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One Sheets – Series One

For a plethora of reasons I don’t really feel like going into right now, I’ve decided to destroy all my old movie posters, and recompose them all into abstract pictures.

Each of the images you see are made entirely out of a single film poster, pasted onto a 16 by 20 canvas, with no other added images. I call them ‘One Sheets’. Mainly because I think it’s a snappy title for the series, and because ‘Decoupaged Copyright Infringement’ is too many syllables.

All unsold images are on display in The Purple Room at Frame Arts Warehouse, and can be purchased by sending a private message to @jdrenaud on Twitter.


“This Was An Abysmal Failure”, formerly Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


This was my very first attempt at a full 16 by 20 canvas, and I completely fucked it up. I didn’t like the fact that you could still read text and clearly make out certain images. The edges were frayed, I had bubbles everywhere, it was just a god damn mess. Mostly, I hated the fact that it was clear that I had just cut up an old poster. Granted, that is what I did, and what I am doing for all of these, but regardless, this one pissed me off. It really annoyed me how it proved that I didn’t have the skills or the intelligence to know how to use my materials effectively yet.

 It sat in my hallway for a week, and it made me furious when I looked at it. The only thing I could think of when I saw it was “This Was An Abysmal Failure”. So, I took out my paints, wrote that on it, slapped two logos on either side, and to be honest with you, now I love it. A fitting start. 

“Don’t Talk Like One Of Them”, formerly The Dark Knight

“Strikes and Gutters, Ups and Downs”, formerly The Big Lebowski

“Children’s Programming”, formerly Clerks

“No Real People”, formerly Reservoir Dogs

“Two Together Are Always Going Somewhere”, formerly Vertigo

Controversy at the VMAs: The Next 21 Years












Miley Cyrus has drawn a considerable amount of media attention for her salacious performance at the MTV Video Music Awards over the weekend. However, this is not the first time that the VMAs have drawn controversy, nor will it likely be the last.

Using a very complicated series of graphs and linear programming charts, I have created a 21 year projection for the ongoing history of controversial moments at the VMAs.  Please keep referring back to this list every year to see how accurate I was.

2014 – Huge shock waves go out on the twitterverse when One Direction announces their break-up, citing creative differences. Naill Horan exits the stage giving what many in the audience interpret to be the seig heil arm gesture, though he denies it. Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s performance of their new single, ‘Rohypnol Rumble’, is edited from the show for time.

2015 – The twitterverse explodes when Justin Bieber announces his plans to portray Heath Ledger in the upcoming bio-pic of the late actor. Katy Perry wears a dress made entirely out of olinguito fur. This broadcast is also the last known public sighting of Pharrell Williams, whom is never seen or heard from again. Ben Affleck as Batman hosts.

2016 – In a comeback performance that few saw coming, Sarah McLachlan very visibly masturbates on stage for four straight minutes while performing her 1995 hit ‘I Will Remember You’. As a result, Twitter suffers an irreparable sever overload. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sues McLachlan for the necessary repairs to the twitterverse. Nicki Minaj wears a very strange hat.

2017 – Brazilian-born and Seattle-raised internet pop sensation Yoalin Karr sweeps the awards with his hit single ‘Done 4 U’, despite the distinction of never having released the single on a major label. A bidding war erupts to secure the rights to release his first album. Host Justin Timberlake is very visibly gaining weight. A Pepsi ad depicting an implied scene of incest draws controversy.

2018 – The Nu Metal Revival medley sees the surviving members of Limp Bizkit join members of Twerk-Metal band Caawk in a performance that ends in the accidental death of Caawk’s bass player, Naill Horan. Yoalin Karr’s performance is criticized for allegedly depicting a re-enactment the 9/11 attacks, of which Karr claims he’d never heard of before. Only 3 awards are given out all night.

2019 – The lowest rated VMAs in history, mostly due to the show being preempted for the debut of the new MTV reality series “Fuck, Marry, Kill”, in which a contestant is forced to actually fuck, marry, or kill three celebrities. (Jennifer Lawrence, Chloe Grace Mortez, and Willow Smith, respectively). One notable performance is the duet between Kid Rock and a hologram of Joe C.

2020One Direction reunites, replacing Naill Horan with the newly sober and born again christian Miley Cyrus. Host Tyler the Creator causes a stir when he steals all of the Moonman awards and starts to throw them at people in the audience, injuring several. Jay-Z is given the lifetime achievement award, but forgot to set his alarm from PM to AM, and is not there in time to accept.

2021Yoalin Karr proposes live on television to his girlfriend, Frances Bean Cobain. Chris Brown descends from the rafters of Radio City Music Hall, pouring what many first believed to be pig’s blood on the first four rows of audience members. It is later revealed to be blood from several people still on the missing person’s registry. A lengthy investigation follows. Hologram Joe C hosts.

2022 – After being snubbed by the awards the year previous, Kanye West decides to put on his own awards show across the street from Radio City Music Hall, inviting only friends and family to attend. U2 does a performance live via satellite from their privately owned space station. Malasian-American singer Tenai does her entire performance suspended in the air by metal hooks digging into her back, symbolizing something.

2023Lady Gaga accepts her lifetime achievement award in a very classy and conservative white evening dress. Her acceptance speech is simply “Alright, monsters. It’s time.”, before walking off stage. A single gunshot is heard. Later, 272,802 more suicides are reported by devout Gaga fans across the world. Bruno Mars is shown picking his nose in a cut-away, which quickly becomes an internet meme.

2024 – A tribute to the late 2 Chainz is sullied by a drunk and belligerent Justin Bieber and Robin Thicke, who storm the stage wearing ‘Bieber/Thicke 2024’ election t-shirts. Two unknown women are seen doing meth and making out with each other in the audience pit. They will later sign to a four record deal with Interscope records. This marks the first year that no awards are given out whatsoever.

2025 – A man wearing a Kendrick Lamar mask runs naked across the stage during Jaden and Will Smith’s unsettling medley of love songs to each other. People are stunned, but less-so once it is revealed that he was only one of dozens of naked Kendrick Lamar backup dancers, late to the show, who will be seen later during Lamar’s performance in the show. Tenai announces her new album will be released exclusively on Mini Disc. Two Girls Doing Meth and Making Out host.

2026Mumford and Sons perform a 47 minute jam set before security is forced to intervene and remove them from the building. Yoalin Karr announces plans to start his own religion. Most of the live acts are visibly masturbating themselves or others during each performance. Meanwhile, the 5th year of The Kanye Awards draws record ratings with the surprise reunion of the Talking Heads.

2027 – A protest is staged outside of Radio City Music Hall to prevent the performance of pop sensation Tristan Turner, with many feeling that his hit ‘There Without You (I Can’t Get No Fuck)’ bears too close of a resemblance to the 3 Doors Down song ‘Here Without You’, the latter of which has since become the national anthem of Cambodia. Turner is 4 years old. Nicki Minaj wears a very strange hat, made out of the corpse of Katy Perry.

2028 – No awards due to rain.

2029 – No awards due to floods.

2030 – No awards due to locust.

2031 – No awards due to Daft Punk’s control over the west coast power grid.

2032 – The VMAs return, with survivors of The Great Darkness exhibiting their talents for those fortunate enough to still have a working television. Acts deemed ‘pleasing’ by the barbaric iron fists of Daft Punk are permitted to survive another year. The winner this year is Frances Bean Cobain for murdering her husband, Pope Yoalin Karr the First, live on the air. Hologram Joe C hosts.

2033 – A rag-tag band of disheveled pop stars set aside their differences and unite to crush the tyrannical regime that has constricted them into a life of violent pseudo-sexual torture. Together, a one-legged Rihanna, Marshall ‘Mohammed’ Mathers, Frances Bean Cobain, two of the four surviving members of Muse, and Drake’s brain hooked up to the body of a 15-foot cyborg, rise up to defeat Daft Punk and free their imprisoned contemporaries. It comes in second in the ratings to the season finale of ‘Rick Clarion: Retard Cop’ on AMC, starring Michael Cera.

2034 – The 50th anniversary of the awards features a lengthy montage of past VMA moments that helped shape popular culture over the years. From the infamous kiss between Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, to the public gaffes by Fiona Apple and Kanye West, not a single controversial or memorable moment in the five decade long history of the awards is over looked. The outfits, the gimmicks, the spectacles and the scandal. Performances that marked the arrival of new musical icons, and solidified the pedigree of those who came before. The montage artfully and without omission presents the long history of the MTV Video Music Awards for what it truly has been, and for what it has come to mean. For decades, it has been the annual event for the most visual generation of young people in history to see their idols at the peak of their pageantry. To see them expose as much as they can to as many as they can. Be it for reasons of misguided vanity, or in a pure desire to express themselves as true artists, it has become and endures as the widest forum for popular musicians to be seen and talked about by their public, and to hopefully never be forgotten. The montage is followed by a Pepsi commercial featuring two computer animated owls screaming racial slurs and farting on each other, which quickly becomes an internet meme.

– J.D. Renaud

Big Shiny Tunes 2 Could Be Your Life

My taste in music is awful.

Before we go any further, please understand that I am fully aware of that. I’m not here to justify or apologize for any of the things I’ve liked in the past, nor am I here to validate or rationalize any of the things I like today. I’m certainly not a music scholar, nor am I claiming to be some pillar of musical integrity. I’m too far gone for redemption at this point, as my current iTunes playlist of k-pop ballads and songs ripped from old super nintendo games will clearly illustrate. I’m not here to tell you what is good or bad, or what you should or should not like.

That being said, let me explain to you why Big Shiny Tunes 2 is the greatest album released in the last 20 years.

The Big Shiny Tunes series is well known to all Canadians who had their formative rock and rolling years in the late 90s and early 2000s. Compiled and released by MuchMusic just before christmas time each year, it was the alternative rock companion to the popular MuchDance pop and R&B series. If you were a teenage boy (or an angry teenage girl), it was likely that you were going to get at a copy of the newest Big Shiny Tunes in your stocking that year, bought for you by that distant aunt who barely knew you but remembered you wore those baggy pants and had mentioned you liked that English singer fellow “Radio Ed” once or twice.

I was eleven years old in 1997. I had been collecting cassette tapes for a few years at that point, most of them bought based on a vague rudimentary criteria, namely if it was something I thought my older brother liked and would make me seem cooler by-proxy, or if Weird Al was somehow involved. That christmas, I would receive two very important gifts, my first compact disc boom box, and my very own copy of Big Shiny Tunes 2.

Ask anyone who is familiar with these albums, and they will agree with me that the second Big Shiny Tunes was by far the best the series ever produced. That’s not me being hyperbolic. That’s just a stone cold fact. The sun rises in the east, the moon orbits the earth, Scarface is overrated, and Big Shiny Tunes 2 was the best Big Shiny Tunes. Period. Case closed. Roll credits. Emmett Kelley, sweep up that spotlight.

The numbers don’t lie, either. It is still the fourth highest selling album in Canadian history. Considering we’re talking about a compilation album comprised mainly of artists who had yet to (or would never) achieve those numbers on their own, that’s pretty impressive. Sales and figures aside, it is still without question the best selection of songs the series ever compiled. There was nothing particularly wrong with the first Big Shiny Tunes, but some of the choices were glaringly odd, and did not endure the test of time as well as the sophomore effort in the series (Poe? I mean, really? Fucking Poe?) Succeeding volumes would try to recapture that magic, but would never quite make it over that high water mark.

Sales of the series begin steadily dipping with each successive release. It’s no mystery that the record industry took a major punch in the dick with the rise of downloading in those years, and that the need for compilations like Big Shiny Tunes would soon become irrelevant. Beyond that whole rigmarole, rock music itself got a lot less easy to compartmentalize in those years. The internet has made the various sub-genres of rock boisterous enough to support and promote themselves, and all flavors of rock are now easily accessible to the pasty-faced distortion-loving kids of today. Back in the day, genres of questionable similarity mashed together in those early volumes of Big Shiny Tunes, the logic being that it was all technically “alternative rock”, and that all the misfits just had to learn to play nice together. We had to just suck it up if we didn’t like the fact that Sugar Ray and The Prodigy were on the same album.

For a lot of us, it was all we had. There was no other grand public forum for a less than universally palatable rock bands at the time, making those albums likely the first time a young music fan would hear something like Marilyn Manson or The Chemical Brothers, outside of course for the basement of that weird kid at school who smelled like paint thinner and whose parents had that garage we were never allowed into.

That’s not the case anymore, it seems. There has not been a new volume of Big Shiny Tunes since 2009. Big Shiny Tunes 14 may end up being the last in the series, as most kids today view being given a mix CD of current radio friendly rock songs the same way I would have felt in 1997 being handed a wax cylinder with the Men In Black soundtrack on it.

So why was Big Shiny Tunes 2 the best, you ask? Is it because it was broad enough in appeal and varied enough in content to pretty much appease everyone’s musical tastes at the time? Did the MuchMusic scientists crack the code and pick the best seventeen songs that they knew would define that place and time for so many young people? Was it just the perfect time to release an album of borderline-badass rock songs aimed at stupid suburban kids?

Probably all of the above. Mostly the last one. I should know, I was one.

Saying Big Shiny Tunes 2 is a great album is not to claim any sort of musical superiority over my peers or elevate my rock critic snobbery. Just look at it…

1. Prodigy – Breathe (Edit)
2. Blur – Song 2
3. Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life
4. Smash Mouth – Walkin’ On The Sun
5. Sugar Ray – Fly (featuring Supercat)
6. Bran Van 3000 – Drinking in LA
7. Marilyn Manson – Beautiful People
8. Holly McNarland – Numb
9. Bush – Swallowed
10. Matchbox 20 – Push
11. Collective Soul – Precious Declaration (Remix)
12. The Tea Party – Temptation (Edit) (Tom Lord-Alge Mix)
13. The Chemical Brothers – Block Rockin’ Beats (Radio Edit)
14. Wide Mouth Mason – My Old Self
15. Radiohead – Paranoid Android
16. The Age Of Electric – Remote Control
17. Stone Temple Pilots – Lady Picture Show

Yeah, I’ll admit, some of those are pretty bad. Some of them are shit, quite frankly. Some got worse over time, and some endured the same level of shittiness without the benefit of ironic distance. I don’t need to say which ones, I think we all know which they are. It’s hard to defend them as enduring classics, but like it or not, a better selection could not have been made for that time and place. I’m not sure if I could adequately explain it to someone who was not there, but you need to appreciate how incredibly handy it was to have an album at that time to embody all the various forms of disillusionment that I and my peers were about to feel in the next decade.

All the stars aligned on this one. These songs endured over the years for me, and are often recalled in the same memory along with each other. If ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’ is to forever be thought of in connection to Reservoir Dogs, ‘Lady Picture Show’ will always be remembered as the last song I heard before the discs would change in the player. I can’t hear any song off this album without thinking of the other songs that came before and after them. Their connection to this album will forever be how I associate them.

I’m biased, I know. I’m sure anyone who did not have the exact same upbringing as me could easily poke a few holes into my theory about this being the greatest album of my generation. However, I refuse to think that my admiration for this album is just some sort of Andy Rooney-esque old man rant about how things were better when I was a kid.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do think that. Of course I do. I was a kid, this shit was made for me. I hate today. Today fucking blows. I’m 26, bald, can’t pay my phone bill, and the hallway of my apartment building always smells like onions. In 1997, every day was just Ren and Stimpy re-runs and me sitting in front of that boom box lip syncing to Blur and Age of Electric. You tell me I’m wrong in thinking that’s awesome and I’ll call you a coward who is missing the point.

I can’t be objective about the quality of the music, no matter how much I force myself to think analytically about it. I can’t have hindsight about something that essential to my upbringing. The thought does often cross my mind, though. Do I still like the songs that were on this album, or do I still like these songs because they are on this album?

Remember, I was eleven when I first heard it. I had a lot of leg work ahead of me before I was ever going to figure out what I actually liked. I was still a summer away from even finding the Beastie Boys. I was intrigued but intimidated by heavy metal, thought most electronic music was boring, and did not have the attention span to sit though a whole album by any band I had only known from their singles. I would only ever get out of that head space through time, patience, and a whole lot of trail and error.

I can vividly remember being in my teens, sitting in a bus station, listening to my just purchased copy of The Cramps’ Bad Music For Bad People. I’ll never forget thinking that everything had irreversibly changed for me the moment the album ended. Nobody helped me find it. It was not ‘recommended’ to me based on some youtube or iTunes algorithm. I just went to the punk section of a record store and took a risk. I felt like I had won, like I had achieved a special prize in the field of cognitive exploration. I had to listen to a lot of shit before I found the stuff I actually liked, but eventually it started to pay off, and I was armed in that exploration with the knowledge and insight that albums like Big Shiny Tunes 2 had instilled in me.

I can only assume that eleven year olds are getting their music today the same way I currently am, by exploring the internet trying to find things similar to what they already like. I’m sure we all think of this as a superior method of being exposed to new music than grabbing the latest Big Shiny Tunes, but I can’t help but wonder if this method does more harm than good in the long run.

Do young people ever make mistakes buying music anymore? When was the last time you bought an album you were sure you were going to like, only to find out it was a piece of shit? I still buy albums, but only after I’ve previewed the tracks to death, ensuring I don’t waste my precious fifteen bucks on something I’ll end up hating. I certainly did not have that attitude growing up. I blew hundreds of dollars collecting albums that I would immediately regret buying after the first agonizing listen. Has anyone in this country under the age of sixteen even done this once?

The scour and rip method works great for me now, but I can’t imagine how I would have approached it if I didn’t have the first few years of my musical intake easily weaned on me by the corporate monoliths that tried for years to convince me that Treble Charger was a good band. Am I nostalgic for being spoon-fed my media by a room full of executives? People who assumed there was no way I could not love the songs they foisted upon me in a grungey looking black and yellow package?

Sure. Well, a little bit, anyway. It was a much simpler time in my life. They would never convince me to like Wide Mouth Mason, but I digress.

Big Shiny Tunes 2 helped immensely in getting me started down the path to figuring out what kinds of music I liked and didn’t like. It was a buffet of options I could pursue deeper on a track by track basis, over a long period of time, with my own chosen conviction. So many amazing albums had been released at that point that I would not discover for years, but I would eventually find using Big Shiny Tunes 2 as a musical canary in the coal mine. All I had was it as my starting point, and the desire to dig deeper and find more.

While in the process of digging, of course there were a few years where I arrogantly thought I had it all figured out. Maybe it was because my embarrassment in genuinely liking cheesy forms of entertainment reared itself as I got deeper into my teens, but for a while there, I hated Big Shiny Tunes 2. I dove head first into a punk rock and horror movie bubble of “FUCK YOU!” that no socially inclusive inclinations would dare penetrate. Eventually, like all young self-flagellating jackasses would (or should) eventually do, I started taking myself less seriously, broadened my horizons a bit, and remembered that at one point in my life I really liked Bran Van 3000. It’s hard to pretend you’re some sort of stoic, culturally learned badass when you know that is a salient truth about yourself.

That’s what I fear about today’s kids. Younger and younger, they are more certain of why they are fucked up, only because they have easier access to be obsessive about it. They are not forced to live their lives as ambiguously pissed off as I was.

I thought I was a lot of things I ended up not even coming close to being. I’ve worn every shade of black you can probably think of, all in a desperate attempt to figure out what I was actually mad at. A kid today can feel pissed off, type his or her symptoms into allmusic, search the ‘moods‘ section for something that suits their fancy, and be listening the perfect song that articulates their unique pain within moments. After that, the introspective search ends, and a new pre-teen Smiths fan is born.

Meanwhile, back in the dark ages of the late 90s, I actually had to go to the store and buy Dead Kennedys, Nick Drake, Portishead, and Carcass albums, trying to figure out what combination of dejected and lonely I actually was. I’d sit in my room with a stack of albums, trying to crack that code with limited success.

That search never ended for me, though. Nor do I think it ever really ends for someone passionate about music and what it means to them. Filling that void in yourself is the foundation of a long term appreciation of music, and whether I like to admit it or not, Big Shiny Tunes 2 was the album that forced me to explore why music made me feel the way it did.

It shaped me, because it gave me options. Its better if you are forced to try out a few forms of rebellion before you find out which one suits you. An eleven year old kid today could find every song The Clash ever made if he wanted to. Or Odd Future. Or Stevie Nicks. Whoever or whatever they choose to idolize is incidental, what matters is the volume of content they can access for any artist is easily deep enough to get lost in. Whatever avenue they decide on, for better or worse, will permanently alter how they view and interpret anything else they are exposed to.

They will never have to pick for scraps. They will never be thrown the proverbial bone with a compilation of songs that might be outside their wheelhouse. They won’t be shown that all countercultures exist because everyone is dealing with the same shit, just in different ways. They will have infinite access to all these countercultures, but never be exposed their contemporaries with due diligence. They can pigeonhole themselves as misunderstood twats faster than ever before. All kids are misunderstood twats, but they need to know there is kinship between them and all the other misunderstood twats out there. The Holly McNarlands and Radioheads and Third Eye Blinds of the world have a lot more in common with each other than you’d probably think.

Infinite choice gives you the opportunity to have standards, and therein lies the problem. Kids should not have standards. Standards and taste are things that should evolve with you over time. You can either choose to have them evolve or not, but you can’t enter the world of music and art with the assumption that you’ve seen the mountain top before you’ve actually climbed it. Kids should have options, and should be fortunate enough to have sheppards though the wasteland of shit that is most of what they will be first exposed to. Even with our newfangled technology, it should still be a challenge for them to figure that all out on their own.

The experience of finding new music has been greatly simplified, but finding music that shakes you out of your comfort zone and makes you question yourself is still as arduous as it always was. Those voices are important to find, and kids should be forced to dig for them. 

It should be hard. They should make mistakes. They should spend money on albums they will regret, rather than just mindlessly downloading and deleting them. They should spend weeks, months, perhaps even years screwing it up before finding out they got it all wrong and having to start all over again. The tiniest glints of help in that search should be coming from a big brother’s record collection, a weird recommendation from a friend, or a cheap compilation album bought for them by a parent in a gas station.

The bar has been set pretty high, but one can only hope that gas station album is as formative in their education as Big Shiny Tunes 2 was for me.

– J.D. Renaud

My Hotmail Hates You

New content coming soon.


When I moved to Winnipeg four years ago, I really did not know much about the city at all. I was a refugee in a bizarre land whose main claims to fame were the impressive number of murders per capita committed there, several poorly painted polar bear statues that appeared on random street corners, and an unhealthy sense of civic pride in the amount of slurpees and perogies they consumed.

People seemed genuinely confused when I told them that I had chosen to live there of my own volition. I have my reasons. I was charmed by the idea of a city with literally no ego whatsoever. To be fair, a grand chunk of that wanderlust also stemmed from the fact that my hometown of Oakville Ontario was and still is a place where dreams go to get warm beer thrown on them and curb stomped outside of a Pizza Pizza.

Upon landing in Winnipeg in March of 2008, I managed to get a full time job right away, and had very little time to go out and familiarize myself with the city. I did not see much in those first few months beyond the neighbourhood near my home, the vast industrial nothingness near my work, and the corner of Portage and Vaughan, which was where I would have to wait every day to transfer busses to get to and from work.

Also located on the corner of Portage and Vaughan is the Bay department store, an impressively large heritage building at the center of one of the busiest intersections in the city. It’s been there for decades, and being located in an area of the city with heavy foot traffic, they of course have large window displays facing into the streets.

Why am I bringing this up? Because there is something I witnessed in those windows that I need to share with you. Something that I have never been able to shake since moving here, and something that I fear I will never be able to erase from my memory. It was a far cry from the usual mannequin and discount sign set up that you’re likely to see there today.

When I first arrived here, they contained Screamscapes.

Screamscapes was an art instillation, comprised of several pieces donated by a local grade school. I unfortunately did not get the name of said school, nor the ages of the children contributing the pieces. It really does not matter, though. Knowing that information would certainly not give I or anyone else any comfort in this situation.

For you see, Screamscapes was a collection of plasticine renderings of children’s worst nightmares, created by the children themselves.

Oh, yes.

I would like to remind you, I moved to Winnipeg in March. In some parallel universe where this kind of thing is tolerated, you put these things in the window on Halloween, and you promptly bury them in the backyard and beg forgiveness from your Lord on November 1st. You don’t keep stuff like this in your window in the springtime, just when people are starting to feel good about themselves for the first time in months! To top it off, these mini windows to hell were on display for an OBSCENELY long time. They were finally removed in August of that year to make way for a back to school display. Keep in mind that I have no idea how long they were in the window before I moved here, and we can’t rule out the possibility that they could have been there for weeks, months, perhaps even years before I showed up.

I asked all my new Winnipeg friends if they had seen these things, and none of them said they had noticed them. It seemed that nobody I told even believed me that they were real.

So I got proof.

What you are about to see are some of the pictures I took of these pieces. I must warn you, if you still have faith in the purity of todays children, or if you still hold out some tiny bit of hope that future generations will rise above the many obstacles and hindrances of our hectic world, you are about to have those illusions thoroughly shattered. These tiny works of macabre art are scarier than a thousand Freddy Krugers, and will curve your spine and turn your soul as jet black as they have already turned mine.

Also, please do not forget, these were on PUBLIC DISPLAY in the window of a very well known and respected Canadian business, in the middle of a busy intersection, in a city that I had just moved to, and that I had to walk by every single day.

For six months.

God help us. Lets begin.

“The Boogeyman” by Alysia

“The Boogeyman” has always been a classic ambiguous character for children of all ages to attribute their various fears to. Every child has a different vision of this elusive figure, but for Alysia, he is your standard “man in black with a bloody knife in your doorway” type. I suspect that this is probably not the exact nightmare Alysia had involving said Boogeyman, but that this was the simplest way to show her general fear of someone she does not know busting into her room, invading her personal space, and just being a general creep. We’ve all been there, Alysia. Not a lot of specificity going on here, but relatable all the same. Still, if you ask me, I’d say she was asking for it by having “The Boogeyman” written on her sheets. Just sayin’.

“Death” by Paige

“Death”, the original Boogeyman, if you will, is a far more direct presence in this purple and brown opus by Paige. The first thing I noticed here is that Paige is seemingly not distressed in the slightest by the looming spectre of the damned standing at the edge of her bed. She is actually smiling in the face of “Death”, which, say what you will, takes serious balls. Who among us can claim to be that fearless in the face of our own impending mortality? Not me, that’s for damn sure. Every time I’ve almost been in a car accident, my mind immediately shifts to all the excuses I’m going to give to Jesus about how every time I’ve masturbated that it was in self defence. “Death” is something that we never really get over being afraid of, and I suspect that Paige is going to grow up to be just as neurotic and conflicted about it as the rest of us. This work shows us that she at least has somewhat come to terms with it, and is clearly maturing very fast for her age. She will likely to be the first girl in her class to read Animal Farm and get a tattoo of a word like “Sustain” or “Endure” on her wrist.

“Creepy Crawly Sleep” by Davina, and “Arachnophobia” by Cali

Spiders. A fear that still plagues a huge chunk of the people I know, and with good reason. They’re gross, they’re hairy, the way they move is just flat-out creepy, and we have yet to make a Pixar movie that shows how adorable they can be when humans are not looking. In these companion pieces, Davina and Cali both take on this classic phobia with two distinctly different flairs. Davina is evidently still a little shaken by what was likely a real event that happened in her life, and decided to manifest it plasticine form. To be frank, not a lot of imagination went into this one. I’m sure her friends and family are happy she made it, since I can imagine there was a good six months where she would not shut up about that time she woke up with “the hugest spider ever!” on her face. We get it, Davina. It was a daddy long legs, you were at the cottage, it didn’t bite you, your dad killed it, then he gave you some Oreos. Suck it up, buttercup. Your nightmare sucks.

Cali, on the other hand, has added a little bit more artistic license to her game. Sure, nobody likes spiders, but how about giant three-legged spiders that shoot lightening out of their backs and only get blood on one of their teeth when they eat you? Now THAT is a story worth repeating to people. “Arachnophobia” shows us how sometimes fears can get so overblown that they often don’t even resemble the core idea of what we were afraid of in the first place. Cali probably tells her friends she’s scared of spiders, but really, its evolved way beyond that at this point. In a more deeper sense, she’s scared of herself. She will probably over-medicate this neurosis well into her teens and twenties to quell those inner demons, feel guilty, get a career in either social work or psychiatry to karmically offset it, and end up solving the bullshit ‘problems’ of people like Davina who will likely still be boring the crap out of people with the story of the time she woke up with a spider on her face until the day she dies.

“Little Sunburn?” by Nick, and “Night Murder” by Sara

Sara definitely takes home the prize for best title with “Night Murder”, which I’m now pissed I didn’t use as the title of my failed pilot pitch to FX. While I’m not completely sure what is going on in this little two act play, I suspect that what we are dealing with here is the fear of dying in your sleep. I’ve never really understood that, since quite honestly, I sincerely hope that I die in my sleep, especially if I’m going to be “Night Murdered”. People who are worried about being murdered in their sleep have not really fully considered how much it would suck to be well rested and alert for it. Also, being murdered in the middle of the day is an infinitely worse proposition to me than being murdered at night. If the sun is still out while I’m getting murdered, trust me, that was not my idea.

On the topic of the sun, “Little Sunburn?” is certainly one of the more esoteric additions to the Screamscapes pantheon. I suspect that the question mark was added in by the person who printed up the little signs, since I can’t really make much sense out of what Nick has given us here, either. Near as I can tell, Nick is afraid that he is going to float out at sea on a raft, and wind up being horribly burnt by the sun. So horribly in fact, that while he’s out there, he will start to hallucinate that his scorched flesh has turned bone white, and that the sun has transformed into an angry hispanic vampire. I can’t say I was ever afraid of something like that happening to me before, but I sure as hell am now. Thanks a lot, Nick.

“Blades of Doom” by Dwayne, and “Into the Ground” by McKyvor

Responsibility is always a tough pill for kids to swallow. Your whole life you get to run around naked eating Golden Grahams, then one day, suddenly someone tells you that is not cool anymore. In school, one of the first ‘jobs’ you’re likely to get is that of junior crossing guard, which is a responsibility that I’m guessing McKyvor was saddled with at some point. It does not take a psychology degree to interpret what kind of issue McKyvor is dealing with here, that of course being the completely rational stress that he, a small child, has been given the daily “responsibility” of stopping hundreds of motorized metal killing machines from mowing down himself and his friends. Why do we think it is okay to slap a reflective vest on a pre-teen and assign them the task of saving the lives of their classmates from drunk drivers and texting businessmen? As a former junior crossing guard myself, I sympathize with him. He’s purely a victim of circumstance in this situation. If you ever had this job as a kid and you don’t STILL have nightmares about it, I envy you.

As for “Blades of Doom”, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that Dwayne got confused by the assignment. Instead of making a nightmare picture, he’s clearly made a picture of the awesome dreams he has where he fights the creatures from Testament album covers.

“Out of Breath” by Saleha

Alright, let’s just suspend our disbelief for a minute here and pretend that Saleha did NOT get help from her parents with this. If we are to assume that, then “Out of Breath” is clearly the most elaborate and vivid of all the works in this series, by far. The attention to detail here is truly stunning. I don’t know why it was important for Saleha to depict the loss of her shoes, but even that seemingly innocuous detail makes this a remarkable work of art for someone of ANY age. I have not worked with plasticine in quite some time, but you could give me all the time in the world and I’m sure I would not be able to make something half this good. Kudos, Saleha. You have a great talent in making your nightmares come to life. Now, you must either take your new found artistic skill and translate it into a long and respected career in the arts, or you need to fess up and admit that you didn’t make this, and that your dad was one of the creators of Bump in the Night.

“Great White Monster” by Michael, and “Capsized” by Shandina

Ah, the sea. Bitter enemy of sailors and self-conscious fat people who don’t like taking their shirts off alike. “Great White Monster” gets right to the point, and is clearly presented to us by an artist who is not a big fan of ‘subtlety’. Does this one really need any further analysis by me? I’m pretty sure it speaks for itself. Michael does not want his legs bitten off by a whale. Got it. Who the hell does? Moving on.

“Capsized” is a far more interesting piece to me, anyway. At first glance, this is just a depiction of your standard, run of the mill phobia of being trapped on a sinking ship. Not really that imaginative in the grand pantheon of nightmarish situations. However, what really grabbed my attention is the white duck in the foreground. This dosile creature is oddly juxtaposed against the catastrophe behind going on mere feet behind him, and it’s an image that I’ve yet to be able to fully process. Shandina has given us an intimate peek into a deceptively simple scene, since it is clear as day to me that this duck is responsible for sinking that ship, and for the deaths of hundreds of innocent sea-faring men and women. Every other piece we have seen thus far depicts horrible things happening just to the artist, but here, I believe we are viewing this carnage from the perspective of Shandina standing on the shore, watching the horror unfold at the hands of this murderous waterfowl. It’s kind of like that song In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins, only if Phil Collins was a little girl, and if the guy she saw drowning that other guy was actually a duck (which, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he wasn’t).

“Scary, Crazy Clowns” by Jacklyn, and “The Evil Flowns” by Ryan

How could we get this far down the rabbit hole of things that scare the crap out of children without touching on clowns? These malformed terror jockeys have been ruining the innocence of children for centuries, so it’s no surprise that they are featured prominently at the end of this collection. “Scary, Crazy Clowns” is, let’s be honest, pretty tame compared to some of the more modern interpretations of creepy clowns we’ve all grown accustom to. I suspect that what Jacklyn is trying to say with her work is something that we all know in our heart of hearts to be true, though. That is of course that NORMAL clowns are already scary and crazy. You don’t need to amplify something that in it’s basic inception is already balls-to-the-wall insane to make it any more sinister. Message received, Jacklyn. I’m totally on board with you.

It’s companion piece, “The Evil Flowns“, requires a bit of explanation. The title may at first seem like a typo, but I assure you that it is not. You unfortunately can’t see it based on the angle at which I took the photo, but it did indeed have the word “Flowns” written clearly in the bottom corner. Based on the picture, I have to assume that “Flown” is short for “Phantom Clown”, or some other sort of bizarre ghost/clown hybrid. These “Evil Flowns” then steal children at night and stuff them into barrels, for reasons that the artist Ryann unfortunately did not feel like elaborating on. Too bad, since this is obviously something he has extensive knowledge of, and is something I genuinely wish to know more about. I get the feeling that this is only a tiny piece of a much bigger puzzle. He knew enough about his nightmare, and was certain enough about the correct names of these creatures, to know that he had to write the word “Flowns” on his piece to avoid any possible confusion. I wish I could empathize, since I’ve had scary creatures in my nightmares too, but none of them had any preferred nomenclature that I knew I would have to clarify to people.

Even if you’re not dealing with clowns that are cursed to terrify you from beynd the grave, normal clowns can be scary enough in their own right, which brings us to the final piece in our collection…

“Clown Massacre” by Winnie

OH GOD, NO! GET IT AWAY! BURN IT! BURN IT WITH FIRE! Sweet Baby Jesus, what is going on in the Winnie household!?! This kid is going to be fighting this demon well into adulthood, I’m sure. I just hope that she eventually gets the help and medication needed to slay it. Where the hell do you even start with this one? It has everything! Thunder and lightning? Check. Home invasion scenario? Check. Clowns? Check. Bloody chainsaw? Double check, because for those of you with a keen eye for detail, you all will notice that the most disturbing part of this whole scene is the small motion lines around the chainsaw. That’s right, not only is this a murderous clown brandishing a bloody chainsaw in your bedroom, it is a murderous clown brandishing a FUNCTIONAL bloody chainsaw in your bedroom! A fully feuled cordless power tool in perfect working order that is being opperated by someone who knows how to effectively use one, in this case for the purposes of “Clown Massacring”. This is not some dumbass clown who got a hold of a chainsaw and is just winging it, hoping for the best. This is a career criminal whose preferred weapon of choice is a goddamn chainsaw, and Winnie wanted to make sure that everyone who saw this piece was fully aware of that. She is a stronger person than I for even attempting to create this. If this was my nightmare, I’d have woken up crying with the shit-sweats, and devoted the rest of my tragically short life to drinking black coffee and screaming in terror at strangers.

Without question, “Clown Massacre” is the crown jewel of the Screamscapes series. In the whole spectrum of artists we’ve seen, Winnie is clearly the… uh… “winner”? I guess? Well, whatever. Congratulations, little lady. Please, do not kill yourself. Promise me though, if you do, you will only do it if you know that the only way to keep him from crossing over into our world is to travel to hell and fight him on his own turf. I trust you will make the right decision.

Well, that’s it. Thanks for making me feel less alone in having to wrestle with these images on my own for the past few years. You guys make sure to visit Winnipeg if you ever get the chance. The arts community here is truly exceptional, as you can plainly see.

Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to go curl up fully clothed in the fetal position in the shower for a while. You’re all welcome to join me, if you wish.

– J.D. Reanud

J.D. and Chantel’s 24 Hour Song Marathon Spooktacular

Run DMC crushed me. The Pogues ruined me. Rebecca Black damn near killed me. I swore I would never do it again, but this time, I won’t be doing it alone.

This Halloween, I will once again subject myself to one song on repeat for 24 straight hours, and joining me will be friend, comedian, and fellow masochist Chantel Marostica.

What song will we be listening to? That’s where YOU come in…

To determine what song is selected for the marathon this time around, we are putting that in the hands of the public, using the time-honored DOLLARS FOR VOTES system. If you’ve had one song that you’ve always wanted to force two people to listen to for 24 straight hours (you sick, sick bastard, you), it will cost you ONE DOLLAR for ONE VOTE for your selection. ANY song is eligible, regardless of genre, length, relevancy to the holiday, or quality. You may vote AS MANY TIMES as you wish, with no upper limit. Bidding wars between opposing songs are encouraged, since all the money goes to a good cause in the end. Be creative.


And the winner is… $1756 – BOBBY ‘BORIS’ PICKETT – MONSTER MASH!

$256 – The Trashmen – Surfin’ Bird
$125 – Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy
$37 – LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It
$21 – Flower of Scotland – Traditional
$20 – Doop – Ridin’
$10 – The Misfits – Braineaters
$10 – Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting
$10 – Rick Springfeild – Jessie’s Girl
$9 – O-Town – Liquid Dreams
$7 – Cher – Believe
$5 – The Wiggles – I’m a Little Teapot
$5 – Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe
$5 – Ray Peterson – Tell Laura I Love Her
$3 – Aqua – Barbie Girl
$1 – Lamb Chop’s Play Along – The Song That Never Ends
$1 – Harold Faltermeyer – Axel F (Beverly Hills Cop Theme)
$1 – Matt Maxwell – C’est l’Halloween

All money raised through the voting will go to ,  an organization that provides cleft palate surgeries for children in the third world.

The two of us will be stationed in the front patio of the Standard Taven from 12:00am October 31st to 12:00am November 1st, taking donations and spreading Halloween cheer all day long.

Donations can also be made via’s site here…

…I really need a new hobby.



For Neil Hamburger’s #funartcontest