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Halloween for Scaredy Cats*- aka Bleak, Bizarre & Beautiful Continued.

by Adrienne - 4 Comment(s)

So it's a well known fact that I DON'T do horror! No books, no movies, no tapes (especially NOT of The Ring..), no campfires ghost stories, no nothing, - etc, etc. add into infinitum. It's not so much what the actual books and movies do themselves to creep me out.. but what my imagination does to itself afterwards... for like 6 months, or a year, or however long it takes to make me sleep NOT at night & behave like jitter bug all day. Call me a wimp. I Don't care. I know there are others out there like me. As they say "You are Not Alone..." . So... If you are looking for someone to recommend you the most gruesome, fearsome, awesomest scares... that would NOT be me. Hence the title "Halloween for Scaredy Cats"

I DO however love weird, strange and slightly scary things, like pet vampires, spider fairies, and Harry Potter. The Wikkeling by Steve Arnston falls into this category. Scary - but not, the illustrations however are cool and strange enough for all. A mix of twisted B/W silhouettes ala Arthur Rackham and detailed pencil/watercolour collages in the vien of Tony Diterlizzi (Spiderwick), illustrator Daniela Jaqlenka Terrazinni does a good job of making the book absolutely intriguing.

Speaking on DiTerlizzi his black line ink drawing in Mary Botham-Howitt's 1829 poem "The Spider and the Fly" are definitely shall we say... juicy.

And Vampires? Well if you like Vampires you might actually hate this book. but if you can twist your head around a Vampire being CUTE, yes as in cuddly, then Hipira - a collaboration of Katsuhiro Otomo & Shinji Kimura (who collaborated on Steamboy) is for you. Funny and visually delightful especially if you like square spirals, square spirals, square spirals, square...

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! * this blog is dedicated to all my fellow scardy cats out there - I know you're there ;)-

"Puss in Boots"

by Alexandra - 0 Comment(s)

Puss in Boots is back for ONE MORE ADVENTURE, but this time he's flying solo! Puss hears of a legendary treasure at the top of a magical beanstalk, and decides to go after it. Lots of swashbuckling fun, pop culture digs, and some over-the-kids'-heads humour, "Puss in Boots" is guaranteed to be a good time.

Want to win tickets? Just tell us the name of the Actor who voices Puss, and one other movie he's been in, and you'll be entered for the draw!

Leave your entries in the comments box below, and don't forget to give us your name and a phone number so we can contact you! (Your information will NOT be published anywhere!)

Just TRY to go to this movie and not have fun... I dare you.


Congratulations to our Winners; Rosemary, Rhonda, Greg, Shushma, Aiza, Karen, Bethany, Cynthia, and Adrienne

Keep checking back with Movie Maniacs and the TeenZone for more contests, prizes and lots of event info!

Teen Read Week Photography Contest

by Jilliane - 0 Comment(s)

Teen Read Week Contest Banner

Teen Read Week is from October 16th -- October 22nd.

To celebrate we are having a photo contest with the YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association)

The Challenge: Choose an awesome book and take a photo that visually represents it in a interesting, unique way.


  • YALSA prize: an e-reader loaded with all sorts of awesome books as well as a signed copy of Jay Asher's new book Future of Us.
  • CPL prize: A gift package from Calgary Public Library including a gift certificate to Chapters Indigo.

Contest rules: Because we are running the contest with YALSA, we are following their rules.

How to enter: You need to enter your photo in both contests to be eligible for both prizes. To enter YALSA's contest send your photo here. and to enter CPL's contest upload your photo to Teens Create and email it to , please include your name in the email.

For more info email

Deadline: October 31st

Bleak, Bizarre, Beautiful

by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

Fall is a Beautiful, Bleak, Bizarre and Bountiful season. Things start falling apart and looking strange, half eaten, fiery and orange. You can smell the death and decay, feel the sting of the wind, and the wind of things slowly but surely changing into the mood for Halloween. Crisp fall leaves fall down making us cold and wanting to snuggle up with a good cozy book. It is a suitable time to explore the bizarre. We have some amazing YA Graphic Novels (aka comic books) that have beautiful art and strange stories. So much so they are more like ART novels. The black ink drawing's in Salem Brownstone could be compared to Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations of Salome by Oscar Wilde. An unusual story involving an unexpected inheritance, a contortionist, the circus and Salem's mission to battle out evil using his amoeba like familiar and a crystal ball to restore the balance of good in the world. The black and white graphic detail is stunning. More like Art Nouveau gone comic book.

For Bizarre/Strange Steampunk is the New Black with Tim Burton's new Alice in Wonderland movie being exemplary of this style. We have a new cool graphic novel inspired by the movie, the dvd, blu-ray, 2 movie book (s), and the CD. Avril Lavigne who composed the title track Alice on this album: Almost Alice is playing in Calgary at the Saddledome tonight! (October 11th). Rounding this out are 3 YA Graphic Novels that are definetly NOT childish: Alice in Wonderland (based on the new film), Wonderland (a fun re-imagining) and Hatter M, vol.1: The Looking Glass Wars (a little bit like Mad Hatter Karate!).

Alice is considered to be the first book that was written not as a moral tale for children but with the specific enjoyment of it's audience in mind. Technically classified as Non-sense Literature and having never lost it's grip on our imaginations, these books do much more than entertain. When our lives are turned upside down,

when we fall through the rabbit hole, when we enter the matrix: they are tales of survival in strange and bizarre circumstances. They stretch our minds and imaginations, enabling us to conjure solutions to the strange sudden bizarre and REAL events of our lives - like your grandfather dying, suddenly growing pubic hair (how weird was that!), moving to a new house, having sex for the first time, finding out you have an unknown sibling, accidentally being pregnant, being kicked out of your house, etc. etc., etc. At the library we have 11 illustrated versions of Wonderland, two of my favourite being Ralph Steadman's which isalso very Art nouveau/Aubrey Beardsley-ish and Robert Ingpen's 2009 edition illustrated with finely detailed pencil/watercolour illustrations from unusual perspectives. This is my favourite Alice to date.

Paul Stewart's Edge Chronicle's illustrated by Christopher Riddell are also fantastically strang. Riddell's The Emporer of Absurdia definitely falls into Dr. Suess territory both in terms of graphic illustration and imagination. There are even echos of Dali. Fine line work and stunning hat collections!

Shaun Tan has written some great books for down days. These include The Red Tree, The Arrival (a YA graphic novel) and The Lost Thing expanded as Lost & Found and recently made into a short animated film. Watch the Trailer here! The Lost Thing reflects on the doldrums of conformity and things that just don't quite fit in - highlighting the importance and value of the weird and the wonderful. Happy Fall!

..... to be contiued (we have such a beautiful, bleak & bizarre collection you can look forward to more!)

Dance Dance Revolution

by Alexandra - 4 Comment(s)

Okay... so the first time I saw the original "Footloose", I have to admit, I thought the premise was totally ridiculous. As IF anyone would or could forbid an entire town from DANCING!

I mean, not only would that be impossible to enforce, but it is also entirely ludicrous to imagine.

I didn't really like the first "Footloose" at all. Kevin Bacon really does creep me right out.

But then I did some thinking. And here's what I came up with:

People have banned weirder things than dancing before... China banned kissing and Russia banned Emo's, for crying out loud!

And what's more fun for ANYONE than the things you're not allowed to do? (Don't tell anyone you heard that here...) I mean... we go crazy for banned books and restricted music and controversial art... Forbidden = Awesome.

So I've decided I'm gonna go see the NEW "Footloose". It's still about a town banning rock and dancing, it's still poking some good-natured fun at hick-life (Y'all get it, we're from Cowtown!) and it's STILL pretty ridiculous. BUT! It's got Julianne Hough. And she's great. And the dancing isn't line-dancing, it's like stomping the yard! And the soundtrack is sick... there's a song by Victoria Justice. And the guy that got Kevin Bacon's role is actually pretty cute.

If this all sounds good to you, Calgary Public Library's MOVIE MANIACS blog is giving away FREE double-passes to an advanced screening next week, AND there's a killer ultimate Prize Pack. To win, just go HERE.

And remember... sometimes you just gotta CUT LOOSE.

gLeek out

by Alexandra - 3 Comment(s)

Alright... It's time for me to come clean about something... I'm a not-so-closeted gleek, and I feel like it's high-time I shared it with you guys.

I love Glee. I love the music, the over-the-top drama, the comedic timing, the great talent, the fast-paced narratives, the sets, the pretty faces, the 3D concert movie. I follow all of the stars on twitter. I have a shrine to Darren Criss on my bulletin board. I want to be Jane Lynch when I grow up.

But here's the thing... despite all of that, there is something about Glee that really, really irks me.

It's the cultural stereotypes that they perpetuate -- YES perpetuate, NOT disintegrate. For all of the good that Glee has done for raising arts-awareness in schools across North America, for all the attention it has brought to the difficulties of ostracized kids or hard-done-by educators, Glee STILL perpetuates far too many stereotypes for it to be doing much good at all.

The cheerleaders are stupid, bi#©hy, or knocked-up at 16. The Quarterback is more than a little dim. The Guidance Counsellor has her own undealt-with Mental Health issues. The black chick is a total diva complete with finger-snapping attitude and quips about her weave. The gay guy isn't just flaming, he's completely on fire... I can do this for every single character on the show, because the show does it to itself.

And sometimes, it is absolutely hilarious. I understand that stereotypes are a fast way to make a joke that everyone can laugh at, especially if the person you're laughing at is laughing too (that's how it works, right?). I understand that you need to reduce a cast of dozens into easily-identifiable traits so that viewers can keep track of everyone. In fact, the episode when Sue Sylvester does a roll-call for every minority student in the Glee Club is a self-conscious reference to what the show does every day:

"Wheels! Gay Kid! Asian! Other Asian! Aretha! Shaft!" she calls, inviting each student to join her "Rainbow Tent" of acceptance.

But here's the thing. When Sue does it we know it's funny, because her character is CLEARLY racist, mean, and slightly sociopathic. No one needs to call her out on being those things, because she knows them about herself.

But what about when Mr. Shu does it? Why does Mercedes only get to sing Motown classics or belt out the high notes after one of Rachel's solos? The show makes a joke about it every other episode... but they've been doing that for three seasons and still haven't changed it!

Why does Kurt ALWAYS sing Broadway Showtunes or songs written for women? (One of my Out friends told me the other day that Kurt's character does absolutely NOTHING to help the plight of "his people"...) Why does Santana ONLY sing songs that reflect her struggle with her sexual identity? SURE that's a huge thing she's going through, but there's more to her than that!

And here's the problem... alternating viewpoints mean that characters are continually getting slammed on the backburners. Unless the episode is focusing on their one specific storyline (Kurt's relationship to his dad, Santana and Britney's relationship, Artie's handicap...) and they get the spotlight for half an hour, each character is just left to sway in the background (like props) and are LUCKY to have a joke about their stereotype thrown their way. Oh... today is the Kurt and Blaine show? Well, we'll have Britney say something stupid and have Santana look at her lustily... that'll keep people interested in them! Finn and Rachel episode? Make Puck say something about Lauren being hot and fat, and show Artie's new flashers for his wheelchair!

This week's episode is called "Asian F". Mike (the OTHER Asian), receives an A- on an assignment, which apparently is the equivalent of a Fail for Asian students. His parents want him to quit the Glee club and focus on his schoolwork.

Funny, right? But is that because he's Asian, and all Asian kids have more parental pressure to do well in school than other students? We haven't heard ANYTHING so far about Mike being scholastically-inclined -- he's always been The Dancer. Is this a chance for character-development or just another stereotype to use as comedic fodder before we lose track of Mike again?

And does any of this even matter? Am I thinking WAY too much about a show that doesn't promise anything more than a little bit of fun and music for an hour a week? Are my hopes too high? Am I wrong and these stereotypes ARE doing some good in a twisted, backhanded way? Am I completely losing it and this is the whole POINT of the show???

Weigh in!

And if you're like me, and you just can't get past the LOVE part of your love/hate relationship with Glee, get your fix today from the Calgary Public Library! We've got everything from CD's and Sheet Music (for your OWN budding Show Choir) to full Seasons, guidebooks, and novelizations!