Week of Geek: Comics on your computer screen? What an age we live in!

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Happy March Geeklings!

We got an exciting kick off to the month this morning with the release of a new trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, complete with a peak at Star Lord’s Dad!

A lot to love here, but I think my favorite scenes are with Gamora.  Her with that MASSIVE gun or her saying hi to a waving Baby Groot while in the middle of battle.  Just… love!  But I’m happy to see everyone back.  I love these guys.

Another thing I’m loving these days that kind of ties into this is Hoopla.  What’s Hoopla?  This is Hoopla.

For those of you who love technical stuff (and I know you do), Hoopla is one of our digital resources that can be accessed with a library card number, a computer/tablet/smartphone and an account you create one time and your done.  It’s totally free to use with your library card, just like our physical items, and you can download items to your phone or tablet or computer to read without using data (they’ll delete themselves when their loan period is up.  No, really.)  And my goodness, does Hoopla have some stuff.  Audiobooks?  Yup.  Movies? Yuh huh!  Music?  So much music!  Ebooks?  Got those too!  Even TV shows?  As a matter of fact, YES!  (Including The Librarians.  Just sayin’)

As awesome as all of that is, I think my favorite part of Hoopla is one of it’s newest additions.  COMIC BOOKS!

Oh yes!  DC!  Vertigo! (DC’s more mature offshoot)  Archie Comics!  Archie Horror Comics!  IDW Comics!  Image Comics!  Dark Horse Comics!  SO MANY MORE FOR ALL AGES!  AAAAAAAAH!

I’m finding things on here I didn’t even know existed.  Tie in’s for Jim Henson’s Labyrinth or Tron, both movies I love (we have the films in our branches too ;)).  Remember I was talking about the new Archie comics?  I’ve been reading many of them on Hoopla.  Just… so much there!

So give it a try, is what I’m saying.  Read comics, love comics, watch movies made from comics.  You can’t go wrong!  There’s something for everybody!

Download the app today (if you’re not sure about anything come and ask us, we’re happy to help), get ready for Guardians and other comic films coming soon, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: In the Not Too Distant Future…

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MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 Season 11 Gets Release Date

Hello again Geeklings!  How was everyone’s long weekend?  Super fun I hope!  Yours truly scoped out Casa Loma’s Beauty and the Beast exhibit of costumes, music and fun.  So many little girls dressed as princesses and so many old folks like me singing along to the music.  More on that when we get closer to the film’s release date…

Today though, I heard some news that almost made me jump out of my chair here at my desk.  I will confess here and now that I am part of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Revival League.  What the heck is that? some of you are no doubt wondering.  I’ve mentioned my love affair with this show before, but let me bring y’all back up to speed.  See, I’m what you call a MSTie (pronounced ‘Misty’), which is the term for fans of the TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000.  This show ran for 10 seasons through the 1990s on various networks, and the premise is that every week a poor dude (first Joel, then Mike) stuck on a space station has to watch a really bad movie as part of an experiment from a nefarious mad scientist.  The mad wants to take over the world you see, and is trying to find that one truly awful film that will drive humanity insane and therefore leave us open for conquering.  Devious!

And these movies run the gamut from cheaply made Sci Fi from the 50’s to cheesy made-for-TV-movies to outlandish 80s ridiculousness with costumes you have to see to believe.  There are A LOT of ‘bad’ movies out there.

BUT our hero has a trick up his sleeve.  He’s not alone on the station; he’s got robot pals (ROBOT ROLL CALL! CAMBOT! GYPSY! TOM SERVO! CROOOOOOOW!), and two of them watch the movies with him and they all just make fun of the film the whole time.  They’re sarcastic, insightful and mocking, and though some films are painful to watch they always have a riff or two for every scene.  All the joking around helps everybody stay sane and thwart the mad’s evil scheme.  Score one (0r 197, as that’s how many episodes they made) for the good guys.

The show hasn’t aired since 1999, but it still has a very strong fan following, which was proven back in 2015 when they rallied around a Kickstarter campaign to bring the show back!  The campaign was a record-setter, and we’re getting 14 new episodes on Netflix.  They have a new guy stuck in space, named Jonah, the bots are back (voiced by new actors) and we have new mads (including one of my heroes, Felicia Day).

And it’s official.  IT’S BACK APRIL 14TH!  THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER!  AAAAAAAAAAAAH!

So, with all the encouragement I can muster, check it out!  We’ve got episodes in our catalogue you can borrow, and you can watch full episodes and clips on their official YouTube channel.  Where to start?  Well, while many MSTies feel that Manos: The Hands of Fate is the best episode (and how that movie was made is a story in and of itself), my personal favorite is The Final Sacrifice.  It was made in Manitoba, it often makes top 10 MST3K episode lists, and while the whole episode is solid on the jokes, the ones about Canada are near and dear.

I also like the Hercules movies.  Nobody wears any pants!

See you all on the Satellite of Love, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Come to the Dark Side… we have (insert favorite food here)

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The Sith Code

Wassup Geeklings?  Everyone ready for a long weekend?  Quick plug; though most of our branches are closed on Monday our three resource libraries (that’d be the Pierre Berton branch, the Bathurst-Clark branch and the home of yours truly the Civic Centre branch) will be open from 1-5pm so come on by for your reading, watching and general awesomeness needs.

So I thought this week I’d bring up something that’s always intrigued me about the Star Wars fandom.  It’s just never a bad time to talk (or in my case write) about Star Wars.  I just finished reading volume 2 of Marvel Comics Darth Vader series, and I finished Shadows and Secrets in a day (which is a rare thing for me, even with a graphic novel), it was that gripping.  I immediately signed out Vader Down, which is the next chapter in that series and also a cross over with their current Star Wars series.  I’m totally digging what Marvel’s doing with the galaxy far, far away and how they’re filling in the gap between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back; the stories feel intimate and give you more of a look into the characters and their motives, such as Vader discovering (37-year-old spoiler alert) that he has a son, which completely sets up that fateful duel in Empire.  Yowza!

But it has further highlighted what has been a longstanding truth for me with this fandom… I’ve always liked the bad guys a little bit more than the good guys.

I’ve written before about my not-so-secret love affair with villains, but the Star Wars universe is where this might be it’s most prevalent.  I have a Kylo Ren coffee mug on my desk right now, no lie.  I’ve said before that Darth Maul was likely the only saving grace of The Phantom Menace, and I’ve watched his resurgence on Clone Wars with barely hidden glee (haven’t seen him on Rebels yet, but someday).  When I bought a plastic lightsaber a while back, I went with Vader’s design with the ruby red blade, and if I ever get a real lightsaber (or as real as you can get in this reality) I’ll probably pick a red LED for it.  The light side may have more color options, but COME ON!  Tell me this doesn’t look cool…

Yep, there’s just something about the villains of Star Wars, be they Sith, Imperial, New Order, bounty hunter or something else.  From the safety of a completely fictional universe, there’s a lot to like.  There’s power there, grace in spite of the wrath, motivations that are not so black and white, and the eternal struggle of conquering all.  And I feel next to no hesitation showing my love.

What do you guys think?  Light side or dark side?  Anyone want to leap to the Jedi’s defense?  (Don’t try a Force Leap though, you’ll just hurt yourself).  Team Jedi or Team Sith?

In the meantime, read more about the dark side with titles like The Book of Sith, The Bounty Hunter’s Guild Handbook or The Imperial Handbook.  There are also a ton of books featuring Star Wars villains, like the aforementioned Vader series, graphic novels and regular novels starring Darth Maul, even a prequel novel showing the ascension of Palpatine.

Have a great long weekend, stay on the straight and narrow IRL and until next time, End of Line.

Image result for dark side star wars funny

Impyrium

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 3,000 years after Henry H. Neff’s first amazing magical series: The Tapestry, magic now rules the world. Ever since the Cataclysm, all modern technology has disappeared and is forgotten as humanity reset, and the Faeregine dynasty governed all of Impyrium with their magic. However, it is fading and the Faeregine kingdom is beginning to collapse.

Hazel, the youngest princess has no interest in being empress and will gladly let her sisters rule instead. She would much rather practice her magic but that has caught the eye of her grandmother, the Divine Empress who has dark plans for Hazel’s magic talents. Hobson Smythe, a clever commoner with an unexpected past from the cold town of Dusk is recruited by a mysterious stranger to be a spy for an organization called the Fellowship and is sent to work as a page for the Faeregines.

However, there are darker forces at play. A traitor from within, assassins and murder, it this all part of something bigger? Two destinies brought together by coincidence or by fate? When Hob and Hazel form an unexpected friendship, they are both forced to make a decision, as their bond may be the kingdom’s salvation or it may write the doom of the Impyrium.

This book was extremely captivating and magical! Brilliant with its rich plot and characters, Henry H. Neff has given us yet another spectacular novel! Mystery mixed in wonderfully with fantasy kept me reading way past my bedtime. This book was skillfully written, constructing a world both beautiful and corrupt as there is both happiness and heavy burdens in the life of the characters. Shocking plot twists, suspicious events and impossible decisions, all keeping me at the edge of my seat. I personally love the relationship between Hazel and Hob as what started as page and princess blossomed into inseparable friendship. For some, this book may be a little clearer with its vocabulary and history if you’ve read the Tapestry series as there are some connections but it’s not very hard to understand even if you haven’t read the previous series. This epic fantasy is best suited for teens between the age of 12 and 14 but I still recommend this to everyone.

Rebel Genius

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Written by the co – creator of Avatar the Last Airbender: Michael Dante DiMartino, Rebel Genius takes you on an adventure into a fantasy world of art and friendship.

In a world where art and Geniuses, magical creatures born from artists’ creative spirit, are banned under the rule of the cruel empress. Twelve year-old Giacomo, an orphaned artist living in the sewers suddenly finds himself with his very own Genius. Having a Genius is punishable by death but luckily, Giacomo is brought to a secret studio by young artists where he is protected and trained in sacred geometry. There, Giacomo makes new friends and unlocks his hidden abilities. Life is safe and peaceful until a murderous artist and his Tulpa, a living sculpture, goes after the Sacred Tools that will grant them power to destroy the world. Giacomo and his friends must risk their lives to find the tools first or face destruction. On this dangerous adventure, lives are lost and Giacomo discovers a secret about himself that nobody ever expected.

This was a good book, telling an artful story of survival, friendship and magic. It also contains quite impressive drawings and a good dose of mystery. This is a middle grade novel but still worth the read!