Ms. CEO and the Value Perceiver Issue# 1: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

The first of Ms. CEO’s adventures in the dog-eat-dog world of business.

Ms. CEO and the Value Perceiver
Issue #1: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

written by Angie Spoto
Page One
Splash page with large long panel on top and small panels below. Title scrolled atop the first long panel.

PANEL 1: Ms. CEO, wearing a black pantsuit, sits at her desk. She has enticing, dark brown curls and a pale complexion, but the seriousness in her eyes and posture betray no vain interest in her sex appeal. Behind her, through the expansive wall of windows, we see Chicago skyscrapers. Clearly, we’re up high. A plaque on Ms. CEO’s desk reads, “Jenna Moorehead, CEO of Moorehead Holdings Inc.” The phone on the desk is ringing.
SOUND EFFECT: Brrring, bring

PANEL 2: Ms. CEO pushes a button on the phone.
MS. CEO: Yes?
SECRETARY (MALE): Ms. Moorehead, Sarah Spoto from merchandising is here to see you.
MS. CEO: Go ahead and let her in, David.

PANEL 3: David, a cute blond young man, well dressed, opens the door for Sarah Spoto, the Value Perceiver. In this panel we are viewing the scene from outside Ms. CEO’s office, which we only catch a glimpse of through the door.
DAVID: Go right in, Ms. Spoto.
Page Two
PANEL 1: The VP closes the door behind her. She’s dressed casually and more colorfully than Ms. CEO. She wears black Capri pants and a purple silk button down with a tan and black Ferragamo silk scarf. Her shoes are classic Ferragamo black bow flats. She is shorter than Ms. CEO, with short brown hair and an olive complexion. She is lively and on-task.
MS. CEO: Please tell me you’re just here to report a decrease in employee productivity.
THE VP: I wish that were all. I’ve found ample evidence to suggest Ceiling’s got spies planted in our midst.

PANEL 2: Close up on Ms. CEO. Her eyebrows are knitted together. She’s standing powerfully and leaning into the desk with her fists balled up and planted on either side of her. Her hair looks just a little more unruly.
MS. CEO: I feared it’d come to this. We shouldn’t fire them, should we? They’re Moorehead employees after all, and it would be against company policy…

PANEL 3: Side view of the VP, standing with her arms crossed in front of Ms. CEO’s desk, and Ms. CEO staring at each other.
THE VP: It’s our duty to uphold company policy. But we can’t let this slide.
MS. CEO: Yes. We need to figure out what Ceiling is up to, and stop him before it’s too late. He’s notorious for cutting corners, and when he finds out our secret business model, he’s sure to take it for himself—
THE VP: and create a monster, a poorly run insincere company based on a stolen model. No! We’ve got to stop this.

PANEL 4: Close up on Ms. CEO.
MS. CEO: Looks like Jenna Moorehead and Sarah Spoto are taking work off early today.

PANEL 5: Close up on the VP. A strand of hair has fallen out of place and into her eyes.
THE VP: and Ms. CEO and the Value Perceiver are checking in early!
Page Three
Each of the following panels are cut in half by a jagged line, representing Ms. CEO on the left and the VP on the right.

PANEL 1L: Close up on profile of Ms. CEO.
PANEL 1R: Close up on profile of the VP.

PANEL 2L: Close up on what looks like money woven together.
PANEL 2R: Close up on one of the VP’s shoes, which has grown razor-thin heel.
CAPTION 1: Show!

PANEL 3L: Close up on credit cards layered together in a rounded shape.
PANEL 3R: Close up on the Ferragamo scarf, which is now braided into a lasso.

PANEL 4L: Close up on part of Ms. CEO’s arm, which is bent at her elbow, suggesting hand on hip, and half of her torso. She is now wearing a tighter-fitting pant suit. It looks to be made of spandex.
PANEL 4R: Close up on the same part of the VP. Her silk top is also now spandex, as are her black pants.
CAPTION: 1: The!

PANEL 5 (long panel at the bottom): Ms. CEO in full attire: spandex pant suit, money cape, credit card shield, a head band with a dollar sign in the middle. She stands beside the VP: spandex suit, scarf lasso, kick ass heels. They both stand in front of the glass windows.
MS. CEO: Money!
Page Four
PANEL 1: Ms. CEO is looking out at the street below. The VP stands beside her.
MS. CEO: Alright, Value Perceiver, what’s our strategy?
THE VP: I know which employees are Ceiling spies. We follow one, and he’ll lead us straight to Ceiling’s secret headquarters.

PANEL 2: Bird’s eye view of the street below.

PANEL 3: Zoom in to get a closer view of the street. We begin to make out the features of people and cars.

PANEL 4: Zoom in further onto a man walking down the sidewalk. He’s got red hair and wears a white button down with a blue tie.

PANEL 5: Ms. CEO and the VP are hiding in an ally, their backs pressed against the brick wall. The red-haired man walks passed.

PANEL 6: The red-haired man walks into a movie theater. Ms. CEO and the VP look at each other.
MS. CEO: This might be it.
THE VP: Or else he just wanted to catch a movie at his lunch break.

PANEL 7: View inside the theater of Ms. CEO and the VP stepping inside. The lobby is dim. A cardboard cutout of James Bond holding a gun casts an eerie shadow across the floor.
MS. CEO: He walked through that door.
THE VP: Ceiling’s got the upper ground. Let’s see if we can gain some ground ourselves.

PANEL 8: The VP places two fingers to her temple. Her eyes are narrowed, and she is frowning.
Page Five
PANEL 1: This panel has squiggly edges. We see dull shapes of what looks like a man talking to another man behind a desk. The words are scrolled across the entire panel, so we cannot see much of the image behind.
DISEMBODIED VOICE 1: I’ve located the plans, Mr. Ceiling.
DISEMBODIED VOICE 2: Good, good. We shall enact them by tonight and announce our new business model to our stockholders by midnight.

PANEL 2: Close up on the VP, eyes wide.

PANEL 3: Ms. CEO is crouching behind the James Bond cutout with the VP. Ms. CEO has her arm around the VP’s shoulders.
MS. CEO: What did you find?
THE VP: Ceiling’s got our model!

PANEL 4: Ms. CEO is standing with her hands on her hips. The money sign on her headband glistens.
MS. CEO: We’ll show him how an efficient business is run!

PANEL 5: Mr. Glass Ceiling is sitting as his desk, smiling and with fingers steepled. He has a long face and closely cropped hair. He wears a suit with a  red tie.

PANEL 6: View from inside Mr. Ceiling’s office. The door is breaking open, splintering. We see Ms. CEO’s shield breaking through the door.

PANEL 7: Mr. Ceiling is standing up behind his desk and holding a tube of papers that contain the plans. He looks taken aback. The red-haired man is standing off to the side. He especially looks startled and frightened.
Page Six
PANEL 1: Ms. CEO and the Value Perceiver are standing in front of Mr. Ceiling’s desk. Ms. CEO is in her trademark hands on hips pose. The VP is swinging her lasso scarf above her head.
MS. CEO: Hand over the plans, Glass Ceiling, or things are gonna get messy!

PANEL 2: Mr. Ceiling has his arms crossed, and he’s smiling.
CEILING: You could have been a polite young lady and called to make an appointment. No need to burst through the door.

PANEL 3: Close up on the VP, her eyes are narrowed angrily.
THE VP: Don’t you dare disrespect us, Ceiling. You know very well what we’re capable of.

PANEL 4: The red-haired man pulls out a gun and aims it at Ms. CEO.

PANEL 5: The VP’s lasso wraps around the gun.

PANEL 6: The gun smashes into Ceiling’s desk with such power that the desk folds in the middle, sending splinters everywhere. Mr. Ceiling shields his eyes with an arm.
THE VP (off panel): The plans, Ceiling. Now!

PANEL 7: Ceiling looks down at his broken desk and smiles. The red haired man now holds the plans.
CEILING 1: ha ha ha
CEILING 2: You ladies sure are a bunch of fun. Now what makes you think I’d hand over the plans to you two?

PANEL 8: Close up on Ms. CEO. Her headband is glistening.
MS. CEO: Because we’re the only ones powerful enough to stand up to you. And those plans are ours!
Page Seven
PANEL 1: Close up on Ceiling, smirking. His eyes have darkened.
CEILING 1: I can’t entrust you with these plans. You just simply don’t have the innate strength…logic…intuition to enact them properly.
CEILING 2: You must see where I’m coming from.

PANEL 2: Ms. CEO and the VP are looking at each other, concerned. The VP’s lasso hangs loosely at her side. Ms. CEO’s shield is also hanging loosely.
THE VP: We don’t…
MS. CEO: Maybe he’s…

PANEL 3: Close up on Ms. CEO’s face. Her eyebrows are knitted together. She’s frowning.
MS. CEO: …right. We did see a decrease in productivity last quarter.

PANEL 4: Close up on Mr. Ceiling, his arms folded smugly across his chest.
CEILING: That’s right. Just leave the men’s work to the men.

PANEL 5: Close up again on Ms. CEO’s face.
MS. CEO: Yes, the men’s work…to the…

PANEL 6 (this panel has rounded edges, it’s a memory panel): A young Ms. CEO smiles while is handed a diploma.

PANEL 7 (rounded): A slightly older Ms. CEO shakes hands with a man in a suit.
MAN: Congratulations, Ms. Moorehead, the company is proud to have you.

PANEL 8 (rounded): David the secretary opens the door to Ms. CEO’s office and ushers her in.
DAVID: Welcome to your new office, chief!
Page Eight
PANEL 1: Ms. CEO’s eyes widen and she scowls fiercely.
MS. CEO: No! I’ve worked too hard to get here!

PANEL 2: Ms. CEO throws her credit card shield at Ceiling. Her curls are wild and her cape flows out behind her. We see the VP in the background. She looks like she’s nursing a headache.

PANEL 3: The shield slams into Ceiling’s stomach and sends him into the wall behind.

PANEL 4: The VP grabs the plans in the tube from the red-haired man who is attempting to make a break for it.

PANEL 5: MS. CEO stands over Ceiling, who is lying in the rubble of his desk.
MS. CEO: I almost believed you, Ceiling, but your sticky words are no threat to a strong woman like myself.

PANEL 6: Ms. CEO looks over her shoulder at the VP, who is holding the plans.
MS. CEO: Got the plans, Value Perceiver?
THE VP: They’re all ours now, Ms. CEO.

PANEL 7: Ms. CEO looks down at her watch.
MS. CEO: Good, we have just enough time to make the two o’ clock meeting.

PANEL 8: Ms. CEO steps through the broken door and looks over her shoulder at Ceiling.
MS. CEO: I hope you learned your lesson, Ceiling. Never mess with Ms. CEO!
Page Nine
PANEL 1: Ms. CEO is back in her office. She is bent over paperwork. It’s a normal day in the office. The phone on her desk in ringing.
SOUND EFFECT: Brrring, bring

PANEL 2: Ms. CEO pushes the button on the phone.
MS. CEO: Yes, David?
DAVID: Ms. Moorehead, Sarah Spoto is here to see you.
MS. CEO: Tell her to just walk right through that door.

PANEL 2: The VP walks through Ms. CEO’s office door. She’s looking grim.

PANEL 3: Pull out to view the entirety of Ms. CEO’s office from a semi-bird’s eye view.
MS. CEO: Please tell me this just another productivity issue.
THE VP: I’m sorry, I can’t do that.

PANEL 4: Close up of the VP, frowning.

PANEL 5: Close up of the VP smiling, and revealing a bottle of champagne that was hidden behind her back.
THE VP: No problems at all to report!

PANEL 6: MS. CEO stands up at her desk and smiles widely.
MS. CEO: Thank goodness.

PANEL 7: Ms. CEO and the VP toast.
THE VP: To breaking the Glass Ceiling.
MS. CEO: To shattering the Glass Ceiling!

PANEL 8: Close up on the phone ringing.
SOUND EFFECT: Brrring, bring

PANEL 9: Ms. CEO’s headband, which is partially sticking out of a desk drawer, glistens.

How to Make a Comic from Script to Print

Sarah Spoto │Contributing writer.
So, one person writes and draws a comic…right? And everything is drawn by hand…isn’t it?
You wouldn’t be alone if you were unsure about how a comic is actually made. Recently, I attended a lecture at the Chicago Comic Con that cleared up a lot of misconceptions about creating comics or graphic novels. Here’s what I learned.
Comics are written in a sort of assembly line process.
1. To start, the writer must first write the story. The script resembles a movie screen play. There are two generally accepted scripts: the Marvel method and the Traditional full script method. For the Marvel method, the writer will break the action down page-by-page. She provides a general description of what is happening on a page. This method gives the artist greater autonomy over how to execute the story. For the Tradition full-script , the artist describes the action panel-by-panel. For this method, the writer provides a high level of detail to guide the artist.
Both Marvel and DC have samples of scripts to download. Writers also offer samples of their work on their websites. Another resource for scripts is the book Panel One, which provides examples of real comic scripts. Another suggestion is to write to comic companies to send scripts.
2. After the story is written, the script is given to the penciler, who then draws what the writer has described. Before computers, the penciler would pass the comic on to the letterer. Traditionally, the letterer adds the text to the comic by hand. However, today the lettering is done on the computer usually by the inker. The comic is traditionally drawn 66% larger that actual size of the final comic.
3. The inker scans the pages and inks over the pencil. This is process is usually done now on the computer with programs like Photoshop.
4. In the fourth step, the colorist either colors in the Xerox copy of the comic or colors the comic in digitally. Photoshop is a common software for coloring.
5. Finally, the comic can be printed.
How can writers or artists get their work published?
As a writer, it can be very tough to break into the comic industry. Breaking in is actually easier for artists. For submission, writers should submit a paragraph of an idea as a sample. Writers really must sell their idea to find success.
When submitting, avoid the big guys, Marvel and DC. Instead visit your local comic shop and look at the independent comics for smaller, independent comic companies.
Webcomics are also on the rise. Publishing independently on the web is a good way for writers and artists to get their comics read.
Sarah is an art and business student who enjoys the occasional graphic novel and the more than occasional Marvel hero movie.

Add This To Your Bookshelf

Panel One: Comic Book Scripts by Top Writers
Tell someone you’re writing a graphic novel, and you’ll probably hear a response like this, “I didn’t know you could draw!” And then you’ll have to explain, “Actually, I’m writing a graphic novel. A graphic novel script.” Show them Panel One, which includes graphic novel scripts from numerous writinger such as Neil Gaimen. Graphic novel scripts are harder to come by than screenplays, so Panel One is a valuable addition to the new comic writer’s bookshelf.

Add This To Your Bookshelf

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
by Scott McCloud

In Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, Scott McCloud’s passion and reverence of the age-old art form of comic writing is apparent. In an easy to read comic book style, he breaks down what exactly a comic is, what’s been done with comics, and how comics may change in the future. This book is a great reference for those new to writing and drawing comics.

Why should you add Understanding Comics to your bookshelf?     
  • It’s like reading a comic book. Really, McCloud wrote the book in comic book style!
  • It challenges your current perception of comics, leading you to think of comics’ potential.
  • Beginners and the experienced will benefit.

Read a Comic Book, Seriously, It Might Change How You Write

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I hate novels! I’d never read one.” Probably not because the term “novel” is an umbrella term, clumping together Agatha Christie mysteries with Ender’s Game science fiction with Jodi Picoult “chick lit.” But I’ve bet you’ve heard this phrase before, “I hate comic books! I’d never read one.”
 Marvel superhero comic books, Vertigo Fable tales based on myth and fairy tale, and Japanese manga romance are all comic books. Doesn’t this leave the smart reader wondering, isn’t the term “comic book” like “novel” just as all encompassing? We don’t condemn the medium of novels because we don’t like “chick lit,” one of the many genres a novel can take. But, we see it all the time, comic books are often condemned in just this way, and by condemning them, we’re denying ourselves the pleasures of both reading and writing in this unique form.
Perhaps because of the stigma against comic books, I’d lived eighteen years without ever reading one. I grew up surrounded by books. My dad would read Nancy Drew novels to my sisters and I before we went to bed, I devoured The Lord of the Rings trilogy in a single week when I was in middle school, and I reluctantly read Thomas Hardy and Milton in my college literature classes. But not once did I read a comic book. By seventh grade, I was dead set on following my dream of becoming a novelist. I had been writing since first grade when my mom bought me a journal with kittens on the front, yet by college I felt something was missing. I loved to write, to create ideas and bring them to life, creating something out of nothing. But I wasn’t reading very much anymore. And reading for school doesn’t count, because, honestly, I never finished Tess of the d’Urbervilles, or The Jungle, or All Quite on the Western Front, or The Canterbury Tales
And then one summer I fell in love with the Iron Man movie, and the can of worms was opened. The new movies based on comic books metaphorically snatched the James Joyce novel from my reluctant fingers, and Shazam! replaced it with Origins, my first ever comic book. Comic books were a form of reading (and writing) I’d never experienced before. The visuals combined with words, an emphasis on characterization and plot, not on elevated language or fancy metaphor. Comic books contained the best elements of a novel, and, I’d argue, could represent the human condition as well as The Great Gatsby, all while visually involving the reader, pulling her along on a more compelling adventure. I decided to write a graphic novel for my senior thesis this coming year. I’ll take the traditional novel I’d been struggling to write for nearly three years, and write it as a graphic novel script. Just a month ago, I pulled up a blank Word document and began writing my novel as a graphic novel for the first time. I couldn’t believe how rapidly my thoughts propelled themselves onto the screen. I was writing more than I’d written in months, and I was enjoying it!  I’d found my new form, shook loose my musty old views of what writing should be, and took a step closer to finding myself as a writer.  I wish someone had told me earlier that it was ok to read comics, and perfectly acceptably awesome to write them

I’d like to challenge anyone who hasn’t read a comic book yet to do so. Try to push aside the prejudices you perhaps have against comic books. Remember, you’d never say “I hate novels!” Right? So don’t clump all comic books together. Explore the different genres within the graphic writing medium and you might (probably) find a new favorite way to read.

Add This to Your Bookshelf

Writing for Comics & Graphic Novels 

by Peter David

Writing for Comics is the first “how to write comics” book that I read as I began my adventure into the world of comic book writing. I recommend it for both those who are just starting out or for seasoned writers who are looking for an enjoyable book to read (Although, honestly, a very experienced writer will certainly get less out of it than a newbie).

Why should you add Writing for Comics & Graphic Novels to your bookshelf?

  • advice direct from an expert (Peter David’s been in the biz for quite a while, and he’s written some big-name comics. Hulk, for example)
  • easy to read format
  • writing exercises included
  • shows scripts and the resulting comic
  • explanation of basic writing techniques (characterization, plot, etc.)
  • introduction to comic book-specific writing techniques (scripting, villains, continuity)
  • information about getting published