As we noted last week, Kevin only got to finish the first twenty-two pages of art for this story. In a certain sense, I'm happy with where that initial issue's-worth of material leaves off, but...
It's not like I didn't finish writing the story. Back in the day, I used to finish everything.
In any event, this being my blog, about my work, I'm gonna go ahead and publish the rest of the story here. There are only a few more chapters, so stick around.
The Adventures of Hiro Arturian, Samurai
Chapter 3: The Tomb of Yomoyuri Strato
Page 1 – Splash Page
Hiro is standing in front of a largish Japanese/Shinto temple that is the tomb of Yomoyuri Strato. He has his hand on his katana’s hilt and looks ready for battle.
Here are some temple pics from Google, for reference:
And here's one of the inside:
Page 2 – 5 Panels
|Layout: Chapter 3, Page 2|
2: Inside the temple, Hiro walks in a dark hallway. An even darker shadow has fallen behind him (not his shadow, but a hint that something is following him).
Ghostly floating text (spread out throughout the panel):
You are not worthy…
3: Hiro turns fast with his hand again on his sword.
4: A giant SKELETAL WARRIOR stands in front of Hiro. It carries a large sword (bastard sword) and looks ready to fight.
SW: You are not worthy. You may not pass.
5: (Inset to 4) Close up of Hiro's hand drawing his sword.
H: Not worthy, huh?
Page 3 - 5 Panels
The idea with this fight is that it’s a squash. Hiro is gonna kick ass. We want to see his confidence and then arrogance here. That’s gonna be an issue in a minute. BTW, feel free to change this fight up as much as you want. There’s not much plotting in this thing at all.
|Layout: Chapter 3, Page 3|
2: Hiro turns his head fast. Two more skeletons are standing behind him.
3: Hiro is slashing through the midsection of another skeleton, and the force of the blow is scattering the bones in every direction. Lots of power and motion here.
4: Hiro blocks a strike from the last skeleton.
5: Hiro is kicking out the knee of this last skeleton’s leg. That is forcing the skeleton down into an almost kneeling position.
|Layout: Chapter 3, Page 4|
Page 4 - 5 Panels
1: The skeleton is down on all fours, and Hiro is lopping its head off.
2: Close-up of Hiro sheathing his sword.
3: Hiro is standing like a badass.
Hiro: Not worthy, indeed…
4: Hiro continues towards a vaguely glowing door at the end of the short hallway.
H: I have passed your test, Shogun. It is time for you to reveal your secrets.
5: Hiro stands in front of the tomb of Y. Strato. An ornate daisho sits on top of the tomb.
H: My duty demands it.
|The daisho is a powerful symbol of the samurai.|
Page 5 – 4 Panels
1: Similar shot to the last one on the last panel, Hiro stands in front of the tomb with the daisho on top of it. This should clearly be a place of spiritual power. While Hiro has been standing there, the spirit of Yomoyuri Strato has begun to seep forth. He is not yet a full spirit but is more like a smoky essence billowing up out of the shring.
Strato: Behold the fool… He defeats a few damned souls and proclaims himself worthy.
2: Strato is now a fully formed ghost. He towers above Hiro. He is older, wiser, more powerful, and he is dressed far more ornately.
Strato: What do you know of worthy, boy?
Strato: Your so-called duty is nothing to me.
4: Hiro bows before the Shogun. He is deferential, trying to win over a person he respects and whom he knows to be his elder and better.
H: I am samurai, great Shogun. I have pledged my life to—
Strato: Fool! You are samurai? YOU?! You are not fit to clean my boots. Even now you dream of your warm bed and willing wife.
Strato: I served my Emperor selflessly for three lifetimes! I am bushido! I am duty!
5: Strato dismisses Hiro with a wave of his hand or perhaps by turning his back on Hiro.
Strato: BEGONE! There is NOTHING for you here.
Page 6 – 5 panels
1: Hiro is deferential, perhaps even down on one knee even as Strato is refusing to look at him.
H: Great Shogun, I beseech you… An ancient evil has returned to this world, and no one who lives today knows how to—
2: Strato has just turned, and now he is angry. He cuts Hiro off with a chop of his hand.
Strato: Enough! You cry like a woman, boy.
Strato: It was your wizard summoned Shakushura, and YOU will have to find a way to defeat him.
Strato: Stand up! Face your fate like a man.
3: Hiro looks up, stunned as he finally begins to realize that his quest might actually fail.
Hiro: You cannot help me?
4: Strato is mocking here. Now he is toying with Hiro.
Strato: Cannot? No fool… I will not help you.
Strato: My sword--the Strato Viper--it could help you. But only a true samurai, a warrior whose life is pledged to service, can wield the Viper.
5: Now Strato is serious. He is pronouncing judgment on Hiro, and it is not funny.
Strato: You are not worthy.
Page 7 – 5 Panels
1: Hiro steps forward and grabs the Viper from it’s resting place in the daisho. To do this, he must walk through the disembodied spirit of Yomoyuri Strato, and we get the idea that this is rude.
H: You are wrong, Shogun. I am samurai.
2: Hiro holds the Viper in front of him. He looks at is seriously. He is ready to prove Strato wrong in every way.
H: And I WILL wield the Viper.
3: Hiro grabs the hilt of the Viper purposefully.
4: Hiro is trying to draw the Viper, but he cannot.
5: Now he is trying more desperately, and the spirit of Strato is looking down on him and laughing.
Strato: I told you, Hiro…
Strato: You are NOT WORTHY. Soon, you will die.
Strato: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
Page 8 – Splash Page
Establishing shot, medium long. Hiro is walking home dejectedly. He has the Strato Viper tucked into his sword belt above his own sword, but he feels like a failure, and he is seriously questioning his life’s calling. It’s a long road that he is on, and it stretches into the distance to the horizon. In the distance behind him, we can see the tomb of Yomoyuri Strato.
Hiro has a long way to walk in failure.