Ever since I started the “Tales from the Static” podcast last fall, I’ve been eagerly awaiting this episode of Static Screams. See, a few years ago I wanted to practice laying out a comic book story. More than that, I challenged myself to make the action clear without the benefit of text. While looking for a story that would fit the exercise, I thought of this episode I’d seen decades before. The episode was striking; it was presented in black and white, it had some strange visual elements, and there was no dialogue. Not one spoken word in the whole half hour. And yet, the action which was so straightforward and the small moments so thoughtfully constructed that it still held a lot of emotional weight.
I can’t prove it, but I think this episode might have been an homage or a spiritual sequel to the classic Twilight Zone episode “Two”, which is about two people moving toward interacting like humans again in an empty post-apocalyptic city. If I remember correctly that also had no dialogue, and Charles Bronson and Elizabeth Montgomery are both brilliant in it.
Now, this is something that I did as practice, so it’s pretty sketchy (in some places more than others). I put it together in Adobe Illustrator, with some of the elements created directly in the program while others were drawn on paper and scanned in. I think you can still follow the story if you haven’t listened to this episode of the podcast, but I recommend you check it out. My daughter joined me for the discussion, and I shared this story with her through the comic. I’ll go out on a limb and say that she’s probably the only guest who will ever sit on my lap while we record the episode. Buuuut we’ll see.