These times they are a changing.

I'm deliberately sharing the very first try at this. ChatGPT could easily send me down a rabbit-hole of hours and hours of playing around with it. I thought it would be more interesting to literally show you what it (not me) did in under 10 seconds.

If someone asked me this question,

"Write me a comic book script set in the Southwest US in the 1970s."

I would probably come up with the idea that was the basis of Mayfield Eight.

"17-year old fry cook Calvin Ryder is on a motorbike road trip to Mexico to celebrate his birthday. His friend Lenny's footing the bill on condition that Calvin agrees to help out standing guard for him while he conducts a back-room drug deal for five minutes."

Now I asked ChatGPT that same question. Here's a snippet of what it wrote. Raw and unedited, literally the first and only attempt:

Title: Desert Renegades

Issue 1: Dust and Shadows

Panel 1:
[Wide shot of a rugged desert landscape. Cacti stand tall against the backdrop of a setting sun. The title "Desert Renegades" appears in bold letters at the top of the panel.]

Caption: Southwest United States, 1973

Panel 2:
[Close-up shot of a weathered, middle-aged man named Jack "Rattlesnake" Roberts, wearing a cowboy hat and a worn leather jacket, sitting at a dusty bar in a small desert town. He sips a whiskey, eyeing a newspaper on the counter.]

Jack (thought): It's a damn shame. This land used to be wild and free.

Panel 3:
[Jack reads the headline of the newspaper: "Local Ranchers Forced Off Land by Corrupt Corporate Interests."]

Jack (thought): Greedy bastards. I've seen enough of this to know it's time to do something.

Panel 4:
[Jack walks out of the bar, determined. He heads towards his old pickup truck parked under a single streetlight.]

Caption: Jack Roberts, once a legend among renegade riders.

Panel 5:
[Jack drives his truck down a dusty road, leaving clouds of dust in his wake. A coyote runs alongside the truck, symbolizing freedom.]

Caption: Now, he's the last hope for the Southwest.

Panel 6:
[Jack arrives at a ranch, dilapidated and worn down. He sees the desperate faces of the ranchers, whose livelihoods are threatened.]

Rancher 1: Roberts, glad you made it. We've heard tales of your courage.

Jack: Call me Rattlesnake. We're gonna put an end to this corporate greed.

Panel 7:
[A montage of Jack rallying the ranchers, teaching them to fight back, and planning their next move. They learn to shoot, ride, and strategize.]

Caption: Jack Roberts became more than a man. He became a legend reborn.

Issue 2: Shadows of Justice

Panel 1:
[The desert renegades, now a formidable group, ride on horseback through a narrow canyon, heading toward the corporate headquarters.]

Caption: The renegades set their sights on the heart of corruption.

Panel 2:
[Jack and the renegades, guns drawn, confront a group of corporate thugs outside the headquarters.]

Jack: You've taken enough from these people. It ends here!

Panel 3:
[A dynamic fight scene ensues, with Jack and the renegades showcasing their skills. The corporate thugs are taken by surprise.]

Panel 4:
[Jack bursts into the boardroom, where the corrupt corporate executives are gathered.]

Jack: Your reign of terror is over! This land belongs to the people!

Panel 5:
[A tense standoff between Jack and the corporate executives. Jack's unwavering determination contrasts with their fear.]

Executive 1: You can't stop progress!

Jack: Progress ain't worth a damn if it tramples on the innocent.

This took ten seconds.

Okay, it's me now. I could see where the computer had problems staying away from 'moving panels' that is, describing action that has things moving or changing that cannot be drawn in one image. Also, it chose to keep every comic limited to 7 or so panels on one page presumably, re-titling the new page. Still, I was very impressed.

Will AI replace people? Not a chance. But, people will definitely use this as a speeding-up tool to start the process in their creative field(s). AI engines don't suffer from writer's block. They vomit out a close approximation of whatever you can dream up -in seconds, not hours. I could see it as a useful tool to help a creative person 'get out of their head.'

The last line of my AI-generated script was telling:

"Progress ain't worth a damn if it tramples on the innocent."

I hope Artificial Intelligence tries not to 'trample on the innocent' in the future.

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