Saturday, 5 August 2017

National Book Day: A One-Day Readathon

I love how National Book Day (August 9) is smack dab in the middle of summer. It's like a gut-punch reminder that I should be reading. In just a few weeks, I'll be heading back to school—and I'm nowhere near my goal of reading 10 books before the end of August.

That's about to change.

Two years ago, I uncovered some research that says "Reading All Day" is good for you. I'm taking that research to heart next week and blocking off ALL DAY on August 9th to celebrate National Book Day with a full eight hours (at least) of reading.

What will I be reading? I'm so glad you asked!

I sifted through several lists of new books, and the one that keeps coming up is Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz. It's actually been a New York Times bestseller for several weeks—not that I judge a book by that, at all. I also don't judge a book by its cover...but you have to admit, this one is pretty sweet.

The story, from what I've read about it, is about four unlikely friends who come together to find Maleficent's dragon eye (so it's obviously an adventure), but the cool thing is that friends are all villains from various Disney stories...and my sister and I are fans of the Descendants T.V. show, so this should be right up my alley.

Anyway, I'm off to the bookstore to grab a copy. What will you be reading on National Book Day?

Gotta jet! Have a great weekend.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 28 July 2017

Frankenstein Day Is Coming Soon!

Okay, not SOON. Its' actually not until August 30, in celebration of Mary Shelly's birthday. (She's the author of the original Frankenstein book.)

BUT, I just found out that the illustrator of the Superman Duffy graphic novels, James Grasdal, is working on a FRANKENSTEIN BOOK! Sure, it's for little kids, but on Wednesday he showed me the drawings, and when it gets published it is SO going into my Frankenstein collection. 

You guys know that monsters are my favourite—I love them all, especially zombies. So, I've decided that the rest of the books for my summer reading challenge are going to be FRANKENSTEIN inspired. That way, when it's REALLY Frankenstein Day, I'll be prepared. 

I might toss in a couple of Frankenstein movies, too. If I make a big batch of popcorn, Grandma will watch them with me (she loves monster flicks!) And I'm going to dig out my comics too. Last year I re-read the original (it's so great!), so this year I'm going to tackle a couple of the adaptations. Do you have a favourite? 

And on a completely different (scary!) note, do you realize that the summer is HALF OVER?! I've only scratched the surface on my summer bucket list. What have you been up to?

Gotta jet. I'm heading to K-Days tomorrow and I need plenty of rest. Maybe I'll see you there? Have a safe weekend!

— Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 21 July 2017

Looking Back

I was going through some of my old blog posts this week, remembering what I was doing last summer—and it's kind of surreal to think about where the time has gone. Last July, I was counting down the days until the Summer Olympics and playing Pokemon Go with my sister. (I haven't played that game in forever!)

This year I'm reminiscing about the 16 graphic novels that were written about me. If you're new to the blog or the series, you probably don't remember Fields of Home, the first book, where *I* go back in time to meet the first Canadian canola farmer, Mr. Slovonuk. He brought a handful of seeds over from Poland, planted the first crop and well...the rest is history. The adventures continued from there.

The new book, "O" celebrates 50 years of the canola industry, but unlike the Superman Duffy series, the crop will continue to grow and thrive and expand, and the books...well, they've come to an end. (Hey, we had a great run!)

Yes, I'm a little sad that *I* won't be going through any more adventures at the hands of the author and illustrator—no more tunnelling through damp soil, or running from dinosaurs, or defeating mosquitoes of unusual size—but I guess that just means I'll have to write my own adventures.

Starting this summer!

I've been pretty laid back this past month, but as of tomorrow, I am going to start doing some of the things I wrote on my summer bucket list. Like going to the local museum, or trying out a new sport—maybe kayaking! <grin>

What are YOU doing for the rest of your summer? Can you believe our break is already half over?

Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 7 July 2017

The Official Launch of “O”

It’s here. FINALLY! The official release of the 16th—and final <sniff>—Superman Duffy graphic novel, “O.”

I know, I’ve been talking about this book for what probably seems like FOREVER. 

But this one is special. Not just because it’s the last one, or that it brings back many characters from the previous 15 books. “O” is a celebration.

Of Canada’s 150th birthday. Of the Canadian canola industry’s 50th anniversary. Of the Canadian inventors and inventions that have made the world a better place. Of 16 amazing books written by Alberta author Dawn Ius, illustrated by Alberta cartoonist James Grasdal, and published (with support from the Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund) by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission.

What. A. Project. <sigh>

So, where can you get this masterpiece of celebration? Well, if you’re going to the Calgary Stampede over the next 10 days, stop by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission booth where they’ll be handing out hot-off-the-press copies. (Seriously!)

Not planning to attend the Calgary Stampede? Contact the Alberta Canola Producers Commission via phone at 780-454-0844 to learn how to order your school or library copy—it’s free for Alberta teachers! (Plus, you can stock up on other great education resources.)

I hope you had a great Canada Day. I’ve gotta jet—we’re packing up for a weekend of rides, rodeo, and…food? (I couldn’t think of another “r” word!) Maybe I’ll see you at the Calgary Stampede? Yeehaw!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 30 June 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CANADA!

Oh, the food, the fireworks, and the fun! Tomorrow is CANADA DAY, and it’s our country’s 150th birthday, so I plan to celebrate by doing as many Canadian things as I can. All. Day. Long.

I’m kicking off the morning by eating pancakes (made with canola oil) drizzled with maple syrup, and then spending a half hour reading the latest Superman Duffy graphic novel, “O”—which is all about Canadian inventions and inventors! (The author and illustrator are Canadian too!) And maybe some Superman comics! 

After that, I’m going to shoot some hoops with my friend Sophie while we wait for my mom to take us all to the Farmer’s Market—with a quick stop at Tim Horton’s for Mom’s favourite coffee, of course. I’ll probably snack on some Ketchup chips or maybe indulge in a Canadian chocolate bar, like Coffee Crisp, Smarties or Big Turk while we wander the market.

After the Farmer’s Market, we’re going to the park for a picnic with my grandparents (if Grandpa can get away from work on the farm), and maybe go kayaking where we are almost guaranteed to see a beaver. No, seriously. Hopefully the weather stays nice, but it’s been kind of strange lately.

For dinner, Grandma and Mom are barbequing up some delicious hamburgers, with a side of poutine. Yum! Mom even hinted at a strawberry shortcake (red and white obviously) so we can sing Happy Birthday to Canada.

And then, my entire family is going into the city to watch the fireworks. I bet they are spectacular!

I know, it’s a pretty full day. How will you celebrate? You can get a copy of the new (and last!) Superman Duffy graphic novel at the Calgary Stampede next week, or by contacting the Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission. Can’t wait? Check out my Blogging From A to Z Challenge from April and learn about a bunch of things that are uniquely Canadian.

I’m proud to be Canadian and looking forward to celebrating with all of you. Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Sunday, 25 June 2017

When You Wish Upon A Star…or Meteor


One of the reasons I love going out to my grandparent’s canola farm (aside from running around it, of course) is because on a clear night, you can see THOUSANDS of stars.

I’ve looked for them in the city, and while I can often point out The Big Dipper, or some of the other well-known constellations, it’s hard to really see the stars with all of the other light pollution.

Which is why next Friday, I’ll be hanging out at the farm for Meteor Watch Day. Apparently June 30 is the day that people see the most meteors—otherwise known as shooting stars. Did you know that shooting stars are actually very small? Thousands of these pebble-to-fist sized stars enter the Earth’s atmosphere on a daily basis, but few reach the surface. When they do, they’re called meteorites.

You can learn more about outer space in the Superman Duffy graphic novel IT’S A BLAST! But it’s actually the “legend” of the shooting star that has me excited for Friday, not necessarily where they fit in the galaxy. As far back as AD 127-151 (a long, long time ago) the Greek astronomer Ptolemy declared that these shooting stars were actually Gods looking down on us—and since the Gods were looking at us, they’d probably be receptive to wishes.

I know, it could be a myth. But with summer holidays just around the corner, I have a LOT of wishes—like, I wish for…oh wait, I can’t say it aloud right now! I’ll just whisper it to the first shooting star I see on June 30. What would you wish for? You have a week to think of some good ones!

Need some ideas? Check out the Superman Duffy graphic novel AS YOU WISH to see what happens when you make wishes that aren’t…sustainable. It’s a pretty funny read.

Gotta jet! Have a great week.

~ Chase Superman Duffy


Friday, 16 June 2017

Around The World: Celebrating With Dad

My dad says he’s my biggest blog fan, which may be true since he always brings up the topics of my writing at the dinner table on Friday nights. So, I won’t tell you how *I* am celebrating Father’s Day this year, because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

But because I’m learning all about different cultures in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, I took a look at how Father’s Day is celebrated around the world. And I learned that it isn’t the same across the globe—in some cases, it’s not even on the same day! In Australia, for instance, the day for honouring Dad occurs on the first Sunday in September. Same with New Zealand. 

In Thailand, Father’s Day is celebrated on the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej (that’s a mouthful) on Dec 5. The King gives a speech and many people in the country wear pink to honour him. Canna Lilies are a popular gift. 

Men—not just fathers—are celebrated in Russia. The Feb. 23 holiday started as a military commemoration, and soldiers are still honoured in parades throughout the country. 

Mexico honours Father’s day with a 21K Father’s Day race (hey, Dad, let’s go there next year!) and people in Brazil celebrate St. Joachim on Aug. 2. St. Joachim is the patron saint of fathers and grandfathers.

Interesting, right?

I’m always fascinated by how different cultures celebrate the various holidays, especially since Canada is such a culturally diverse country. Speaking of Canada…the 16th (and *gulp* final) book in the Superman Duffy series of graphic novels is AT THE PRESS! I can’t wait to share it with all of you. Contact the Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission to see about getting YOUR copy.

Gotta jet! Happy Father’s Day everyone—I hope it’s a special one!

~ Chase Superman Duffy