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Artist | Hobbyist | Digital Art
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Issue 1


By John A. Schelhaas






Draft 1.0 - June 3/2015

Draft 1.1 - April 6/2016

Draft 1.2 – started April 30/2016

Plot structure:

Protagonist: Gabriel (Gabe)

Supporting character: Dog (Loki), “The Old Man” (borderline anti-hero)

Antagonist: Dominic (Dom)

SETTING: Time: 2600 AD

PLACE: Begins on earth, quickly land on Brackish, the watery new world

CONFLICT (Problem between protagonist and antagonist):

INTERNAL CONFLICT: Gabe lives in a new world where “might makes right” and there is constant presence of violence and thievery. There are no laws; however Gabe feels a strong sense of a higher power/ presence in his life. He is often caught between survival of self, and making a morally right decision.

EXTERNAL CONFLICT: Conflict with Dom, as well as with the planet itself. The planet is a character, seeking to destroy its inhabitants.

RESOLUTION: Defeats Dom, forgives him, cannot save him, but tries, which brings him some peace (see next)

TURNING POINT/CLIMAX: Faceoff with Dom, great battle between two ships ensues, defeats Dom with brute force, Dom surrenders, does not kill him, as Dom is piloting vessel away, the leviathan attacks both vessels, Dom is killed, Gabe is unable to save his enemy, despite his best efforts. Gabe does pursue leviathan, killing it and hauling its head back to a large atoll and forcefully mounting it on the city wall.





The character or their world is in a state of stagnation.




“Pre” page of the title “CRANKBAIT”

“Pre” Page of Chapter 1, dark water, light dancing through the surface. Above “chapter one” is the phrase

 “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after...”


PAGE 1 (will be on right side)

Open with a full page shot from outer space of earth, with the oceans visibly greenish/black in color. Text says “2600 AD…”



Panel 1: Shot of a large shipyard from the outside “Bang, Clang”

Panel 2: Inside shot of shipyard, with small person on the scaffolding in perilous position

Panel 3: main character Gabe twisting wrench and working hard, below is pictured a foreman looking way up

Panel 4: Shot of Foreman yelling




Panel 1: Gabe looking down, hanging like monkey


FOREMAN – Looks good, but you better wear your safety harness! I don’t want to explain another death to my boss!


Panel 2: Foreman looking up again

FOREMAN – Come see me when you’re done! I have some interesting info for you!

GABE – 10-4!

Panel 3: Gabe walking to office of Foreman

Panel 4: Gabe opens door looking at Foreman on phone

GABE – You wanted to see me sir?




A scene that shows how [NAME] is [STASIS STATE].



Panel 1: Foreman puts phone down

FOREMAN – Yes Gabe, please sit down

Panel 2: Foreman sits with fingers crossed across table from Gabe.

FOREMAN - "You know Gabriel, once in a while somebody comes along and they are..." long pause…

Panel 3: Gabe face

GABE – Yes sir... are what?

Panel 4: Forman face, serious looking, pointing at Gabe

FOREMAN – They are an anomaly… they put their heads down, they work hard, and along with the work ethic, comes raw talent

Panel 5: Gabe face smiling

GABE – Thank you sir, kind words

Panel 6: Foreman’s arms in the air, papers flying

FOREMAN – AND a generally nice guy! How is that possible!



Panel 1: Gabe smiling awkwardly

GABE – Sir why did you call me to your office?

Panel 2: Foreman sticking finger in Gabe’s face

FOREMAN - You’re too good for this place, and as you know, I can’t pay you what your worth to this company.

Panel 3: Gabe smirking

GABE – Sir I’m happy here, I enjoy what I do, I love working on ships, and I don’t need money to make me happy

Panel 4: Foreman banging fist on table

FOREMAN – STOP! Stop being so over-the-top humble! Just last week you single-handedly diagnosed the SS Halifax, Machined a custom part for it…

Panel 5: Foreman screaming




Panel 1: Foreman covering eyes, pretending to be exhausted

FOREMAN – All in only 28 hours…

Panel 2: Gabe looking at foreman

GABE - Did you just call me here to flatter me sir?

Panel 3: Foreman pointing up.

FOREMAN - Have you any idea what is going on up there?

Panel 4: Gabe puzzled look

GABE – You want me to fix your ceiling sir?

Panel 5: Foreman with excited look.

FOREMAN – What? No, I’m talking about WAY up there, past the warp gates…

GABE - No Sir, I’m not up to speed.



Panel 1: Foreman with fingers pointing together, looking like he wants to make a deal.

FOREMAN – How much would you say you like building ships Gabriel?

Panel 2: Gabe with arms open smiling

GABE - I love everything about it

Panel 3: Foreman looking down at table thinking before speaking.

Panel 4: Foreman looking up at Gabe with suspense

FOREMAN - There is a planet… up there, covered completely in water.

Panel 5: Foreman pointing at Gabe across table

FOREMAN – There is a strong demand for people like you there. Visionaries, critical thinkers, hard workers… I think your stifled here Gabe, I think it’s time to test the limit of your potential.

Panel 6: Full shot of foreman smiling, arms open like a salesman

GABE – What is the planet’s name?




Panel 1: Gabe looking puzzled

GABE - Brackish? Haven’t heard of that one… What kind of work is there exactly?

Panel 2: Foreman with feet on desk now, arms behind head

FOREMAN – From what I hear it is very recently settled, no laws, it’s like the wild west up there. Full of pioneers chasing big salaries. I can’t promote you because of your lack of schooling, but I doubt that matters up there.

Panel 3: Gabe pondering, foreman arms open “showing” an imaginary something.

GABE – What is the draw to the planet exactly?

FOREMAN – I hear there is LIFE in the oceans up there! There hasn’t been a taste of seafood on this planet for… for… well I’ve never tasted seafood have you?

Panel 4: Gabe with arms up

GABE – I’m sorry sir, but if they found alien life, I think the world would know about it by now.

Panel 5. Foreman looking a little upset, with thumb pointing out window to ocean

FOREMAN – Well the rumor is there are rich folk EATING real seafood. And it sure ain’t coming from our toxic seas.

Panel 6: Foreman with arms out

FOREMAN – All I’m saying is you should go check it out, the ad in the paper I read said “Shipbuilders wanted” and I thought of you.



Panel 1: GABE – Thank you sir, but why did you think of me?

FOREMAN - Because I’ve been stuck like you once, then one day somebody gave me a big break, like I’m giving you.

Panel 2: FOREMAN - I know a passport is expensive, so I’ll foot half the bill. What do you say Gabe?

Panel 3: GABE - Half?! That’s a generous offer sir but,-

Panel 4: FOREMAN - NO buts! It’s the least I can do, over the years you’ve made me a rich man, it’s only fair.

Panel 5: GABE – I was going to say thank you… but no thank you, like I said, I’m happy here; my whole life is here… I think I’ll stay put.



Panel 1: 2 of them talking across table

FOREMAN – Sigh* Well I can’t say I’m totally disappointed with your decision. Alright then, just know that offer is on the table.

Panel 2: Gabe standing up

GABE - Thank you very much sir, can I get back to work?

Panel 3: Foreman with jeering look on his face.

FOREMAN – Well I’m not sending you home early, yes get back to work. By the way, I think you’ll be happy to hear I fired Dominic

Panel 4: Gabe looking surprised.

GABE - You fired Dominic? What did he do?

Panel 5: Foreman with arms crossed.

FOREMAN - He thinks I’m an idiot and don’t know it was him who tried to sabotage your work. He was threatened by you and I caught him doing it. I just wanted you to know. Now go fix that ship.

Panel 6: Gabe working and smiling again.




A scene that shows how [NAME]’s world is [STASIS STATE].



Panel 1: Shot of Gabe walking home from work, against the ocean

Panel 2: Shot of Gabe’s humble home, built out of sheet metal, “scrapyard neighborhood”. Near the ocean, walkways off to side. Gabe approaches house.

GABE- ODIN! Come here boy!

Panel 3: Gabe notices door has been pried open violently. He stops with fists clenched.

Panel 4: Gabe opens door, the shot is from inside

GABE – Odin?

Panel 5: Gabe opens door to find room destroyed, everything is broken.

GABE – What on earth? ODIN! Where are you?!

Panel 6: Gabe looking over shoulder horrified.



Panel 1: Gabe uncovers dog, clearly dead/pale eyes


Panel 2: Gabe looks across the room to see note on the back of the door

Panel 3: Gabe rips off note and read it

NOTE FROM DOMINIC – “Hating someone is like burning down your own house to get rid of a RAT, so I’ll settle for exterminating yours.” Included is a cheap drawing of a rat, note appears spattered.

Panel 4: Face of Gabe looks enraged

GABE – Dommm…

Panel 5: Gabe crumbles note






Something happens, or the character does something to set the story in motion.




A scene in which tries to convince someone that their “something” is important and urgent.



Panel 1: Shot of Gabe researching the planet “Brackish” at a library-type building, hunched over a computer, top view. Computer screen is futuristic holograph, reader can view planet description.

Panel 2: Thought bubbles, displaying descriptive words Gabe notices. These are around his head

GABE thoughts:

    -       The most recent of 14 worlds successfully colonized

    -       Gas giant

    -       Hostile

    -       95% water coverage

    -       lawless

    -       Planet named "Brackish" due to the dark nutrient-rich waters

    -       Not for the faint of heart

    -       250 years settled

    -       Dangerous

    -       Strange creatures

    -       "If you love adventure, life at sea, and out of this world profits, Brackish is the place for you."

Panel 3: Side view, eyes looking at screen, ahead

Panel 4: Eyes looking down



Panel 1: Gabe approaches the foreman

Panel 2: Gabe peeking into foreman’s office. Foreman reading paper.

GABE – Excuse me sir?

FOREMAN – Gabe, how are you, is that ship fixed yet?

GABE – Yes sir. An hour ago.

Panel 3: Foreman with surprised look looks up.

FOREMAN – What?! How did you… never mind, what would you like?

Panel 4: GABE – I’d like to know if your offer is still on the table… the passport to Brackish.

Panel 5: FOREMAN – Staring

Panel 6: Fingers rubbing eyes as if exhausted



Panel 1: Gabe, I’m a man of my word… yes, the passport is yours. What changed your mind?

Panel 2: I’ve had enough of this planet; I have no family, no ties here. It’s time for a fresh start.

Panel 3: Gabe, one last thing, since you changed your mind on me, can I drop one more job on you before you go? I just accepted a job specifically for you to do…

Panel 4: Of course sir, it would be a pleasure.



Panel 1: Reads “2 weeks later”, Gabe standing outside interstellar customs.

Panel 2: Establishing shot of interstellar terminal, Gabe looking up

Panel 3: Shot of 2 guards looking at Gabe, Gabe waiting to board the ship they are guarding.

Panel 4: GUARDS - Halt, do you have a pass?

Panel 5: GABE – Right here…



Panel 1: GUARD 1 – Brackish eh? What sort of madness has gotten into you?

Panel 2: GABE – I’m sorry what?

Panel 3: GUARD 2 – See that line-up my friend? *Points to a long line at the next shuttle, arm around Gabe.

Panel 4: GUARD 2 – Those people are going to Valhalla, a beautiful planet, full of trees and lush green fields.

Panel 5: GUARD 1 - Why would you waste your pass on BRACKISH



Panel 1: GABE – I honestly don’t know, I can’t explain it, I just feel drawn to the water I guess.

Panel 2: GUARD 1 - Well the other 4 are on board already, good luck; we don’t see ANYBODY come back from that world.


Panel 3: Gabe walking up ramp

Panel 4: Door closed with a “thunk”

Panel 5: Ship blasting off



Panel 1: Gabe sitting in seat looking out window, sitting next to tall African American named “Chucks”, 45 degree angle.

Panel 2: CHUCKS – So, it seems I’m not the only one dumb enough to call Brackish home.

Panel 3: GABE – Seems like I’m not the only one who loves the sea!

Panel 4: CHUCKS – Ah… yes... the sea… once it casts its spell, it holds one in its net of wonder forever.

Panel 5: GABE – I understand… it is hard to explain. Look out that window.

Panel 6: Shot of earth, Gabe pointing towards land.

GABE - Land is the secure ground of home; the sea is like life, the outside, the unknown. It’s time I discovered some unknown of my own.



Panel 1: CHUCKS – What was your profession back on earth?

Panel 2: GABE – A shipbuilder… unofficially, you?

Panel 3: CHUCKS – I was a fisherman, owned my own boat back in South Africa.

Panel 4: GABE - A fisherman? So there are still fish there?

Panel 5: CHUCKS - No fish, some crustaceans have managed to survive through the toxins, so that is what I hunt for. There hasn’t been a confirmed fish caught in our area for almost 150 years. Have you heard the rumors?



Panel 1:

Panel 2:

Panel 3:

Panel 4:

Panel 5:



Panel 1:

Panel 2:

Panel 3:

Panel 4:

Panel 5:




A scene in which a stranger comes looking for [NAME] because of their [OCCUPATION].




A scene in which a stranger comes looking for [NAME] to settle an old score (which might relate to an [OBSTACLE]).




A scene in which a stranger comes looking for [NAME] to help them gain/achieve their [WANT/GOAL/NEED].




The character has a plan. For better or worse, they decide to follow it.




[NAME] meets/is introduced to and gets to know [NAME] and [NAME] (or an [OCCUPATION]. Customs guards warn about sea monsters




[NAME] travels to a new [LOCATION].




[NAME] successfully passes a threshold guardian to enter new [LOCATION].




[NAME] makes a plan, or has a plan thrust on them. They’re not entirely convinced but it’s the best plan they’ve got.




The plan is put into effect but is either only partially successful or fails completely.




The plan falls victim to a surprise attack, a set-back, or a diversion.




An attack takes [NAME] and their friends by surprise. They retaliate to the best of their abilities.




A scene in which [NAME] is tempted by someone or something and forgets their [WANT/NEED/GOAL].




A scene in which [NAME] doubts the true worth of their [WANT/GOAL/NEED] or of their quest.




A scene in which [NAME] deals with a detour that may or may not be directly related to their quest.




The character undergoes the essential change that begins to transform them into their end state.




A scene which gives [NAME] a glimpse of the [RESOLUTION STATE] and how to achieve it.




A scene in which the character understands the true nature of the [LOSS/SACRIFICE] or its necessity to achieving their [WANT/GOAL/NEED].




A scene in which [NAME] makes the choice to continue with the Quest, despite past and present [OBSTACLE] and future [LOSS/SACRIFICE].




The jaws of defeat. All hope is lost. Allies fall and the quest now seems impossible.




[NAME] makes the [LOSS/SACRIFICE].




[OBSTACLE] piles upon [OBSTACLE].




[NAME] and allies are faced with the greatest [OBSTACLE] yet.




The quest seems impossible as all allies are captured or lost.




[NAME] undergoes literal or symbolic death.




The character finds the power within themselves to change and complete the quest.




A scene in which [NAME] realises that a piece of information, a skill or a power they have within themselves (and have had all along) allows them to achieve their [WANT/GOAL/NEED] or defeat their enemy.




A scene in which [NAME] fulfils a prophecy, fate, or the expectations of their loved ones.




[NAME] takes on a new name, epithet or rank.




[NAME] gains new admirers, followers or friends who are drawn to their power.




The character has reached their new state, which is the opposite of their Stasis state.




A scene that shows how [NAME] has gained/accomplished [WANT/GOAL/NEED].




A scene that shows how [NAME] is [RESOLUTION STATE].




[NAME] celebrates victory with [NAME]. They remember the allies they lost.




[NAME] inhabits [LOCATION] that is representative of the new world.

  • Listening to: Silence
  • Reading: Creation magazene
  • Watching: HeartoftheSwarm vids(huskystarcraft) on youtube
  • Playing: Starcraft 2 (only game I play)
  • Eating: Pizza pops
  • Drinking: coffee

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MMA62 Featured By Owner May 26, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love your art just BTW. I will continue the conversation we had about religion when I get back from vacation. Just telling you this so that you don't think I forgot or abandoned giving a response.
AleksanderKumor Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the fav!
Helmsberg Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014
I love your work. Looking over your sketch book has given me the urge to get back into pencil drawings! You have an interesting and eye catching style. 
Skihaas1 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks Pat! Would love to see more of your stuff as well, I'll bring that art book to work you, and when your done that comic your working on, I'd love to read it!
Helmsberg Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014
Sounds good.
Styx-H20 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2014   Traditional Artist
You're so totally underestimated. It hurts looking into your gallery and finding almost no feedback there... you're a fantastic artist!
Arrahed Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
tnx for the fav
LMorse Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch!! you make some cool stuffs
kinkajoomotion Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Professional Filmographer

Woooow thank you so much for the Watch and all the favs :hug:

Great gallery *Watch*

Skihaas1 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your stuff's legit! U self taught?
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