Get Fuzzy this spring

Darby Conley has been working on "Get Fuzzy" for 16 years now with the comic being syndicated in daily newspapers. Every once in a while Conley takes some of his best strips and combines them into a wonderful collection of his wit (and occasional wisdom). Two of these collections are I'm Ready for my Movie Contract and You Can't fight crazy.
For those of you who are not familiar with the strip Get Fuzzy is about a Boston Ad Executive (think Mad Men but less cool) Rob Wilco and his two anthropomorphic pets Satchel Pooch and Bucky Katt. The comic plays on a lot of cat/dog stereotypes and readers will soon get to know that Bucky is mean and conniving and Satchel is sweet and innocent (and very very gullible) while Rob tries to keep the peace in his home.

The comic plays well with the strip format, with one or two strips making up an entire story-line and thus it makes these collections perfect for anyone who wants a book that they can pick up and put down without having to find the end of the chapter etc.

If you've never read any of the strips then these collections are a wonderful way in which to get introduced to them and if you are a fan of the series then these collections will let you enjoy some of the more classic of the strips along with ones you've probably never seen before.
So if you're looking for a quick to read book with lots of witticisms (such as eating dog food doesn't give you super powers) then pick up I'm Ready for my Movie Contract or You Can't fight crazy.

Is the grass greener on the other side of the wall?

I'm not normally a fan of graphic memoirs, often I find them to be only of interest if you are a fan of the artist already but there are several graphic memoirs that despite having never heard of the author prior to picking up the graphic novel that have endeared themselves enough that I've read them multiple times. One of those graphic memoirs is The Other Side of the Wall by Simon Schwartz. The novel is set in the 1980's in Germany and follows the Schwartz family as they move across the wall from East Germany to West Germany in search of freedoms that they could not have in East Germany. This period of time is incredibly interesting and Schwartz manages to capture a lot of the emotions that his family went through, as well as documenting their personal history.
This graphic novel is wonderful and will open up a world that might otherwise be impossible to see. Germany in the 80's was on the brink of change, and it is in this precipice that Schwartz sets his graphic memoir.
The artwork is simple but at the same time conveys a huge amount of information about that period in time.
So if you're looking for a fantastic graphic memoir, or to learn about post war Germany, then The Other Side of the Wall is for you!

Take a Walk with "The Walking Man"

Every so often a book comes along that defies labeling. A book so different from others that are being published that it's hard to exactly put your finger on what it is. The Walking Man by Jiro Taniguchi is one of those books.

At first glance, this manga graphic novel appears to be your standard fare for Japanese slice of life manga, but to list it merely as slice of life would be doing it a great disservice. The book is a series of short stories about a man who walks, but again, to say it's just a book about walking is to belittle the masterful art that has gone into its creation. So it's a slice of life manga about a man who takes walks, and on those walks, it could be argued that he explores the Japanese concept of "ikigai" or the reason for being.

The stories are almost meditative in their simple complexity (I know this is an oxymoron but somehow it works) and after reading them, it is entirely possible for you to walk away with a little more understanding of life and humanity, as the stories will resonate with different people in different ways.

So if you are looking for something different, something new and unusual check out The Walking Man.

Crossover Graphic Novels- February Adventure Edition

We’re well into the month of February and there are some amazing graphic novels that are great for all ages coming to the library (or are already available and ready to be checked out). There’s a little bit of a theme to this month’s crossover (great reads for all ages) graphic novels, each one has an adventure of some kind, whether that be dragons, or pirates, or even strange cats.

The first crossover graphic novel is Windmill Dragon: A Leah and Allen Adventure by David Nytra. This book is breathtaking. From the very first pages, you are hit with the amount of detail that has been put into each and every page of it. It’s very easy to find yourself lost in the detail as you take in everything that makes this book so beautiful. If it was just the artwork that was wonderful then this book would still be worth your time, but the story itself is equally unique and captivating. I don’t want to give too much away, but imagine how you might react if the windmills were suddenly not windmills.

The next is Apocalypse Bow Wow and Apocalypse Meow Meow by James Proimos. These two graphic novels look at the apocalypse from an animal's point of view. In Apocalypse Bow Wow two dogs go in search of food and water unaware that the apocalypse is occurring. In Apocalypse Meow Meow those same two dogs try to break into a factory to secure all the food that they could ever want, but are bested at first by a large and strange “cat”. Both stories are well written and entertaining and Proimos’ art choices will make reading this a joy.

The final crossover is not just one (or two) graphic novels but an entire series of 6 (so far) graphic novels. The Princeless series . This series is truly awesome. The art is bright and cheerful and the story is one of a princess finding her power and freeing herself (rather than waiting for Prince So-and-So to come and rescue her). Each of the graphic novels can be read independently, and so it really doesn’t matter where in the series you start reading (though I always recommend people starting with the first volume, as it helps you get to know the characters better). This series really rocks and if you like stories about strong independent characters who defy the normal conventions of the world they live in, then this series is most definitely for you.

Emerging Writers: Writing and Review Meet-Up

Thursday November 17, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grade 6 - adult

Come with questions, a work in progress, 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? Bring your work to a Meet-Up to be considered for the library’s new imprint, Fifth Avenue Press.fifthavenue.press

Emerging Writers: Writing and Review Meet-Up

Thursday October 20, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program 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 meetup 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? Bring your work to a Meet-Up to be in consideration for the library’s new imprint Fifth Avenue Press fifthavenue.press.

Emerging Writers: Writing and Review Meet-Up

Thursday September 22, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program 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 meetup 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? Bring your work to a Meet-Up to be in consideration for the library’s new imprint Fifth Avenue Press fifthavenue.press.

Emerging Writers: Writing and Review Meet-Up

Thursday August 18, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program 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 meetup 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? Bring your work to a Meet-Up to be in consideration for the library’s new imprint Fifth Avenue Press fifthavenue.press.

Emerging Writers: Writing and Review Meet-Up

Thursday July 21, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:45 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

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 meetup 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? Bring your work to a Meet-Up to be in consideration for the library’s new imprint Fifth Avenue Press fifthavenue.press.

Giant Days brings Giant Entertainment

I'm a big fan of Boom! comics and their various imprints. They are the company who brought us Lumberjanes, and Mr. Stuffins (the best comic you'll ever read about a James Bond-like teddy bear). Now with Giant Days by John Allison, they have made a wonderful slice-of-life comic for the teen reader.

The comic follows three freshers (this is the British term for new university students) as they go about their lives during the first year of university. The stories are not grand and epic like Lumberjanes but rather they are small and meaningful. You really get to know the characters and there are opportunities throughout the comic to connect with what's going on with them, whether that's boyfriends, toxic friendships, or rescuing a friend from a trashy nightclub (and many many other such real life adventures).

The artwork is superb, with each of the characters and the locations really having a strong sense of individuality. So if you're looking for a comic that really connects you with wonderful characters, then Giant Days is a must read!

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