October 12th – October 18th

XMen49CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


First of all, some sad local news. In case you were not aware, the Platinum Pony experienced a very intense fire last Monday night. No one was injured, as it took place after the close of business. Because of the damage, the Platinum Pony will be closed until former notice. If they need community support to rebuild, they’ll ask and we’ll let you know! For now, they’ll update about performer relocations and the like. Here’s hoping they get back on their feet quickly and put on more fun events!

So hey on a totally different note: it’s Halloweentober! The creepy month of scary things. You know what you should do during the month of Creeptober? Read a bunch of comics that are about monsters and all that jazz!

Local artist Lex Cornell is a good place to start! She draws a bunch of comics, one of which is the charming “Welcome to Enigma“, which we bought at TopatoCon. It’s a comic about a town full of monsters who are all really nice and a young man who believes monsters are fairy tales finding out that oh wait no they’re totally real and totally rad! Well… it ends before he comes out and says “whoa all these people are rad” but it’s obvious to the READER that monsters are rad. It’s light, it’s a quick read, and we were charmed.

Not a local, but we have definitely got to recommend reading Emily Carroll’s amazing work as well! She does just… really intense, really impressive stuff. Her monsters are not rad! They’re scary and distressing. Probably our favorite stories of hers are “Out of Skin“, on of the most distressingly illustrated works we’ve read, and “His Face All Red“, an understated but very creepy tale. You can pick up some of her work from local retailer TopatoCo!

Finally, kind of splitting the difference between terrifying and funny, there’s Abby Howard! “The Last Halloween” is a rollicking horror-adventure-comedy. Abby’s art style works incredibly well for this cross-genre storytelling. It’s as light and fluffy and cartoonish as it needs to be to sell a dumb joke, and then it turns around and presents real freaky horror monsters just when you get comfortable! Super nifty across the board.

So yes, read all those comics. Also probably re-watch The Thing? That’s a heck of a horror flick.

As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Board Games:

Saturday, October 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Board Game Playtest
Are you a fan of board games? Want to help local designers refine their work? Come to Modern Myths! Local board and card game designers will have beta test games available for playtesting! Try something new, and help people out with feedback! If you’re a local designer and want to demo, send a message to Modern Myths!
Sunday, October 18th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Heroclix! Fun little collectible super-person fight miniatures. It’s a little bit streamlined and you don’t have to paint them! Or get to paint them, if you’re the sort of person who likes painting minis. Although you COULD paint them, we suppose…
Saturday, October 17th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at Mystery Time
Star Trek Attack Wing
We’ve never played the attack wing games, but they seem really well-made and entertaining. Though really shouldn’t the Star Trek variant be composed primarily of rolling “make passionate speech” die and maneuvering into position to reach out a hand of friendship across all worlds.
Sunday, October 17th – 18th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at Mystery Time at All Day
Kings of War Demo
Kings of War! A miniatures game. We really don’t super understand how to differentiate between these sorts of rule systems, but it seems fun? Wow could there be fewer orc/elf/dwarf fantasy wars though. You can bring your own models, but there will be miniatures in the store to learn with for free!
Saturday, October 17th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00am – 2:00pm
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
For any student attending the Palmer Public Schools! The games begin at 10:00am, and it’s a 4-round Swiss system. Entry is free, and you get a trophy for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each age bracket! Fun times. Bring a lunch!

Books:

Saturday, October 17th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00am – 12:00pm
Traditional or Independent Publishing?
Join Steve Strimer of Levellers Press, Zane Kotker, a nationally acclaimed fiction writer, and Dusty J. Miller, a non-fiction and mystery writer for a panel about publishing! How to get your work out there and what challenges await, from experienced people!
Tuesday, October 13th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
May Alcott spends her days sewing blue shirts for Union soldiers, but she dreams of painting a masterpiece. she moves far from Massachusetts to make a life for herself with room for both watercolors and a wedding dress, can she succeed? And if she does, what price will she pay?
Wednesday, October 14th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
A stunning collection whose remarkable characters intersect in life-affirming and heartbreaking manners. A 1930’s Soviet censor painstakingly correct offending photos, a chorus of women recite their stories, two brothers share a fierce and protective love. A captivating work from a great new talent!
Thursday, October 15th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
You might say risk… is his middle name. Probably gets that literally every single moment of every day. A shooting in Central Park is the impetus for an investigation into a cast of complex characters. When a blackout hits, all of their lives will be change forever!
Friday, October 16th
South Hadley Public Library [2 Canal St., South Hadley] at 7:00pm
A master creator of heavy-hitting novels for young readers presents his newest book. This novel presents the shattering story of Joseph, a father at thirteen who has never seen his daughter, Jupiter.
Sunday, October 18th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Moderated by the Jones Library’s own Young Adult Services Coordinator, Garrett Pinder, these three authors will discuss their most recent novels. They’ll also give some insight into the strategies and techniques they use to craft compelling characters that resonate with readers long after the end of their books!

Card Games:

Saturday, October 18th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00pm – 7:00pm
Standard PPTQ & Modern GPT Pittsburgh
Ah, our old friend Pittsburgh the elf. Back again, Pittsburgh wants you to try your skills at Standard Proud Princess Training in Quarterstaffs, and Modern Grand Pleasant Times! There are a ton of prize packs, and buy-in is $30.

Comics:

Thursday, October 15th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Queers in Comics & Games
A monthly discussion group meeting the third Thursday of every month, discussion topics such as LGBTQIA+ representation in comics and games. It’s a nice group where you can talk and listen and get great recommendations! Admission is a $5 Day Pass which you an immediately redeem as store credit.

Computers:

Thursday, October 15th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
Are you a Drupal developer? A website person who makes those websites with Drupal, the website making development kit? Well, why not talk to other people with similar skills and interests? Trade tips, make connections, generally have a good time! Drinks generally to follow.
Friday, October 16th
Packard’s Bar – Library Room [14 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Dark
Do you code? Why not talk to other people who code? It’ll be a good time, you’ll meet some new pals with similar skills and interests. Also, this one is After Dark so it’s all sultry and dangerous. Maybe you’ll solve a murder AND get mixed up in some sort of star-crossed love affair?
Saturday, October 17th
Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center [Cabot Street, Holyoke, MA] at 10:00am
Workshop/Bootcamp: Design Thinking: The Fundamentals of Human-Centered Design
A half-day workshop about designing using rapid prototyping and innovative thinking, including a bootcamp where you can try out the process! You’ll learn how to inspire and steward a culture of creativity in your team and how to create sustainable and effective design solutions.

Entertainment:

Saturday, October 17th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Quidditch Club
Quidditch is extra-appropriate during the most magical month of the year! They play the muggle version, because most of the kids around here can’t fly yet. You can also take classes with Professor McGonagall! For kids ages 6-13, rain or shine!
Thursday, October 15th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime! It’s cartoons, mostly from Japan and with a much higher awesome cyborg average than most Western cartoons. Come talk about anime, manga, and whatnot with some other folks. Open to teens and young adults, 14 and up.

Movies:

Friday, October 16th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm
Hocus Pocus Movie Night
Hocus Pocus is SUCH a strange film. It’s a Halloween classic, but wow. So many little slightly distressing and surprisingly child-inappropriate bits. Still, we always make sure to give it a watch during October!
Sunday, October 18th
Mystery Location Shown Only to Members
Hello, McFly! Back to the Future Movie Night!
Join the friendly folks at the Western Mass Sci-Fi club as they welcome Marty McFly to the future with a viewing of Back to the Future Part II. Why the 18th, instead of the 21st? The 21st is a Wednesday. It costs $5 to attend, and you need to sign up for the Meetup group!

RPGs:

Sunday, October 18th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
13th Age RPG
Try a fun D20 RPG! It’s been praised by a lot of folks for having a really interesting and well-crafted set of non-combat systems. And really, as fun as it is to bash goblins, the most entertaining part of playing RPGs is figuring out those interpersonal moments.
Thursday, October 15th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm
RPG Club
Come hang out and roll up a character! Go on adventures, take daring risks for incredible rewards, and have a fun time with some other people telling an exciting story.
Friday, October 16th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA]
Magestry LARP Autumn Game 3
Magestry! Adventure, mysticism, and bewonderment in our lovely Valley! This is the penultimate game of the season and they’re putting out a general call for the maximum number of NPCs! Be a villain or a monster and stand in the path of the brave heroes as they bop you repeatedly! Sounds kind of awesome honestly. NPCing is free, and they feed you! Even doing it a few hours would help out. Contact NPC@Magestry.com if you’re interested.

Science:

Thursday, October 15th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 3:00pm – 5:00pm
STEAM Events for Kids
Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math! Learn and have fun at the library every Thursday with a guest presenter. Who’s presenting this week? It is a mystery. But they will be delightful, that’s guaranteed.

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