Day 90: Half Pipe Heroes

Half Pipe Heroes
Matt Zurbo

This story breaks a few rules, in a fun way! One of the characters, Dodge, only speaks in pictures, which appear in talk balloons, like you see in comics.


(Dodge nervously walks forward, holding his helmet and hugging his skateboard.)

“Hi Dodge!” Sir Knight said.
Talk balloon above Dodge, with image of hand waving.
(Dodge standing on lip of half pipe with Sir Knight – a kid with medieval knight’s helmet on, standing on a skateboard. Another kid with skateboard, Mansell, (Indigenous) is sitting on lip beside them.)

“What’s up with that?” Mansell asked.
Talk balloon has Dodge standing on ledge of a never-ending fall.
“Dodge can only speak in pictures,” said Sir Knight.
(Mansell pointing up to talk balloon. Dodge looking down, over edge.)

“That’ weird,” said Mansell.
Talk balloon of Dodge lying flat, falling from sky into a pre-dug grave with tombstone ‘Dodge’.
“Nah, just don’t make it a thing. He wants to skate good real bad,” said Sir Knight.(Head and shoulders of Mansell looking, inquisitively, at talk balloon. Dodge wide-eyed and staring down. Sir Knight looking ahead.)

“But who doesn’t? Let’s go!” said Sir Knight.
“Deadly!” shouted Mansell.
Dodge’s talk balloon of himself on tip of pirate’s plank, dressed like a pirate deck hand, sword at his back.
(We can just see the last bits of other two as they swoop down half-pipe face. Dodge still on lip, super nervous.)

“Come on, Bruz, you can do it!” cheered Mansell.
“What’s he saying?” said Sir Knight.
Series of smaller talk balloons. 1. Exclamation mark. 2. Dog poo, with flies. 3. Exclamation mark. 4. Coffin. 5. Parachute. 6. Preying hands. 7. Exclamation mark.
“That’s hilarious!” laughed Mansell.
(Dodge going down face of half pipe, hugging/clinging to his skateboard.)

“What’s he saying now?” called Mansell.
Talk balloon of Mansell and Sir Knight in skating poses, but with wings.
“Nah, there’s a jump ahead, just try it!” Sir Knight insisted.
(Dodge, standing on stationary board, while Mansell and Sir Knight either side of him, in the air, 2/3rds upside down, as they lift off each lip.)

Talk balloon of Dodge, old and frail, slowly riding skateboard, while kids around him, in space outfits, ride their hover-boards upside down, easy, and do spirals through the air past him. One is riding their board upside down, using a wheel on the tip of their pointer finger.
A few smaller, side balloons, also coming from Dodge, of exclamation marks and one of a black cloud with a bolt of lightening.
“You think you’ll never be good enough!?” Sir Knight protested.
“You should have seen how bad I was when I first started!” laughed Mansell.
(Dodge, standing on his board, face red, mouth shouting, angrily clenching a hand.)

Talk balloon crammed with dozens of kids faces, all types, all colours, looking ahead, gently smiling.
“So what if they’re watching, Bruz!” said Mansell.
“Yeah!” agreed Sir Knight. “Just ignore them!”
(Dodge is pointing at the reader. Mansell is standing beside him, looking up at faces in talk balloon. Sir Knight is looking at readers. Has helmet under arm. We can see Sir Knight is actually a girl with pigtails.)

“If any of you laugh, you’re gunna get it!” said Sir Knight.
“Yeah, back off!” agreed Mansell.
Dodge’s balloon has emojo face with wobbly mouth and embarrassed cheeks.
(Mansell and Sir Knight right up in reader’s face. Dodge small still where he was, standing on board, embarrassed.)

“C’m’on, Bruz! You can do it!” cried Mansell.
“Yeah, just think about what makes you happy,” insisted Sir Knight.
Dodge’s thought balloon has a dinosaur in it, driving a rocket.
(Mansell, flying upside down (on skateboard) in the air above Dodge. Sir Knight cutting back around him.

“Just think of that jump as an adventure! The road to courage!” insisted Sir Knight.
“Adventures lead to adventures, Bruz!” agreed Mansell.
Sir Knight is Holding Dodge’s shoulders, talking to him.
Mansell is drawing a stick figure superhero in one of Dodge’s talk balloons.

Dodge pushing forward on skateboard. Above him, talk balloon of dinosaur pushing forward on skateboard.

Dodge going faster. Above him, talk balloon of cheater going faster on skateboard.

Dodge, face red, huffing and puffing on skateboard. Above him, talk balloon of him on a small rocket, as if the rocket was a skateboard.

Double page spread, of Dodge on board, half way over jump, which, as said, is only 2 feet off ground. Series of talk balloons.
1. Dodge on his board, jumping over a brick wall with barbed wire on top, and prison guards below.
2. Dodge with rope attached, being carried by a crane.
3. Dodge, Sir Knight and Mansell all ripping up the skate park together.
4. The grim reaper.
5. Skull and crossbones.
6. Dodge tumbling through air.
7. Dodge as a superhero, standing, chest out.
8. Dodge on skateboard, with huge backpack, wearing a floppy hat, passing a road sign that says; Europe.
9. Dodge’s face, teeth clenched, eyes shut.
10. A dog poo.
11. A number of exclamation mark balloons.

Dodge on skateboard, in air, arms comically like a shirt hung out to dry. One talk balloon, huge, of him on board passing over a full moon.

Skateboard hitting lip of far side of jump. Dodge tumbling down other end. Talk balloons of:
A donkey’s rear.
A cheese grater.
An ambulance symbol.
Dodge’s head with a red welt on it.
A few exclamation marks.
Dinosaur in bandages, using a crutch.

“So GOOD!” cried Sir Knight.
“WICKED!” cheered Mansell.
Dodge lying spreadeagled.
Dodge’s talk balloon of him lying spreadeagled, as his spirit rises, and a question mark.
Sir Knight and Mansell are comically running towards him from left of page!

“See! We told yas he could do it!” bragged Mansell.
“Just ignore them,” said Sir Knight.
Dodge’s talk balloon of a battered and broken exclamation mark.
Mansell’s face up close, smiling, looking at readers. Sir Knight with Dodge, who is propping himself up on ground.

“It’s an attitude,” smiled Sir Knight.
“There’s nothing stopping yas doing anything,” agreed Mansell.
Dodge standing there, a bit overwhelmed, while other two dust him off.
Talk balloon of life support system showing a pulse and a question mark.
“Dinner time,” said Sir Knight.
“Later, Bruz…” said Mansell.
Talk balloon of wounded dinosaur holding skateboard, waving good-bye.
Dodge, still a bit shell-shocked, holding up hand as farewell. Mansell and Sir Knight happily walking off.

Dodge, huge grin, running back towards jump with board. Talk balloon has the same image, but Dodge has wings in it.


The End
Dusk. Street light on. Silhouette of Dodge going over small jump with the crescent moon out behind him.


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