Monday, November 20, 2017

Thinking about Super hero movies today (after seeing all the posts about Justice League). Here is a random list of my favorites (in no particular order)

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Civil War
Fantastic Four (the first one)
Batman Vs. Superman
Suicide Squad
Jumper (I love superhuman movies about metahuman that don't wear tights)
Captain America (all of them)
Iron Man (all of them)
Thor (all of them)
The Dark Knight trilogy
Man of Steel
Blade (all of them)
Hellboy (all of them - even the animated ones)
X-men (all of them)
Wolverine (all of them EXCEPT LOGAN)

How did I forget about
Kick Ass (both of them)

Thinking about developing a GGE superhero property...possibly as a fake news site, but the fake news is about super heroes....thoughts?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Fantastic Beasts 2 - Johnny Depp's involvement controversial?

I'm seeing lots of controversial press about Depp's role in Fantastic Beasts 2. He plays the main villain (I'm assuming) Gellert Grindelwald.
I have read the Harry Potter books (obviously) and seen the movies and I loved Fantastic Beasts. I'm not sure I get the controversy. At least around the casting.
Depp hasn't been seen as a franchise killer in the past. He's an actor that is known for creating iconic roles. And this look? Amazing. Rowling wrote the screenplay, so I can't imagine it being anything short of amazing.
I'm reminded a little of Tom Cruise's casting as Lestat a million years ago. People decried it, but he was amazing in that role!
Now, if people are protesting because of reasons of Johnny Depp's character after the blow up between he and Amber Heard...well, I can hardly fault people there. I admit to not having the facts of the case (I tend to try and avoid the news in the "real world". Just too damn depressing), but if he is some sort of abusive monster, then that is heart breaking and disappointing.
I don't want to belittle those reasons, but I will say that I do expect the movie to be a good one and I expect his acting will create another unforgettable character.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

This is a great list that ranks 30 DC Universe movies (click here). And I agree, for the most part with the rankings with only a couple of exceptions.
First, let me be clear, I love all of these movies. Why?
A) I'm a fan boy and I love the entire superhero genre. Now, don't get me wrong, I know there are various levels of "camp" that some people like more than others. And some of these are long on camp (Steel), but I don't mind some campy action. Not one bit :)
B) I don't like trashing other creators' work. These are all labors of love, just like my own stuff and I would hate to land on a list of hated works. I like to labor under the notion that people out there "get me" and my art. So based on that same thought, I don't view everything as "good" or "bad" based solely on how much I enjoy it. Though I enjoy movies that other people just loathe. I always look for the gems amongst a few weeds.

So, my thoughts on the list itself? I am so happy to see "Watchmen" listed so high! I love "Watchmen"!
I would personally put "Suicide Squad" much higher. I love that movie so much!
I might bump "Batman vs. Superman" a little higher as well, and "The Losers"...I love that movie. I know it bombed, but I just love it, and I do know the reference material...I possess more than a few vintage "Losers" comics (both the original and the Vertigo re-imagining).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Find time for our creative pursuits...

So anyone associated with Green Gates Entertainment also has a full time job that does not involve dragons, spaceships, superheros or vampires (unfortunately).
So we, like most others of a creative bent, struggle with finding time for our pursuits - except perhaps for Green himself who seems to have unlimited energy to make his worlds a reality...just check out Dread Hollow in Chattanooga, TN. A complete small town built to deliver chilling and haunting experience throughout the whole year. Think of it as a horror movie you can visit where the characters stay the same but the story around them continues to evolve. How cool is that?

For me (Gates), I constantly struggle with balancing my time. Between work, family, writing and trying to stay in a modicum of  good health, I find my time diminishes quickly (I also like to play music, brew beer and still make time for some epic Pathfinder!).

So here is my current plan - lately I have been balancing work, family, and exercise well. So my new plan is to set aside one hour, early in the day when I walk into my home office, and write, blog, promote, submit, etc. I have been going well for this first hour of today. Let's see how I do at keeping that going!

What tips, tricks or techniques might you have for ensuring you  keep the creativity flowing while balancing your time in the "real world"?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

“Blue Spirit” By E. Chris Garrison

This is a book that grabs the reader right off the bat and doesn’t let go. From the very start, when the world of fantasy bleeds into our own world, the book is suffused with a sense of wonder and a lingering malevolence as it seems our heroine is constantly just a bit over her head. However, with her own sense of ingenuity and the powerful sense of camaraderie between her and her close friends, somehow, she manages to persevere.

The most compelling thing about the book, in my opinion, is just how real the characters feel. We see the world from the point of view of the main character who has the same problems as many of use as she balances her extraordinary gift with the travails of real life such as finding the right relationship, paying her rent and holding down a job while engaging in adventures across worlds.

It puts one in the mind of “Lost Girl” in that the characters are real people with real problems who also have to deal with extraordinary circumstances at every turn. The main character, Skye,  is insightful, funny, a gamer, a cosplayer and she likes to drink. She sounds like any one of my close circle of friends!

I had no idea what to expect I opened the book, but once I started reading, I could not put it down. I wanted to know what was going on, what would happen next, and above all, I wanted these characters, who felt like people I knew and cared for, to be ok.
So this book is a quick read, a great ride and if there is any weakness, it is in the brevity of the work..fortunately, there is a another book to read!

Look for my review of “Sinking Down” coming soon!

Pick up "Blue Spirit" here!

Here's the synopsis of the book

Book Synopsis for Blue Spirit:   Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she’s tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships.
With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen’s plot?

Blue Spirit is the first book of A Tipsy Fairy Tale series!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Stranger Things, I'm sorry, I judged you too early and I was wrong.

(Cue Bon Jovi's "I'll Be There For You" as accompaniment for this apology)

Okay, I owe a big apology to "Stranger Things". I said some not-so-positive things about it the other day, and I kinda wish I had not. I didn't really say anything negative, because I rarely go negative, but I wasn't exactly positive either. I'm not giving myself an excuse here, and that's what I want to talk about today.
So, I will say what I do like about the show. It's a fabulous homage to the 80's, Steven Spielberg, a little John Carpenter and Wes Craven and even some John Hughes (as pointed out by my astute fiance).
So it's a really good send up of a lot of those films and it does feel very familiar. I felt, initially that it was too predictable. There was a bit of a flame war that I was mistaking familiarity for predictability, and in the end, I concede. It was a bit predictable, but kind of in the ways you want it to be.
So I rarely poop on another artist's work, and The Duffer Brothers are even from right here in NC. So I am correcting myself. Just because I saw a couple of twists coming, doesn't mean I didn't like it. One doesn't watch a Star Wars movie without kind of knowing where it's going to go (the bad guys where black, for goodness sake). So I gave myself a stern talking to, looked at the show with fresh eyes and allowed myself to be swept away for the ride.
It was like visiting an old friend, or going back to your favorite amusement park from when you were a kid. The production value was high, the ending was exceptional and there will be more to come.

I will be right there watching it when Stranger Things returns for Season 2 in 2017.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Getting back up

Chilling at my favorite pub (Saints and Scholars, Raleigh, NC) and reflecting on how I got here (not to the pub, to this place in life). There were some turmoil years just after "The Battle of Caerlon" was released. Unfortunately, I let it kill my Big Mo (momentum). I never stopped writing but progress slowed to a crawl and publishing, interacting with folks, all that disappeared.
But I'm finally at a place where I have slowed down the race a bit, took stock of where I am, and begun the recovery.
What better way than to release a new book (The Warchitect), but it won't stop there. The next book in the Pendragon Chronicles is complete and being edited. The Forsaken is being polished up and Return To Glory (my first love) is about to get a complete reboot (since reboots seem to be the rage these days). I'm moving on the the third book in The Pendragon Chronicles (working title: White Ghost), a sequel to Warchitect and a couple of other new projects that are in their infancy.
It feels good to be back in the game some. I have a partner who supports it and more time to work on my art than ever before.
So I guess the moral, or at least what I have learned, is that it's okay to get knocked down. Just get back up. Keep getting back up.
How does the Japanese proverb go? Get knocked down seven times and get up eight.
Close enough for me :)