Monday, February 28, 2011


ALL PULP: FORTIER'S ALL PULP REVIEWS GETS WESTERN AND MYSTIC...: "MERKABAH RIDERBy Edward M. ErdelacDamnation Books LLC278 pagesDec. 2009ISBN 10 – 161572060XISBN 13 - 978-1615720606 Although the strai..."

Check out this western/mystic/gothic story! Reviewed for us by Ron Fortier of All Pulp. I had not heard of this, but after reading this review, I have to have it! Fits well with the cross genre flavor that GGE enjoys so much! My reading list is a bit full at the moment, but it's going on there as soon as I finish this post!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend Movie Update

So, I watched "Hancock" again this weekend. I love that movie. I was on the treadmill, flipped on FX and there it was. I think Hancock should be in the top ten of all superhero movies. On a related note, IMDB reports Hancock: the sequel has a release of 2013 yet Perez Hilton says it is on hold. Personally, I loved it and would love to see a sequel, but some movies stand fine when they stand alone.

I also watched "Megamind" this weekend. I thought it was fantastic. I thought it was a worthy successor to "The Incredibles" in that it was funny, beautifully done, had a superb cast and played really well of the superhero mythos. This one rocked.

The big disappointment this weekend was "All-Star Superman". I thought this one would be awesome. I love Superman and this story sounded great, but it was just a bit weak to me. I was hoping for a whole lot more, but it left a lot to be desired. Now I know the 12 issue comic series was written by legends and won an Eisner and all that, but "award winning" doesn't always mean "awesome".

Having said that, I will make my usual plea for both Superman and Megamind. If you are a comic book fan and love seeing superhero movies, then go spend money on these films. Either rent them or buy them. Even dropping $1 at the redbox on them helps because it tells Hollywood that we like superhero movies. Vote with your dollars to get more of the movies we enjoy!

Saturday, February 26, 2011


So, I filed GGE's annual report this morning. GGE has been in existence for almost 3 years! Wow...
On the one hand, I thought we would have more accomplished by now.
On the other hand, I have to give us some credit. We have a website, a blog, an ongoing serialized story, a contract with a publisher, three other books written, a comic book in production and a licensing agreement with a roleplaying game distribution company. We also have a newly inked deal with Alleycat comics to be the retail distribution arm of GGE properties.
I am mainly hapy that we are 1) still in existence and 2) making progress (even if it is slow progress)

When I filed my copy of our annual report, I saw a note from 2008 that read "start a GGE blog, not about GGE but about GGE and the industry as a whole. Talk about all the things we like as "geeks" Superheroes, zombies, fantasy movies, etc"

I would say we fulfilled that one!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Check out this review of Van Allen Plexico's series of books about "The Sentinels" - Earth's premiere superhero team (In Van's world - in our world, the premiere super team is, of course, Sanction).
I have read all of the Sentinel titles and really, really like them! And check out the awesome cover art! I've always loved the covers of the Sentinel series.

ALL PULP: ANOTHER GUEST REVIEW THIS WEEK-HALEGUA LOOKS AT PL...: "Review of Sentinels Vols. 1-3 by Mark S. Halegua Intrigue, humor, paranormal humans, aliens, androids, paranormal aliens, robots, myster..."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Alleycat Comics

Years ago, I was part owner of AlleyCat Comics and More, a small comic book store in Chattanooga, TN. It was a lot of fun, but ultimately underfunded I suppose.
I ended up moving away from Chattanooga and thus became a very small part of AlleyCat. It eventually went the wy of the dinosaur much to my chagrin.
AlleyCat as an organization still exists, however, and I have been talking to my previous partners about making AlleyCat the retail branch of GGE.
Why would I do this? Well, for one reason AlleyCat already has a god relationship with distributors. It would be nice to not have to start over with distributors. Also, the name, logo and mascot were really cool and I would like to use them again.
So why would you do this now? GGE doesn't have any products to sell? Are you opening a comic book store again? GGE doesn't have products to sell...yet. We will and when we do, I don't want to be scrambling to have our own outlet. I am not opening a comic book store...yet. I will within 2-3 years though. I want to get started planning it now rather than the way I did it last time. We went from planning to implementation in about 3 months and our lack of preparedness showed!
So what will be different this time? We will be more patient. We will be mroe careful about product mix. We will focus on delighting customers rather than making money off of them. We will travel to cons. We will have a stronger internet side of the business. We will set up our brick and mortar location as an event center. Brick and Mortar retail is weakening, but it is still a great place to meet and interact (and game)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

ConNooga 2011

Well, I made my second visit to Con Nooga this past weekend. If you missed my post about Con Nooga last year, here it is.

I also posted a little about Bobby Nash last year. If you are not familiar with Bobby, check out his work (BTW, congrats to Bobby on recently signing a publishing deal wih New Babel Books.
Bobby didn't make it this year, but I did meet and talk to some other great writers.

This year, I was happy to spend time with
  • Sean Taylor (who I've been a fan of for a long time)
  • Stephen Zimmer (who is an exceptional writer)
  • Ed Crandell (creator of the very cool Westworld trilogy and a super nice guy!)
  • D.A. Adams (who wrote two books about Dwarves...GGE loves Dwarves) 

And I was happy to make the acquaintance of Michael D'Ambrosia and Allen Gilbreath.

Meeting other authors, writers and creators is always so inspiring to me! This year was no exception.

Other than that, my sons had a great time at the con with roleplaying, card gaming, and the cool programs like "Makeup Wars" (think horror makeup, not maybelline). They have a great kids program too. One of this year's events was making foam swords and then beating each other with them. That is very kid-centric and they loved it! In fact, I wouldn't have minded beating some people with a foam sword.

So I know that DragonCon is everyone's premiere con, but I want to put in a plug for Con Nooga. Great con. Big enough to kick ass, but small enough to feel personal. Lots of great events. Fantastic location and there is a great brewpub next door! (I recommend their wheat beer!)

If you have never been to Con Nooga, put it on your Con Calendar. It's held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, which is a great tourist attraction by itself, but the whole city is surrounded by fun things to do and most are accessible via the free solar powered shuttle that leaves every half hour from the Choo Choo. Tres cool!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pricing and Your Art

How do you price art? It's always interesting and I think we all know about "starving artists" so we know lots of people who realize that artists rarely get rich form their art. Some do, no doubt, but more often we don't even make a living from our art. We have other sources of income that, thankfuly, allow us to produce art.

Seth talks about pricing in his blog today and I like what he says. We don't want to race to the bottom of the pricing issue. We want to price our work for what it's worth. Maybe it should be free? It's probably not worth what we think, not yet anyway.

Why not? We don't have a long list of delighted customers who will pay to consume everything we produce. Joe Abercrombie will always get my dollars because he has proven to me that his writing will always delight me.

I can say this, I went online (via my Kindle) yesterday to buy four books from authors I know that I like. One waas $5.99, two were $2.99 and one was $18.99. I didn't buy the $18.99 Kindle edition though I eagerly snapped up the others. Maybe knowing what your worth and pricing accordingly is absolutely priceless.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Highly Recommended!!

It's not everyday that you read a book that...changes you. I have just had that priviledge. I have just (literally just - as in five minutes ago) finished reading "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow. That book changed me.
It changed the way I think about a lot of things. It changed the way I think about security, privacy, the Department of Homeland Security, Civil Liberty and Freedom of Speech. It also reminded me that freedom isn't free!
How could it do all of that?
The books is extremely well written. It is exciting. It is believable. It is just engrossing. The events in the book could absolutely happen tomorrow and they are as terrifying as anything I have ever read!
The plot, in a nutshell (no spoilers) is that terrorists attack San Francisco and in the resulting aftermath, the citizens of San Fran end up losing a lot of their civil liberties under the guise of "protection" and "security". In the book, it is very clear how the world could get caught up in being "safe" and end up attacking civil liberties in the process.

I learned a lot from the book too. I learned a lot about cryptology, security, the history of some radical movements, but mainly I learned that I am a bit too complacent about invasion of privacy and removal of freedoms such as free speech.

I have told myself that a little invasion of privacy is no big deal, because I have nothing to hide. I act normal. If, however, normal suddenly became suspect, I wouldn't like it very much. I guess I'm saying that I like the freedom to act a little out of the norm occasionally.

I think Cory has just the right mix here. Good writing, great characters and a subject he is both passionate and knowledgeable about!

So, anyway I highly recommend "Little Brother". It might open our eyes about some things. It should, at the very least, make you think. And the worst case scenario? You read a really good book with a cool plot and a very likable hero.

Best of all, if you don't want to support Cory or you can't swing the change, you can download the book for free.

You can't lose.

Big Plans!

I am cutting and pasting the text below directly from Seth Godin's blog post today! I makes total sense to me!

Make big plans

...that's the best way to make big things happen.
Write down your plans. Share them with trusted colleagues. Seek out team members and accomplices.
Shun the non-believers. They won't be easily convinced, but they can be ignored.
Is there any doubt that making big plans increases the chances that something great will happen?
Is there any doubt that we need your art and your contribution?
Why then, are you hesitating to make big plans?

Of course, after the big plans, we need two steps:
  1. Act!
  2. Finish something

Monday, February 14, 2011


Maybe a mistake to make a late night post, but I get pensive late at night. Anyone else do that?

I don't know why I feel the need to confess this, but I'm a pretty sensitive guy. I really dislike mean people. I really find hate to be distasteful and sometimes it seems like hate is growing when it should really be shrinking.

At times, I feel like my neighbors, colleagues, relatives, etc are more focused on who and what they hate than on the beauty of life and the miracle each one of us truly are!
It's true. You are a miracle. I am a miracle. The person you can't stand? Guess what, they are a miracle to and if they are not beautiful right now, then they have the capacity to be and whether they know it or not, they are exactly like they should be. As Pink says, they are f**cking perfect (and so are you!).

I really value everyone who reads these words. Not because I crave attention, but because I crave connection. It's what the internet has brought to me. I hope it bring something meaningful to you.

Hate is not meaningful. Not in a positive way. It's a destructive force.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Kiss your sweetie! Buy some Chocolates! It's Valentine's Day! Is it a manufactured holiday? Maybe. Who cares. It's a day to celebrate love, show your sweetie you care about them, and maybe talk your way into some action in the bedroom. What's not to like!

Great weekend at GGE. Getting ready to head to Chattanooga in 4 days for ConNooga (I guess in the South I should say that I'm "fixin' to go to Chattanooga" - I'm from the South, hence the reason I feel free to make fun). I did some running and started a marathon training plan that should culminate in a marathon on or around Halloween. I did plenty of writing on Sanction. Some planning for Pendragon and Stitch. Green is busily reviewing/editting The Warchitect and Return To Glory and Danger Guild is being drawn as I type. All good stuff!

It's good to be busy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fright Club: A TASK IS ASKED

Got a cool invite to a blog called "Fright Club". Cool layout. There are 49 followers (Frighters). Sounds like they want at least 50. Then we vote on cool things (like Chuck Norris vs. Bruce Campbell). Also there is a mention of Blog Wars. Don't know what that is, but sounds cool. The first rule is to not talk about fright club...but then the "task is asked" tab said to post something about it on my blog. So...I went with the notion that everyone likes more traffic...and voting on stuff is just more fun when the conversation grows!

But what's it intended to do?

So I read a great post by Seth Godin entitled, "What's the Use Case". In it, he discusses how it is impossible to judge a projects worth or completeness until we have decided and agreed on the "use case". There are two great reasons for this:
  1. We can't agree if something meets the Use Case unless we have defined the use case
  2. We may not want that particular outcome, so we had better agree on the outcome we want.
What am I talking about? Case in point: The halftime show at Superbowl 45 has a bunch of people talking about the Black Eyed Peas (BEPs) and more than one person has told me that the BEPs unequivocally suck. But wait, let's look at the BEPs and their use case. Are the BEPs trying to delight the same people who appreciate fine music? Are they targeting the people who listen to jazz music, Harry Connick Jr., The Boston Pops, Kenny G or Marc Antony?
Probably not. I suspect the BEP's music is intended for 2 purposes and 2 purposes only.
  1. Make people dance and bounce around in nightcluvs
  2. Sell a shitload of records
I think they absolutely accomplish both these goals. It reminds me of the Mark Twain quote. "Some books are like a fine wine. Mine are like water. But everybody drinks water."

So what is the Use Case of GGE's properties? What are we trying to do?

Simple, we are trying to write stories for fanboys like us, but we are trying to do it slightly better than it has been done before. We want shared origins for superheroes, superpowers that obey some rules, horror stories that obey some established rules, fantasy stories that kick ass and don't bore us to tears, characters that are familiar, funny and downright cool, artwork that impresses, and storylines that engage.

Not to much to ask, right?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Watched "Machete". It is everything one would expect from a Robert Rodriguez movie. It is over the top violence, action and a good deal of nudity. It is a bit campy and a little cheesy. I absolutely loved it!
How does Rodriguez do this? He makes these movies that look like movies from my youth that I thought were so awesome, but were in fact, a bit cheesy and campy. He does this so that it seems like the movie takes itself 100% seriously, but it has some pretty unreal moments, but somehow he never crosses the line. I not only watch it without ever thinking about turning off the  Blu Ray...I devour it. I love it! It's a great couple of hours of total escapism.
I don't know how one strikes such a perfect balance of seriousness and cheese, but he does it. It doesn't hurt that I have always loved Danny Trejo. Probably the most convincing "bad ass" actor I know of. Although Tom Savini is a close second (and he's also in the film)

Oh yeah - other great reasons to see the movie? Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez and even Lindsey Lohan.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Metahumans rock Egypt!

I would not mind terribly if you wanted to check out the writing I have been doing on my newly formed Sanction blog.

Sanction is one of GGE's created metahuman team and I have been writing a serial about their exploits in today's society using real events.

Right now, the Beta Team of Sanction is in Egypt at the behest of The Office of Metahuman Affairs (OMA) walking a thin line between protecting President Hosni Mubarak, a US ally, but a thirty year autocrat (some say dictator) and supporting the protestor's idea of a free and democratic Egypt. Of course, a free and democratic Egypt might not elect a government the US would like!

Sanction is embroiled in the highly volatile politics of the region and also trying to protect themselves from the world's first metahuman extremist group, Winter Jihad!

The Watcher of Yaathagggu

Very cool Lovecraftian-inspired online comic. Updated weekly (and they've never missed an update).

I'll be reading it!

BTW, I love that they've never missed an update! They made that commitment to their readers and they've stuck by it. Seems simple, right? Things happen and get in the way, but they decided this was important to them and their readers and in a world where there is so much competition for people's attention, keeping small agreements like this can become wildly important.


Writing your first novel

So I've already written my first novel, and my second, and my third, but that doesn't mean I don't still love to leanr how other people write. I still have a ton to learn myself!

Joanna Penn, the author of Pentecost, has a great entry in her blog about writing your first novel.
One of the pieces of advice I love is to write the first draft as quickly as possible, then focus on the rewrite.
I have long said "Get it written, then get it right". That first draft is hard to find time for. It interrupts our lives. It feels pointless at times, but once it is down, then you have written a freakn' book! Polishing it feels less fruitless and more like meaningful work.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tweeting, Blogging, Facebook and more

I know that it is so easy to get totally caugh up in social media and networking these days. It can be totally addictive as I am learning myself.
One thing I am trying to avoid is putting the same entries in all my online spaces, meaning I don't tweet abot the same things I put on my blog. And I try not to put the same htings on FB that go on the other two spaces. And the Green Gates website is an entity all on its own.
I don't know if that is the right way to use social media or not. I don't know if there is a "right" way but I want people to enjoy visiting all of the places I spend time, not just feel like each one is a slightly different version of the same daily stuff.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Comic Book Movies

Loved watching the trailers for the upcoming comic book movies during the Super Bowl. It reminds me of an article I just read in GQ that talked about the state of film making in Hollywood and the reason we see so many sequels, prequels and movies based on past properties.
The thought in Hollywood right now is that it is better to bet on an established property and capitalize on the fan base rather than gamble on something new. Established properties come with a ready-built fan base and then maybe you manage to grab some new fans along the way.
Sounds good to me. All the more reason to avoid stressing over writing the next great blockbuster. Just write something or draw something or start something and as Seth Godin says so often "ship!" which means deliver it in some format. Make it as good as you can make it and start building that fan base now. the best time to start was a couple of years ago. The second best time is today. (I also stole that from Seth)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sanction Files Released!

Finally started something I have been meaning to do forever! I started a new "fiction blog" over at Sanction Team.

The premise is that there is a single legally recognized Metahuman team in the United States and they go by the name "Sanction" since they have to be "sanctioned" by OMA (The Office of Metahuman Affairs) in order to operate and not be considered vigilantes.
The world is one in which there is a rich history of Metahuman involvement, but Sanction is a relatively recent government program.
So, the blog will "release" Sanction files (ala Wikileaks) that will basically tell the story of Sanction as it happens.
I am using current events as the storylines. I have wanted to do that for a long time. So, currently, one of Sanction's teams has been dispatched to Egypt to help evacuate Americans. We'll be following their time there.

On a separate note, I got the idea when teen sailor Abby Sunderland was lost at sea last June (she was found and was allright). During the time she was missing, I wanted us to have a real-live Superman to send out to find her. Of course we didn't (we had some French sailors though) but I decided right then that I would like to write certain events as I felt they should happen, which means we had superheroes to help us with them. My idea was strengthened by the Miners who were trapped last year and finally, I have made it a reality. So go check it out. The entries are short. Shouldn't take long to read and I plan on doing a nearly-daily update.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Who do we write for?

Read an interesting article in GQ this morning that discussed the change in Hollywood movies and why producers stick with proven properties rather than risk something new, even though so risks really pay off (The Town, Inception).
So, they said of the main demographics (over and under 25 years of age, males and females). The main demographic was males under 25 years of age because they are the ones going to the movies reliably. Ok...that makes sense. I get the business side, but as an artist, do you continue making movies for the audience you have? If you want a new audience, don't you have to make a movie that they don't even know they want?
Hard to say.
It's the same with writing. Do you write what you think people want to read? Do you write what you like and hope there are others who like the same thing? Obviously you can't please everyone. And there are lots of markets. And art is great because there is room for everyone. Just because Terry Brooks writes great books doesn't mean that Terry Goodkind can't have his share of the market as well.
I am guessing you write what the inner voice tells you to. Maybe it sells and maybe it doesn't bu producing what is in your heart and soul is what makes it art. Producing what you think people want to consume seems more like marketing.

*Note - I'm not taking a stand against marketing or marketers, but I think for me, the order will be first produce art...then market.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Holding it together

Well, one month into 2011, and some things have gone great and some not so great. I have managed to keep my work out going, but I have also been living a bit of an indulgent lifestyle so while I have maintained my fitness, I have only dropped 1 pound of holiday weight. Then again, if I drop 1 pound a month, then by the end of the year, I will be thrilled and maybe I can move a little quicker than 1 pound a month if I get focused.
I have done better with school. Rolling along in school and inching closer to my Master's Degree, though it will still be a year or so (and I'm glad it will be - not ready to repay my student loan).
Writing has been minimal, unfortunately. I wrote some on my ever-evolving Pendragon Story. I made some notes for 2 metahuman stories, I sent all of the finished properties off to Green for editting. I did get some art going again on Danger Guild and I am hopeful that I can get that one moving. In fact, I feel better about DG now than I did last year so hopefully some samples will start to appear. Right now it looks like it will be a full length graphic novel in B&W though color might be an option. If not for the first release, then definitely as a re-release.
I have been reading a lot. I have kept up my regimen of 1 non-fiction and 1 fiction book at all times. Finished a couple so far. Almost finished with "Gates of Fire" (I don't think those 300 Spartans are going to make it!)
So, as I grade my first month of 2011, I would give myself a C+ or a B-. I need to up the writing and production of GGE properties and that would get me to at least a solid B or B+.