"Halloween Special 2020"


Page 1. Panel 1. An old-timey wooden sign reads "The World On A String Inn." Black dots lead down the page, increasing in size until density, until it becomes apparent that they are footprints. At the bottom, we see three distant figures from high overhead. Panels 2 through 5. We see to the horizon across a snowy landscape. It is dark and the snow shows up as bright dots against the black sky. We see a dark shape in the distance. As it becomes closer, we see it is a building with a glowing window.

Page 2. Panel 1. From a high angle, the three figures approach the front door of the inn. They are all wearing heavy winter wear. Panel 2. There is a bartender behind the counter and multiple tables with people sitting at them. Panel 3. The door opens with a slam. Snow rushes in. Three figures are silhouetted against the white out. Panels 4 and 5. Closeups of people pausing what they were doing as they look up at the door.

Page 3. Panel 1. The figure on the left is short, barely peering over the bottom edge of the panel. The one in the middle is tallest. All three have their faces mostly covered. The one in the middle says, "We've trudged across the tundra in search of..." Panel 2. Hands throw off heavy winter clothes. Panel 3. The three figures are revealed to be Hugh Mann in costume as Ken, Maryam in costume as Professor Smartypants, and MacCormac in costume as Eddie Van Halen. All three hold sacs. Maryam, the middle figure, says, "...Candy." Panels 4 and 5. The bartender, AKA one of the Dots, says, "Candy, huh?" She dips behind the counter.

Page 4. Panel 1. Dot sets a massive box of Halloween candy on the counter. She says, "We might have some of that." Panels 2 through 4. Our intrepid heroes fill their sacks with candy. Maryam asks, "Could you point us to the nearest inn from here?" Panel 5. Dot lays a map across the countertop. She says, "That would be the inn of the Prancing Pony."

Page 5. Panels 1 and 2. Maryam asks Dot, "Could you show us the way?" Dot says, "Hmm." Panel 3. An inset of Dot's map. It's a fretboard diagram showing an A minor pentatonic scale between the 2nd and 5th frets, and the same scale between the 8th and 12th frets. The World On A String Inn is located in the first diagrm, and the Prancing Pony in the second. Panels 4 and 5. Dot says, "You'll have to find your own way. But, using extended box patterns, you can plot out the landscape in between." With a marker, she draws additional dots on the map, filling in the missing notes that connect the two diagrams.

Page 6. Panels 1 and 2. We see the map again, with Dot's additions. Superimposed on it, from high overhead, are the three figures, leaving footprints behind them as they approach the Prancing Pony. Panel 3. Once again, the door opens with a slam and the three heroes are silhouetted against the white out. Panel 4. The three heroes have tossed off their coats once again. Maryam says, "Barkeep. Candy." Panel 5. This time, behind the counter, is another of the Dots, dressed as Mr. Long. She says, "Ooh, trick or treaters!"

Page 7. Panel 1. Dot drops a huge bag of Halloween on the countertop. Panel 2. The heroes once again fill their sacks. Panels 3 and 4. Dot has laid out a map and brandishes a pen. She says, "The next inn is the World's End. It's a hike." We see a much longer version of the previous diagram, which shows the entire fretboard. The World's End is at the 22nd fret, at the other end of a huge expanse of unmarked frets. Panels 5 and 6. Maryam asks, "The barkeep at the last inn just filled in the landscape. Do you think we can find our own way?" Dot, bent over the map, says, "I'm afraid not. But I know what you can use."

Page 8. Panel 1. We see the map again. She has filled in the notes along a single string, specifically the B string, to connect the previous diagrams to the World's End at the 22nd fret. This is labeled "linear A minor pentatonic scale on the B string." Dot says, "The straightest path from the World's End would be a linear scale. That's a scale shape that travels the length of one string, rather than a box that crosses a limited length of all six strings." Panels 2 and 3. Dot erases something and draws something else in. A pithy caption box points out that she is erasing pen. She says, "You can find a linear scale on any string. Any time you need to travers a great distance from one point to another, try a linear scale." Panel 4. She has erased the linear scale diagram from the B string and drawn in the one on the G string. She says, "Linear scales can also break you out of the rote habits you sometimes fall into with box patterns."

Page 9. Panels 1 and 2. We see the map again, with Dot's additions. Superimposed on it, from high overhead, are the three figures, leaving footprints behind them as they approach the World's End. Once again, the silhouetted figures slam the door open. Panel 3. Medium closeup on the final Dot, who appears t be addressing us directly. She says, "Happy Halloween!" Panel 4. We have a wider view of the room. This is the Board of Elections building, and a sign advertises early voting. Dot is seated behind a table. She asks our heroes, "Have you voted yet?" An editorial caption box says, "If not, make a plan!"

"The World On A String" site and contents
CC BY-SA 2023 Ken Alleman
except where indicated otherwise.