Saw IV — "WTF is on the DVD"

Ballpoint pen on paper · 26 Oct 07
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Saw IV — "WTF is on the DVD" — Art by Karthik

About this drawing

A quick and dirty parody comic based on Saw IV!

For the past few years, it has been a tradition to have a Saw movie released at Halloween time, and this time is no different.  Oct 26 was the date on which the fourth installment in the Saw series was released in theatres in the US.  To coincide with this I thought I would do a comic based on the movie.  One idea I had was to have a victim in an extremely silly Rube Goldberg-ish trap, but then I discarded that in favour of the present idea.

When I reached office on Oct 25 morning, I wrote a script (presented in its entirety below) and began drawing the comic, and it was completed on Oct 26.  I don't think it took more than 5 minutes to do a single panel but then I couldn't continuously work on the comic in office, right?

This was done on an A4-size sheet of paper with a black ballpoint pen (a Linc 0.6mm black one).  Except for a little contrast adjustment, no digital enhancements were done to this at all — the art, the lettering and the logo were all done by hand, and directly with the pen (no pencil rough).  Therefore, please forgive the numerous mistakes (off perspective, faces not being done well, etc).  The "Billy" puppet parts were done referencing images from Wikipedia, so those came out nicely I think.

An Explanation

For the benefit of the non-Saw fans, here is an explanation of the comic (though if it is explained like that, it loses whatever little humour was there in the first place!).  The main villain in the Saw series is the Jigsaw killer, who places his victims in "death traps", and communicates to them through pre-recorded messages on a TV screen.  These messages are "spoken" by a creepy looking puppet called Billy.  The messages would go something like this one, from the original Saw movie —

Hello Amanda.  You don't know me, but I know you.  I want to play a game.  Here's what happens if you lose.  The device you are wearing is hooked into your upper and lower jaws.  When the timer in the back goes off, your mouth will be permanently ripped open.  Think of it like a reverse bear trap.  Here, I'll show you.  [a demonstration of a mockup head being ripped apart by the device appears on the screen]  There is only one key to open the device.  It's in the stomach of your dead cellmate.  Look around Amanda.  Know that I'm not lying.  Better hurry up.  Live or die, make your choice.

Now my idea was that if Jigsaw had indeed recorded all those messages for each one of his victims, he is certain to have made mistakes while recording them.  Surely, he couldn't maintain that scary voice all the time?  He must have messed up his lines once in a while.  That's what is shown in my comic.  It's based on the "Autopsy" trailer for Saw IV (which I wrote about in this post).  That trailer features a coroner finding a tape inside Jigsaw's stomach after an autopsy and a Detective is called in.  The words "What the fuck is on the tape" flash on screen in the trailer.  My comic is one possible answer to that question!

The Script

10:00 AM
[Coroner calling detective.]
CORONER: Detective Hoffman, this is the coroner calling from the hospital. We just wrapped up an autopsy of Jigsaw's body. There's something you have to see!

11:45 AM
[Detective has a sad face.]
Detective: Dude, I just got through watching an hour of disgusting autopsy footage. Tell me why you dragged me here.

[Coroner shows Detective a DVD.]
Coroner: To show you this. We found this DVD in Jigsaw's stomach.
Detective: Stomach? How the hell did he get it IN there??

[Detective puts the DVD in the player]

[Billy face and V.O., TV and Detective are in frame]
V.O.: Hello Detective. I promised that my work will continue. You think it is over, but you are wrong. The games have just begun. You now have to answer the question "What the fuck is on the DVD". Here. Let me show you.
Detective: Man, what an intro! Wonder what software he made this DVD with...

PANEL 6, 7, 8
[Close up on TV screen]
Hello. You are watching this on MyTube... ah shit... [BZZT]
Hello Michael. So far, in what could loosely... [BEEP BEEP BEEP BATT LOW] ...ah damn...[BZZT]
Hello Amanda. I want to play a ga... uh.. uh.. HAAAAATTT-CHOOOOO!!! Fuck... [BZZT]

[45 minutes later]
Detective: Well I guess there was no mystery after all. Outtakes and bloopers. I guess he'd have had to store that discarded footage somewhere!

Writer, Artist: Karthik Abhiram; Music: Charlie Clouser [used without permission]
Based on characters created by: Leigh Whannell, James Wan, Darren Bousman
Inspired by the SAW IV Trailer
OCT 26 - If it's Halloween, it must be SAW!

A few observations

  • Panel 4 — The brand of the DVD player is "Stygian DVD".  Stygian is the name of the first film made by Saw director James Wan.  This is also referred to in Saw, because one of Jigsaw's hideouts is revealed to be on "Stygian St" in that movie.
  • Panel 6 — This is a reference to the videos that appeared on sites like YouTube, MySpace etc. in the weeks leading up to Saw IV's release.  They had Billy/Jigsaw talking to the viewer, announcing that they were watching that video on YouTube (or MySpace, or whatever site had the video), and that they had to find the answer to the question "What is on the tape?".
  • Panel 7's dialogue is from the opening scene of Saw II, and Panel 8 is of course, from the "reverse beartrap" sequence from Saw.
  • The credit "Music by Charlie Clouser" is there just for fun.  Without his music, anything "Saw" just wouldn't be the same!

Oh, and while drawing this comic, I wrote the scripted dialogues first, on the paper, and then drew the pictures so as to ensure I didn't end up in a situation where there was no room to write the text!

Date added 27 Oct 07

Comments for this Drawing

27 Oct 07 · 05:50 PM
lol "We found this DVD in Jigsaw's stomach." lol
indeed a comic!
nice nice..i wanna see more of this strip karthik.and what makes it interesting is the dialogues(my fav) for which i sent you the recording :D
Hello amanda,hello michael....both :D
27 Oct 07 · 07:50 PM
Comment by user Karthik
Heh thanks man...

"We found this DVD..." soon we could see Jigsaw.Outtakes.and.Bloopers.2007.DVDRip.XviD-SaW :)

And I included the Amanda and Michael dialogues precisely because they'd be easily recognisable to people who like the movies.
27 Oct 07 · 07:56 PM
interesting :)
i had gone directly to the comic strip w/o reding the script. os that made it really funny
29 Oct 07 · 10:27 AM
Comment by user Pablo
i liked it. hehe. great story. but too short!
i want more! >:)

i really liked this part on the script : [Detective has a sad face.]
31 Oct 07 · 10:22 PM
Comment by user Karthik
Pablo -
Man, somehow, I always seem to be doing just one-page stuff. I wish I could do a long / full-length comic sometime... I do have an idea for that, but it'll take a long time to do it I guess :(

Arun -
Thanks :)
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Karthik Abhiram

27-year old Taurean (birthday 15-May-82), Assistant Manager - HR at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd in Hyderabad, India.  Previously, did Post Graduate Diploma in Management from T A Pai Management Institute (2003-05) and before that, Computer Science Engineering from Sree Nidhi Institute of Science and Technology (1999-2003).

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