Wednesday, March 30, 2011


It's unfortunate that when things get hectic, it seems to be the creating that gets put on the back burner first. We figure that we'll take care of the important stuff first, like the ringing phone, the crisis, the yard, the "real job"...
I'm not saying that those things shouldn't get taken care of...of course they should, but not at the expense of creating. As creatives, it is really important that we...well...create.
There are not as many people doing it as there should be and it's not as easy as it seems to us.
We need to create, find a way to get it in front of people, and then repeat...again and again and again.

It is definitely important. Take care of the other stuff, but keep a front burner open for your creations. We need you to.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Superhero Tournament Championship Match!!!

After several rounds of Superhero action leading up to our Final Four, the last Super Dudes standing were

  • Superman vs. Black Adam from the DC Universe
  • Thor Vs. Apocalypse in the Marvel World.
And the Championship will come down to

Superman Vs. Thor

Superman advancd over Black Adam...check out highlight footage

Meanwhile, Apocalypse is mega powerful and has been kicking butt for some 3,000 years, but Thor is an immortal...and has fought just about everyone Marvel and DC has to offer. Apocalypse goes down in a close bout.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Superhero Tournament Final Four!!!!

Well, here we are, down to our Final Four in the Superhero March Madness!!!
Read below to see who they beat to get here!!!

  • Superman edged out Captain Marvel. Sure Cap beat Supes in Kingdom Come with the "Shazam" thing, but that can't work every time. With some preparation, Superman takes this one by a nose!
  • Black Adam advances past Lex Luthor. Lex is a super genius, but he has been preparing for Superman all of these years. Black Adam is just plain evil and Lex goes down.
  • Iron Man is outclassed in a battle with Thor. The Asgardian has it all over Iron Man in sheer power, though Tony makes a great showing with his skill, inteelect,  technology and experience.
  • Apocalypse proves too much for Proteus. Proteus is a powerful mutant, but Apocalypse has been taking down mutant for millenia. As an External, the mighty Apocalypse advances after a tough battle with Proteus.
Cast some votes for who advances to the Championship bout!!!!

Superhero Tournament Elite Eight

Our Elite Eight is announced. These are the final eight superheroes/villains remaining from our last few days of tournament brackets. Who will be in the Final Four? (Commentary below on how these eight advanced)

Superman manages to take down Martian Manhunter. Manhunter has the raw power, but a big weakness to fire. Not good against a Kryptonian.
Captain Marvel gets by Dr. Fate. Fate is amazing, but Cap has the speed to get the helmet away from him, and is magic-based himself.
Black Adam manages to take down Doomsday due to the Kryptonian weakness vs. Magic. This took a lot of research. Doesn't look like Doomsday has fared too well against magic and hasn't encountered it often enough to have evolved a defense for it. Tough battle to decide.
Lex Luthor gets the upper hand on Brainiac, only because he has done it before a few times. Another tough call though.
Thor beats Hulk. This battle has been played out a few times. It's hard to beat Thor.
Iron Man over Beast. Beast's presence was controversial and unbelievable to some. His magic run comes to a quick halt verus the Golden Avenger.
Proteus over Magneto. Magneto is awesome and the master of magnetism, but Proteus can alter reality in some funky ways. Magento goes down.
Finally Apocalypse wins over Doctor Doom. Toughest call of all right here. Doctor Doom is a great villain who is powerful and smart, but Apocalypse is stunningly powerful and I think even Victor Von Doom would be hard pressed to beat him. Epic battle here though.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Superhero Tournament Sweet Sixteen!!!

Here is our Superhero Tournament Sweet Sixteen!!! If you missed the last couple of days, here are the links to the round two matchups
And here are our Sweet Sixteen!!! (check out the  battle commentary beneath the bracket)

  • DC Heroes
    • Superman had to get past Batman to make it in. Ture, Batman is prepared with his power armor and his stash of kryptonite, but Superman puts on a lead suit and he's resistant to Kryptonite. Bats could get through the lead suit if he had time, but time is one luxury you don't get when fighting the big red "S". Bats goes down.
    • Green Lantern went up against Martian Manhunter whose strength, telepathy, invisibility, and intangibility combined with his experience were too much for GL. Not many aliens can take down a Green Lantern, but Jonn J'onnz is one that can!
    • Captain Marvel went up against Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is tough, but Cap has the strength of Hercules, speed of Hermes and all that jazz.
    • Flash fought Dr. Fate...who can beat Dr. Fate?
  • DC Villains
    • Doomsday vs. Joker...nuff said.
    • Black Adam vs. Poison Ivy. Ivy was able to use her feminine wiles to beguile Bizarro. Not going to work on Black Adam. And the plants? please. Black Adam advances.
    • Sinestro vs. Brainiac. As much as I love Sinestro, his vulnerabilites are too well known for a super computer not to take advantage of. Brainiac also has ranged weapons and hand to hand weapons. Brainiac takes this one.
    • Lex Luthor vs. Bane. Both are super intelligent strategists, but Lex has been mixing it up with superheroes since Bane was a kid. Lex handles this one without too much fuss.
  • Marvel Heroes
    • Thor vs. Ghost Rider. Not much of a contest here. Even GR's penance stare can't do much to Thor. He is just an alien mind. Doesn't feel guilt like a normal human.
    • Spiderman vs. Hulk. As much as I would love to see Spidey take this one, I just can't imagine it.
    • Professor X vs. Iron Man. I know the Prof could affect Tony's mind, but Tony has enough gadgets to take this one. Either a psionic inhibitor, or remote controlled armor or something.
    • Beast vs. Hawkeye. Beast takes this with his combination of strength, speed, agility and intellect.
  • Marvel Villains
    • Magneto handles Juggernaught
    • Proteus advances over Legion. A mega matchup of mental powers, but the reality-warping powers of Proteus are too much for Legion.
    • Doctor Doom vs. M.O.D.O.K. No real contest here. Doc is a major genius with awesome armor and all the gadgets in the world. Doc invents stuff like M.O.D.O.K. He doesn't get taken out by it.
    • Poor Carnage. He had to go up against Apocalypse. Apocalypse sails into the Sweet Sixteen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Superhero Tournament!!! Second Round - Marvel supervillains!

Allright, here is our posting of the second round of Marvel Supervillains! Tomorrow we will post our sweet sixteen! (Only a single file tomorrow).
Feel free to weigh in on who should advance!
Magento trashes Toad and Juggernaught eats Nimrod for breakfast! Sabertooth falls to Legion and Proteus takes down Bulleye (setting up a dream match in Round 2 of Proteus vs. Legion). M.O.D.O.K advances over Deadpool. Hope he doesn't get a big head about it! (oh yeah...he already has a HUGE cranium). Carnage manages to squeak by Mr. Sinister and Apocalypse easily handles The Kingpin!
Who moves on to the next round!?!?!

Superhero Tournament!!! Second Round Marvel Superheroes

Here is the second round of the Marvel Superheroes. See our second round of DC Heroes and DC Villains to get an idea of the rest of the field!

In this round, Thor easily polishes off The Punisher. Punisher realizes he needs to separate Thor from Mjolnir, but that is easier said than done! Jean Grey and Ghost Rider are a good match up, but if Ghost Rider can get close enough for a "penance stare" then it's all over for Jean who has all the guilt of the Dark Phoenix days. Power Man is strong and semi-invulnerable, but Spidey is just as strong, and agile, and has the webbing. Luke Cage goes down. Iron Fist does better than expected using the power of the Iron Fist to Hulk's "sensitive spots" but Hulk is unstoppable in round one. Professor X takes down Daredevil with his mental might. Captain America and Iron Man are a close fight but the edge goes to Iron Man. Beast upsets Wolverine (a 10 seed upsetting a 7 seed again). Wolvie just loses it with rage and Beast has the skill, agility, strength and intellect to prevail. The big surprise is Hawkeye over The Thing, but as it was pointed out, Thing has to get close. Hawkeye could drop him with knock out gas from long range. Hawkeye advances!

Superhero Tournament!!! Second Round - DC Villains

Here's our second round of DC Villains! Two Big upsets in this round!!
Major upsets!!! Doomsday was a lock to advance. So was Joker. Penguin is a tough villain, but Joker is in a class all by himself. Catwoman never had a chance against Black Adam. Then, the major upset!!!! Bizzaro should have trounced Poison Ivy, but he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. She plants one on him and he is befuddled. A number 13 takes down a number 4! Sinestro flattens Deathstroke. Boomerang (actually Captain Boomerang) is powerless before Brainiac. Then the infamous 10 seed/ 7 seed upset. Bane does not match Metallo in power, but more than makes up for it in strategy. Bane advances. Finally, Lex Luthor leaves Captain Cold out in the...cold.

Superhero Tournament!!! Second Round - DC Heroes

Second round of DC Heroes is up! Commentary below.

 No huge surprises here. Superman easily polishes off Robin. Batman and Captain Atom are a close match-up but ultimately Bats prevails with a combination of ninja-like skills, gadgets, strategy and general bad-assness. Green Lantern has it all over Blue Beetle and Hawkman is no match for Martian Manhunter (even with his fear of fire). Nightwing almost pulls off the upset. All he has to do is chain her wristbands together, but she has been training for hand-to-hand combat forever so I think Nightwing goes down. Breathing underwater and talking to sea like will not help Aquaman against Captain Marvel (Shazam to some of you). Firestorm can't hit what he can't see and Flash is just a blur and advances. Dr. Fate is the world's best sorceror and Green Arrow is hoplessly outclassed in this match up.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Superhero Tournament!!! Marvel Super Villains

We posted our DC Heroes and our DC Villains brackets. We posted our Marvel Super Heroes, now here's our Marvel Villains bracket. Whose the baddest of the bad?

Superhero Tournament!!! Marvel Superheroes

We posted our DC Heroes and DC Villains first round tournament brackets! Now get ready! Here's the Marvel Heroes match-up!

Superhero Tournament!!! First round DC Villains.

If you missed the first round of DC Heroes, click here. Otherwise, see our DC Villains bracket below

Superhero Tournament!!! First round DC Heroes.

Taking a stab at a Superhero Tournament, inspired by the NCAA tournament. 3 more brackets to follow (DC Villains, Marvel Heroes, Marvel Villains)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Hottest Comic Book Ladies

Yes, they are fictional and yes their proportions are "superhuman" but this is always a fun debate!

Check out Rankers ranking of the sexiest female comic book characters.

Feel free to weigh in. Personally, I feel Starfire was waaaay too far down the list.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ten Things That The Guys and I Are Excited About

Ten random things to be excited about:
  1. Tron: Uprising (Animated Series from Disney)
  2. Camelot (New series from Starz)
  3. Game of Thrones (New Series from HBO based on George RR Martin's novels)
  4. Red Riding Hood (Looks like a werewolf take on the Red Riding Hood story)
  5. Sucker Punch (Awesome looking new flick directed by Zack Snyder of Watchmen fame)
  6. Thor (the movie)
  7. Captain America (movie)
  8. Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (Animated movie)
  9. Dragon Age II (Video Game)
  10. Gears of War 3 (Video Game - Note: The BETA is starting in April for those who are interested)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fuzzy Wuzzy Wuz He?

I'm having trouble lately with my "was, were" usage. I never thought about it too much before, but I heard an editor speaking the other day and he commented that he could tell an amateur writer by his (or her) use of was and were. He counted them up and if there were more than...I don't remember the 4-8 I think...on a page, then he wrote the writer off as a newb!
I'm concerned about my use of "was" and "were" now.
I wish I knew more about this. Guess I have some reading to do...

Here's a clip of some current writing (warning - I have not editted this so it is raw Gates)

"The sight of Hadrian’s Wall always amazed Taliesin. He stared in awe as they approached. It had been visible now for hours, but as they got closer, it seemed to grow taller and taller.

“First time seeing the wall, bard?” Lamorak asked.

“No,” Taliesin replied. “I have been here before, but it still amazes me.”

“You have been above the wall?” Lamorak asked.

“No,” Taliesin said.

“Then why would you come here? Just to see it? Are you an Engineer as well?”

“As a bard, I travel a great deal,” Taliesin said. “I wanted to see the very line that divided the civilized world from barbarism.”

“Is that what the wall does?” Lamorak asked.

“According to the Romans,” Taliesin said.

“I live above the wall,” Gawain said where he rode close by. “I hardly find it to be barbaric. Rough maybe. The North requires hardy people, but it’s not as uncivilized as the Romans thought.”

“Not everyone thinks so highly of Roman ‘civilization’ anyway,” Morgan said with a smile.

“What can we expect above the wall, Gawain?” Arthur asked.

“It’s hard to say, Arthur,” Gawain replied. “When we traveled from Lothian, we traveled with an army. I saw the roads and the towns along the roads, but I have not ventured into the wilds much, except on hunting trips.”

“I have traveled the North extensively, Arthur,” Merlin said. “The people there are people like everywhere else. They are proud of their lands and they are fearful of outsiders. The project an image of ferocity and barbarism to keep you from wanting to ride through the gates of Hadrian’s Wall. They are not monsters and they don’t eat babies.”

“So there are no monsters above the wall?” Taliesin asked.

“I didn’t say that,” Merlin replied.

Taliesin looked at the aged wizard and wondered, not for the first time, just what mysteries Merlin had seen in his years.

The Wall loomed ahead, almost obscured through a falling snow that almost made it look like a ship coming out of the fog. The Milecastles could be seen by the flickering torches and fires that warmed the soldiers there. Directly ahead of Arthur’s party was a large fort, Aesica or “Great Chesters”

The smell of the wood fires drifted across the road and it carried with it the smell of roasting meat. Taliesin’s stomach grumbled. After weeks on the road, the thought of a fort and a well appointed kitchen struck his fancy.

“Smells good, eh?” Arthur said. “Perhaps we’ll eat better than the black bread and stew we have eaten at the way stations along the road.”

“I would like a bath and a bed,” Morgan said.

I would like to join you, Taliesin thought, but he didn’t give words to this thoughts. Morgan had been ignoring him more lately and he wondered if she was finished with him. It hurt him to think she might be. He was very fond of the learned priestess.

“Look, someone’s coming,” Merlin said, pointing up the road towards Aesica.

A pair of figures were riding towards Arthur’s party. They would surely have recognized the Pendragon standard that Bors held aloft.

“I believe it’s Lucan,” Arthur said. “I don’t recognize the man he is with, though he looks like a Ranger. Not one of Alymere’s Ghost, though.”

Arthur was right. It was Lucan, Bedivere’s half brother and second in command of The Bulls.

“I wonder if he found Bedivere like I asked?” Arthur wondered aloud.

Lucan was dressed in his armored finery as befitted a cavalry officer. His breastplate was polished, his boiled leather was shiny and neat. His blue cape floated behind him as he rode. He wore no helmet, letting his long blonde hair flow behind him. The resemblance to Bedivere was clearly visible and Taliesin saw Morgan watching the approaching warrior. Taliesin thought he saw admiration for Lucan in Morgan’s eyes and Lucan was truly a fine specimen, like his half-brother. Taliesin felt the hot stab of jealousy. "

I included a section where I described a character - in this case Lucan. See what you think

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Flight of the Sorceress

I have been fortunate enough to wander across a really great book! I don't remember exactly how I heard about "The Flight of the Sorceress" but what caught my eye was the setting (410AD, British Isles).
As some of you know, I have an ongoing magnum opus that I hope will one day be a grand retelling of the Arthurian Legend, but using aspects that are familiar to modern fantasy readers (Dragons, Dwarves, Fireballs).
My Arthurian setting is ~500 AD so I was very interested in Barry Willdorf's historical ficiton novel set in a similar time frame, especially when I read that it featured some of the disagreements between Imperial Rome, Christianity, Celts, Jews and other social issues of the day (and arguably of today as well)
so, I picked up the novel and after finishing up "Bitter Seeds" recently (Great book!!), I dove into "The Flight of the Sorceress".
It is far, far better than I hade even expected. I had not read anything of Mr. Willdorf's before so I did not know what to expect. Here is what I got.
  • The historical research is fantastic! And the settings just "breathe" they are so real. And you get to see more than just the British Isles (trying to avoid any spoilers).
  • The characters are so well developed and my heart bleeds for them during their travails.
  • the heroines are plucky, to say the least, but in extremely admirable ways that never cross the line into annoying.
Bottom Line:
The book has been educational for me, as a student of the period, but even more than that, it is a really exciting and engaging book and one that I highly recommend!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend Geekitude Update

Had a really great weekend. Thought I would update you on a lot of stuff!

I posted some movie trailers over on the Facebook page. Lot of cool looking stuff coming out.

I watched a few movies:
  • Green Hornet - It was MUCH better than I expected
  • Skyline - It was...okay. Impressive effects, since I heard they were done on a shoestring. Pretty predictable and a good amount of cheese. Fortunately, I don't mind cheese with my alien invasion flick.
  • Tron: Legacy - Really, really cool. My only complaint - as a big fan of the original, I wanted to see more Tron, but at least he was in there. I guess since he is a 20 year old program he would be basically prehistoric in computer years.
  • True Grit (2010) - This was my second time to see it. I love, love, love this movie.
I finished "Bitter Seeds" by Ian Tregillis. Nazi superheroes versus British Warlocks in an alternate history WWII. One word. Awesome!
I finished "Black Wolf #: Metal Monsters of Doom from Granton City Press. Pulp action at its best. This book rocked. I put a more detailed review up on Amazon.
I started "Decision Points" by George W. Bush. Not to wax political, but I will say this - the book is really good. I like to read books by Presidents to get some notion of their views during the time they were in office. I'll keep my politics out of it and just say that I am enjoying the book.
I found a workbook for "Poke The Box" by Seth Godin (It's a free download, so go check it out!). It is a cool inspirational workbook to help encourage us to innovate, create, go, do!

Other stuff:
I cranked up playing Dragon Age: Origins on the Xbox. I want to play Dragon Age 2 when it comes out and I never finished the first game. I like RPGs on the consoles and this is one of the coolest.
My boys and I dusted off our tabletop RPG skills and played some Pathfinder RPG. I haven't done that in a long time, but my sons wanted to give it a try. Still a good time and they had a blast using their imaginations versus using a game controller.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Poke The Box!

I really think you owe it to yourself to read "Poke The Box" by Seth Godin. I just bought it two days ago. It can be read in one sitting. It took me two, but it was a fast read.
If this book doesn't convince you that there is not time like the present to Anything. Make a change. Make some noise!
I love some of the quotes like "Soon is not as good as right now"
And "Reject the tyranny of picked. Pick yourself" (applies very well to creatives).

Can I sum up the book in one sentence? I'll try:
What is that think you would do for free and for the rest of your life if you had the opportunity to do it. Go. Do that thing now.

GGE's interpretation: What does that mean for me and GGE? We keep on keeping on.We need to accelerate our rate of completion. We have a lot of projects going on, but we don't have a lot "out there". I am committed to changing that. We may have so many projects as a way to protect ourselves from the fear of getting on "out there" and risking rejection. The good news for us is we are 1) immune to rejection. We ALL are. It's rarely fatal. and 2) GGE has the resources to produce products (Hint: We ALL do. More now than ever before). So there's no reason not to produce something. Makes me very happy that I launched our Sanction blog.