Category Archives: Gaming Arts

An interview with ghost busting gamers, Grant Wilson and Mike Richie

Mike Richie and Grant Wilson from Rather Dashing Games
Mike Richie and Grant Wilson from Rather Dashing Games

Grant Wilson is best known as one of the co-founders The Atlantic Paranormal Society from which sprang the shows “Ghost Hunters”, “Ghost Hunters International”, and “Ghost Hunters Academy.”  In recent years Grant and his childhood friend, Michael Richie joined forces to form a gaming company, Rather Dashing Games.  These industrious gentlemen now have published five games, a steampunk novel and much more to come.

John N Collins (JNC):Could you give us a quick lineup of your products?

Grant and Michael: As far as books go, we have only released the first one so far. Our second book should be out late summer/early fall. As for products from our company Rather Dashing Games, we currently have five games out with two more to be released sometime this year. Our two bestsellers, Dwarven Miner and Pirates, Ninjas, Robots, and Zombies are fun, approachable titles that scratch the itch of more complex games. Our next game, Graveyards, Ghosts, and Haunted Houses is going to be a blast!

JNC: You also have a novel that you co-authored that is of the steampunk genre. Tell us a bit about it.

Mike: It’s called “Brotherhood of the Strange”. It’s the first of our hopefully many Steampunk adventures. We both love Steampunk, and wanted to make an immersive sandbox style world that included the many various aspects of the genre, rather than only focusing on one or two of them. The story focuses around an inventor named Degory Priest who is trying to secretly undo the damage done by the Brotherhood of the Strange, a secret society to which he and his estranged brother Edward belong.

JNC: How did you two become involved in steampunk?

Grant & Mike: We have always loved Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes, & H.P. Lovecraft, as well as old machinery and clockwork. Once we saw this emerging genre at cons such as Dragoncon, we both fell in love and dove head first into it. Grant even cosplayed as a steampunk ghostbuster. A “Spectral Eradicator” if you will. Mike enjoys prop making and coming up with believable ways that the fictional technologies could work in the world of Steampunk.

JNC: Now Grant, this may surprise some of your fans, but I hear you also have been pursuing another career, this one in music. Tell us about that.

Grant: Well, I taught myself how to play piano and guitar when I was 14. I’ve been composing every since. I’ve been in a few alternative rock bands over the years but it wasn’t until relatively recently that I was able to focus on it. I have my band, Carpetshark, that is currently on hold for a few, but my big push is with my solo piano music. I have one album out right now “1.618” and another on the way “Liquid Earth”. It’s just very relaxing piano music. I was really surprised by how people reacted to it. I get emails from people saying they are getting married to it, meditating to it, and how it helps kids focus, or rest. All good stuff!

JNC: Will you be bringing CD’s and Games to sell to the convention in addition to copies of your books for signing?

G&M: I imagine we will!

JNC: Games, Books, Movies, and Ghosts! Do you have any other surprises coming our way?

Grant: I don’t know about any more surprise categories but we will have many surprises in each of those categories. After our the Kingship series, we plan to write our baby; our series of high-fantasy novels we have been working on since we were teenagers. It’s an epic story that has grown and matured over the years. One we are very excited to tell.

JNC: Where can folks find more information on your games, books, music, and such?

Rather Dashing Games
The Brotherhood of the Strange Books
Grant Wilson on CD Baby
Grant Wilson’s official website

JNC: Many of us were disappointed you couldn’t make it to the Wizard World Fan Festival in Chicago a few weeks ago but we are looking forward to seeing you in Cincinnati in a few weeks! Thanks so much for the update!

Grant: I was just as disappointed. Let’s collectively blame the weather!

Grant and Mike will be at the International Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati this weekend April 24 to 26, 2015.

Grant and Carpetshark will be performing at Origins in June and Gen Con in July.

For more about John N. Collins, find him on TwitterInstagram, Youtube, and Facebook.

The music of warriors, gamers, starships, airships, and Valkyrie – Victor Sierra


Victor Sierra - Yesterday's Tomorrow
Victor Sierra – Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Mighty warriors gather, prepared for a great conflict, wearing armor and bearing weaponry that spans cultures and millenia. A dark storm brews overhead with rumblings of thunder and flashes of lightning. The warriors are pumped full of adrenaline, fully knowing their death may be moments away yet caught up in the glory of battle and focussed on guiding the points and blades of their weapons as they charge into the host of enemies.

The valley rumbles to the pounding rhythm of charging horses and the drumming beat of the foot solders. Balloons, derigibles, and other aircraft and creatures provide aerial intel of the enemies positions, strengths, and weaknesses. Unseen over the battle field, the Valkyrie convene to watch and choose the best of the warriors to take to Valhalla. One of the Valkyrie smiles as she listens to the music of the epic, life and death struggle. As she scrutinizes the warriors, her MP3 player flashes, “Artist – Victor Sierra, Album – Yesterday’s Tomorrow.”

Victor Sierra is a steamy hot, steampunk band from Paris, France.  The songwriter/musician/singers Anouk Adrien and Bob Eisenstein belt out their ballads in dedication to the heroes and heroines of otherwhens past, present, and future with a casual conviction that is both relaxed and powerful.

Victor Sierra’s album, “Yesterday’s Tomorrow“, is full of dark energy with flashes of hope. It resonates with the rhythm of an epic battlefield. It pounds with the charge of horses and the clash of warriors. It is a fluid, relentless struggle, rising and falling with the currents of war. In the end when the singer declares the war is over, it is sad and wistfully brooding.

Victor Sierra is the music of warriors, of gamers, of starships, and dirigibles. It is the music of the Valkyrie! Check out Victor Sierra’s Facebook page and show them some love (with a like!), in the ArtPrize Out of the Bag interview and the Alysha Shaw hula hoop performance by the BOB at ArtPrize, on Amazon and buy Yesterday’s Tomorrow, and on the Steampunk Soiree music stream where you can hear the music of Victor Sierra, The Clockwork Dolls, Water Street Bridge, Jon Magnificent, and many other steampunk bands!

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Toys, Games, Comics and Santa Claus came to town!

Santa and his sleigh arrive at the Branns on South Division
Santa and his sleigh arrive at the Branns on South Division

Saturday morning December 1st 2012 Santa and his sleigh arrived at the Branns Restaurant on South Division.

Cub Scouts Trooping
Cub Scouts Trooping

There were Cub Scouts in their troop, trooping down the street…

Lovely, young dancers
Lovely, young dancers

There were lovely young dancers, dancing to the beat…

Members of the Godwin Marching Band relax after their performance
Members of the Godwin Marching Band relax after their performance

The Godwin Marching Band needed no applause as down division they preceded Mr. Claus…

Sharing secrets with Santa!
Sharing secrets with Santa!

At the end of the Santa Claus Parade, the children had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Santa while their parents flashed pictures.

Christmas merriment!
Christmas merriment!

It was a delightful event by the Wyoming-Kentwood area Chamber of Commerce!


A sinisterly, spider suited spectator spied across the room...
A sinisterly, spider suited spectator spied across the room…

Meanwhile in another part of town…

Tina Smith shows her latest cosplay
Tina Smith shows her latest cosplay

The Grand Rapids Toy and Comic Expo had games, toys, and comics galore for the patrons, costumed or otherwise.

Scott Rosema, artist for Space Ghost, Tiny Toons, Batman
Scott Rosema, artist for Space Ghost, Tiny Toons, Batman

Scott Rosema, artist for Space Ghost, Tiny Toons, Batman, and more was on hand to do sketches and sign copies of his work.

The Killustrations Crew
The Killustration Studios Crew

The Killustration Studios Crew were also at the ready with pen in hand and a ready smile.

A hero to vanquish the villainous viewer
A hero to vanquish the villainous viewer

As one would expect at a toy and comic expo, a hero came to confront the villainous viewer who was spying over the crowd in his spidery suit.

Comic confrontations!  The Cosplayers unmasked each other!
Comic character cosplay confrontations! The Cosplayers unmasked each other!

The comic character cosplayers confronted in the corner and as one would expect, an epic battle ensued.


An epic battl... er, kiss
An epic battl… er, kiss

Well, maybe not, but they were just cosplaying and the couple that cosplays together?  Will probably have a lot of fun with their kids.

For more photos check out The Weird Review photo albums for the Santa Claus Parade and Comic Conventions.

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