Fantastic Fantasy Comic and Graphic Novel Series

As the weather starts to cool down, I start looking for books to curl up with on cool evenings - Especially long-running series that will keep me engaged! Here's five of my favorite fantasy graphic novel series to start your fall with a touch of magic.

Sandman Chronicles by Neil Gaiman
10 books in the series, several stand-alone volumes
Start with: Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
Neil Gaiman has become almost a household name in the world of fantasy fiction for film adaptations of his works Stardust and American Gods. But before either of those books were published, Gaiman wrote the Sandman series. First published in 1989, it tells the story of the personification of dreams, named Morpheus, and of his adventures with humans, gods, spirits and denizens of worlds unknown. Gaiman weaves a rich tapestry of figures from every major mythology into an intensely exciting and thought-provoking reading experience. In this first adventure, Morpheus has been trapped by the magician Aleister Crowley for 60 years, but Crowley's waning power has made it possible for the Dream King to make his escape.
See Also: Death: The High Cost of Living, The Sandman: Dream Hunters, The Sandman: Endless Nights

Lucifer by Mike Carey
11 books in the series
Start with: Lucifer Vol. 1, Devil in the Gateway
We meet this series titular protagonist in Gaiman's Sandman chronicles – Lucifer Morningstar, fallen angel and lord of Hell. This serial begins with Lucifer holding court at his nightclub Lux, in Los Angeles. Why is Lucifer on Earth, and not ruling Hell? Well, he's quit. This act of rebellion has some serious consequences – and has left Hell prey to power struggles between heaven and the multiverses. But now that he's free, Lucifer has decided to enjoy life as much as he can, until Heaven comes to him with an offer he can't refuse. Thus begins an epic 11-volume adventure on par with Gaiman's Sandman.

The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen
5 books in the series
Start with: The Wicked + the Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act
In Wicked+Divine, the gods our our mythology are reborn in the bodies of 13 teenagers every 90 years. They are loved by many, hated by some, but will be dead in two years. This short life-span, combined with the power of gods, makes these teenagers international superstars. They perform around the world for sold-out shows, sharing their powers with their adoring fans. But in the 21st century, being a teenager is hard enough – a teenage god is even worse. This story follows their mortal fan, Laura, as she tries to befriend the gods. But Laura is not what she appears...

Constantine: The Hellblazer by Ming Doyle
2 books in the current series, 39 total published
Start with: Vol 1: Going Down
John Constantine holds the record for longest graphic novel character in print - he's been featured since the 1980's. Whether you're a long-time fan of the Hellblazer, or the film version portrayed by Keanu Reeves, Doyle's retelling is a great introduction to this trenchcoated anti-hero. Constantine is a chain-smoking narcissist with more than one personality disorder, a sorcerer who is just as likely to get the people he's agreed to help killed as he is to save their lives. And when you're dealing with demons and ghosts, he'll probably get your soul damned in the process. He's a great guy - as long as you aren't his friend. But what makes Constantine such an enduring character is his deeply flawed nature and his true desire to do some good in the world – even if he really just ends up bungling it all up in the end.
See Also: Hellblazer: Original Sins, Hellblazer: India

Fables by Bill Willingham
22 books in the series, 3 tie-in series
Start with: Fables Vol 1: Legends in Exile
A lot of fantasy is in supposition, and Fable is no exception. In Willingham's series, the characters from the fairy tales we grew up with are real people, alive and well, living in our world. Think about the TV show Once Upon a Time (which also has a graphic novel tie-in), but restricted to New York City. Our fairy tale characters are from "The Homelands" of Europe, but were forced to the new world by a mysterious Adversary. Their luxury high rise in New York City has become a peaceful and secret society, until proper politician Snow White's partygirl sister Rose Red is apparently murdered. Snow hires Bigby Wolf (formerly the Big Bad Wolf - reformed, pardoned and made sheriff) to find Rose. It's a "grim" whodunnit mystery; was it Blackbeard, Rose's notorious ex-lover, or Jack (of beanstalk fame) her current live-in boyfriend?

Paper Plate Flying Dragons

Monday August 14, 2017: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grade 1-5

Upgrade your traditional paper airplane to a majestic dragon!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Party!

Sunday November 20, 2016: 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room and Downtown Library: Secret Lab and Downtown Library: Youth Story Corner

This event is intended for all ages

Calling witches and wizards of all ages! Come celebrate the popular Harry Potter books and the release of the newest movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

Join us for an afternoon of Harry Potter-themed activities and crafts. Costumes are encouraged!!

There's a party going on in Palisade and everyone's invited.

If you love fantasy graphic novels aimed surely at adults then Rat Queens will not let you down. Everything about this graphic novel is well done, from the (slightly crazy) storyline to the superb artwork. The story follows one of a few gangs of adventurers who call themselves the Rat Queens (one of the other gangs is eloquently called the four Daves and consists of four men named, unsurprisingly Dave). In the first volume the Rat Queens and the other gangs of adventurers are sent on missions that turn out to be much deadlier than they might have imagined.
The graphic novels balance humor, story and action in a wonderfully entertaining way. The series has gotten much attention for its content, especially as several of the Rat Queens fall into the LGBT spectrum.

So if you're looking for action, adventure and some scenes that will have you laughing far too loudly in a public place then check out Rat Queens!

Lightsaber Academy

Sunday December 20, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for Grades K - 5

May the force be with you! Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens this weekend and YOU need to be prepared for intergalactic battle!

Let the experts from Terra Prime Light Armory be your guiding force as they give instruction in lightsaber use in a friendly and fun interactive setting.

NPR's Best Books of 2015

NPR recently released its Best Books of 2015 list, an in depth yearly endeavor where critics and NPR staff choose their favorite books of the year and compile them into a genre-spanning list of several hundred titles. I love that, along with the expected books on the list that are getting accolades from numerous publications and organizations, NPR’s list always contains more obscure titles that many readers likely missed over the course of the year.

You can view all of the titles from the list that we have available in our catalog here.

So what’s on this list of nearly 300 books? Here’s a preview:

In Speak, by Louisa Hall, a young Puritan woman travels to America with her unwanted husband, while in other time and place Alan Turing writes letters to his best friend’s mother and a Jewish refugee tries to reconnect with his distant wife. Elsewhere in time and space, a lonely young girl speaks with an intelligent software program and a formerly celebrated Silicon Valley entrepreneur is imprisoned for making illegal lifelike dolls. How does Hall tie all these characters together? As they all try somehow to communicate across gaps, Hall connects their stories, creating an amazing book that is a blend of historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy.

V is for Vegetables offers more than 140 simple recipes for cooking vegetables in unique and unexpected ways at home. Author and chef Michael Anthony has cleverly divided the chapters of the book by vegetable, so if you ever find yourself staring at kohlrabi or tomatillos in the grocery store, curious about how one cooks such things, this is the book for you! And even expert cooks will be refreshed by Anthony’s new ideas for ways to use common vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, carrots and squash.

The Battle of Versailles tells of a little-known event that took place at the Palace of Versailles: as a fundraiser for the restoration of the palace, the world’s elite gathered in the grand theater there for a “fashion competition” of sorts: five American designers (including Oscar de la Renta and Anne Klein) faced off against five French designers considered to be the best designers in the world—Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy and others. The American clothes were expected to be a laughingstock but instead, the garments and the energy of the models who wore them wowed the crowd. By the end of the evening, American fashion in the world had transformed from a footnote to an enormous influence, not only on style itself but also on the way race, gender, sexuality and economics were treated in fashion in the years to come.

Who Needs a Prince When You Have a Cannon?

Princeless: The Pirate Princess is the next omnibus installment in the popular Princeless series written by Jeremy Whitley. While this is the third volume in the series, you don't have to read volumes 1 and 2 to enjoy it! Princess Adrienne, who decided she was tired of waiting in a tower for a prince and that it was time she saved herself, is off on a quest to rescue her other imprisoned sisters. But along the way she gets distracted by the eccentric activities of a girl named Raven, who has a very Mulan-like feeling to her. Though not of royalty, Raven is the daughter of the Pirate King, making her as good a princess as any other! Raven's brothers tricked their father into sending Raven away, insisting she wasn't fit to be the heir to their father's title. Well, Raven isn't taking that lying down. Follow Raven and Adrienne as they fight off thugs, ride a dragon, blow some stuff up, and commandeer a pirate ship! If you're looking for strong girls in a kids-friendly comic, this is it.

If you're interested in reading Adrienne's story from the beginning, be sure to check out volumes 1 and 2, both available at the library!
Volume 1: Save Yourself
Volume 2: Get Over Yourself

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.

May the Fourth Be With You: Star Wars Fan Day Celebration

Sunday May 3, 2015: 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 1st Floor Lobby

This event is intended for youth (grade K and up), teens and adults.

May Fourth has become Star Wars Day – the unofficial Star Wars holiday – thanks to its usage in “May the Fourth Be With You!”

Wear your favorite Star Wars character’s finest look and join us for an afternoon of Star Wars crafts, snacks, a photo booth, and LEGO Star Wars animation!

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