Brian Cassidy: Innefective Detective


Without him, all of you would be lost souls roamin
Feb 23, 2005
I've been trying to write more comic book scripts lately. I've come up with a detective character and am in the process of writing a handful of faintly science-fiction-ey stories about him. This is my first one.

Because I'm lazy and I'm tired of plotting out every script I write, I decided to have every page as 4 wide panels. It sounds boring, but it's really allowed me to try some interesting little techniques (I hate to say "cinematic", but yeah, that's what I'd call it. A lot of limited camera angle kind of stuff.).

By Moonmaster


PANEL 1 An unidentified figure obscures the left side of the panel: Brian Cassidy. In front of him - facing us - is a somewhat slack-jawed and apathetic looking teen with an obnoxious haircut. He sits in a red smock in front of a bank of fishtanks lit in deep, bright blue. He does not look up at Brian.
BRIAN1: Are you...are you absolutely sure? You don't have to check or anything?

PANEL 2 Same shot.
TEEN1: Yeah, we haven't had parakeets for like, three weeks.

PANEL 3 Same shot, the teen lifts his eyes up at Brian briefly, mildly interested.
BRIAN1: ...Yeah...It's okay then.
TEEN1: Are you sure?
BRIAN2: Yeah, yeah. You're just the last store on my list and I haven't had any luck so far...

PANEL 4 Same shot as PANELS 1and 2.
TEEN1: Sure. Is there like, anything else you want?


PANEL 1 A perspective shot looking down a city sidewalk. To our left is the street and to our right is the front of the pet store, its windows adorned with sale signs and paintings of puppies and clown fish. Brian exits the shop with a crinkled paper bag in his left hand and absorbs the street. Brian is a man of average height, a bit pudgy, with a thin beard and messy hair. He wears a kind of stereotypically "detective" trench coat.

PANEL 2 Same shot. Brian comes towards us, looking into the bag as he does so.

PANEL 3 Same shot. Brian closes the bag and walks closer towards us.

PANEL 4 Brian's figure all but blocks our view.


PANEL 1 Brian's darkened office. He sits sideways at his cluttered desk, a phone pressed to his ear. A window next to him lets in a bit of late afternoon light from the street. All the panels on this page should be from the same angle.
BRIAN1: You're talking about a bird? I imagine that there are a lot of birds in Chicago, how am I supposed to find one particular one?

PANEL 2 Brian expression turns a little suspicious.
BRIAN1: An orange tag, right...Wait, what?
BRIAN2: What the hell is it infected with?

PANEL 3 Brian puts his hand to his forehead, frustrated.
BRIAN1: You can't tell me? What if it has ****ing Super-AIDs or something?
BRIAN2: Don't let it scratch or bite me. I feel much better about this now.

PANEL 4 Brian stares at a piece of paper in his hand.
BRIAN1: ...sigh...
BRIAN2: Yeah, I still want the job.
BRIAN3: I have it in my hand right now.


PANEL 1 We're back to the present now, outside. Close up as Brian holds the picture in his hand. It shows a colorful parakeet in a cage.

PANEL 2 Long shot. Brian exchanges money with a hot dog vendor, holding the picture at his side. He's in a sort of plaza and there are birds milling around all over the ground.

PANEL 3 Long shot as Brian sits on a bench, eating a hot dog in the plaza. Pigeons dot the ground around him.

PANEL 4 Same shot. Apparently finished with his hot dog, Brian bends down and dispenses birdseeds to the pigeons now clamoring at his feet.


PANEL 1 A bird looks up inquisitively from the flock.

PANEL 2 Close up. Brian stares back at it, dejected.
BRIAN1: Dumbest decision I've made in a long time.

PANEL 3 Close up of the bag of seeds in Brian's hands, empty.

PANEL 4 A very low shot. The birds flutter out of the sides of the panel, revealing an out of focus limousine maybe thirty feet away.


PANEL 1 An older woman in fur coat high-heels her way to the limo, swinging merrily at her side a birdcage with a PARAKEET in it. This shot should be from high up, so that we can see the top of Brian's head in the lower corner of the panel as he watches.

PANEL 2 A close up of the birdcage. The parakeet sits meekly on a little bar. It has an orange tag around its left leg.

PANEL 3 Close up on Brian's face. His eyebrows raise in surprise.

PANEL 4 The limo speeds away from us and a figure stands on the right side of the panel.


PANEL 1 Brian stands in the street, looking at a piece of paper with a license plate number on it.

PANEL 2 He lowers the paper and a little smile spreads across his face.

PANEL 3 Long shot. The spacious lobby of an building. Everything is in white. The secretary's wide desk is to our right, the tall windowed face of the lobby looking out to the street on our left. Sam sits alone in a row of chairs along the left side. The secretary is turned away, giggling and chatting idly on the phone. On the wall facing us is a large sign, pale pink with white cursive lettering:

PANEL 4 Same shot. The secretary turns towards Brian now, the phone still glued to her ear.
SECRETARY1: You can go up now.


PANEL 1 A loungy office, also in white. There are couches to our left and right, a coffee table right between them. Brian rests on the edge of the couch to our left. The woman we saw earlier - Margaret Fuller - enters from the right with drinks in hand. The parakeet trots around in his cage on the table. The next two pages will all be shots from this angle.
FULLER1: You said you were here about Sapphire?
BRIAN1: Um, yes. I believe "Sapphire" belongs to some people who hired me. Could you tell me where you got her?

PANEL 2 After resting one of the drinks on the table and keeping her own, Fuller sits down and crosses her legs. She wears a dress that matches the room and has the appearance of a woman trying desperately to hold on to her looks
FULLER1: I bought her from a pet shop outside of town.
BRIAN2: What was the name of this store, Ms. Fuller?

PANEL 3 Fuller puts her hand to her chest and shows an exaggerated gesture of innocence.
FULLER1: I honestly cannot remember.
BRIAN1: No? Hm. Well, I'm afraid I've got some bad news--

PANEL 4 Fuller leans forward in distress.
FULLER1: You want to take Sapphire, don't you? Well I won't let you have her.
BRIAN1: Don't be childish, m'am, this animal belongs to someone else.
FULLER2: You want to take my Sapphire away just because she's a little sick.


PANEL 1 A bit of distress leaves Fuller's face.
BRIAN1: Excuse me?
FULLER1: What?
BRIAN2: You said that the bird was sick, what makes you think it's sick?
FULLER2: You said something earlier. Didn't you?...

PANEL 2 A hulking security guard enters from the left.
BRIAN1: It's tagged, it's not yours.
BRIAN2: I really don't want to get the police involved, but I will if I have to.
FULLER1: As will I, Mr. Cassidy, if you do not leave this building immediately.

PANEL 3 Brian stands and straightens his coat. The guard puts his hand on Brian's shoulder and Fuller appears to relax a bit.
BRIAN1: I guess I'll be going then.
FULLER1: An excellent idea.

PANEL 4 With a snap of his leg, Brian kicks the birdcage off of the table. It lands and cracks open. The glass of wine that Brian didn't drink shatters all over the floor. Fuller and her guard react with appropriate shock.


PANEL 1 The next few panels will follow the flight path of the bird, with it flying towards us wildly, from the area near the couch that Fuller is sitting on to the door. Fuller turns on the couch to look at the bird. Facing us, Brian breaks away from the security guard. And the guard just stands there dumbly for a second.
FULLER1: Oh no, get the goddam bird! GET THE GODDAM BIRD!

PANEL 2 The bird keeps flying towards us. Brian lunges onto the couch, putting one foot on the back and tipping it backwards. Fuller raises her hands in reaction to the couch tipping. The guard finally reacts, moving forward and reaching for Brian's arm.
FULLER1: Oh oh!

PANEL 3 The bird begins to fly towards the upper right side of the panel. The sides of the door creep into the edges of the panel. Brian stumbles forward with his arms outstretched. The guard chases after. Fuller lays awkwardly on the overturned couch in the background.

PANEL 4 As the bird flies off panel, Brian pushes the door shut, even as the guard keeps coming.


PANEL 1 A staircase winds its way rectangularly up the building. We're looking down, seeing the lobby at the bottom. The bird is ascending towards us.

PANEL 2 A pair of sneakers pound their way up the stairs...

PANEL 3 And keep pounding.

PANEL 4 Brian chugs up the stairs, pulling himself along the railing. He's anguished and sweating.
BRIAN1: ...Hate-huff-Stairs-huff-So-huff-Much...


PANEL 1 At the top of the building, the bird soars up through an open skylight.

PANEL 2 The roof. Brian slams open a rooftop exit and stands in the doorway, panting.

PANEL 3 Across from him, the bird perches precariously on the ledge.

PANEL 4 The bird cocks its head and gives a blank, empty kind of kind of look.


PANEL 1 Brian replies with a determined stare.

PANEL 2 The exit is on our right, the ledge on our left. Brian dashes across the roof with his arms outstretched.

PANEL 3 The bird takes off and he lunges for it, his hands only inches away from its feet.

PANEL 4 Close up. As he reaches for its leg, its talon draws a tiny cut across his right thumb.


PANEL 1 As the bird finally flies off, Brian reels away from the ledge hysterically, gripping his right wrist.
BRIAN1: ****!****!****!

PANEL 2 He slumps against the wall adjacent to the exit.
BRIAN1: Oh god...

PANEL 3 Close up. He stares at his cut thumb, terrified.
BRIAN1: Oh god no. No, no...

PANEL 4 Same shot. He clenches his fist and his face, in pain.


PANEL 1 Same shot. Brian still appears to be in pain, but something odd is happening: His hair is a bit longer, his beard as well.

PANEL 2 Same shot. He opens his eye and looks up: His hair is beginning to grow over his face.

PANEL 3 He stands up and looks at his still growing hair and now ZZ Top-ish beard, while turning slightly.

PANEL 4 As Brian turns around, the camera pulls out to show what he's looking at: A pink billboard with a picture of a smiling woman with far too shiney hair. It reads
BRIAN1: Aheh...hehehehe...


PANEL 1 Close up on a flock of pidgeons like the ones we saw in the plaza. They scamper back and forth and peck at the ground. A bit of color peaks through the grey of their feathers.

PANEL 2 The pidgeons part a little and we see the parakeet in all it's rainbow color, among the pidgeons' ranks.

PANEL 3 The whole flock takes off of the ground and flies away.

PANEL 4 The now empty concrete ground.

Tell me what you think.
Last edited:
The mystery peaked my interest, but except for one flub, Brian was a fairly effective detective. Also, I had trouble getting an idea about Brian's personality. maybe some more dialogue would help.

But a good first attempt I'd say.

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