Rogue Creator: Deirdra Eden
Spotlight Series: Mark Kauffman
Spotlight Series: Meet Renae Geerlings
By Tia Fabi
At Rogue Matter, we’re passionate about the power of ideas and their ability to ignite the imagination. We’re all about Rogue talent that goes against the grain and content that roars rather than whispers.
There’s no one that embodies the Rogue spirit more than Renae Geerlings. Multifaceted, with a creative spirit that will inspire generations to come, Geerlings has worked both in front of the lens as an actor and behind it in the roles of writer and producer. She has been a host and lead producer for Mountain Dew’s Twitch channel, has produced live events with Buffalo Wild Wings and drone racing events, has worked in the world of voice over, and even performed and recorded as a singer. But perhaps the most impressive is that, while doing all of those things, she has spent a quarter of a century busily working as an editor in the world of comics for companies including Top Cow Productions, Marvel, Image, IDW, Radical, and Darby Pop– on world-renowned titles like Battle of the Planets, Tomb Raider, Fathom and Witchblade and titles that became well-known films and video games like Wanted, The Darkness, Hercules, and Oblivion.
As a true visionary, Geerlings’ innovation, artistic prowess, and experience help fuel the lifeblood of Rogue Matter’s growing and expanding universe. Tia Fabi had the pleasure of sitting down with Renae to chat about her life, experiences, and upcoming projects.
Tia: Tell us a little bit about your background.
Renae: I’m a Michigan-born theater major who, after relocating to L.A., became immersed in the world of comics which led me to meet my husband who brought me back full circle into the world of film.
Tia: What was the catalyst behind your desire to pursue an acting career?
Renae: I love storytelling. Growing up, film and TV became a way for me to share in experiences that I hadn’t had the opportunity to have yet. It made me feel hopeful, inspired, and like I was never alone. Now, these outlets have become a way for me to leave breadcrumbs for others. Whether you love a story or hate it, odds are that it affects you in some way and leaves you a little different than before you heard it.
Tia: You have been connected with several comic book publishing companies. What would you say has been your favorite project to be a part of so far?
Renae: Midnight Nation with J. Michael Straczynski was a particularly satisfying project to be a part of. Also, Fathom with Michael Turner. And, more recently, the Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises series with Bruce’s daughter, Shannon Lee, that was published by Darby Pop.
Tia: Tell me about the entertainment company you own with your husband, Tyler Mane.
Renae: We have produced two features, one, Compound Fracture is a supernatural thriller, and the other, Penance Lane, is an action thriller with horror elements. You can find them at maneentertainment.com along with news about our upcoming projects!
Tia: What brought you to Rogue Matter? Can you give us a sneak peak of some of the projects you’re working on?
Renae: I worked with some of the higher ups at Rogue Matter during my time at Top Cow Productions. We’ve always had a fun banter and enjoyed working together, but it was always in a more tangential form. When they introduced me to RM, I was excited to be a part of something new and unique. It’s an opportunity for me to roll my sleeves up and dig into the world of multiple mediums like podcasts and prose and audiobooks and short films that I’ve always wanted to work on, but the opportunity didn’t arise in companies with a smaller focus—like comics. It’s also a chance for me to do my very FAVORITE thing, which is to find new voices and give them opportunities. I will admit that the most satisfying moments of my life have come when artists have approached me at conventions, or where ever our paths cross later, and commented that I gave them their break into comics. It really does fill me with the most joy.
Tia: Do you have any acting projects coming up?
Renae: With COVID shutting everything down, it’s pretty slow here circa summer 2020. So, I’m busying myself with writing episodes of Mane Entertainment’s next project (television) and I am in the pre-production process for a short film with some friends of mine here in Atlanta that we hope to shoot in the spring when COVID (fingers crossed) is under better control. I did just have some auditions this past week, though, so fingers crossed that the world of film/TV production starts cranking again soon!
Tia: How has the outbreak of COVID-19 affected your part in the entertainment industry?
Renae: Like everyone, it has shut things down completely. People are starting to come up with creative ways around it though with ZOOM projects and similar outlets. So THAT’S exciting!
Meet Rogue Wav’s Extraordinary Host, Michael Dolce!
In 2020, there are so many podcasts to listen to out there. Podcasts designed for any niche that you can think of. With such a wide array of options, it’s hard to choose which one to tune into.
This is the challenge that every podcaster faces, but Michael Dolce knows that he has something special with Rogue Wav. The host of Rogue Matter’s flagship podcast, Dolce comes from a long background of being an on-air personality. And, he was kind enough to sit down to answer some of the burning questions I had for him.
Continue reading to learn more about why Rogue Wav is the podcast you need to listen to on a weekly basis:
What is Rogue Wav? How did it start and what sets it apart from other podcasts?
Rogue Wav is the flagship podcast for the Rogue Matter podcast network. We talk comics movies TV and pop culture every Wednesday at 8 PM Eastern debuting on Facebook first. After that, it’s available on all major podcasting apps including Apple podcast Spotify speaker and more.
My cohost Hassan Godwin and I started a podcast called Secrets of the Sire four years ago based out of a New York City radio station and it grew from there to the point where we were brought over Rogue Matter to host their flagship podcast. I always like to say I bring the sports radio feel to pop culture, something that I don’t think you can necessarily find anywhere else. And as the higher ups from Rogue Matter likes to say that there is no one more rogue than Hassan and I – basically taking a show, starting it from scratch and developing it into something where celebrities like Kevin Bacon, Paul Reiser, Christy Carlson Romano, Jackie the Joke Man, Chris Cornell, Billy Corgan and more would want to come on and participate. Either way, we make sure to bring you a unique perspective on all things people love to talk about.
How did you begin your career as a podcaster and what made you want to become one?
To be honest, and I do consider this a fun question LOL, I started it because I was prolific Comic book Creator in the 2000s, First, starting at Wizard magazine in the early 2000s, before releasing my flagship creator-owned superhero book The Sire in 2006. From there I did work with companies like Zenescope and Image Comics, releasing my first creator-owned Image book, Descendant, in 2009. After doing a couple of Kickstarter books, I found that my network has dried up and I need a way to reignite myself within the industry. So in 2015, I left my full-time job and decided to use the podcast to help put myself back into the industry that I love. I just didn’t realize it would take off to the level that it has. So in a way, very accidental, but I love it. I was in a band in the 2000s as well, so I love performing. So I get to scratch both a creative and a performance itch at the same time doing podcasts.
Stepping away from a stable nine to five job is always difficult, especially when the future from there is unknown. It’s one of the many reasons we love having Dolce representing Rogue Matter. Here’s a man who knew that he needed to break away from the societal norm in order to pursue his passions and honestly, he’s damn talented.
Now, the background information was great, but we wanted to ask Dolce some really fun questions, which you can find the answers to below:
If a movie were to be made of your career, what would it be called?
The accidental truth ha, ha.
What’s the career highlight you’re most proud of?
This one’s easy. It was summer 2009, and my Image book, Descendant, had just been released. Image was celebrating Image United, where all the original seven creators who started the company were doing signings together at different conventions. At San Diego ComiCon, I ended up signing copies of my debut issue at the Image booth next to the seven creators who inspired me to break into comics, to begin with. I cannot name a single greater highlight than that. A close second would be when I released my first comic book, The Sire and a guy came up to me with an unsigned copy. At that point, it was the first book I’d ever had in stores, and previously anything I had released was only available at ComiCons. So I assumed I had just forgotten to sign his issue. But he told me, “no, you’re on my list of people I wanted to meet. I bought this in a store and I brought this specifically for you to sign”.
How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now?
Considering Podcasts didn’t exist back then, I think he’d be a little confused, haha. But no, I’ve been working for myself for the past five years, and ultimately allowed to just wake up every morning and be creative on my own terms every day since then. So I think he’d be pretty happy with that. I’m basically doing what I set out to do with my life, just not the way I ever thought possible.
What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever received?
I don’t know. That’s a good question. Because I’ve gotten advice, but at the time I received it, it just wasn’t the right time for me to hear it. I’ve been told I need an editor, and at the time I kind of laughed and said no, I know what I’m doing. But then a few years later I reread some of that stuff and I say, yeah I guess I did need an editor. Or, new technology or a social media platform is coming out, I should jump on that, and at the time I’d say I don’t need that, I know what I’m doing. But a few years go by and I go, you know what, that was pretty good advice. So all advice has some merit at some point. It just doesn’t always line up with where you are in life.
Who do you admire most in the world? Why?
I have my risk-takers, the people that refused to stay in the box. There are several creative’s that I love, Erik Larson, David Lapham, but ultimately anyone that does something daring.
Describe your personality using three words
Everyone gets along.
Which famous person in history would you want to spend the day with?
Anyone that could tell me if UFOs are real or not, ha ha.
No, but I’m a big music guy, so I’ll go John Lennon. That guy was a true rogue and creative genius. But also very down to earth and practical. That would be a fun lunch.
And, finally, the MOST important question of all:
Was Thanos right?
Nah. He’s the bad guy 😁👍.
Whew! Thank God Dolce gave that answer or else we would have to call the Avengers. Hopefully, you have gathered a well-rounded idea of who Dolce is and what he looks to achieve with Rogue Wav. If you are still curious, well; there’s only one thing left for you to do. Tune into Rogue Wav weekly and see why Dolce stands out from the rest.