Sunday, January 8, 2012

TRAPPED: A Graphic Novel, Part One

While cleaning out the garage I came across the very first novel I ever wrote. What I’ve done here is to include the pages of the novel, with a transcription and commentary.

Without further ado, I present you, TRAPPED, Part One.

Trapped 001


Jeez, a typo right on the cover? What were they teaching me back then?
But it’s a nice, strong title. Conflict. Tension. It has everything.

trapped 002

Written and Illustrated by Andrew Rosenberg

Yay! Typo corrected by the cover page!


trapped 003

Copyright © 1977 by Rosenberg Co., Vernon Ct.

Looks like I self-published with my own publishing house. See how smart I was in the 4th grade?

trapped 004

I dedicate this book to Mrs. Magnuson,
My parents, and Mr. Grabowski
For helping me write this book.

Wha-wha-huh?? Magnuson? As in, Archie and May Magnuson, my crime-fighting detective duo? I remember Mr. Grabowski, but I don’t remember Mrs. Magnuson AT ALL. But maybe I did. Maybe she was an inspiration to my writing career, and somehow I used the name later. Weird.
Or maybe she was my literary agent. Yeah, that’s it. That’s why she’s in the acknowledgements.

trapped 005

I n t r o d u c t I o n
    This introduction is for you to realize
what a black hole is (which this story is about).
A black hole is a whole bunch of stars so squash-
ed together that the gravity is so great time stands
still, and light can’t escape (especially for rockets
that go as fast as light).
    If you circled around a black hole for an hour,
1000 years could pass on Earth.
    A black hole is made up of anti-matter which
can also be called nothing!
  If you get close to a black hole, you would be
S t r e c h e d out of shape because
of the gravitie’s super strong pull.

A) If you’re going to explain how your story differs from known science, at least get the known science part right.
B) The bigger the word, the more important to spell it right.
C) I love the stretched dude.
D) This is a perfect example of why prologues suck.

So I did a pretty good job with all the preambles of the book. But with Page (1), I make an immediate mistake: Page 1 is on the left.

trapped 006

“3…2…1…ignition, BLASTOFF!”
    It is the year 2014. Captain Mansfield, Mike
Mansfield, Sue Mansfield, Daryl Mansfield, Don Brooks,
and Soldier, their dog, start their 10 year mission into
    Soon the Appolo 203 Mission 10 spaceship
is going about 36,000 MPH. Then 128,000 MPH. Then
up to 85,258,500 MPH. From there on, the speed of
light, 186,000 MPSecond.

2014??? Holy crap we better get going already!
I bet back in 1977, I was thinking, “sometime waaaay in the future. Like…2014. Yeah.”
Damn I feel old.
WTF is with everyone with the same name, and one random dude?
I wonder which country’s spaceship that is…
I also wonder what that device is next to the crowd. Looks like it’s zapping them.
BTW pay attention and see if any of those names are mentioned again. A reminder to not front-load your stories with a lot of characters who never re-appear.
Used a character named “Mansfield” in the first draft of Steam Palace but he got cut.
Have a couple characters named “Sue” here and there.

trapped 007

    “Slow down the spaceship,” Don exclaimed
after a few days on their mission.
    “It’s the Captain’s orders. We have to contact
    Bzzzzz, Click. “1-10 to Earth 1-10 to
Ear—Hey! The spaceship’s going backwar-
ds very fast! Fire the engine’s. Full speed
ahead,” Captain Mansfield demanded.
BOOM Fizzle, Crack!
”Stop the engines! It’s a black hole!”

Couple lessons here:
A) Never underestimate the power of onomatopoeia.
B) Nor the power of exclamation points!
C) Nor the power of a black hole. In other words, never park your spaceship near a black hole to make a phone call.

trapped 008

    As quick as a wink, they’re on the other side
of the black hole. Now the dimensions are height,
depth, width, time, and bending light!
    “How do we get back through the hole,” every-
one asked. Even Soldier was upset.
    Life in the spaceship was the same
except you kept on bumping into things
you didn’t see!

I really hate that light-bending Universe! Look at what it does to poor Sue Mansfield. On the left-hand size, she’s this totally hot zombie. On the right, she’s plain Jane.
For the record, neither my handwriting nor my drawing ability has improved one iota since 1977. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone in my critique groups.

trapped 009

    “Prepare the spaceship to land,” Captain Mans-
field ordered. With him, Don, and Mike at the
controls, Sue and Daryl watch out the win-
dow, they try to land on land. Crunch! A
perfect land!
    The land had oxyegen, trees, inttegent
life! English?!



An interrobang?! Yes!
Seriously, whatever else you do in life, DO NOT MISSPELL “INTELLIGENT!”
And don’t repeat words over and over again and again.

Next: TRAPPED: A Graphic Novel, Part Two


  1. Oh my goodness, this is awesome, if hilarious! Will be coming back for more.

    I wish I could find some of my earlier works. :)

  2. This was fabulous! I wish I could find my first attempt at writing a novel (I think it was 6th grade - historical romance featuring me and the dude from a-ha).
    Thanks for sharing. I love that you critiqued yourself. lol

  3. I do have my first "real" novel I wrote in 1985 around. I think I once rewrote a scene from it for a Blogfest.


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