The challenge: write a crime comic. B&W or color, it has to have a cast of original characters and be sustainable for at least 66 issues.
"Get Away Clean"
A black and white crime drama, heavy on the blacks and grays. Story arcs will subscribe heavily to the tropes of all great film noir. Harsh lighting. Flash backs. Flash forwards. Unrepentant characters. Femme Fatales. Death. Crime. And moral ambiguity.
John and Marlene Alton, series leads. Happily married, high school sweethearts, con artists and career criminals.
John Alton's been in and out of trouble since junior high, where was regularly kicked out of shop class for smoking. John's actually a smart guy with a real knack for understanding mechanical and electronic devices. In high school John quickly graduated from breaking into students lockers to boosting cars and selling fake IDs. After a summer spent in juvie, John learned his lesson. He hasn't been picked up by the cops since he was fourteen, not even so much as a traffic ticket. John Alton is an accomplished thief, lock pick, gambler and con man who can drive anything with wheels.
Marlene Alton was the rebellious prom queen. Adored by teachers and parents (not just her own), she was notorious amongst her peers. If there was something bad to do, odd are Marlene did it first. Shoplifting by age nine. Booze and pills at twelve. An abortion at thirteen. Homecoming queen at fifteen and Prom queen by sixteen. Marlene's a smitten kitten, with eyes only for John since that first cigarette under the bleachers, and she's perfected the art of the false front. Since high school, only John knows the real Marlene. Best described as an undiagnosed sociopath, she cares not a whit for anyone but herself and John.
The series will follow John and Marlene's criminal careers as their lives, in true crime fiction fashion, completely unravel.
1st Arc, "No Consequences". Introduce the Altons and their world. Through flashbacks we see their lives when they're not "working". John and Marlene put up a front of being "citizens": the house in the burbs, grocery shopping on the weekends, dinner parties, the works. They even pay their taxes. We'll see the Alton's real work though, as they successfully pull of a heist right under the noses of their suburban community.
2nd Arc, "Good Night, Good Morning". John and Marlene spend the night is a strange hotel room, traveling home from an out-of-town job. They wake up to find that the town they've stopped in is a complex place. Getting away will be more complicated that just hopping in the car and aiming for the nearest highway on-ramp. Cast of characters expands to include more of the Alton's friends and adversaries in the criminal community. They're also being pursued by a stranger who could be on either side of the law.
Final Arc, Issues 61-66. The thrilling conclusion. All the different interlocking mysteries of the series have been building to this. People live! People Die! Answers will be revealed!
ISSUE 1, PAGE 1, SPLASH. FULL PAGE IMAGE OF JOHN ALTON, A GOOD LOOKING MAN IN HIS EARLY 30'S. HE'S LYING ON THE FLOOR IN A DIRTY MOTEL ROOM, GUT SHOT AND BLEEDING. HE'S MOMENTS FROM DEATH. SUNLIGHT FROM OUTSIDE LEAKS THROUGH THE BLINDS, CASTING SHADOWS LIKE JAIL CELL BARS ACROSS HIS PRONE FORM.
CAPTION: WELL, I CERTAINLY WASN'T EXPECTING THAT.
CAPTION: AND WE WERE OFF TO SUCH A GREAT START TO.