With spring officially upon us, I took the opportunity to clean up my laptop’s hard drive. It’s amazing how many files full of stories, ideas, and assignments I’ve amassed in the past two years as an MFA student. After organizing my stuff in a way that would make Mary Poppins teary with pride, I spotted a folder I had labeled “Old Stuff.” Everything I had written pre-Stonecoast had been placed into that folder prior to my first residency. I haven’t looked at any of the files in there since, so of course, I pulled a Pandora and opened the glittery box.
As I expected, some of the older stuff I wrote back in college is too embarrassing to share. However, I did stumble across something fun I wrote as an assignment during my time in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. I took a class called “Writing for Comics and Graphic Novels” with Nunzio DeFilippis, who is probably best known for his work on Marvel’s New Mutants. For this particular assignment, he asked the class to write a scene featuring multiple characters from an established comic book franchise. If you know anything about me, you’re probably aware that I’m a huge TMNT fanboy. 😀 Even though I wrote this scene back in 2009, I think it still holds up pretty well. I did a decent job in capturing the personalities of each character during my brief time in Mirage’s (now IDW’s) sandbox.
This is probably the closest I’ll ever get to writing an issue of TMNT, so I’m posting my script here just for the hell of it. Enjoy!
**Please note: I wrote this scene starting from Page 8, estimating where it would take place in an actual issue, which I titled “The Tests of Time.”**
A wide shot shows the TURTLES in their lair. LEONARDO and MICHELANGELO are sparring in the dojo area. DONATELLO is tinkering with the Turtle Van. RAPHAEL is nowhere to be seen.
1 CAPTION: Meanwhile, beneath the streets of New York City…
Zoom in on the sparring session between LEONARDO and MICHELANGELO. LEONARDO easily avoids a round-house kick from MICHELANGELO.
2 LEO: Where’s your focus?
3 LEO/linked: Even the lowliest Foot Soldier could have dodged that.
MICHELANGELO continues attacking LEONARDO, this time using his nunchucks. Again, LEONARDO easily dodges.
4 MIKEY: Hey, cut me some slack, fearless leader.
5 MIKEY/linked: I was up all night watching the Ultimate Godzilla Monster Marathon!
LEONARDO reverses an attack by MICHELANGELO and throws him against a brick wall.
6 SFX: THUD!
MICHELANGELO is on the ground, rubbing his head. LEONARDO stands over him, his arms crossed sternly, but he smirks with amusement.
7 MIKEY: You, sir, are just plain cruel.
8 LEO: Sensei may be out of town, but that’s no excuse for taking your training
LEONARDO walks away as MICHELANGELO picks up his nunchucks off the floor.
9 MIKEY/mumbling: Even with a solid night’s sleep, I still would’ve lost.
MICHELANGELO dramatically raises a clenched fist in mock anger.
10 MIKEY: He’s lucky I’m not Godzilla, or I would’ve squashed him into a turtle pancake!
11 LEO/off-panel: I heard that.
12 MIKEY: D’oh!
LEONARDO approaches DONATELLO by the Turtle Van. DONATELLO is wearing safety goggles as he works on a damaged door.
1 DON: Ah, hail the conquering hero!
2 DON/linked: Have you come to lend me a hand, now that the lair is free of villainy?
3 LEO: I’d be happy to help.
4 LEO/linked: AFTER we finish our training session.
DONATELLO is mortified and pleads with LEONARDO.
5 DON: Oh, c’mon, Leo. You can’t be serious. We practiced yesterday!
DONATELLO continues working on the Turtle Van, hammering away at the door.
6 DON: Besides, I need to make sure the Turtle Van is in tip-top shape just in case
we encounter a REAL threat.
7 DON/linked: Can’t you ask Raph instead?
8 LEO: No worries, Donnie. I was just kidding.
9 LEO/linked: I really did come over to help you out.
LEONARDO holds the door steady as DONATELLO tinkers away with a wrench.
10 LEO: Where IS Raph, anyway?
11 DON: Still in bed, I bet.
12 DON/linked: But I’m sure that bottle of sunshine will grace us with
his presence soon enough.
RENET appears in a glowing aura on the roof of the Turtle Van. LEONARDO and DONATELLO are leaping out of the way, while MICHELANGELO is watching the event from a distance, wide-eyed with shock. Papers and small bits of debris are swirling about. RENET has a concerned look on her face.
1 SFX: SWOOSH!
2 RENET: Oh gosh! I hope I’m in the right place!
RAPHAEL emerges from his room, a blanket draped around his back. He’s looking extremely grumpy.
1 RAPH: What the hell’s goin’ on?
2 RAPH/linked: Can’t a guy get some shut eye around here?
RAPHAEL notices RENET and the huge mess she has made in the center of the lair.
3 RAPH: You gotta be kiddin’ me.
All four TURTLES gather around RENET. She’s still standing on top of the Turtle Van.
4 MIKEY: Can’t you just use the doorbell instead of trashing our pad?
5 RENET: I’m, like, totally SORRY!
6 RENET/linked: But I’m in a real bind! Please, you guys have to
LEONARDO offers RENET his hand and guides her down the van’s roof using a step ladder.
7 DON: Last time we helped you, we ALMOST got stuck in the Cretaceous period.
8 MIKEY: And we ALMOST got eaten by a T-Rex!
RENET pleads with the TURTLES. She holds the Time Scepter in her hands.
9 RENET: I know, I know! But this time, it’s worse!
10 RAPH/grumbling: Ain’t no way it could be worse.
11 LEO: What’s happening?
The Time Scepter is starting to glow.
12 RENET: I’ll explain everything on the way. You guys just have to trust me!
13 RAPH: Aw cripes. I knew I should’ve stayed in bed.
14 MIKEY: Don’t say that, Raph.
15 MIKEY/linked: We could always use your ugly mug to ward off evil!
As RAPHAEL attempts to strangle MICHELANGELO, RENET and the TURTLES are covered
in the Time Scepter’s glow.
16 RAPH: I’m gonna get ya, smart ass!
RENET and the TURTLES disappear, leaving the lair empty and messy.
Wow, you’re still here? Thanks for reading. Keep making art, keep pushing forward. Happy spring!
Title Quote: “We are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We strike hard.. and fade away… into the night!” — From the first issue of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.