Sunday, March 18, 2012

John Carter and his place in metahuman history

I saw John Carter of Mars last night with my two sons. First off, I have to say that is was a really, really great movie.
It got me thinking though about John Carter's place in Metahuman history. When I think of the first "superhero", I immediately think Superman, but I know many credit the book "Gladiator" as containing the first "superhero" even though the main character never fought crime, he was bulletproof and exceptionally fast and strong. He seems a close approximation of "Golden Boy" from the "Wild Cards" series (though the character in Gladiator has a different origin - all metahumans in the "Wild Cards" series have a shared origin through an alien virus).
In any event, I immediately went to the interwebs to solve this conundrum and came upon a relatively decent argument that Mandrake the Magician could be considered the first superhero with his ability to mesmerize people and the fact that he fought baddies.
Through the comments on the Mandrake argument, however, I found people confused by the argument. People asked, "What about Jesus? The Greek Gods? Robin Hood? Zorro?"
So for the sake of the argument, I would say Robin Hood, Zorro, Tarzan don't count. They don't have "powers". Some folks from these old stories do though (Merlin, Gawain). But I would lump Merlin in with the Greek Gods as mythology and/or religion. Jesus falls in one of those two categories (depending on your belief system). So we are left with the following definition - Metahuman powers, not of mythological or religious origins and probably created in America.
That being the case, I would say that superheroes are an invention of the 20th century, but rather than Superman, Mandrake or the dude from Gladiator, probably began with John Carter. Same origin as Superman (sent to an alien planet - Mars in this case - and give metahuman powers due to the planet's environment. He then uses those powers to fight oppression).

So, to summarize this very long and rambling post - Go see John Carter of Mars, a movie about the FIRST Superhero.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mass Effect 3

Cranked up Mass Effect 3 last night and I was not disappointed! A return to The Normandy and some old friends like Admiral Anderson. Kaida Alenko showed back up! Awesome, but he gets hurt pretty bad.
Got Dr. Chakwas back on the ship and ran around with Liara Tsoni (still hot, in an alien way).
It was amazing to me to feel like I had met back up with actual friends when I started playing the game. I promise it's not because I am an anti-social reclusive geek, it's because the storyline for Mass Effect  and Mass Effect 2 were so immersive that it is a thrill to return to. Think of a great movie, but one that is very long and you get to influence the choices.
To be fair, I had the same feeling when I read prequels to "Lonesome Dove".
I can foresee a few days of power gaming as I attempt to save Earth from the Reapers (and hook up with Liara again - ok...maybe I am a little bit of a reclusive geek).

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Big Step!!!!

Green Gates Entertainment is definitely launching a publishing arm in 2012. Does this mean we aren't still selling stories to others? Nope. We have a three book deal with Double Dragon Press and we are still under contract with Wild Child Publishing and we'll keep writing and shopping stories around.
Here's the two factors that went into this decision though:

  1. Even the stuff we have sold has taken years to get out to the public. Maybe this represents lost revenue, but at the very least, we can get things to market more quickly. 
  2. There are other writers out there who are not currently affiliated with GGE who write speculative fiction that is very cool. We can help bring these authors to print as well.
So, we have come close to signing our first author AND we are going to start producing some of our own works as well. It should be very exciting!

What are the challenges? The biggest is overcoming the "small press" stigma. People are so used to small press works being sub-standard. We will struggle with overcoming this perception. Personally, I think with devotion to quality and keeping our standards high, we won't produce drek, but only time and public opinion will tell.
In the meantime, check out the new publishing website.