6. May 2016 09:40
It's coming, it's coming!! Tampa Bay Comic Con is coming back to the Tampa Convention Center August 5-7. Click HERE to get your tickets.
I am so excited to be able to go this year and it falls on my birthday weekend too!!!
Of course, I had to share some of the books available in the Tampa library system to help you get your geek on!! This list was curated by a colleague and I added a few of my faves. Happy Reading!
Fellside by M.R. Carey Jess Moulson is convicted of murder. But it's a murder she can't remember committing. Nothing is quite clear from the drug-fueled night when a blaze set in her apartment killed the little boy upstairs. But when the media brands Jess a child killer, she starts to believe it herself. Now she's on her way to Fellside, the biggest, most formidable women's prison in Europe, standing in the bleak Yorkshire moors. But Jess won't be alone in her prison cell. Lurking in the shadows is an unexpected visitor . . . the ghost of the ten-year-old boy she killed. He says he needs her help - and he won't take no for an answer.
The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who by Simon Guerrier & Dr. Marek Kukula With commentary that explores the possibilities of time travel, life on other planets, artificial intelligence, parallel universes and more, Simon Guerrier and Dr. Marek Kukula show how Doctor Who uses science to inform its unique style of storytelling—and just how close it has often come to predicting future scientific discoveries. This book is your chance to be the Doctor's companion and explore what's out there. It will make you laugh, and think, and see the world around you differently.
The Doctors Are In by Graeme Burk & Robert Smith From his beginnings as a crotchety, anti-heroic scientist in 1963 to his current place in British pop culture as the mad and dangerous monster-fighting savior of the universe, the titular character of Doctor Who has metamorphosed in his 50 years on television. And yet the questions about him remain the same: Who is he? Why does he act the way he does? What motivates him to fight evil across space and time? This is a guide to the Doctor himself who he is in his myriad forms, how he came to be, how he has changed (within the program itself and behind the scenes)... and why he’s a hero to millions.
Cosplay World by Brian Ashcraft & Luke Plunkett Filled with striking images of costume play from around the world, this definitive look at the global phenomenon known as "cosplay" examines its evolution from the fringes of society to the spotlight of modern culture. Cosplay World features over 200 compelling photographs, showcasing everything from campy 1970s costumes to cutting-edge suits engineered in workshops and built using space-age materials. The result is both a celebration of and an informed look at a popular means of self-expression that continues to fascinate.
Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide by David S. J. Hodgson & Nick von Esmarch This staggeringly complete guide is stuffed with all the information you'll need to survive and thrive in Fallout 4. Your ultimate Wasteland companion: walkthroughs and detailed maps give you all the strategies, locations, items, and loot. Specs and reference data for all the perks, armor, weapons, items, and creatures you'll encounter. Complete crafting and workshop references detail the thousands of items you can collect, upgrade, and build. Free Mobile-Friendly eGuide— Unlock the enhanced eGuide for access to updated content, all optimized for a second-screen experience.
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs A feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom shows females how to do such geeky things as make nerdy friends, rock awesome cosplay, defeat Internet trolls, and attend their first con.
Cool Japan Guide: Fun in the Land of Manga, Lucky Cats and Ramen by Abby Denson This graphic travel guidebook offers an exploration of Japanese culture from the perspective of a cartoonist, including overviews of Japanese food, geek culture, including a manga market, unique shopping experiences, zen gardens, bullet trains and cosplay festivals.
The Wild World of Gaming Culture by Arie Kaplan Young gamers who wonder what's inside their Xbox or how those dramatic graphics are created will come away from these satisfying volumes with plenty of facts. This book introduces information about software, game engines, famous gaming developers, and careers. The history of video games and gaming's physical and educational benefits are also covered.
Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-el, Maleficent, and the Mcflys Teach Us About Raising a Family by Stephen H. Segal, Valya Dudycz Lupescu & Greg Christman From Batman to Charlie Bucket, from Meg Murry to the Venture Brothers, every hero of science fiction, heroic fantasy, or speculative literature is the product of parental influences. This collection of pithy mini essays and charming illustrations offers short, sweet, and deep thoughts about parenting as exemplified by the most memorable parent-child pairings: Vader and Luke, Spock and Sarek, Peter Parker and Aunt May, even Pinocchio and Gepetto. Earth’s Mightiest Parents reveals the profound child-rearing advice (and mistakes) hidden in geek pop culture. What would Vader do? Now geek parents of all stripes can find out, using these life lessons to raise a next generation of their own.
The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us by Rosanna Pansino A reference for bakers of all experience levels shares a variety of fun, photographed projects that draw their inspiration from video games, science fiction, math, comics and other nerdy things, including such recipes as Apple Pi Pie, the Chocolate Chip Smart Cookie, Volcano Cake, Dinosaur Fossil Cake, Moon Phase Macaroons and the Periodic Table of Cupcakes.
The Master Guide to Drawing Anime: How to Draw Original Characters from Simple Templates by Christopher Hart, Anzu, Ero-Pinku, Inma R. & Tina Francisco Nothing brings anime artists more satisfaction than creating original characters to use in a comic strip or graphic novel. Bestselling how-to-draw author Christopher Hart helps them reach this goal by providing insight into the six most popular anime types: schoolgirls, schoolboys, preteens, vengeful bad guys, humorous personalities, and fantasy figures. He supplies templates for each; an extensive array of “menus” of head and body types, outfits, and accessories; and detailed, accessible, step-by-step demonstrations and drawing exercises.
How to Draw Fantasy Manga by Marc Powell and David Neal Wizards, monsters, and dragons are common sights in the pages of fantasy manga. Readers will be able to draw these fantasy creatures and many more by following clear instructions designed for young artists of all skill levels. Basic manga drawing techniques are taught in accessible ways and accompanied by bright illustrations of popular fantasy manga characters. Step-by-step instructions guide readers as they draw, and each step is paired with a detailed drawing to aid visual learners. Additional drawing tips help readers add to their artwork through details such as unique special effects.
Ten Billion Tomorrows: How Science Fiction Technology Became Reality and Shapes the Future by Brian Clegg Ten Billion Tomorrows brings to life a whole host of science fiction topics, from the virtual environment of The Matrix and the intelligent computer HAL in 2001, to force fields, ray guns and cyborgs. We discover how science fiction has excited us with possibilities, whether it is Star Trek's holodeck inspiring makers of iconic video games Doom and Quake to create the virtual interactive worlds that transformed gaming, or the strange physics that has made real cloaking devices possible. Mixing remarkable science with the imagination of our greatest science fiction writers, Ten Billion Tomorrows will delight science fiction lovers and popular science devotees alike.
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew Meet Charlie Chan Hock Chye, the greatest comic book artist you've probably never heard of. When he started making comics in Singapore as a boy of 16 in 1954, Chan expected fame and fortune to quickly follow. But just as Singapore's road to independence would be full of twists and turns, so too would Chan's own journey as an artist. Splicing together a dizzying array of art styles, genres and forms, Sonny Liew's multilayered graphic novel is a celebration of life, comics and storytelling. The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye is a witty and innovative work that challenges the possibilities of the comics medium, creating a double-edged history, pulsing with the tensions and wonders of lived experience, its friendships, first loves and heartaches.
The Amazing Spider-Man / Inhuman / All-New Captain America: Inhuman Error by Jeff Loveness, Alec Morgan, Luca Pizzari & Ryan Lee A blockbuster three-part story spanning Amazing Spider-Man, Inhuman and All-New Captain America starts here! Something BIG wants to destroy New Attilan. The fact that New Attilan is in the Hudson River puts Manhattan and Spider-Man right in its crosshairs! Jeff Loveness (The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Death of Wolverine: Logan’s Legacy) pens all three chapters with tremendous artists!
Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice: The Art of the Film by Peter E. Aperlo & Geoff Johns This official companion takes an in-depth look at the artwork and design of 2016’s most anticipated movie, including the earliest concept sketches of the Batcave, all the way through the set-building process, to the final version seen on screen. It explores Metropolis and Gotham City from the streets to the skies and showcases the costumes, weaponry, vehicles, allies and enemies of our two heroes. Packed with stunning concept art, Zack Snyder’s storyboards, blueprints, costume detail and behind-the-scenes shots from the set, this book is an invaluable insight into the world of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Tech Manual by Adam Newell, Sharon Gosling & Patrick Tatopoulos Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Tech Manual is a definitive guide to the weaponry and props created for the movie. It closely examines the Utility Belt, the Batwing, grappling hook and batarang. Everything in the Batcave is explored down to the construction of the set and the graphics from Bruce Wayne’s mainframe. This official volume also goes deeper in to the world of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, showcasing Superman’s Kryptonian suit and Wonder Woman’s iconic weaponry.
The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon Since his creation, Batman has been many things: a two-fisted detective; a planet-hopping gadabout; a campy Pop-art sensation; a pointy-eared master spy; and a grim and gritty ninja of the urban night. For more than three quarters of a century, he has cycled from a figure of darkness to one of lightness and back again; he’s a bat-shaped Rorschach inkblot who takes on the various meanings our changing culture projects onto him. How we perceive Batman’s character, whether he’s delivering dire threats in a raspy Christian Bale growl or trading blithely homoerotic double-entendres with partner Robin on the comics page, speaks to who we are and how we wish to be seen by the world. A witty, intelligent cultural history from NPR book critic Glen Weldon explains Batman’s rises and falls throughout the ages—and what his story tells us about ourselves.
Doctor Who: 365 Days of Memorable Moments and Impossible Things by Justin Richards For more than half a century, Doctor Who has entertained and enthralled fans with the time-traveling adventures of the Doctor. From the first glimpse of a police telephone box in a Totter’s Lane junkyard to the fall of the Time Lords’ home planet, Gallifrey, Doctor Who has provided a near-inexhaustible list of indelible memories. Doctor Who: 365 Days of Memorable Moments and Impossible Things is a unique and captivating chronicle of those moments—flashes of drama or humor, terror or joy, for each and every day of the year.
Minecraft: An Unofficial Guide With New Facts and Commands by Concrafter An essential and entertaining users' guide to Minecraft by a wildly popular YouTube phenom! This full color, user-friendly guide to one of the most popular computer games in the world is written by THE Minecraft expert in Germany, 19-year-old ConCrafter, who has more than 1.1 million followers on YouTube. In this book – which is part guide and part gaming memoir – ConCrafter shares personal stories alongside new Minecraft tricks, awesome commands that gamers will love, and exclusive facts that will blow readers' minds.
The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Phil Szostak, Rick Carter & Lucasfilm Ltd Step inside the Lucasfilm art departments for the creation of fantastical worlds, unforgettable characters, and unimaginable creatures. The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will take you there, from the earliest gathering of artists and production designers at Lucasfilm headquarters in San Francisco to the fever pitch of production at Pinewood Studios to the conclusion of post-production at Industrial Light & Magic—all with unprecedented access. Exclusive interviews with the entire creative team impart fascinating insights in bringing director J.J. Abrams’s vision to life; unused “blue sky” concept art offers glimpses into roads not traveled.
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger College grad Bailey Chen has all of the usual new-adult demons: no cash, no job offers, and a rocky relationship with Zane, the only friend still around when she moves back home. But her demons become a lot more literal when Zane introduces Bailey to his cadre of monster-fighting bartenders. It turns out supernatural creatures are stalking the streets of Chicago, and they can be hunted only with the help of magically mixed cocktails: vodka grants super-strength, whiskey offers the power of telekinesis, and tequila lets its drinker fire blasts of elemental energy. But will these supernatural powers be enough for Bailey and a ragtag band of mixologists to halt a mysterious rash of gruesome deaths? Includes 13 cocktail recipes from an ancient book of cocktail lore.
Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older Two decades and two major elections after a powerful search engine monopoly pioneers the switch from warring nation-states to a global microdemocracy, three high-ranking political insiders struggle to advance their respective agendas in the face of increasingly corrupt adversaries. A first novel.
Admiral by Sean Danker He is the last to wake. The label on his sleeper pad identifies him as an admiral of the Evagardian Empire—a surprise as much to him as to the three recent recruits now under his command. He wears no uniform, and he is ignorant of military protocol, but the ship’s records confirm he is their superior officer. Whether he is an Evagardian admiral or a spy will be of little consequence if the crew members all end up dead. They are marooned on a strange world, their ship’s systems are failing one by one—and they are not alone.
Company Town by Madeline Ashby A bodyguard, self-defense expert and fighter living aboard a city-sized oil rig off the Canadian Maritimes is hired to train and protect the youngest child of a rich and powerful family from death threats coming from another timeline.
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and the those they thought were gods changes forever.
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang Stories of Your Life and Others presents characters who must confront sudden change—the inevitable rise of automatons or the appearance of aliens—while striving to maintain some sense of normalcy. In the amazing and much-lauded title story, a grieving mother copes with divorce and the death of her daughter by drawing on her knowledge of alien languages and non-linear memory recollection. A clever pastiche of news reports and interviews chronicles a college's initiative to "turn off" the human ability to recognize beauty in "Liking What You See: A Documentary." With sharp intelligence and humor, Chiang examines what it means to be alive in a world marked by uncertainty and constant change, and also by beauty and wonder.
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Storybook Collection by Marvel Read the adventures of Marvel's greatest Super Heroes as they save the world and the universe!
Cosplay in Libraries: How to Embrace Costume Play in Your Library by Ellyssa Kroski Cosplay, comics, anime, and geek culture have exploded into the mainstream over recent years and have resulted in a thriving community of costume enthusiasts and pop culture fans. Libraries on the leading edge are already embracing cosplay by integrating this new worldwide sensation into their programming and events. Cosplay in Libraries: How to Embrace Costume Play in Your Library includes quotes and interviews with librarians who are incorporating cosplay into their programming as well as with cosplayers. You’ll also find 32 full-color photographs of cosplay in action to give you both ideas and inspiration for getting started.
1000 Incredible Costume & Cosplay Ideas: A Showcase of Creative Characters from Anime, Manga, Video Games, Movies, Comics, and More! by Yaya Han, Allison Deblasio & Joey Marsocci Features one thousand costumes from anime, manga, television, comic books, and films from amateur costume designers and cosplayers from around the world.
World of Warcraft: Chronicle by Chris Metzen, Matt Burns, Robert Brooks, Peter C. Lee & Joseph Lacroix World of Warcraft: Chronicle is a journey through an age of myth and legend, a time long before the Horde and the Alliance came to be. This definitive tome of Warcraft history reveals untold stories about the birth of the cosmos, the rise of ancient empires, and the forces that shaped the world of Azeroth and its people.
Have you been to a Comic Con? What should I expect??
4. May 2016 11:15
May the Fourth Be With You!! It only seems fitting that I should write my recap of the Dark Side 10K on Star Wars Day. Okay, so here goes nothing.
I had to set my alarm earlier than I have ever set it before. I had my wake-up call set for 3:45am, and Flat Jenny was laid out on the bed next to me ready to go!
That call came much too quickly as did the alarm on my phone and on my Polar A360. I wasn't taking any chances of oversleeping and missing my race.
I dressed, took a selfie and hopped on Disney transportation.
Disney transportation was a DREAM! I walked right outside the hotel lobby, the bus was there, I got on, and off we went. We stopped at the other All Star Resorts, picked up a handful of people and soon we were pulling in to EPCOT! It was so cool to see EPCOT in the wee morning light! I made my way over to the staging area, along with hundreds of other people. Amazingly for as many people as were there, it was so organized!
I was hydrating myself and waiting in line for the restroom at the same time! I was multi-tasking! I made my way over to the starting corrals, stopping for a quick photo opportunity!
I was in Corral E, which was the second to the last corral. Even though I was in the back, I didn't feel like I was in the back because there were so many other people there with me. I was alone, but I wasn't.
And for each and every corral Disney did an entire countdown, fireworks, the whole shebang. It was so well done, I actually got chills waiting to start running.
When the fireworks went off and the crowd started surging forward, I began to run.
Before I knew it I was at mile 1.
You can see in the background how many people were there! It was very busy. But at this point we were running on a road so it was quite wide and there was enough room to pass. I was jamming out to Selena Gomez and just enjoying myself!
We entered EPCOT and ran through the World Showcase. Hola from Mexico.
We left EPCOT and entered the Boardwalk area. Once we made it through Boardwalk it got VERY congested and crowded here. There were more walkers than runners, so unless you wanted to pass on the grass in an area about 6 inches wide you were pretty much forced to walk. I did my best to pass when I could, but I was forced to walk more than I wanted.
I was feeling really good. I was happy that I had brought along my own water and towel so I was able to wipe the sweat from my brow and hydrate myself as needed.
I could see the Tower of Terror off in the distance and I knew I was doing okay time wise. I still had no desire to stop for any photo opportunities with the Star Wars characters because I had no idea how close the balloon ladies were to me and I was bound and determined to not be picked up! I wanted to finish this race!
I hadn't done a very good job of looking at the course beforehand so I honestly had no idea where we would be going, I was just following the crowd! I was surprised when we ran up to Hollywood Studios!
And then we were INSIDE Hollywood Studios!
I was still feeling good, still happy, still jamming out to Selena. We ran right in front of The Tower of Terror but it was very crowded (again!!) so I didn't stop to take a photo right up front.
We ran out of the park and on to a main road. There was a lot of traffic but I never felt unsafe. Mile 4 came and went!
What you can't see in this photo is a giant overpass. It was a big hill and up and down I went. Still no balloon ladies. We went off road into an area that reminded me of Endor. It was soft terrain and I was doing a slow jog, trying to make up time from walking up the overpass.
And then there was mile 5!
I heard people saying that now that we were off the main road that even if the balloon ladies passed us we would not be picked up because we weren't in any danger. But I didn't let that slow me down! I only had one mile left and I wanted to finish strong! I kept running and running and running. We went through the Wide World of Sports and I was taken back in time to the day before when my trio ran on this same stretch of road and I got a little teary-eyed. I wiped the sweat from my eyes and kept right on trucking.
As I was running in I took a photo. And then the big happy tears started to run down my face. I had done it! I had finished the race. I did not get picked up. I did not get passed by the balloon ladies.
I earned my medal!
I didn't hang around too long at the finish line. I snapped a few photos and went over to take the bus back to the resort. I had been texting with the trio and they were ready to hear all about my race!
I had to wait about 20 minutes to get on a bus but really it wasn't a big deal at all. I chatted in line with other finishers and the time went by quickly.
When I looked at my data I was really quite pleased with how I did! I had negative splits throughout the race!
And while my per minute mile pace was higher than I had been hoping for, it was fast enough to keep me on the course!
My heart rate data (which I turned on as soon as the bus dropped me off at EPCOT) shows that I did work hard!
My friend Danielle told me that after this race I would be hooked on Disney races. At that time I told her "nah, I won't be hooked I'm not too much of a Disney fan." But she was right! I am hooked! Without a doubt I will do a runDisney event again!!
I had a great time, my kids had a great time and we will be back!
And in honor of May the Fourth, this is what I am wearing today!
The ears should look familiar, and my Cardigan has the Rebel symbol and the Imperial symbol on it. Tonight at my library I am hosting a HUGE Star Wars party! I'll share photos of that event later next week.
And now I'll leave you with a bit of wisdom from the Star Wars universe.
2. May 2016 08:08
Day 2 at the runDisney Star Wars Dark Side 2016 Inaugural Event had us back at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Day 2 was all about the #TampaTrio and their first runDisney race, the Star Wars Dark Side Kids 1 mile run!
Their race was set to start at 1pm, but I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to explore the expo, participate in photo opportunities, get to the starting line, etc., without having to stress about time, so we arrived at 11am.
There was so much cool stuff at the EXPO!! I wish I had an unlimited budget because it was a Star Wars lovers dream!
I totally regret not buying this Darth Vader RUN shirt. That was an epic fail on my part, but there is always next year!!
At the Expo they also had an area where you could make posters for the loved ones that you were there to cheer on! Here are the signs I made for my gang. They loved them!
We saw a sign for BB-8 photo opportunities so off we went. The trio LOVE BB-8.
I have to give a HUGE THANK YOU to the staff that were in charge of this photo opportunity. It was packed, so busy with probably a hundred people waiting in line to meet BB-8. To help off-set the wait they had placed 2 giant screens on either side of the room and both the screens were showing The Empire Strikes Back. It was LOUD. Very loud. And as I mentioned it was also crammed with people. Loud and crowded. 2 things that really set my little dude off. We were waiting in line when I suddenly realized Ronin was no longer standing next to me. I look down and he has curled himself up into a ball and had his hands over his ears. I bent down and asked him if he wanted to leave. He started to cry and said "No, I need to meet BB-8." And then he began rocking back and forth. I looked at Haley, told her to stay with Ronin and off I went to find the person in charge. I found him and asked if they were offering any sort of "meet & greet" or photo opportunities for people with Special Needs. He said no that they weren't and I quickly explained our situation and pointed out Ronin. Without hesitation he immediately told me to go get the kids and they'd be next to meet BB-8. You can tell that Ronin still looks "off" in the photo but once we left the building he was so happy and talking a million miles a minute about how he got to meet BB-8.
We started our walk over to find the start line!
It was really quite hot. 1pm start time for a running event is really too late IMHO. The trio were sweating bullets and thirsty before the race even started! Thankfully they had ice cold water and cups at the waiting area. They also had live music and a big grassy field for the kids and their parents/fans to wait and stretch. My gang drank so much water that by 12:50 they all had to go to the bathroom! There was a port-a-potty at the far end of the field so they sprinted over there, did their business and made it back with plenty of time to get to the starting line!
It always cracks me up to see where my kids "self-seed" themselves in a race. As usual, they are as close to the front as they can be.
Ronin has his fingers in his hair which means that he is feeling some stress and/or anxiety. My guess is that it is from the very tight quarters and loud music that was playing. Thankfully he wasn't in that crowd for long! Once the race started he was off and running!!
I couldn't follow them along the course, so thankfully runDisney took some on-course photos. These are the photos were taken by runDisney.
I honestly had no idea what to expect as far as finish times for these three. This was Ronin's FIRST short distance run since his broken leg last year. I hightailed it to the finish line and before I knew it I heard the announcer saying that the first finisher was nearing the track which would take him/her to the finish line. I looked at the time on the clock and it was 6:14, soon a speedy boy in very bright yellow shoes came sprinting towards the finish line. His finish time was 6:40. I was cheering for all the kids when all of a sudden I spotted my Ronin!! I couldn't believe it! I mean, I could believe it, but also I couldn't believe it. His finish time 7:25. He only finished 45 seconds behind 1st place (did I do my math correctly??)
I also saw Ella come across the finish line around 11 minutes and Haley just after 13 minutes. Apparently Ronin was a top finisher and he earned a cool award signed by Darth Vader himself!
I mean just look at that smile! He was so proud of himself!
Haley and Ella were so so proud of Ronin they even hugged him and got close enough for this gem of a photo!
All 3 kids said that they LOVED the event but were hoping for more Star Wars themed "stuff" on the race course. I told them that in order to see that they'll have to do the 5K next year and they all agreed that is what they want to do! Even James said it looked super cool and he'd be up for doing the 5K next year, so it looks like 2017 will be a family affair!
After the race we went back to the hotel and just swam and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon/evening. I had a VERY EARLY wake-up call for my 10K the next morning and needed to rest my body and my feet.
Have your kids ever done a Kids Race at a runDisney event?