version. Approx 10 years after the fact. Society has started to rebuild itself, with small villages and towns gathering together.
In the particular area of the world the story is set in ( I'm running with possibly a rural English countryside), most organized civilization is controlled by a post apocalyptic mafia styled organization - ruling it with a firm control of guns, drugs, prostitution and all sorts of nastiness. People living in the towns and villages follow their rules, pay their rent or die out in the desolate, holocaust stricken wilderness and lifeless deserts.
There are a few other groups living in the shadow of the ruling organization, including a few rebellious sects trying to work against the bigger parties in the hopes of making the world a better place. Then you have your religious nuts and technologically minded individuals who believe the way forward is to innovate on the wonders of the past.
Influences: I'd be lying if I didn't say some Book of Eli, Fallout and of course Manga / Anime influences didn't creep in here. The whole thing isn't so much about the setting, at least, not as much as Atrophy would be though. This would focus on the characters and their immediate predicament rather than trying to weave together a fleshed out world. It's a one shot, after all.
Theme: A father's love for his daughter and their struggle to survive in an inhospitable environment.
[ Not sure what else needs be put here, that's the gist of it.. Can elaborate a little if requested]
Bio: A soldier and dedicated family man before the bombs dropped. An officer to be, mid training at RMA Sandhurst in Bracknell, he was well prepared for the worst, cultivating a shelter in the months before everything went silent. Utilizing the survival skills the British Army gave him along with a canny knack for staying alive he provided for his five year old daughter, Luca and wife, Marianne until the day when Marianne caught ill and passed away. When food in the local area dried up, shopping centers became bare and water either stagnant or infested with leftover crud from the fallout he led his daughter out into the world, then barely thirteen, the two struggling on to live day by day as mere wanderers.
Bio: Too young to remember much about the events that landed her in the state she finds herself, one memory is particularly scarred into her mind: The horrified visage of her mothers face, contorted in fear as the thunderous roar of the initial gamma wave passed over their shelter. Trained from the age of thirteen to survive and fight, she was forced to maturity early and without the necessary life lessons that should have shaped her, left rash, irresponsible and with a head filled with whimsy and dreams of changing the world.
She mostly remains quiet however, so used to the near constant silence which permeated the cold walls of the fallout shelter she grew up in. Strangers make her nervous, shy, partly because of her inexperience in dealing with them, mostly because her few encounters with them have ended in violence.
A herd of deer frantically rush through a decaying field, as Alex and Luca hide nearby, watching them carefully as a pair of rabid wolves set about taking down a few of the slower members of the herd. Observing them turn their noses up at one of those deer and start snacking on another, they gun down the wolves, taking the choicer and therefore un-radiated carcass.
They are attacked by a third wolf they did not notice previously however, with Luca suffering a bite wound in the resulting struggle. Luca's wound begins to trouble her, festering and causing her to become unwell despite being treated, leading Alex to believe she had contracted a disease or been inflicted with some form of venom.
With Luca's condition deteriorating, Alex takes her to a walled shanty village nearby, begging the guards to let them in so she could be treated. Grudgingly, let are allowed within after parting with most of their money. The local doctor conveys that Luca will live, with treatment, but will require several weeks to fully recover. This doctor aides them and secures Alex a job working for the local boss, as a caravan raider in light of his military experience as well as a small hut to live in whilst Luca recovers.
Alex quickly finds himself captive within the walls of the village, forced to take morally dubious jobs ambushing and killing innocent traders alongside a pack of raiders in order to keep up his dues to the local boss for the hut and paying the Doctor to treat Luca. The local boss had taken an interest in Luca, particularly for her potential to generate revenue as either a slave or prostitute. Such as, he offers Alex a large sum of money for her as well as a place within the village to call a permanent home, alongside benefits within the local bosses inner circle. Alex refuses.
With Luca nearing recovery however, Alex makes plans to leave, only to find he's being constantly shadowed by two thugs, watching to ensure he does not try to grab Luca and run. It is at this time that a particular caravan raid nets him a share of prototype weapons and armor. Unfortunately however, his refusal to sell Luca garnered him a negative reputation, resulting in him being stuck with a metal briefcase containing an odd set of silver, almost leather like clothing.
Cursing his circumstance Alex continues working away, warned by the locals to do as the boss wants. All the whilst tending to Luca as she recovers. Things take a turn for the better however, when a raid is organized on the source of the prototype weapons - a research lab believed to be in the control of a gang of Tecchies.
Alex joins in on the raid, which succeeds despite large losses for the Village raiders. Within the lab, moving ahead of the others, he runs across a girl, around his daughters age and decides to hide her from his fellow raiders. One of the Tecchies, an old woman donning a lab coat notices this and signals the two to come hide with her, within another room of the lab and seals the door behind them to ensure no-one can follow.
The Tecchie, a Helen Jeffer, is revealed to Alex to be the woman working on the suit he happened to pilfer as his share and tells him not to ever wear or use it. In return for giving it back to her, she promises to pay him so large a sum that he could outright buy the little hut he lived in. Alex agrees and arranges to return the next night with the suit. He returns to the other raiders and pretends he found nothing.
That night however, he is visited by the local boss, demanding 'one last time' that he sell Luca to her, knowing full well she is on the cusp of full recovery and that Alex will be planning to make their escape soon. Alex refuses flatly, telling the boss he will pay him Luca's worth to leave them alone soon. Disappointed, the local boss leaves.
Out of curiosity, Alex opens the metal briefcase and finds a working laptop within, details on it suggesting that the suit is an experimental weapon, designed to heighten the combat prowess. It is however unfinished, suggesting that the suit was on it's way to Helen's lab for further development. Retiring, he puts it aside.
Then, in the small hours of the night their house is broken into and raided, Luca being taken away forcefully and Alex left beaten and unconscious, a generous sum of money left behind on his bruised person alongside a note, reminding him not to act up again.
The next morning, Alex attempts to enter the village hall, an old dilapidated school building and demands to see the boss but is denied entry. In a fit of desperation he heads to the local store, purchasing a large amount of ammunition and extra weaponry with the money given to him for Luca and returns home, followed by the two shadowing thugs.
He dons the suit, dispatching the two thugs with ease as they forcefully enter his home and attempt to question him regarding his recent purchases. Using the suit to aide him he proceeds to move through the village towards the town hall, killing any of the local thugs that stand in his way. He finds that Luca has been taken away, with the local boss to a larger settlement the ruling organization is using as a power base. Mockingly, he is told of how the local boss intends to gift her to a more prominent figure in the organization in return for greater power.
Alex leaves the town, going to the Helen's lab, feeling battle wearied but unscathed thanks to the empowering effects of the suit. On arrival Helen informs Alex that she warned him not to wear the suit, that it is incomplete and his current state of fatigue is due to it essentially killing him. Unless he stops using it, he will die. Caring little for the fact, Alex resolves to chase down Luca and do whatever is necessary to save her - destroying the foundation of the entire organization's power base if necessary to ensure they won't come after them anytime soon. Helen follows him, having promised to take Luca in should he not survive the coming battle.
On arrival at the well guarded town, Helen restarts the suit, telling Alex he probably only has an hours use before it kills him. Throughout the ensuing fight, Alex slowly deteriorates, becoming weaker as his time runs out. By the time he finally breaches into the Organization's headquarters and faces down the heads he is barely able to lift his weapon, hobbling within.
Stricken by the sight of Luca barely dressed and eyes glazed over, staring into nothingness. Alex is jeered by the Lord of the organization, telling him his daughter was so uncooperative that they had to lobotomize her with an overdose to get her to stop trying to run away. Fueled with anger, Alex gathers his strength and massacres the heads, the suit failing, causing him to take fire and be wounded in the fight. He finishes it by wringing out the very Lord of the organization's neck as Alex coughs blood into his face.
Succumbing to his wounds, Alex falls to his knees and embraces his daughter, his life ending. Luca becomes lucid again, returning her father's embrace and cries. Helen enters the room shortly after, taking Luca by the hand and escaping the building with her.
Luca goes to live with Helen, creating a tombstone in memory of her dad and some time later, in the final scene they lament that the power vacuum that resulted from Alex's actions has been filled by another, more ruthless crime lord. Luca expresses her desire to change the world and fight to make it a better place. Finally, in the last panels, Luca tells Helen "Make me a suit, like my dad's."
As mentioned I'd really appreciate some crit and opinions on this one! I'm not sure I'll ever create a manga out of it or anything, but I've got plenty of time to come out with ideas until the point where I am able. Refining those ideas, finding out where they're are potentially weak and knowing where to improve for the future would always be helpful though!
Will add more ideas when I come up with and flesh them out...
Last edited by Im_not_random; 04-12-2012 at 02:26 PM.
Reason: Alex age noted as 31 instead of 41.. Changed.
-Decided to pull this for the moment.. Maybe up again later... -
Last edited by Im_not_random; 04-13-2012 at 01:39 PM.
Reason: Pulled for the moment
The plot is very exciting.
I'm interested in the gangs, and if they have a large presence in the areas they control.
DO they people fear them as a regular menace, or a "be on guard because every once in a while" kind of issue?
I'm currently focusing on drafting and re-drafting the Atrophy scripts and sorting out character designs etc so mostly left this one on the side for the time being. Maybe come back in a couple of months and attempt to illustrate it myself. I've taken an odd interest in the Military recently though; real-world SOP's, equipment etc. Also gotten into playing Arma2 a bit, so I've been quite keen on referencing real world Military of late. It's coming off quite well in Atrophy, I think. I'd need to do a bit more research and personally talk to active and ex servicemen, women before I'd feel comfortable enough to draft an idea that focused entirely on a real world military setting however ( although I have entertained the idea over the last couple of weeks. ).
Regarding the gangs though, Bijju, if you mean the 'mafia styled' organization, as long as you stay on their 'good side' and remain useful you'd be able to live without too much fear. So it falls into a sort of 'be on guard' area. It'd be a squalid, fairly depressive existence where the local boss can easily pull your clean water or payment for a week because you did something he didn't like. At the same time though, the local bosses ( most of them ) understand that they need the people in their towns just as much as the people need them, and therefore treat them with a bit more decency. Local bosses of that mindset are few and far between however, the majority of them are just greedy megalomaniacs who caught a lucky break shortly after the bombs dropped.
So, if you give them no reason to bother you, you're fine to keep doing what you do and make the best of it. There are profit margins to be met however, so although the boss might not be gunning for you, a local drug dealer working for him might see you as a potential customer and decide to spike your food in an attempt to get you addicted. Similarly, someone wanting to get into greater favor with a local boss might decide to steal some food or supplies and then implicate you, turn you in and reap the glory themselves.
Quiet types who mind their own business and try their best not to cause trouble often find they need to avoid getting tangled up in the community. There's very little in the way of law - basically, if you're doing the local boss a favor through any action, it doesn't particularly matter what it is. Some more sadistic bosses might still have you flogged for doing something he wasn't made aware of ahead of time though. In any case, if you don't want to cause any fuss, you don't tend to have many friends. So when something goes wrong and someone decides they can profit on your loss, you're own your own to fix it. If you can.
Putting it in context, if Alex didn't happen to have a daughter and showed up looking for work, he'd probably do fairly well. His knowledge and skills would be of great help to the local boss and he'd be valued for them. He's not good with backstabbing, intrigue or cloak and dagger however, so if someone decided they didn't like how much the local boss liked him, he'd be in trouble though. Without the suit he'd probably end up left in a ditch somewhere, having been 'shot during a caravan raid'.
This all changes somewhat at the end, when another figure steps up and the ruling party becomes much more oppressive, seeing potential for dissent amongst the general populace. There becomes a real reason to live in fear from then on out. I haven't developed much on that end though, only that the story would end with Luca planning to change it.
Random bands of thieves, bandits, murderers, crazies and the larger organized town raiding groups though? Yeah, fear them, because if they even think you have something worth taking on you, they'll happily waste a few bullets to find out. Hell, the crazies and just random murderers will put a bullet, or shiv, in you just because they like watching your skin turn grey as you go into shock and bleed out.
Depending on the boss though, their influence in an area could either be widespread or pretty minimal. In the area the story is set in, the local boss is pretty active in controlling the countryside nearby. Some other lords let things fall apart outside the town walls though. Usually due to incompetence, lack of manpower but sometimes just to make the outside world look as unappealing as possible, so that no-one considers leaving town in the middle of the night to make it on their own.
Last edited by Im_not_random; 05-06-2012 at 11:11 AM.
Here's a link to one I had a messaround with recently. I have it planned out to one-shot length for now, but with the possibility to expand into a series, if I wanted to. Basically the premise ( in brief ) is that mankind developed AI, that AI decided to attempt to conquer mankind and luckily enough failed. As a result, people do not trust anywhere near sentient AI and several thousand years in the future people are still doing mundane jobs that would have been handled by AI in the perfect world.
On the side, massive corporations have taken to the stars, with mankind having colonized far outwith their own solar system. There are no alien races to contend with, but the occasional monster or native animal on the odd planet do cause trouble from time to time. Each corporation, seeking to maximize profits and minimize losses operates a system of vertical integration - you work for them, you live on their ship, go to their cinemas, eat at their restaurants and spend your entire life in that status quo. There are occasional wars between corporations, where ships will fight out in deep space, where the law doesn't apply ( also happens to be where most corporations operate by default ).
In this universe, Gavin Siaris is a disgruntled maintenance technician working for GM Robertson Minerals & Astrologistics. He was once a mining drone designer, highly sought after, however after his latest design was undercut by an inferior copy and purchased by GM instead of his, he was demoted to the position of Lead Maintenance Tech in bay 12, where he works his nine to five. He dreams of earning enough money one day to buy his own ship and live out in the stars as a trader, cultivating his own empire of wealth ( and women ).
Out of frustration he concocts a plan to hijack the CEO's personal starship, a frigate class luxury vessel with all the internal systems and equipment required to start up a new company within ( it's a contingency plan thing for the CEO. ). Roping in long time friend and accountant, Zack Engram and his wife, Natalie alongside the chef / bartender at their usual haunt, Jenna Raelart and washed up Ex-Military pilot, Klaus Werner, Gavin and Co swipe the ship straight from it's hangar and dissapear with the hopes of starting a new, better life; freely drifting through space.
I've looked at Red Dwarf, currently popular Comedy sitcoms like 30 rock, How I Met Your Mother etc but mostly Red Dwarf, for some sort of guidance and attempted to put it into Manga form. The below link is to a PDF of the first 15 pages.
Would appreciate any criticism at all! ( Please note it's a first draft, so there may be spelling / grammar errors I haven't picked up yet. Mostly just a run through to get the ideas down and flesh panels out. )
(Forgot to specify - It's a script only, not an actual manga project. Just the writing side of it. )
Last edited by Im_not_random; 05-08-2012 at 08:00 PM.