Have you wanted to read Proust but were intimidated by Proust? Well here's your chance for a novel introduction to one of his classics.

In Search of Lost Time is arguably one of Proust's greatest novels. Split into 7 volumes it encompasses themes such as memory and the nature of art. The first volume of this great work is Swann's Way and if you want to jump right into the novel go ahead, but if you, like me, have been intimidated by Proust's work then perhaps the new graphic novel of In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way is the way to go.

The artwork is beautiful and at times breathtaking, especially the artists great grasp of the importance of background in graphic novels. It is not a perfect adaptation but it is one worth your time. If you have ever wanted to tackle a work by Proust then here is a perfect chance. If you've never heard of Proust, here's your chance to get to know his works in a manageable manner.

If after reading this you want to read some of Proust's other work check these out

Comics are Magic!

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (often abbreviated FiM) has taken the world by storm since it started on TV in 2010. If you're a fan of FiM, then you'll want to check up on all your pony friends in the My Little Pony comics! Keep up with Rarity, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Twilight Sparkle as they have even more adventures in the magical land of Equestria.

Check out our newest issues, volume 6 and volume 7. In volume 6, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Rarity are headed to Manehatten to watch The Great and Powerful Trixie's magic show. But when Trixie is accused of stealing a diamond, it's up to the Ponyville Ponies, with the help of Babs Seed, to figure out if Trixie is being framed. Meanwhile, Angel, Winona, Tank, Owlicious, Opal, and Gummy are trying save Ponyville while Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, and the rest of the town's ponies have fallen under the hypnotic song of a kelpie! And finally, Discord decides to take Fluttershy and the Cutie Mark Crusaders on a trip through time (which is, of course, full of Doctor Who references) and show them some exotic animals, including the mysterious butterdragon.

In volume 7, the Mane Six are headed to Canter Creek to investigate the disappearance of Applejack's great granduncle Chili Pepper. Turns out a group of bull outlaws, the Cattle Rustlers, have been terrorizing the town and are trying to get Chili Pepper's ranch! The ponies have to come up with a plan to get rid of the bulls, all while Twilight refuses to use her magic against them. Then, leave the west behind and head back to Ponyville, where the Everfree Forest is taking over! Looks like there are more bull problems as Twilight and her friends clash with another bull who is trying to clear out the forest and build a theme park. Unfortunately, King Aspen, leader of the deer in the Everfree Forest, doesn't think the ponies can help and has decided to expand the forest right into Ponyville and Canterlot! Princess Twilight will have to stop the bull, protect Ponyville, and help the deer and ponies become friends again, before the forest takes over everything!

Whichever pony you prefer, be sure to read the rest of the library's My Little Pony comics.

To Kill or Not to Kill, That is the Question!

Whether you love it or you hate it, everyone knows about William Shakespeare and his plays: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, the list goes on.

Regardless of your feelings towards the great bard, this comic is definitely worth a look! Kill Shakespeare starts out in the play Hamlet, where the Prince of Denmark has just accidentally killed the nobleman Polonius and is sent away to England. In the original play, we don't really know what happens to Hamlet during this time and he eventually returns to Denmark. Well now is your chance to see what happened in between! At least according to Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery. Hamlet is lost at sea, and rescued by King Richard III (the name of another Shakespeare play), who tells him of a great destiny in which he is called the Shadow King, a title Hamlet has recently been called in his visions by three crones (from Shakespeare's Macbeth!)

But what is the destiny of the Shadow King? Why, to kill a man who is said to be a god or a wizard. A man who holds a powerful quill and has accumulated a great following of people in King Richard's kingdom. A man named William Shakespeare.

Surrealism At Its Most Hilarious!

OH MAN. You guys have to read this book! It’s so weird and beautiful and hilarious. I first discovered the author, Lisa Hanawalt, through her Maximum Fun podcast with comedian Emily Heller, Baby Geniuses. Since I started listening to the podcast, I’ve been trying to convince everyone else I know to listen to it too, and I am so thrilled to do the same with Hanawalt’s book!

My Dirty Dumb Eyes, by Lisa Hanawalt, is an adult graphic novel with a series of comics on strange subjects. Topics range from “What do Dogs Want??” (one answer: a tennis-ball bride) to “The Secret Lives of Chefs” (“Christina Tosi employs a child think tank to come up with recipes for Milk Bar”) to “North American Wildlife and Hats,” which features images such as an elk in a “New Jersey turnpike hat”, and a desert hare sporting a “lazy susan hat with hotdog and pancake condiments.”

The drawings in this book are just as surreal and gorgeous as you could hope for. The book is full of bright, bold colors and meticulous details. It contains very mature themes and drawings, so it is not for young folks. But all you grown ups out there, check out My Dirty Dumb Eyes now!

Kids Read Comics is This Weekend!

Meet Faith Erin Hicks, Raina Telgemeier, Kean Soo, Tory Woollcott, and over 40 more of your favorite cartoonists at Kids Read Comics this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

More than just a convention, Kids Read Comics offers over 50 free workshops and demos where you can learn more about making comics from the pros. The events are happening at the Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch, 826 Michigan Robot Supply & Repair Store, The Ann Arbor Art Center, and The Vault of Midnight. You can check out the full schedule of events (and download a printable PDF) here.

Friday, June 19 through Sunday, June 21, 2015 AADL is hosting the seventh annual Kids Read Comics festival, featuring 50 of your favorite cartoonists from across the continent who have come to lead free hands-on workshops and games designed to boost your creativity!

Friday, June 19

The festival starts at the University of Michigan's Duderstadt Center on North Campus with a Pre-Conference for Librarians, Educators, and Cartoonists. Register here to attend a workshop on how to make your own comics workshop, a talk on the history of comics with acclaimed comics scholar Carol Tilley, a panel discussion on comics in the classroom moderated by Colby Sharp, and a tour of the University of Michigan's Video Game Library.

Friday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 pm we'll all converge on The Vault of Midnight at 219 South Main Street for a Comics Jam Party where cartoonists, parents, and kids will be invited to contribute to a giant drawing wall facing Main Street!

Saturday, June 20

The main event kicks off at 11:00 am in the Multi-Purpose Room at AADL's Downtown Branch. Special Guests Kean Soo and Tory Woollcott will lead a presentation on making graphic novels.
Artist Alley opens at noon on the 1st floor of the Downtown Library and runs until 6:00 pm and workshops will be happening throughout the day at the Library, the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Robot Supply & Repair Store, and the Vault of Midnight!

Sunday, June 21

Artist Alley opens at 12:30 pm and runs through 6:00 pm. Get ready for another fun filled day of workshops at the Library, the Ann Arbor Art Center, the Robot Supply & Repair Store, and the Vault of Midnight!

You can check out the full events list here

New Marvel Graphic Novels @ AADL

For fans of comic books, graphic novels, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe this weekend is sure to delight. Avengers: Age of Ultron debuts at theaters nationwide this Friday and Saturday is Free Comic Book Day at local comic book shops across the country. Before immersing yourself in this weekend’s festivities, take a second to check out these new Marvel books at AADL -- because once Ultron is over and your free comics have been read, you’ll need something to fill the void.

Avengers & X-Men: AXIS: When the Red Skull hijacks the brain of Professor Charles Xavier he is transformed into the Red Onslaught and World War Hate begins. Personalities, allegiances, and motivations become skewed and twisted and the Marvel Universe looks like nothing you’ve seen before.

Frank Miller’s Daredevil & Daredevil Vols. 1 and 2: Within eleven days of its Netflix release, Daredevil became the company’s most-watched original series. AADL has recently added the first two volumes of Marvel NOW’s Daredevil, and a three-volume set written by Frank Miller (300, Batman: Year One, Sin City). Drop in and spend some time with the defender of Hell's Kitchen.

Silver Surfer: Marvel relaunched this title in early 2014 with writer Dan Slott (Superior Spider-man) and artist Mike Allred bringing the cosmic traveler vividly to life. Allred’s art is the main attraction here; Allred’s pop-art style fits perfectly with the characters and landscape.

Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Keep up with Kamala Khan as she navigates being both a teen and a superhero. Super-cute, super-fun, super-Marvelous!

Kids Read Comics Pre-Conference

Friday June 19, 2015: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm -- University of Michigan Duderstadt Center (2281 Bonisteel Boulevard)

This event is intended for Information Professionals, Educators, and Cartoonists

A special KRC Pre-Conference for Librarians, Educators, and Cartoonists! Come warm yourself up for the fun events at the Kids Read Comics Convention by participating in some panels and hands-on workshops. Librarians will get resources on how to build and maintain their collections; Educators will learn how to incorporate comics into their curriculum; and Cartoonists will learn new ways to work with these two groups to better advocate for their medium!

It’s free to attend, but we ask that you please register here.

All events will be at the James and Anne Duderstadt Center located on the University of Michigan North Campus. map

10:00-11:30 am – Comics: A Pathway to Learning
As teachers find a variety of uses for comics, graphic novels and manga in the classroom, they need to understand the complex thinking and deep skills required to both read and create them. In this workshop, work with cartoonist Jerzy Drozd to explore the convergence of literary and artistic disciplines inherent in comics and see how comics can be a powerful way to build reading comprehension skills, such as prediction, inference, and fluency.

All participants will be given a 61-page packet that will help you develop your own comics programming and classes, even if you don’t know how to draw!

1:00-2:00 pm – The Secret History of Comics Readers
In November 1953, Ople Noble sent a letter to forensic psychiatrist Fredric Wertham. Noble, who was secretary of her eighth grade class in Bisbee, Arizona, and her classmates had read and discussed Wertham’s article in Ladies’ Home Journal, “What Parents Don’t Know about Comic Books.” She wrote to share her and her classmates’ insights on juvenile delinquency and comics with the psychiatrist, as they disagreed with many of his conclusions. Encouraged by Wertham’s reply, which was accompanied by a box of chocolates from Macy’s Department Store, Noble wrote at least two more letters to Wertham, one of which outlined the results of a class discussion on the comic character Green Arrow.

In this talk, Professor Carol Tilley will share more about Ople, as well as young fanzine creators, letter writers, amateur cartoonists, and more, who read, wrote, and played with comics during the mid-20th century. Don’t miss these secret and seldom-told stories of some of the kids who helped make comics the most important print media of the 20th century and remind us why comics matter.

2:00-3:00 pm – Panel – Comics in the Classroom
Wondering how to get the most out of using comics to teach your students or to create compelling events at your library? Moderator Colby Sharp (Nerdy Book Club, nErDcamp MI) and an all-star cast of cartoonists and educators will share some engaging strategies and tips to get your students more immersed in any subject. Colby will be joined by Kean Soo (Jellaby, March Grand Prix), Tory Woollcott (Mirror Mind), Sabine Gabaron (Lecturer at the Univesity of Michigan), Laura Given (school librarian), and Jim McClain (Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter and Solution Squad).

3:00-4:00 pm –Tour of the University of Michgan's Computer and Video Game Archive
Librarian Dave Carter will guide you through the collection of video games in the University of Michigan’s Computer and Video Game Archive. Get up close and personal with some old friends, whether it’s the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, TurboGrafx-16, or the Sega Dreamcast!

Boredom Busters to the Rescue!

Need something fun to do on spring break? Never fear, AADL has it covered with brand new youth nonfiction books!

Monstergami by David Mitchell gives even the most experienced origami artists a new challenge! Make the Fangster, a fierce dragon with pointy teeth; a Sky Sprite with feathered wings; or even a monster Totem with multiple stacked heads! Other new origami books include Folding Origami and Origami X: Paper Folding for Secret Agents.

Comics: Investigate the History and Technology of American Cartooning by Sam Carbaugh is perfect for fans of graphic novels and aspiring artists! Travel through the history of how comics started with ancient civilizations, design your own unique characters, and investigate various comic styles like manga and webcomics.

Totally Washi: More than 45 Super Cute Washi Tape Crafts for Kids by Ashley Ann Laz will inspire you to get decorating right away! Washi tape is patterned tape that is actually made of paper. Maybe you already knew that you could make beautiful cards and bracelets, but did you know that you can also make cool "feather" earrings, a color-coded keyboard, or temporary wallpaper? For more washi tape fun, check out the free Crafting with Washi Tape book from Cherry Lake Publishing!

Magic Mike's Miraculous Magic Tricks by Mike Lane will keep the boredom away this spring! Astound your friends and baffle your parents with these amazing illusions, including the Coin Flip, Floating on Air, The Chosen One, and Money Morph!

For even more spring break fun, check out all of the upcoming events for kids at AADL!

Optical Illusions: Make a Flipbook!

Saturday July 18, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for Grades K-5

Create a Disappearing Color Wheel and learn a little about optical illusions, then work on your very own flipbook!

New MARVEL Graphic Novels @ AADL!

By most accounts 2014 was a great year for comics giant Marvel. The release and successes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and this summer’s blockbuster hit Guardians of the Galaxy were buoyed by amazing -- and groundbreaking -- additions to their print catalog. And now you can get your hands on these collections here at AADL!

Age of Ultron - This summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron film was preceded by a 2013 comic event by the same name. In an alternate timeline, the artificial intelligence known as Ultron has finally succeeded in destroying most of humanity and those that are left are in hiding. It is up to a cadre of beaten, but not broken, super-humans to destroy Ultron and rebuild humanity.

Ms. Marvel - In February of 2014 Marvel introduced the world to Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenage girl who would become the next Ms. Marvel. Aside from having the distinction of being the first Muslim character to headline her own book, Kamala is a regular teenager dealing with issues of family, faith, and her newly-discovered super powers. Ms. Marvel #1 has gone into its seventh printing, putting Ms. Kamala Khan in very elite company.

Captain Marvel - Carol Danvers had held the title of Ms. Marvel before becoming the first woman to be called Captain Marvel. Whether defending planet Earth as a member of the Avengers, or adventuring in the far reaches of the galaxy, Captain Marvel will delight old and new readers alike.

Avengers: Endless Wartime - This stand-alone original graphic novel pits the Avengers' "Big Three" -- Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man -- in a battle against an awakened foe. In order to conquer their latest obstacle the Avengers must not only understand their enemy, but each other also. Well written and beautifully drawn this volume addresses one of the most unnerving questions in human history: with so much progress, why does war seem to be so inevitable and endless?

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