Saturday, 30 April 2011

Little document, if you find a time to watch...

I found these series of documents on youtube, rather by accident, but still...worth watching, loads of references on realtionships between each one of the mobs and police and government. I didn't watch it all yet, gotta go to work now, but looks well interesting, so if you fancy it - dig in! I'm posting the link on the first one, others can be found on the right hand side column, ie part 2, part 3 and so on.

Italian Mafia slang

I know this wouldn't be exactly relevant to you guys, but I found few sites with Italian mafia slang vocabulary. Most of the words used are similar or event exactly the same as used for general mob slang, but few nice exceptions can be find as well significant particularly for Italian gangsters. I'm still working on detailed script, getting little bit behind, but hopefully I will catch up over the weekend, and I'm aiming to get the roughs done by monday afternoon. I still need few more photos to be done for which I will need you to see on monday. Could you also bring the camera in for this, please? That would be brilliant. Keep on doing hard work as we've been doing it so far. Looking good so far, right? Have a nice weekend, see you on monday!

Friday, 29 April 2011

Chapter 1 Red letter/monologue.

Dear ‘Kitty’
I’m scared. I don’t know what to do with my life without you next to me. I’ve been thinking back to the Barwick bank heist, that time we got some old friends to help us out. Fred ‘Big six’ Whalley and Harvey ‘dint’ Egan.
Though I haven’t had any business with them for a few years, they were the most reliable people to get the job done.
And we had that job planned like clockwork, and the whole heist almost went off without a hitch. I guess we were so blind to success that we got careless.
I don’t know it, happened so fast. But you could always keep a cool head in any situation, you who is so strong and fiery. I guess those qualities is what drew me to you, to be around such a woman...
This job was gonna free us from our sins, and no one was gonna stop us. Still I couldn’t help but feel that something underhanded was going behind the works that someone wasn’t being true to us...
All I... all we could think of was the future we wanted, to be free from a life of crime and to be honest folk happily together. But that was never to be...
This one fool shattered that dream with a bullet. I never knew anger like this, to kill a man with such vengeance in my heart. He will not slip away from me, for this Lawrence Shaw is a dead man... yes I know everything about him and were to ask how I know, well let’s just say I rebuffed a ‘dent’.
I must go now, word is he is trying to leave Chicago but I’m gonna make sure he leaves in a pine box!
I will always treasure our time together, you are my light and my world, and don’t you ever fade away.
I will always love you.

Chapter 1 Red

A Gangster story
Chapter 1

Chicago 1932
Barwick Bank
A forward shot of Rick ‘red’ Blaine, holding a gun at the audience in a mid close up shot.
Red: this here is a stick up
An overhead shot of the entire bank, showing all four of the gang members surrounding the bank and having all the bank’s occupants pinned down, with Anna standing close to ‘red’, with the other two members armed with Tommy guns having the whole bank covered.
‘Dint’: Ain’t anybody gonna move here!
‘red’ talking to the clerk: Now! Open up this vault old timer!
The clerk, looking nervous, scrambles for the vault keys and leads ‘Red’ to the vault door.

Whilst ‘Red’ is taking care of the vault, Anna proceeds to the cashier desk with a bag pointing a gun at the clerk in a gesture for him to fill the bag with the money in desk.
Anna: you! Fill it up piker!
The clerk opens the vault door ‘Red’ has a gleam in his eyes seeing all the money. He then beckons over Fred ‘big six’ to fill up the bags with the money.
‘Red’: Excellent work sir, hey! ‘Big six’ get over here we hit the jackpot here
The gangsters become preoccupied with getting all the loot that they overlook the clerk going for the alarm, to which he sets off.
With the alarm going off the gangsters become startled with Fred ‘Big six’ looking at the clerk with contempt at the guy blowing their deal.
‘Big six’: You’re dead meat pal!
‘Big six’ raises his Tommy gun upon the hapless clerk, who is spared by ‘Red’ intervening by pulling his gun down in disarming fashion.
‘Red’: No Fred!
Fred ‘Big six’: But he...!
‘Red’: No we don’t kill civilians even if they are a wet blanket!
The rest of the gangsters regroup and make their exit from the bank.
Anna: Thanks for all your cooperation folks!
‘Red’: c’mon Kitty!
The gang make way to the getaway car which is a 1932 Cadillac V16 Phaeton, which has a body paint of a dark red and black.
Fred: What’s the matter ‘Dint’ nobody home or something?! Or are you just a dumb mule!
‘Dint’: Hey I only got one pair of eyes I can’t see every single tom, dick and Joe in the whole bank at once!
‘Anna’: will you boys dry up till later!
After a quick argument between ‘big six’ and ‘dint’ the gang get in the car, with ‘Red’ in the driver’s seat, and Anna next to him with ‘big six’ and ‘dint’ at the back of the car. They then begin to drive off.
Some people from the bank come out to see their captors escape with the clerk raving to people on the street to stop the car.
Clerk: Stop that car!
Just then a group of pedestrians coincidentally get in the way of the getaway car, and police sirens can be heard coming closer to the bank. ‘Red’ stops the car as he can’t consciously kill innocent people but beeps his horn to get them moving.
The clerk jumps onto the passenger side of the car in an attempt to stop the car.
Clerk: Now I got you, you sorry fools! Now pull over!
At this Anna pulls her gun and shots the clerk square in the face. The clerk’s body falls off and the gunfire and dead body scares the crowd away for the car to get past them. The police cars are now nearly upon the gangsters.
‘Red’: OK guys give ‘em some crossfire!
‘Dint’ and ‘Big six’ load up their guns and get into position of exchange gunfire with the police. The police open fire without any warning on the gangster’s car, and the guys give returning fire. Anna and Rick both look at each other with no fear for their situation and a loving gaze with her reaching out to touch his face. Amidst the gunfire Anna suddenly screams out in pain having been shot in the shoulder. Rick now shocked looks ahead to see Lawrence Shaw shooting at the car. Enraged he swerves the car.
‘Red’: You’re gonna pay for that you Bastard!!!
He drives the car straight at Lawrence who dive’s away from the oncoming car. Angered at missing we wants to try again.
Fred: ‘Red’ get your head in the game here! We still got all of Chicago on our tails we still gotta run!
‘Red’: but...!
Fred: don’t worry I think I can stop the bleeding just drive boss!
‘Red’: I’m gonna get that sonnuva bitch I swear!
The chase continues through the streets gunfire blazing, and they pass an ominous alley (Where Ondrej’s gang are bootlegging).
‘Red’: I got something to put those pigs in the gutter!
The car turns to a short street, with the cops still on pursuit. ‘Red’ deploys the car’s oil slick and then ‘red’ does a sharp turn to exit the street, the cops do the same but loose grip on the oil and they slide into the street and crash into each other. With the pursuers out of action they drive on back to their hideout, with ‘Red’ looking at Anna who is unconscious fears the worst for his love.
Here's a rough version of Detective Shaw's story, it's a bit all over the place but I'll sort it out. Lets get this ooooooon boys!

Easy Money (Chapter 3) – Script – Lawrence Shaw

Shaw’s apartment

Birdseye view shot of detective sat on the end of his bed, leaning over – Fan slightly obscures view

Close up of detectives face, eyes are obscured by a fedora, an unlit cigarette sits between his lips. The detective raises a Zippo lighter and lights his cigarette

Detective Shaw exhales the smoke from his cigarette

There’s nothing like a smoke to remind you you’re still alive

He stands up and walks over to a desk a few feet away from the bed. On the desk is a small stack of bank notes

Easy money is dangerous business, especially when you’re dealing with the mob. I don’t like to get involved with their kind of business but this time was the exception

It all started with a dame, damn I’m a sucker for a fine woman.

Shot of Shaw at his apartment door with a woman facing him through the doorway.

She said she was looking for her brother, didn’t know where he’d got to. Turned out he was with one of the smaller Sicilian gangs who are bootlegging on the West side. I followed a few leads and found him, but that wasn’t the only thing I found.

Shot of Detective Shaw hiding behind some crates in a warehouse. There are trucks in the courtyard and several men are unloading moonshine from the vehicles.

One thing led to another and eventually I was persuaded to part with what I knew

Shot of Shaw at a table in a bar with another man who is sliding money across the table to him in an envelope.

Someone out there is going to be damn pissed when they find out they’ve been set up, by then I’ll be out of town.

Shaw walks to another point of the room with his hands in his pockets.

But that’s not the only run in I’ve had with the mob…

The Bank Robbery - Flashback

Soon after the doors of the train open, Detective Shaw steps out onto the busy platform. He makes his way towards the steps that descend to the street level and as he descends he lights up a cigarette. Shaw walks along the sidewalk with his hands in his pockets, occasionally removing his right hand to take the lit cigarette from between his lips before placing it back again. He takes a turn down a smaller side street and stops to buy a newspaper from a street vender. Shaw continues to walk down the street as he casually flicks through the days paper, he comes to the end of the small street and gunfire catches his attention. Up the street, a group of gangsters are pulling off a bank heist and are making their getaway. Shaw lowers his paper and notices the getaway car heading in his direction, he throws his paper to the ground, reaches inside his coat and draws his .38 Special. The getaway car increases in speed as it continues down the street in the detective’s direction. Shaw steps into the street in front of him and aims his revolver at the speeding car. The first shot penetrates the car’s windscreen on the driver’s side and whistles past the Mob leader’s (Rick ‘Red’ Blane) left ear. The detective quickly readjusts his aim and takes his second shot, this time the bullet hits the passenger (Anna Bacall) on the left side of her collarbone.

Shaw’s apartment

Trying’ to be a damn hero for just a few seconds could’ve got me killed. And I bet that son of a bitch who pulled the heist has got me on his list

Shaw picks up a suitcase from the floor and throws it onto the bed.

I’ve got a train leaving from LaSalle Street in an hour

He opens the case

I’ve got to get out of Chicago, lie low for a while

The telephone rings, Shaw turns to look at the phone before walking over and hesitantly answering it


There’s silence and then the line goes dead, a worried expression appears on Shaw’s face. Shaw hangs up the phone

This can’t be good

He rushes about the room grabbing items and then thrusting them into his suitcase, shirts, trousers, underclothing, and other personal possessions. The detective puts on his trench coat and turns towards his desk

A silent line only means one thing

Shaw opens his desk draw and pulls out a .38 Special, he flicks out the chamber, the weapon is fully loaded.

I’m not taking any risks

He holsters the weapon and grabs his keys from the desk before picking up his case from the bed and heading for the door.

Shaw opens the door and exits closing it behind him. As he pushes the key into the lock a figure appears to his right at the end of the hallway. The figure is dressed in a suit and has a firearm at his side. The detective turns to find another figure at the other end of the hallway dressed similarly also holding a firearm.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

creating characters

Found a site that helps with creating characters...might be useful:

More slang dogs

Slang baby doll

Standing on the corner watching all the girls go by...

1 o clock 2 o clock 3 o clock post

Capital CIty!

Chicago baby

I'm the cat that's got the cream

Here is Chicago in all its roaring 20's glory!

Trucks, trucks, trucks!

Thanks Dave for posting those beautiful, luxurious and helluva expensive cars, now it's time for real workers' cars, real deal for smuggling my booz!

Timeline second attempt

There we go then! I'm trying it now from one of the studio's macs, I hope it's gonna work, if not - well then this Mac shall sleep with the fish by tomorrow's dawn!!!

Wally Wood's 22 Panels that always work!!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

self reminder

1932 Cadillac

1932 Ford V8

1929 Chrysler 75 Dual Cowl Sport Phaeton

Police car reference in chicago
Here is a link of cars in service to the Chicago police from the 2o's to the late 50's.


Hi guys! Thanks for the effort today, great start of the story, needs just polishing and hooray start banging down some roughs! I've been trying to upload the scan of the timeline we got together earlier today, just to give us some little lead, but it takes forever and in the end it doesn't upload it at al!! GRRR!!! Gonna try it later on. Benj, have some rest tonight, so you don't fall asleep tomorrow :-) c ya, gangsters!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Side Plot - POV of the Private Eye

Cool idea of the bank heist and then the car chase Dave, lots of action and excitement! Plus, their bank heist could be really sneaky like one of John Dillinger's heists.

I had the idea of a side story from the POV of a private detective, it would ultimately end with him being killed by the Mob because he knows too much. But the story would take place in his apartment before his assassination and he'd be telling the story of the bank heist to the audience.

A possible story

OK I have an idea for a story, though I'm not sure if we are doing our own stories or doing the same one but from different P.O.V. Anyway I have been getting quite inspired by Bonnie and Clyde, story and I have been having dreams about it and so what I have come up with is this story that starts with a bank robbery, and then it could lead to a car chase but that is just a rough vague idea i have got i will probably work more on it once the essay project has been cleared up. But if any of you guys got some ideas bring em up if not we can meet up on tomorrow or tuesday and start a crackin with this piece of meat. Hope you guys have had a good easter and all cya tomorrow if possible.

Monday, 11 April 2011

With a little help of FBI

Hey guys, just went through some little bits and bobs on FBI's website, some nice and simple overview of italian mafia you might like. Check it out!

There are of course some other sorts of mob, but I've been always particularly interested in Italian and Sicilian gangsters.

Friday, 8 April 2011


This is a great site with loads of information about Chicago in the 1920's

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Beginning continued...

Beginning...and End
Great idea about starting the narrative with a big bang Dave, that would really draw the reader straight into the story. Shall we start working on a rough story?

Also, I thought about the ending. When reading a bit of The Philosophy of Film Noir, it mentioned that Film Noirs usually end on a bad note. I thought that we could end the story with the Detective/Private Eye being gunned down in his own apartment. We could build up some suspense to this finale by cutting back-and-forth between the gangsters arriving at the apartment and the unaware detective in his room.

We could also begin researching locations, costumes, and props etc and maybe decide on some real life locations that we want to feature in the narrative i.e. the bank and the bar.

If we're setting our comic around 1920-30's, we could think about important things that were happening at the time. From 1920-1933 The Prohibition was about... we could include a sub-plot about bootlegging etc? Just a thought.

another idea....

Also maybe we can do the story from the detectives' point of view if we so feel, it necessary for the story to work or whatever. Through a detective's story we could explore corruption in law officials and such. Just another thought; I may have more as time proceeds.

the beginning....

I was thinking that the best way to start the story is with a 'big bang' where a major event occurs which I think will be effective in capturing the audiences' attention, perfect example is the opening of New Hope with the star cruiser battle. So going back to gangsters context probably a bank heist which again is similar to Dark Knight, or a bar fight but it could also be a small big bang in that it doesn't have to be something with explosions it could be that someone owes money to the mobsters and has to pay it back or they exact their threats on him. Just a thought that could get the ball rolling.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Philosophy of Film Noir

This is a good reference

And another good link also describing Film Noir

What is Film Noir?

Managed to dig up some old film studies lecture notes on film noir that I studied, which essentially explains the characteristics of the genre.

Film noir is a term used to describe crime drama movies from Hollywood that are often focused on sex, crime, and corruption.

Film noir movies were mostly made from the early 1940s to the late 1950s in the United States, and they were usually filmed in black-and-white. The term "film noir" comes from the French term for "black film." Film noir movies include many different genres of movies, such as gangster movies, police movies, and detective movies.

Film noir movies were often filmed so that there were many dark shadows in the movie, even on characters' faces. The Hollywood film noir movies were influenced by German film directors such as Fritz Lang, who used dramatic lighting techniques. Another influence on film noir movies was 1930s French books or movies about heroes who would die at the end of the story or stories with sad endings. Film noir movies were also influenced by crime novels, such as the detective and crime stories by Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Raymond Chandler.
Film noir movies are often shot in cities at night, and the stories often take place in bars, nightclubs, gambling clubs, casinos, and cheap hotels. This makes film noir movies look very dark, because the scenes are shot at night, or inside dark places like a bar or hotel.
Film noir movie scenes often have a lot of shadows, such as the shadows of window frames, blinds, or stair banisters. There are also often dark shadows on the movie scenes, even on the faces of the actors. All of the shadows and darkness make the film noir movies feel mysterious and stressful.
The characters in film noir movies are often motivated by greed, jealousy, or revenge. The characters in film noir movies are often private detectives or police officers who are investigating crimes committed by bad criminals and gang members such as murder, gambling or prostitution. In film noir movies, there are often stories about robberies, heists, extortion of money (which is called "blackmail"), or murder.
In film noir movies, even the heroes or lead characters are often bad or partly bad in some way. For example, the hero of a film noir movie may help an innocent man or woman who is being threatened by a criminal, or rescue a woman from a criminal gang. Yet the hero or lead character may also do bad things, such as commit crimes, hurt or threaten people, or tell lies.
Often, the hero or lead character of a film noir film will be bitter, sad, lonely, or depressed, because of bad things that happened to them. The person watching the movie has to decide if they think that a hero who does both good and bad things is a good person or not. The stories from film noir movies can make the audience think about how people should act, or how people should make choices in their life. This is one of the things that people like about watching film noir movies.
Film noir movies are not happy movies. In happy movies, like romance movies, people fall in love, get married, and live happy lives. In film noir movies, sad things happen. A good man with a wife might need money for their rent, and borrow the money from a criminal gang leader, because the good man has no other way of getting the money. Then the bad gang leader might force the good man to do bad things to pay back the money. Maybe the bad gang leader will threaten to hurt the good man's wife. Then the good man has to decide between protecting his wife or doing a bad crime.
People who watch film noir movies like to see stories about people who have to make hard choices, or people whose lives have sad things happen in them. Real life is not all happy and perfect like in romantic films; people often have to make hard choices or have sad things happen. For this reason, film noir movies are a bit more like real life than romantic movies.

Thoughts about Story Arcs

So, after reading Tim's post about Story Arcs, I've been thinking a bit. If our stories are separate we could cross the characters paths using one big event, for example a train robbery.

E.g. At a point in Dave's Gangster narrative, the characters could be traveling to Chicago from somewhere else in the U.S. At the same time in Tim's Cowboy Narrative, a main character attempts a train robbery on the train that Dave's gangsters are traveling on. The characters paths could cross in some sort of shoot out or not even at all, they could be at the same place without even seeing eachother?

Just a though...

Friday, 1 April 2011

Story Arcs

So as I was saying ...story arcs are a good way to visualise different elements in the story. We should use them

Blueberry - Saloon

Another piece of beautiful artwork from Moebius' 'Blueberry'. I like how Moebius has put the lightest tones on the woman to draw the viewers' attention. I know this kind of detail is too complex for the given time we have but it's still majorly inspiring!


Thanks for the post about the character design Tim, this is an exciting idea! Also, Moebius, yes! Blueberry is amazing too.

On the gangster side of things, here's some stuff we can look into (written up from sketchbook):

The Godfather
Public Enemies
Some Like it Hot
The Big Heat + The Big Sleep

Art styles
Art Deco
Art Nouveau
Bauhaus (Paintings on walls etc)
Precisionism (Paintings on walls etc)

Comic layout ideas:

So the six panel comic:

each of us designs a separate panel or page of the comic

Separate character designs:

Design a character without input from anyone else. then bring them all together into a comic.

The way we could do this would be to plan out the characters and put them into a hat each of us pick one and create a character sheet and a bio for each.

The exersize we did for one of the presentation lectures i forget her name but when we made stories and mixed them up was a good idea worth exploring

Frank Miller's Sin City

Some great inspiration for our work, some scans from Vol.1 of Frank Miller's Sin City. His work is fantastic, very atmospheric and a little film noir esc .

Blueberry pie

Might be done for hotlinking these images but nevermind. I think a good place to start would be to look at Moebius. I was really impressed at his comic blueberry, just remeniscing the times we were going to this about cowboys. ink and watercolours is what i'm thinking at the moment

Also Ondrej wants in if that's ok.... he suggested using this blog as an online VRJ even though we don't have to do a VRJ it would be good to submit the blog to Tom at the end.

Dawn over a new world.....

And so it begins with our project work for uni, to create a short comic about gangsters from the 30's with the possibility of being influenced by film noir and art deco. The aim is for us to have completed research and story so that after Easter we know what we are doing and just need to crack out the artwork. Excelsior!