Emerging Writers: Writing and Review Meet-Up

Monday February 20, 2017: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Westgate Branch: West Side Room

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Come with questions, come with a work in progress, or come with an empty notebook. All writers are welcome in this casual, supportive environment. Authors Bethany Neal and Alex Kourvo will be on hand to answer questions and give encouragement. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow Ann Arbor writers as well as get feedback from published authors.

This is a monthly meet-up that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects.

Do you have a completed manuscript? Check out our imprint, Fifth Avenue Press and stay tuned for a online submission form!

Emerging Writers: Writing and Review Meet-Up

Monday January 23, 2017: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Westgate Branch: West Side Room

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Come with questions, a work in progress, or an empty notebook. All writers are welcome in this casual, supportive environment. Authors Bethany Neal and Alex Kourvo will be on hand to answer questions and give encouragement. This is an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow Ann Arbor writers as well as get feedback from published authors.

This is a monthly meet-up that welcomes all writers to ask questions, connect with other writers, or simply have a dedicated time and place to work on their projects.

Do you have a completed manuscript? Check out our imprint, Fifth Avenue Press and stay tuned for a online submission form!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #612

A Hundred Thousand Worlds * by Bob Proehl is a mother-son cross-country road trip through the world of comic-cons,

New York actress Valerie Torrey, who has a successful run playing Bethany Fraser in a syndicated X-Files-ish TV show called Anomaly is taking her 9 year-old son Alex on a road trip to LA where his father Andrew lives.

Along the way, Val agrees to make appearances at comic book conventions. From Pittsburgh to Cleveland, from Chicago to Las Vegas they are increasingly being drawn into the lives and drama of the other regulars - artists, writers, agents, publishers and a strange world of "cosplay" (costume play), mostly young women who dress up as comic book characters.

For Alex, this world is a magical place where fiction becomes reality, but as they get closer to their destination, he begins to realize that the story his mother is telling him about their journey might have a very different ending than he imagined.

Debut novelist "Proehl has done an excellent job of integrating all of the story lines and creating memorable characters to populate them. Though not without its melancholy moments, the story is deeply satisfying and will delight both comics fans and general readers." (Booklist)

* = starred review

Two Graphic Novels that May Cause you Trauma and One that won’t

Sometimes a comic or graphic novel will come around that will strike you so hard on a deep emotional level that you will walk away from it slightly traumatized (in a good way). In this blog I’m going to give you two amazing graphic novels that has the potential to do just that, and because I’m a nice guy I’ll give you a third one that is just amazing and hopefully not at all traumatizing!

The first graphic novel is The White Donkey: Terminal Lance by Maximilian Uriarte. This graphic novel has been garnering a lot of attention, and for good reasons. It is a fictionalized account of a second Gulf War soldier. For those of you who are familiar with the Terminal Lance online webcomic this graphic novel offers something different. It is darker than the comic, but it doesn’t lack those moments of humor that the comic is renown for. The art style is phenomenal and it encapsulates the essence of the story. This graphic novel is worth the time it will take to read, and worth reading over again.

The second graphic novel is Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn. This story is seriously well written. The art is always interesting, and the traumatic events are… traumatic. This is one of the best comic series to come out in the past year and I fully expect it to win awards this award season.

The last and non-traumatising (I hope) graphic novel is volume 2 of the Giant Days series. This series is very similar in terms of style and humor to the Lumberjanes series but with more mature content. Giant Days is set in a UK university and follows a group of “freshers” (that’s British for freshmen) as they adjust to their new life. So if you need a break from heavy graphic novels then check out Giant Days!

Teens! Volunteer at the AADL this summer!

Hey, teens! Are you interested in volunteering at the library this summer? If you’re between the ages of 14 and 18, you can! We need your help with program prep, filling summer game prize shop orders, and with hosting the tons of great programs that take place over the summer including the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival and the Detroit Circus’ performance at the AADL!

Visit www.aadl.org/teenvolunteer to fill out the application form and find out information about orientation dates and times. You’ll also find a link there to the permission slip, which needs to be printed out and signed by a parent or guardian and brought to one of 6 orientations taking place over the course of the summer. At these orientations, you’ll learn about volunteering at the library and have the chance to sign up for the volunteer shifts you’re interested in, so bring your calendar!

At the end of the summer, you’ll get a letter from the AADL emailed to you that states the number of hours you volunteered helping us out.

Questions? Email teenvolunteer@aadl.org or call (734) 327-8326. See you this summer!

Loved the book? Check out the graphic novel!

Whenever a much beloved book is adapted into another form, whether it's a graphic novel or *gasp* a movie starring Brendan Fraser as your favorite character (and thus ruining the image you had of that character forever) there is always the temptation to scoff at the adaptation.
I mean how can it compare to the awesomeness that is the original book? The answer is, quite often that it can’t, and it shouldn’t.
While adaptations can often be enjoyed by those who are already fans, the idea behind them is often to appeal to a new audience, as well as the old.
So if you’re ready to take the plunge into new adaptations of some amazing books check out the following.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman follows Nobody Owens as he grows up in a graveyard, raised by ghosts.

The Infernal Devices adapted from the smash hit series by Cassandra Clare The Mortal Instruments.

Maximum Ride adapted into a Manga from James Pattersons hit fantasy series.

Vampire Academy is an adaptation of the wildly popular Vampire Academy series.

And last but no means least Phillip Pullman’s The Golden Compass has been adapted into a wonderful graphic novel, originally published in France. The art is breathtaking and worth reading if you’re a fan or not of the original series

Kaptara: Not your grandfather's sci-fi.

Imagine for a second that you are part of an interstellar crew, highly trained for the job that you've been chosen for. Except instead of landing on the planet you were expecting to, you crash-land on a world so different from everything you were expecting. A world teaming with life, some of which is trying to eat you.
This is where Kaptara begins, but don't take it too seriously for example one of the characters is a vegetarian, except when other people kill the animal. The creative mind behind this Chip Zdarsky is the same creative genius who brought Sex Criminals to the world last year.
The art is every bit as colorful and fascinating as you would expect from Zdarsky, and the content can be every bit as boundary pushing as his previous work.

If you love sci-fi, light on the science heavy on the fiction, and want characters who are not your typical sci-fi heroes then you should check our Kaptara.

Happy Birthday, Roald Dahl

Saturday September 17, 2016: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Secret Lab

This event is intended for preschool - grade 5

Come join us in a Birthday Celebration for children's author Roald Dahl!

We'll have scrumdiddlyumptious treats, jumpsquiffling crafts, and overall general gloriumptious fun!

Artist focus: Michael Deforge

Michael Deforge's art is "weird" in the original sense of the word, it is strange and otherworldly and often has a hint of the improper. It's beautiful and experimental and often you will find yourself drawn into the image as your mind races to make sense of everything that you are seeing. His books, often a collection of seemingly dissonent tales that somehow come together to create something beautiful. He is also an artist that is on the move, his work is steadily gaining popularity and as he leaves the shadow of his work with Cartoon Network and claims his own style and voice in his comics it can only bring great things.
This year his latest endevor is Dressing is a collection of some of his short stories which is sure to entertain.
His last work First Year Healthy, which came out late last year, is a story about a woman who having been recently released from hospital has to come to terms with her life.Deforges careful use of color along will draw you along and make you think about the choices that people are faced with. While it is a scant 45 pages long, you will not feel rushed in this story, nor will you leave feeling that it was too short. Rather Deforge manages in 45 pages to tell a complete and whole story.

If you are interested in Deforge's work and can't wait for his latest books to come out then check out the titles the library has ready and waiting to be checked out Very Season and A Body Beneath both of which are collections of his work.

Teen and Adult Crossover Graphic Novel: Special Batman vs Superman edition

With Batman vs. Superman just around the corner now is the perfect time to read up on both superheroes and maybe the Batman vs. Superman graphic novel.
Now this list is not everything that the library has of these two seminal heroes but rather some of the best graphic novels that we have of Batman and Superman (I'll put a link to a search for everything we have on them at the end of the post).

Let's start with Batman (because I think he's the best, feel free to tell me why I'm wrong or right in the comments).
Batman:Under the Hood is one of those graphic novels that has fans both loving and hating it. It takes one of the old supporting characters from Batman and re-imagines them as a violent anti-hero: The Red Hood. This graphic novel has everything that you could want from a Batman story and controversy aside it is a must read for any fans of the series.
Another Batman series that has fans conflicted is Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn which re-imagines the characters of Batman and Robin, almost reversing the dynamic between them with Robin being the scowling broody hero and Batman being more lighthearted and spontaneous hero that fans would often expect Robin to be. This series is definitely worth a read if you are willing to put preconceptions about what the various characters should act like. It makes a nice break from some of the darker Batman stories.
The last Batman story is Batman and the Mad Monk. This story is one of the first times that Batman has to fight a supernatural villain and it makes from a nice change from the run of the mill criminally insane that we so often see him fight.

The first Superman crossover graphic novel is Superman:Red Son This is one of my favorite Superman stories, it takes Superman's origins and asks the question, what would have happened if he had been raised in Soviet Russia instead of the United States. This change in origin makes for a wonderful story in which we get to see some of our favorite characters engaging with Superman in a way that they have never before (this is a must read for all fans and non-fans alike)!
The next Superman is The Death of Superman. This is one of the first times when the mortality of Superman was put to the question. Could Superman die, and how might this happen. This story is one of the most iconic ones in the history of Superman.
The final superman story is Superman: Exile this story takes place after Superman has broken his oath to never kill and he places himself into a self imposed exile from earth and learns that he cannot run from himself. This is a very different kind of Superman story with lots of introspection, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in action or that it’s boring in any way shape or form, instead what we end up with is a story that strives to bring deeper understanding to just who Superman is.

As promised here’s a link to a search for all the graphic novels the library has on
Batman and Superman

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