Ain t No Place for a Hero

Author: Kaitlin Tremblay
Publisher: ECW Press
ISBN: 9781773050775
Release Date: 2017-10-17
Genre: Games & Activities

A deep dive into the groundbreaking and bestselling video game series The critically acclaimed first-person shooter franchise Borderlands knows it's ridiculous. It's a badge of pride. After all, Borderlands 2 was promoted with the tagline "87 bazillion guns just got bazillionder." These space-western games encourage you to shoot a lot of enemies and monsters, loot their corpses, and have a few chuckles while chasing down those bazillion guns. As Kaitlin Tremblay explores in Ain't No Place for a Hero, the Borderlands video game series satirizes its own genre, exposing and addressing the ways first-person shooter video games have tended to exclude women, queer people, and people of colour, as well as contribute to a hostile playing environment. Tremblay also digs in to the way the Borderlands game franchise Ñ which has sold more than 26 million copies Ñ disrupts traditional notions of heroism, creating nuanced and compelling storytelling that highlights the strengths and possibilities of this relatively new narrative medium. The latest entry in the acclaimed Pop Classics series, Ain-t No Place for a Hero is a fascinating read for Borderlands devotees as well as the uninitiated.

It Doesn t Suck

Author: Adam Nayman
Publisher: ECW Press
ISBN: 9781770905139
Release Date: 2014-04-01
Genre: Performing Arts

The Worst. Movie. Ever. is a masterpiece. Seriously. Enough time has passed since Showgirls flopped spectacularly that it's time for a good, hard look back at the sequined spectacle. A salvage operation on a very public, very expensive train wreck, It Doesn't Suck argues that Showgirls is much smarter and deeper than it is given credit for. In an accessible and entertaining voice, the book encourages a shift in critical perspective on Paul Verhoeven's Showgirls, analyzing the film, its reception, and rehabilitation. This in-depth study of a much-reviled movie is a must read for lovers and haters of the 1995 Razzie winner for Worst Picture.

Most Dramatic Ever

Author: Suzannah Showler
Publisher: ECW Press
ISBN: 9781773051673
Release Date: 2018-01-23
Genre: Performing Arts

The right reasons to fall in love with The Bachelor When it debuted in 2002, The Bachelor raised the stakes of first-wave reality television, offering the ultimate prize: true love. Since then, thrice yearly, dozens of camera-ready young-and-eligibles have vied for affection (and roses) in front of a devoted audience of millions. In this funny, insightful examination of the world’s favorite romance-factory, Suzannah Showler explores the contradictions that are key to the franchise’s genius, longevity, and power and parses what this means for both modern love and modern America. She argues the show is both gameshow and marriage plot — an improbable combination of competitive effort and kismet — and that it’s both relic and prophet, a time-traveler from first-gen reality TV that proved to be a harbinger of Tinder. In the modern media-savvy climate, the show cleverly highlights and resists its own artifice, allowing Bachelor Nation to see through the fakery to feel the romance. Taking on issues of sex, race, contestants-as-villains, the controversial spin-offs, and more, Most Dramatic Ever is both love letter to and deconstruction of the show that brought us real love in the reality TV era.

Let s Go Exploring

Author: Michael Hingston
Publisher: ECW Press
ISBN: 9781773051796
Release Date: 2018-05-01
Genre: Comics & Graphic Novels

A fascinating investigation of a beloved comic strip The internet is home to impassioned debates on just about everything, but there’s one thing that’s universally beloved: Bill Watterson’s comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Until its retirement in 1995 after a ten-year run, the strip won numerous awards and drew tens of millions of readers from all around the world. The story of a boy and his best friend — a stuffed tiger — was a pitch-perfect distillation of the joys and horrors of childhood, and a celebration of imagination in its purest form. In Let’s Go Exploring, Michael Hingston mines the strip and traces the story of Calvin’s reclusive creator to demonstrate how imagination — its possibilities, its opportunities, and ultimately its limitations — helped make Calvin and Hobbes North America’s last great comic strip.

Raise Some Shell

Author: Richard Rosenbaum
Publisher: ECW Press
ISBN: 9781770905221
Release Date: 2014-04-01
Genre: Performing Arts

[tag line] critically and cleverly examines the origins, evolution, and impact of the Ninja Turtles phenomenon - from its beginning as a self-published black-and-white comic book in 1984, through its transformation into a worldwide transmedia phenomenon by the middle of the 1990s, and up to the sale of the property to Nickelodeon in 2009 and relaunch of the Turtles with new comics, cartoons, and a big-budget Hollywood film. With the eye of contemporary cultural studies and the voice of a true lifelong Turtles fan, Rosenbaum argues that the Turtles' continuing success isn't mere nostalgia, but rather the result of characters, and a franchise, that mutated in a way that allowed the to survive and thrive in a post-modern world.

In My Humble Opinion

Author: Roberts, Soraya
Publisher: ECW Press
ISBN: 9781770908826
Release Date: 2016-08-01
Genre: Performing Arts

A smart, engaging investigation of the show that brought real teens to TV My So-Called Life lasted only 19 episodes from 1994 to 1995, but in that time it earned many devoted viewers, including the showrunners who would usher in the teen TV boom of the late Í90s and the new millennium. With its focus on 15-year-old Angela ChaseÍs search for her identity, MSCLÍs realistic representation of adolescence on TV was groundbreaking; without her there would be no Buffy or Felicity, Rory Gilmore or Veronica Mars. The seriesÍ broadcast coincided with the arrival of third-wave feminism, the first feminist movement to make teen voices a priority, and Angela became their small-screen spokesperson. From her perspective, MSCL explored gender, identity, sexuality, race, class, body image, and other issues vital to the third wave (and the world). To this day, passionate fans dissect everything from what Rickie Vasquez did for gay representation to what Jordan Catalano did for leaning, and Soraya Roberts makes an invaluable contribution to that conversation with In My Humble Opinion.

Those Who Make Us

Author: Kelsi Morris
Publisher: Exile Book of
ISBN: 1550965891
Release Date: 2016-11-01
Genre: Fiction

What resides beneath the blankets of snow, under the ripples of water, within the whispers of the wind, and between the husks of trees all across Canada? Creatures, myths and monsters are everywhere...even if we don't always see them. This is a unique and powerful collection of all-new, cross-genre tales that take the reader into real and imagined worlds, ranging from an encounter with the Metis creature Rugaru to trolls dissatisfied with modern life, to the demons who follow us from our parents' countries, and to Anishinaabe myths about the creation of creeks. Eighteen emerging and award-winning authors explore the way we think about and interact with the unnatural - showing how much the stories we create can teach us about what it means to be human.

Wrapped in Plastic

Author: Andy Burns
Publisher: E C W Press
ISBN: 1770412107
Release Date: 2015-02-01
Genre: Performing Arts

In 1990, avant garde filmmaker David Lynch (Eraserhead, Blue Velvet) and acclaimed TV writer Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) teamed up to create a show that would redefine what the medium could achieve in a one-hour drama. With Twin Peaks, the duo entranced audiences with the town, its characters and central mystery - who killed Laura Palmer? In Twin Peaks, nothing is as it seems, and in Wrapped In Plastic, Andy Burns uncovers and explores the ground-breaking methods that have made the series one of the most influential and enduring shows of the past 25 years.

Significant Zero

Author: Walt Williams
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781501129957
Release Date: 2017-09-19
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

"An award-winning videogame writer offers a rare behind-the-scenes look inside the gaming industry, and expands on how games are transformed from mere toys into meaningful, artistic experiences"--

He Died with His Eyes Open

Author: Derek Raymond
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 9781847655783
Release Date: 2011-05-26
Genre: Fiction

When a middle-aged alcoholic is found brutally battered to death on a roadside in West London, the case is assigned to a nameless detective sergeant, a tough-talking cynic and fearless loner from the Department of Unexplained Deaths at the Factory police station. Working from cassette tapes left behind in the dead man's property, our narrator must piece together the history of his blighted existence and discover the agents of its cruel end. What he doesn't expect is that digging for the truth will demand plenty of lying, and that the most terrible of villains will also prove to be the most attractive. In the first of six police procedurals that comprise the Factory series, Derek Raymond spins a riveting, and vividly human crime drama. Relentlessly pursuing justice for the dispossessed, his detective narrator treads where few others dare: in the darkest corners of London, a city of sin plagued by unemployment, racism and vice, and peopled by a cast of low-lifes, all utterly convincing and brought to life by Raymond's pitch-perfect dialogue.

Blood Meridian

Author: Cormac McCarthy
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307762521
Release Date: 2010-08-11
Genre: Fiction

"The fulfilled renown of Moby-Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian, since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner," writes esteemed literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition. "I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable." Cormac McCarthy's masterwork, Blood Meridian, chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps. Loosely based on fact, the novel represents a genius vision of the historical West, one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelf. "A classic American novel of regeneration through violence," declares Michael Herr. "McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers." From the Hardcover edition.

Borderlands The Fallen

Author: John Shirley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439198513
Release Date: 2011-11-22
Genre: Games & Activities

WHAT KIND OF MAN MAKES A LIVING IN HELL? His name’s Roland. Soldier class, a former mercenary, he’s on a full-time mission to scrape a living out of the most dangerous planet in the galaxy. Is he qualified? He’s well armed, he’s ruthless, and he’s tougher than skag hide. And, oh yeah—he’s strapped with some of the most exotic weaponry this side of the Vault, not to mention possessing fists like chunks of steel. Zac Finn and his wife and young son had better get on the right side of Roland, because a stopover in orbit has turned into a nightmarish fall to the unforgiving landscape of the Borderlands. Zac hopes to find a strange new alien treasure in the Borderlands to turn his down-spiraling life around. But his wife, Marla, and his son, Cal, just want to survive, and reunite, because catastrophe has left them separated by hundreds of klicks. Their chances aren’t good . . . and Roland is all that stands between them and the planet’s kill-crazed Psychos and murderous bandits—not to mention the grotesque primals, giant wyrm squids, insane tunnel rats, voracious skags, brutal bruisers, and ruthless mercs. . . . An original novel set in the universe of the Rated M for Mature video game created by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games.

Gentlemen of the Shade

Author: Jen Sookfong Lee
Publisher: ECW Press
ISBN: 9781773050416
Release Date: 2017-06-13
Genre: Performing Arts

Gus Van Sant’s film and the ’90s cult of the alternative Gus Van Sant’s 1991 indie darling My Own Private Idaho perplexed and provoked, inspiring a new ethos for a new decade: being different was better than being good. Gentlemen of the Shade examines how the film was a coming-of-age for a generation of young people who would embrace the alternative and bring their outsider perspectives to sustainability, technology, gender constructs, and social responsibility. p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 16.0px Times; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} My Own Private Idaho — fragmented and saturated with colour and dirt and a painfully beautiful masculinity — also crept into popular media, and its influence can still be traced. R.E.M. Portlandia. Hipsterism. James Franco. Referencing the often-funny and sometimes-tragic cultural touchstones of the past 26 years, Gentlemen of the Shade sets the film as social bellwether for the many outsiders who were looking to join the right, or any, revolution.

Kingsway West

Author: Greg Pak
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
ISBN: 9781616559762
Release Date: 2017
Genre: COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

After 13 years in prison, a Chinese gunslinger named Kingsway Law just wants to find his wife. But in a fantastical Old West crackling with magic, monsters and racist vigilantes, trouble just won't leave him be. And in this case, trouble is a woman with a magical sword who won't leave him alone. Collects Kingsway West issues #1 - #4; the full first arc of this epic series.

New Mana

Author: Matt Tomlinson
Publisher: ANU Press
ISBN: 9781760460082
Release Date: 2016-04-13
Genre: Social Science

‘Mana’, a term denoting spiritual power, is found in many Pacific Islands languages. In recent decades, the term has been taken up in New Age movements and online fantasy gaming. In this book, 16 contributors examine mana through ethnographic, linguistic, and historical lenses to understand its transformations in past and present. The authors consider a range of contexts including Indigenous sovereignty movements, Christian missions and Bible translations, the commodification of cultural heritage, and the dynamics of diaspora. Their investigations move across diverse island groups—Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Hawai‘i, and French Polynesia—and into Australia, North America and even cyberspace. A key insight that the volume develops is that mana can be analysed most productively by paying close attention to its ethical and aesthetic dimensions. Since the late nineteenth century, mana has been an object of intense scholarly interest. Writers in many fields including anthropology, linguistics, history, religion, philosophy, and missiology have long debated how the term should best be understood. The authors in this volume review mana’s complex intellectual history but also describe the remarkable transformations going on in the present day as scholars, activists, church leaders, artists, and entrepreneurs take up mana in new ways.