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Westwood Investigations: Update! With New Story & More Art!

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Westwood Investigations: Update! With New Story & More Art!

Postby aerostarmonk » Sat Feb 19, 2011 8:32 pm

Some of you may remember me talking about Westwood Investigations every now and then. In fact some of you may have even taken a gander at the comic itself when I posted a page back in August. Well, things are finally moving forward, but this time it's going to be a radio program.

Not an actual radio program, as I could never get on a legitimate station if I tried. Not to mention that this type of production is nearly extinct in the medium and would never find the market penetration that it would on the Web. But it is indeed an audio narrative. Radio play just sounds better.

I've been working on writing the scripts for the show for the past week or so and even recorded a demo(WARNING: Brief language) featuring myself as two of the main characters. I will not be voicing any of the characters. Most likely I'll only be the narrator. I've already got people signed up to play a number of them. Characters, not narrators. More than one narrator would be too confusing and not very fun.

If you direct your attention to the signature below you can see one of the concepts for one of the leads, Charlie Barklow. Clicking through the pic will take you to the gallery to the wonderful person who designed it, Kelly Angel.

Many people have had a hand in helping me create this entire thing. They will all be credited and if fortunate circumstances occur will find themselves fairly compensated for their efforts.

Mostly I'm posting here to give you a behind-the-scenes look at putting this whole thing together, from scripts, auditions, promo art and other cool stuff. Mind you this is not an advertisement. And if it is I will remove this thread without complaint in a timely manner.

It doesn't end there though. You can help! There are plenty of talented folks on this Planet of ours and every little bit would be greatly appreciated. This is a massive project on my part so if you're willing to do a bit of voice work or do some art, anything really, please don't hesitate to step up.

Wow, this is really getting into ad territory.

I guess I should probably tell you what the story's about. Westwood Investigations follows the adventures of a group of twentysomethings who decide to start a detective agency that deals with some of the more unusual aspects in their town. From man-eating bicycles to self-righteous superpowered teens, time-travelers, reality warpers, sentient apartments, malevolent sculptors and the weird conspiracy that ties everything together, Westwood Investigations is on the case, and they're also ready to believe you.

It's a comedy.

Well, I think it's funny...

If you've read this far I congratulate you. I am both long-winded and verbose. I'm also more than a bit of a pedant. And a <i>teensy</i> bit patronizing. Not to mention a GIANT opportunist.

Thank you very much. I'll have more as it develops.
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Re: Westwood Investigations: A RADIO PLAY In the Making

Postby aerostarmonk » Tue Feb 22, 2011 1:59 am

Demo #2: Flight is up! (WARNING: Heaps of language)

In this demo the flying girl mentioned in the first demo makes an appearance!

Still could use your support folks. Otherwise, you'll be subjected to my horrible voice for more of these things.
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Re: Westwood Investigations: A RADIO PLAY In the Making

Postby aerostarmonk » Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:08 pm

This is taken from a note on my facebook page. I copied it so I didn't have to re-write the intro. But forget about that. Just tell me what you think about the script.

Well, for those who don't already know I'm trying to put together an audio drama series called Westwood Investigations. The series revolves around nerds who decide to start a detective agency that deals with some of the more peculiar occurrences in their hometown.



I currently already have several major roles already cast, but I'm always looking for more people to sign up in any capacity. But as for now I thought I'd simply give you a short look of the kind of thing you can expect from the show. I'm still learning the ropes of this medium so bear with me.



I hope you enjoy it.





Scene: Ext. Warehouse District



(This is the cold opening of the show)





SOUND: Ambient City Noises





NARRATOR



The warehouse district is usually deserted at this time of night...



SOUND: BICYCLE BELL



(2x)





NARRATOR



If one were to look right now they'd think tonight was no different...





SOUND: BICYCLE BELL



(4x)





NARRATOR



But if you look closely you'd see two figures standing in an alleyway. One is a slightly chubby young man with thick spectacles and a somewhat conservative appearance...





SOUND: Roar





FISH



You know when you got me to do this, I'm pretty sure this wasn't what I had in mind.





NARRATOR



His name is Fish...





CHARLIE



What did you have in mind?





NARRATOR



The other is a young woman also wearing thick glasses. Her long, unkempt hair is just barely kept out of her eyes by a hastily applied headband. Her name is Charlie...





FISH



Probably not cannibalistic Schwinns...





CHARLIE



It's not cannibalistic. I don't think I saw it eat any other bikes.





FISH



I'm not sure that makes me feel any better.





(FISH is nursing a wound here. CHARLIE Pokes at it)





CHARLIE



Geez. It sure took a bite out of you though...





FISH



(Angrily and in pain)



Don't touch it!





CHARLIE



Now it has a taste for human flesh. Particularly yours. I'd say the stakes have been raised.





FISH



(snippy)



Oh, you think so, huh?





CHARLIE



I doubt sarcasm will get us anywhere.





FISH



You know I thought this would be over after we killed it, I dunno, the FIRST TEN TIMES! But the universe is just not throwing us a break on this one. Each time we off it, it comes back scarier and somehow even more pissed! It's literally a vicious cycle!





CHARLIE



Now puns? Those will probably end up saving the day.





FISH



It's easy to be so blase when you're not the one nursing a wound. I think this could get infected.





CHARLIE



You'll be fine!





FISH



Or gangrenous.





CHARLIE



Greek for "fine".





FISH



Let me ask you, was it really that harmful before? I don't remember it going after people. Sure it was terrifying an--





CHARLIE



(interrupting)



It was eating neighborhood pets, Fish!





FISH



Well, so do I. I guess you're going to put me down next.





CHARLIE



It looks like you didn't stop at the pets, either.





FISH



(exasperated)



You know....





CHARLIE



(laughs)





FISH



Bad comedy aside, this entire day rates a 9.0 on my weird crap-o-meter.





CHARLIE



Don't you think it's weird that we haven't heard it for awhile?





FISH



What do you think it's trying to get the drop on us?





NARRATOR



At this very moment the monstrous Schwinn was trying to get the drop on them. Its thick black tires seem to be covered in scales, spikes and serrated edges make up the frame, its metallic blue paint shimmers and the chrome shines unusually bright. It doesn't so much roll through the empty streets of the warehouse districts as deliberately crawl the deserted roads. The only thing that seems to be normal about this bike is its fairly ordinary looking wire basket



SOUND: ROAR





NARRATOR



Well, that's new! The basket isn't as ordinary as it seemed. It opens to reveal an impossible mouth filled with multiple rows of jagged and rusty teeth.





FISH



Geez, it sounds closer than last time!





SOUND: Rummaging





SOUND: Snapping bolt cutters





FISH



What are you going to do with those bolt cutters?





CHARLIE



Remember when I said puns would save the day?





FISH



Oh no! You can't mean--





FISH



That's stupid! That's really frickin' stupid!





CHARLIE



Stupid or GENIUS!





FISH



Since when is this multiple choice! It's idiotic and just plain dumb.





CHARLIE



That gives me three options! Thus multiple choice. But it's a trick question.





FISH



Semant--!





CHARLIE



You say it's a vicious cycle? A literal vicious cycle?





FISH



Charlie? DON'T. DO. THIS!





CHARLIE



Only one way...





FISH



IT'LL NEVER WORK!





SOUND: Bicycle bell





SOUND: Roar





SOUND: SNAPPING BOLT CUTTERS





SOUND: Skrimish



FISH



(sheepish and astonished)



Heh. I can't believe that worked



CHARLIE



It's simple. There's only one way to beat a vicious cycle. You gotta break the chain!





(Cue intro)
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Re: Westwood Investigations: A RADIO PLAY In the Making

Postby thedriveintheatre » Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:34 am

I really like the banter between Fish and Charlie (very unconventional choice of names for the protagonists too!). But the dialogue kind of meanders- if you've read Skulduggery Pleasant, you kind of have Derek Landy's style of 'rambling dialogues'. Sometimes that kind of 'cute humour' works, but at other times, it might frustrate the reader.

I highly recommend Skulduggery Pleasant if you haven't checked it out, it has a similar theme of a pair of paranormal investigators who have to stop a great evil from taking over the world, though I suspect yours will be more like a series with individual cases every episode as opposed to a grand storyline.

Also, you might want to watch both Hellboy movies and a recent comic gem I discovered called Savage Dragon for inspiration. ;)

I wish you the best of luck, and do post more of your scripts as you go along!
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Re: Westwood Investigations: A RADIO PLAY In the Making

Postby aerostarmonk » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:26 am

thedriveintheatre wrote:I really like the banter between Fish and Charlie (very unconventional choice of names for the protagonists too!). But the dialogue kind of meanders- if you've read Skulduggery Pleasant, you kind of have Derek Landy's style of 'rambling dialogues'. Sometimes that kind of 'cute humour' works, but at other times, it might frustrate the reader.


Yeah, I like coming up with nicknames for my characters when I'm able. Their real names are Elliot and Caroline.

You're right, the lines were much tighter when I was writing for reading. But I'm hoping it plays better in audio. I imagine a quicker pace. And I was hoping it was kind of conveying a sense of camaraderie and a bit of nervous humor that helps makes the entire situation a bit less dangerous for both. I also thought the jokes would work better, especially the main punchline, if they seemed more like were part of an actual conversation rather than just carefully placed setups.

Rest assured, I'm going to try my hardest to make sure that not all of my characters don't talk this way. That would get so annoying!

I highly recommend Skulduggery Pleasant if you haven't checked it out, it has a similar theme of a pair of paranormal investigators who have to stop a great evil from taking over the world, though I suspect yours will be more like a series with individual cases every episode as opposed to a grand storyline.


I've just looked it up. It sounds really interesting. I'm going to have to pick up a few of these someday.

Though it may not seem like it from the excerpt and info I've provided, the show has heavy continuity and does involve saving the world. Or at least the city of Port Lawrence. Even the killer bike is actually foreshadowing of a larger storyline that doesn't make itself known until much later on. All this with a heaping helping of wiggy temporal mechanics. I really hope the audiences loves time travel.

Also, you might want to watch both Hellboy movies and a recent comic gem I discovered called Savage Dragon for inspiration. ;)


Seen them both and read the comics. I prefer the first film and think the comics are pretty rad.

As for Savage Dragon? I haven't read that. I've heard so many mixed things. But I'll be sure to look it up now because of your endorsement. You're the first person I'm actually acquainted with who's recommended it.

I wish you the best of luck, and do post more of your scripts as you go along!


I certainly will. So much more. I'm happy to keep you updated. This entire thing has been getting good buzz. Even the creator of Flapjack has expressed interest.

Thanks for replying, TDIT. Hope you drop by again real soon!
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Re: Westwood Investigations: A RADIO PLAY In the Making

Postby aerostarmonk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:04 am

I've written a song for the series. It's a song for a play within the show. I don't even know if I'm every actually going to use it. But it's about Thomas Alva Edison. I hope you enjoy it.

Please excuse my horrible singing and know that I will not be doing it in the show. I want to keep my audience.
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Re: Westwood Investigations: A RADIO PLAY In the Making

Postby aerostarmonk » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:35 pm

I don’t tell many people this, but Westwood Investigations is heavily based on true events. I don’t say anything because I don’t want to seem like I’m just snatching from history and contributing nothing of my own.

Take the Montrose family. Valerie, the girl who can fly, is a fictional member of that family. Back in the day that name was huge. Like Bill Gates huge. At least around these parts. The Montroses made everything you can imagine and more. Now the family is too poor to really sue anybody. Hard times hit everyone. And besides who’s going to come after me for saying their granddaughter can fly?

My grandfather, William “Nick” Nicholson tried to be an announcer for the newsreels the company would put out in local cinema for their own PR purposes. He wasn’t that good at it. I don’t think he had the job long. Though he did go on to have several more jobs as a voice-over guy. I never met him, he died long before I was born, but I still hear his voice to this day in various things around here.


While looking through some of his stuff that my ma found while cleaning recently, I came across one of those old newsreels that focused on the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. It focused on the Montrose Corp’s exhibit in particular. The Perisphere.

Image

The place was kind of impossibly amazing. It was frickin' huge. It had the world’s largest escalator and try to imagine an IMAX theatre projected on something the size of a skyscraper and you have a bit of an idea of the exhibit on the inside of it.

Here’s a look at one of those cool cities of tomorrow, Democracity:

Image

I was able to record the audio from the reel. But I don’t really have anything to film it. Besides the image was really muddy to begin with. Not even all of the sound came out alright. Big Z’s speech made it nearly impossible to understand what he was saying. I was able to figure it out to the best of my ability though:

Zachary Montrose, Jr. wrote: Yes, it truly is the dawn of a new day. Inside this titanic structure you will have a first hand look at the future of urban centers. A better tomorrow for every man, woman and child! An era of peace and prosperity is upon us and I hope to help lead the way! By the end of the century everyone will be living in the world I’ve imagined. I give you the Perisphere!


This wasn’t my grandfather’s best work as you can hear. It’s probably why he didn’t get to keep the job very long. But I do think it’s rather cool that some of this crap did exist

I hope you think so too. And not just think I’m just some giant rip off artist!

Here's the newsreel audio
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Re: Westwood Investigations: A RADIO PLAY In the Making

Postby aerostarmonk » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:03 am

Timeline

Alright, so a few nights ago I compiled a rough timeline for the stuff I planned over the past couple of years. The timeline is very rough. It mentions the Montrose family for the most part and nothing else really. But you should get something of an idea of the setting and the history of a few of the characters.

1790s: the city is first settled and there was a skrimish with local natives known as the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Nonetheless Fort Industry rises up on the banks of the Maumee River in the area known as the Black Swamp

1812: Most residents flee the settlement during the War.

1820s: A family out of Cincinnati purchases a crap load of land and call it Port Lawrence hoping for it to be the last port on the Erie Canal before the actual lake. That family’s name is Montrose.

A rival syndicate buys land north of Port Lawrence and calls it Vistula.

1833: the two cities are merged for a brief period of time and go under the name of Toledo. Legend says it was named by the great writer Washington Irving.

1835: Michigan which had long sought to lay claim to the area decides they should go to war with Ohio. Michigan learns something about the land that leads them to believe it would be better to not have it and agrees to a settlement through Congress to not even fire a single shot thinking they suckered Ohio into taking a fool’s bargain.

1835: The Montrose family uses the confusion to make a huge power play. Reverting the name of the city back to Port Lawrence. Although a few vestiges of Toledo remain such as the local paper known as the Sword.

1837: Port Lawrence is officially incorporated into the state of Ohio

Somewhere in the 1840s or 50s: Jeremy Oswald starts the Church of KEB influencing a great many of the captains of industry and others folks of great import in Port Lawrence. Soon after he dies and the church disappears.

1860s: Several top members of Port Lawrence found the Fraternal Order of the Black Swamp. One of those men was William Montrose. His son, Zachary is born not too soon after.

1880s: Zachary Montrose discovers a new clean energy source revolutionizing all of the nation. And becoming a rival to people like Edison and Westinghouse at a very young age.

1900s: Zachary Montrose, Jr. is born.

1920s-1930s Zachary Jr ends up being called Big Z by locals as he is beloved by all except his rivals who he ruthlessly knocks out of business by pioneering new technologies that nobody ever imagined.

1930s: Evan Montrose is born

1939: The Montrose Corporation is one of the biggest companies in the world. They even have an exhibit at the World’s Fair. The Peripshere has Democracity, a vision for a better tomorrow. Their exhibit is a huge success. (This part is mostly true)

During this time Big Z was very influence by the work of others in well, certain countries, and started ordering experiments on how to build better human beings. Tests included but were not limited to activating a gene that would enable the ability to fly in human beings. But after tests were deemed too unsafe, too costly and unsuccessful the project was shut down during WWII where Big Z decided to instead turn his attention fully to the War effort. Coming up with a new vehicle to drive Willys Overland, the maker of the Jeep, out of business and snap up the patents. (I think this might be the reason why I decided to choose a family too poor to sue)

1950s: Evan Montrose marries Lila Jones, a black woman. His father all but disowns him (but not publicly because that’s bad for business) spurring Evan to start up a rvial company called Montrose Enterprises that went head to head with Montrose Corporation (This is true. The rest is not. The companies crashed burned after this split. But don’t blame it on the marriage folks. The remaining members of the family don’t seem too bitter about how the way everything went down)

1959: Lance Montrose is born

1960: the now powerful Montrose Enterprises has been outselling Montrose Corp stock. Evan mounts a hostile takeover of his father’s company while he slips into poor health.

1961: Evan Montrose dies. Montrose Corp is split into several companies all answering to Montrose Enterprises

1964: Lance plans a return to the World’s Fair in Queens. He plans to build something spectcular. He disappears under mysterious circumstances before his plans are fully deciphered. The observation towers on the fairgrounds, are the only remnant of what could’ve been.

late 1970s: Lance Montrose takes control of Montrose Enterprises and decides to start being more philanthropic than his progenitors.

1987: Valerie Montrose is born (yay flying girls!)
Image

By the year 2000 ME has completely changed the way the world does things. MonTech’s consumer electronics like holographic karaoke, immersive movies, and other things are a huge hit. Other divisions like Montrose Foods have been able to feed entire hungry nations.

2008: Valerie Montrose meets a young man by the name of Elliot Fisher

2009: Valerie goes into business with the young Fisher and his partner Caroline Barklow to start Westwood Investigations. A paranormal investigation agency fully bankrolled by the Montrose fortune.

Where will things go next….?
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Re: Westwood Investigations: Update! With Audio and Art!

Postby thedriveintheatre » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:06 pm

Interesting reading the timeline. I can see it's like a megacorporation like Stark Industries or BnL that had humble beginnings. It's also great to read the historical background of the Montrose family. So I take it Valerie Montrose is like the chief detective of the agency, and Elliot and Caroline report to her? Also, this is like a private investigation firm, right? Maybe you can have the government taking an interest in them (for better or worse). Maybe have a couple of suits bundle Elliot and Caroline into a limo and take them to a deserted location for interrogation. Or have people in shades watch them from neighbouring buildings.

Anyway, it's also interesting to read that your story is based on your family's true-life events. That makes it more compelling when you write it. Writing from experience (or research) pays off huge dividends, too often I read fanfics where the author doesn't quite know what they're talking about or doesn't describe a scene in enough detail.

Would you be making a character lineup soon? Maybe a character bio sheet. It's kind hard to imagine the team beyond that signature you wore before your current one (which I believe is drawn by another artist and should be given credit, I thought it was done by you).

Also, when I clicked on Valerie Montrose's image, I get taken to another DeviantArtists' profile. Is this person your collaborator?

Anyway, keep up the great work. If C.Keane has really expressed interest in this, I think you've got something goin' on here!

Just a tip: It would be nice if you could comment on other members' fanworks or original pieces as well. Like my arts and videos, perhaps? ;) But yeah, check out the other works by people here too. I notice you seem to be posting a lot of posts without any responses in this thread, so maybe if you comment on other people's pieces and invite them to check out yours, you could win more fans!
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Re: Westwood Investigations: Update! With Audio and Art!

Postby aerostarmonk » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:12 pm

All signatures I've worn have been hotlinked to the original artist's website, tumblr or dA. The signature system doesn't quite allow both an advertisement for both this thread and credit, so I thought I'd do the next best thing and link directly to them by way of the picture. They are all credited in places of higher visibility such as Facebook, the show's tumblr, and the photobucket I put together when it was a comic. I believe in credit where credit is due. And when the time comes folks who've contributed art will most likely see a larger share of the profits than I. I'm just a writer/producer. That's easy. Art's HARD!

But the previous art was done by Kelly Angel, Hannah Stockdale, and Shelby Cragg respectively. The drawing of Valerie was done by cast member and co-writer Tessa Kleiner, and finally the expression sheet for Charlie was done by the co-creator of the character,Jami Cardwell.

Speaking of which this is on the official Westwood blog on tumblr:

I wrote:When I first conceived of Westwood Investigations in 2009 I had planned to pitch it as a cartoon show.

This first design for Charlie was illustrated by the wonderful and utterly charming Jamilee Cardwell.

Unfortunately the project never quite took off. But that’s okay because here we are today. There are great things ahead.

I can’t thank Jami enough for being the first one to touch this project. She will always have my fondest regards and partial credit for creation of the character.


Valerie is mainly just a supervisor. She doesn't really go out in the field much. She has the family's stellar business acumen and a superpower of her own (I bet you can probably guess where it came from too).

It's funny you should mention Stark Industries. In the 2nd film they introduced the Stark Expo, which was started by Tony's father. I don't know if you know this, but the Stark Expo was basically a retconning of the 64 World's Fair into Marvel Cinematic Universe's continuity. Filming even took place on the old Flushing fairgrounds themselves. You may remember the observation towers which doubled as flying saucers in the film Men In Black which crashed into the Unisphere, the successor of the Perisphere. That brings us full circle back to Iron Man 2 where the Unisphere is actually a representation of part of the atomic structure of a new element,(my guess is vibranium). I really love the fact that I'm feeding off of the same history as these other folks. And that we were all inspired by the same thing. And maybe even the same folks.

Yes, there's a character lineup coming. Without art for the most part though. Most of the other characters have never been drawn. Though strangely enough the cast members sort of resemble them. I'll probably post it before the end of the day.

I will mention that while they are not being watched by the government there are at least two factions interested in interfering for their own ends, a rival agency that's just better than them in pretty much every way, a group that wants them to leave well enough alone, and finally the police department that's budget's been slashed so much that they can't do much about anything one way or the other.

And I shall comment more on others' work. Or try to anyway. I never know what to say exactly because I feel unequipped to give anything resembling helpful critique.

One more thing, It's Thurop Van Orman, the creator of Flapjack, who's interested not C. Keane. Though that would be awesome too.
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Re: Westwood Investigations: Update! With Audio and Art!

Postby aerostarmonk » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:52 pm

Cast Of Characters So Far (And the People Who Play Them)
I thought it might actually help if I told you who’s in this little thing that I’m working on. I also want to give credit to the people who are already on board as I wouldn’t be anywhere near as far without them. They are just as much responsible for all the great things that may end up happening with this show as I am. Possibly a bit more. So without further delay I give you the cast of WI:

Image
(art by Kelly Angel)

Caroline “Charlie” Barklow: The idea for a supernatural detective agency came from Charlie’s head. She figures that anyone who’s a bit genre savvy and knows a bit about folklore should be able to do quite well at this sort of thing. She’s both right and wrong. She both lives and works at the Westwood Twin where she has a job as a projectionist. She’s something of an artist though she doesn’t have much faith in her abilities. She’s somewhat shy until you get to know her and then you’d wish she’d shut up. She’s incredibly impatient, reckless, has a quick temper and sometimes prone to violent outbursts. She’s something of a coward and suffers from schizoaffective disorder, though she tries her best to keep those two things tightly under wraps. 8 years prior to the beginning of the series Charlie slipped from her own universe into the one that serves as the setting for this story. If that wasn’t enough her counterpart had died at age 3 due to drowning in a swimming pool. While unfortunate in many ways that particular event did give Charlie a gift, the chance to steal her own identity. Now if only the rest of her life could be as easy…

Charlie will be portrayed by Kaitlin Callahan.

Image
(art by Shelby Cragg)

Elliot “Fish” Fisher: AKA the dude on the left side of this picture (I don’t want you getting the wrong idea) Charlie’s best friend and partner. They’re basically like siblings. Fish often finds himself fed up with Charlie’s behavior and approach to things but loves her to death anyway. Prior to their meeting each other they were both kind of on the fringes of society. Just a couple of folks who kept to themselves for the most part. Fish has a day job as a call center operator that he does out of the apartment over his sister’s garage. It’s a very stupid job. So despite being reluctant to sign on to Charlie’s idea, he decided that it was better than whatever else he’s doing. He and Charlie share interests in many things, including but not limited to movies that everyone else hates, books that no one else has read, and music that most people haven’t heard. They’re accidental hipsters. Hipsters that busts ghosts. The best kind of hipsters. He’s kind of the sane one of the two until… Well, you’ll see.

Fish will be portrayed by David “Dom” Jackson

Image
(art by Tessa Kleiner)

Valerie Roberta Montrose: Valerie is the supervisor for the agency. She’s also the heiress to what may be the most powerful corporate empire in the nation, Montrose Enterprises. AND she can fly. Because all of the best administrators can fly. She has no aspirations for running the family business and instead wants to do things she’s interested in. One of those things being turning hard luck supernatural detective agencies into profitable endeavors. She’s inherited her old man’s business acumen, has access to tons of cash and the pick of the best things technology has to offer. You wish you had her as a boss. She’s actually has a bit of a thing for Fish, but she thinks that he should make the first move because he’s in need of some much needed confidence. Where will the success of WI lead Valerie?

Valerie is currently portrayed by no one. (I’M STILL LOOKING FOLKS!)

(Not Pictured)

Michelle “Calico” Sullivan: Michelle is a pizza delivery girl. She knows Fish from high school but barely paid attention to him back then. Fish has always carried a torch for her. She works at the pizza place right around the corner from where he lives.They kind of have a nice friendly thing going on. Though that whole thing escalates when she asks for the agency’s help in a problem in her apartment. she believes one of the units is haunted. The actual problem is way worse. As time goes by she finds herself wrapped up in more and more of the agency’s jobs. She ends up becoming a de facto member of the team. And she kinda hates every moment of it. She’s constantly exasperated by the entire experience. But they’re nice people and they tip well and on top of that she no longer has many people to talk to outside of them who’d take her seriously. She hates it when you make her bring up the story of why people call Calico. It’s a very stupid story and she can’t believe you made her tell it again.

Michelle will be portrayed by Kate Swann

Image
(art by Tessa Kleiner)

Abigail “Abby” Barklow: Abby is Charlie’s little sister. Except not. She’s Charlie’s counterpart’s sister. Though there is a similar Abby in Charlie’s continuum (and technically this one) we’ll just cut the semantics and say she’s Charlie’s little sister. After visiting the the Westwood Twin she runs into Charlie, a young woman who looks much like herself. She’s confused as she’s never known Charlie, counterpart or otherwise, outside of a few family photos kept as mementos. In fact she’s rather creeped out by her existence. But her curiosity gets the best of her and over time she and Charlie form a bond that neither quite knows what to make of. She’s technically as big a nerd as Charlie but she hides it in her efforts to be cool. she’s also a great deal more stylish. She possesses the uncanny ability to play just about any musical instrument the moment she lays hands on it and a remarkable singing voice. But when it comes to everything else she’s always struggling. She’s flunking all of her courses except English, which is the only other subject she excels in. She also has a huge problem with authority. Abby has a twin sister who is never named, never heard and never seen but constantly talked about as if none of it matters. Because it doesn’t. It’s just funny to me.

Abby will be portrayed by Tessa Kleiner.

(Not Pictured)

Dennis Maxwell Kemp: Dennis is the counterpart to Charlie’s best friend in her own universe. He’s a teleporter but not the way we usually think of one. He doesn’t so much teleport as has knowledge of shortcuts in the fabric of space & time itself. They appear to him as clear as day but to nobody else. Something that kind of confuses him to no end. He’s not sure how he got involved with these folks but he does think the girl with the glasses is pretty cute. And the job is pretty fun as well. It’s a good thing he just happened to chance upon these guys….

Dennis is currently portrayed by nobody. (COME ON GUYS!)


(Not Pictured)

Kyle Hamilton: Kyle is the host of a talk radio show that talks about fringe topics such as conspiracy theories, weird events, etc. The name of the show is the Unknown Hour a misnomer because the show is actually 3 hours long. But perhaps that’s simply one of the supernatural properties that can be attributed to this most mysterious unit of time. Kyle is the go-to guy for whatever is going on in the city. He’s got a head for local history, a memory for legends and an ear for the latest gossip. He’s also a psychokinetic. Because why not?

Kyle is currently portrayed by nobody. (FOR SHAME!)

Last But Not Least,

(Not Pictured)

Lauren Creek: Lauren is the personification/guardian spirit of the city of Port Lawrence, Ohio. She keeps an eye on the gang because they seem to be major players in something big. She also has a personal attachment to one of their members. She however cannot interfere in two big of a way due to the rules of the Council. Her older “siblings” Colin, Cliff, and Cindy run a governing body of guardian spirits who guide the course of events in the state of Ohio. Or at least try to anyway. However they’ve been experimenting with a more hands-off approach ever since Cliff’s actions led to the Cuyahoga River catching fire in his own city, Cleveland. Lauren has a big chip on her shoulder due to the way they treat her. She’s also something of a party girl. She’s a chain smoking, hard drinking artist who loves to live it up and can’t be kept down. PL in a nutshell. How will she influence this particular course of events? Only time will tell.

Lauren is portrayed by nobody. (TSK TSK!)

Well, thanks a lot folks for reading all of this. I hope you’re looking forward to this as much as we are. You folks are also quite important. For without you, we’d be entertaining only ourselves. Which is fine, because we like to do that, but this is so much cooler.

And if you want to sign on in any capacity just leave a message here or here.

Stay Tuned!
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aerostarmonk
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Re: Westwood Investigations: Update! With Story & More Art!

Postby aerostarmonk » Tue May 17, 2011 11:20 pm

I wrote a story the other night about how two of the main characters met. So I give to you Charlie and Dennis becoming friends in the second grade.

Sorry for it being so long.

Let's Be Friends!


Had she really been there the entire time? This was the thought that crossed Dennis’ mind as he
left the boy’s bathroom. She definitely could’ve been. It seemed more likely than the alternative. Appearing out of thin air just to mess with head was a very silly explanation indeed. So she must’ve been there the entire time. Something he didn’t give too much thought to as he rushed to relieve his bladder.

She looked so dorky, especially with those stupid thick glasses she was wearing. He figured that if she parted her lips into a smile they would probably reveal a mouthful of metal. She was the very essence of a nerd. She was most likely in the hall because she was ahead of the other students or something like that. One of those brainy kids who were sort of annoying and everything.

“Wow, you must be really smart, huh?” he asked the girl.

She seemed very busy. She was furiously scribbling away on a sheet of paper. She didn’t even look up when he spoke to her. She just mumbled something and continued what she was doing. He approached her so he’d have a better chance of hearing what she said.

“What?”

“No, not really,” she replied sounding quite aggravated.

“What are you doing out here for?”

She let out a frustrated sigh and looked directly at him as she slammed down her pencil. For a second she bared her clenched teeth. No metal.

“Why are you bothering me?” Frustration may have been an understatement.

“I just want to know why you’re out here. Are you smarter than the rest of the class or something?”

“If I was I wouldn’t be out her in the first place...” There was a tinge of sadness in her voice.

He was able to catch a glimpse of what she had been scribbling. He couldn’t quite help himself and he felt compelled to snatch it up to give it a closer look.

“Hey!” the girl objected.

“This isn’t math!”

“Why would it be math?!” she inquired.

“I dunno. I thought you were some sort of math or science geek or something,” he responded. “This is just a bunch of cartoons.”

“Give it back!” she exclaimed angrily.

“Charlie B?” he scoffed. “Charlie’s a boy’s name!”

“Charlie can be a girl’s name too,” she said. “Besides it’s just a nickname.”

“Oh yeah? Then what’s your real name then, huh?”

“Caroline!”

“And the B stands for?”

“BARKLOW!” she yelled.

She was fuming. He seemed to really get on her nerves.

“Wait a minute, you’re Charlie Barklow?” he asked.

“Yes. Why?”

He had heard that name before. He had actually heard that name a lot. All the time even. The terror of the 2nd grade. He had been hearing stories about Charlie Barklow for quite some time. They were always about some really crazy kid who’d blow up on the drop of a dime. It was funny because he had figured that Charlie...

“...Were a boy! I always thought the psycho was a boy! That he would keep throwing tantrums because everyone kept calling him a girl!’

“Well, I’m not. And I’m not crazy. Now give me back my math problems!” she demanded.

“These are cartoons...”

“GIVE THEM BACK!”

He studied the paper a bit more before handing it back to her. The drawings weren’t bad. They were kind of confusing though. One of them depicted a girl with glasses tearing apart what looked to be a bunch of tiny people. But it had been hastily scratched out as if she hated it or something. There was another cartoon and it showed what seemed to be the same girl with a huge smile on her face surrounded by other grinning people. He noticed that this picture was in the process of being crossed out as well. Were they supposed to be drawings of her? He handed it back before he was able to study them much longer.

“Thanks,” she said softly as she focused her attention on scribbling once more.

“I thought they looked pretty cool,” he replied. “Your drawings I mean.”

She glanced back up at him. There was a ghost of a smile on her face.

“Really?”

“Yeah! They’re neat! All I can draw is stick figures,” he laughed. “What are you doing out here anyway?”

She looked back down at her paper again. Apparently that was one question too far.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” she grumbled.

“I’m sure it isn’t that bad. It can’t be any worse than anything else I’ve heard about you anyway.”

“Look, can you just leave me alone?” she pleaded. “I don’t want to get into trouble. Just leave me alone.”

Before Dennis was able to leave he heard the unmistakable sound of an opening classroom door. Charlie sat up at attention at that very moment.

“Charlie! What did I say?!” said a voice behind him.

“Bu--!”

“I thought I was giving you a break! But it seems you’ve wasted it. I swear...” the voice replied with much exapseration.

He knew that voice. It was that of Ms. Garant. She must’ve been Charlie’s teacher.

“You know what to do, Miss Barklow. Here’s your referral.”

“Bu-bu-bu. I didn’t do anything! I was just talking to this guy!” Charlie argued.

“You’re not supposed to be talking! You’re definitely not supposed to be yelling and causing a ruckus! I’ve given you one chance after another, Miss Barklow. And you keep proving to me that you don’t deserve them. So now you can go to the office and take your punishment.”

“Bu-!” There were tears welling up in Charlie’s eyes.
“No buts! Go on down there, Charlie. Now!” demanded Ms. Garant.

Dennis didn’t know what he was looking at. Charlie seemed to transform into the personification of tears, frustration and hyperventilation. And then suddenly it hit him. This was how they began. The tantrums. Every one of her emotional meltdowns must have begun exactly like this. He wasn’t sure what to do. Should he calm her down or just get out of the way? The decision was taken of out of his hands and it turned out to be neither option.

Charlie let out an angry piercing shriek that echoed through the corridor as she leapt from her desk. She then used all of her might and tried to fling the desk down the hallway. The distance that it traveled was impressive for such a small frame. She then looked down at the floor and began to sob and proceeded to storm off down the hallway.

“You’re forgetting something!”

Dennis heard her footsteps return followed by the fluttering of paper. The referral. The footsteps then stomped off into the distance.

“And who are you, young man? Turn around!”

Dennis reluctantly turned to face Ms. Garant. He was certainly in for it now.

“Oh. It’s you, Mr. Kemp. You seem to think you have the run of this school. That simply isn’t true. You can go with her down to the office.”

“You’re not the boss of me! You’re not even my teacher!” he disputed.

“I may not be, but I know who is! Go. Down. To. The. Office.”

Dennis groaned angrily and began to take the same path Charlie took to the principal’s office. He spotted the drawing that Charlie had made and picked it up. He could at least give it back to her after the trouble that he had caused.

The principal’s office was the very last place he wanted to be. He had probably been there as often as Charlie. Possibly even more often. Joyce, the secretary gave him the usual greeting. It had been burned into his brain by now.

“Hi, Dennis. She’ll be with you in a--”

“In a second,” he interrupted. “I know. I know.”

“What did you do this time?”

“Nothing!”

“That’s not going to fly, Dennis. She’s going to have to do something or she’ll look soft,” Joyce replied.

“Yeah. I know,” Dennis said sadly.

He could hear the voices behind the closed door. The door with the words “Mrs. Leontyne Kemp, Principal” stenciled on the opaque glass. His mother was trying to figure out what to do with Charlie.

Everything was muffled but he could make out some of the conversation. He could hear Charlie trying to explain herself while Mrs. Kemp sincerely apologized for what she was obligated to do. He then heard what sounded like Charlie on the phone. She was probably talking to one of her parents. Dennis was able to hear one word crystal clear: suspension. This was followed by Charlie sobbing once more.

Just then the door opened. Charlie stepped out of the office. She was trying very hard not to look like she had cried. She was clutching the goldenrod copy of the referral in her right hand. The referrals were always done in triplicate. The goldenrod copy was the one a kid had to take home for their parents to sign. He couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. This really was all his fault. He tried to pass her the drawing when she looked straight at him and shouted, “Thanks a lot, jerk!”

Mrs. Kemp stepped out of her office and called after Charlie, “Charlie, go to the room next door and wait until school’s over. No one can pick you up until a bit after class, and I can’t send you back to class. So you’ll just have to wait there. And then you can walk home. And go directly home!”

Mrs. Kemp then directed her gaze at Dennis and sighed, “Come on in, Dennis.”

Dennis took a seat in his mother’s office. He hated being in there. No matter what the occasion he felt awful every time he stepped foot inside.

“So, I see you’ve met Charlie.”

“I can’t believe that’s Charlie Barklow.”

“She’s a really good kid. Really sweet in her own little way. I just wish she didn’t let other people get to her.”

“Yeah,” he agreed.

“Once she learns to control her anger I think she’ll be much better off,” she said. “She’ll still have a long way to go, but she won’t have that on her shoulders anymore at least.”

Dennis cared about Charlie to a point but no longer wished to continue talking about her. He was worried what his punishment would be.

“You probably wondering what I’m going to do to you, yeah?” she asked.

“Correct.”

“Everyone thinks I go too easy on you. I’m afraid I’m going to have to suspend you too.”

“WHAT?!” he exclaimed. “But I didn’t do anything!”

“I know that, Dennis. But you’re a bit of a troublemaker and I need to seem like I’m not guilty of nepotism,” she explained.

“This doesn’t help. AT ALL!”

“This sends the message that I don’t play favorites. Consider it a long time coming.”

“Bu--”

Now Dennis was the one short for words.

“Tell you what, you won’t be grounded at home. Just don’t act like you’re on vacation, okay?”

Dennis grumbled and took the punishment.

“This isn’t fair. You’ve never gone easy one me. You shouldn’t worry what other people here think.”

“I wish it could be like that, buddy. But you know how things are,” she said. “Now get back to class. The bell’s going to ring soon.”

But what of Charlie? Now that he knew his punishment his thoughts returned to her. He wanted to give her back her artwork. Maybe art was too strong a word. But he liked it.

The rest of the day passed quickly. He kept staring out the window of the classroom waiting for the bell to ring. Luckily his anticipation didn’t result in prolonging the moment. As soon as the familiar clanging rang throughout the school he made sure he was the first kid out the door. He felt that if he were going to be punished, he better follow the rules and leave the school as soon as possible.

He dashed outside and looked frantically in all directions. Which way did she live? He had no idea. Maybe he should’ve went to the room next door instead of dawdling around, but he wanted to give her something special because of what he had done. It was something that required just a little extra time.

That’s when he spotted her. That messy blue-black hair was unmistakable. She was headed southbound on foot. He ran to catch up with her. This was much more taxing than he thought it would be. He kept having to stop every few seconds to catch his breath. He tried to shout to her but he never quite had the air to say anything. And waiting for it to return to him would mean she’d get further and further away.He wouldn’t let this deter him though. Eventually his efforts paid off and he caught up to the girl.

“Wa-wai-wait!” he panted. “Char-lie.”

The girl spun around to face him. She didn’t look too pleased.

“Oh, look it’s the kid who ruined my day! Maybe my life! How are you mama’s boy?”

“That’s not fair! I got suspended too!”

“GOOD!” she yelled.

“I just wanted to give you this,” he said as he reached into his backpack and pulled out her cartoons.

“You came to bother me just to give me these?! I don’t care about these!”

“Just take a look, will ya?”

Charlie let out an overly dramatic exasperated sigh and snatched the paper away from him. She was taken aback by what she saw. There were a pair of crudely drawn stick figures. One looked like it was supposed to be a girl with glasses and the other seemed to be a boy with curly hair. They both had massive grins on their faces. Above the figures were the words “Let’s be friends?????????????????”

“Who’s this supposed to be?” she said inquisitively.

“Us.”

“You didn’t even take the time to shade yourself in. This could totally be someone not black.”

“I thought the curly hair was enough,” he replied defensively.

“For all I know that could be Ben Savage.”
“Why would it be Ben Savage?” he responded in a puzzled tone.

“Everybody loves Ben Savage!” she answered.

It was true. It was 1995 and everyone did in fact love Ben Savage.

“That’s true. But it’s not him. It’s me!”

Charlie couldn’t help but smile She also couldn’t help but to say, “Sure! Why not?!”

“What? Really?”

“What’s wrong?”

“I just didn’t think it would be that easy. I mean after everythin--”

“Oh. Well, I mean yeah I’m angry at you. Extremely angry at you. I kinda want to bash your face in. But I’m just not going to do it right now,” she clarified. “But I’ve been told to treat people the way I’d like to be treated. I’ve made tons of mistakes. Big mistakes. I’ll probably make like hundreds more. And I wouldn’t want them held against me forever. So I won’t hold them against you now.”

“Huh”

“So yes. I wanna be your friend. But for right now, just go away. Please. I’m still very upset with you. And I don’t want to do something I won’t like,” she continued. “Please? Just for now?”

“I guess I’ll see you at school in a week then?” he asked.

“Yep. A week!” she replied.

“Then I’ll see you around. Don’t stay upset for too long now, ya hear?”

“I never do,” she laughed. It sounded kind of forced.

That was definitely his cue to leave. He turned around and started heading in the other direction. But every few steps he’d turn his head and glance back at her. He hoped she’d be okay. He also hoped this whole friendship thing would work out in the long run. Who knew what would happen? Certainly not him.


Finally here's some art by my good friend [url=http;//otherwise.deviantart.com]Sabrina Cotugno[/url]. She's got all the makings of a future animator at Pixar.

Image

Alright, that's it for now. Hope you guys enjoyed everything.
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