Week of Geek: The Fandom of Horror

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Trick or Treat, Geeklings!  To paraphrase an old saying; “There is magic in the night when pumpkins glow by moonlight.”

Yup, Halloween is next week everyone!  The Superbowl of scares and costumes is almost upon us.  I’ve got a couple of costume options in mind, and that’s after what I wore for the Zombie Prom.  I’M JUST REALLY EXCITED!

*clears throat*

What I thought I’d talk about today is the fandom of horror.  Yup, horror has a fandom.  If you’ve ever been to the massive sci fi convention Fan Expo (I may have mentioned it.  Once or twice.) you’ll notice that there are 5 fandoms it caters to; Sci Fi, Comics, Manga/Anime, Gaming… and Horror.  Horror has such a following it needs it’s own category, and conventions like Fan Expo bring in horror writers, horror actors, horror creators, figures in the Goth community, etc.  They have their own floor crawling (maybe literally?) with scary stuffed animals, horror movie posters, graveyard scenes and other such spine tingling attractions.

They’re there, they scare, get used to it!

Now, there are PLENTY of reasons why someone would be devoted to terrors real and imagined, and these reasons can be both psychological and philosophical.  There’s a couple of books written by people much smarter and more educated than I on the subject of why we may gravitate towards things that are, by all logic, horrible and macabre and gory and scary.  But we’ve all seen the fans, or maybe you are one.  The guys and girls who seem a little enthralled with the dark side of life, with ghosts and ghouls and slashers and things that generally go bump in the night.  Though I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore fan of horror (at least compared to some) I definitely subscribe to it.  I LOVE scary stories (not too scary, mind) and ghosts and monsters and the color black and Halloween.

And you know what I think?  I think Horror is one of those fandoms that you either “get” or you don’t.  For anyone on the outside looking in, it’s hard to comprehend why someone wants to see a movie where a whole bunch of people get killed by an axe-wielding maniac.  Many horror fans I’ve spoken to have mentioned how parents and other authority figures in their life start to worry about them or wonder if there’s something wrong with them when they begin to let that love of the genre show.  I know I’ve had similar reactions myself when I went through my Interview with the Vampire phase in high school (yes, that happened.  Don’t judge me!  They’re gorgeous and sad vampires, how could I not?)

But when you think about it, it’s not too different from liking villains in a story (I’ve mentioned that before).  It’s a safe way to explore that darker side of us all.  And people get a thrill out of being scared.  It’s why roller coasters are so popular.  So it’s all good.  Horror fans are certainly not alone.

So this Halloween embrace it.  We got books, movies, CDs and other fun stuff.  Don’t forget to check out Lore and then look up books we have on those stories.  And have fun!  Safe fun, but fun!

Stay scary, and until next time, End of Line.

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Hello booklovers!

Every year YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) asks teens to vote for their favorite 10 titles of the year. Well the list is in for 2016. Have you read these titles?

Alive by Chandler Baker. coming soon…

  1. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
  2. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough.
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.
  5. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone.
  6. The Novice: Summoner: Book One by Taran Matharu.
  7. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.
  8. When by Victoria Laurie.
  9. Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls. By Lynn Weingarten.

Want your voice heard? Why not vote on next years’ list? Here is a link to next years nomination form.

Week of Geek Breaking News: Fresh trailers for your eye balls

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Beg your pardon Geeklings, but I had to pop in and share the joyous news of more trailers from our favorite fandoms.  I think we can all agree that I would be remiss not to (there’s your word of the day; Remiss – negligent in the performance of work or duty :  careless)

First, 2nd trailer for Assassin’s Creed.  This is based on the hit video game series, but head’s up; all of VPL’s copies of the games are Restricted, meaning you have to be 18 and up to sign them out.  If that’s you, cool.  If not, there’s a YA book series you can read to get you up to speed.

Next, we have another look at FX X-Men spin off series Legion.

Rogue One released it’s latest trailer, and I think the movie’s looking more awesome the more I see of it.  Am I wrong?

Pottermore has released more info about America’s Wizarding history.  Plus you can see cast members from the films try out the site for themselves.  It’s kinda adorable.

And get ready; it was recently announced that Fantastic Beasts is going to be FIVE movies instead of three!  At this point I have a healthy combination of being SUPER EXCITED and a little wary.  I’m still stinging from the whole ‘let’s make the roughly 300-page book The Hobbit a whole trilogy of movies‘ fiasco.  But still, the Fantastic Beasts textbook is only the inspiration for this story, not the source.  And if you throw Grindelwald (and hopefully Dumbledore) in the mix and the whole situation with American magic in the early 20th century there could be enough material for a few more movies.  Keep hope alive!

As mind-bogglingly awesome as all of what I just posted was, I’ve got the best way to cap it all off.  What is that?  Only our first look at GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2!

I so LOVED the first Guardians film.  It remains one of my favorite Marvel movies, and that trailer reminds me how much I’ve missed these guys.  And if a sneak peak weren’t cool enough they’ve got a new poster that looks like it would just as easily belong on a vinyl album.

*happy squeal*

OH… WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!  This JUST came out today, just this morning, JUST AS I WAS TYPING THIS!  FIRST LOOK AT LOGAN!


*falls off chair*  *gets back up to keyboard and clears throat*

That is all.  Carry on, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: More Teen-Friendly Horror Films (not just zombies this time!)

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Image result for Horror Movie funny

Hi again Geeklings!

First of all, a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out for the Zombie Prom last Saturday night!  A great time was had by all, the costumes were awesome and the vibe was kickin’.  Thank you all so much!

So since it’s still the month of macabre, I know some of you are still looking for scary movies to watch.  Let’s face it, that is the quintessential Halloween activity after you get too old to Trick or Treat; to gather ’round with friends and popcorn (or whatever munchies you like) and pretend you’re not scared silly by the onscreen antics of various monsters and victims of questionable intelligence.

Image result for supernatural gif

Horror as a genre has had it’s own fandom for ages, and Hollywood loves to release films that cater to horror fans, especially this time of year.

But, as I mentioned before, there’s one thing that often stands in between your average teen and a good, scary film… the dreaded R rating (or 18A in Canada).  For those who are unfamiliar, an R or 18A rating means anyone younger than 18 has to be with a parent or adult in the theater while watching the movie.  In our library, a Restricted item can only be signed out by an adult library card.

Well, never fear, Ali is here!  As I did a couple weeks back for zombie films, let me brush through all that rating nonsense and suggest a few scary films that are PG-13 or 14A; in other words, teen friendly!  Or, ya know, as friendly as a scary movie can get.

The Boy and Annabelle: We’ll start off with a two-fer that both operate under the same universal truth; Dolls Be Scary.  It’s true!  Have you ever heard of Robert?  All the better for you if you haven’t (but listen to this episode of Lore… actually just listen to Lore in general).  Anyway, Franz and Annabelle are both prime examples of that.  Maybe put any and all dolls you might have away before watching these two.

The Possession: This is another one that was inspired by a true story.  This film takes it’s cues from the story of the Dybbuk Box, is directed by master horror director Sam Raimi and stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who you might recognize from the show Supernatural (more on that in a bit).

Carrie: While the original film (based on a Stephen King novel) is rated R, this 2013 remake about the tormented telekinetic teenager is 14A, so have at it.  But, as you can probably guess, things don’t really go that well for Carrie or her classmates… lets just say you’ll never look at prom the same way again.

The Woman in Black: From legendary British horror production company Hammer comes this period ghost story starring Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter himself!)  Spooky atmosphere abounds.

The Lost Boys: This is an oldie but a goodie.  Kids move to new town, new town has a serious vampire problem, but they’re vampires who dress in the 1980s equivalent of cool clothes, so there’s that.  Still, they need to be defeated, as you do.

Supernatural: I wanted to include one TV show on this list, and what better one than this?  The adventures of Sam, Dean, Cas, Crowley and company just started it’s 12th season on TV, and we’ve got all the previous seasons in the collection so get ready to hunt some serious evil.

So that’ll get you started.  Any favorites I’ve left out?  Post away.

Halloween is almost here Geeklings!  Keep your eyes peeled for more spooky stuff, and until next time, End of Line.


Week of Geek: A Night to Dismember is almost here! Let’s read books! And then dance!

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A night to dismember

Wazzup Geeklings!

It’s almost time!  Time for what?  Well, let me set the mood.  It’s a dark, mid-October night.  All the residents of the great city of Vaughan are stuffed to the gills from the previous Thanksgiving feasts.  Those same citizens are now working on costumes and decorations in anticipation for the Halloween festivities.  Ah, but this mysterious month has a mind of it’s own, and doesn’t follow our rules to allow the darkest and creepiest creatures to walk the earth for just one night a year.  On this particular night, a certain library, a place once hallowed as a sanctuary of learning and quiet reflection, will be overrun by ghouls and the undead.  Naturally.  But this night these reanimated cadavers will be in a festive mood; dressed to the nines, dancing the night away and feasting on their own bounties.  For even the undead are not above the traditions… of high school proms.

Yup, that was my roundabout way of saying A Night to Dismember is happening at the Pleasant Ridge Library this Saturday, October 15th, at 7pm.  It’s a zombie prom, people!  Come to dance, play games, eat pizza and other nummies and have so much fun!  You don’t need to be in costume, but it is very much encouraged, and the best dressed zombies will be crowned our Zombie King and Queen for the evening.

Last week I touched on some Zombie Films to watch.  This week, let’s look at some YA novels featuring the shambling undead.  ‘Cause we’re a library, and books are kind of our thing.

cover imageZombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby: This book ties in so perfectly with a zombie prom it’s like someone knew we were doing that very activity this weekend and wrote the book in advance.  “While trying to cast a love spell on her date on the eve of the senior prom, Mia inadvertently infects her entire high school class with a virus that will turn them all into zombies.”  You know, standard prom troubles.  What are you gonna do?

cover imageFive Night’s At Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon: “It’s been exactly ten years since the murders at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, and Charlotte (Charlie for short) has spent those ten years trying to forget. Her father was the owner of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza and the creator of its four adult-sized animatronic animals, and now Charlie is returning to her hometown to reunite with her childhood friends on the anniversary of the tragedy that ripped their town apart. Curiosity leads Charlie and her friends back to the old pizza place, and they find it hidden and sealed, but still standing. They discover a way inside, but things are not as they once were: the four mascots that delighted and entertained them as children have changed. The animatronic animals have a dark secret, and a murderous agenda.”  Based on the hit videogame series Five Night’s at Freddy’s.

cover imageTokyo Ghoul: Volume 1 by Sui Ishida: “Ghouls live among us, the same as normal people in every way–except their craving for human flesh. Ken Kaneki is an ordinary college student until a violent encounter turns him into the first half-human half-ghoul hybrid. Trapped between two worlds, he must survive Ghoul turf wars, learn more about Ghoul society and master his new powers.”  Taking the idea of a zombie from a Japanese perspective, Tokyo Ghoul is a fresh take on the genre.

cover imageZom-B by Darren Shan: The first in a series by famed horror writer Shan.  “At first no one believes the images on YouTube are real: zombies devastating Ireland, leaving villages in ruins and mutilated corpses in their wake. Teenager “B Smith” is far more concerned with surviving high school and a volatile home life than an invasion of hungry zombies. But as the carnage spreads across the U.K., B must face a horrifying prospect. While a lucky few may outrun the zombies, many will fall… and some will be forced to join the army of the undead.”  What is B to do?

cover imageAfterlife with Archie: Book 1, Escape from Riverdale by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: Full disclosure; for a comic that the creators say is supposed to be a funny take on the horror genre, this book made me cry.  Twice.  In the break room.  Why, you may ask?  Well, you’ll have to read it.  A spell by Sabrina the Teenage Witch goes horribly awry, and the famous residents of Riverdale must survive this new threat.  The art is gorgeous AND creepy, the story is gut-wrenching.  Give it a try, but keep tissues at hand.

cover imageAlice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter: This is book 1 of the White Rabbit Chronicles.  “To avenge the death of her parents and sister, Ali must learn to fight the undead, and to survive she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has his own secrets, which might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.”  It’s not so much a zombie take on Alice in Wonderland, which would be cool, but it’s still a fun, zombie-fueled read.

cover imageEat Brains Love by Jeff Hart: “The good news: Jake’s dream girl, Amanda Blake, finally knows his name. The bad news: it’s because they both contracted a mysterious zombie virus and devoured the brains of half their senior class. Now Jake and Amanda are on the run from Cass, a teen psychic sent by the government’s top-secret Necrotic Control Division to track them down. As Jake and Amanda deal with the existential guilt of eating their best friends and set off in search of a cure for the zombie virus, Cass struggles with a growing psychic dilemma of her own–one that will lead all three of them on an epic journey across the country and make them question what it means to truly be alive. Or undead.”  For those of you who like your zombie stories with a little rom com, this is for you.

cover imageSankarea 1 by Mitsuru Hattori: “Ever since he was little, Otaku Chihiro has felt an unusual connection to zombie movies. It’s not that he feels bad for the survivors – instead, he fantasises about comforting the poor undead girls they slaughter. When his beloved pet passes away in a tragic car accident, he decides to brew up a resurrection potion in secret. However, he’s discovered by popular girl and local heiress Sanka Rea, whose life isn’t as perfect as it seems. and Chihiro suggests that she could serve as a test subject.”  *cue ominous music*

So there’s a few titles get you started.  Click on the links to place any and all holds, but we have more zombie YA books for all your reading needs.

Give us a call or stop in to see us to sign up for A Night to Dismember.  Again, it’s this Saturday, October 15th, from 7 – 11pm at the Pleasant Ridge Library, and all Vaughan teens are welcome.  Hope to see you there in all your undead glory, and until next time, End of Line.

(I’m just going to leave this famous, timeless music video right here, you know, for reasons.  Reasons that may or may not have anything to do with Saturday night.  Hint hint.)