Monday 24 December 2012

Wanna draw a graphic novel?

OK - so 1st and most important thing:  This is a competition for a mug and a book, not an offer of employment.
 2nd thing: I don't have a deal to do a Prince of Thorns graphic novel. I'd like one - but it hasn't happened yet. If I really like the winning entry of this competition I will send it to the new graphic novel department at Ace. I have zero influence with those people but a nice chapter 1 might spark their imaginations. If they decided to go ahead with the project there might be zero chance they'd want to secure your services for the artwork. Or those chances might be as high as one in a million. That's not a good reason to enter the competition. Think MUG. Think FREE BOOK.

The competition closes on 31st of January & if nobody else enters you could win it with a smiley face :D
I will display all entries and think about some fair voting scheme as well to help me in my choice.

You can email me entries (partial or otherwise) at

Entries so far can be viewed here.

So - below is the script I wrote for chapter 1. Stick to it, or don't. Put in as much or little effort as you like. Draw stick-men and stop after panel 1 page 1. Draw sumptious full-colour art and complete every panel. Entirely up to you.

Prince of Thorns – Graphic Novel Script
Mark Lawrence

Page 1
4 stacked panels onto the same scene
Panel 1 – Rooftops, the gables of a church, well-to-do but rustic village, single column of smoke rising. A line of ravens looking down from the church gables. Last of them with torn flesh hanging from beak.
Caption - Ravens! Always the ravens.

Panel 2 – Panning down we now see Jorg’s head – young man, sharp features, long black hair. Smear of soot on cheekbone.
Caption - War, my friends, is a thing of beauty. Those as says otherwise are losing.

Panel 3 – Panning lower – see that Jorg is armoured in a battered platemail breastplate, spattered with gore, see some buildings have flames from windows. See other Brothers looting – brutish men in mixed armour, some old, some huge, some skinny – a rag tag bunch. See simple fountain in town square and the first of the corpses. An injured man calling for water.
Injured man: ‘Water’
Caption – ‘Water! Water!’ It’s always water with the dying. Strange ‒ it’s killing that gives me a thirst.

Panel 4 – Pan to the ground and there’s a sea of corpses, blood running everywhere, propped against fountain base Bovid Tor, older, fatter peasant with a woodax close by, belly opened, guts out.
Caption - And that was Mabberton.

 Page 2
Panel 1- Close up of Bovid’s open guts, flies, hand straining toward axe hilt. Shower of severed fingers raining down onto belly.
Rike (out of frame): ‘Shit-poor farm maggots!’

Panel 2- Pan out. Jorg and Rike face each other standing to either side of Bovid, fountain behind them, blood and corpses. Where Jorg is relatively clean Rike is filthy with gore. Jorg = mature 14 y-o not far off six foot. Rike = massive man in partial platemail, bald headed, scarred, brutal face, close on seven foot tall, approaching 30. Jorg and Rike eyes locked (Jorg looking up). Severed fingers still dropping from Rike’s open hand. Jorg elegant longsword, scabbarded. Rike big axe, in hand. Sub-panel, Jorg’s eyes & Rike’s, intense stare.
Rike: ‘A whole village. One gold ring! Fecking bog-farmers.’
Jorg: ‘Settle down, Brother Rike. There’s more than one kind of gold in Mabberton.’

Panel 3- chest and head shot – Makin pushing between Jorg and Rike, arm around each one’s shoulders. Makin, tall knight, best armoured of the bunch, midway between Rike and Jorg in height. Dark curly hair, sweaty, thick lips, amiable face, often smiling. 
Makin: ‘Brother Jorg is right, Little Rikey. There’s treasure aplenty to be found.’

Panel 4- Close up, Makin’s face turned to Rike. Makin eyebrows up, suggestive – Rike surly.
Makin: ‘When you get farmers, what else do you always get, Little Rikey?’

Panel 5- Close up, Makin’s face turned to Rike. Makin expectant – Rike puzzled.
Rike: Cows?

Panel 6- Close up, Makin’s face turned to Rike. Makin grinning – Rike realisation.
Makin: ‘Well, you can have the cows, Little Rikey. Me, I’m going to find a farmer’s daughter or three.’

Panel 7- Makin and Rike, backs to us walking away toward house with broken door. Makin steering with arm across shoulder.
Rike: ‘Hur, hur, hur.’

Page 3

Panel 1- Panorama of Mabberton, several columns of smoke, ravens descending on bodies. Brother Maical leading the grey horse and head cart in stage left, dripping axe, hand on reins also holds severed head by hair. Maical solid, short-cropped hair, torn chainmail shirt, vacant face. Jorg foreground, chest up, staring at the flames starting to take hold. Rike and others disappearing into one of the larger houses.
Bovid Tor (beneath the frame): ‘Boy?’ (weak voiced)
Caption: A thing of beauty I tell you.

Panel 2 – Jorg crouching by Bovid, Jorg sword out, point on ground, arms up on hilt, resting. Bovid sprawled and pale.
Bovid: ‘Boy?’
Jorg: ‘Best speak your piece quickly, farmer. Brother Gemt’s a-coming with his axe. Chop-chop.’

Panel 3 – Jorg and Bovid. Bovid dying. Jorg angry.
Bovid: ‘H-how old are you, boy?’
Jorg: ‘Old enough to have slit you open like a fat purse.’
Bovid: ‘Fifteen summers, no more. Couldn’t be more….’

Panel 4 – Panorama again. More flames now, more smoke. Jorg standing looking down (at Bovid – out of frame). Head cart up close now. (we see heap of heads, tops of the wheels, Maical and Brother Gemt (smaller man, red hair, rat-faced, poc-marked).
Jorg: ‘Take his head. Leave his fat belly for the ravens.’     
Caption: Fifteen! I’d hardly be fifteen and rousting villages. By the time fifteen came around, I’d be King!


  1. Thanks for the contest. It is a pity I am not artistically inclined at all. Even the smiley would be crooked.

    We'll see if I can make anyone else draw for me though :)

  2. So how exactly do we send it in? Mail? E mail?? I might give it a shot. :P

    1. Ideally you'll have (or have access to) a scanner and can either email me the files or put them on your website or some host site.

      If you want to trust your hardcopy to the post you could mail them to me.

      Give it a shot. I'm guessing the next person to enter might take the lead :D

  3. How would I be able to send or email it or whatever? I'm thinking of emtering.

    I'm sorry but I don't feel that the one you've shown us does the book must justice! and I'm a perfectionist when it comes to this stuff. It'll be interesting to see if I can manage to win against all who enter, I feel like the youngest fan of the trilogy!

    Is it alright if I have the drawing done on my computer though?

  4. you can attach it to an email & send to or upload it to a website and post a link here...

  5. Thank you so much for this fantastic contest! I would love to enter and have a shot at it.

    The Broken Empire trilogy is fantastic, and i am so excited just contemplating the possiblity of a graphic novel.