Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Guess the Plot
1. Yet another plane comes to a deadly, explosive end when it skitters off the edge of a too-short runway in Brazil. Two hundred dead is bad enough, but when over half of the bodies are found in the cargo hold, the crash unlocks a secret slave trade that Hugo Volante, investigative reporter, will risk his life to expose.
2. After six months of unemployment, Sue has just started her new shipping and receiving job at Cargo Volante. Soon she learns that the company is bringing huge quantities of marijuana and cocaine into the U.S. Should Sue report this? Or should she just ask for an employee discount?
3. He's a hunky Brazilian soya farmer intent on expanding his farm into the Brazilian rainforest. She's a hard-headed, voluptuous American environmentalist out to stop deforestation. When they collide, it's so hot it could set the Amazon on fire.
4. On an abandoned cargo wharf, penniless, homeless, drunk Hiram falls in with a group of drug-addled anarchists. Together they turn the seedy wharf into a thriving venue for dance parties, with Hiram becoming a popular DJ and flying high in the city's social circles--until he starts to miss his old life of dumpster diving and bongs.
5. Cargo Volante was the code name for a spook research venture, a flying brick with no aerodynamics or fuel. Would this Area 51 project launch the U.S. into interstellar flight, or would the KGB's Cargo Snagglepuss program send it in another direction?
6. It was smuggling of the fowlest kind, and Dirk Destiny was determined to ferret out the depraved ring of black-marketers. But what he hadn't counted on was that the only way to succeed would be to don a tight fur suit and weasel his way in on all fours, hoping that he would be the perfect mole to infiltrate the vole-snatching ring in this spine-tingling tale of small animals gone awry.
[It's actually a synopsis/cover page for a serial comic book proposal, which are a bit different from novel queries in that they don't expect you to have the entire thing written when you're pitching it.]
Hiram, a gay teenage delinquent on a prolonged whiskey bender, runs away from his mother's trailer on the Tulalip Indian Reservation out of frustration at the depressed economy and depressing people, and finds himself penniless, homeless, too sheltered and too drunk to consider anything besides crashing on the couch of the first person who offers. [If you're penniless, homeless and drunk, you're rarely in position to pick and choose from among several couch offers.] [Not clear what "too sheltered" means here.] That person turns out to be Sebastian, a quirky South American trust-fund brat turned starving artist squatting with a group of anarchists in a seedy abandoned container wharf on the Seattle waterfront. After several nights of heady conversations with his newfound friends and torrid sex with Sebastian, [Apparently comic books have changed a bit since the days of Archie and Jughead, Richie Rich and The Flash.] Hiram decides to move in with him - just temporarily, until he can get his feet on the ground, of course.
With the help of their circle of drug-addled, counterculture buddies, the unlikely pair turn the remote squat into a thriving venue for underground electronic dance music parties, and Hiram lives out his dream of becoming a popular house DJ and socialite in the big city. [A gay teenage delinquent who grew up on a reservation has a dream of being a big city socialite?] [Let's cut to the chase: what are Hiram's super powers?] It doesn't take him long to get over the culture shock and ditch mainstream day-job society for his chance at a wayward youth full of debauchery, dumpster-diving, bongos and bongs with the man and the scene he is falling deeply in love with. [How can he ditch mainstream day-job society? Is DJ at an underground dance club considered mainstream day-job society?] Hiram quits drinking, begins to take pride in his appearance, and finally starts to tear down the cynical, angry facade he has been hiding behind since childhood, feeling that only now has he found the 'tribe' to which he truly belongs. [This seems to keep going back and forth. He ditched the good life for a life of debauchery, dumpster diving and bongs, yet he also quits drinking etc.? Is the tribe to which he belongs the drug-addled counterculture buddies? If so, do they drink? Do they take pride in their appearances?]
But every party has to end sometime. The unlimited supply of pills and speed tempts Hiram with increasing frequency, he is plagued with guilt about leaving his disabled mother and codependent older sister back on the Rez, the fundamental differences between his world view and Sebastian's cause drama in their relationship, and the parties at the wharf have gained enough notoriety to attract unwanted attention. [Aquaman and Prince Namor want their cut of the profits.] Reckless and hedonistic abandon may have worked out for the best the first time around, but it's going to take maturity, self-sacrifice and cooperation to keep everything he's worked towards from falling apart.
[Origin of the title - It's like Disco Volante, which is Italian for 'Flying Saucer' but more commonly used as a pun about discotheque music, but in a cargo wharf, so, cargo! If anyone has any better suggestions, I'm all ears. I haven't drawn the logo yet.] [You removed the "disco" from disco volante and replaced it with "cargo." If anything needed replacing, it was the "volante," since the wharf was converted to a disco. I'd certainly go with Disco Volante as the title over Cargo Volante. And I'd seriously consider adding some flying saucers to the plot.]
The plot sounds more like literary fiction than a comic book series. I suppose if I'm gonna read something depressing it might as well have pictures.
It's not clear what happens after the dance club becomes successful. Does Hiram ditch the club for high society, and then go back to Sebastian? If so, when he goes back I would expect him to find the wharf a thriving venue, not the seedy dump it was when he first got there. So how is going back to life with Sebastian connected with dumpster diving?
Do they charge money to attend the parties? Is it a business? Where do they get the money for equipment and music and decor etc.? Does the starving artist dip into his trust fund for speakers?
Even if there are no super villains, there should be a villain of some sort. Who's the bad guy who threatens to mess everything up for our "hero"?