Monday, November 22, 2010

Getting to Know Ben Rosenthal

Who is your favourite comic character?

Peter Parker – The Amazing Spider-Man. We hear it a lot, but he is the everyman and insanely relatable no matter your race or gender. A true hero in every essence of the word, Peter always strives to do what is right.
So obsessed with Peter, I named my daughter Parker in his honour. She is going to hate me when she hits 14, and I remind her of this fact. Every day. At her school. In front of her friends. In my underwear.

What is your favourite comic?

This is an incredibly hard question. After many a thought, I have boiled it down to two separate comics, each relevant for their own reasons. The first being Amazing Spider-Man #122, the death of Norman Osborn. So full of emotion, and such powerful writing from a time where characters could die and stay dead.

The second, and I cannot remember issue number, is an all-in-one story during Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. It is where Shakespeare and his troops perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the actual Oberon, Titania and their royal crew. This issue hit me for two reasons – firstly it showed me for the first time that a fantasy story can be completely engaging and thought provoking. Secondly, it displayed Puck as a somewhat selfish and borderline evil mischief maker, rather than the prancing fairy he has usually been depicted. I had always envisioned Puck the same way Gaiman wrote him in Sandman, and it was the first time I honestly believed that I could be a writer.

Who is your favourite comic writer?

Aw geez, that is just a really unfair question to ask. I’m just going to list my influences instead – Neil Gaiman, Brian K Vaughn, Joss Whedon, Robert Kirkman, Matt Fraction, Naoki Urasawa (if you’re not reading 20th Century Boys you really really REALLY should be), Ed Brubaker and many many more.....

Who has been the most fun to write so far in 26 weeks of thoughtballoons?

So many – Molecule Man was a character I felt had a lot of potential which I was able to explore, Machine Man Aaron Stack was GREAT FUN to write, and of course writing Spider-Man.

Which character do you most dread having to write?

Until I do my research I dread most characters. I fear that I will not do them justice. The one I’m really not looking forward to is Green Lantern. Unsure why, but he makes me feel all yellow. Wait, that doesn't make sense.

Which non-comics character would you most like to write?

Dexter Morgan. I want to crawl inside that serial killer mindset and see what’s really in there.

Which script do you think has been your best so far?

I really liked my spooky/disturbing take on The Thing, enjoyed the heck out of my Molecule Man and Machine Man pieces, but the one script I am most proud of is easily my Spider-Man script.

Which script in total do you think has been the best on the site?

There are way too many awesome examples of writing on this site to pick out just one. I do encourage everyone to try and read some from each writer, as they all have an exceptional talent and I have learnt SO MUCH for reading their scripts each week! Although I must give massive props to Rol Hirst. I have never read a script from him that I didn’t think was brilliant, so I highly encourage everyone to start with him. Wait, no, end with him so I don’t look too bad.


  1. No Green Lantern here either, ha. You know we'll get to him eventually - guess it'll be a lame week.

    I second the choice of Rol as our ambassador, he's always so well thought out. Stupid smart bastard :)

  2. You can pretty much guarantee that around June next year, someone will suggest Green Lantern. It happened with Iron Man, it happened with Scott Pilgrim, and it's just happened with Rick Grimes, so you guys are just gonna have to suck it up!... Not that I know anything about the guy :P

  3. Aww... thanks, Ben. Just as I'm about to blow it this week with my uninspired Walking Dead script! That's so typical of me.

    Thanks also for stealing most of my answers (apart from the ones about Neil Gaiman). I hardly need to bother filling out my own questionnaire now, I'll just copy yours.

  4. Oh come on, Green Lantern can be fun if you know how to put your imagination to it. They've got rings that can form just about any shape your mind can imagine. That just bleeds potential, if you ask me.

    Plus, you know, it depends on which Green Lantern we're speaking of. There are a lot of them, after all.

  5. If the character is just "Green Lantern", like MK said there are a lot of them. There's Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, Jade...each of them with very distinct personalities, and that's if you stick to the humans.

  6. Yeah, but I mean he can do ANYTHING as long as it's not yellow...I mean, meh.

    I'm more interested in characters, and how their powerset effects them, not how they can do anything. It's the limitations on powers whcih gives us ammunition to use. One of the reasons why I cannot stand Superman.

    Cue flaming.

  7. Cue much agreement, from me anyway.

  8. I won't flame (even though you're both WRONG lol) but honestly I'm not looking forward to any Green Lanterns, except maybe Guy Gardner.

  9. @Ben: That's exactly why I've never been a fan of Supes either...

  10. That's what people who don't read Superman tend to think, yeah. I don't blame you because one of Supes most iconic representation involves him shruging off bullets and stuff. But he does face menaces suited to his power level all the time. What, you guys think every Superman comic is just him arresting small time crooks? Sure, building a character as a credible treat to Superman is not easy and not always pulled-off well.

    But come to think of it, is this any different from when guys like Batman, Spider-Man and Daredevil clean-up whole rooms filled with machine-gun toting goons without a scratch? Which they do every other issue, by the way?


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