Excerpt from
Published as a comic, with art by J. M. DeSantis, in Psychosis Today! #4, December 2010.

Panel 1. Blank panel. Reserved for title and credits.

The Switch

Written and Illustrated by J. M. DeSantis
With special thanks to Mark Mazz
Lettered by (insert letterer’s name)

Panel 2. Close up on a metallic object. It’s unclear what the thing is. All that we can see is that the object is made up of two connected pieces. The first piece, to the right, looks like one side of an octagonal shape, while the second piece is ribbed and cylindrical. This shot should be so close up we do not even see the edges of the thing; it fills the entire panel.

Panel 3. Pulled back further on the object. Now we see that it’s a cable television cord and a (black) man’s hand is guiding it into place in the back of a cable box.

I think this is where it goes.

Panel 4. Here we see the man, Terrell, for the first time in the foreground of the panel. He is kneeling down, reaching behind a television (also in the foreground) doing his best to see what he’s trying to do back there. The space between the television and the wall behind it is relatively small, so it almost goes without saying the man is having a great deal of difficulty not only seeing but reaching behind the unit to get at the aforementioned cord. The television rests on a table, and though it’s yet unseen (on account of the angle) there is a remote control on the television stand. In the background, just beyond a low, long coffee table, Terrell’s wife, Dana, sits on a couch, her arms folded, with a look of resentment on her face. A bay window sits behind her and there are end tables and lamps on either side of the couch. Perhaps a ceiling fan comes into view. The couple is African American and aged somewhere in their early thirties.

Couldn’t you have had the cable man put that in? You don’t even know what you’re doing.

Babe, I already told you, they would’ve charged extra to install it. Besides, how hard could connecting a couple of wires be?
Am I even turning this thing right? Lefty loosey, righty tighty…

Panel 5. Close up on Dana. She wears a concerned expression.

You know, I don’t even know why we’re forced to switch to digital anyway. I don’t like this.

Panel 6. Close up on Terrell. He’s still kneeling in front of the television, reaching behind it to connect the wire, but he’s half turned toward his wife now. His face shows a much different sort of exasperation than before.

Woman, are you really gonna go on about that again?

Panel 1. Similar to panel 4 on page one. We again see Terrell in the foreground with Dana still sitting on the couch. Terrell shakes his head in dismay, likely both on account of the frustrating task at hand and his exhausting wife. Dana is now sitting forward on the couch, her arms bent and out at her sides.

I’m serious, Terrell, why are they forcing everyone to switch over to digital? Have you even thought about it?

Panel 2. Same shot as previous. Terrell has picked up another cable wire (this one is double ended with connectors) and looks at it quizzically. Behind him, Dana is getting even more worked up. She is sitting further forward on the couch, her left arm stretched out behind her pointing in some arbitrary direction out the bay window.

Look at what the government did with the internet and our phones. They spied and listened in on every thing we looked at, typed, and said. This is just one more way to invade our privacy.

Panel 3. Again, same as previous shots. Terrell is again struggling to reach behind the television to connect this new wire. Dana is still sitting behind him, still ranting.

They’re going to monitor everything we watch now. We should get rid of the TV. We watch too much of it anyway.

Panel 4. Still the same shot. Terrell is smiling now, pleased with himself for hooking up the cable all on his own. In the background we see that Dana’s demeanor has changed, but she has not calmed much. She is sitting up straight, anxiously, on the edge of the couch, her expression distant and full of worry.

Who knows. They may even use it as a two way mirror. While we’re watching our shows, they’re on the other side watching and recording everything.

Panel 5. Terrell stands up from in front of the television, the remote control in his hand.

I think that does it. It should work now.

Panel 6. Close up on Dana. She looks hurt and offended (perhaps a little angry) as she looks at her husband.

Terrell, have you listened to a thing I’ve been saying?