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MPLSzine Halloween Issue - October 30th 2012
CONTENTS 4 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 5 CONTRIBUTORS 6 HALLOWEENAPOLIS Minneapolis-themed Halloween costumes 9 COMIC 10 THE HORROR Horror movies set in Minneapolis 12 CHICKA-BOOM! A Halloween themed puppet show 14 THE BUSINESS OF BIG HALLOWEEN Interview with the store Spirit of Halloween 16 MASKS DEVILS AND TIME TO PRETEND Lauren Van Schepen remembers growing up without Halloween and learning to pretend 18 GROWING UP Dressing up as her hero for Halloween made Courtney Algeo feel like a villain. 19 SICK OR TREAT Cover Illustration by Julian Howley Layout by Clarissa Hamilton
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LETTER FROM THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Welcome to the first issue of MPLSzine! Before saying anything else, I have to credit Chris Cloud with this publication happening: MPLSzine was his brainchild. I like that word, brrraaainchild, because on the one hand it’s a sophisticated corporate-creative word, the kind you’d hear in a TED Talk, but it’s also the sort of made-up-sounding mashup Tracy Jordan might drop on 30 Rock, like “mind grapes” or “thoughtsicles.” And in a way, that contradiction kind of sums up what we’re trying to create with this zine. To be clear, we know what we’re doing with online publishing and we’re aiming for high quality. MPLSzine is the latest project powered by the forces of MPLS Collective, a lynchpin for creative projects in Minneapolis - including MPLS.TV, City of Music, and The Ten Second Film Festival. Launching MPLSzine is a practical move, letting us promote creativity in a new, attractive format, while inviting contributions from creative people all over the city (and even, we GUESS, St. Paul). We know people, and we’ll take advantage of that: high-profile interviews, forays into the city’s strangest and most hidden crannies, and partnerships with other content creators whose work we love. But at the same time, this is a stomach-dropping leap into unfamiliar territory. Making MPLSzine happen every other week will force us to figure out how a zine (even an online one) is different from a website, and to push ourselves to make each issue a self-contained collection of work that we’re proud of and that represents the city’s diversity. We’re throwing ourselves wildly into something new, and we may have to make up some things as we go. So we have solid experience and crazy ambition: Our plan is to publish the best online magazine we can every other week for the foreseeable future, bringing together the smartest, funniest, and most creative people in Minneapolis to produce something that makes people laugh and think, that alerts them to the most captivating goings-on in their city, and that’s unlike most of what they’ve seen before. We want to celebrate what makes Minneapolis awesome, but we promise never to tell you what the fuck a Jucy Lucy is. Take a look at this first issue, enjoy the pieces our crackerjack contributors have already put together, and consider jumping on our Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride of a bandwagon. We’re making a zine, and we’d love to have you join us. Sincerely, Colleen email@example.com
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CONTRIBUTORS Courtney Algeo serves as the editorial director of Paper Darts, and works at The Loft Literary Center. Corey Feldman once smiled at her. Robert James Algeo is a Pennsylvania native cartoonist, web developer, and educator currently living and working in Minneapolis. Many consider his work to be second only to R. Crumb’s in the field of cartoonists named Robert who were also born in Philadelphia. His work can be found at: inabsentiapress.com. Sarah Brumble is a Minneapolis-based freelance writer/ editor originally hailing from West Virginia and Portland, Oregon. When not sailing through shark-infested waters or walking overland into Nigeria, she can be found giving your favorite band a chance, taking photos with unreliable cameras, and riding her bicycle. Chris Cloud is the Publication Director of MPLSzine. He wants to overly state that this project would not be possible without all of these contributors. Much thanks goes to them and he hopes you enjoy their creative work. Rebecca Collins is a writer and thing-maker who lives in South Minneapolis. Her drawings and obsessions are featured on her blog notshallow.org. Clarissa Hamilton is a graduate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She is an illustrator and designer living and working in Minneapolis and has an obsession with making zines. Visit her website at: www.clarissaham.com. Eric Hansen is a writer and Northeast Minneapolis resident who hasn’t made up his mind about his Halloween costume. Follow him on Twitter: @hansenwithane. Sarah Howard is currently a student in the Creative Writing MFA program at Hamline University. She has also written for Thirty Two magazine, MNArtists.org and Twin Cities Runoff. To see more of her work, visit: sarhoward.tumblr.com.
Julian Sean Howley is an illustrator and designer who has done work predominantly with surface and apparel design. He is currently earning his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He enjoys ink on his hands, metal music, and making his girl laugh at the degenerate things he draws. Tom Johnson is a magazine reporter and editor. He works on Stubble, Crab and Egret, and GudBar in his spare time. Follow him on Twitter: @tomqj. Colleen Powers is from Rockford, Illinois and lives in Northeast Minneapolis. You can usually find her at dance parties, libraries, or rap shows. Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” is her one weakness. Caroline Royce is the personification of grayscale. She presents her personal design code, which she lives by everyday: Minimal design, maximum impact. Forwardthinking with a penchant for looking back. Dedicated to making dynamic, provocative design through the use of smart & sexy color and bold & beautiful type. Constantly learning and doesn’t shy away from new experiences. “Love” does not begin to cover it. Christiaan Tarbox better known to the world as Bacon--is a journalism major at the University of Minnesota, a freelance graphic designer, a film review blogger, undisputed Minneapolis karaoke champion, and a professional nerd. He is the creator of the column “Scratch Your Niche,” which scours Minneapolis in search of the geeky, hobby-based activities and hotspots that go beyond the bar and club scenes. Follow him on Twitter: @thatbaconguy. Lauren Van Schepen is on a mission to find the balance between work and life, glasses and contacts, and whiskey and wine. She has a fascinatingly abstract liberal arts degree from one of those schools out East, lives on Hennepin, works on University, and can be found anywhere and everywhere in between. MPLSzine is powered by MPLS Collective
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REP YOUR CITY IN COSTUME Let’s face it, Minneapolis: we like to rep our city in everything we do, from rocking MPLS-themed tees to drinking the localbrew. So it’s only natural this hometown pride should be manifest in the one holiday that’s all about expression. If you find yourself lacking costume inspiration as Halloween approaches, perhaps it’s time to think local. Let me be your guide to a few concepts that celebrate the best characters, places, and icons of Minneapolis. SCOTT SEEKINS With his monochrome fashion and fascinating demeanor, Minneapolis’ most recognizable artist is a prime subject for costume. Of course, imitating Seekins comes with a question: do you go all-white or all-black? (Note: he recently switched to black for the season.) But perhaps the question that should really be asked is, what does Scott Seekins dress as for Halloween? NICOLLET AVENUE CONSTRUCTION CONE Minneapolis’ most famously cratered street is finally getting a makeover. Celebrate it with the most recognizable icon for repaving progress: the construction cone. In addition to stopping fellow partygoers in their tracks, this one makes for a cheap get-up. If you’re crafty, a few strategically placed holes on a real cone will do the trick. R.T. RYBAK Everyone’s favorite mayor is known for showing up where the fun is-particularly if craft beer is being celebrated. If you’re up for a night of shaking hands and kissing babies, grab the best tweed blazer from your dad’s closet and a can of gray hair color. For bonus points, attempt the “First Avenue Edition,” which simply involves having several friends hold you up in a mock crowd-surf all night. FOOD ON A STICK Food costumes are pretty funny to begin with. Add a Minnesota spin, and--voila! --instant hit. Whether you prefer Pronto Pup or pickle-on-a-stick, you really can’t go wrong.
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WALLY THE BEER MAN The much-adored ballpark vendor moved on from beertending in 2011. But his legend lives on amongst the Twins faithful, and you can do your part to perpetuate it. Plus, who doesn’t love the sight of a beer purveyor at a party? WALKER ART MUSEUM OR WEISMAN ART MUSEUM If you really want to represent Minneapolis, it’s hard to find more compelling objects than the architecture of our iconic art institutions. Regardless of which museum has your allegiance, each presents a fun challenge to construct. Both could likely be done on the cheap, through a combination of cardboard, tin foil, and your adhesive of choice. Of course, exploration of several media should be encouraged. PRINCESS KAY OF THE MILKY WAY The princess concept, while quite popular among the 1-9 year-old crowd, is an extremely tired one. Enter the Minnesota version. Dressing as the young woman of dairy royalty crowned annually at the Minnesota State Fair brings an intriguing decision: go simply as the dairy princess, or the butter carving of her likeness. Opt for the latter, and you’ll certainly have the respect of this author. MARK WHEAT Is there anyone in Minneapolis that doesn’t like this guy? That, and the enjoyment of faking a British accent for a night, presents a pretty fun persona to take on. Plus, you instantly have a legitimate excuse to take control of the music at the party you attend. RECOVERING RICKY RUBIO When the lovable, young T-Wolves star blew his knee out amidst a promising season last year, the fanbase fell into a state of dejection. Despite the injury, the budding star carried a joyful spirit when appearing in public, particularly during his now well-known jaunt around Target on a motorized scooter. Rubio’s expression sparks a question: Could anything be more fun this Halloween than recreating this moment? ADAM TURMAN POSTER PIN-UP Of all the unusual forces carried in the air of All Hallow’s Eve, perhaps the most prevalent is the desire to dress salaciously. While many young women hitting the streets will declare their costume “slutty ______,” you can look to the popular work of Minneapolis artist Adam Turman for inspiration on taking a cooler, classier, and more original route to sexy. Whether you fancy yourself a bike babe, roller derby doll, or a record shop beauty, the mix of old-fashioned pin-up and modern Minnesota gal provides plenty of style and fun. Extra points if you can pull off the illustrated look. Written by Eric Hansen.
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ILLUSTRATED BY REBECCA COLLINS - NOTSHALLOW.ORG
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NINE SCARY MOVIES SET IN MINNEAPOLIS The Food Truck That Pulls Away Just As You Get There It Came From the Suburbs (To Drive Slowly In Front Of You) Getting To the Liquor Store At 10:05 On Saturday Night Attack Of the 50-foot Snowdrift The Day the World Ran Out Of Cream Of Mushroom Soup Someone Started A Local Band With A More Twee Name Than Ours The Ghost Of Block E (The Call Is Coming From Inside The Shout House) Night Of the Living Butter Heads Written by sarah howard
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SCRATCH YOUR NICHE
Halloween is here once again, and it’s time for the usual shenanigans: trick-or-treating, outrageous costume parties, and boosting the economy with toilet paper sales. And although collecting candy from neighbors and then subsequently defacing their homes with rolls of TP have been tried-and-true Halloween traditions for ages, not many people really recognize the more spiritual aspects of the holiday and the my theologies that have permeated the legend of All Hallow’s Eve. Luckily, if you’re looking for a fun alternative to the usual Halloween antics, you’d best check out 12 MPLSzine // HALLOWEEN ISSUE
BareBones Productions’ 19th Annual Halloween Extravaganza, titled “Chicka-BOOM!”, a gorgeously crafted play, puppet show, concert, and spiritual journey all rolled into one big celebration of both life and death. Founded in 1994 by artist and puppeteer Alison Heimstead for a senior thesis project at the University of Minnesota, the non-profit BareBones evolved into an ever-growing collective of performers and artists bringing their unique mix of puppetry, dance, and
The production itself (dedicated to BareBones crew member Andrew Wagner, who passed away earlier this year) was a nice twist on the classic “theatre in the park,” with rows of haystacks serving as audience seating, a small booth for the 20-piece orchestra sitting at the side, and nothing but the Earth itself serving as the proscenium arch. As people were filing in to take their seats, I overheard an usher warning folks in the front row to keep their distance, otherwise, in her words, “You WILL be set on fire within in the first ten minutes.” How often do you hear that? So did it live up to the fiery hype? Absolutely. An aesthetic and tonal mix of Cirque de Soleil and Day of the Dead celebrations, Chicka-BOOM! is a mix of both the celebratory and tragic, an interpretative journey through both the natural world and the afterlife. The costumes, choreography, and especially the larger-than-life puppets are extraordinary. Everything from stilt-walking to fire-spinning are on display here. It’s an emotional and haunting experience, a testament to the hard work of the folks in the community who put it together. Story and photos by Christiaan “Bacon” Tarbox. BareBones Productions.
music to the Twin Cities. Their acclaimed Halloween Extravaganza is their trademark production. I decided to check out the first of this year’s five performances, being held in St. Paul for the first time at Hidden Falls Regional Park (after being held for several years in both the West Bank and Seward areas of Minneapolis), and it was clear what a truly grassroots collaboration this production was. “Each show is created by the communities,” said BareBones production manager Scottie Hall. “So we have community sessions where everyone sits together and talks about what they want.”
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THE BUSINESS OF BIG HALLOWEEN TOM JOHNSON: How does your business work? WAYNE, of Spirit Halloween in Bloomington: It’s a seasonal business, owned by Spencer’s as a consignment store. They send all of the product down; we find the store and we buy all the fittings for the store. We have to comply with their very strict guidelines of how to set it up. We sell as much product as we can, they keep sending us product as we run out, and at the end of Halloween we send all the stuff back to Spencer’s, pack everything we own back into a truck, and I go back to Australia for nine months. TOM: So you’re here every year at this time just for this? WAYNE: Yup, for three months. TOM: How did you get involved with Halloween superstores? WAYNE: Just through a friend.
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TOM: Do you like it? WAYNE: No, I hate it. TOM: Really, why? WAYNE: So many reasons--how long have you got? No, it’s fun. It’s different, it’s unique, there’s no job like this. TOM: Do you get to choose the products at all? WAYNE: We have no choice whatsoever. They send out what’s popular. TOM: What do you do normally in Australia? WAYNE: Well, I used to be a photographer. TOM: What is your favorite product? WAYNE: I like the ones with the women. To be honest I don’t like any of them because I never grew up with Halloween. It’s strange to me. Interview and photos by Tom Johnson.
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The dichotomy of growing up in South Minneapolis and going to grade school in Edina was never lost on me. Even in kindergarten I had the sense that something about my life in Powderhorn was different than the swanky suburban experience of my classmates. Not only was I more likely to be found looking at crickets at the neighborhood farm store than at Circus Pizza on a Saturday afternoon, I also had to reconcile the worldview I learned at school with a very different reality than many of my fellow students. Learning traditional (read: conservative) Christian views on issues like poverty, divorce, violence, or homosexuality was confusing when combined with my life in a vibrant and diverse urban neighborhood. This tension was never made more clearly manifest than on Halloween. The school I attended did not, as a rule, observe Halloween in any way. We may have had the typical fall bulletin boards, but any autumnal energy was directed to Puritanical days of Thanksgiving and drawing cornucopias. We rarely acknowledged the devil’s day. I am sure no teacher presented Halloween to me in those terms – while conservative, the school was not by any means sequestered from the wider world, and my classmates listened to as much Blink 182 as Relient K. However, I knew I wasn’t supposed to like Halloween. Being in and not of the world meant either turning off your lights and watching 7th Heaven in the basement, or handing out candy with attached Bible verses to the unfortunate souls finding joy in the holiday.
The problem was that the idea of being someone else, of hiding behind another identity, was far too appealing for an awkward adolescent. As I got older the yearly opportunity to play George Washington in a school play, or dress up as a famous Christian I admired (I chose Sojourner Truth), was no longer enough. I wanted to share in the art of a holiday that allowed people to honestly celebrate hiding behind masks. When you feel that each day you may be discovered as a fraud, revealed to be different in that unfortunate middle school way, the idea of a safe time to pretend has an irresistible appeal. I saw Halloween as that time. Soon May Day became that time too. Then weekends. Then summer… Moving back to Minneapolis after college I found the city in its entirety had become my safe place to pretend – to try on interests, people, and identities, and slowly find what fits. I rarely celebrate Halloween now. I am disappointed by the expense of an increasingly commercial holiday and the sexualization of every female costume. (Perhaps some of that Puritanical teaching in elementary school stuck.) But I also no longer need a holiday to dance with a friend in a full-body Gumby suit, to put glitter on my cheeks and drink Goldschläger, or see whether I can pull off Mia Wallace bangs. These days it’s always safe to pretend, and every day is Halloween. Written by Lauren Van Schepen.
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ILLUSTRATED BY ROBERT ALGEO
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When I was a kid, portraying my hero in he Halloween parade made me feel like a villain. Growing up, I was hooked on this series of books called ValueTales. My favorite, The Value of Helping, was the story of Harriet Tubman, the amazing woman who led slaves to freedom with the Underground Railroad. So, when my second grade teacher announced to the class that there would be a school-wide Halloween parade for the community to see, and requested that we dress up like one of our heroes for the occasion, I knew exactly who I wanted to dress as. While my mom, well-meaning and open-minded in my youth, was in full support of my costume idea, she saw one problem: authenticity. I was a tiny white redhead. No one would believe I was the great Harriet Tubman just because I threw on a frock and handkerchief. As the costume maker, she felt that in order for me to really sell my costume as Tubman, I'd need to darken up. So, we went to the store and got the darkest concealer we could find, and...well...you get the idea. I didn't know why at the time, but as soon as I got to school I felt uncomfortable. Maybe it was something a teacher said, or a parent, but I went to the bathroom and tried to wash all of the concealer off with that pink soap that smells like kindergarten, but it wouldn't come off. I walked the parade looking like I had gotten the kind of tan a redhead only dreams about. I had forgotten about that Halloween until recently, when I had a moment of clarity and, out of the blue, said to my friend, â€œHoly shit, I think my mom accidentally dressed me in blackface.â€? It shouldn't be so difficult paying homage to your heroes. Growing up is hard. Written by Courtney Algeo.
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SICK OR TREAT Conceived by Matty Tucker and Sarah Brumble Written by Brumble Designed by Caroline Royce So this one time, Matty Tucker and I went to brunch like good 20-somethings** and naturally the conversation turned to vices of yore. With Halloween breathing down our necks like the horse of the headless horseman’s horse-breath, we started bitching about all the candy we hated as kids … then ate anyway. Considering we are both over-educated service industry professionals, it became necessary to quantify our bitching in a tangible manner. Thus was born the Sick-or-Treat tournament bracket, brought to you by Brachs™. This is an introduction to the players. You are welcome to proceed through these at your own will. However, Sarah and Matty reveal the sickest treat of them all here! So, without further ado…
** MT: “Wait, I’m 30… but you can put me down as a 20-something.” SB: “It’s okay, I’m turning 29 in a month. I don’t know what else to call us.”
banana runts* black jelly beans
1 root beer barrels* peanut butter taffy flavored tootsie rolls
wa x b o t t l e s
2 goo d n ’ p l e n t y s* WIN caramel creams*
“Crimes or Errors in Flavor Science”
Banana runts We all had that one hanger-on in our friend group who we’d give all the banana runts. They tasted like butthole but he thought he was coming out on top. Little did he know that he was being paid in banana runts to compensate for the merciless fun we had at his expense the rest of the time—at no cost to us! As grown-ups we ditched the friend and either throw them away (because we can do that now) or stomach them with as straight a face as possible, much like we do when taking shots of Wild Turkey.
root beer barrels We’d happily accept a two-litre of actual root beer and drink it in one sitting. Clearly something so good was too much to ask, and the cheapness of your wallet corresponds directly the to the thin flavor of the mini versions.
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“THE WORST OF MODERNITY”
good n’ plentys Does licorice have some positive nutritional value that requires its specific benefit to be delivered in pill form? The name is pure irony: while the “good”ness is questionable at best, the halloween-sized serving looks meager, but is assuredly beyond “plenty”.
caramel creams What’s the white center supposed to be? Seriously. I have no idea what this white shit is supposed to taste like, but I hope no one intended for it to taste like it does. That would be cruel. And the caramel part is not exactly caramel. It’s caramel-flavored goopy stuff. And what’s the point? Next year just hand out caramels.
3 popcorn ballS* wax lips candy corn* bubble gum
4 circus peanuts NER necco wafers*
“This shit ain’t even candy”
“But they were great during The Depression”
Not only are apples not sweet enough to make us happy on Halloween, but they also may have razor blades in them. Our moms throw them away without a second thought. Way to waste precious fruit and my Trick-or-Treating time, all in one go.
Certainly not corn, and at best questionably candy, these confusingly tri-colored confections taste of what, exactly? The only answer is “candy corn,” its own unique flavor that reminds you of nothing but itself. Luckily, like herpes, they only flare up once a year
This one time, the lady who sings the loudest at church gave out her really tasty homemade popcorn balls, but after one bite, my mom was all like, “You can’t eat those! There may be needles in them!” Thanks for letting me know what I will forevermore miss, church lady.
When asked what to do with all of this excess chalk, Mr. Necco instructed his wage slaves to fashion them into bite-sized discs, roll them up in wax paper and sell them as candy. While the packaging is sizeable, this is clearly a case where bigger does not mean better.
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BE PART OF MPLSzine! We’re looking for interviews, reviews, reported articles, essays, humor pieces, lists, infographics, comics, photos, and illustrations related to Minneapolis. (That relation can be loose--if the only connection is that you live here, that’s cool with us.) We want to explore overlooked places and subcultures; make new connections and observations; share your heartbreaking, guffaw-worthy, and inspirational personal stories; and champion the people who make Minneapolis what it is. But we can’t do that without creative types sending us their stuff. firstname.lastname@example.org To get you started, our themes for the next two issues are: BROKE Publishes November 13 Submissions due November 5 MYSTERY Publishes November 27 Submissions due November 16 If you can’t contribute right away but want to learn more, email us anyway. We’d love to have you join us.
MPLSzine, a submissions-based collaborative digital publication, is the latest project powered by the forces of MPLS Collective, a cornersto...