Friday, 23 September 2016

Celebrating Comic Book Day…with comics!

This SUNDAY, September 25, is NATIONAL COMIC BOOK DAY, the official time we celebrate Obadiah Oldbuck, which considered the very first comic—from way back in 1933. (That’s a long, long time ago!)

I know a little something about comics.

It’s not just because I’m the “star” of 14 educational comic books published by the Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission—I actually read comics. A lot of them.

Grandpa thinks they’re kind of silly, but the truth is, comics are a pretty cool way of telling a story. And if you score one that’s as well done as the Superman Duffy comics, they’re filled with AMAZING art! I thought the first Superman Duffy bok, Fields of Home, was great, but the artist, James Grasdal, just keeps getting better and better. In fact, I can’t WAIT for you to see the newest book, IT TAKES A VILLAGE, which is at the press RIGHT NOW. It’s about careers in agriculture.

This Sunday, I plan on hitting up Happy Harbour in Edmonton, my favourite comic book store. Is there a comic book store in your town? If so, how will you celebrate? Leave a message and you could WIN one of the books—maybe even IT TAKES A VILLAGE, when it’s ready, of course.

Happy National Comic Book Day! I hope you read to your heart’s content.

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The amazing science of agriculture

Maybe I’ve never mentioned it before—probably because I’m always talking about books, and writing, and running—but in my list of school subjects that I really like, science is near the top. 

You already know I love busting myths, even the ones that science can’t explain, but did you know that it’s actually the science that fascinates me?

The thing is, I realized this week that I’ve always had a very narrow view on science—it’s more than dissecting frogs in biology class (do they still do that? I hope so!) or stirring together coloured liquids in a test tube! In fact, unlike some things (like algebra * groan *), science is used in everyday life. Even in agriculture.

And I don’t just mean in the traditional sense either. For instance, I asked my grandpa about when he knows that it’s time to harvest his canola crop, and you know what he said? “There’s a real science behind it, son. You have to consider many factors.”

Like the weather. Some parts of the province got snow last week! Frost is bad for crops, but did you know that you shouldn’t harvest in weather that is too hot either? Wind direction and speed is important too.

Farmers also need to watch for colour changes in their crop. Grandpa says you want the seeds to go from light green to light yellow, reddish brown, or brown. (Obviously I’m going to check that out when I visit my grandparents this weekend.) When the crop has mostly changed, it’s time to harvest!

Fascinating, right?

Okay, so maybe it’s not the kind of science you’re thinking of…but by one online definition, “science” is “a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject.” Which I guess makes my grandpa a scientist on crop harvesting! So, I have to ask, what are YOU a scientist of?

Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

Friday, 9 September 2016

Happy 100th Birthday, Roald Dahl!

If author Roald Dahl was still alive, he would have turned 100 next week. Can you believe that?

You probably know he’s my favourite author (Charlie & the Chocolate Factory is one of the best books I’ve ever read!) so on this 100th birthday, I plan on re-reading one of his novels—for probably the 100th time. Not. Joking.

And I’m probably going to eat some chocolate, because not only did Roald Dahl write a perfect (and delicious!) book about a chocolate factory, he was a self-admitted chocoholic. 

Huh, no wonder his description of chocolate is so great in the book!

Obviously, I’m not the only one who will be celebrating next week. This year will see the biggest ever GLOBAL celebration of Roald Dahl’s birthday—we’re even going to do some things in class, like watch the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie (those Oompa Loompas make me laugh so hard), and create our own Willy Wonka creations in art. If you (or your teacher) wants “in” on the official party pack, you can register here. I sure hope my teacher has registered!

It’s sad to think that there will never be any NEW Roald Dahl books, but lucky for us, there are some classic ones that can be read—and re-read—forever. What other authors can you think of (besides Dr. Seuss, of course) with that kind of impact? How will YOU celebrate the centennial Roald Dahl day? (Post a pic in the comments below and you could win one of the new Superman Duffy books!)

Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy