Digging through some old files in my computer, I found an old script for a comic that I was going to help write for a friend. But unfortunately, it fell apart over time. So, to shed some light on my interpretation of life and death, here is a sample chapter of a ‘Dead Boys’.
Chapter One: Awakening.
A young man (low twenties) lying on the floor, wakes up in a room similar to a hospital waiting room.. The young man is Caucasian, wearing a black sweatshirt and blue jeans. He clutches his head.
Young man: Ugh, My head…
Facial shot to show that the young man has a haircut resembling Skrillex. The young man is showing emotions of shock.
Young man: What in the fuck happened to my hair?
Mysterious Voice (OP): Oh good, Party Boy is awake…
A young black man (low twenties) is sitting on the couch across from the young man on the floor. He is wearing a red dress shirt and black slacks, smoking a cigarette.
Mysterious Young Man: Get off the floor and grab a seat. You are in for one hell of a shock.
The young man stands up and looks around. In the background, satirical motivational posters can be seen on the walls.
Young Man: Who are you and why am I in a hospital waiting room?
The Mysterious Young Man leans forward from his seat on the couch.
Mysterious Young Man: My name is Marcus. Marcus Williams. As for the second question, this is not a hospital room. Now grab a seat, Party Boy.
Full body image of the Young Man as he shows anger from Marcus’s comments.
Young Man: Will you stop calling me “Party Boy”? My name is Dante!
.Marcus (OP): Alright “Dante”; would you kindly grab a seat now?
Panel shows Dante sitting down on the seat next to Marcus. Marcus extends his arm to offer Dante a cigarette.
Marcus: Care for a smoke?
Dante: You know that shit will kill you right?
Marcus is seen putting the cigarette to his mouth.
Marcus: That should be the least of your concerns right now.
Dante (OP): Shouldn’t you be answering a few things like why we are in a waiting room and why I have a Skrillex Cut?
Panel shows both Marcus and Dante sitting on the couch. Marcus has his arm extended on the top of the couch.
Marcus: Here is the bad news Dante. We’re both dead and this is purgatory, we are awaiting the final judgment.
Panel shows both Marcus and Dante sitting on the couch. Dante has an expression of disbelief on his face.
Marcus: I beg your pardon?
Dante: Let me tell you why that is bull shit…
Panel shows a close up of Dante’s face as he still expresses disbelief.
Dante: There is no way in hell we are dead. If we were dead, we would not be sitting here talking in a fucking lobby. We would be rotting in the ground. This is just an elaborate prank. Even if this is purgatory, why are we the only two people here?
Panel shows Marcus taking a drag of his cigarette.
Marcus: I thought that too at first, but I found something that proves that we are dead.
Dante (OP): And what would be this “test” to prove our mortality?
Panel shows Dante and Marcus facing each other. Marcus is looking slightly downward.
Marcus: Let me see your arm.
Dante: What do you want with my arm?
Marcus: Just do it.
Panel shows Dante’s right arm with the sleeve rolled up to the elbow.
Dante: Ok… Here is my arm, now how does this prove we’re dead?
Marcus (OP): Just watch.
Panel shows both Marcus and Dante sitting on the couch. Marcus taking his cigarette and burns Dante by extinguishing it on his arm.
Panel shows Dante standing up, holding his arm in pain.
Dante: Ouch!!! Why the fuck did you burn me, you psychotic motherfucker?!?
Panel shows Marcus calmly relighting his cigarette with a match.
Marcus: Check your arm Dante.
Panel shows Dante looking at his arm where Marcus burned him. He has a face of expressing shock.
Dante: The burn… It’s gone. What in the hell?
Marcus (OP): You can feel pain here, but any wounds you get heal almost instantaneously. This is not a joke. We are dead.
Panel shows Dante walking around the room panicking, while Marcus is sitting on the couch, smoking his cigarette calmly. A caption reads “Ten minutes later”.
Dante: This isn’t real… This isn’t real….
Marcus: And here comes the five stages of grief. There is good old denial. Next up should be anger…
Dante: Shut the fuck up Marcus!
Panel shows a close up of Dante showing fear. Marcus begins to speak.
Marcus: Next should be bargaining if I’m correct, then the sudden depression.
Dante: There has to be someone I can talk to. Maybe I can make a deal with someone…. Oh what’s the point? Fuck….I’m dead…I’m going to hell.
Panel shows Dante sitting back down on the couch next to Marcus.
Marcus: Finally we come to the last stage, acceptance.
Dante: Can I have that cigarette now?
Marcus: Sure, menthol alright?
The panel shows Dante and Marcus sitting on the couch. Dante can be seen lighting the cigarette.
Dante: So this is death….
Marcus: Pretty much.
Dante: Where did you get these cigarettes anyway? My pockets are empty.
Panel shows a vintage cigarette dispenser between two cushioned chairs. The dispenser reads in neon lettering “Infini-Smokes” and has the following flavors: Regular, Menthol, Menthol Lights, Lights, Ultra-Lights, and “Other”.
Marcus: See that dispenser over there? It dispenses an infinite amount of cigarettes, and I mean Infinite. I have been through at least eleven packs of menthol.
The panel goes back to Dante and Marcus sitting on the couch smoking their respective cigarettes.
Dante: So what exactly is the “Other” flavor?
Marcus: I don’t know and I do not want to find out.
The panel shows Dante taking a drag from his cigarette.
Dante: You still have not explained why I have a Skrillex haircut.
The panel now shows Marcus as he prepares to answer Dante’s questions.
Marcus: Here is the thing; while you can feel pain that is not your body. Apparently in purgatory, your soul will manifest itself into a representation of your inner self while your physical body will remain on earth. Apparently, you liked to party.
The panel shows both Dante and Marcus sitting on the couch.
Dante: I am… or I was a college student at University of Concordia. I had a 3.81 GPA, majoring in marketing. The only partying I did was when I went to concerts.
Marcus: I guess that you had repressed your need to party. So that is why you probably have a ‘Skrillex’ cut. I mean hell, I haven’t had a shaved head since I was twelve. Anyway, I went to the University of Pittsburgh, trying to major in graphic design.
The panel shows Dante showing an expression of confusion.
Dante: Wait a minute… How do you know all of this?
The panel shows Marcus reaching to the table in front of them to grab an object that resembles an IPad.
Marcus: This device explains what happens when people die, why we look like this, and what will eventually happen. It also allows you to observe anything happening on earth at this current moment. But you cannot look yourself or your immediate family up for some reason.
Face down look at the IPad-like device, sitting in Marcus’s hands.
Marcus: Watch this.
IPad-like device: Hello Marcus. How can I be of service?
The panel has Dante showing a facial reaction of slight shock at hearing the device.
Dante: How does it know your name?
Marcus (OP): It recognizes whoever grabs it. Want a look?
The panel shows Dante holding the device in his hand.
Device: Hello Dante. How can I be of service today?
Dante: Umm. Can you tell me what exactly are you?
Full page image of the device as it describes what it is and how it works.
Device: I am called the Oculus Device Version 8.62, created by the heavenly powers to provide information to all souls, good and bad. I am more than capable of viewing both the mortal and ethereal realms in live feed, accessing the internet, and providing conversation and insight to the afterlife and its inhabitants.
Panel shows Dante looking down at the Oculus device with a confused expression.
Dante: If you can get ‘live’ feed of any realm, then why can’t we look up ourselves or our families?
Oculus (OP): In several cases, the vision of the deceased’s relatives can cause traumatic stress leading to general unpleasantness which would disturb the other souls in purgatory. As for searching for yourself, you are here.
Panel shows Dante looking at Marcus with an expression that reads “Really?”
Marcus: Apparently, the Oculus is a wise ass.
Oculus: Do not make me hurt you Marcus.
The panel shows Dante taking a drag of his cigarette as he looks at the Oculus.
Dante: Alright then… How come we cannot remember how we died?
Marcus (OP): You can’t remember too?
Dante: Yeah, I can only remember a day before.
The panel shows both Dante and Marcus looking at the Oculus.
Oculus: In some cases, the moment of death for the deceased was either traumatic or painful. In order to keep the deceased calm during their time in purgatory, the powers above and below have decided that it was best that the memory of death be erased.
The panel shows the Oculus device sitting in Dante’s lap.
Dante (OP): Can you at least tell us why we are the only two people in this lobby?
Oculus: I do not know.
The panel shows Marcus leaning back on the couch smoking.
Marcus: A tablet computer capable of seeing everything in the universe and we somehow managed to ask a question that it does not know the answer to. Do we get a trophy or something?
Oculus (OP): I simply mean that I do not know when the powers have you two isolated in this single room.
Split page with two panels. The top panel shows a window slide opening. The bottom panel shows a demonic woman who appears to be in her young forties looking at a handful of paperwork.
Demonic Woman: Marcus Thomas Williams and Dante Jacob Contes. Your case handler will see you now.
End of Chapter 1.