Books & Writing



Books & Writing, Reviews

January 20, 2015

Someone once described me as a “myth-head.” I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I am a massive fan of mythology in general. I’ve got a pretty good grasp of some obscure mythologies and a lot of the more popular ones, and I like hunting down new translations and new legends and stories. There are some fascinating things to be learned about the people that built those myths and about how they still resonate with us today. (more…)

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Book Review – Cat’s Maw

Books & Writing, Reviews

November 18, 2014

Fourteen years ago, three kids living in the wilds of North Vancouver came together and changed the world. One of their number, Brooke Burgess, had a vision that he called Broken Saints, and with the help of the other two he fashioned one of the first online animated graphic novels. It was beautifully rendered and lovingly told, the final chapter released online twelve years ago with two subsequent DVD releases. (more…)

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Outlander: Why Should We Be Watching?

Books & Writing, Showcase

October 13, 2014

Last night marked the Canadian airing of the mid-season finale of Outlander – a full two weeks and a day behind the US airdate (Seriously Showcase, what is up? You need to rectify that situation. We can’t avoid social media for two weeks.) And in a case of WTF programming, Starz isn’t bringing it back for the second half of the season until April, making for a tortuous six month wait – because Outlander has quickly become my favourite show on television. And everyone out there who hasn’t seen it should take the opportunity to catch up on anything and everything relating to this beautiful production… so that I’m not enduring the pain of separation alone. (more…)

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Fan Expo Vancouver 2014 – Artists’ Alley Walkthrough

Books & Writing

April 19, 2014

One of the highlights of any geek convention is the Artists’ Alley, a place where the creatives can strut their stuff. Fan Expo Vancouver is no exception to this, featuring a bustling sea of people teeming from one port of call to the next. Here’s a brief sampling of what’s on hand. (more…)

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Vampire Academy Doesn’t Suck

Books & Writing, film, Reviews, Showcase

February 28, 2014

new-trailer-for-vampire-academyIf there was one film that trailers and posters made me determined not to see this year, it was Vampire Academy. The slogan “They Suck At School” was mincing for sexual innuendo while making a horrible pun about vampires eating and suffering academically. Throw this on top of a neon single coloured poster with the image of two scantily clad teen girls, and I figure there is absolutely no substance to this. The trailers purposely exclude plot, opting to show clips of one-liners void of context, campus partying, and shots of sexual biting.

Convinced by someone more informed about the storyline itself, I agreed to see the film. All expectations provided by the marketing “dumb-down” strategy were promptly turned on their heads. Vampire Academy was one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen in a long time. With the talents of Daniel Waters as the screenwriter (Heathers), and director Mark Waters (Mean Girls), the movie gives us characters that are realistic and well developed and churns some of the bitchiest dialogue in fantastic verbal sparring. The dialogue is reminiscent of Joss Whedon’s “Buffy-speak” in that while still being witty and sharp it manages to remain natural and modern. Speaking of sparring, the hand-to-hand combat scenes are beautifully choreographed. (more…)

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The Last Unicorn: A Screening with Peter S. Beagle

Books & Writing

November 20, 2013

Last Unicorn 01Today marked the first Canadian screening of the Last Unicorn, touring to select theaters with writer Peter S. Beagle in attendance at every night.

The show was sold out at Colossus in Langley, with theater manager Kim requesting audience members shift down if they notice an isolated seat between them and their neighbors. Packed to capacity, many fans came dressed to impress. One five year old girl was dressed to look like she was riding a pink unicorn, several women were either Amalthea in her unicorn state or in her lady guise, and there were a few Molly, Shmedrick, and incredible Red Bull costumes as well.

The night began with Peter’s very charismatic assistant, Connor Cochran, giving an introduction to the tour and to the author. Peter was a humble man with a great sense of humor. During the Q&A, he was asked what was the most memorable thing a fan has brought for him to autograph. He said, “It’s funny you should ask that….at the last show, I was given the most unusual request to date. Other men sometimes get underwear to sign. I was given a baby. The young couple were both dressed as the Red Bull, and they had their baby dressed up as the butterfly, and I signed their baby.” (more…)

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Blank Verse: Shakespeare Re-invented

Books & Writing, Interviews, Showcase, Webseries

November 18, 2013

971361_548649381860855_571585594_nWhat would it be like if Shakespeare had not existed until now? How do we define greatness in our modern culture? Who is William Shakespeare?

Those are a few of the questions that gets explored in the new webseries Blank Verse. Set in the modern-day Will Shakespeare (portrayed by Xander Williams) begins his first year in the creative writing program of Bankside University and encounters many of his contemporaries.

I met with series creator and executive producer Amanda Konkin to talk about where the idea came from and how she and her creative team went about exploring the now contemporary bard. (more…)

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