A few years ago, I wrote a 40-page script for a graphic novel that still lacks the “graphic” portion. I called it The Griffin Lord.
The Griffin Lord started as an Egyptian high priest who made a deal with one of the Gods in exchange for eternal life and power. The God traded him the power in exchange for a curse, leaving The Griffin Lord dead for thousands of years and limiting the form of his powers to those he could conceive of in Ancient Egypt (sand, heat, turning people to stone perhaps?). He used his power to conquer the world at some point in time.
But, that’s all pre-history. No one living in the world of The Griffin Lord knows this (and it is not exactly a thorough background). Anyway, here’s the original outline.
The World of The Griffin Lord
Post-modern, desert apocalypse style with a slight Steam Punk or Biomech edge. Most people live in large metropolises, with hundreds of miles between cities. The world is covered in sand and dust: the old west meets the sahara. Most people live in complacent peace and deal with the griffin lord through religion, servitude, or generally accepting his place.
A day in the life of the average person in Oscar & Felix’s hometown would be to wake up, eat breakfast in a small home, an urban apartment structure most likely, then go about normal modern routine, working in retail, media, or some other job. A few times a day, you can expect to be interrupted by a news broadcast of something horrible the griffin lord has done. Occasionally, the griffin lord himself will telepathically force the images into the minds of the citizenry, forcing them to experience his atrocities first-hand.
There is a curfew, well after sundown, which is monitored by armored patrol in most cities. The griffin lord has ravaged the world such that every night, there are violent and lethal sandstorms across the world. The armored patrol protect stragglers and get them home or to a safe building.
The comic should be lightly detailed, enough to make the grotesquery of the griffin lord’s violence clear but, it does not have to be 100% realistic. Features on characters can be exaggerated and most detail should be saved for close-ups. Think of the 1990’s animated x-men and uncanny x-men comics. Batman Detective comics that I showed you would be the kind of detail I want close up. Both of these series capture the dark tone and color scale that I’m looking for. Black and white possible/TBD. Regardless, everything should have a very dusty/dirty look to it. All the colors are just a little faded; everything is moderately worn down (buildings, clothes, people)
The main protagonist of the story. Like all people in history, Oscar was born under the griffin lord’s rule. He lived in metropolis in a mountain valley (think Chicago in the vegas valley) in the southeastern region of his continent (it does not necessarily need to be Earth as we know it). He spent his youth learning music, particularly guitar, and causing typical childhood shenanigans. It’s important to stress that this world is very similar to ours, aside from the environment and the griffin lord. Humanity is much as it is now. This was something that always bothered Oscar as he saw more and more of the griffin lord’s insanity. After school, he made his career as a musician in the area. He met his girlfriend, Rachel and they lived well until age 23, when the griffin lord decided to sink their city into the earth (for no particular reason). They both survived, Rachel lost her arm. Months later, he attacked again, turning the mountains around them into volcanoes. Oscar escaped but Rachel did not. He returned weeks later to find his weapon, a hammer and axe made of the volcanic rock. It is somehow mystical. He wandered for a full two years before finding his way to this city. He has lived here for a year and some change.
As for appearance, Oscar is modeled after me. Particularly, the stockiness of build and beard should be exaggerated. His posture is upright and soldier-like when the axe is sheathed. When he draws it, his posture is slumped forward but still strong, bearing the weight of the axe. As for dress, desert drab is his choice. Very plain, cargo pants, teeshirts, a scarf/bandana around the neck/something to keep sand out of his face, and possibly an overcoat. Primary Colors: light Olive/cargo green, black, khaki, brown. His dominant features should be in his face, accent anger lines or the beard, or something
Felix is the secondary character of the main storyline. His main purpose is to check Oscar and connect to others in a rational way, where Oscar is too driven by emotion and the griffin lord’s torture against him. He studied engineering in school and has a knack for mechanical fun. His apartment is two bedrooms, one of which has been turned into a lab for machine-making. He has always lived in this metropolis, though he likes to try and visit distant locations. He has a fair to strong knowledge of where cities are located throughout the country. He lost his eyes as a punishment from the griffin lord, for travelling to a city reserved for those of high power (corrupted priests, corporate leaders, other stereotypical modern evil men). He was magically bound by sand (which formed into a chain) to two large boulders. After hours of trying to break free and escape during the day, he gave up due to exhaustion, that night, the sandstorm only blew in the direction of his face, pummeling him and tearing his flesh apart, several boring into his eyes, destroying them. He had already created the goggles to help enhance vision – Thermal/infrared/night mode allow him to see clearer in more situations, and there is a small binoc feature, maybe 10x – but, had to reinvent them to handle cybernetic connections, as a way to replace his eyes. They are connected to his head but not attached; they can be removed and replaced.
Felix should be modeled after you, keeping the facial structure and proportions similar. The goggles are round like welder’s goggles (Dr. horrible) but are connected by flexible metal straps (three straps around the head, locking into a buckle in back). They should always appear black and reflective/glossy from the outside. Facial hair is optional though, I can see him with a neatly trimmed and pointed moustache and soul patch or something else renaissance-y. His dress is similar to Oscar’s but, with less green and more dull shades of red (Brick red). He also dresses a little more old-western formal, possibly having button down shirts and ties, vest + pocket watch, or some sort of sophisticated steam-punk crap. His pulse gun is connected to a backpack unit, almost modeled like a flamethrower. The types of pulses that will be used in the comic are sonic, EMP, “Energy”/standard, and rails. It has a few knobs or buttons, some selection method and power regulator, but mostly the tech just needs to look sweet. As for his posture, he should walk with the swagger of a high class motherfucker. That swagger should be almost cartoony and exaggerated, as his dominant feature
The Griffin Lord (needs a name):
Age 24.56 billion years
ht/length of tail 2,750 feet
wt New York City +/- 5lbs
The Griffin Lord is God. He has unlimited ability to see into a person, is all-knowing and omnipotent, the whole nine. However, his power is restricted to those which would be present in Ancient Egypt: Manipulating sand (elements?), shape-shifting, summoning shades/ghouls/anubi/other demons of his creation. He has affected the following rules over the universe
- Reincarnation: The reincarnation and future life is entirely at his discretion and based on nothing. All realities in the universe are realities humans would consider hellish and, they will experience life this way for eternity
- God-human interaction: The griffin lord regularly interacts with humans and presumably any other species in the universe, making bargains, punishing, and telepathically communicating, often as a show of force, to them as he pleases.
- History of the world: The griffin lord spoke to 50 people across the planet at one time, possessing them with the knowledge of his ancient language. He then decreed the history of the world as well as his ideations (IE religious doctrine) and they dictated and spread the word together, eventually being revealed to each other. Upon the revelation to the world that this decree happened in 50 remote places at one time in a language not known by any human, the “prophets” were united and recited the griffin lord’s history until their tongues fell out and their jaws locked in place. They still stand, somewhere in the world, reciting it constantly, despite the aforementioned suffering and the fact that they would be at least 2000 years old at this point.
As for appearance, the griffin lord has to be absolutely gnarly. He should be, first and foremost, a colossal figure, comparable to several Godzillas. He is quadripedal though he can use all four limbs and their components freely. He should be scaly with a face and color scheme that make him appear as a burn victim, or furry with a more human face, themed in colors modernly associated with purity and innocence. He should have a very humanoid face and a pharaoh’s headdress and goatee can be part of his skeletal structure, or hair/fur/scales. His front claws are very arm-like, with talons (Google Niv-Mizzet, dracogenius to see an example) but, his back legs are very cat-like in their structure, and cannot be used in too unique a manner. He also has a tail which is 2/3 the length of his body to equal length, and wings spanned proportionally to carry him in flight at high speeds. His face should be distinctly more narrow or pointed than a human face and either pupils or his nose or both will be lacking from his face in a noticeable way. If he is reptilian, I would like the headdress to be incorporated as webbed skin (like Niv-mizzet). His dominant feature is obviously his size so, when showing him in scale, really play it up by lowering the detail level of structures and drawing humans as specs.
age 23 (deceased)
wt Comic book sexiness… whatever that weight is
Rachel was Oscar’s girlfriend for the last 2-3 years of her life. They were happy/romantic/etc. Her back story is not too relevant as she is part of Oscar’s back story. Noteworthy history: she is from across the ocean, knowledgeable in vehicle repair and salvage, drop dead gorgeous, and has one arm for the last 9 months of her life.
Rachel is a redhead, with hair at shoulder length, a few freckles, a glimmer of happiness and a lot of fire and attitude in her eyes (blue or gray). She is predominantly seen in a form-accentuating jumpsuit (again, comic book sex-appeal style) with one sleeve tied off (where there is a lack of arm). Her strongest features should be her hips and curves but, they shouldn’t be too exaggerated. She will be reappearing numerous times as ghouls, demons, herself.
Look to superman comics for examples. They should be played up as cliché bystanders, terrified of everything, incapable of anything , etc. most people respect and fear the griffin lord. As for attire, think of the average metropolis news worker and apply it to the desert (think modern old west attire, hence the steampunk lean)
Lay is Captain of the guard in North City, which is the northernmost human city, on the border of uncharted lands. Lay arose to this position after the outskirts of the city began to colonize. At first it was nothing but a few outcasts and exiles, not fit to live in a metro but, not allowed to die, as decreed for various reasons by the griffin lord. They took up shop in the outskirts of north city and over the last 10 years, have launched several vicious strikes against the city. At first it was supply raids, then it became kidnappings, and now, the raiders are of sufficient size to wage full-scale war against the city. She has been leading the fight against the raiders for 10 years, after 3 years of fighting as a mercenary for North City. If there is ever a follow up to GL, it will follow her exploits.
North City is by far the most technologically advanced city around (and the differences can be quite drastic) . Lay is tall, athletically built, with very short black hair, combed over to one side. Her facial features should be defined by hard lines and she should be fairly toned, with a visible six-pack. In the field, her attire is full combat armor, and her preferred weapon is a .45 caliber SAW (RPG launcher attached?). She always (in and out of combat) wears the standard issue com device in north city, a headset with an eyepiece over the dominant eye (Lay’s left eye, others can be right eye), the eyepiece is connected to the earpiece, which also houses the microphone. Her civilian attire are cropped long-sleeve tee-shirts or one sleeved shirts with a gauntlet/tattoo or bladed weapon on the exposed arm and cargo pants or comic book pants (the half-skinny jean looking ones).
There are other supporting characters but they can be typecast and worked out without much thought. Those characters serve as filler to keep conversations from becoming static or repetitive, to allow multiple voices and a group feel, and the likes.
I may go back and edit this and the script. This was an amateur piece that could really become much better.