Category Archive – Randomness

Week of Geek: Who are the Geek Royals?

by Ali Cat  | Category: Movie Madness, Pop Culture, Randomness, Reading Lounge, Super Fan
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Hello once again Geeklings!

So there’s an expression I’ve been bandying about for a while now, when I see certain people who put out a lot of things that create massive fandoms and get millions of geeks across the globe excited and hungry for more.  When I see people like that, I like to say they are one of the kings/queens of the geeks.  Sounds all official.

But I think the time has come to really narrow down who these movers, shakers and leaders are when it comes to fandom love and devotion.  Who are the people operating today that we look to when we desperately want to know what will happen to certain characters or worlds?  Who are the ones who seem to set the trends in nerd culture?  Who are the ones who truly embody what it means to be a geek in the 21st century?

So may I humbly present the people I think fit that mold and who create a dynamic and stellar world for the nerd-inclined to live.  May the rabid debates begin!

joss whedon head shot Photo Joss Whedon: This guy has been a staple in my life since 1997, though he’s been on the scene longer than that and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.  The creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is also known for other shows like Firefly and Dollhouse.  He’s a prolific writer, tackling screenplays and graphic novels.  He took the writers strike of 2008 in stride and created the web series Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.  But lately, he’s hard at work directing a follow up to his 2012 superhero magnum opus The Avengers with The Avengers: Age of Ultron AND brought another TV show to the small screen with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.  Joss’s whip smart dialogue, character development and his fearlessness with ‘going there’ has cemented this king’s place in fan’s hearts the world over.

JJ Photo J. J. Abrams: I could go into Mr. Abrams career as creator, co-creator and/or producer of such cult hit TV shows as Alias, Lost, Fringe, Person of Interest and Revolution.  Those alone would likely be enough to get him on this list.  But what really makes him royalty is that not only did he bring Star Trek into the 21st century with two hit movies, but now all eyes are on him to do the same with Star Wars.  Episode 7 will be released to the world next December, but if anyone can make this dream a reality for Jedi and Sith alike I think it’s King Abrams.

 Chris Hardwick Midnight 01 039 ret 430x430 PhotoChris Hardwick: A comedian who may be one of the hardest working geeks around.  Not only is he the CEO of Nerdist Industries (yes, that’s a thing), he’s also a writer, a stand-up comic, an actor (on screen and voice), a musician, a podcaster and a TV host.  Seriously, this guy must not sleep.  And it is for that tireless dedication that he must be crowned a king.

Felicia Day PhotoFelicia Day: This actress got her start in a small role on Buffy and has since sung her way into our hearts in Doctor Horrible and has a recurring role as Charlie on Supernatural.  But outside of acting she’s also created one of the best representations of what life can be like for the modern female geek by writing and starring in the legendary web series The Guild. For that and so much more, Felicia takes the crown as a Queen.

JK Rowling SUM 2348620b PhotoJ. K. Rowling: You didn’t think I’d leave her off this list, do you?  She wrote Harry PotterShe’s working on prequel films for the series.  Her characters have their own amusement park.  Your argument is invalid and here’s your crown, Ms. Rowling.

 Photo Yaya Han: A few scant years ago, the term ‘cosplay’ would not have meant anything to anyone.  Now, not only is it the mark of a true fan as they attend their Sci Fi conventions, people can actually make a living at it if they’ve got the talented chops.  One such person, who has become one of the most famous faces of the cosplay trend, is Yaya Han.  Google her name and you’ll see the stunning costumes from across all types of fandoms that she creates and models.  She’s even paid her expertise forward as a judge on conventions and has appeared in books and on the reality show Heroes of Cosplay.  For taking a geek hobby and making it mainstream, Yaya is the queen of the sewing machine.

moffat 2223053b PhotoSteven Moffat: Over the last decade or so British television has exploded in terms of creating series that fans the world over have given their hearts and devotion to.  At the forefront of that is Steven Moffat.  As a show-runner, writer and producer, he’s someone we can credit with relaunching Doctor Who and turning it into the global phenomenon it is today.  And if that weren’t enough, he created the modern update of the world’s most famous detective Sherlock Holmes with Sherlock, which has fans waiting on the edge of their seats for years at a time for new episodes to air.  For keeping us in his iron grip and allowing us to create Wholock, Moffat takes another crown. (And props also has to be given to Mark Gatiss, another writer who helped create both Doctor Who and Sherlock and who has acted on both shows, most notably as Mycroft Holmes on Sherlock).

peggfrostwright 11 PhotoThe Cornetto Trio: A bit more obscure to North American audiences, but no less worthy of a spot on our list, this trio consists of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  While all three have their own geeky things to be proud of (such as Wright directing Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and Pegg and Frost staring in Paul) what pushes them into royalty are two things they created with their combined forces; The Cornetto Trilogy of films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End) and the short lived BBC series Spaced, one of the best representations of the lives of fanboys and fangirls.  As a bonus, Wright almost joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe before…well, things happened.  But despite that, crowns all around!

Colbert PhotoStephen Colbert: TV host, author, actor, future host of Tonight.  There’s hardly anything Mr. Colbert can’t do.  But did you know that, deep down, from his earliest days, he’s a hardcore fanboy?  In addition to hanging Captain America’s shield on the wall behind his desk at The Colbert Report and being drawn up as the potential replacement for The Falcon, there is narry a person alive who knows more about Lord of the Rings than Stephen.  Want proof?  Watch this video and skip ahead to about the 18:50 mark.  Yeah.  For keeping us informed and entertained while holding on to his geeky roots, we gladly join the Colbert Nation.

Those are the heavy hitters in my humble opinion.  But now, keeping up the tradition of making firm declarations when it comes to fandoms, I throw the floor open to debates and further comments.  Am I on the mark?  Am I not?  Am I completely out of my mind when it comes to my choices?  Have I missed anyone who should be on this list, and how dare I not include them?  Post in the comments, but remember; though opinions may be heated, keep the language clean and good-natured.

Keep watching the airways, the bookshelves, the interwebs and the world around us for the next big projects, the next innovators, and the next big things to make our fanatical hearts go pitter patter.  Stay geeky my friends.

Tolkien Denied! (Banned Book Week)

by Sarah  | Category: Randomness, Reading Lounge
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Gandalf

Only a wizard can wield the power of the ”You Shall Not Pass”.

Have you ever wondered about the impact your favourite piece of literature might have? All good things right? After all what could be better than a collection of written words that have the power to inspire generations and launch the imaginations of a thousand artists? Well the world is an interesting and complex place where opinions tend to vary among collective viewpoints. That being said it should come to no surprise that over the course of the existence of published works there have been a number of titles that have ended up banned, burned, challenged, or exiled for many reasons.

Thus I would like to shed a ray of phosphorescent light on the seven day stretch that libraries like to call Banned Book Week which runs from September 21 to the 28. This is the week where we acknowledge the freedom of literature and open access to information. Down with censorship and up the book count!

Speaking of which check out the Banned or Challenged Books Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century. These are just some of the titles that have ruffled feathers during the last century. As for books from the millennium and beyond…you will be very surprised to see what made the list. I know I was.

ThorinFor example, did you know that The Lord of The Rings was thought to be satanic? This was my face upon discovering just why copies of Tolkien’s life work were used to make bonfire s’mores back in 2001. You read that correctly. 2001. So yeah, that face along with a few choice words in Khuzdul.

Read more…

Week of Geek: The Star Wars animated show we may never see :(

by Ali Cat  | Category: Pop Culture, Randomness, Super Fan
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Hello again Geeklings.  Sorry for the lack of posting last week.  I was traipsing around Orlando trying to get my interactive wand to perform magic at the Wizarding World (I’m just gonna silently squeal with delight for a second.  Okay, we’re good).

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about Star Wars.  Not for the first time, I admit, but always a good subject to spend some mental energy on.  I just started reading Star Wars: A New Dawn, which is a prequel to the new animated series Star Wars: Rebels that I mentioned in my previous post.  With the new movies looming on the horizon, it’s only natural to dwell on that galaxy far, far away.

But here’s something you may not know about.  Have you ever heard of Star Wars: Detours?  I’m betting you haven’t.  I hadn’t until just a few weeks ago, and most people I’ve asked in person haven’t heard of it either.  So what is it?  It’s an animated comedy created by the guys from Robot Chicken and Star Wars creator George Lucas.

Yeah, you heard me.  The guys who made this, this and this worked with the creator of the series to produce more kid-friendly but still hilarious episodes featuring a loving skewering of the characters we all know.

Here’s a trailer.

You can hear a lot of the same voice actors from Robot Chicken working their magic here.  I crack up every time.

So why, you may be wondering, haven’t we heard about this before?  Is it upcoming?  Has it just not aired yet?

Well, yes and no.  You see, Seth Meyers and company, who created Robot Chicken, were working on this, chugging along, and reportedly made about 40 episodes before the whole franchise suddenly was under new management.  I think we all remember a couple of years ago when Disney bought Lucasfilm and then became the new owners of the whole Star Wars universe?  That was crazy, wasn’t it?  And then they announced a seventh movie and the world collectively lost their minds?  Pretty memorable.

So what happened with Detours?  In essence, Disney decided that with the next trilogy coming up and this opportunity to introduce Star Wars to a whole new generation, Detours just didn’t set the right tone.  If people are seeing these characters on the big screen for the first time in dramatic situations, but they’d already seen them doing hilarious things in a cartoon…well, as Meyers pointed out, would Darth Vader still be scary if you saw him trying to talk street about the Empire?

And while I can totally understand their reasoning, there’s 40 completed episodes of potential comedy gold just sitting on a shelf somewhere.  That…just doesn’t seem right.  Right?  And the question that remains is; will we ever get to see this?  After Episode 7 is released, would they consider airing it then?  Would it not be until after the new trilogy is complete?  Will it be ever?  EVER?

In the mean time, we only have YouTube clips of what might have been.

Perhaps one day.  In the mean time, there’s still Star Wars: Rebels.  Apparently that sets the right tone.

However you get your fix, be it solemn but fun space drama or hysterical genre parody, may the force be with you!  (And I’ll see you December 18, 2015).

Finito!! The Teen Summer Reading Challenge

by Vee  | Category: It's here!, Randomness, What's Going On
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Hey guys,  so summer is officially over (that went by waaaaaaaaay to quickly for me, I don’t know about you, jeez!)  Anywho, you are all now back in school, some of you have maybe started high school for the first time, some of you are now in university..Boy O Boy!  What changes!

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve now emailed our winners for the Teen Summer Reading Challenge, as well as our winners of the draws from the different contests we ran this summer.  So, check your email!!!  Fingers crossed that I emailed YOU!!!

For those crazy curious folk, our top reader managed to squeeze a grand total of 63, 152 pages this summer.  Yeah, that’s right.  WowEE!

Kudos to you all. I hope you had fun, and are kicking things off to a good start this fall at school.
Stay classy, Vaughan

Week of Geek: THE DOCTOR RETURNS!

by Ali Cat  | Category: Pop Culture, Randomness, Super Fan
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Well, it’s been a long wait.  241 days come this Saturday.  That’s 7 months and 29 days all told, counting from last December 25th to this Saturday, August 23rd.

Why am I suddenly so wistful about dates? And looking up date conversion calculators on the internet?  Because sometimes, in the life of a fangirl (or fanboy) there’s a lot of waiting for your favorite things to come back.  You learn to be patient.  Exhaustingly, hanging-on-by-your-fingernails,  hyper-aware-of-every-second-that-passes-by patient.  It’s a hard life, but a good one.

But the waiting is almost over.  THE DOCTOR IS BACK!

Okay, deep breath…which is the name of this Saturdays new episode, the first to kick off season 8 of the relaunched series and the first to officially introduce new Doctor Peter Capaldi (long story, see regeneration for clarification).  This is the first taste of Who we’ve had since last December’s Christmas episode, when previous Doctor Matt Smith bowed out of his glorious run and Capaldi stepped in, completing the latest chapter of a long running sci fi tradition.  Let’s watch again, ’cause it’s such a moment.

And now we’ll finally see the 12th doctor (13th if you count “The Day of the Doctor”) take the reigns of the TARDIS (provided he remembers how to fly it) and carry on the journey through time and space with companion/impossible girl Clara.

It would be such a weird life for a companion, wouldn’t it?  Seeing everything there is to see with a half-mad alien with hearts as big as all outdoors, only to have him change his face on you on occasion.  I’ve heard it said that companions aren’t as freaked out by the Doctor as they should be when they first meet him.  The more I watch, the more I think that’s true.  I’d probably have a heart attack if I saw the inside of the TARDIS.

But still, the Paternoster Gang is back too!  Eeeek!

So of course, details are under tight lock and key, as is show runner Steven Moffat’s way, but we do know it’ll be set in Victorian England, one of my favorite time periods ever.  Future episodes promise the return of villains the Daleks and the Cybermen.  Happy Day!

So if you’re missing previous Doctor Matt Smith, or if you’ve yet to meet the last incarnation of our hero, you can place holds on his three seasons here, here and here.  We have some new Whovian friendly books in the collection as well, including a book of quotable quotes, a graphic novel mash-up of two massive sci fi franchises, and a search-and-find that gives Where’s Waldo a run for his money.

So give a grand hurrah fellow Whovians and soon to be Whovians, the Doctor will be back in just a few days!

Now is it too much to hope for that they bring back K9? smile face icon

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