Exposing Thatnerdshow.com: homophobic and anti-Muslim Facebook postings, fake followers and attack articles

Full disclosure: Until a few weeks ago, I had an unpaid blog at Thatnerdshow.com. I quit in short because of much of the content of this article. I’ve made a few appearances that I now regret on their podcast. I quit because I was asked to edit the article that was posted to Thatnerdshow.com. David Herring’s poser article. I refused to edit it after reading it. I’ll go on in detail below. This is also a lengthy article with images, and several sections. If you’re wondering what it has to do with Gamergate, read on. The behavior I point out and link to both sides of Gamergate and the behavior of Marcus Blake and thatnerdshow.com shows unethical behavior, which I am a witness to, that Gamergate has legitimately railed against. The behavior as evidenced below by David Herring shows what women’s rights groups, the mainstream media and others point to when they say members of the gamer/nerd and Gamergaters community attack women and publicly shame them for not behaving how gamers want them to.

David Herring and “Opinion” articles

Although I hate to insert myself into news, and I also hate to bring attention to bad journalism and writing and give possible publicity to hate speech and attack articles, I feel the need to bring the article written by “writer” David Herring to the light of day. I hate to even link to the article in question, but here it is David Herring “article” on Liz Katz. I feel the need, and drive to post about it and expose David Herring and the owner of Thatnerdshow.com because I was asked to edit this article. I was also on the podcast where David Herring called Liz Katz a fraud and that he was going to expose her. I have an entire email thread, or two, where I point out to Marcus Blake, the owner of thatnerdshow.com, that it was poorly written, contained zero evidence, and sounded like a shaming article that was borderline liable and defamation. I was told to basically shut my mouth and quit if I didn’t like it. So, I did. I’ll add excerpts from the email threads below that I had with both Marcus and David.

I took it upon myself to reach out to David Herring before I even saw his article, because Marcus asked me to be an editor for the site, which is the only reason I stuck around, and David’s article was the first assignment. I asked David if he was using Chicago or AP style for his citations, because as he points out, this was supposed to be an expose. He was revealing how Liz Katz was cheating people out of their money and other things, so, I assumed he knew how to write an article and make accusations like he made. Before hearing back from him, I read the article and noticed the lack of anything substantial, the fact that he quoted someone calling her names, referenced her IMDB account and alleged porn background. I didn’t see an expose; I saw a cowardly and bitter attempt to use an article to pay a woman back for not acting in a way that was “legit” or nerdy enough. He also hid behind the op-ed curtain.

I wasn’t going to risk my contacts in the game and comics industry by being a part of the piece of trash Marcus Blake and David Herring were okay with putting up. I didn’t want anything to do with another “nerd” or gamer-type seeming to attack a female public figure either. Beyond that, Liz Katz is a human with feelings and a life and doesn’t deserve to be attacked for absolutely no reason whatsoever. One of the problems with articles like the one David Herring wrote is, there is no specific accusation of wrong doing. He’s accusing her of being fake. Of being a poser. She’s not a REAL nerd. Somewhere along the line, David picked up a degree in what is authentic. Liz Katz can’t possibly be real because of what? She didn’t interact with her fans in a way you and the other person you quote in your article? Because she has a porn background? What exactly did she do to be called a shyster? She’s preying on the cosplay community? How exactly?

After my back and forth with David, and Marcus, David agreed that he wouldn’t post the article, or his feelings wouldn’t be hurt if it didn’t get published. I told him he had writing ability and he should consider what he’s writing. I got on a soapbox, but I thought it was the right thing to do to warn him about posting the article. I told him I take being a writer seriously, and have it tattooed on my arm. I quit Thatnerdshow.com (I wasn’t being paid, just writing my blog) and didn’t want to continue discussing the issue with David before he wrote me back. I’d said my piece in a professional way to Marcus and I moved on from the subject. I thought the issue was dead, and then I saw the article posted to thatnerdshow.com. I’m supposed to be objective as a writer, and I admit that it startled me. So, I started to do some research and investigating into how authentic David Herring was. See what he stated himself to be. A writer? A Christian? Okay. I checked his twitter account and Facebook page, and did some digging on the internet, just like he did with Liz Katz.

Accountability

What David has to understand is that, even though he wrote an “opinion piece” he still needs to use some sort of standards. Once you attack someone, and you post to the internet and claim to be a writer, you’ve become a public figure just like the one you’ve “exposed” for being an alleged fraud. You’re not popular, or liked liked like your target, but once you call someone else to account, or hold them accountable, you have set a standard, and guess what? You have to meet those same standards. So, here is David, this is your time to be held accountable as a writer and person that is holding the torch for nerds everywhere. You end your article, literally, by saying it is you, or “us” that are the victims. I have to say, I’m pretty shocked at what I found out about this person that writes and is a co-host for thatnerdshow.com. I feel bad for the other writers that have to have their content next to his. David has posted multiple homophobic, insensitive, border-line racist, anti-Muslim and other hateful, mean spirited comments. He also states he’s a Christian, and I’m pretty sure Christians aren’t supposed to act the way David Does on Facebook and Twitter. Below, I’m up what I’ve said with screenshots from his public pages. He has an abundance of pictures with women showing cleavage, has many many views on politics that are far right-wing. The political views are of course legal and not the focus of the article. But, his extreme views and insulting comments and behavior are. Let’s take a look at some of David Herring’s highlights.

Here's a picture he posted about feminists.

Here’s a picture he posted about feminists.

Ok, this picture is clearly offensive to women, feminists and others. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s look at some more, as they get progressively worse. Again, keep in mind that this is someone that is supposedly a professional writer, and he is appearing on thatnerdshow.com’s podcast and posting reviews about comics, movies, tv shows and other things your kids might read.

The World trade center and a world without Muslims?

The World trade center and a world without Muslims?

Now we’re getting to who David Herring is as a person. I’m not sure if he created this image, or just posted it on his page. Hateful and just calling this anti-Muslim is an understatement. Very Christian of you David. This guy is writing about Archie Comics. Let’s see some more, because we’re not even close to being done.

David's homophobic rant on facebook.

David’s homophobic rant on facebook.

I’ve blurred out the other people involved in this post David made to Facebook. It’s a screenshot that shows the time and date. It’s more than a year old, but it’s still there, and he still said it. Apparently David doesn’t appreciate being put “on blast” in public. I understand David, believe me. He clearly thinks being in the closet while being gay is an insult worthy of posting. This is likely the most horrible post by David, because it comes from his mouth and isn’t a meme, or an image reposted. I’m not sure how you play this one down. I’m sure he was upset, but it’s no excuse. He’s a professional writer and has, I assume, some sort of an audience. Even if he doesn’t, what he has written is out there to be found. Marcus Blake is clearly okay with it, or hasn’t vetted him. That’s understandable. But, what’s not understandable or forgivable is the fact that Marcus willingly allowed, and edited and posted the attack article.

So, let’s have a look at more of David’s internet comments etc. I think it’s a safe question to ask when I ask “David, how can you claim to be a professional writer, or Christian with behavior like this?” Professional writers are trained not to post what he posted. It’s early on in communications, journalism and other classes you take to learn to write. I think it’s safe to call into question his nerd credentials as well. Being so judgmental of nearly every group that isn’t his isn’t a tenet of nerd society. Now, on to more of his hateful behavior.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 2.11.21 AM

This one is the most disgusting picture of the lot. David doesn’t post a comment, but posting a picture of someone that looks a lot like David, that is waiting for 2 girls to pass out from being roofied is horrible. Waiting for the roofies to kick in? This is what people are talking about with the dirty and dark corner of the internet filled with people like David. These jokes aren’t funny and they aren’t okay.

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Here David shows of his mastery of “Female logic”. Yeah, exceptional grasp of how women think there David.

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Classy. Use of an insensitive insult and using Muslim like it’s an insult. It’s pretty common knowledge that President Obama isn’t a Muslim and publicly states he’s a Chrisitan David. It’s against the Quran to deny Allah. But, who needs facts? Not writers right?

 

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Stay Classy David. Keep up the standards.

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Nice addition of the hashtags there David! Have views on feminism?

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And here I present this uncalled for comment about Aids in Africa. This is how Christians and journalists are supposed to act in public? This is the thing we’re supposed to say? What a hateful and callous remark. “Then how come they got so much aids?”

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Here’s another considerate post by Mr. Herring. Because killing people with plastic bags, or posting this kind of thing is humorous, or compassionate and showing love like Jesus taught?

 

 

Here are a few of his comments from Twitter.

 

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Less smarter than you…hmm. The irony here.

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Still keeping that classy thing going huh? Can you imagine Wolf Blitzer posting something like this?

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Because we all know how great being gay is for your career. Must be why so many people call it the closet. So much light and access to equal rights in the closet.

There are so many examples on his facebook page, and there are more that I could post here. I honestly got sick of investigating David for this article. His posts are hateful and mean spirited. Except when he’s talking about his adorable dog or sticking up for Christian’s rights, or posting the rare comment about being a Christian. The majority of his activity seems to be focused around professional wrestling, and retweeting other people’s comments on Twitter. I’ll end the section on David with this racist, pro-violence on women, copyright infringing and disgusting use of Mario characters repost by David. I’m not posting the link to the video itself, just the screenshot where David Herring reposts the link and image to it, unaccompanied with no comment. Why post this video and not denounce it? Regardless, here it is.

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.43.18 AM

 

 

Ok, just a few more. David makes it a point to state that he’s a writer, and according to this posting on eLance.com, he surely is putting himself out there as a writer. But, if he would’ve proofread his posting, he’d see he made a couple of errors. I know, I’m pointing out every little mistake he makes now. I admit that. He did go really far out of his way to attack more than one person and group on his Facebook page and Twitter though. He’s targeted every group except for animal lovers and white Christian Republicans. I can state with some certainty though, most upstanding, god-fearing Republicans and Christians would stay away from the majority of what David says and posts. That’s one of the reasons I’m posting most of this; to shed light on what he says, because many of the views he expresses would shame the groups he claims to be a part of. I know I’m ashamed to know that David Herring is doing the same thing as me. I’m not talking about breathing, I’m talking about throwing letters together to form sentences, and then take those sentences and put them together and calling it writing.

If you're looking for a writer with a strong desire and penchant to post ridiculous things like Racist videos, homophobic rants, David Herring is your guy.

If you’re looking for a writer with a strong desire and penchant to post ridiculous things like Racist videos, homophobic rants, David Herring is your guy.

Marcus Blake

Marcus and his connection to the rest of this piece may be unclear to you, but i’ll try to clear it up.  There are two sections here on him: The first is his knowledge and blessing of the David Herring article. The second is not a legal, but ethical issue. I don’t have evidence outside of what he told me personally on the phone, because he was cautious enough not to put it in writing. While what I have isn’t evidence of wrong doing, it points to unethical behavior.

In addition to him giving the okay to David’s article, and actually physically posting it to his website Thatnerdshow.com he also knew about the content and I advised him I thought it could be liable. He told me that it’s an opinion piece and he’s ok with that. He also goes on to claim that he owns the news organization several times in emails to me. I think this is relevant. If there is liable, then this is evidence. I don’t know that Liz Katz will take action, but I do know that she has been made aware of the situation.

Screen shot of email response from Marcus Blake

Screen shot of email response from Marcus Blake

As you can see, he’s okay with attacking people as long as it reads as opinion. He attacks Michael Bay. Saying Michael Bay sucks or can’t direct or produce is one thing, and David Herring’s is another. Keep in mind, Marcus himself calls thatnerdshow.com a news organization several times, and it’s his. We know how many news organizations are okay with attack ads don’t we?

Buying followers-“No one checks that”

Marcus told me in a phone call that he was okay with the buying of Twitter followers on Twitter. Before I quit, I had been on hiatus from thatnerdshow.com for months when I moved to Seattle. Marcus had informed me months ago, in a mass email, that he couldn’t pay freelance rates anymore, even though he never really did. He probably paid me around 60-70 bucks over six months and over 40 articles. I decided to stay on because I wanted experience and wanted to keep my skills sharp, and I thought the show had potential. It really did. Marcus, although abrasive, moderately socially awkward and jerky sometimes, is intelligent. Co-host Brendan Smith is bright, well read and can be engaging. They both seemed to go out of their way to criticize a lot in my opinion, but I thought we had a chance to do something good with game/comics/nerd stuff. I was getting into some conventions and the site hired Alex Moore, another good writer personality. I decided to stay on. Back on point, I decided to help utilize our enormous twitter following. We had thousands of followers and I thought there was no reason not to promote our product to them. I sent out some tweets about the podcasts and my own blog. I waited, and I saw zero results. I mean, none. Surely some of those people would visit the site and my blog from my twitters postings. I mean, with over 40,000 followers you’d expect someone to accidentally click on the blog. That wasn’t the case. So, I decided to do some digging.

I went through all of the followers for @thatnerdshow, and I noticed something strange. There were thousands and thousands of followers with just that little place holder image, the egg. Thousands. They seemed to never end. There were a couple legitimate followers, but it seemed all of them were fake. I set to checking with Marcus about the issue. In the meantime, I took to reporting the followers to twitter for SPAM because I thought some of them could be malicious. I honestly assumed that Marcus had hired someone to help promote the show, and they were using black-hat methods. While waiting for Marcus to respond to my issue, I took to the Twitter airwaves and set out to start a dialogue. I wanted to make genuine connections. I started tweeting to people, and sending links, and asking questions. I offered to do reviews on games if developers sent me their copies. I wanted to talk to people that were fans, or potential fans of the show. That’s what Twitter is for, I thought. We started to see some genuine activity again. I’d done this earlier this year and was able to add followers then too. I wanted That Nerd Show to be successful, and I wanted to be proud of working for it.

I started writing some again, this is around the beginning of August, and I kept up the interactions. Marcus contacted me one day in October to discuss my own comic book, which for nearly a year has pledged to help produce, and about being the Editor at large for Games with That Nerd Show. Wow I thought, it’s a promotion. Even though I’m not being paid, I can have some bright young writers working with me, I can create good content. That in turn will turn into some money through advertising. I guess that’s how it works. Or, Marcus will get money from advertising and that will trickle down to me. We talked about hiring in Seattle and giving me my own game podcast. I put things into work in my mind. Then he told me that he wanted to talk about the Twitter issue. This was a little while later, weeks or so maybe, from when I’d brought it up. He went on to tell me that he felt it was needed to compete and get some of the bigger companies, advertisers and others to pay attention to us. And besides, “No one checks that anyway” He said. That’s a direct quote on the record. Now, I wasn’t interviewing him, but I’m a writer and he didn’t say that was off of the record. He told me it was needed. I told him that people do check that stuff, and an indie game company brought it up to me. It really happened, and I told him that. I am genuinely trying to look out for this company, this entity that I’m trying to help grow. He told me he understood in essence, and that we will stop since we have so many. We can start adding real followers soon. Or, that I could do it. I agreed to keep going and that once we got going with me as the editor, I’d go through and phase out those followers. I should’ve quit then, but, I didn’t until days later. I thought I was helping. Even though I wasn’t involved, I still feel bad about not quitting then.

I can be a bit over anxious sometimes, and I’ve been accused of being a diva. I consider it having high standards, or scruples. Marcus said I was overreaching, and I’m smug or arrogant. My issue is with when people like Marcus, or David, say you’re overreaching or getting on a soapbox. I try not to go with the flow, and right is right. Wrong is wrong. I understand that there are areas that are grey, believe me. I don’t like compromising my morals and standards though. I don’t believe in cheating. That’s where the Gamergate aspect of this comes in, in my opinion.

The Gamgergate connection

For all that’s been said about Gamergate, I genuinely believe that they have points. I believe they really do care about nepotism or cronyism and favoritism in games. I believe that the community of Gamergate felt attacked by a few journalists and the media in general. The problem with the media’s reaction to Gamergate is, the people that were being criticized are the people reporting about the issue. That’s a conflict of interest. The outside, or more mainstream media quickly jumped on some comments made by some crazies, once the mainstream media actually caught up to the story, and it discredited the movement. And believe me, it is a movement. At first I thought it wasn’t that important. We’re talking about video games here! Right, but it’s deeper than that because video games are a billion dollar industry. The other arms of entertainment certainly have their own media problems, but I can say that they are much more harsh and pay closer attention to the industry. 21 billion dollars or so to be exact. (Source Theconsumerist.com) Have a look at this article on ‘The Consumerist’ for more statistics and citations, it’s a more in depth read and outline with some great stats. Article by Kate Cox. (Also, David Herring, this is one way to use a citation.)

I’m not trying to derail this article by focusing on Gamergate and I do believe some of the people in Gamergate went way way too far and their behavior is beyond horrible. It shouldn’t be excused.

But, I do know that the type of behavior displayed by That Nerd Show and David Herring is what Gamergate was talking about in the beginning, before their ideas were highjacked. At least that i what I’ve seen. Deception in the industry. Thatnerdshow.com doesn’t really focus that much on games, but MSNBC doesn’t focus on world events as much as politics. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a news organization. And According to Marcus Blake, his site is a news organization. The issue is about deception and fooling not only gamers and fans, but also trying to manipulate the system. If a game fan, or someone that is looking for comics news, or movies and commentary runs across your Twitter page, they see 64,000 followers. They may think, “Oh, this is a reputable source. How else would they get all of these followers?” That’s the issue. It is to me anyway. I talked with a few people in the game industry, especially a few indie game developers, and this made them pretty angry. I started to get some flack on Twitter because I was asking for opinions first. I wanted to get the pulse on the issue. I’m writing, I’m putting things out there so I’m ok with catching some unintended shrapnel so to speak. People are passionate about this kind of thing.

A long track record of deception

The deception doesn’t stop with Twitter. After finding so much detestable content on David Herring’s pages, I decided to look into my former bosses’ background. Marcus Blake is also an author, podcaster, blogger, former co-host of ‘Dualing Patriots’ podcast, a songwriter/musician, a comedian apparently, and according to multiple postings, including his own website, an award winning writer. We will get to the award winning part later. Knowing Marcus is a writer, I decided to look at several sources where his books were sold including Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads.com and others. I’m including links and have several screenshots to support my belief, or opinion, that Marcus has himself engaged in deceptive practices with false reviews. False reviews and fraudulent ratings are in fact against FTC guidelines in addition to being unethical. Here is a more in-depth article on a lawyer’s website. (Source http://kbhilferlaw.com) Especially when you’re a writer and owner of a news organization.  It’s called “astroturfing” because it’s not grass roots, it’s false and it’s fake. I believe what was done on Twitter, which he admitted to, is the same thing. If you’re interested, go to @thatnerdshow on Twitter and have a look at their followers. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see the sea of fakes.

The first example of fake reviews is his Amazon.com reviews. Each book only has 1 review at the time this was written, it’s pretty indicative of what’s going on.

 

I think the name of this book is quite appropriate

I think the name of this book is quite appropriate

Look closely at the name of the reviewer. On first inspection, it doesn’t appear to be off. When you look closer, you see the deception. And again, this isn’t direct proof, but circumstantial and the clues are there, and it’s why I say it’s my opinion, but I’m certain that Amazon can track these reviews back to Marcus Blake. The reviewer is from Chicago, Marcus’s home town. He even wrote  book about “Return to Wrigley” with that title. Let’s have another look at a screenshot and go to the included link to see where I’m going.

ChicagoBook Worm’s Amazon.com activity

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I could only fit in four of his reviews in this screenshot, but follow the link. You’ll see that the Chicago Bookworm has six reviews. All of them are for products created by Marcus Blake. Five books and, “ahem” a ‘song’ written and recorded by Marcus. I hate to use those quotes and italics so much, but I use them to show that those terms and uses are suspect at best.

Ok, so we have those reviews from the Chicago Bookworm, and all of them are on those Marcus Blake products. Suspicious, but not really concrete proof. Just some more smoke signals.

We can move on to Barnes and Noble and other sources now.

Then there are the reviews on Barnes and Noble’s website, where the only reviews are by anonymous, and are eerily similar to one another. So similar in fact, that many of those anonymous users only activity was rating other books written by Marcus. There is one other review, and that is by the user name “texaspublican”. Yep.

Here is the link to his Barnes and Noble page. It show’s 24 reviews, all anonymous except for the one by Texaspublican. Marcus Blake Barnes and Noble page.

I was unable to find any reviews of his books on iTunes. He’s told me that he hates MAC and Apple though.

Let’s move on to other aspects of Marcus and his writing and career.

On his personal website, as well as other postings, he claims to have won the following awards. All of which I was unable to verify, or even find the awards. The only references to these awards are through Marcus’s own self promotion. In fact, the only place the phrase “American book choice awards” appears on the internet, is in relation to Marcus Blake and his web content. Anywhere on the entire internet. I thought it could’ve been spelled wrong, and I tried every possible variation when it comes to those awards he said he won, but found none. The closest was the STIFF awards, but those are for Seattle film makers.

  • 2008 American Book Choice for Fiction Award Winner for my book Returning Home
  • 2008 S.T.I.F. Award Winner for my book Sex Game
  • National Literary Awards sponsored by the National Literary Foundation in Chicago

Again, I was unable to verify these awards via the internet. If someone is able to find proof of these awards, I’d be happy to see it. If they can’t be found, is this deceptive?

Here’s another little nugget. It’s not illegal, and it’s not unethical, it’s just hilarious because he has a stand-up routine on his website. He’s not standing up and he added laugh tracks to the routine. Oh, and it’s not even remotely funny. I know, it’s adding insult to injury, and it’s likely not adding to my case. I’m going Hunter S. Thompson on this thing and going a little Gonzo. These fiends have to be stopped!!

Marcus Blake laugh tracks

Are you a published author, if you own the publishing company?

The company that publishes his books, TM publishers, its website returns with a page not found. I suspect that TM publishers is Truesourcq media. That’s speculation, right now, but more hair brained schemes have been thrown out there as conspiracy theories, actually, by Marcus Blake’s own people. So, connecting the dots, the physical mailing address listed for TM publishing, is the same address listed for Truesourcq media, which is actually a residence. The address is given on Marcus’s website here. I’m using it as a citation. It’s listed as a company, which  is public knowledge.

http://marcusmaverickblake.com/home/?page_id=167

Same address as Truesource media, which is the company he works for. I have his email address from an email from him there. That company creates physical print products, among other things and apparently, that is the address for a construction company as well. So, the same company that publishes his books, is the same company that prints his books, which is the same company that Marcus at least works for, and I suspect he is at least part owner. The contact listed for Truesourcq is Clint Stutts, who Marcus also did a political podcast with not long ago called ‘Dueling patriots. Ok, he writes, or well, he doesn’t write much, his “news organization” does a podcast about nerd stuff and has people that work for free and posts reviews, or hatchet attacks like the one by David Herring. What is of note is the deception, the awards that can’t be tracked, the fact that he basically prints his own books, purchases his twitter followers and rates his own books. In fact, outside of goodreads.com, the only reviews of his books are by either anonymous, or an amazon.com account that appears to be him.

This links shows him rating his own books without concern about being noticed. Not sure if he didn’t care or know they would show up that way, but his name is there with a 5 star rating. His book “Atlantis: Revelations” does actually have some genuine reviews, or seemingly. That is the only location where his books have been reviewed, that I have found anyway. I guess it’s not against any rules to rate your own book, but the fact that he is rating his own books on Goodreads, makes me think he is rating them other places as well.

All of these things aren’t hard evidence. A lot of it may not hold up in court. But, a lot of what thatnerdshow.com and Marcus Blake is doing, and allowing to be done isn’t illegal, it’s just unethical. Although some of the evidence I present may not hold up in court, hypothetically, it might. We’d be able to trace his IP address and connect him or whomever did it. We’d also be able to find out more about his Twitter by following the paper trail to the shady company he hired to get those followers. The only evidence (other than the smell test and common sense) I have for him paying for those twitter followers is what he told me himself, that I would swear to in court. Twitter of course will investigate the amount of dummy accounts that are following @thatnerdshow.com. They’ll see that another company and IP is logging into the account, trace that account back to where it is, see the name of that company and what it does and it will hopefully shut down the Twitter.

That is if they’re looking, and they notice. Let’s hope they do. Because people like Marcus Blake and David Herring count on the rest of you to not look, to not check. To take what they’re spitting out at face value. They don’t expect you to look and read. Start looking.

 

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Future Imperfect Preview Art

Santa hulk wants to know what you want for Xmas in the future.

Santa hulk wants to know what you want for Xmas in the future.

Hey everyone,

I’m dropping in to post this preview art sent to me from Marvel. It shows what appears to be another Marvel reboot-Future Imperfect. I love the long-haired and grey bearded version of the Hulk. What do you think? Also, notice the helmets and masks at Hulk’s feet.

Keep checking back here for more updates on Marvel and more.

 

FUTURE IMPERFECT #1 – Summer 2015

 

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.

About Marvel: Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com © MARVEL 2014

 

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‘The Collector’ by Sergio Toppi review

The hardcover cover art for The collector by Sergio Toppi

The hardcover cover art for The collector by Sergio Toppi

“The Collector” By Sergio Toppi Review

By Hank Van Hawkins

  As soon as I signed into Boom! comics with my fresh sparkling new press pass, I saw a lot of titles that piqued my interest. But, the one that drew me in right away more so than any of the others initially was The Collector. Despite the fact it is an entire graphic novel, I know I could have started off by choosing a few single issues of something else first but I had to sink my teeth into this one right upon seeing it.  It is a translated work by Italian artist Sergio Toppi.  With the basic plot and cover art it was speaking to my personal tastes, so I dove right in. The premise of the character alone is enough to get my imagination in gear.  The art work has a surreal undertone, almost immediately exposing the artist’s love for impressionism.  It is bare bones drawing at it’s most poignant. If anything, his art organically inspires the artist in all of us to not worry about coloring outside the lines or worrying about every little mark having to be exactly perfect. Honestly, the art is transcendental.

I usually take in the art work before diving into the writing as a matter of fact. I didn’t get too far before my curiosity couldn’t hold it’s rabid thirst for The Collector’s story, and believe you me, there is a lot of depth to the tale. It obviously speaks out about the collector in every collector out there, somehow leading to this guy as one of the original purveyors of a practice that is all too common in this day and age whether it is comics, cards, games or antiquities for that matter. There isn’t alot out there that isn’t collected in some capacity. 

 He is a well rounded and well financed eclectic eccentric with his hand in many creative business ventures.  He is a worldly gentlemen whose interests push through to many facets of the finer things in life. And in turn, keep him on the move to the next piece of his “collection.”  In order to collect, one must have monetary means to feed the habit so to speak. Of course, I love westerns and any story seemingly set in anywhere in the 1800’s. So it is an easy and interesting read and again, the art work is very eye pleasing and the story line plays up the primitive look of the drawing as well. He has a vigilante streak to his persona that comes in handy when he finds many characters as obstacles that are in the way of his pursuit. He is a gentlemen about his rogue means. His power of persuasion is pervasive as he uses his manners to ask many a stranger for his next clue to the object of his current affection. 

 I really love how he comes across famous historical figures and heads to historical places, all while on the hunt. It is at the least a page from the “who’s who” of tribal chiefs and Native Americans during the first arc. An entertaining tale with its roots in reality. Anytime you can have Crazy Horse as one of the characters, of course I am going to buy this book ! It holds up tremendously well considering it was first released in the sixties. His drawing style is actually very similar to Jack Jackson, a famous illustrator of many underground comics from the 60’s . He is one of R. Crumb‘s peers. Jack himself drew and wrote many historical stories about outlaws and lawmen from the roots of The Republic of Texas and it’s as if both of these guys prayed at the same art altar at one time or another. 

 Anytime archaeology and artifacts are woven into a story line it seems to appeal to history buffs, lit freaks as well as comic book readers. This is a all round great read.  It portrays the rough hewn grit of the old west as the Collector moves on from artifact to artifact which keeps each arc in the story stirring enough to keep your attention.  He is part Jonah Hex and part Indiana Jones . A great culmination which I only wish there was more to read. It also reminds me of the french comic hero Blueberry, but with the added angle of the search for each artifact and its back story, all the while shifting nicely into the current pursuit of the next piece. He lives on the edge during each of his crusades where he constantly flirts with disaster during each of his pursuits. He extinguishes any one who happens to stand in his way. Nothing nor anyone stands in his way. A relentless collector.

If you have never read a graphic novel before and the form is new to you, there would be no better place to start than the collector.

Please read on for a preview of ‘The Collector’ by Sergio Toppi

Collector_HC_PRESS-11 Collector_HC_PRESS-12 Collector_HC_PRESS-13 Collector_HC_PRESS-14 Collector_HC_PRESS-15 Collector_HC_PRESS-16 Collector_HC_PRESS-17 Collector_HC_PRESS-18 Collector_HC_PRESS-19

Have you read the collector? How about any of Hank’s references in the article? Leave a comment and discuss.

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POKÉMON OMEGA RUBY AND POKÉMON ALPHA SAPPHIRE DUAL PACK TO RECEIVE IN-GAME BONUS

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Hey Faithful friends and trainers. Nintendo has some really really fresh Pokemon news, and I know you’re excited to hear. I’m trying to get this out to you as soon as I can, and I am adding some nice images for you. To keep up with the very latest and up-to-date news straight from your source, follow me here and on twitter. Here ya go!

 

Fans who want to pick up both the Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire games when they launch for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on Nov. 21 now have access to a special offer. The Dual Pack launches on Nov. 21, exclusively at Best Buy retail stores, on BestBuy.com or on Amazon.com at a suggested retail price of $79.98. Separately, each game sells at a suggested retail price of $39.99. The Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Dual Pack includes both games, letting players experience both adventures (not to mention the ability to capture both Legendary Pokémon).

In addition to both games, the Dual Pack includes a pair of in-game download codes that can be redeemed for 100 Potions each. Starting a new Pokémon game with 100 extra Potions is a treat for players who want to be well-stocked for their epic journey through the Hoenn region.

The 3DS Porpas Dual pack

The 3DS Porpas Dual pack

i_42181Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire are reimagined versions of the original Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire games, which launched for the Game Boy Advance system in 2003. Not just simple remakes, both games offer updated graphics and new features like Soar, which allows players to travel on the back of Mega Latios or Mega Latias. Players can also decorate their personal Secret Bases and enter Pokémon into in-game Pokémon Contests. Fans may even learn the mysterious origins of Pokémon Mega Evolutions.

 

Both Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire will launch in stores and in the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS on Nov. 21. People can also purchase the digital version of the game at Nintendo.com and have it sent directly to their Nintendo 3DS system. (Click here to pre-order the game now). The Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire Special Demo Version is also now available. Visit Nintendo.com to learn how to receive a download code.

 

For more information about the games, visit http://www.pokemonrubysapphire.com.

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Particulars releases November 19th

Hey everyone. The good folks over at Surprise attack games have some more information about one of their games; Particulars. The game is launching November 19th for PC Mac and Linux. I can attest to the fun and the surprising depth of this puzzle game and its underlying story. Read below for their full press release and for when and where to buy, if you’re so inclined. Thanks for reading and have a look at Surprise Attack Games’ Trailer below.

Particulars releases November 19th

Wow. What a journey this has been! Since launching Particulars on Steam Greenlight on the eve of PAX Australia in 2013, we’ve seen the game transform from a small narrative-driven subatomic puzzle game, to an ambitious adventure fueled by science. It seemed only appropriate with PAX Australia 2014 looming around the corner that we release an updated teaser trailer, and make a very important announcement.

Click image to watch the trailer, or alternatively here.

That’s right folks, Particulars is launching on November 19 via Steam and Humble. The full version contains over 100 levels, as you journey with Alison through the dark and sometimes mysterious corners of her life. You’ll also learn a tonne of awesome science stuff thanks to our handy Particlepedia that provides information on each particle in the game, the nuances between the real world and the game world and links to other sources.

Of course, you can still buy Particulars today for US$9.99 and start playing the beta version, which contains the first eight chapters for you all to explore. We want to make sure that you have some content awaiting you on November 19.

Also we’re exhibiting at PAX Australia, so if you’re coming down to the show, make sure you stop by Booth 2708 and say hello!

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Preview for Scarlet Spiders #1

That's a great cover Spidey fans. Looks like the wannabes and knock offs are back in the spotlight.

That’s a great cover Spidey fans. Looks like the wannabes and knock offs are back in the spotlight.

What’s going on this Monday my faithful reader. Ha. That’s not a typo. We have a ton of news today, and I’m starting off with some Web-head news. Scarlet Spiders #1 is dropping, and it features some of the clones from Spidey’s past. Kaine, Ben Reilly and Jessica Drew are forced into an extremely odd-couple team and have to investigate the Villian de jour, Morlun. Looks like this current arc is throwing everything at the wall and hoping something sticks.

Read on for Marvel’s full release and the sneak preview of issue Scarlett Spiders #1.

 

A New Team. A Desperate Mission. Your First Look SCARLET SPIDERS #1!
Spider-Verse Unites Three Fan-Favorite Characters For The First Time!

Together for the first time! Amidst the chaos of Spider-Verse, three fan-favorite characters unite for a desperate mission into the unknown in SCARLET SPIDERS #1! And not all of them are going to make it back! From creators Mike Costa and Paco Diaz – Kaine, Ben Reilly and Ultimate Jessica Drew must unite for a deadly operation behind enemy lines. When the Spiders discover one of the technological secrets that make Morlun and his family so powerful, it’s up to the Scarlet Spiders to go deep behind enemy lines into one of the twisted realms Morlun’s family rules to shut it down. If they fail, every Spider from across the multiverse will face certain death! What horrors await them across the multiverse? Find out in November as Kaine, Ben Reilly and Ultimate Jessica Drew swing into action in SCARLET SPIDERS #1!

 

SCARLET SPIDERS #1 (SEP140842)

Written by MIKE COSTA

Art by PACO DIAZ
Cover by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Variant Cover by MARK BAGLEY (SEP140843)

FOC 10/27/14, ON-SALE 11/19/14

 

 

To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook. 

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The art work in the preview looks to be great. Hopefully the writing can keep up.

The art work in the preview looks to be great. Hopefully the writing can keep up.

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Nintendo’s List of Super Smash Bros. features and more

Intruder Alert

Intruder Alert

Ladies and gentleman, for those that did not sit through Nintendo’s hour long video presentation for Super Smash Bros. here is a breakdown of many those features that were revealed. In addition, there is a ton of great screen shots and extra images for my faithful readers. Dig in everyone. Can anyone say “Amiibo support.”

 

8-Player Smash: In a major first for the franchise, a special mode lets eight players fight simultaneously in local multiplayer. This option appears only in the Wii U version, and lets players compete on even larger stages to accommodate all the characters.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   WiiU_SmashBros_102314_SCRN_01amiibo Figures: When a player touches an amiibo figure to the Wii U GamePad, the character joins as a “figure player.” The amiibo figures can gain levels to become stronger and add equipment as they gain experience through battling. Players can have amiibo fight one another, and amiibo will bring you presents from the battles they fight in.
Custom Stage Creation: The touch screen of the Wii U GamePad makes it easier than ever for players to build their own stages and eventually share them with friends and other players around the world using broadband Internet access.
Controls: Players who own the Nintendo 3DS version of the game can use their Nintendo 3DS systems to control the action on the TV screen, in addition to the many other control options available.
Importing Fighters: Fans of the Nintendo 3DS version of the game can immediately benefit from the fruits of their smashing labors. Players can import custom Nintendo 3DS fighters to the Wii U game, along with their customized equipment, costumes and hats.
WiiU_SmashBros_102314_SCRN_03
Special Soundtrack Offer: Everyone who buys both the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U versions of Super Smash Bros. and registers both games on Club Nintendo by Jan. 13 will receive a two-disc soundtrack of music from the games.
Mewtwo: Like the soundtrack, this series veteran fighter will be made available as free downloadable content in spring of 2015 for anyone who buys both versions of the game.
Modes: The Wii U version of the game offers many new modes and different ways to play that keep players coming back for more:
  • Smash Tour: World Smash is a fighting party game that looks like a board game. Players use items, spin a wheel and advance around the map. Up to four players can compete at once as they navigate the board and gain fighters and power-ups they can use in a final battle.
  • Special Smash Mode: Players can customize battles with unique parameters.
  • Coin Battles: Players compete to collect coins from other players.
  • Stamina Matches: Players fight until their hit points reach zero.
  • Classic Mode: One or two players fight through a series of battles and advance as long as they survive. Many random events can shake things up, and players can adjust the intensity settings. The more difficult the game, the greater the rewards.
  • All-Star Mode: Like in the Nintendo 3DS version, opponents appear in chronological order. Only this time, the newest fighters appear before the older ones, and two players can battle through this mode together.
  • Event Mode: One or two players take on set character- and theme-based battles. Clearing stages helps players see the way forward.WiiU_SmashBros_102314_SCRN_12
Masterpieces: This menu gives players a peek into the past lives of some of the Super Smash Bros. characters. Players can play cut-down versions of the characters’ greatest games.
Stages: The Wii U game offers more stages than any game in the series. The expanded Big Battlefield makes its debut in addition to the traditional Battlefield Stage. The Great Cave Offensive, based on the underground labyrinth found in Kirby games, challenges players to avoid potentially lethal danger zones – or throw their opponents into them. The Jungle Hijinxs stage, based on Donkey Kong Country Returns, lets players fight in the foreground and background. Blast barrels shoot players from front to back and vice versa.
Tunes: The game includes hundreds of music tracks, songs and jingles that players can listen to and settings to customize what music plays during game play. Players add songs to their library by collecting CDs that appear while smashing or after completing challenges.
WiiU_SmashBros_102314_SCRN_02
Movies: When players clear Classic or All-Star modes, they’ll be treated to a brief movie featuring whichever fighter they used. Every fighter has a movie, so it’ll be a challenge to view them all.
Ridley. Yes, Ridley: Fans have been clamoring for Ridley to appear in a Super Smash Bros. game for a while, and now they’re getting their wish. But true to form, Ridley appears in an unexpected way. Players will find him in the Metroid series-inspired Pyrosphere stage, but he does more than just hassle players. If one player attacks Ridley enough, Ridley will join that fighter’s side and attack others. Players (including the one on Ridley’s side) can KO Ridley to earn a point toward the match result total. And if Ridley consumes enough energy, he will become Meta Ridley and all the more vicious.
Characters: The Wii U version offers 40 characters and the use of Mii characters from the start. Each character’s moves match those found in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, so players who hone their skills in the portable game will have an edge over opponents in the console version of the game.

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy #21 preview: Planet of the Symbiotes

Ok, I can buy into this issue with the symbiotes. I REALLY hope Groot catches one.

Ok, I can buy into this issue with the symbiotes. I REALLY hope Groot catches one.

Forgive me for making symbiotes a proper noun in my title, because I think it should be. I’m a lover of most things symbiote and think a good battle on their home planet is just what Guardians of the Galaxy need. I’m not a fan however of the guardians, but they have their fanbase.

Ok, so here is a sneak preview of their new comic book and we are fortunate here at Fear and Gaming to be one of the first people to post about it on the world wide web of internets and stuff. Read and look on in anxious awe. Marvel’s full press release, information as well as the comic preview pages are below.

 

“Planet of the Symbiotes” Begins in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #21!

This November, the Guardians of the Galaxy face their worst nightmare as the new “Planet of the Symbiotes” arc kicks off in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #21! Comic book superstar Brian Michael Bendis and Marvel Young Gun artist Valerio Schiti venture where no heroes have ever gone before – to the home planet of the deadly alien symbiotes! Ever since the Venom symbiote bonded with Flash Thompson, he has wielded it as a force for good, hoping to make the Earth a safer place. Only the far reaches of space are a little out of his depth! And with the Venom costume finally reunited with its own species – where will it’s allegiances lie? Trapped on a world full of hostile alien parasites, the Guardians of the Galaxy may begin to regret letting Flash Thompson join their team. Be there when the Guardians face a new horror in deep space as “Planet of the Symbiotes” kicks off in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #21!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #21 (SEP140871)
Art by VALERIO SCHITI
Cover by NICK BRADSHAW
Rocket Raccoon & Groot Variant by DUSTIN NGUYEN (SEP140872)
FOC – 10/27/14, On-Sale – 11/19/14

 

Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_21_Preview_3 Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_21_Preview_1 Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_21_Preview_2

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First look at AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #6

Axis Variant cover

Axis Variant cover

 

 

Finally, we have some tasty tidbits about something Marvel. I just received this preview copy of Avengers and X-men: Axis #6. Things are changing in the Marvel Universe. Have a gander below and above at the artwork and panels provided by Marvel. Terry Dodson and Jim Cheung are doing great work over there. On-Sale – 11/19/14. Read on readers for Marvel’s full release.

 

This November, the X-Men are finished cowering in fear. The noble mutant nation is proud to rise up and take their rightful place as Homo Superior in the name of their new leader – Apocalypse! And they’ll put an end to anyone who stands in their way! Today, Marvel is pleased to present your first look at AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #6 from blockbuster creators Rick Remender and Terry Dodson! Prepare for the senses shattering end to Act II: Inversion as the Marvel Universe descends into Act III: New World Disorder!

New York City now belongs to the mutants, taken over by those who once protected a world that hated and feared them. The Avengers as we know them are gone, twisted and corrupted. Battle lines will be drawn as friend and foe alike choose sides – and the battle for the survival begins. No fan can afford to miss this epic clash as sparks fly this November in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN: AXIS #6

For more on Avengers & X-Men: AXIS, please visit www.marvel.com. Join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #MarvelAXIS and don’t forget to follow us at @Marvel[www.twitter.com/Marvel]!

 

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #6 (SEP140777)

Written by RICK REMENDER
Art by TERRY DODSON
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
Inversion Variant by ESAD RIBIC (SEP140778)
Young Guns Variant by VALERIO SCHITI (SEP140779)

FOC – 10/27/14, On-Sale – 11/19/14

Some sweet panels from issue #6. Great to see Nightcrawler back.

Some sweet panels from issue #6. Great to see Nightcrawler back.

 

 

Mystique, Rogue and Nightcrawler? Classic Xmen action.

Mystique, Rogue and Nightcrawler? Classic Xmen action.

Doctor Strange looks to play and important role.

Doctor Strange looks to play and important role.

I'm not Not crazy about this variant.

I’m not Not crazy about this variant.

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Spider-Gwen Goes into 3rd printing

The series goes into its third printing.

The series goes into its third printing.

The incredibly popular comic has gone into its 3rd printing, according to a press release from Marvel. The comic starring Gwen Stacy ties into the far-reaching story arc ‘Spider-verse’ and showcases the talents of Jason Latour, Robbi Rodriguez and Rico Renzi.

I’m stunned myself that Marvel mined Gwen Stacy to use, considering the impact that her original death had on comics, the Marvel universe and yours truly. It moved comics, or at least Marvel, from perpetually dealing not dealing with real life issues. Marvel of course had some serious storylines before this, but the Gwen Stacy death made Spidey seem more human. Made him feel like us. It made me grow up a little faster. Anyway. I know that I’m still reeling from the Superior Spider-Man series and trying to catch up with the new story arc.

What do you think of Marvel bringing back Gwen Stacy? Is anything sacred in the Marvel Universe anymore?

For more on Spider-Verse, visit Marvel.com and join in on the conversation on Twitter using #SpiderVerse

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