Today I Read…Bi-Curious George

Bi-Curious GeorgeToday I read Bi-Curious George: An Unauthorized Parody by Andrew Simonian.

George was a curious little monkey, and he was especially curious about the sexy man in the sassy purple beret who came to his island and promised to show him all sorts of things.   After a voyage with sexy seamen (seamen, ha!), George comes to the big city, where he meets firemen (who are not sexy like his calendar), prison guards (who are not sexy like porn), and the animals at The Zoo, a big club, who definitely ARE sexy and willing to satisfy all of George’s curiosity!

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I bought this one at last year’s Word on the Street Festival because it looked hilarious, and it is. The jokes run the gamut from blatant innuendo to just plain blatant. It is very much a parody of gay culture, and uses many stereotypes, but it’s still very funny. There are mentions of drug and alcohol use, and the odd swear word, and of course sexual situations on just about every page. This is NOT a children’s book.

Bi-Curious George page 1 picThe illustrations are just as funny as the text. They’re done in the style of the Margaret and H.A. Rey books, but changed to be…more appropriate to the book, meaning not very appropriate. I don’t think he’s eating the banana… They are full of entertaining details, like the ship full of seamen being named the S.S. Cher, or the man dangling from a window in his underwear while another cross-looking man can be seen inside the apartment, or that every able-bodied seaman looking for George seems to need to bend over.

This is a fun, fast read. Though I will note, on my copy the front cover says that this book is an unauthorized parody, while the spine calls it An Authorized Parody. Mistake or just someone…curious?

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This is George.

He lived in the jungle.

He was a straight little monkey but always very…curious.

One day George saw a man.

He had on a sassy purple beret.

And George got excited, despite himself.

The man saw George too.

“I’m always in the mood for some hot monkey love,” he thought.

“I would like to take him home with me.”

Word on the Street Toronto 2014 review

This past Sunday was the 24th annual Word on the Street festival, and despite the dire predictions of rain all day long, it was a lovely sunny day (by the time I got there after having lunch with friends). I didn’t end up volunteering this year, since I’m currently working a full-time library job and a part-time retail job, and Sunday was my first day off since Labour Day (for the record, that was 19 days straight of work. Yes, I’m crazy).

It was a hugely busy day–I went by the HarperCollins table 3 times before I could get close enough to see the table, though I wouldn’t expect much else from a $3 and under table. The third Hobbit movie had an artist drawing you as a Hobbit, and the line for that one was very long–a friend of mine waited for close to three hours, and got cut off at the end, and then someone else butted into the line and got her drawing while my friend didn’t. 😦 The TPL library workers had a booth set up to get your picture taken with a cutout of the mayoral candidate of your choice, and information about where all three of the major candidates stand with regards to public library service. Polkaroo was back with the TVO Kids booth–I didn’t get a picture this time, but I swear I saw him!

Oh yeah, and I might have picked up just a few new books…Because when I have two shelves full of new books to read, a laptop full of ebooks, a whole new library where the kids all think I’ve already read every single book in it, and a very large backlog of reviews to write, I definitely need new books. Really, I do.

  • TD and TVO Kids were handing out Boy Soup by Loris Lesynski, with pictures by Michael Martchenko, which was the 2013 TD Grade One Book Giveaway book. It also included a cute activity book for the TVO Reading Rangers Book Club.
  • I bought Bi-Curious George by Andrew Simonian, because it’s bloody hilarious. But I don’t think that I’ll be reading the story of this curious little monkey to Tiny Niece anytime soon. ;p (The review can be found here.)
  • I bought Fan Fiction: The Comic Strip, written by Sam Noir and art by Dave Franciosa, again because it’s hilarious. This one is definitely for nerds with a lively sense of humour about their favourite characters. And Sam Noir was drawing free sketches for people! Here’s mine of Max the vampire bat from Munchsters, his new web comic, with custom rainbow vest!Sam Noir bat
  • I found a cool and (signed!) comic called The Power Within written by Charles “Zan” Christensen and illustrated by Mark Brill. You can buy a paper copy for $4.99 or download a free copy here from the publisher Northwest Press. It also includes some resources and bonus pages from Gail Simone,  Phil Jimenez, Greg Rucka, Matthew Clark, Stephen Sadowski, Dan Parent, Donna Barr, Andy Mangels, and Carla Speed McNeil.
  • I was given a free copy of Freddy and Margewich written by Adena Trevor and illustrated by Chelsea Trevor at the Author Solutions booth–they had been doing free book signings all day for various authors, and at the end of the day they gave away all their remaining books. It’s two short stories in a picture book, and the art is by the author’s granddaughter.
  • I bought Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington because I read it earlier this year and found it a powerful read, about the experience of gay men in Nazi Germany.
  • I bought Project Superherowritten by E. Paul Zehr and illustrated by Kris Pearn because it looked cool. It’s about a girl in grade 8 who loves superheroes and starts researching them for a school project, and it includes her interviews with real-life people including athletes, police officers, comic book writers, and astronauts. (The review can be found here.)
  • I bought Pain, Porn and Complicity: Women Heroes from Pygmalion to Twilight by  Kathleen McConnell, because even though the title implies that there was a woman hero in Twishite instead of a badly-written Mary Sue, she includes an essay on Dark Angel (which was great and cancelled too soon, damn you FOX), and the essay on Catwoman is called “Flex and Stretch: The Inevitable Feminist Treatise on Catwoman” and I’d forgive a lot for that brilliant title. And academic fandom and feminism are both interests of mine, so this book looks right up my alley.
  • And finally I bought Mini Myths: Play Nice, Hercules! by Joan Holub and illustrated by Leslie Patricelli, but this one is for Tiny Niece. Hercules is proud that he’s so strong, but he has to learn to play nicely with his little sister and not make her cry.

So, this should keep me occupied for awhile. At least, until the next book fair…

Word on the Street Toronto 2013 review

Last weekend I volunteered at the Word on the Street Festival in Toronto. I’ve heard about the festival before, but I was never able to attend, so I was glad to have the chance to go this year. Word on the Street is an annual free community celebration of the written word, with exhibitors including authors, publishers, libraries, and literacy groups. It was held at Queen’s Park Crescent on Sunday.

Saturday was the set-up day, and of course the day that it rained. Heavily. One of the organizers even ran out at lunch to the dollar store to buy us all ponchos, but it was raining so much that they didn’t really help. Oh well, after this summer we should all be used to the rain. And kudos to Boston Pizza for donating lunch to the volunteers!

We spent the day setting up the tables and chairs for the exhibitor booths and the various stages, organizing the supplies for the information booths and stages, and trying to make sure that things were ready for the morning. You know, you go to events like this and you never think about the amount of work it takes, not just arranging for permits and exhibitors and media relations, but tent and table and chair rentals and setting up signs and making sure everything is ready for the event to actually start.

Sunday began dark and cold and way too early, but clear. I was there before 7 am to finish setting up the tables and chairs that we hadn’t gotten to the night before and as an exhibitor liaison when they started rolling in around 9. My partner and I introduced ourselves to the exhibitors in our zone, made sure that they had all of the tables and chairs that they had requested, made sure that the signs for each booth that the festival had provided were correct, and in general handled any problems and passed on complaints. There really weren’t many- the most common request was for coffee. And why doesn’t Tim Horton’s have a delivery service? Really, you’d think it would be a goldmine. And there were comments about how cold it was, but unfortunately the warm weather has been on backorder all summer. I was on shift until 1:30, and then I went off to explore my first WotS festival.

The crowds rushed in as soon as the festival officially opened, and it stayed busy all day long. I didn’t really have a chance to see any of the authors’ presentations, since I only had a few hours and the festival was pretty big- I wanted to see everything, and of course book lovers like to browse.

The Toronto Public Library Workers’s booth was fun- they had a red carpet and took pictures of people with fake librarian glasses. Here I am with my friend Hailey.

WotS TPLW

There was also a booth doing pictures promoting the next Hobbit movie, Fangirls will watch anything with Benedict Cumberbatch… I mean The Desolation of Smaug. (See my comments about the first movie.) These ones didn’t turn out as well-too much light in the booth. And I found the Polkaroo at the TVOKids booth!

Polkaroo headI also grabbed a few good finds. The Doctor Who graphic novels Through Time and Space and The Only Good Dalek by Justin Richards and Mike Collins; The Dead Kid Detective Agency by Evan Munday, who I met at the OLA Festival of Trees, though I didn’t manage to get him to sign it even though he was at WotS; and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Short Stories 01 by Naoko Takeuchi (only copy left! Score!). I even found a couple of Christmas presents for the little niece (though I may have to keep her from trying to eat them for a while since they’re not board books): Girls A to Z, written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Suzanne Bloom, which shows different girls with a different hobby for each letter of the alphabet; and Nightgown Countdown written by Frank B. Edwards and illustrated by John Bianchi, who also signed it, where farm animals go to bed one by one.

It was a long and cold day (sorry to keep mentioning it, but I was up to 5 shirts and it was still freezing!), but I had a really good time. Next year’s festival is definitely going on the calendar!