Diversity in Comics and Young Adult Literature – Teen Book Board Edition

These Teen Book Board Members blew me away with their insightful observations. I gave a summary of their points below. The Board Members listened to an NPR segment about Diversity in Comics and shared their thoughts. I also included a hilarious and incredibly inciteful YouTube video about the problem with comic books that Board Member Josh M. contributed.  The video below is about the comic industry using publicity stunts (race) to seem like its being cutting edge but it is really all about sales.

http://www.npr.org/2014/08/01/337185850/diversity-in-comic-books

Keith: I didn’t think the Miles Morales, Ultimate Spiderman, would sell because when a classic is tweaked people don’t enjoy the change so they don’t buy it. But because it was a mixed kid people wanted to buy it even though the other changes weren’t any better.

Justin: Why would they make changes if they have only been targeting the people already reading it, the white readers?

Annabelle: It doesn’t make sense that it was geared towards the white male, not all white males like comic books.

Alexia: It shouldn’t even matter what race is reading it. It should all be equal.

Josh: It doesn’t surprise me because I already knew this, the whole black Spiderman, female Thor. I think it’s a big publicity stunt but only a little move forward socially. It reminds me of Metroid when they realized the character after taking off the space suit was a woman. Suddenly everyone wanted to buy it because of that.

Julien: It’s like Josh said, I already knew. I was thinking how much Miles Morales changed the industry. It changed the comics to TV series; the characters have been changed from white in the comics to non-white on TV.

Miss Christina: How can there be a diverse main character in Children’s/Teen books without tokenizing the character?

Christina: There is Liar by Justine Larbalestier, in the book there is a main character that is black with a storyline that could apply to any race. Boy 21 is also a book with a non-white character.

Josh: Most of these writers are just using their own experiences to write about. Most of these writers are white, so the books have white main characters.

Miss Christina: Why are most writers white?

Christina: This generation, the black generation wasn’t asked do you want to be a writer. There was a study about politicians where each male politician was asked at one point if he wanted to be a politician and none of the female politicians were ever asked. Maybe there is a generation that hasn’t been asked, do you want to be a writer?

The following video has all curse words bleeped (listen with caution):

Book Review – Million Dollar Arm – Guest Post: Justin R.

OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Justin is currently a student at Metropolitan Learning Center and a Prosser Teens Book Board Member.

Book               4/5 STARS

Movie              5/5 STARS

The Million Dollar Arm, by J.B. Bernstein, was a very good book based on a true story. This book really spoke to me. It was deep because in the novel,two Indian kids leave their country and their whole family to pursue a career in professional baseball. It is about growing and being open-minded about different cultures. A sports manager houses the two kids and the manager is a millionaire with a nice car and a nice house. He also finds the boys a trainer. He gets annoyed with them at times, but they are like the family he doesn’t have and he also respects them.

During a tryout, everything goes wrong. Very important scouts from MLB teams are there. They are trying to figure out if they want Dinesh and Rinku on their teams or not. Neither Dinesh nor Rinku get drafted. They plan to go back to their homes in India. J.B. then comes through for them. He schedules a second tryout for the boys, with the few scouts who didn’t go to the failed one. The boys are at their home field at USC and they do very well. They both get drafted to the Pittsburgh Pirates, moving on to having professional careers.

The movie, The Million Dollar Arm, was not very different from the book. The movie was even better in some parts but the story line was the same, since it was based on a true story. Rinku and Dinesh actors were not how I had pictured them. The only part of the movie different from the book, was at the end when Rinku and Dinesh display a part of their culture to J.B. and his soon-to-be girlfriend. Overall, the Million Dollar Arm franchise is very good and I enjoyed every single part of it.

Literary Pizza Tasting – A great success!

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The pizza tasting sponsored by Papa John’s was amazing. This program was in celebration of Teen Read Week 2014, Pizza Month, and the Prosser Teen Services two year anniversary. We had a great mix of adults and teens. I’m proud of the Teen Book Board members, they were amazing representatives of our Teen Services. Most importantly, we had a celebrity sighting, Philip Schenck! He is the Town of Bloomfield’s Town Manager!! It was a wonderful surprise and the man can really wear a suit.

Anyhow, Cedric at Papa John’s in Bloomfield on Park Avenue is one of the nicest and hard working men I have ever met. He spent the entire day before the program perfecting the ingredients and used food coloring to give the cheese really cool coloring. Please stop by his Papa John’s Bloomfield location and support him because his pizzas were really delicious!

The ingredients are as follows:

Pizza Book covers with ingredients

Thursday at the Con

I’ve been going to ComicConn for four years now and Thursdays were an exclusive day for professionals. They used to have massive giveaways of anything you could think of. The booths consisted of comic book publishers, tv shows, books publishers, movie companies, and video game makers. There was once a dumpster the size of a small living room filled with bags of free things. People were jumping inside! It was insane and it was wonderful.

This year, the professionals were in the minority and giveaways came with a purchase of something else. It was LAME. The mood was shot. The excitement was about that of people window shopping at a mall. There wasn’t anything cutting edge (sans the How to Train Your Dragon – Oculus game).

The best part was seeing graphic novel heavy hitters greeting their adoring fans. All thanks to image comics, I ADORE YOU IMAGE! Us civilians were able to meet Brian K. Vaughan of Y the Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways, Lost , and Saga, Nick Spencer of Morning Glories and Thief of Thieves, and current “It Girl” Robert Kirkman of The Walking Dead. I met Spencer and razzed him a little bit about where the Morning Glories plot is going. He assures me, with Joe Eisma at his side, that the entire story line is plotted out and it is “going as planned”. Mmmhmm. Joe and Nick make a handsome pair.

Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma

The next person I met was Brian K. Vaughan. What a pleasure. He is kind, genuine, grateful of admiration, and he seemed very empathetic. We hugged! I told him how Y the Last Man reignited my passion for reading and helped me decide to become a librarian. He is a great active listener and it meant so much to me. You can see me beaming in the photo and you know what else you can see in the photo? His eyes. You can tell Vaughan takes everything in and turns it into pure genius on the page. Meeting Vaughan is humbling because he is clearly at another level.

I was so star struck that I forgot to ask the big questions:
-Is 355’s name peace?
-Was your wife the inspiration for Alana nursing on the front cover? (Thank you for that cover! It glorifies all the hard work of nursing my baby boy. She looks like a superhero with her baby in one arm feeding him without any shame.)

Brian K. Vaughan and Teen Librarian Ms. Christina

Then I met Hodor. Game of Thrones’ lovable giant, who is probably Groot’s cousin.

The whole process of a Photo Opt at comic conn is awful. First, you pay ahead of time online or at a cash register. It feels so wrong, almost like paying for a friend. When it is time to line up it’s noticeable how other actors don’t have as many people in their line. I fought the urge to join Podrick’s line. I kept saying to myself, he is an adult, he’ll be fine (I couldn’t help wondering how I would feel if it were me). NYCC Staff led my line to a narrow hallway made of black curtains. My barcode is scanned and I was hastily corralled into an ominous curtain hallway. After a few confused (albeit, slightly frightened moments) I was pulled into a small black room of curtains. Sitting inside is my new friend Hodor that purchased I a few minutes with, a camera, and someone behind it shouting, “Look into the camera!” There is a very loud flash sound accompanied by someone shouting, “go, go, go!” I suddenly realization that I didn’t even buy minutes (as dirty as that felt), I bought very expensive seconds. It was paralyzing calculating that I paid $4 a second. The person ahead of me was herded out and then I was verbally shoved towards my paid for celebrity friend. Now mind you, I only ever heard Hodor say, Hodor. Kristian Nairn (Hodor) turned to me and said, Hi, how are you? I almost went cross eyed. Again I had to remind myself I’m MEETING a PERSON. I answered him, saying I was fine but I showed concern that he might be tired from all of the chaos (I was projecting). Oh, no! He reassured me. I’m feeling great. So I turned to the camera smiled and wished him, a good day.

Kristian Nairn / Hodor Game of Thrones and Teen Librarian Miss. Christina

Bob’s Burgers Sneak Peak – NY ComicCon

I went to Comicon and so did George Clooney. REALLY? Because absolutely no one was talking about it. I did see some tears when the Kirkman (Walking Dead) tickets for autographs ran out. There were defintily curse words of disbelief at the sight of Brian K. Vaughn (Y the Last Man, Runaways, Saga, Ex Machina). But not a peep about George.

I went to the panel for Bob’s Burgers and it was incredible. The entire cast had me dying with laughter and they graced us with some hilarious sneak peaks for next season. You’re welcome BTW for capturing and bringing to you this exclusive. I feel like I have some nerd street cred now!

I will be doing more posts about the Con soon.

The Gummy Bears of Hate and Destruction

I am so excited to bring to you the best set of reviews I have ever read in my life. Every time I’m bummed I read reviews for this particular Sugar Free Gummy Bears. I am going to quote below the top rated. I encourage you to read the rest online, they are all incredible in their own right. Get ready to cry with laughter. The other reviews include a dinner date gone wrong and a man with a stadium of people between himself and the toilet. This. Is. Schadenfreude.

Schadenfreude

Haribo Sugar Free Gummy Bears 5LB Bag

42,602 of 43,285 people found the following review helpful

Just don’t. Unless it’s a gift for someone you hate.

By Christine E. Torok on October 3, 2012

Size Name: 5 lb Verified Purchase

Oh man…words cannot express what happened to me after eating these. The Gummi Bear “Cleanse”. If you are someone that can tolerate the sugar substitute, enjoy. If you are like the dozens of people that tried my order, RUN!

First of all, for taste I would rate these a 5. So good. Soft, true-to-taste fruit flavors like the sugar variety…I was a happy camper.

BUT (or should I say BUTT), not long after eating about 20 of these all hell broke loose. I had a gastrointestinal experience like nothing I’ve ever imagined. Cramps, sweating, bloating beyond my worst nightmare. I’ve had food poisoning from some bad shellfish and that was almost like a skip in the park compared to what was going on inside me.

Then came the, uh, flatulence. Heavens to Murgatroyd, the sounds, like trumpets calling the demons back to Hell…the stench, like 1,000 rotten corpses vomited. I couldn’t stand to stay in one room for fear of succumbing to my own odors.

But wait; there’s more. What came out of me felt like someone tried to funnel Niagara Falls through a coffee straw. I swear my sphincters were screaming. It felt like my delicate starfish was a gaping maw projectile vomiting a torrential flood of toxic waste. 100% liquid. Flammable liquid. NAPALM. It was actually a bit humorous (for a nanosecond) as it was just beyond anything I could imagine possible.

AND IT WENT ON FOR HOURS.

I felt violated when it was over, which I think might have been sometime in the early morning of the next day. There was stuff coming out of me that I ate at my wedding in 2005.

I had FIVE POUNDS of these innocent-looking delicious-tasting HELLBEARS so I told a friend about what happened to me, thinking it HAD to be some type of sensitivity I had to the sugar substitute, and in spite of my warnings and graphic descriptions, she decided to take her chances and take them off my hands.

Silly woman. All of the same for her, and a phone call from her while on the toilet (because you kinda end up living in the bathroom for a spell) telling me she really wished she would have listened. I think she was crying.

Her sister was skeptical and suspected that we were exaggerating. She took them to work, since there was still 99% of a 5 pound bag left. She works for a construction company, where there are builders, roofers, house painters, landscapers, etc. Lots of people who generally have limited access to toilets on a given day. I can’t imagine where all of those poor men (and women) pooped that day. I keep envisioning men on roofs, crossing their legs and trying to decide if they can make it down the ladder, or if they should just jump.

If you order these, best of luck to you. And please, don’t post a video review during the aftershocks.

PS: When I ordered these, the warnings and disclaimers and legalese were NOT posted. I’m not a moron. Also, not sure why so many people assume I’m a man. I am a woman. We poop too. Of course, our poop sparkles and smells like a walk in a meadow of wildflowers. Thanks for all the great comments. I’ve been enjoying reading them and so glad that the horror show I experienced from snacking on these has at least made some people smile.

DEADPOOL: Accidentally on Purpose

A wonderful teen named Josh explained the origin story of Deadpool to me. I couldn’t believe that I was missing out on such an incredible part of the Marvel universe. It even includes a love triangle with Death, herself. Anyhow, I remember my first encounter with Deadpool in X-Men Origins, played by Ryan Reynolds where he… umm. Yeah, so I guess that explains why that failed. However, recently there was an “accidental” leak of Reynolds voicing Deadpool with all the wit and crazy a person has imagined Deapool to have. The best part about all the brand new excitement is that Josh convinced me to purchase a bunch of Deadpools. They actually all flew off the shelf within two days but I urge you to put them on hold for yourself ASAP by clicking the cover of the book below. (BTW remember your library card with you do this.) We also have a bunch more graphics and fiction ready for you to browse at Prosser. We have New Books and New Graphics web pages so you can see what we have. COME ON DOWN!

*UPDATE* Deadpool movie is now green-lit! See you in 2016 Reynolds. 

DEADPOOL “LEAKED” TRAILER

Complete Collection Volume 1

Complete Collection Volume 2

Complete Collection Volume 3

Complete Collection Volume 4

An Occurrence at Boardwalk Empire

HBO - Richard Harrow - gif

The final season of Boardwalk Empire started and I can’t stop mourning the death of Richard Harrow. He was the sharpshooting, World War I pal of Jimmy Darmody. Harrow wore a tin mask to cover up the devastating injury he received during the war. At that time medicine had evolved significantly and there were people surviving horrific traumas. This left a slew of war veterans who survived with disfigurements. A solution to these people going out in public were tin masks. Although it covered half of his face he gave the most emotionally powerful scenes in the whole show. **SPOILER** I noticed that Harrow’s death scene was an homage to a special and rare Twilight Zone episode, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. If you haven’t seen either it’s worth your time. Nothing has quite haunted me like that episode. Click below for two of the most emotional and artistic cinematic death scenes ever.

http://youtu.be/d5GZJQYYVAE <Click for Richard Harrow’s Death (YouTube won’t share.)

**UPDATE**  It turns out that An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge is a short story by Ambrose Bierce. The short story was featured in Men At War edited by Ernest Hemingway. Believe it or not, it’s at PROSSER!!! We have it located at the branch. Put it on hold by clicking the cover of the book (remember your library card). The second to last passage in the story:

“Doubtless, despite his suffering, he fell asleep while walking, for now he sees another scene – perhaps he has merely recovered from a delirium. He stands at the gate of his own home. All is as he left it, and all bright and beautiful in the morning sunshine. He must have travelled the entire night. As he pushes open the gate and passes up the wide white walk, he sees a flutter of female garments; his wife, looking fresh and cool and sweet, steps down from the verandah to meet him. At the bottom of the steps she stands waiting, with a smile of ineffable joy, an attitude of matchless grace and dignity. Ah, how beautiful she is! He springs forward with extended arms. As he is about to clasp her, he feels a stunning blow upon the back of his neck; a blinding white light blazes all about him, with a sound like the shock of a cannon – then all is darkness and silence!”


COVER Men At War - Owl Creek

HBO Richard Harrow

Frozen 2: Who left the Fridge Open? (GUEST BLOG POST)

OUR GUEST BLOGGER: Julien is a recent high school gradute and Prosser Teen Veteran. 

Trust me I love 3D animation. The details of Elsa and Anna’s hair, and the ice…Frozen Fist Bump

(No. I didn’t draw this.)

For those of you who couldn’t get enough of Frozen, there was a live action Elsa, on ABC’s Once upon a Time, a month ago or so. (Christina: HOW SICk! I had no idea but I did find an awesome .gif of it).

Winter's Coming

Winter’s Coming…

But that was so long ago. There is an upcoming Frozen short, called, (Oddly enough) ‘Frozen Fever’, which some are calling Frozen 2, set to come out in Spring 2015.

*screams of Frozen fans* MY EARS!

So the plot of the short film. ‘…It’s Anna’s birthday and Elsa and Kristoff are determined to give her the best celebration ever, but Elsa’s icy powers may put more than just the party at risk.’ According to blogs.disney.com

HOLD IT!!

I thought Elsa powers were fixed when she learned the secret. Like, she had the ice show and everything at the end of the movie. (Christina: What’s with these people having terrible birthdays and childhoods?)

So she still has the problems?!

I guess we have to wait and see what Spring 2015 has in store for us.

(Christina: So we have the original Frozen its true title is The Snow Queen in the children’s department. It’s written by Hans Christian Anderson. We also have all of the Fables graphic novels that Once upon a Time and Grimm ripped off its main storylines from. Click on the image to place a hold with your library card).

COVER Snow QueenCOVER Fables

“If the ratings don’t kill us, the hormones will!” Happy 25th SBTB! 90’s throwback

Like you young one’s care…

Teen Librarian Christina Hill with her first love, Zack Morris.

Teen Librarian Christina Hill with her first love, Zack Morris.

I felt inexplicable joy from beginning to end watching The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story on Labor Day.  Based on all of the reviews I saw this morning, I might be the only person who loved it. It was so meta-! Like a Saved by the Bell episode about Saved by the Bell. I totally ate it up. In my day, we yelled, “OOOOOOOOOO” for every kiss. Then in college I had late nights with VHS SBTB on mute making up lines. Tell me something you younger Millennials, what do you have that comes close?!

SBTB just turned 25 years old, which makes me one year closer towards “don’t ask me my age” territory. I would also like to point out that “Zack or Slater” is totally the original “Team Jacob or Edward”. I was always an unshakable Team Zack.

I found an amazing youtube video that has teens react to my 90’s nostalgia. OMG and one of them is totally Arya Stark/ Masie Williams (from Game of Thrones!!!!!!!!). I think the only way to make this video more awesome is if Masie commented about SBTB in character as Arya. Anyhow, click below for Teens React to Saved by the Bell.