Monday, January 29, 2007

Blame World of Warcraft!

Clips from the Tyra Banks show regarding a World of Warcraft addict.

Man, watching that pissed me off a little.

I got The Burning Crusade a few weeks ago and I was playing it quite a bit over the last few weeks, pretty much abandoning all my other games. But that's not unique, the same happens often when I get a great game that sucks me in (Kingdom Hearts 2, Metroid Prime, Resident Evil 4 and so on). I still went out to meet people, spent time watching TV with my partner, going to the gym and taking care of my dogs.

The whole videoclip was just so partonizing and crap television. Tyra doesn't even know what the game is about. WoW isn't just a game, you play it with other people and that makes it a social activity. It doesn't justify playing 40+ weekly hours, but know what you're talking about.

The magical solution of shredding the discs is such a joke. For one thing, once installed, you don't need to have the original discs to play (again, know what you're talking about) and nothing stops the guy from buying the game again or borrowing discs from friends to re-install it. Obviously the problems in that relationship goes much deeper than just the game and if the guy has an addictive personality and a desire to escape his real-life responsibilities, he'll find something else to get addicted to. It kinda brings to mind the song "Blame Canada" from the South Park movie.

For example, he can get addicted to watching crappy chat shows that offer magical solutions to complex problems. I never watch that show, but can someone please enlighten me and tell me if Tyra ever did a show about guys who want to leave their girlfriends because they watch too many soaps and talk shows? I wouldn't imagine she would want to piss off her main demographic!


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How I Didn't Break into the Comics Industry Part 1

As we grow older we realize that many other people have very similar dreams and fears and it's both comforting and disturbing. It's nice to know other people struggle with the same problems, but if they have similar goals doesn't that make them your, at least indirect, competition?

In 1996 I discovered the internet. It was a prehistortic forefather of today's information highway monster, but mind blowing nonetheless. It was such a delight to log into a chat room and chat to a girl from Sweden or curiously check a sex chat and be asked politley by a stranger what breed is my dog and if he can have sex with him. Suddenly there was this magical little gateway that allowed me to transfer my mind around the world and talk to people anywhere in the world touched by modern science.

While in real life I knew only a handful of people who read superhero comics. suddenly I could discuss it with American readers, the main market for this genre. My English was a bit broken, but not worse than most foreigners' who were trudging the web for the first time in those early days. My English was good enough to understand and be understood and during those chats and e-mail exchanges I improved my English language skills far faster and better than I ever did in highschool. This wasn't some dry textbook, this was the real thing with real people talking the way real people talked in the 90's.

In 1996 my highschool major was Theatre and I was a member at two different theatre groups. I viewed myself mostly as an actor, but at the same time I was also very passionate about writing. That was when I realized I wasn't alone. There were others who wanted to be writers. I sort of knew that already, that there will be fierce competition in any artform I will choose to pursue, but suddenly, with the wonders of technology, the truth was laid bare in front of me. The worrying part was that I thought some of these writers were really good (I wouldn't go as far as saying "better than me" to preserve my selfesteem). Not only technically with better grammar and spelling, but the actual ideas and storytelling.

The biggest shock, though, was to suddenly meet comics creators on those various message boards. People who were nothing more than names in credit boxes in my favourite comicbooks were suddenly hanging around on the same messageboard as me and answering my questions. Most didn't even bother to hide their e-mail addresses and were very kind and patient to answer most of the e-mails they were sent. There were quite a few of them, but the ones that stick to mind were Peter David, Karl Kesel and Todd Dezago. I was starstruck and very happy. Realizing that there were real people behind the stories strenghened my that that's what I also want to do. Writing comics was an actual job.

During my first year in London I went to a foundation drama school. I wasn't accepted to any of the three year courses I applied to (I'd like to believe because I never managed to get rid of my Israeli accent, just make it sound even funnier). This was a requirement to get an equity card and start working in the UK as a proffesional actor. As my twelve steps plan to win an Oscar by the age of thirty was beginning to fall apart I decided to try very hard to break into the comics industry as a writer. Little did I know that I was moving from one illusive goal to a far worse one. You see, there are far fewer wannabe comicbook writers than wannabe actors, but there were even fewer positions for comicbook writers than there are for actors.

As of writing this, nearly a decade later, I'm yet to win an Oscar or see my name on the cover of a mass marketed comicbook. But it was an interesting ride that hopefully isn't over yet.


I'm baaack. Sort of.

Been a while, wasn't it? Not that I think anyone was reading this blog regularly anyway. I'm writing it mostly for myself, at least for the moment.

I was writing this blog and the Puppy Love comicstrips as a way to keep practicing, to make sure I write on a regular basis. That stopped when I started working very hard on a real project I can't talk about yet. Suddenly I didn't need to practice as I was doing the real thing.

But since it can fall apart at any moment, I can't talk about it yet. When it's announced properly or falls flat on its face, that's when I'll be able to share.

So the most exciting thing that's going on in my life is something I can't talk about. This does not bode well for a blog, now does it?

So instead I'll do something I was thinking about doing for a long time, but never got around to do. Write about all my past attempts at breaking into the comics industry and various other related anecdotes. While nothing spectacular, these are fun little stories that some people might find interesting and I would like to write down. I could only call it "How I Didn't Break Into the Comics Industry (Yet)".