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* By Guest Blogger, Debe Branning, Arizona Haunted Sites Examiner
The Phoenix Comicon 2012 offered several late night happenings for convention goers. One of the popular places to be was the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival held in the ballrooms of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Fans of scifi, horror, thrillers, fan films and zombies were treated to up-and-coming short films from all around the world including several by Arizona filmmakers.
"Date of the Dead" was one of the spectacular zombie movies that premiered at Comicon on Saturday, May 26. Written by Melodie Bogart and directed by Mark Urias of Arizona, most of the cast and crew of "Date of the Dead" attended the event in the packed ballroom.
This is a hot topic that many of us may have to deal with sometime in the future -- dating and dealing with the anticipated Zombie Apocalypse. Will zombies still be feared? Or will they begin to blend in the survivors' daily lives? The story is set fifty-one years after the Zombie Apocalypse. In it we learn how three young women attempt to battle self-esteem issues, controlling mothers and the living dead to try and win over the men of their dreams.
Have you had a Date with the Dead lately? Photo credit: Mark Urias
Thank you to the citizens of Panem who sent tributes from all 12 districts to take part in the first Bookmans Survive The Hunger Games. This event was created by fans for fans. No matter if you've seen the film or read the book, everyone recognizes the phrase, "May the odds be ever if your favor!" The odds were in everyone's favor as all survived the Hunger Games at Bookmans Mesa.
* by guest blogger Skye Wilster
It would be hard to write this for people who have never been to a show like the Alternative Press Tour. I hope if you haven't you quickly find yourself at one. You're missing out if you don't. It's that kind of show that you can feel before you enter the door of the venue. Walking up you can tell that something epic is about to happen, really epic. A few stragglers smoke outside and talk about the last great show that rolled through town. That's all fine for now but this one is about to rock their faces all over again.
The Nile is an unassuming venue with a back door entrance but it is the perfect backdrop for a show like this -- a big open room waiting to be rocked. There is no room for fancy stage shenanigans or pyrotechnics. This is about the music, the artists and the fans who came to enjoy it.Read More...
* By Sharla Miller, Bookmans Grant regular
Who eats Tofu anyway?
I was desperate to find healthy, well-balanced meals for my six-year-old who decided to become a vegetarian. The cookbook section at Bookmans offers an array of books to help me make healthy, tasty meals for the family to enjoy together. A Tofu Cookbook from the Soy Sisters and Friends is not only full of great recipes but each recipe is broken out into calories, protein, fat, cholesterol, fiber and sodium. As always Bookmans has exactly what I need, the helpful staff provide top-notch service and I pay half of the cover price for a book that has no signs of wear and tear.
Always a last minute shopper.Read More...
*By guest blogger Chuck Cheesman
This Land Is Your Land was written in part because Woody Guthrie was tired of hearing God Bless America. He wanted to write a song that better expressed the hope and dreams of struggling, working Americans.
I have a hole the elbow of my favorite shirt.
However, my disappointment in this degraded textile situation is fleeting. I open my top desk drawer and pull out my travel sewing kit, pull out a strand of matching thread, and begin to wet the end with the intention of passing it through the eye of a needle. Then I stop, stare at the minute piece of stainless steel between my fingers and realize, there is probably a whole generation of folk who wouldn’t know the first thing about this archaic process.
by guest blogger Wendy Reese
The season of consumerism is upon us. This year has been one enormous eye-opening experience rolling into another and another of how unaware I am of my own finances and truly what is most important to me. I watched signs going up for fresh Christmas trees before Halloween and Christmas decorations already took their prominant section in every retail market. It is time to re-establish the revolution.
Mother and daughter in Jamket, India. The mother opened this market through a women's group microloan. Photo by Wendy Reese
(Admin. Note: This Veterans Day I decided to celebrate by puting to work one of my favorite "Army guys", as my nephew who is now an Army guy and war veteran himself used to call them. Andrew Ballenger has served the country in the military for over 20 years as both an enlisted man and an officer. He's a veteran of both Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and a voracious consumer of military writing.
He's also the brother of my favorite veteran, my husband Jesse. RB)
By Major Andrew Ballenger
In keeping with our nation's celebration of Veterans Day, I offer recommendations of four books of a military genre. I made huge omissions to limit the list to four as some of the best military texts were written by foreign soldiers. In keeping with our own holiday, I've kept it strictly to U.S. military subjects, but added a movie title bonus.Read More...
NYAZGirl's latest vlog for Bookmans covers the five essential ingredients for a scary movie and acts them out con gusto. But be warned, her accuracy is DEADLY! Watch it -- if you dare.
Check out her new venture into the world of cookbooking vlogs with Phenovelnoms (doo doo da dooodooo).
Thanks Gretchen!Read More...
by guest blogger Andrea Beesley-Brown, Midnite Movie Mamacita
The 6th annual International Horror and Sci-Fi Film Festival took over MADCAP Theaters in Tempe for four nights of film, fun and mayhem! Thursday night kicked off with a screening of the Sci-Fi Office Comedy Drones with Adam Busch (co-director and actor) and Jordan Kessler (producer) in attendance. They shared their stories and experiences of being independent filmmakers and took time to take photos with fans after the screening. Bookmans' HSFFF guest pass winner fair Marlaina and her mother trekked down from Flagstaff to also attended the festival.
There are bad movies….and then there are really, really BAD movies. This week at MADCAP Theaters we explore TROLL 2 a movie so bad that you’ve probably never hear d of it or if you have seen it, it was hidden far back in the recesses of your mind. Well we are here to celebrate this cinematic monstrosity and we do so by screening it with the documentary exploring the cult phenomenon behind TROLL 2 called BEST WORST MOVIE. As an aspiring child actor Michael Paul Stephenson played Joshua Waits, the star of TROLL 2.Read More...
We've got some great customers and fans. In fact, we have the best customers and fans. They're so awesome that one of them even recorded a song for (and about) us. So, for your listening enjoyment, we'd like to present: Bookmans Song from one of our loyal customers at Bookmans Speedway in Tucson. Mike Barnett turned in the song as part of his application to the Speedway store a week or so ago. He has a writing degree and an extensive music background, and has a great love of reading. He likes exploring new types of music and new groups, always adding to his repertoire. He really likes Bookmans and our efforts in the community and the environment. Thanks for the awesome song, Mike!
What do you get when you cross Fantasy with a Horror Film? In this particular case you get Hausu (House), a kaleidoscopic trip into a cinematic magical kingdom.
Made in 1977 by Japanese ad guru Nobuhiko Obayashi (director of the infamous Mandom commercials with Charles Bronson) Hausu is such a delight that after seeing it you will be left humming its catchy theme song.Read More...
The Art of a Bad Movie...what makes a movie so bad that it's good as opposed to just being plain bad? Many factors contribute, but take some of these weekends’ selections that we are showcasing at MADCAP Theaters. We have The Room, now a cult sensation and ambassador for bad movies. What makes THE ROOM so bad, but good that people come month after month to see it on the big screen? Sincerity is the key. Tommy Wiseau didn't set out to make a bad movie, he spent $5-7 million on his epic masterpiece (the source of the funding remains a mystery). But it was made with a whole-hearted sincerity and intent to make a good movie that only after its release took on a whole new life.
I picked up a messenger-bag-full of Cyberfrog issues from Bookmans recently with the sole intent of lambasting them in this column to further my anti-Ethan-Van-Sciver-agenda.
For those of you who spend your free time talking to girls (or whatever it is people who don’t blast comic-book-centric podcasts on their stereo as loud as they can each night just to drown out the sound of their own sobbing do), Van Sciver is the current illustrator of Green Lantern for DC Comics.Read More...
Every hobby has a pecking order; whether you’re a hardcore gamer who scoffs at the occasional player, or you’re a lover of wine, judged harshly by the bouquet swirling wine connoisseur. As a lover of books, and avid reader since I could decipher the letters as a child, I knew the pecking order existed, but never knew to what extent until I bought a Kindle.Read More...
...continued from The Deadly Hands of Kung Fu: Part One
After being called “faggot” for the sixth time in three days as punishment for the horrendous crime of walking on the sidewalk, I took a detour from my usual route home to hit the Bookmans on Speedway and Campbell and pick up some much needed Pop Escapism.Read More...
The only thing that makes living in Arizona tolerable is the handful of used bookstores scattered amongst the multitude of meth labs and Sonoran hot dog/ammunition stands that litter the landscape like so many would-be-immigrant bones in the Nogales Desert.
I don’t know how they survive in the state ranked 49th in the union for education and whose border militia dwarfs the Democrat population 6 to 1, but thank Rao that they do, ‘cause I don’t think I could make it through the week without them.
My absolute-hands-down-favorite of the lot is the Bookmans Entertainment Exchange stores, because entering one of their locations is like stepping through a stargate into a parallel world, wherein the concept of pawn shops was pioneered by a gang of good looking hipsters.Read More...
I'm guessing he got some gnarly diseases that I could never name. But as I was laying in bed last week, sniffling amongst a pile of wadded up tissues and red-dye-No. 3-stained Popsicle sticks, I thought about Shakespeare and wondered what he might think of modern-day culture; The financial crisis, bipartisanship, and Tori & Dean on Bravo.
The second day of my strep affliction I clicked through the channels past Maury Povich, an infomercial for some awful workout routine promising a six-pack in 90 days, and Paula Deen making fried green tomatoes. Somehow, I landed on Tori & Dean. A reality show about Tori Spelling, teen star of Beverly Hills 90210 back in the '90s, and Dean McDermott, a D-list actor of Lifetime movie fame.Read More...
I could not let April glide past me without acknowledging National Poetry Month and the poet that changed my life.
I discovered Mary Oliver in the collegiate haze of words every English Lit major must wade through in order to find their own truth. I appreciated Keats, Yates, Donne, and their canonic cadre. And when I settled into my seat in “Literature about Nature” I expected nothing.
Her name appeared on a black and white syllabus.
Her book appeared on the bookstore shelf next to Foucault.
But her words.
Her words appeared in my brain with a slow percolation. A wide-eyed realization that something I had not planned to love, was inching its way into my soul.
...a guest blog by Mrs. Green (a.k.a. Gina Murphy-Darling)
First little green story: Mr. Green discovers ants in the drive-way – lots of them. He goes to the store to do what he has always done – buy poison to kill them. He literally has an aha moment, puts the poison back on the shelf and comes home. He lets me know and asks me to call our Eco-pest guy (no poison, no harm to the earth, water supply, children or pets). Nick had Carlos at our house within an hour. Carlos identified them as carpenter ants which can be very destructive. He treated them with an inert material (please don’t ask me to spell it) that is 99.994% toxic free. Good enough for me. Ants are gone, earth is safe. Just one thing.Read More...
So, you've done your homework. You read the previews months ago, then the reviews a week ago, then the user impressions days ago - but you're still understandably on the fence about picking up the latest tech toy. We've all been there, and after a week of owning my iPad, I'm here to give you the definitive answer! Possibly.
I've never seen a single device be so incredibly divisive, both in the tech community and in the minds of average consumers. If you tell someone you bought one, reactions range from excitement and jealousy, to the questioning of your sanity, and everything in between. Some of this, I believe, is due to Apple's absurd marketing campaign, which as history has taught us, will often serve to create an equal-and-opposite backlash. "Magical and revolutionary" it is not - at least not yet.Read More...
a guest blog by Mrs. Green (a.k.a. Gina Murphy-Darling)
What if more businesses decided to create more trade situations? Example: Bookmans in Mesa, Arizona. Not only do they have a cafe with great food (Mrs. Green has not tested it yet but stay tuned) and fair trade coffee, they accept trade-ins for food and drinks. I think they may be the first cafe in the country (maybe even the world!) to do that. Know of any others? Please post if you do.
And just running the numbers: Bookmans Entertainment Exchange has bought 21,951,188 items since January 15, 2005. I can’t get my head around how much “stuff” that would look like but talk about waste reduction!Read More...
At the 2009 SXSW Interactive conference, I think I heard the word “monetize” roughly 17 times a day. As in “That kitten is cute, but how can we monetize it? What’s the ROI on scratching its tummy?”
Good grief.Read More...
As a long-time video game fan, I am no stranger to hype. Ask any avid-devourer of media, in any form - be it books, movies, television, music, you name it - hype is both your greatest friend, and your mortal enemy. The day always comes, however, when that hype must end - the day you play, watch, read, or listen to the creation in question, after months or even years of being told how life-changing the experience would be. More often that not, you will leave at least somewhat disappointed. There's a lot to be said for going into something with lowered expectations.Read More...