Thursday, December 07, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
In Icon, as I said, I attended a Writer's Workshop. In it we were asked to write a scene, containing a dialogue - and then write the same scene, but as a dream-sequence. So here they are:
There was a roof.
And on the roof was Owen. He stood on the roof, the city sprwaled beneath him.
And there was Kaile. Kaile was taller.
"What are you afraid of?" said Kaile.
"The end." Owen replied.
"And when will that be?"
"When I have no more to say or do." Owen solemnly spoke.
"Well, that it is a good thing, then. For there is much more for you to do in this world. And much more for you to see."
And Owen turned around, to face the world below him.
And Kaile pushed.
There was a roof.
And on the roof was Owen. He stood on the roof, at the bottom of the world, and the entirety of creation spread above him.
And there was Kaile. And Kaile was taller, and shorter. And darker, and lighter. And Kaile was not there. And he was.
"What are you afraid of?" said Kaile.
"The end." Owen replied, in a voice of snakes and mice.
"And when will that be?" the snakes and mice spoke again.
"When I have no more to say or do."
"Well, that is good. For there is still much to be done and said, and more to be seen."
And Owen turned, and looked up into the world.
And Kaile pushed.
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 9:28 PM
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Well Icon is over.
Or at least for me it is. And I had a blast.
I won't go into "What was my faovirte part of it" kind of ramble, as that's pretty obvious. Meeting Neil Gaiman. Nothing even comes close (though there were a lot of cool stuff, you really can't compete with that...)
The one that's not Neil Gaiman, that's me.
I also hear two lectures by Neil, one was on his career and his writing, and the other was a Q&A, once again about his writing.
I've also patricipated in a Writing Workshop (not the one with Gaiman...), with some... interesting results, I'll post it up tomorrow...
Overall, good Con, and a good use of some much-needed vacation time.
And I got my Sandman signed. So its worth more, but you won't get it anyways. It's mine...
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 12:17 AM
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Allright, this is long-ish so bear with me...
Next week is I-Con (the Israeli Sci-Fi, Fanatsy, Comic, Gaming convention, we basically only have one of these so everything get encompassed into one place, it's basically our Comic-Con, Wizard World, E3, etc. sans major announcements).
Every year they bring one "Guest of Honor" to the convention. Last year came Gabriel something-or-other, so not very impressive (though, they did manage to snag Orson Scott Card a couple years back, but I'm not a fan...).
Anyways rumors have been circulating as to who will come this year, and several weeks back it was confirmed - Neil Gaiman is coming. Joyness abound, as Neil is my favorite living author (Douglas Adams is my all-time favorite). So naturally, I would've sold my soul to get anywhere Neil will be (the Guest of Honor at the Con usually gives a lecture or two at the Con). So it was announced that Neil will be giving 3 "lectures". One about Dreams (the "theme" of the Con), one will be a Q&A and the last will be him reading from his own work. I got tickets for the first two (can't go to the last one due to previous obligations) early on and grinned to myself.
Then over the weekend I find about a fourth, previously unpublished activity featuring Gaiman. A writing workshop. Yep. Neil Gaiman is giving a writing workshop here in Israel. So I'm sitting on nails the entire weekend and all of today (the ticket-order center opens at 4 pm). Come 4:01, I get on the phone for 1 and half hours, straight. I can't get through. Naturally, I'm getting more and more pissed. And then It's time to call it a day and go home. 1 wasted hour of commuting. I get home and still can't get through. At 6:45 I finally manage to get through and..... no tickets left.
So if anyone's got Superman's number, I need to turn back time...
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 7:17 PM
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
I'm going to meet Neil Gaiman!!
O.k. let me explain why this is such a big deal... I live in Israel, which has a really small comic-book loving community. And no one really comes here because of the security situation... But Neil Gaiman is really coming here, in one month!
Every year around October the Israeli Convention of Comics, Sci-Fi and Fantasy takes place, it's called Icon. Every year there is a guest of honor - two years ago Orson Scott Card came, last year it was Tim Powers. It has been rumored that Gaiman will be coming this year, but only a short while ago it was confirmed.
And I'm so happy!!
So expect many updates on my meaning with a writing god, and mayble I'll even manage to snap a photo of me with Neil... hopefully.
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 8:50 PM
Saturday, September 02, 2006
The following piece is a short, 5-page comic script I wrote for a Writing Contest on PencilJack.
By Itai Rosenbaum
A Note: Throughout the piece I will use a lot of dialogue for which there is no speaker. It should be just a balloon floating mid-panel, with no tail. Maybe color it in some way to emphasize that whoever is saying these things is not in the room, like making them semi-transparent, or something like that. I will signify these balloons using VOICE as the speaker.
Panel 1 - Large. Overhead shot of the inside of a prison cell. It is a solitary confinement cell, so there are no bars, just a solid, bolted iron door. The walls are poured concrete, flat, and lifeless. The only thing in the cell is a small iron bed, bolted to the wall. In the bed lies ZACHARY IRONS. ZACK is in his late twenties, and fit. He is sleeping.
CAP: THEY PUT YOU IN SOLITARY SO YOU CRACK.
Panel 2 - Close Up on ZACK’s face. He’s still sleeping, and has a calm expression across his face, enjoying the dream he is dreaming.
CAP: SO YOU BREAK DOWN.
Panel 3 - Extreme-Close up on ZACK’s eye. It is wide open. He’s got icy blue eyes, and it’s got a far-away, distant look.
CAP: 33 DAYS.
VOICE: IN THE CASE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS AGAINST ZACHARY IRONS, WE THE JURY FIND THE DEFENDANT...
Panel 1 - Medium shot of ZACK, sitting on the edge of his bed. He’s got his arms on his knees, head hanging down. He wears a wife-beater and a pair of blue, standard-issue prisoner trousers.
CAP: I BEAT TWO CONS IN THE YARD.
Panel 2 - ZACK stands up, and stretches.
CAP: WARDEN GAVE ME TWO MONTHS IN SOLITARY. THINKING BACK, A THIRD MONTH MAY HAVE BEEN WORTH IT.
VOICE: ZACHARY IRONS, I HEREBY FIND YOU GUILTY IN THE CHARGES OF THE MURDER OF ALICE AND JACK RAYS AND THE ASSAULT OF OFFICER JOHNATHAN BARREN, AND SENTENCE YOU TO A LIFE SENTENCE TO BE SERVED IN GRAHAM CORRECTIONAL FACILITY...
Panel 3 - ZACK lies on the floor of his cell, doing push-ups.
CAP: HEH, I CAN DO THIS. THIS IS EASY. 33 DAYS.
Panel 4 - ZACK is now doing crunches, exhaling deeply as he rises up from the floor.
CAP: JUST GOTTA KEEP OCCUPIED. KEEP MYSELF BUSY.
Panel 5 - ZACK is spread out on the floor, arms stretched over his head, toes stretched in the other direction, cooling down from his exercise. Beads of sweat have formed on his arms and face, and sweat-stains can be seen on his shirt.
VOICE: ...STANDING OUTSIDE THE COURTROOM WHERE ZACK IRONS HAS JUST BEEN CONVICTED OF MURDERING HIS SISTER, ALICE RAYS, AND HER HUSBAND.
VOICE (connected): REPORTS FROM THE HOSPITAL WHERE JOHNTHAN BARREN, THE POLICE OFFICER WHO ARRIVED AT THE SCENE, IS BEING HELD CLAIM THAT HE IS STILL IN INTESIVE CARE. DOCTORS ARE DOING...
Panel 1 - ZACK sits on the bed, leaning up against the wall.
CAP: AFTER A MONTH, YOU LEARN THE TIME-TABLES.
Panel 2 - Close-up on a metal tray with food on it. There is also a small new-paper clipping on the tray. The clipping reads “6 YEARS AFTER BRUTAL ASSAULT - JOHN BARRENS WALKS AGAIN”.
CAP: YOU GET TO KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO EAT.
Panel 3 - Same as previous, only the plate on the tray is empty, only crumbs and a little left-over’s litter it. The clipping is gone.
VOICE: I-- I’M NOT VISITING YOU ANYMORE, ZACK. THIS IS THE LAST TIME. I-- I’M... I’M PREGNANT.
Panel 4 - ZACK lies on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. His jaw is set, and he has a very serious look on his face.
VOICE: IT’S YOUR BABY.
Panel 1 - ZACK paces in his cell.
CAP: BEING HERE, IT GIVES YOU TIME TO RELAX... TO... THINK.
Panel 2 - Same, different camera angle.
CAP: THIS IS EASY.
Panel 3 - ZACK is in boxing pose, practicing fighting against an imaginary opponent.
CAP: 33 DAYS.
VOICE: MR. IRONS, I AM SORRY TO INFORM YOU, YOUR REQUEST FOR EARLY PAROLE HAS BEEN DENIED.
Panel 4 - A shot of the cell, taken from the wall opposite the wall. The camera should be about a foot off the floor. We can see the bed, the door, but ZACK is not in the panel.
CAP: THEY PUT YOU IN SOLITARY SO YOU CRACK.
Panel 1 - Splash panel. Over-head shot of the entire cell. We see ZACK huddled up in the corner, against the wall opposite the door. He’s got his head between his knees.
CAP: SO YOU BREAK DOWN.
VOICE: TWO CONS
VOICE: MURDER OF ALICE AND JACK RAYS
VOICE: IN INTENSIVE CARE
VOICE: TWO MONTHS
VOICE: YOUR BABY
VOICE: MURDERING HIS SISTER
VOICE: LIFE SENTENCE
VOICE: WALKS AGAIN
VOICE: NOT VISITING YOU ANYMORE
Panel 2 - Inset into panel 1, close-up of ZACK, he lifts his head, looking slightly to the left of the camera, tears are running down his cheeks, and his eyes are red,
CAP: I CAN’T DO THIS.
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 12:05 AM
Friday, September 01, 2006
Well, I haven't posted for ages.
But that doesn't mean I've been sitting idly by, either.
Work has been pretty hectic, but I'm not going to bore you with the tedious specifics of my work day... plus, it's top-secret espionage, take-over-the-world-type work. So I'd have to kill you all. Slowly.
No, I've gotten into creating comics. Yep, I am one step closer to achieving my dreams (picture a starry-eyed me right now). The webcomic I am helping create is the aptly named Awsome Storm Justice 41. check it at: http://www.uggabugga.net.
I am doing some lettering, editing and am working on writing something (I'll keep what I'm writing specifically under-wraps for now - if for no other reason than to keep you guessing...)
Also, I've found a forum called Penciljack (http://www.penciljack.com). PJ is a comic creator forum, and I've been hanging out there, mainly in the writer's lab. I've even won a writing contest there. I'll post the winning entry here soon.
Lastly, I've actually started writing my novel, "Shifted" (Tentative title, subject to change - once I think of something better). And once I get something semi-decent (that doesn't ruin the entrie story) I'll post up a sample of that too.
On a sadder note, my computer got fu**ed up again. The screen just stopped working... I hate it.
Well, I'll keep you posted.
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 1:21 AM
Saturday, July 08, 2006
War is coming.
Scratch that. War is here. It is upon us, and it will swallow us.
It is a war based on ideals, on beliefs. It is a war between right and wrong. Everything is at stake, as those who win this war, and there will be a clear, definite winner, will decide what we do and how we do it. And most importantly, it will tear us apart. This war will latch onto our strongest bonds and rend them, until they are gone. Because this is a war between brothers, between friends, lovers.
This is a Civil War.
Marvel's comic event for the summer of 2006 is called "Civil War".
It all begins with an accident. A group of super-heroes attack a super-villain hideout, the resulting fight leads to death of hundreds. This causes the goverment to pass the Super-Human Registration Act (SHRA), which forces all super-powered or masked adventurers to register their identity with the government, and under-go training in government facilities (S.H.I.E.L.D), thus effectively becoming super-powered cops.
Naturally there are those who agree with the SHRA, and these heroes, led by Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man, who, once again, reveals his identity to the public), are known as the Pro-Registration side. Among the key members of this faction are Spider-Man (see previous post), the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards, Ms. Marvel, Wonder-Man and many others.
Those who fight against the act, and refuse to register are known as the Anti-Registration Heroes. They are lead by Captain America and include: Luke Cage, Daredevil, Cloak and Dagger, and more.
Civil War has already had 2 issues published, with the third coming out July 20th. If you like comic-books but have not checked it out yet - I strongly suggest you do. The two issues already published are infinitely better than many other events and cross-overs that have been happening recently.
Civil War has also spawned many debates about who is right, and who is (or will be) left. As there is much promise that post-Civil War the Marvel U. will never be the same!
I tend to side with the Anti-Reg side. Even though my favorite Marvel character, Spider-Man, is the poster-boy for Pro-Reg (though he is rumored to be switching sides before all is said and done), I find the anti-reg's claims to be more convincing, and I do believe that Super-Heroes do need to be allowed to operate outside the law.
But, you know, that's just me...
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 1:31 PM
Saturday, June 17, 2006
To present... this:
And the crowd goes wild!!
This was good, very good. I like it. A LOT!
But hey, that's just me...
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 9:40 PM
Saturday, June 10, 2006
In 36 minutes it will be my birthday.
Happy Birthday to me, right?
Well, I don't know. It's kind of mixed feelings right now.
This birthday will be the last "important" birthday, so to speak. Now, I know what you're thinking - "all birthdays are important, you've grown another year...", and I agree. With each passing year we grow as people, and we learn many new things about ourselves. Each year brings unfamiliar experiences, for better or worse. So how can I say that this is my last "important" birthday?
Throughout our lives, there are several important milestones that we must reach. Our first birthday, is just that, our first. So that's pretty important and ranks pretty high up the list of important birthdays. The next few sort of blend togehter, as nothing really changes from year to year. Next up is 10, now we are in double-digit land, and we're "all growed up". Things are starting to change for us, adults don't treat us as kids as much and we are expected to be more responsible and mature (though we ARE still kids, don't get me wrong, 10 is no-where NEAR adult-territory). 13 is and important birthday to some, namely jewish kids (12 for girls, but stay with me here..). Bar-Mitzvah, according to the religion you are now starting you journey down the path of manhood. And there is much rejoicing. Up next we got 16. Ahh... "sweet" sixteen, which essentially no different than 15 or 17, it's just that sweet fifteen isn't as catchy.
18, that's a major one, maybe even THE one. I think we all agree that at 18 you cross a line. You're no longer a kid, you're an adult, certifiable. Morally, socially, hell, even legally you're now walking in the lands of giants, figurativly speaking of course. Next up, 19. Now I view a person's 19th birthday as, and I do not mean to offend all you 19-year-olds out there, I was 19 once too, the LEAST important birthday of all. Why? Well look who it's surrounded by, with that kind of company 19 seems unimportant by relation. Which is an excellent seguey into 20. Your third of decades is probably the most significant one in your life, you finish your education, get a job, have some fun for a few years, settle down, get married, and start your life. And 20, the 20th birthday is the harbringer of real life, as ominous as that sounds.
Which, at last, brings us to our final important birthday. 21. At 21 the last safety net gets pulled. You are now completley responisble for your own actions. You can drink, gamble, buy a gun, whatever. So if you screw up, it's on you.
After 21 most birthdays are the same, 22 is like 23 which is like 26 which is no different than 34. Yeah, you might have a little less hair, or a little more of a belly. You might share that birthday with your daughter, or your employees, but essentially, they're not milestones. Not anymore. So aside from birthdays like 50, 60, 75 (in which you are more of celebrating in "congradulations! You're not dead yet!" way) 21 is the last important birthday.
Now I'm not sad, not at all. I'm quite happy that it's my birthday, I get cool presents - who doesn't like that. And I feel a sense of... accomplishment. I've covered them all, and lived to tell the tale. So maybe next year my outlook will change, maybe I'll find a reason why 22 should be important. But if I do, it won't be some global statement, it will be important because I chose it to be, becuase of something I've done, said or achieved, and you know what, I'm ok with that, but that's just me...
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 11:30 PM
Sunday, June 04, 2006
X-Men: The Last Stand.
X-Men - A group of mutants fighting for mutant rights in a world that hates and persecutes them for being different.
The - Used before an absolute adjective.
Last - Said absolute adjective. Meaning final, climactic, definitive, terminal, ultimate.
Stand - "To Take a Stand" means to fight for what one beleives in. In conjunction with 'Last' implies a final battle of ideologies, to determine, once and for all, whoe right, and who is left.
Those were the parts and now for the sum. X-Men: The Last Stand - a terrific movie.
The third (and supposedly final) installment in Marvel's X-Men movie franchise hit theaters last week. Maybe the word 'hit' is not the right word to use in this context. To quote a certain ever-lovin'-blue-eyed individual the movie clobbered theatres last week.
In its first weekend the film made a record-breaking debut. But is it really that good?
The short answer is yes, it really is.
But we're not here for the short answer, are we? X-Men: The Last Stand borrows elements from various story-arcs in the merry mutants library. Strolling through the Claremont classic "Dark Phoenix Saga", and even borrowing from modern instant-hit "Astonishing X-Men" by Joss Whedon (of Buffy and Firefly fame). The storyline, in brief, talks about a so-called 'cure' for the mutant condition. Many disagreements insue, with the major players being, quite obviously, the X-Men and Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
On the blue side, the X-Men roster features veterans Wolverine and Storm, joined by new-comers Iceman, Kitty Pride (aka Shadowcat, though never called that in the movie), Colossus, Rogue and Beast (played superbly by Kelsey Gramer (Fraiser)). The Red side, Magneto's Brotherhood, sports old Mags himself, Pyro, Multiple Man, Juggernaut, Callisto, Arclight, about a hundred or so generic mutants used as cannon fodder, and the Brotherhood's secret weapon - Jean Grey, the Dark Phoenix.
While there are some very powerful scenes, containing tear-wrenching deaths, they will not be described here to avoid spoiling them for people who have not seen the movie.
(As a side note and a word to the wise: When the movie is over and the credits roll, stay in your seat, there is a scene after the credits which will blow you away.)
And now the bad stuff. I have two main complaints with this movie. The first is the lack of balance between characters. Wolverine and Storm dominate the film, and appear on screen for most of it, while fan-favorite characters like Colossus and Kitty Pride barely show up (Colossus had one spoken line in the entire film). One could also argue the use of Angel in the movie as totally pointless, and serving no purpose aside from being a catalyst to geth the "cure" storyline going.
The second gripe I have with the movie is the choice of villains. It's not that I haven a problem with Magneto or Dark Pheonix, on the contrary, I think both are excellent villains. It is just that each could have held the movie together individually. Using both is like using a flame-thrower to light candles on a birthday cake. You can't fully use either of them. This ends up resulting in seriousl down-playing Pheonix' role in the film, which is a shame becasue Pheonix is an excellent character, and a more intriguing villain than Magneto.
Aside from those two main comments, X-Men: The Last Stand is a good movie, and is truly worth watching, even if you do not read the comics. It is quite clear that we have not seen the last of the mutants on the silver screen. While the appearance of future X-Men films is unclear right now, it has been anounced that Marvel plans on making a "Wolverine" and "Magneto" films. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing both movies, and can't wait to find out more information about the two. But hey, that's just me...
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 2:52 AM
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Well that was some lovely bit of poetry up there wasn't it?
A shame it meant shit....
I don't get poetry. Never did, never will. It is the one form of writing that I will never dare try. I just wouldn't be very good at it. I don't think I can write something that I don't understand.
So while I have a great deal of appreciation for writers who write short stories or anything along that line, if those same writers will write a poem I can almost guarantee that I will not like it. But that's just me...
And those last 4 words serve as the perfect segue into what I plan to (maybe) achieve. A column. I don't know how often I'll write it, but I'll try and get some done before I give up altogether (though, granted, I don't have that good a track record...). The column will be called, it just so happens, "But That's Just Me...". And what will it be about? As I sit here in front of my screen typing this, I can honestly say I have no idea. I guess about me, in a way, about things I like. I'll talk about things I've seen, heard, read, played, whatever. We'll just sort-of wing it, and see where it goes from there.
So... here goes.
E3 wrapped up last week, and boy was it great. Just to clear some things up, I wasn't there, not in person. I wish. But I did watch a lot of the live coverage on Gamespot, which, by the way, is a great game-site (there, that should get me my free T-Shirt). So let's do the breakdown.
After watching the Sony press conference I had to get a mop to wipe up the tears and drool. The PS3 is amazing, in all senses of the word. Novemeber 17 can't come soon enough, I know I'm getting one of those as close to launch as possible. The features on this console are just incredible. From high-powered processing speeds, to incredible graphics, to motion sensitive controller, it's got the works. Add to that the PlayStation Network or whatever they're gonna call they're online service, and you got one sweet console.
And then there's the games, aside from the "regulars", Tekken, NBA, MADDEN, etc. There's some nice looking games coming up that I'm really psyched about - Marvel Ultimate Alliance, where you pit a custom team of Marvel Super-Heroes against the cream of Marvel villains, or Eight Days, which just looked awsome. But the best game, the one I am most looking forward to, is Final Fantasy XIII. Square (now Square-Enix) was, is and always will be my favorite gaming company. Their games are always rich, have an engaging story, compelling characters and kick-ass graphics. Final Fantasy XIII is a game that I am scared to play, because the things Square-Enix would be able to pull off on the PS3 frighten me, and watching the (albeit few) screenshots floating around my fears appear to be realizing. The game looks amazing. And then came the real whopper, there's another Final Fantasy XIII game coming out. Yep, Final Fantasy Versus XIII is another game based in the same "universe". What kind of game it is, is unknown.
I'm sorry. I just can't get used to it. Everytime I say it I feel like I should jump up and knock my heels together, or skip, or something. So the Wi--Nintendo's new console, doesn't even measure up to Sony's beast. That is with one exception, control. The Wii's controller is probably the coolest thing in the next-gen console market. It's motion-sensitivity is great, and it sparked some really ingenious game design. From the Zelda-Fishing to the Orchestra-Conducting. There are some clever things coming out of Mario's home. So while the Wii can't even begin to battle the PS3 or 360 when it comes to pure horse-power or graphics in the ingenuity battle it wipes the floor with them and then has time to play a quick round of Super Smash Bros. (With new character - Metal Gear's Solid Snake!!)
This didn't interest me. I'm not an X-Box fan. There were no good games for it (yes, except for Halo. But I don't like shooters... sue me.). And besides, isn't Microsoft making enough money from the 15 other monopolies they have?
The only thing that spooked me was the announcement made in the Microsoft press conference of Grand Theft Auto IV launching on the 360 (which later, Rockstar said will launch at the same time on the PS3 - in your face, Gates!).
So, I'm eagerly waiting the PS3, will probably own one not that long after launch. The Wii seems interesting but enough so that I will buy it. And the X-Box 360, not even a blip on my radar. But that's just me...
Posted by Itai Rosenbaum at 10:08 PM