Hello to TGG Visitors!: A Quick Introduction from Greg McAleer

DM's Guild at DriveThruRPG

Hi everyone! I’m the newest contributor to The Gaming Gang and I wanted to take a moment to make an introduction in this, my first post.

A long time ago, a very wise man coined a phrase to convey his admiration and appreciation for the readers of his many works. This man experienced long hours and, truth be told, many hardships in and out of his industry just to bring as much enjoyment to his fans as he could.

That phrase was “Welcome True Believers” and that man was, and is, Stan “The Man” Lee – my childhood hero and creator, or co-creator, of some of the greatest heroes to ever grace a four color panel!

So, in honor of Stan, I’d like to start my writing career by also conveying my appreciation for all those who might happen to read my writings here at The Gaming Gang. Visitors to the site already know my brother, Jeff McAleer, through the various articles, interviews, and podcasts that he and his partner in crime, Elliott Miller, have presented over the last year and a half.

At this point I’m an unknown quantity for people who are familiar with TGG and I’m of the mind my brother would like me to simply report on the world of comics. Since not only am I a huge fan of the comic book medium, but also work in the film and television industry, I think I’d like to include many other aspects of pop culture as well and not only focus on comics. Possibly even draw back the curtain and let the reader in on some of the behind the scenes work that goes into bringing a lot of your favorite entertainment to theatre or television screens?

We’ll see how that goes.

As far as the comic scene, I’ll be honest up front: I’m more of a Marvel Comics expert than anything else. That is if collecting Marvel for thirty-five years makes you any sort of expert. This isn’t to say say that I don’t like DC or indie publishers by any stretch. Hell, there have been some great films and TV shows adapted from comics and graphic novels which had nothing to do with the House of Ideas! Take a look at The Dark Knight as an example. At one point this was the highest grossing movie of all time people! I wonder if the fans of the movie Titanic had an issue when it got bumped off the top spot? I’m a huge fan of the film franchise, The Dark Knight in particular, and not only because I spent seven days working on the film as an actor and stunt double. I’d love it regardless if I worked on the shoot or not because Christopher Nolan put together an incredible film! And I really don’t read Batman at all and can say this.

Let me stop myself right here, before I go off on a tangent about superhero movies and get back to what I originally wanted to quickly write about for my first piece.

I’m sure most, if not all of you, come to The Gaming Gang because you’re gamers first; you’re here because you enjoy the news, reviews, and shows all about games. I’ll be the first to say I don’t play any table top games, although my son is trying to convince me to start playing HeroClix with him – he’s a chip off the old block and a fellow Marvel fan. I understand the crossover appeal with comics, games, movies, TV, and so forth. As Elliott and Jeff broaden the horizons here at TGG I’ve come on board to share some interesting and (hopefully) entertaining items that aren’t gaming specific but you’ll still enjoy. Even though I may not be a gamer and you may not get into comics I’ll bet that we still have a lot in common.

One of the things we may have in common is a bit of a social stigma that’s associated with being a gamer or comic collector. I do know that as more and more people have gotten involved in our respective hobbies that stigma has lessened but for some of the public those attitudes or stereotypes remain. Just as everyone who loves Star Wars aren’t forty year old virgins living in their mom’s basement; every gamer isn’t a glasses wearing, backpack slinging, introvert suffering from Asperger’s; every comic collector isn’t a clone of The Comic Book Guy on the Simpsons. I know a lot of what’s done here is breaking down the assumptions people have of board and video gamers.

Now I don’t dress up as a Jedi and I don’t play board games so I can’t discuss what it like to be involved in those hobbies but I do collect comics and can tell you quite a bit about that.

I closing, I’ll mention a couple of items of interest regarding comic books and collecting them.

There are actually financial benefits to being a collector. I can’t say that you’ll become a millionaire collecting because that’s not going to happen but making smart investments when it comes to comics can actually turn you a profit in the end. I certainly don’t buy comics as a way to make money; I do it because I love the medium but there are certain books out there that will always be a winning investment and never do anything but go up in value. Even at the very worst, they’ll maintain their value without ever losing you a dime. The same can’t be said about the stock market and, for some people, comic book collecting could even be a better investment than the markets if they know how to do it.

Finally, I know I mentioned how there’s a stigma with our hobbies with some people. It’s as if they want to label us geeks because we have something we enjoy that they just don’t understand. For my fellow comic lovers keep in mind the next time someone tries to make you feel like a geek for reading comic book just remember who else is reading the same books as you. Just to name a few examples: Nicholas Cage, Jonathan Ross, Jerry Seinfeld, Guillermo Del Toro, Scott Ian, writer / director David Goyer, and Stephen King. You also have wrestlers – try telling them they’re geeks for reading comics and see where that would get you – Gregory Helms, Raven, Christopher Daniels, Cody Rhodes, Alex Shelley, and Samoa Joe.

Plus, let’s not forget the most famous comic book fan of all, our 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama! That’s right; the leader of the free world is a comic book fan! So next time someone looks at you funny or thinks you’re a dork for liking comic books or gaming, you may want to point out to them it’s more likely that they’re the dork for not!

Well that’s it for now. I just wanted to get my feet wet at first but I’ll get more in depth in the future.

Until next time…


(We Love Ya Stan!)