RECENTLY I mentioned Gerard Way's excellent Umbrella Academy trade paperback and it reminded me of a script I wrote last year called MONGO: MUSIC CRITIC. It was written for Natalie Sandells to illustrate and the idea was that we were going to submit it for publication to Alan Grant's new Wasted comic (www.wastedcomic.com).
Busy on other stuff, Nat never got around to working on the story so I thought I may as well post the four-page script here. The story features Mongo, a monstrous-looking alien who is both a Venusian warlord and music critic, turning up at Glastonbury to pass justice on a band not entirely unlike My Chemical Romance...
MONGO: MUSIC CRITIC (four pages)
By Andy Winter
Make room for a credits box somewhere on here, which reads: MONGO: MUSIC CRITIC in “MUSIC! MAYHEM! MONGO!” and then the usual artist and writer creds.
1) Exterior – night. We’re at the Glastonbury Festival. Scores of ghastly young people are throwing themselves about in a decidedly un-coordinated manner. They think this is “dancing” – I, and everyone over the age of 19, beg to differ. Emo rock gods, MY CHEMICAL TOILET, are “rocking” the festival’s main Pyramid stage with their winning combination of piss-weak metal and whining, woe-is-me lyrics. The horrible little shits.
Let’s make this first panel an establishing shot – looking down on the stage and the massive crowd from above.
CAPTION #1: The Glastonbury Festival.
CAPTION #2: Packed to the gills with noise and young people.
CAPTION #3: In the name of sanity, bring back National Service and the birch!
2) Close up of MY CHEMICAL TOILET, in the middle of their set. They are, of course, an amusing send up of rubbish American "emo" band My Chemical Romance, so feel free to make your visual interpretation of the band as caricatured and gratuitously unpleasant as you like. They deserve it.
CAPTION: Emo rock gods My Chemical Toilet are midway through their set…
LEAD SINGER (singing): I’m dead and the world has turned a nasty shade of black, I’m dead and my cat is high on crack.
3) Close up of the crowd. Several especially vile emo-fixated youngsters are moshing about to the appalling din emanating from the stage. But one of them – a ridiculous-looking teenage boy – is standing stock still, looking directly up in the air.
4) Close up of the boy. He’s now pointing at something he can see in the sky immediately above him and the crowd.
EMO BOY: LOOK!
5) Big panel. We’re looking up at a massive alien spaceship hovering above the crowd. The crowd panics as well it should. Mongo’s on board, and he’s here to kick ass and chew gum... and he’s all out of gum!
1) The spaceship has landed in the middle of the throng, directly in front of the Pyramid stage. The crowd has scattered but many of them are squashed under the craft’s massive, extraterrestrial bulk. Take that indolent, useless youth of today!
2) A door on the side of the spaceship has flipped open and Mongo appears, with his gratifyingly huge alien blaster thingy slung across his shoulder on a strap.
3) Mongo floats out into the air towards the stage.
4) Through some kind of portable alien loudspeaker system, he addresses the band, who have remained on stage clutching their instruments and looking frightened. They look up at him, still floating in the air.
MONGO: I am Mongo – Venusian warlord and music critic. You shall now continue playing.
5) The band look at each other, puzzled and scared. They’re not sure what to do.
6) Mongo bellows at them.
The top six panels on this page should be a kind of mini-comic all of their own as we cut back and forth between Mongo and My Chemical Toilet. It should take up about half the page, I reckon. Maybe two banks of three.
1) The band start playing again.
LEAD SINGER (singing): I heard a rumour that you’ve got a tumour…
2) Cut back to Mongo – he wears an inscrutable expression as he scribbles into a notebook that he has taken out.
3) Back to the band giving it their all on stage.
LEAD SINGER (singing): ...but there’s no way you can ever be, as sick as me, because...
4) Back to Mongo with the same expression on his face as he scribbles away furiously.
5) Back to the band.
LEAD SINGER (singing): ...my cancer has cancer, and it hurts so bad, my cancer has cancer and the pain is driving me mad…
6) Back to Mongo, who has now finished scribbling. He holds his notebook and pen in one of his hands.
7) The band stop.
8) The lead singer addresses Mongo.
LEAD SINGER: So, er, what did you think?
1) Mongo reads from his notebook.
MONGO: Your lyrics are morbid and melancholy, your tunes repetitive, unimaginative and hugely derivative. Your musicianship is limited, your image ridiculous – and you have the on-stage charisma of a moon rock…
2) Mongo smiles a slightly scary, not-to-be-trusted smile.
MONGO: ...I rather liked it.
3) The lead singer looks up at Mongo with a hopeful, optimistic expression on his face.
LEAD SINGER: R-really?
4) Mongo scowls – he looks scary.
5) Mongo blasts the band with his enormous gun.
MONGO: Rating: one star out of five. Sentence: death!
6) We see the band’s ashes on the stage and the spaceship in the background taking off.
CAPTION: Musical justice is served!