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Issue 3, April 2014


Issue 3, April 2014

The People of the Hour!

Editor Talk

Cheryl Cottrell-Smith, Editor-in-chief She’s a pretty good writer and she’s the head honcho. That’s all you need to know. For everything else, there’s Google. @CottrellSmithC

It amazes me that, even in this day and age, some people have issues with women who (tongue-in-cheek) “invade” geek space. After talking to Andrea Brown and Sylvia Douglas from Happy Harbor Comics (page 18), I’m glad to hear that they’re actively working to provide a safe space for anyone interested in comics.

Matt Bowes, Editorial Contributor Self-proclaimed cultural commentator/arbiter of good taste. Enjoys movies/books, and writes about them at thisnerdinglife.com. @matt_bowes

Nobody should be judged by gender or sexuality, especially in terms of what they like to read. At the same time, you probably shouldn’t care what other people think. Whether you get off on big-breasted comic vixens or you think Robin’s tight-revealing package is sexy, more power to you. If you’re into saucy French romances, even…well, you’d be in the right place. Eric Silver has a naughty French treat up his sleeve in this issue (page 20). More into cats than the puckering lips of a Pokémon? Kelsey Beier has you covered. Once you read about the cat voice, your kitten’s meows will mean just a little too much (page 11). Matt Bowes has a thought-provoking treatise on the reasons why you should give 2012’s John Carter flick a chance (page 12), while Trent Wilkie details some Facebook facepalms that you must try (and by try, we mean avoid, obvs.) (page 9). Always wanted to know how to wear suspenders? Teresa Simmons provides some handy tips (page 17). A huge welcome to new contributors, Sherry Lawler and Russ Dobler. I strongly recommend pairing cryptozoology (page 4) with martinis (page 8). It sounds like a good idea. And, yeah—I have a few articles, too. We hope you like.

Cheryl Editor-in-Chief

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thepulppress.com

Eric Silver, Editorial Contributor Writing and editing by day, collecting gym badges by night...and sometimes day. Quitting smoking to use that time to game. @ericrsilver Kelsey Beier, Editorial Contributor Lover of music, writing, traveling and working with kids. Teacher by day; unpublished author by night (and sometimes on the weekends). Trent Wilkie, Editorial Contributor Local writer, journalist, and outdoor nerd. Current Editor of Camrose Canadian. Can be found at www.trentwilkie.com. @thetrentwilkie Teresa Simmons, Editorial Contributor Fashion writer and blogger. She can’t live without classy little black dresses, seafood, holidays, Indie music, and lip gloss. Sherry Lawler, Editorial Contributor Local editor and writer. Linguist, grammarian, language enthusiast, and owner of AlphaProofing. @AlphaProofing Russ Dobler, Editorial Contributor Known as "Dog" to friends and weirdos; wannabe scientist; beer lover. Blogs at thoughtfulconduit.com/whatdoesthismean.


Issue 3, April 2014

Contents bites 8

Isa has a smoker’s voice. Read more about cat voices on page 11.

arts + stuff Drinking with swagger: the art of the martini – Sherry Lawler

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Kelsey Beier wins Edmonton’s Story Slam for April

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Edmonton’s Story Slam gives local writers a voice – Cheryl Cottrell-Smith

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What’s your cat voice? – Kelsey Beier

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For Your (Re)Consideration: Andrew Stanton’s John Carter (2012) – Matt Bowes

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Make a statement in suspenders – Teresa Simmons

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Being a bookworm – Cheryl Cottrell-Smith

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gamertown

techtalk 4

Holding out hope for Bigfoot – Russ Dobler

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Face(palm)book – Trent Wilkie

comics and graphic novels

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LADY GEEKs uNITE – Cheryl Cottrell-Smith

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The eek! Comic and Pop Culture Festival – Cheryl Cottrell-Smith

Revisiting Braid, one of Xbox’s most popular platformers of all time

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Twisting the temporal: revisiting Xbox Arcade’s Braid – Cheryl Cottrell-Smith

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Choose Your Own Pokémon Adventure, Chapter 3 – Eric Silver


Issue 3, April 2014

Written by Russ Dobler | Images courtesy of C. M. Kosemen and John Conway

Holding out hope for Bigfoot Bigfoot is big business right now. Just ask head of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization and star of the Animal Plant channel’s ratings juggernaut “Finding Bigfoot,” Matt Moneymaker. Yes, that is his real name. The program has brought cryptozoology – a word literally meaning “the study of hidden animals” – into the mainstream, for better or worse, inspiring even higher stakes challenges like the “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty.” Strangely enough, with all the attention, no one’s found him yet. Has anyone checked the Big Foot Pub on 118 Avenue? Or would that be too obvious? Okay, so the hairy mountain man probably isn’t real, but wouldn’t it be cool if he was? What about stranger things like Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu, a supposed aquatic animal from the Congo with planks on its back? If they were real, what could that teach us about evolution, and how these animals developed? That’s the question vertebrate paleontologist Darren Naish set out to answer in the new book “Cryptozoologicon: Volume 1,” along with artists C. M. Kosemen and John Conway. While exercising a skeptical eye, Naish is still thrilled to indulge in what he calls the “speculative zoology” of just how such mythic creatures could come to exist. However it’s the vivid, all-new illustrations of the more than two dozen would-be beasts that make this edition special. I was lucky enough to get some thoughts from Kosemen and Conway on the “Cryptozoologicon” and what cryptozoology means to them. The word "cryptozoology" itself can mean different things to different people. How would you define it? Conway: The stock answer is the study of animals not yet described by science, but I think that is a bit inaccurate, because crytpozoologists have little interest in undescribed beetles, et cetera. No, I think a better definition would be “entertaining the notion that legendary beasts are real animals.” Conway: It’s Bigfoot that I hold out the most hope for! (Not that I think it is real, I just hope.) Kosemen: To me, cryptozoology is an intersection of two fields of human knowledge – actual zoology and evolution in the case of the few true cryptids like the giant squid, the Komodo dragon and so on – and quasi-zoological folklore in the case of the vast majority of other so-called cryptids. How did you become interested in the subject?

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Kosemen: I was interested in it since childhood, ever since seeing a magazine article on the Lake Van Monster in Turkey, which is where I live. When I was between 6 and 15 years old, I went through a phase where I believed in all sorts of cryptids and other weird phenomena.

I went through a phase where I believed in all sorts of cryptids and other weird phenomena. How did the collaboration with Darren Naish come about? Kosemen: I’ve known both John and Darren for a number of years; we are close friends. In 2012, we produced a book named “All Yesterdays” on dinosaurs and a new, realistic way of looking at them. We wanted to take the same "realistic reinterpretation" approach to another zoology-themed topic, and chose cryptozoology as our subject. “The Cryptozoologicon” was the result. How did you go about conceptualizing these animals that have no definitive description? Conway: In the book we make the point that the original reports of strange animals are often very different from the legendary cryptid that arises from them. Often there’s no reason to think the various reports are of the same type of thing. Nevertheless, cryptozoology has been a machine for taking these disparate reports and spitting out a single offering a very different type of animal.


resulting animal. So, in many ways, the work was done for us. Sometimes we run with it and sometimes we subvert this, offering a very different type of animal. Which cryptids can we expect to find in the "Cryptozoologicon"? Conway: “Cryptozoologicon: Volume I” has some old favourites like Bigfoot, some new favourites like Chupacabra, as well as lesserknown cryptids like the Row and Ahool. If there's one that is likeliest to really exist, which do you think it would be? Conway: Orang Pendek, a bipedal primate said to inhabit Sumatra. However, it’s Bigfoot that I hold out the most hope for! (Not that I think it is real, I just hope.) -And if one dose of “what if” isn’t enough to scratch your itch, fear not. Conway assures us that Volume 2 will be identified, bagged and tagged before we know it.

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Issue 3, April 2014


Issue 3, April 2014

Edmonton’s Story Slam gives local writers a voice Written by Cheryl Cottrell-Smith | Images courtesy of Kelsey Beier and Edmonton Story Slam

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Issue 3, April 2014

“

As humorous as her emails were, without intending to be so, my mom’s genuine concern and sincere interest in the going-ons of our busy lives always rang through in her writing. (Excerpt

from "Inbox")

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Each month, Edmonton plays host to the Edmonton Story Slam, a competitive story-telling event that boasts absolutely no censorship. Local writers, bloggers, and storytellers are invited to read their work in front of the crowd, after which five random audience members will make the final call on the winner. Story Slammers have five minutes to tell their story, with an absolute maximum of seven minutes. The winner receives all of the money donated by the audience during the hat-passing intermission. Notable past winners include Omar Mouallem, Wade Kelly, Alyssa Hudson, Jason Lee Norman, and many more. Hosted by the Edmonton Story Slam Society, which has been around since 2006, the April iteration of the event took place on Wednesday, April 16, at Daravara on 124 street. This event marked the beginning of the new Story Slam season, which runs for 11 months before the final Slam Off in March. The winner of the April Story Slam was contributor and local writer/kindergarten teacher Kelsey Beier, who read a touching story about her recently deceased mother and the internet-based connection they stolidly maintained while Kelsey was traveling. We caught up with Kelsey to ask her about her Story Slam experience. Was this your first time reading at the Edmonton Story

to my work, as well as have the opportunity to share Was this your first time reading at the Edmonton Story Slam? How did it feel? Were you nervous? a story that is very close to my heart. Having been to This was my first time reading at the Edmonton Story the event a few times now, I can easily see how a Slam, although I had attended previously as a sense of community develops amongst the writers spectator and always thought that it was something I and the volunteers of Edmonton Story Slam who run would like to take part in some time. It felt great to be the event. Everyone was super nice and welcoming, a participant this time around. It was definitely a little and most of the other writers came up to me after the bit nerve-racking but I am used to event to congratulate me. There was And so, feeling more presenting and performing in front of even a spectator who came up and liberated and weightless a variety of audiences so I was ready said that she loved my story and that than ever before, I travel for the challenge. she is thinking about participating in now as an emptied vessel What was the inspiration for the future. To me, this is the whole with an open heart and your story and why? reason I love sharing my work. The an open mind. (Excerpt The inspiration for my story, and much idea of inspiring others in some way from "Inbox") of my writing currently, was my mother. to do what they like to do. She passed away fairly suddenly last summer so I'm Will you be entering the Story Slam again? still trying to wrap my head around everything, and I will most definitely be participating in the Edmonton writing about her is one of the many ways that I am Story Slam again. In fact, having won the April Story learning to remember her and keep her story alive. Slam means that I will have the chance to participate Why do you think these kinds of events are in the Edmonton Story Slam Off which will include the important for local writers? winners from each month and will take place in March Events like Edmonton Story Slam are important for 2015. local writers as it gives them an outlet to showcase their personal work in a public setting. I was interested to see how other writers and listeners would respond to my work, as well as have the opportunity to share a

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Issue 3, April 2014 The end of another era is almost upon us: Mad Men – seven years of influence on the resurgence of the craft cocktail. There’s no denying it; Donald Draper and associates remind us the martini is a classy, classy drink. Clean and simple, packaged in a very sexy glass. There’s a certain allure to sipping a martini. Fumble while ordering this classy cocktail and its allure could be squashed in seconds. Becoming a martini connoisseur takes skill, confidence, and knowing exactly how you like it. A classic martini is simple: gin, with a touch of vermouth, garnished often with either a lemon Vodka twist or green olives. Prohibition made them popular, but it’s time to get martini...shaken, cozy with 007 and schmooze not stirred. with the likes of Roger Sterling, perhaps with a bit of Cary Grant swagger. - James Bond It’s a sexy cocktail. It’s time for you to learn how to order it with the confidence of a secret agent.

Written by Sherry Lawler | Images courtesy of Cheryl Cottrell-Smith

Drinking with swagger the art of the martini

The Dry Martini

The Wet Martini

The Dirty Martini

Contrary to popular belief, a dry martini has less vermouth than the classic version, whereas the extra dry martini has even less; in fact, it has little to no vermouth. Nail the extra dry martini: roll a ¼ oz of vermouth around a chilled martini glass. Don’t forget to toss the vermouth before adding the gin and garnish.

This version is commonly mistaken as a very dry martini. A wet martini will render you more vermouth than your classic version.

Any Sex in the City fan will remember Richard ordering Samantha a dirty martini she so very promptly tossed in his face. So, what’s a dirty martini, you ask? A classic martini with a touch of olive juice or olive brine. If you like your olives, this may very well be your perfect martini!

The Gibson

With a Twist

Shaken or Stirred?

Roger Sterling’s favoured martini.

Not a fan of olives? Simply request your cocktail with a twist. Your sleek martini will be adorned with a fragrant twist of lemon.

This question always brings back memories of Sean Connery’s sexy accent and his confident way of ordering a vodka martini. A shaken martini means the spirits are shaken in a cocktail shaker with ice. Purists prefer the traditional stirred method, as they feel it is best not to bruise the gin.

This delightful version will be served with a cocktail onion.

TIP: If you’re up for a twist on the classic martini, and willing to challenge your favourite bartender, ask for a burnt martini. 8

Instead of rolling vermouth in a chilled martini glass, as you would for an extra dry martini, the glass is rolled with scotch. Impress even the weariest of martini connoisseurs with this delightful little trick. You might even get asked by hardcore martini-goers how to replicate this cocktail in the comfort of their own homes. Armed with this inside knowledge, the question remains: how do you like your martini?


Issue 3, April 2014

face(PALM)book Words and images by Trent Wilkie

Trent Wilkie posted a status update Trent Wilkie posted a status update If you post it on the Facebook, it has to be true. I got a lot of faxes over my Twitter tips story, so I’m back to add another chapter about how to get dragons pregnant Facebook. Facebook is slowly becoming a communal bath of opinions and saggy skin. So, with that said, let’s plunge elbow deep into the smelly truth of how to succeed whilst utilizing the lowest common denominator of social media. Some people might like this.

Hate is advertising Whether or not you like (insert celebrity here), if you are talking about (insert celebrity here), then (insert celebrity here) is winning. It’s the internet, people.

Recipes If you’re going to post recipes, do them right.

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Issue 3, April 2014

Trent Wilkie shared a photo

Trent Wilkie shared a photo

Ecards

On the subject of over-sharers

Post them. They still make you cool.

If you don’t like people posting pictures of babies/dogs/kisses, then block them. Or better yet, turn off the computer. If these types of people anger you, exhibit some self-control. Walk away. Breathe deep. Find your center. Allow the mystic powers of the universe to encompass your senses and stop thinking that everything on the internet is intended for your pleasure. You don’t have the right to not be offended.

Trent Wilkie posted a status update

Grandiose sycophancy: “My mom/aunt/boyfriend/girlfriend/doctor/ cat/horse/ghost is the BEST IN THE WORLD!” Tone that shit down. There is no proper system to even quantify that. Plus, they know they are not the best. Ask them why…they know the answer. The internets, normal people, and your mom like this.

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Issue 3, April 2014

What’s your cat voice? Written by Kelsey Beier | Images by Kelsey Beier and weknowmemes.com

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Cat owners all do it. Even if they may not admit it, it’s a well-known and unrecorded fact that all cat owners have conversations with their furry friends. In order to successfully carry out these cat-versations, cat owners take it upon themselves to answer back for their feline in the voice that they have assigned to best accommodate their cat’s personality. Once a voice is assigned, it doesn’t take long until the cat owner is conditioned to actually believe whole-heartedly that their cat actually possesses said voice. What starts off as a fun-loving conversation between an owner and their pet grows into the personification of an animal in the human world. Once again, I am forced to pick on my husband, a.k.a. the cat whisperer, who has somehow managed to convince me that our cat (which was formerly his cat) possesses the deep, raspy voice of an 80-year-old smoker. He has even gone so far as to give me holiday cards that have been signed by Isa the cat. She doesn’t have the steadiest of paws with a pen, so these cards will always come to me written in her scratchy printing and they are narrated in my head with the same smoker’s voice that she would have when speaking orally. I have recently started imitating Isa’s voice when talking about her in public, trying to convince whomever it is that I’m talking to that my cat is quite real and

it is that I’m talking to that my cat is quite real and actually possesses a defined personality. Because my husband understands Isa on a much deeper level than I do, I often get him to narrate her voice in front of our friends and family but, alas, he is always too embarrassed to do so. As mentioned above, not all cat owners will admit that they have reciprocated conversations with their cats. Like many cats, Isa is the type that doesn’t take any crap from anyone. She is petted and adored on her own terms and she simply cannot be bothered to give a damn a lot of the time. She lays where she wants, when she wants, and she gets quite peeved when we leave her home alone for more than a day. Upon our return, Isa might say something like, “Where the hell were you? It’s just nonsensical. You didn’t even bring back any hunt. I can’t think of any other reasons that you would need to leave the house.” Presently, Isa has even come up with her own jingles about my husband and I. The best part about personifying your cat is that you can use him or her as a mediator or third party when having an argument or discussion with your significant other. For example, my husband and I will often say things using Isa’s voice such as: “What is that god-awful smell? What is that? Ryan,

Ryan, how unnecessary of you!” or “Kelsey, are you really sure that you want to wear that jacket to the party? Isn’t it a little much?” On many occasions, my husband will use Isa’s voice as a way to say the sweet things that he may perhaps feel too bashful to say using his own masculine demeanor, such as: “How did a beautiful woman such as yourself end up with a ghastly man like Ryan?” or “You’re the one who really understands me Kelsey; you just get me. You just do.” What I’m curious about is whether or not dog owners have this same relationship with their canines. Do dogs have voices too, or are they too easily read as animals and, therefore, not open to any personification on a deeper, humanistic level? Having never been a dog lover, I find myself impartial to the species in general. I’m not extremely fond of cats either, but somehow they have managed to find me at the different stages in my life from infancy to adulthood and I developed a sort of unconditional love and understanding for the species. Maybe it’s their low-maintenance, self-sufficient nature. Or their feisty undertones. Or maybe it’s just the fact that you can have a conversation with an 80-year-old smoker without the inconvenience of smoke or people, with only the occasional fur ball.


Issue 3, April 2014

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For Your (Re)Consideration: Andrew StAnton’S John Carter (2012) One hundred years

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after its original serialization in The AllStory magazine, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ pulp classic A Princess of Mars found itself in an incredibly strange position when the film adaptation finally reached movie theatres. The movie was saddled with a terrible, bland title that makes sense only to people who’d read the book and a marketing campaign that utterly failed to stir viewers’ interests. According to Hollywood lore, the director, Andrew Stanton, thought that the character John Carter was much better known than it turned out he was, and also that teen males wouldn’t want to go see a movie called “A Princess of Mars” (which, for the record, was a really stupid idea). In addition to this bungling, the book’s storyline had been so influential since its publication, referenced by dozens of works like Flash Gordon, Dune, Star Wars and, most recently, 2009’s Avatar, that the audiences who actually did end up seeing it must have thought they were being ripped off. John Carter, the stalwart Virginian fighting man who could cut down legions of multi-limbed Martian monsters while armed only with his trusty blade and radium pistol, never stood a chance against his greatest foe: his cultural irrelevance. Which is a shame, considering the movie is actually quite good. To wit, while the story beats of the film are no doubt familiar, what makes Stanton’s follow up to the massive success of WALLE special is the talent, the tone, and the production design of the project. John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is a Confederate Army cavalry officer who returns home from the war to find his family massacred and his life burnt to the ground. Grief-stricken, he becomes a gold prospector in Arizona and, after escaping

Issue 3, April 2014

Written by Matt Bowes | Image courtesy of Disney

ground. Grief-stricken, he becomes a gold prospector in Arizona and, after escaping from a pitched battle between the U.S. Army and the Apache, he ends up magically teleported to Mars, which its inhabitants call Barsoom. Here, his strength and agility are increased ten-fold due to Barsoom’s lesser gravity, but this still doesn’t stop him from getting captured and pressed into service once more, this time by Dejah Thoris, the beautiful Princess of Helium, who needs him to fight against the rival city-state of Zodanga. To translate the story for modern audiences, Stanton and fellow Pixar employee Mark Andrews collaborated with the perfect writer for the project: Michael Chabon. The author of Wonder Boys, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was an inspired choice to pen the screenplay, as he’s a fan and expert in pulpy material in addition to being a Pulitzer, O. Henry, Nebula and Hugo award winner. Chabon is also credited with working on Spider-Man 2, the best of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films and, more importantly, just gets the material and the tone it needed to be successful. Apart from the awkward opening to the film explaining how Mars, aka. Barsoom, is a dying world (delivered by Willem Defoe’s character Tars Tarkas with shades of Virginia Madsen’s monologue preceding Dune), the story of John Carter is related to us in the form of fun banter between the Princess and the former soldier, excellent villain monologuing by Mark Strong and Dominic “McNulty” West, and a refreshingly irony-free approach to the more outré elements of the story. There’s


Issue 3, April 2014 also a cute metatextual conceit remaining from the original book; i.e. that the story actually happened and that Edgar Rice Burroughs himself is only relating it to us, but this isn’t dwelled upon long enough for it to become annoying. The world of Barsoom also provides excellent roles for female characters, which is potentially Name anotherunusual sci-fi considering film the age of the original story. Dejah Thoris, that features three ably played by Lynn Collins, has definitely different from approaches been augmented the source to material; instead of the perennial victim of father/daughterkidnap bonds. the novels, she’s now a member of her cityGo on, I’lland wait. state’s scientific orders is the one that figures out concepts like how Carter ended up on Barsoom, and the origin of the The world of Barsoom also provides mysterious “ninth ray” that powers excellent roles for female characters, Zodanga’s war machine. This is in addition which is potentially unusual considering to being a skilled fighter who saves the the age of the original story. Dejah Thoris, hero’s behind on multiple occasions. The ably played by Lynn Collins, has definitely more interesting character to me, though, been augmented from the source material; comes in the form of Sola, played by instead of the perennial kidnap victim of Samantha Morton. Sola is a Thark, a the novels, she’s now a member of her citytwelve-foot tall green-skinned warrior state’s scientific orders and is the one that with four arms and she’s also the daughter figures out concepts like how Carter ended of the chief, Tars Tarkas. Thark society up on Barsoom, and the origin of the forbids knowledge of who your parents mysterious “ninth ray” that powers are, though, so she’s also forever getting in Zodanga’s war machine. This is in addition trouble for being too kind to captives like to being a skilled fighter who saves the John Carter, incurring the wrath of the hero’s behind on multiple occasions. The father she doesn’t really know in the harsh more interesting character to me, though, Thark justice system. comes in the form of Sola, played by Sola is a fully-realized character; she Samantha Morton. Sola is a Thark, a is craven at times, like when faced with the twelve-foot tall green-skinned warrior potential desecration of Thark religious with four arms and she’s also the daughter ceremonies, but at other instances is as of the chief, Tars Tarkas. Thark society bloodthirsty and down to ride as the rest of forbids knowledge of who your parents her kin. There’s also an interesting tenor to are, though, so she’s also forever getting in hers and Tarkas’ relationship, once they trouble for being too kind to captives like are able to speak it out loud: a mutual John Carter, incurring the wrath of the respect continues to grow and Sola finds father she doesn’t really know in the harsh herself having to defend her father once Thark justice system. he’s dethroned and sentenced to death in Sola is a fully-realized character; she the arena. Compare her to the very is craven at times, like when faced with the similarly-themed Neytiri from Avatar, who potential desecration of Thark religious is a much more traditional Pocahontasceremonies, but at other instances is as type character (also much more bloodthirsty and down to ride as the rest of sexualized, if deviantART is to be her kin. There’s also an interesting tenor to believed), or the Orion Slave Girls and hers and Tarkas’ relationship, once they Twi’leks from Stars Trek and Wars,

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bloodthirsty and down to ride as the rest of her kin. There’s also an interesting tenor to hers and Tarkas’ relationship, once they are able to speak it out loud: a mutual respect continues to grow and Sola finds herself having to defend her father once he’s dethroned and sentenced to death in the arena. Compare her to the very similarly-themed Neytiri from Avatar, who is a much more traditional Pocahontas-type character (also much more sexualized, if deviantART is to be believed), or the Orion Slave Girls and Twi’leks from Stars Trek and Wars, respectively. Sola is also part of the film’s trinity of father-daughter relationships, alongside Dejah and her controlling father Tardos Mors, as well as John Carter and the idealized daughter he ended up burying after coming back from the Civil War. Name another sci-fi film that features three different approaches to father/daughter bonds. Go on, I’ll wait. The production design of the film is also top-notch. To me, the rich red hues and John Carter, the brass fixtures found on Barsoomian tech stalwart Virginian and living arrangements recall steampunk and the richly-realized worldcould found in fighting man who HBO’s Rome and Game of Thrones series. cutappealing down legions of to There’s an lived-in quality otherwise ridiculous things like airships multi-limbed Martian and giant walking cities that you don’t find while armed in a lot monsters of Hollywood science fiction film outside ofonly workswith like Serenity or Moon. I his trusty also really like the design of Carter’s home blade and radium pistol, back on Earth, as it’s stuffed to the brim with artifacts, anda other ephemera nevermaps, stood chance collected once he’s marooned and against his greatest foe: searching for a route back to Mars. There’s hisand cultural irrelevance. a tactility presence to the world that elevates the production and makes you care about the story. I also really enjoy the Whichfungus-like is a shame, organic, almost fractal way that theconsidering ninth ray works, it’s an interesting the movie is technique to apply to what could easily actually quite good. have been another “grey goop” nanotechnology concept.

Undoubtedly, I was in the tank for John

The production design of the film is also top-notch. To me, the rich red hues and brass fixtures found on Barsoomian tech and living arrangements recall steampunk and the richly-realized world found in HBO’s Rome and Game of Thrones series. There’s an appealing livedin quality to otherwise ridiculous things like airships and giant walking cities that you don’t find in a lot of Hollywood science fiction film outside of works like Serenity or Moon. I also really like the design of Carter’s home back on Earth, as it’s stuffed to the brim with artifacts, maps, and other ephemera collected once he’s marooned and searching for a route back to Mars. There’s a tactility and presence to the world that elevates the production and makes you care about the story. I also really enjoy the organic, almost funguslike fractal way that the ninth ray works, it’s an interesting technique to apply to what could easily have been another “grey goop” nanotechnology concept. Undoubtedly, I was in the tank for John Carter to succeed from the very beginning. One of my fondest memories growing up comes from looking through the luridly awesome cover paintings found on my father’s reissue versions of the Barsoom books. I read them all in junior high, and then again in high school. So, when the movie came out, I was happy to see that the narrative translated so well. I’m not going to argue that John Carter is an original work by any means, even though it was at one time, but I do think that the film version does have some redeeming features that make it worth a watch.


Issue 3, April 2014

Twisting the temporal: revisiting Xbox | Images courtesy Arcade's Braid Written by Cheryl Cottrell-Smithof Number None, Inc. Humankind is obsessed with time travel. When you live in a universe where time is singularly linear—where time is an unstoppable force moving inexorably forward—imaginative and speculative minds will dwell on the idea of time that isn’t restricted to a straight, forward-moving path. They will consider alternatives. Time travel. Temporal manipulation. The resulting ideas will be used to inform movies, books, television shows, and video games. And, apparently, time distortion sells. Originally released six years ago in 2008 as the newest member of the Xbox 360’s Live Arcade collection, Braid has since become one of the most popular and critically acclaimed platformers of all time. When you start the game at the cusp of a bridge amidst a town that appears to be on fire, you 15 might have the distinct impression that you’re about to murder some zombies with your tiny little

might have the distinct impression that you’re about to murder some zombies with your tiny little ginger character. There are no zombies, but the ginger guy does know how to handle his shit. His name is Tim. The visuals are stunning. Each level is built to give a dreamy, fantastical feel, with fairy-tale castles, wrought iron bridges, and medieval-esque stone. The backgrounds cast light on the main character as he trundles through each new screen, all of them getting darker and grimmer as you progress and each one delivering a mindbender of a puzzle that will take you god-knows-how-long to complete. The puzzles. Oh, the puzzles. Braid allows you to manipulate time to solve each level, but you can never erase the time you spend swearing at the screen and ripping your hair out in frustration. As intelligent as you may be, there’s no doubt that you will struggle.

intelligent as you may be, there’s no doubt that you will struggle.

Tim is off on a search to rescue the Princess. She has been snatched by a horrible and evil monster. This happened because Tim made a mistake.

You need getHethemade puzzle Not justtoone. manypieces, mistakesright, duringsothethat timeyou can they put spent themtogether, together and try to figure out all those years ago. Memories ofthe story. You hear tell that, at the end of your journey, their relationship have become muddled, replaced there’s a beautiful princess you need to rescue. wholesale, but one remains clear:suggest the Princess Little hints throughout the game that you turning sharply away, her braid lashing withthat two have an established relationshiphimand contempt. you’re sorry for something you did. It’s mysterious and, of course, your gratification will be everYoubyneedyour to get the puzzle pieces, right, so delayed inability to get-that-fuckingthat you can put them together and try to figure out puzzle-piece. the story. You hear tell that, at the end of your journey, princess needtime to You’ll bethere’s able toa beautiful slow down time. you Move


Issue 3, April 2014 the story. You hear tell that, at the end of your journey, there’s a beautiful princess you need to rescue. Little hints throughout the game suggest that you two have an established relationship and that you’re sorry for something you did. It’s mysterious and, of course, your gratification will be ever-delayed by your inability to get-that-fuckingpuzzle-piece. You’ll be able to slow down time. Move time forward. Reverse time. Stand on a little glittery platform that makes you atemporal for as long as you want. Little moving platforms will continue to move back and forth; evil hedgehogs will impair your chances of reaching the long-awaited puzzle piece; killer rabbits will chase you, putting you in mind of Monty Python and the Holy Grail; and inbetween level monologues will give you clues about what exactly this “princess” means to you. During each instance of time reversal, you’ll hear the music play backwards. Sometimes, you can even stop it completely. It’s an eerie experience, stopping time within the game and looking at that dead silent screen. You know isn’t paused—that you can reverse your actions with the click of a button. That an instance of time can change the outcome of the level.

It’s as terrifying as real life, where one simple On that moment hung eternity. Time stood action can change the course of everything.

still. Space contracted to a pinpoint. It Here’s a spoiler, for those of you who haven’t was as though the earth had opened and played it. Avert your eyes for a moment if you don’t the skies split. felt as though he had want to know the One ending. been privileged to witness the Birth of the And you’d be missing out, because the ending is World... what brings this entire game together. On its own, Braid is brilliantly visual. Remarkably intelligent. With the ending, it’s a complete mindfuck. You get to the last level, the only one with a numeric name— 1—only to reach the princess’ house and stop. You don’t go forward anymore. There’s nothing around, no item to collect, no puzzle piece to pick up. The only thing you can do—and you realize this after trying everything—is reverse time.

16

change the outcome of the level. It’s as terrifying as real life, where one simple action can change the course of everything. Here’s a spoiler, for those of you who haven’t played it. Avert your eyes for a moment if you don’t want to know the ending. And you’d be missing out, because the ending is what brings this entire game together. On its own, Braid is brilliantly visual. Remarkably intelligent. With the ending, it’s a complete mindfuck. You get to the last level, the only one with a numeric name—1—only to reach the princess’ house and stop. You don’t go forward anymore. There’s nothing around, no item to collect, no puzzle piece to pick up. The only thing you can do—and you realize this after trying everything—is reverse time. So, you reverse time. What unfolds is a story practically unheard of for a basic platformer. You see the princess running from you…you, Tim, the red-headed little sweetheart…into the arms of a waiting knight, who whisks her away from the sad little ginger, making it increasingly clear that Tim is the stalker. The “horrible and evil monster” Tim originally bemoans in the epilogue is, in fact, himself. On that moment hung eternity. Time stood still. Space contracted to a pinpoint. It was as though the earth had opened and the skies split. One felt as though he had been privileged to witness the Birth of the World...

So, why should we care about a game that came out six years ago? Why are we even talking about something that is—by modern standards—fairly dated at this point in time? Braid, my friends, might have aged, but it has aged gracefully. If there’s one platformer that can stand up to the test of time, it’s this one. We all like letting go of our brains and playing Super Mario Bros. every once in a while, but Braid—no matter how many times you play it—will give your brain a kick in the balls.

originally bemoans in the epilogue is, in fact, himself. So, why should we care about a game that came out six years ago? Why are we even talking about something that is—by modern standards— fairly dated at this point in time? Braid, my friends, might have aged, but it has aged gracefully. If there’s one platformer that can stand up to the test of time, it’s this one. We all like letting go of our brains and playing Super Mario Bros. every once in a while, but Braid—no matter how many times you play it—will give your brain a kick in the balls. Braid deserves its critical acclaim simply because of its innovation. It deconstructs the very nature of princess-rescue-based platformers. Of playing a video game in which you are the hero. Braid takes these tropes and smashes them with a voyeuristic main character with rapey eyes. And for that—for Jonathan Blow’s remarkable vision— we have a game filled with immense replay value, brain-teasing puzzles, and a sense of unease that you may never be able to shake. No matter how much time passes.


Issue 3, April 2014

Make a statement in suspenders Written by Teresa Simmons | Images courtesy of Asos and thefashionfoot.com

Suspenders used to be worn simply for the purpose of holding your pants securely in place. Now, they are seen as a stylish accessory that every geek-to-be must have. Who needs a belt when you can strut your fabulous stuff in suspenders? The subtle charm of suspenders should be more than enough to win you over. Goodbye belt. Hello, suspenders.

that’s neither too skin-tight, nor too loose. If skirts aren’t your thing, switch it up with a pair of shorts, but stay away from the short shorts (you know why) and cut-off denim shorts. Nobody likes it when the 80s call and need a piece of your clothing back. Pair your cute suspender look with some equally cute flat shoes and you’re good to go!

The Casual Look

The Professional Look Suspenders worn with trousers and a button-down shirt is geek-chic with an I-look-like-I-work-for-DonaldTrump attitude. Wear a blue and white striped buttondown shirt with black wide-legged or boot-cut trousers to channel the Wall Street banker look. Pinstriped trousers are also a stylish choice. You can clip-on a pair of red suspenders for a pop of colour, or opt for suspenders in a neutral shade such as black, navy or gray. Neutral suspenders will go with just about anything in your wardrobe, and you’ll probably find yourself wearing them a lot more often. Still craving more colour? Wear red lip gloss and rock a pair of red patent leather kitten heels.

Suspenders add a punch of personality to the otherwise boring T-shirt and jeans ensemble. Before you ditch your belt for clip-on suspenders, though, you may want to keep the cut and rise of your jeans in mind. Wearing suspenders with a pair of jeans that are too highwaisted can be terribly uncomfortable and can create a look that’s much more geek than chic, which could be horror-movie scary. Go for medium-rise jeans that sit just below your waist. If you want to brighten up your outfit, wear suspenders and Chuck Taylor sneakers in a vivid, saturated colour like electric purple. Don’t be afraid to show off your swag!

The Cute Look A pencil skirt and blouse with suspenders creates an adorable outfit perfect for the weekends when you’re out and about strolling through comic bookstores and pretending not to scope out good-looking guys. You should feel comfortable and look chic at all times, so make sure you choose a pencil skirt with a slit at the back that’s neither too skin-tight, nor too loose. If skirts aren’t your thing, switch it up with a pair of shorts, but stay away from the short shorts (you know why) and cut-off denim shorts. Nobody likes it when the 80s call and need a piece of your clothing back. Pair your cute suspender look with some equally cute flat shoes and you’re good to go! The Professional Look

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Suspenders worn with trousers and a button-down shirt is geek-chic with an I-look-like-I -work-for-Donald-Trump attitude. Wear a blue and white striped button-down shirt with black wide-legged or boot-cut trousers to channel the

Anyone can wear suspenders and look good. It all comes down to how you wear them. Skinny, wide, pink or gray, suspenders can turn any outfit into a geek-chic statement. Just remember to wear your suspenders with a simple, classic outfit that will never go out of style and let your suspenders add a little somethin’ somethin’ to your overall look.


Issue 3, April 2014

LADY GEEKs uNITE!

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Ladies’ nights don’t have to be about cheap, watered-down cocktails. They aren’t always about sitting in a room with face packs on and spending exorbitant amounts of money on “all natural” facial products. There’s a race of women who don’t think a ladies’ night needs to be gender-specific. It might sound a little counter-intuitive, but hear me out. Comic books. Board games. Manga. They aren’t just for the boys anymore. Women across the world are filling out comic book stores in droves, both in front of and behind the sales counter. In an effort to bring these comic book-loving ladies together, Andrea Brown and Sylvia Douglas, employees of Edmonton’s Happy Harbor Comics, created a monthly event to do just that. LADY GEEKs uNITE (or #LGN) takes place each month at the Happy Harbor store on 104 Avenue between 7:00pm and 9:00pm. “Ladies’ night basically originated from the group the Valkyries, which was created by Kate Leth,” says Andrea. “Kate is an artist and creator herself,” says Sylvia. “She started the Valkyries to create a network for women who work in [comic]

Words and images by Cheryl Cottrell-Smith

Let’s get rid of the

“Kate is an artist and creator herself,” stigma. Comics are says Sylvia. “She started the Valkyries to for everyone. – create a network for women who work in [comic] shops.” Sylvia Douglas Female interest in comic books is exploding—either that, or it’s just coming out from under the covers. LADY GEEKs uNITE celebrates this interest and hopes to provide a safe space for people who want to learn more or who were originally put off by the genre’s maledominated nature. “What’s great about LADY GEEKs uNITE is that it’s creating a safe environment,” says Sylvia. “When I got comics as a kid—in junior high and high school—I hated going into comic book stores. It sucked. The staff were mean to me, but I had no other choice. And then when I got older, they were gross. It totally felt unsafe.” Those of us who have dabbled in some of the smaller, shadier comic book stores will know the truth of this statement. For many years, most of these stores weren’t frequented by a large number


comic book stores will know the truth of this statement. For many years, most of these stores weren’t frequented by a large number of women. “I’m not going to beat around the bush: the comic book industry is pretty sexist,” says Andrea. “We want people to feel safe buying comics here and not be judged…we want to encourage people to buy whatever they want.” It isn’t just women—LADY GEEKs uNITE is open to anyone looking for a safe, non-judgmental space in which to read and discuss comics. Non-gender, transgender, and even males who haven’t previously felt comfortable integrating into the world of comic books. The male resistance to women invading the comic book turf isn’t universal and can be practically nonexistent for many men. There are those, though, that feel very strongly about comic books becoming gender neutral. “For a long time, it was kind of a boy’s club,” says Sylvia. “They’re afraid they’re going to lose their pleasure entertainment and there’s nothing wrong with that. But when it affects how you’re treating the opposite gender, that’s a problem.” “Like at [conventions] and stuff, where girls dress in cosplay— people just grab their asses and take rude pictures,” says Andrea. “You just don’t feel safe.” Other than offering a space for people to purely enjoy comics, the LADY GEEKs uNITE event has big plans for its future development, including board game nights, potential Magic tournaments, and the possibility of featuring well-known guest speakers from within the industry. The first free event was held on April 3rd, during which attendees brought along a copy of their favourite comic and participated in a discussion about each comic’s 19merits.stThe next event, scheduled for May 1 , will feature discussion on which comic book inspired everyone

I’m not going to beat around the bush: the comic book industry is pretty sexist…we want people to feel safe buying comics here and not be judged…we want to encourage people to buy whatever they want. – Andrea Brown

discussion about each comic’s merits. The next event, scheduled for May 1st, will feature discussion on which comic book inspired everyone to begin heavily reading comics. “It’s going to be a primer for Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 3rd,” says Andrea. “People can keep their eyes out for titles that are free comics that day.” Whether you’re a hardcore comic fan already or simply want to learn more about the many different kinds available, LADY GEEKs uNITE will introduce you to some great comic literature and some even greater people. “We’re creating a space for people who want to enjoy these things,” says Sylvia. “Let’s get rid of the stigma. Comics are for everyone.”

Issue 3, April 2014


Issue 3, April 2014

Eric Silver’s CHOOSE YOUR OWN POKEMON ADVENTURE Part 3

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Issue 3, April 2014

Choose Your Own Pokémon

Written by Eric Silver | Images courtesy of Eric Silver and Nintendo Hey, everyone. We last left Ashley at the entrance to Santalune Forest. At the suggestion of Markus Wells, the first one to use our comments section, she'll be catching a ton of Pokémon and giving them unique nicknames. This week, we'll also be introducing a creative element to the way the story is written, courtesy of @TayJoyKay.

Adventure Chapter Three: Run, Santalune, Run!

Ha! Well, let's get this adventure going. Allons-y!

Santalune Forest I tiptoe through the fallen leaves on the forest’s floor. The crackling fills me with childish glee. The sun is bright. Warm. Shauna scampers to my side. Mother would never approve but, then again, she never has to know. “Where are you, Ashy?” My Shauna’s sultry voice dances into my welcoming ears. “Attendez-moi.”

“Someone must have dropped this!”

Shauna. I lose myself in her eyes for a moment.

I run over to a lost Pokéball resting among a gang of rocks clustered just off the path.

Suddenly, a red flash swoops inches in front of my face. The Caterpie frantically crawls up my leg for safety. I look down and hold out an empty Pokéball. It looks at me knowingly, and I accept it as part of my team.

Quelle mystère! Who could have dropped something so important? I pick it up and press the button, releasing the locking mechanism. A cloud of vapor billows from my hand as the ball disappears, and I’m left holding a potion.

I’ll wait for you forever. “Oh, Ashy! What did you find?” Instead of saying what I feel, I skip ahead, a smile as big as the moon between my chin and my nose. “Catch me if you can!” I run. She chases. I run. Round and round we go. There’s a giant Oran tree near the forest’s entrance that we playfully circle. “Oh! Quest-ce que c’est?” “Someone must have dropped this!” I run over to a lost Pokéball resting among a gang of rocks clustered just off the path.

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Quelle mystère! Who could have dropped something so important? I pick it up and press the button, releasing the locking mechanism. A cloud of vapor billows from my hand as the ball disappears, and I’m left holding a potion.

I stand silent, confused about what happened. “Those balls aren’t just for Pokémon, vous savez. Items can be shrunk and kept inside for safekeeping.” That’s good to know.

An angry squawking attracts my attention.

I wander ahead into a patch of grass, eager to find more hidden treasures. As I’m searching, my hand brushes something warm.

I stole your meal, huh? Well, c’est la vie!

“Regardez, Shauna. What a cute little worm!” A tiny green worm peeks out. It has an innocence in its eyes that fondly reminds me of Shauna. I lose myself in her eyes for a moment.

It dives at me, kicking up a gust of sand. “Bienvenue to the team, Worm. We’ll get to know each other soon, but there’s an aerial fight I don’t want to miss.” My little birdie hasn’t seen a battle, and I’m dying to see what he can do. I send him out to meet his fiery foe. They take to the sky!


Issue 3, April 2014 way she can. A glimmer catches my eye from behind a tree.

Finalement I’m almost at the exit. The trees are starting to stand further away from one another and there are more travellers congesting the narrow path. Shauna stops to help a boy’s hurt Metapod, the dear.

What’s that?

My little birdie hasn’t seen a battle, and I’m dying to see what he can do. I send him out to meet his fiery foe. They take to the sky! Pecking and clawing at each other. Feathers fall to the ground. Neither is slowing. They disappear for a moment through a tree, and I take the chance to check my Pokédex.

“Waaaa!” A petite jolie dashes out across my path, brandishing a bug catching net like some kind of divining rod. “You!” He shouts. “My stick led me to you! Fight me, so I can earn your heart.” One of his dirty eyelids shuts in an awkward wink. “And maybe more.” I chuckle. This boy has no chance of winning either the battle or my heart. And definitely not more. Steve (oh, Steve, my first real love) and I leap into action!

You have to know your enemy.

I turn what I hope is the last corner and there he is. That cochon, Calem. Except…he seems different somehow. Where the gentle breeze tries to hold me back, seemingly existing only to hinder me, it flows through him, caressing his elegant contours, sweeping tufts of hair perfectly along his brow. “You’re the first one through,” he says, taunting me from beneath a tussled mess as black as his heart. Who knows how long he’s been there--waiting, condescending. Like we’re below him. Daring us to race for second place, to be the one right beneath him.

Thrust! Parry! Aha! Touché! Fletchling and my Pidgey burst through a second tree and tumble out of the air. Whatever happened when they were out of sight clearly took its toll on both of them. It’s not enough to keep either down, however.

Steve’s graceful limbs strike like the finest epée, sending each bug back to its master as quickly as it challenges us.

This bird has a strong will. I have to have him.

The repartee is over quickly, like the boy’s sweet dreams of victory and love.

“Pidgey, that’s enough! I’ve got it from here.” My new desire evades my first attempt, and pops out of the second ball I throw, only making me need him more. But the third time’s always the charm! “I’m going to call him Firebird, and he will carry the weight of our adventure — and our love — on his little back.”

Who needs him?

As the sunlight’s warm embrace passes far overhead, more and more Pokémon join my team: Harry Potter, the Scatterbug, caught after it crawled onto our picnic blanket; my Caterpie army, which I amassed when my bag spilled open and all of my Pokéballs rolled into their stupid little heads while they were feeding on a pile of fallen leaves (forcing me to return to town to restock); Ben Drowned, the goofy Pikachu.

“That name is si belle,” Shauna coos. “So fitting.” “Now you have a little friend, Pidgey. Go rest now. Dream sweet birdy dreams.”

22

Even as I think this, I know the answer — I do. “Come, mes belles,” Calem calls over his shoulder. “There’s an inn in the next town. If you’re lucky there will only be one bed left.” His laugh chills me to the core. I nervously grab Shauna’s hand and follow him out of the forest.

Alright, people. That’s it for this chapter. What did you think of the genre shift? Is it something you’d want to see done differently in future chapters? How about character relationship developmenat, trainer choices, etc.? Let us know by tweeting @ericrsilver or @thepulppress with the hashtag #CYOPA.

I push forward, new chums at my side, a lovely young girl chomping at the bit to help me any way she can.

Image: pokedex entries

A glimmer catches my eye from behind a tree.

Finalement I’m almost at the exit. The trees


Issue 3, April 2014

Written by Cheryl Cottrell-Smith | Images courtesy of the eek! Comic and Pop Culture Fest

Tickets Weekend Price - $18 Day Admission - $12

We want to do this annually and have a great comic and pop culture show for the region and beyond to enjoy. – Rob LeLacheur, Director

Comic book nerds, pop culture fans, and general geekery aficionados - get ready for something completely different! From May 31 to June 1, Servus Place in St. Albert will play host to the eek! Comic and Pop Culture Fest, a brand new show for comic, pop culture, and sci-fi fans, artists, and creators. Two sections of the building will be filled with local and national artists, writers, performers, Lego fans, comics, pop culture exhibitors, and much more. For those who like to cosplay, there will be contests for best costumes. What can you expect from the exhibitors? Anything from graphic novel artists to Lego salespeople. Steampunk vendors to pop culture collectibles. Everything geeky to all things nerd-related. Notable exhibitors include Happy Harbor Comics, horror and dark fantasy artist Nat Jones, Fable Entertainment, Vicky Lau’s Vivid Vision, playwright and author Marty Chan, graphic designer and artist Sylvia Moon, and the Animethon 21 team, amongst many others. “We’ve put in lots of hard work and hours to make sure it’s a fun and entertaining show and we really feel it’s coming together nicely,” says Rob LeLacheur, the show’s Director. “We want to do this annually and have a great comic and pop culture show for the region and beyond to enjoy.” Sponsored by Shaw, the St. Albert Leader, Yelp, the Edmonton Sun, Pattison, Skybox Grill, and Guru Digital Arts College, eek!’s team hopes to bring a much-needed pop culture exhibition to the St. Albert and greater Edmonton area. Tickets are now available online at theeek.com. We’ll see you there!

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eek! Comic and Pop Culture Fest Saturday May 31 - Sunday June 1 Servus Place 400 Campbell Road St. Albert, AB T8N 0R8


being a bookworm “

Written by Cheryl Cottrell-Smith | Images courtesy Issue 3, April 2014 of Cheryl Cottrell-Smith and respective authors

When I was a young child, I constantly had my nose in a book. My parents, extended family, and family friends used to refer to me as a ‘bookworm,’ which I absolutely hated. To me, the term bookworm was offensive. It came across with a negative vibe, as if I chose to be anti-social because I didn’t like people. I didn’t like people. But that wasn’t why I read. I read because I was obsessed with books. Novels, in particular. I’d try to read at the dinner table, to my parents’ displeasure. I’d read upon waking, late into the night, and whenever we visited people. From Goosebumps to Dickens, I brought my books everywhere. On long road trips—which were, in fact, never that long because we lived in England—I’d attempt to read at night by the intermittent glow of the rapidly passing streetlights. It was a difficult task, since roads in England can get fairly windy and I’d always get carsick when reading in the car, day or night. I’ve skipped out on events, called in sick to work, and ditched boyfriends to finish a great novel. And, at the end of the day, it was completely worth it. Here are some stories from other bookworms and the lengths to which they’d go just to read a good book.

The day “Harry Potter” 7 came out, me and my colleague working in a bookshop bought a copy each and spent the entire shift reading. It was bliss. Whilst working in kitchens, instead of

On long road trips—which were, in fact, never that long because we lived in England— I’d attempt to read at night by the intermittent glow of the rapidly passing streetlights. It was a difficult task, since roads in England can get fairly windy and I’d always get carsick when reading in the car, day or night. I’ve skipped out on events, called in sick to work, and ditched boyfriends to finish a great novel. And, at the end of the day, it was completely worth it. Here are some stories from other bookworms and the lengths to which they’d go just to read a good book.

taking fag breaks, I would grab my book and go and stand next to the fishy bins of Loch Fyne and read for 10 minutes or so. It was lush. - Matilda Marshall, York, UK

I skipped

class at

university once to stay

and finish reading

“Dracula.”

- Jen Putnam, Augusta, Georgia I hid in the library and pulled an all-nighter to finish reading “Wild Swan” by

Celeste de Blasis. I was supposed to study for my final that was at 8am the next morning, but read instead…didn’t do too well on my final, but the

24

home

book was epic! - Zakhiyya Murji, Edmonton, Alberta


I used to hide

in my bedroom bathroom,

because it was the only light in my room that couldn’t be seen out of the windows by my parents on the second floor. I was leaned against the tub at 3:30am on a school night, shaking

my

head to stay awake so that I could keep reading the

“Wheel of Time” series.

Robert Jordan

- Dana Giesbrecht, Edmonton, Alberta

Skipped classes, cancelled plans, built elaborate

reading nests, made coffee at 3am to stay up and keep reading then going in to work the next day…

The “Farseer

Trilogy” had me in tears for hours at the end, so I had to cancel my plans on a Friday night because I was a wreck. The “Mistborn” series had me up until 4am or something when I had to work at 9am the next morning. – Sylvia Douglas, Edmonton, Alberta

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Issue 3, April 2014 At age 21, I moved

across the country to Seattle, where I got hired as a night janitor at a University of Washington teaching hospital. At first they assigned me to clean the surgeons' offices, which was perfect because it meant going in at 4:00pm when most of the surgeons were heading home. This meant I had an

entire floor of an empty office building completely to myself. It took roughly two hours to do the cleaning (surgeons aren't very messy, at least not when they aren't cutting into people) and I spent the rest of the time pacing the halls, twirling my keys, and reading in the Head of Surgery's office chair (which was immensely comfortable and cost more than my rent). After two or three months, I was transferred to a day-shift job in the main hospital building containing the burn unit and the pediatric ICU: literally the two saddest departments in any medical facility. Unlike my previous assignment, this one was both back- and heart-breaking, so I frequently needed to

sneak off to the broom closet

to read and clear my mind.

broom closet to read and clear my mind. It was at this time that I learned how to literally hide at work, by crouching down onto a stack of bulk soap boxes conveniently

hidden behind a pair of rolling trash bins. If a coworker were to peek his head in for a second, he'd miss me entirely. If he bothered to walk into the closet (which happened no more than twice the entire year I worked there), he'd reach me just as I began diligently opening a fresh case of soap. Of all the books I read that year, the one that sticks out is Philip Gourevich's

"We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families,"

an account of the Rwandan genocide. I got fired from that job for general dereliction of duty, but I don't think anyone ever cottoned on to my sneaky reading habits. – Jim Meakim, Fort Collins, Colorado


thepulppress.com

26

Issue 3, April 2014

Issue 3, April 2014

the pulp (Issue 3, April 2014)  

the pulp is an online magazine focused on pop, quirk, and nerd culture in Edmonton, Alberta.

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