Nina Paley's Fluff
Checkers' Ark
Written by Ian Akin
Drawn by Nina Paley

National Police Week
The Escaped Animals
Terrible Mother (Sunday)
The New Guy
Checkers The Pirate (2 Weeks)
Prey Of The Month (Sunday)
The Cat Whisperer






(SERIES NOTE: I'm not sure of the best way to concisely get across 'Checkers' Ark' each day- a sign, a caption or an Ark in background. I sort of mixed and matched- call me if it's a problem.)

Panel 1: Human looks out window, Sasha pricks up her ears.
Human: 'My goodness! It's raining cats and dogs out there!'
Sasha: 'This I've gotta see!'
Panel 2: Sasha at open door, Checkers stands there cheerfully dripping.
Checkers: 'Hi, Sasha! I'm building an ark! Wanna come help?'
Sasha: 'Darn! It's only raining dogs.'

Panel 1: Checkers builds his Ark, chats with Sasha.
Checkers: 'I'm gonna get every animal there is on my ark, to save them from the flood!'
Sasha: 'What if you run out of room?'
Panel 2: Checkers looks pleased with himself, Sasha questioning.
Checkers: 'Relax! I'm using the Scientific Method!'
Sasha: 'What's that?'
Checkers: ' 'First come first served'!'

Panel 1: Checkers stands by as a line of animals goes past, Ark's in background. Show at least part of Aardvark, 'Aardzebra' is a regular Zebra, furtively looking over his shoulder, and you can just have the edge of the Abominable Snowman.
Checkers: 'We're ready to board!'
Checkers: 'Aardvark, OK… Aardwolf, Aardzebra, Abominable Snowman…'
Panel 2: Checkers points off panel, Yeti slinks that way.
Checkers: 'Hey! You're a 'Yeti'! End of the line…'
Yeti: 'Drat! I'm always last.'

Panel 1: Checkers holds up a paw towards a bunch of Sheep, standing on each others backs, with a fake Elephant trunk and ears. Next to them is a Sheep in wolf's clothing, trying to howl.
Checkers: 'Sorry, I've already got Sheep.'
Sheep: 'No, wait! We're not sheep, we're an Elephant!'
Wolf/Sheep: 'And I'm a Wolf!'
Wolf/Sheep: 'baAAAROoooo…'
Wolf/Sheep: 'See?'

Panel 1: Checkers stands by a sign, gesturing at several shapes bulging in a huge Anaconda, or other large snake. The shapes should be recognisable as animals, which could be tricky. Possibles: Stork, Deer (with antlers), Monkey, with tail, Lion rampant, … anything you can make a recognisable silhouette of. At least three of them. Snake looks a little guilty.
Sign: 'Checkers' Ark- Express lane, 2 animals or less'
Checkers: 'I'm sorry, sir, but each of those count as a separate item.'

Panel 1: Checkers arguing with a Rat, who points off panel. Rat looks dissolute, stubbly.
Checkers: 'I'm not letting any Rats on! I figure some of you will just sneak on anyway.'
Rat: 'Yeah? What're you gonna do about those Elephants sneaking on?'
Panel 2: Close on Checkers, laughing derisively.
Checkers: 'Ha Ha Ha! Oh, sure…Elephants! Ha Ha!'
Panel 3: Shot of two or three furtive looking Elephants spilling out of the Ark's cabin, where they're trying to hide.


Panel 1: Checkers dubiously looks up at a Walrus.
Checkers: 'I don't know if we've got room for a Walrus… you're pretty big…'
Walrus: 'But you need entertainment, don't you? Wait'll you see my Tap-dance routine!'
Panel 2: Checkers is bemused, a Penguin sidles up holding a contract. Walrus is tap-dancing away in background.
Checkers: 'Entertainment?'
Penguin: 'I'm his agent… I'll just need a paw print here…'
Walrus: 'Singin' in the rain…' (with musical notes)
Sound Effect: 'Tippity tap tap'

Panel 1: Checkers stops a raccoon from boarding the ark, Raccoon promptly launches into a soliloquy.
Checkers: 'We're not letting any robbers on.'
Raccoon: 'It's the mask, isn't it?
Raccoon: 'Haven't we gone beyond judging creatures by their appearance? Do I judge you by the spot on your back?'
Raccoon: (smaller letters) 'Nice spot, by the way'
Panel 2: Raccoon finishes up, Checkers looks chastened.
Raccoon: 'Aren't we all individuals, some good, some bad, but all deserving a chance?'
Checkers: 'I… I guess you're right. Sorry. Welcome aboard.'
Checkers: 'Hey! Where's my spot?'

Panel 1: Checkers at top of ramp, welcoming a Frog and a Venus Fly Trap onto his Ark.
Checkers: 'Welcome aboard! If there's one thing we have too many of, it's Flies, so there's always room for a Venus Fly Trap and a Frog!'
Frog: 'Actually we decided that eating Flies is disgusting, so we've become vegetarians.'
Panel 2: Checkers listens bemused to Trap and Frog.
Venus Trap: 'Yeah, now I'm a 'Venus Tofu Trap'!'
Frog: 'And I'm still a Frog.'

Panel 1: Checkers looks dubious as a Duck with an umbrella comes up to the 'Checkers' Ark' booth.
Duck: 'You've got to let me on! I've been flying in circles all day!'
Checkers: 'Circles?'
Panel 2: Duck holds umbrella with one wing while flapping with the other, thereby flying in circles. Checkers looks up at Duck.
Duck: 'You ever try to fly while holding an umbrella?'

Panel 1: Checkers argues with a Fish, Ark's in background.
Checkers: 'You can't come on my ark- you're a fish! You can swim to safety!'
Fish: 'Swim, swim, swim! I'm sick of it! Just once I want to ride!'
Panel 2: Fish peevishly asks Checkers, who looks proud.
Fish: 'Have you ever tried to swim all day?'
Checkers: 'I don't swim, I dog paddle.'

Panel 1: Checkers talking to a Lemming with a surfboard. Ark is in background.
Checkers: 'You're a Lemming! Why should I let you on the Ark- You'll just jump over the edge!'
Lemming: 'No, dude! I'm lookin' for the beach! I hear there's some gnarly waves!'
Panel 2: Checkers, puzzled, looks after Lemming. Behind him a young Rhino on a skateboard arrives.
Checkers: '?'
Rhino: 'Dude! Which way to the skate park?'

Panel 1: Checkers welcoming a Muntjac with a Barking Lizard on its back. Sasha objects.
Muntjac: 'I'm a Muntjac, also known as the Barking Deer!'
Lizard: 'And I'm an Australian Barking Lizard!'
Checkers: 'All the Barking animals go First Class!'
Sasha: 'That's unfair!'
Panel 2: Close on smug Checkers.
Checkers: 'We barkers can't help being superior!'
Panel 3: Checkers looks off panel, Sasha looks irritated.
Checkers: 'Hey, I see a Barking Tree Frog!'
Sasha: 'I smell a Barking Spider.'


Panel 1: One panel. Checkers on Ark, gesturing, Sasha runs up excitedly. Anteater is behind her.
Checkers: 'We're about ready to set sail! Termites on the inside, Barnacles on the outside…'
Sasha: 'The Anteater's eaten all the Ants!!'
Anteater: 'What did you expect?'

Panel 1: Checkers makes friendly conversation with a tall grumpy Giraffe. It's raining lightly.
Checkers: 'How's the weather up there?'
Giraffe: 'It's raining! Same as down there!'
Panel 2: The Giraffe grabs Checkers with its teeth and hurls him into the air.
Giraffe: 'Here! See for yourself!'
Checkers: 'Yipes!'
Panel 3: Giraffe stalks off, leaving Checkers flopped on the deck.
Giraffe: 'And I don't play basketball, either.'

Panel 1: A light rain falls, as Sasha looks wonderingly at a laughing hyena.
Sasha: 'All this rain! I wonder how the Hyena stays so cheerful?!'
Hyena: 'Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!'
Panel 2: Hyena is taken away in a straightjacket by two Meerkats in white coats and funny farm hats. Sasha understands.
Hyena: 'Ha Ha Ha Hee Hee Hee Ha Ha…'
Sasha: 'Oh.'
Hats: 'Funny Farm'

Panel 1: A Camel, with a sour look as usual, and Sasha discuss the weather.
Camel: 'The rain's finally stopped! I am so sick of water!'
Sasha: 'Me Too!'
Panel 2: Camel goes on, Sasha agrees.
Camel: 'I don't even like water! I could go for a month without water!'
Sasha: 'Yeah!'
Panel 3: Camel continues, Sasha is appalled.
Camel: 'And food! I could go for a month without food, too!'
Sasha: 'Hey, waitaminnit!'

Panel 1: Sasha, concerned, to Checkers, questioning. A few animal silhouettes in background.
Sasha: 'We've got to find land soon- we've got a hundred hungry herbivores!'
Checkers: 'What about the carnivores?'
Panel 2: Sasha looks off panel.
Panel 3: Sasha, concerned.
Sasha: 'The carnivores are fine, but we've got eighty hungry herbivores!'

Panel 1: Checkers at Ark railing, gesturing dramatically out over the water. A Pelican is flying where he's pointing.
Checkers: 'If there is land out there, bring me a sign!'
Panel 2: Checkers a little puzzled, as the Pelican returns, holding a road sign in his beak.
Sign: 'Road Flooded'