Summary of Midlife: A Graphic Novel Script
I have a vision of bringing my graphic novel script alive as an adult animation. The script is weird, funny, sad, and I don’t know, I think strangely optimistic too. The story is about Martin Lewis, a taxi driver and family man who once wanted to be an actor. He no longer enjoys acting. He doesn’t really know how to behave with his wife and son. As a matter of fact, he is having an existential crisis that everyone but Mary Poppins (and possibly Jimmy Fallon) will be able to relate to.
We follow Martin through episodic events with his psychologist, his wife, his son, his dog, his taxi customers and a bald lady who works in the bank. His depression builds up to the point where, when his held at gunpoint by a taxi-cab robber and his life flashes before him, he is not all that sure if he cares whether he gets shot or not. People born in the 60s and 70s will especially appreciate this graphic novel, but anyone who likes dry, dark humor will get a kick out of it. While I don't draw, I imagine the illustrations mirroring the disturbed and distorted view in the main character's mind, while still maintaining the humor.
Martin: A 40-something man who has lost his way, life has lost its flavor for him, and he cannot even derive pleasure from the things he once loved.
Jenny: Martin's wife, Jenny has all the common sense, drive and wisdom of a woman who knows what life is about, and she is waiting patiently for Martin to pull out of the fog.
Sammy: Ironically, Martin's teenage son has a lot in common with his father. He is moody, apathetic and looking to escape reality.
Daniel: Martin's older brother is a reflection of himself, both in the memories of a simpler childhood, and the challenges of mid-life.
The bald bank lady: Martin's nemesis, this woman represents Martin's struggles with the injustice of life.
Two sample chapters (not in order)
Sample chapter 1: In which, our hero, Martin Lewis conveys a dramatic dream to his psychiatrist
Martin Lewis lying on couch and psychiatrist behind desk writing something in a journal.
Martin speech: Last night, I dreamt I was at an audition and someone yelled that terrorists had attacked the building.
2. Psychiatrist from the view of behind his back; we now see that he is not writing in a journal, but in fact doing Sudoku puzzles
Martin speech: But I decided it was probably safest just to stay where I was.
3. Martin Lewis sitting up on couch
Martin speech: The building was on fire, and I could hear gunshots. But I was just so damned tired. I spread out on the couch and kept on sleeping. What do you think it means?
4. Psychiatrist from behind, his hand reaching for one of dozens of the same prescriptions laid out on his desk.
Psychiatrist speech: You’re mildly depressed. I’m going to prescribe some pills that will make you feel better.
Sample chapter 2: In which, Martin Lewis faces danger
1. Crazed looking young junkie enters Martin Lewis’s cab
Junkie speech: Hey man, take me to Third and Western.
Martin thought-bubble: “This guy looks dangerous. He’ll probably try to kill me.”
2. Cab pulled over in a dark, secluded place. The junkie holding a gun to Martin’s head.
Junkie speech: Gimme all your money.
3. Martin Lewis close up of face and torso
Martin thought bubble: This guy’s going to shoot me. He’s really going to kill me if I don’t do what he says.
4. Martin Lewis extreme close up of face, apathetic expression
Martin thought bubble: And I don’t care. I just don’t care.
5. The gun held to the back of Martin’s head with the trigger pulled in by the junkie’s finger
6. Martin Lewis’s life flashing before him.
Not sure how to represent this. Ideally, a series of images coming out of his head in bubbles of him as a baby, a child, a teenager, a young man, at his wedding, etc. (but he always has the same apathetic expression on his face). Or if that’s too complicated maybe just a simpler version of him in cab with stars in his eyes or over his head?
Martin thought bubble: Oh my God, my life just flashed before my eyes.
7. Martin Lewis face close up with tear running down his cheek
Martin thought-bubble: And I was always a miserable son of a bitch.