Tag: TV

Week of Geek: VFC Fandom Countdown Part 1, Star Trek Wars or Star Wars Treks?

by  | Category: Movie Madness, Must-Read Fiction, Pop Culture, Reading Lounge, Super Fan
Bookmark and Share

Hiya Geeklings!  Hope school’s going good so far.  Just gonna leave links for our volunteer programs here and for the Teen Writer’s Club here and Unleash Your Story here.  *wink*

Anyhoo, in just over 6 weeks Vaughan Public Libraries will host it’s first fandom convention we’re calling Vaughan Fan Con, a celebration of things geeky and how all those geeky things just mesh with libraries.  *massive fangirl squeal*

I’m thinking this is a great opportunity for us to spend the next few weeks going over fandoms.  What they are, what they mean, how they’ve impacted the world, etc.

Today, let’s talk about a couple of the big ones.  These two fan groups have often been pitted against each other for nerdy superiority for the last few decades.  But me, being the incurable optimist and peacemaker, I say thee nay!  I LOVE THEM BOTH!  YOU CAN’T MAKE ME CHOOSE!

Of course, I speak of Star Trek and Star Wars.

I think few would argue that any other two Sci Fi franchises have had as much of an impact on the genre as these two have.  Both have had big screen features (click here and here), television shows (here and here), books (here and here), comics (here and here), whole conventions dedicated just to them, etc, etc.  One takes place in our own potential future, where science and reason have won the day.  The other takes place in a galaxy far, far away and uses mystical elements in a classic battle of “good” and “evil”.  I’ve written ad nauseum about both, and you can click on those links to read a little more on each one.  But what I thought I’d talk about today is how they relate to each other, because there is a long and colorful history of Trekkers and Star Wars Fans (who don’t really have a fan name, at least not that I could find; go figure) and how they interact with each other.

For the record, Star Trek came first.  The first episode of the first TV series aired September 8, 1966.  The first Star Wars movie was released May 25, 1977.  And while Trek may have preceded Wars by a full 11 years, it is still endlessly debated over which one has had the bigger influence, which one has more quality over quantity and, frankly, which one is just better.  Debates can get heated, everything is compared (like which space ships are cooler, how the science works or doesn’t in each one, how the weapons stack up, and so on; even grammar), and some fans just cannot be moved on some points.

That’s the thing that always gets me; why it seems to be a completely acceptable thing that the two are not only mutually exclusive but are also adversarial towards each other.  When talking about Trek and Wars there’s almost always a ‘vs’ in there somewhere.  There are so many articles, videos and comments that reflect as such.

Again, I say thee nay!  I would like to submit that they are, in fact, 2 sides of the same coin.  Science and mysticism.  Pure Sci Fi, and Sci Fi mixed with Fantasy.  Our own potential future, and far off planets and stars.  Logic and passion.  What we can see and measure, and what we can feel.

Plus, they have SO MANY common elements.  Vulcans like logic and aren’t big on emotions.  The Jedi teach being unemotional and that strong emotions lead to the Dark Side.  Both franchises have their brash adventurers, their robots, their heroines, their science types, their wide-eyed noobs, their elegantly tactical villains, their rage buckets, their intergalactic drama.  They even share actors sometimes.

And the most important thing; both have tremendously passionate fans, with their own in-jokes, fan art, conventions, cosplay, websites and love, and boundaries are crossed far more often than anyone wants to admit.  It’s a beautiful thing.

So, a few reading and watching suggestions: There’s a great story in Geektastic about a Star Wars fan (cosplaying as a Jedi) and a Star Trek fan (cosplaying as a Klingon) liking each other ‘that way’, even though each of their friend groups aren’t keep on the other.  It’s full Romeo and Juliet territory.  There’s also a great short story by Rainbow Rowell about a Star Wars fan lining up for The Force Awakens, hoping to have the full waiting-in-line-for-days experience that previous Star Wars fans have had and finding it’s a little different this time around.  And I got lists, because of course I do…

So what do you think Geeklings?  Is one franchise superior?  Are they both awesome?  Post away in the comments or sound off on the Write It! website.

Stay tuned for more news and for more posts on fandoms, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Hogwarts, UA and other favorite fictional schools

by  | Category: Movie Madness, Must-Read Fiction, Pop Culture, Reading Lounge, Super Fan
Bookmark and Share

Hiya Geeklings!  Did you miss me?  I was up to my eyebrows in fandom pandemonium this last weekend *happy sigh*  Good times.

So, back to school.  Yay?  It is September, and along with the obligatory Pumpkin Spice shenanigans and pretty leaves, many people head back for a new school year this week.  And while school IRL can be a little… unexciting at times, there are many fictional, fantastical high schools in our favorite fandoms that many of us would genuinely look forward to going back to each September.  Here are few that come to mind…

Hogwarts: Of course this is on the list!  Harry Potter and friends spend several years over 7 books (and 8 films) in England’s seminal school for witches and wizards, learning all the spells and potions they need to take down dark lords.  Filled with ghosts, moving staircases and too many secrets to count, Hogwarts is ancient, mysterious and a true home to our heroes.

Starfleet Academy: The galaxy can be a dangerous place, what with unexplored locations, possibly hostile new species and many moral quandaries.  The men, women and everyone else who attend Starfleet Academy in San Francisco become as prepared as possible to face the final frontier head on.

UA High School: The #1 school for teens with superpowers, or ‘quirks’, to learn to become heroes.

Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters: The other #1 school for teens with superpowers, specifically mutations that grant them said powers.  Where mutants are feared, hated and persecuted, the Xavier mansion proves not only a school to launch the next generations of X-Men but a safe-haven where different, outcast kids can be themselves.

Mystic Falls High School and Sunnydale High School: If you like your high school experiences with a side dish of vampires, try these two fine institutions.

Riverdale High School:  No matter which incarnation of Archie Andrews you like, there’s no question that Riverdale High is just as much a character in the story as any of its students.

Alola Pokemon School: For a library system with it’s own Pokemon League, I would be remiss to leave this fine school off the list.

Any schools you really love to visit in your imaginations?  Post away in the comments section!

BTW, did you know VPL is hosting it’s own sci fi/comic con next month?  Just gonna leave this link here and tell you to stay tuned for more news to come! *wink*  Also gotta give a shout out to the Teen Writer’s Club!  More details will be posted right here soon but for anyone who loves to write, or wants to get into writing, it’s a spot for you.  Check out my previous post on the subject of writing and sharpen those pencils!  (Or, you know, open your laptop and launch Microsoft Office or whatever.  21st century!)

Have a great start to the school year, stay tuned for more news, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek: Pride Month Part 4! Slash Fiction and Final Thoughts!

by  | Category: Movie Madness, Pop Culture, Reading Lounge, Super Fan
Bookmark and Share

Hi again Geeklings!

So June is almost over (can you believe it?) and this weekend Canada celebrates 150 years on July 1st.  So let’s wrap up Pride Month with the fourth and last part in my series on LGBTQ characters (Click for Parts 1, 2 and 3).  This time, however, we’re going to get a little unofficial.  We’re delving a bit into Slash fic.

What is that?  Well, let me throw a few terms at you.  “Shipping” in Fandom circles is when fans romantically match characters, regardless of if that match is canon or not.  If you write about, draw about, paint about, or just support a certain couple you “ship” them (you may hear the term OTP as well; that means One True Pairing, the couple you love above all others… though, let’s face it, you often can’t pick just one).  “Slash” is shipping where both of the shipped characters are guys; for two girls it’s often known as “Femslash”.  There are MANY famous slash pairings out there, often with mash-up names.  Very few of them are canon, but fans really want them to be and, honestly, they might as well be, considering the TON of fan art and fanfiction out there around them.  And on the rare occasion a ship DOES become canon… my gosh, that’s a happy day for fans!

Some examples of slash pairs include Destiel (Dean Winchester and Castiel from Supernatural), Johnlock (Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, and that’s one of the oldest slash pairings out there), Spirk (Captain Kirk and Commander Spock from Star Trek, and like many other things in fandom, slash as it’s known today really began with Trek, appearing in fanzines before the internet became a thing), Sterek (Mieczyslaw “Stiles” Stilinski and Derek Hale from Teen Wolf), and of course the ultimate question amongst Avengers fans; Stony or Stucky?  (Meaning, who should Captain America end up with?  Iron Man or Winter Soldier?)  A couple of examples of femslash pairs include Pangie (Peggy Carter and Angie Martinelli from Agent Carter), Allydia (another Teen Wolf pairing, this time between Allison Argent and Lydia Martin) and Korrasami (Korra and Asami Sato from The Legend of Korra), though that one actually became canon.

So why do we ship?  And why do we slash?  There are a lot of theories out there, but some of the ones I like the best is that it’s a way for young fans to explore romance; that it’s a way for LGBTQ fans to find representation in pop culture which, though getting a bit better, is still lacking; and it’s proof that there are many versions of love, and that who we’re attracted to can be hugely fluid, which is always a good thing to know and normalize.

So I encourage you guys to imagine the possibilities.  And I encourage you to share your fanfics on Write It!, ’cause we’d all like to read them.  Who are some of your favorite ships?  Post away in the comments section too (but no shipping wars; all ships are valid!).

So, some final thoughts; why did I write this series on LGBTQ characters, both canon and non?  Four posts covering four different formats featuring many orientations (gay, lesbian, bi, pan, ace, etc.) and many characters.  What heck?

Well, pop culture, and really any type of art we make, is a reflection of us; as a whole, as individuals, as a society, etc.  It represents our hopes and dreams, our problems, what we wish we could change and what we shouldn’t change for anything.  Our strengths, our flaws, and the many, many ways we go through the human experience.

And I wanted to take this month to highlight LGBTQ characters because, for some of us, we may find ourselves in a position where we know something might be up with us in regards to sex or romance or who we feel we should be or whatever, but we’re just not sure what it is.  And we may find ourselves in a position where we have absolutely no one to talk to about it.  Maybe, for whatever reason, your family or friends or community isn’t really all that open to talking about homosexuality or anything non-heteronormative.  Or maybe they are, but you’re too nervous or afraid to ask.  It could totally rock what you thought you knew about yourself.  Or maybe you don’t know what to ask.  It’s a process, let me tell you.

So it’s kinda nice when you can open a book or turn on a TV or sit in a movie theatre and see a character that makes you go “Huh.  That sounds or looks an awful lot like me.”  This is why representation in our culture is so important, for all types of people.  When you see someone like you it inspires you to be your true self.  Then when you are ready to ask some questions, to vocalize all of this, it’s helpful to envision that character, or even just to know that somebody, somewhere, created something that echoes what you’re feeling.  You are NOT alone, whether support comes from nearby or from a writer writing in Hollywood or somewhere.  And just the knowledge that you aren’t alone can be very powerful, regardless of where it comes from.

Stormpilot anyone?

So if you’d like to learn more, we have resources and we have links.  As library staff we encourage people to not to be afraid to ask questions.  Allow me to promote that here.

Thanks everybody.  Happy Pride!  Don’t forget about TSRC, and until next time, End of Line.

Oh yeah, and apparently this is a thing now 😉

Week of Geek: Pride Month Part 2! LGBTQ Characters in Film and TV!

by  | Category: Movie Madness, Pop Culture, Super Fan
Bookmark and Share

Hi again Geeklings!  How’s it goin’?

So, continuing with the theme from last week, I thought this week I’d talk about LGBTQ characters on screen, a la movies and TV shows

Note: As with last week and with future editions, I am only including characters that have been confirmed as LGBTQ, either onscreen or from the creators.  So no speculative pairings or slash fiction.  That’s a whole article in and of itself.

So let’s break it down…

Anime:  As I mentioned last week when talking about manga, anime has a long, colorful history of featuring non-binary and gay characters.  Examples?  How about Grell Sutcliff from Black Butler, a grim reaper who’s a guy but not really.  Or Puri-Puri-Prisoner from One Punch Man.  Attack on Titan fans will know about Ymir and Christa.  And of course, we cannot possibly speak of anime LGBTQ characters and not mention Yuri!!! on Ice, not just with power couple Yuri and Viktor, but possibly Yurio and Otabek.  (Time will tell on that one, don’t rush them!)

Animated Programs:  The creators of Adventure Time have confirmed that characters Marceline the Vampire Queen and Princess Bubblegum used to date, hence the frenemy vibe they currently have on the show.  The Avatar: The Last Airbender spin-off The Legend of Korra famously ended with the title character and her female best friend getting together.  And in the show Steven Universe, having all of the alien species known as gems be female has led to some interesting questions about what it means to be female, as well as how they relate to and love each other, like with Ruby and Sapphire or Pearl’s devotion to Rose Quartz.

For the Adult Swim show Rick and Mortytitle character Rick Sanchez is pansexual, as the creators confirmed and as was on display in the episode “Auto Erotic Assimilation”.  Other more ‘adult’ cartoon shows like Family Guy or Archer have featured LGBTQ characters.

Live-Action TV Shows:  Wow, so many to choose from.  Let’s see, shows like Orphan Black, Teen Wolf and Supergirl have all featured rainbow characters.  Glee had no shortage of characters that ran the gamut, from gay to lesbian to bi to trans (and all set to music).  Though it’s left somewhat ambiguous in the show itself, the creators of Hannibal have confirmed that the main characters, both male, are in love with each other.  More DC shows with LGBTQ characters include Lucifer (the devil himself swings both ways); Arrow and Legends of Tomorrowwhere White Canary is bi; and Gotham, which has bucked supervillain convention this last season by having longtime bad guy the Penguin crushing on fellow longtime bad guy the Riddler.  Wha?

Across the pond, long-time British export Doctor Who has worked hard in it’s revamped series to include LGBTQ characters, starting with pansexual Jack Harkness and then bringing in married couple Madam Vastra and Jenny, all the way up to current companion Bill, who’s a lesbian.

And for more old-school fandoms, you can’t leave out Willow on Buffy or Charlie on Supernatural.  Much love!

Movies: There are A LOT of movies out there with LGBTQ themes, but for mainstream movies it can be hard to find LGBTQ characters.  There’s quite a few reasons for that, not many of them legit, BUT there are some characters to look to.  Of course, one of the most famous is Dumbledore, but I’ll talk more about him next week.  Disney recently made headlines by confirming that LeFou is gay in their live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and as you’ll read in that link people are still divided over that.

Animation studio LAIKA hasn’t had too much trouble showing gay and trans characters in their films.  And… yeah, I’m kind of drawing a blank otherwise.  Let’s hope that doesn’t stay like that.  Can anyone else think of any?  Post away in the comments section.

So that’s it for this week.  Next week we’ll look at characters in books, and there is a lot to talk about there.  Hang in there as you wrap up the school year, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek Holiday Edition: Out with the old (2016) in with the new (2017)

by  | Category: Movie Madness, Pop Culture, Super Fan
Bookmark and Share

How we all doing Geeklings?  Everybody partied out yet?  Well,  I hope not too much, ’cause New Year’s Eve is almost upon us!  One more party for the holiday season to say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017.

And as always, it is a time to reflect.  In my case, on pop culture related stuff, as it’s kinda my thing.  So here are some things I liked about 2016…

My rediscovery of Bob’s Burgers

Our return to the Wizarding World with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  The 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.  And Marvel finally bringing Cumberbatch into the fold with Doctor Strange, which was a heck of a lot more enjoyable to watch than Civil War (though Civil War was really good).

Some things I didn’t like about 2016…

So many celebrity deaths.  I mean, seriously, how many famous icons did we lose this year?  And just this week Carrie Fisher, George Michael AND Debbie Reynolds passed.  What the heck?

And I DID NOT like Batman v Superman.  That was one of the movies I was most excited about this past year and it was awful.  Just… awful.  Some argue Suicide Squad was worse.  I counter that that’s insane.  At least Suicide Squad TRIED to be enjoyable!  And one of the characters was so good she’s practically getting her own movie.

So yeah, 2016 was a bit of an uneven year.  Hope springs eternal, though.  Let’s look ahead to things we can get excited about in 2017

More Doctor Who & Sherlock!

More Star Wars, with episode 8 due next December.  A live action Beauty and the Beast.  More Marvel, including GOTG, Spider-Man, R-rated Logan, and TV shows Legion and Iron Fist.

DC’s going to take another run at it with Wonder Woman, Justice League & Lego Batman.  Here’s hoping with new leadership they’ll finally pull this off.

And there are new TV shows like A Series of Unfortunate Events, more Twin Peaks, an adaptation of American Gods and Star Trek Discovery.

Not to mention the return of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and a TV series based on one of my favorite podcasts.  EEEK!

So yes, new year, new anticipation.  Sunrise sunset.  What do you guys think?  Anything from 2016 you really liked or really did not?  What are you hoping will rock your world in 2017?

I’m going to leave you with something that I keep hearing about online.  Have you heard of this show?  It’s been making waves on the fandom circuit, and though I haven’t seen it yet, the opening song is awesome!  Who knows?  Though my relationship to anime has been lukewarm in the past, this show might be my first new fandom of almost-2017.  So let’s ring in the new year with this ridiculously inspiring tune and until next time, End of Line.