Week of Geek: HAPPY GEEK PRIDE DAY!

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It’s that time again!  The day when fanboys, fangirls, fanpeople and everyone with nerdy inclinations can shout it loud and proud and show their pride, no matter their fandoms or passions.  A day for Bronies (and Pegasisters), Potterheads, Jedi, Sith, Trekkers, Hamilfans, Browncoats, Whovians, Otaku (click here too), Gamers and fans of all stripes to come together and celebrate as one.

It’s Geek Pride Day!

May 25th was chosen because it coincides with the anniversary of the first Star Wars movie, and it’s also Towel Day for fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  Both of those fandoms are celebrated today, and Star Wars deserves a special shout-out, as it’s officially 40 years today the first movie came to theaters in North America.  Here’s to another 40 and beyond!

People online figured since two epic milestones were happening on the 25th, why not make it a day for all fans?  And the day stuck.

I’m sure you’ve got your own fandoms (or list of fandoms) you can embrace today.  But one thing I like to celebrate about today is the Fandom Life.  The hobbies and activities that come with declaring yourself a Geek, Nerd or Fan.  I always like to tell people that it’s not just a hobby, it’s not just a passion, it’s a lifestyle, one that fits me like a glove.

Because one of my passions in life is books (natch!) I’m going to throw a whole bunch of them at you today, courtesy of our online catalogue.  They cover characters that live the fandom life, books that tell you more about the fandom life, and books you can use to get your craft or chef on.  These are titles you can sign out or put on hold to make this the best GPD EVER!

First, The Fandom Life.  These are non-fiction books and documentaries on conventions, resources, studies and musings on living the geek lifestyle.

Next is Fiction for Fans, a list of YA novels that feature geeks with lots of different passions and different issues.

Next is Geek Crafting.  Want to make something based on something you love?  Or work on that cosplay?  We’ve got books for that.

Lastly, but not leastly, Geek Cooking.  For all the noms from so many fandoms.  Yum!

Click on any of those titles and you’ll be redirected to the catalogue, where you can check availability or place a hold.  Easy peasy.

For all the hardcore fans, casual fans, soon-to-be-fans, and everyone looking in, no matter what you’re a fan of, have a Happy Geek Pride Day, and until next time, End of Line.

Volunteers Needed!

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Are you looking for a meaningful volunteer experience this summer that will also get you volunteer hours? The Dufferin Clark Library will the hosting a captivating exhibit from the Anne Frank House in the Netherlands. The exhibit is available for viewing during the library’s open hours but we need volunteers to help run guided tours and staff the space.

The exhibit runs from July 3 to August 31; depending on your availability, you would be scheduled for “shifts” during this period.  You have the potential to get a huge amount of volunteer hours!  You would also be required to attend training sessions to make sure you are properly prepared.

If you are going into Grade 10 or higher and are interested in this opportunity, please email dina.stevens@vaughan.ca

 

Week of Geek: When ‘Grit’ meets Saturday Morning Cartoons

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Hi again Geeklings.  Hot enough for ya?

So, I just finished reading a new graphic novel we just got in our libraries; Wacky Raceland.  Not sure if you’ve heard of it yet, but let me bring you up to speed.  You see, last year, DC comics (the guys who bring us Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc) took a look at their comic licensing rights for old Hanna-Barbera properties and decided they needed to update them, for a new generation (that’s usually the reason given for updating something).

Back up again; what’s Hanna-Barbera?  Yeah, for anybody born in this millenium, that’s a fair question.  Hanna-Barbera was an animation studio that ran from 1957 all the way up to 2001.  Their main thing was Saturday Morning cartoons, and they’re responsible for such iconic animated characters as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons and Scooby-Doo, as well as many more.  They started WAY before my time too, but I was exposed to the reruns during Saturday mornings (are Saturday Morning Cartoons still a thing?  It used to be a thing) and I watched a lot of their 80’s and 90’s reboots, plus they were responsible for a lot of Cartoon Network shows in the 90s as well, so I am somewhat familiar.

Anyway, DC came up with Hanna-Barbera Beyond last year, and decided to take some of the studio’s best-known properties, as well as few lesser-known ones, and add new takes on them.  Sounds legit.  Definitely not the first time anyone’s done that.  *Cough* *Afterlife with Archie* *Cough*

The results though?  Kinda shocking.

Take Wacky Raceland.  It’s based on the cartoon Wacky Races, which debuted all the way back in 1968.  Here’s the opening to give you an idea…

Yup, that’s pretty much the whole premise; themed racers with matching cars race each other while one mustache-twirling villain and his dog sidekick try to cheat their way through.  Perfectly goofy and perfectly harmless.

Writer Ken Pontac and everyone else involved with Raceland watched that and apparently thought “Hey, you know what this reminds me of?  Mad Max!”

And so Wacky Raceland was born, which finds our Wacky Racers racing each other in sentient and souped-up war machine-type cars in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, dealing with hostile terrain, hostile beasts, hostile tech and even more hostile survivors, all under the seemingly-omnipotent watch of “The Announcer” and all for a shot at a place called Utopia.

Dick Dastardly and Muttley, the bad guy and his dog from the cartoon, have gone from this…

To this…

They kept the color scheme and the goggles, and then took a few creative liberties with the rest.  Just a few.

The pretty and pink Penelope Pitstop (the one with the lipstick arm in her car, because apparently in the 60s you couldn’t be a woman in a racing car and not look good at the same time) has gone from this…

To this…

Yowza.  Still pink, still pretty, but not someone you wanna mess with either.

That’s quite the stretch for both characters.  You gotta give the creators props for imagination.  Not many people could see the Racers and let their minds go to this place, right?

So how was the book?  Quite ghastly, actually, if you know the source material.  There’s drinking, there’s drugs, there’s bar fights and violence in general, there’s freaky robots and monsters and floods and nuclear fire and a whole lot of just fighting to survive  For kids this is not.

Overall though?  I kinda liked it.  And I kinda want to see more.  My biggest complaint in this book is that the ending seemed pretty rushed.  I still have questions!  There’s more I want to see!  Darn it, did I just get emotionally invested in a new series?  I think I did!

So, how can you get in on this?  We have the first volumes of Raceland, Scooby Apocalypse, Future Quest and The Flintstones.  Place holds accordingly.  While I imagine Scooby Apocalypse will have similar themes to Raceland, The Flintstones is supposed to be more of a modern drama (despite being set in the Stone Age) and Future Quest is more of an Avengers-mash up of HB superheroes.

Give ’em a try, and once you do you can post your comments below or post your own reviews on Write It!  As I was, you may be both pleasantly surprised and kind of horrified.

And here’s a question; what shows from when you were a kid should get a gritty reboot?  How would that look?  Discuss and post!

Have a great week Geekings, and until next time, End of Line.

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Week of Geek: You can Write It! on our newest website, including… Fanfiction!

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My first Cross-StitchHi again Geeklings.  Have I got news for you!

But first, a little somethin’ about me.  I’ve recently taken up cross-stitching.  Yeah, yeah, some of you might be thinking ‘Isn’t that what they do in retirement homes or something?’.  Well, sure, maybe, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t do it too.  It’s relaxing, it’s fairly easy to get started and there are a TON of awesome patterns out there.

And that pic you see at the top here, was the very first pattern I ever finished (found it on Etsy).  Why that particular one?  Because in the life of the average fanboy or fangirl it’s just… so… TRUE!

Me with Ye Olde Macbook

Now, I’ve made absolutely no secret of what my passions in life are.  What’s the point of being passionate if you can’t shout it from the rooftops every now and then?  And, as you guys tend to see me on this blog a lot, one of those passions is writing.  I’m a big fan of the written word, of what it can express, of what it can create, of the permanence and mastery that comes with it.  And since I like to write and I love fandoms, I think it makes perfect sense and would be a shock to no one that I’ve dappled in fanfiction.

Let’s pause for the uninitiated: What is Fanfiction?  Well, that can be hard to answer.  Essentially, it’s when fans of just about anything, be it TV show, movie, book, comic or even a band, write their own stories or scenes featuring those characters or settings.  For a lot of people their first thoughts when they hear the word ‘fanfiction’ are ‘smut’ and ‘putting yourself in the story’ (the general term for that is ‘mary sue’ or ‘gary sue’; there are a few fanfic terms out there) and ‘something pasty nerds do ’cause they have no lives’ (you know, that old stereotype for geeks.  Boo!).  Is fanfiction those things?  It can be.  You know what else it is?  It’s what happens when artistic and expressive people pour out their love for their fandoms by continuing their stories, and that goes for other forms of fan art as well.  Fanfiction is a lot older than many people realize (some of the earliest examples include characters from Jane Austen and Arthur Conan Doyle) and there are many different types of it.  Like cross-stitching, it’s for many different types of people at many different levels with many different interests and devotions.  Some people want to replace the canon with their own headcanon.  Some people want to put the characters in new situations (AU – Alternate Universes).  Some people want to see their favorite ships FINALLY get together!  Most just love the fandoms and characters.  And as it’s impossible to make money off of it (copyright and whatnot) fanfiction truly is a labor of love.

Now, why am I getting all misty eyed over fanfiction?  Not out of character for me, but why today?  Well, VPL has something all you teen writers and aspiring writers may want to take a peak at.  Allow me to introduce… WRITE IT!

Write It Main Page

This is our brand-new website for teens all about… you guessed it!  Writing!  All teens are encouraged to post on the blog in the different categories.  As you may have guessed by all my rambling, we have a page for Fanfiction (HEE HEE!), but there’s so much more.  In the Fiction category you can post short stories (less than 2500 words) about Action/Adventure, Fan Fiction, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Sci Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Mystery, and if your story just won’t fit in any of those categories there’s Other (we’ve got you covered).  Say you’re more into Non Fic; we’ve got that too!  Categories include Biographical, Current Events, Entertainment, Environmental, Social Issues, Sports/Hobbies and Spirituality.  Are you a Poet and know it?  Post your work under Ballad, Free Verse, Haiku, Limericks, Song Lyrics and Sonnet.  And for you critical types, there’s a spot for reviews, which includes Books, Movies, Music, TV, Video Game and Webpages.  Our teen newsletter is on Write It! as well, so you’ll know about what we’ve got going on.

Sounds like a lot right?  There’s one more, and it’s a biggie.  Have you written a whole novel?  Not sure where to put it?  Post it right here!  Really, the whole thing!  As long as it’s more than 2500 words, it can go right on that page.  For serious.

So what do you do?  You sign up, and get writing!  Just fill out the form at the Register link and you’re good to go.  You can use your login to support and comment on other writers as well.  And we’ve got resources on writing if you’d like to learn more, including things to help with the dreaded Writer’s Block that pops up from time to time.

One last thing.  I know writing in a public forum can be a scary thing, even with some anonymity (which we have; you can totally make up a username).  Especially if it’s something you’ve worked really hard on and you’re really proud of.  What if people don’t like it?  What if they do and want more?  What if people make fun of you for it?  (BTW, don’t do that.  Seriously, not cool.)  But, one thing I’ve learned on the road of life is that if you love to do something, you shouldn’t let the ‘what ifs’ hold you back too much.  And trust me, the more you post, the easier it gets.  That’s why you guys get to read my print versions of fangirling about our new books and movies and other stuff on the regular *thumbs up*

Good luck with the writing Geeklings, whatever the subject matter may be!  Come in and ask us if you’re not sure about anything, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek Bonus: Revenge of the Fifth

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One more Star Wars day for you, and things are getting a little… dark side-y 😉