Below is the layout I started for the first issue. Most of the dialogue is really just there as a placeholder none of it's really done.
A five panel page. Each panel a is of equal size stretching horizontally across the with of the page.
This page is our only glimpse of the whale’s life before it dies and becomes a setting for our story. I’d like to give the whale some distinct personality. I’m somewhat apposed to thought bubbles so I think what we’ll use is captions as if the whale is narrating the story from beyond the grave. Maybe even we’ll continue this into the rest of the story with the whale having some commentary on it’s own decomposition. Or maybe this is too far out. Also there will be some dialogue between the whale and the others of his/her pod.
An Idyllic scene of the ocean. Far from land with nothing but blue water and a burning yellow sun. In the center of the panel we see a whale tale breaching the water.
Other Whale 1: I was in the south sea yesterday.
Other Whale 2: Oh yeah.
Other Whale 1: Yeah it was nice.
Caption: Something doesn’t feel right.
Below the water we see a small pod of three or four whales swimming together. The two other whales exchange light conversation. Our whale is silent.
Caption: Is the water suddenly getting colder?
Closer now to the whale as it’s fallen a little behind. Most of the frame is filled up with our main whale. Possible the tail of another whale can be seen all the way to the left.
Caption: Perhaps I just need to sleep a little.
Our whale is alone in the frame. It fills most of it, but there’s enough space on either side of it to suggest it is now entirely alone.
A close up on the whale so it fills the entire frame. Far to the right we see it’s gigantic eye is closing.
Pretty much the same layout as page one except this one has only four horizontal panels of equal size.
The whale now dead slowly dropping through the water. Possibly he’s twisting around. Behind him we see the flora and fauna of the area just below the sea. I’m going to do some research on what grows at what depths.
100 feet below the ocean’s surface.
Somewhere else in the ocean the sleeper sharks are hanging out. Talking about investments and good places to eat lesser species. Maybe some motivational speaker they saw recently. I really like the idea of them being sort of corporate predators.
Sleeper Shark 1: On my own I projected 150, 200 a week but together we ate the whole school. True synergy.
Sleeper Shark 2: Yeah but now your tied into this relationship. It’s going to drastically lower your market share
The Whale floating dead through the water. Again the surrounding suggests the depth.
800 feet below the ocean’s surface.
The crabs or crustaceans hanging out. I still haven’t picked which crustacean I want to go with or there personality. Still working on it.
Same exact layout as two.
Once again the whale is seen floating down through the water.
1300 feet below the oceans surface.
The Osedax worms. I think these are going to be out mystical type creatures.
Some things about Osedax worms:
They exist only on whale falls. This begs the question how do they get from one whale fall to another?
The answer to this question came when scientists realized that all the full grown worms where female. They then discovered that each female has 50 to 100 microscopic larval males living inside it.
So now they think that when all the resources run out on one dead whale the females just die and release all there eggs and all there little males into the current where they drift until they find another dead whale.
In an effort to humanize these creatures I’d like to give there eventual demise a sort of religious mass suicide thing.
Like they somehow know when it’s time to go and how to find the next whale.
Not sure what they’ll be doing in this panel exactly but probably something to suggest there running out of resources on there current whale fall. There preparing to let go.
The whale is almost a the bottom of the sea. The ocean is cloudy with micro-organisms and sea cucumbers.
2014 feet below sea level
A close up of two sea cucumbers talking. These creatures make up 90% of the macro-fauna in the deep sea. I’m thinking this means that there our sort of proletariat. The working stiffs of deep sea life. I figure in this panel there just sorta bullshitting, talking about hot female sea cucumbers or how much they hate some other species.
This is a big splash style page with four small panels in each of the corners.
The Whale seen from above. Where looking straight down at it as it’s corpse hits the ocean floor. There is a sort of blast radius of debris and water currents flying out from where it’s landed. It looks similar to when a meteor hits the earth.
In large lettering we see the title: Whale Fall!
Panel 1 (Up Left)
The sharks are seen reacting to the vibrations. One of them makes a snide comment about it.
Panel 2 (Up Right)
The Crabs have there reaction. Not sure what it will be since I don’t know much about the crabs yet.
Panel 3 (Down Left)
The Sea Cucumbers react. “Hmm... Time to go to work” or something like that.
Panel 4 (Down Right)
The Osedax worms react by celebrating and dying.