Thor: Ragnarok!

Thor: Ragnarok arrives in theaters today, making now the perfect time to revisit your favorite Thor materials! The movie is already generating quite a buzz and has received rave reviews (with a 93% rating, it's currently Rotten Tomatoes' best reviewed comic book film ever!).

A great place to start are the previous Thor movies, including Thor and Thor: The Dark World, as well as his appearances in The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. For younger kids who aren't quite ready for the Marvel movies, Thor is featured in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (there are multiple volumes of this series, including Vol. 5 and Vol. 6).

For adult readers, some of the original Thor comics are included in the anthology series The Essential Thor Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4. Many of these original stories also appear in The Mighty Thor: Omnibus collection. More recent additions to the Thor universe include God of Thunder Vol. 1 (Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 are also available), Lord of Asgard, Bringers of the Storm, Godstorm, and Thor Vol. 1 (Vol. 3 is also available). Currently, a woman has taken on the title of Thor in The Mighty Thor: Thunder in her Veins.

There are awesome Thor graphic novels in the Teen section, including Wolves of the North and The Lost Gods. A mysterious female Thor has also taken the lead in The Goddess of Thunder and Who Holds the Hammer?.

Kids have a variety of Thor books to choose from as well. Younger children will like gentler Readers such as The Trouble with Thor and These are the Avengers. Older kids can enjoy comic books like Thor: The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and Mini Marvels: The Complete Collection. Books for kids about the Avengers include The Avengers: The Ultimate Guide and The Avengers: The Movie Storybook. We also have several comic books based on Norse mythology, such as Thor and the Giants and Thor and Loki (also available in Spanish).

It's almost Halloween!

It’s that most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! As an avid lover of all things fall and Halloween, this is by far my favorite time of the year. I love costumes and being able to dress up as some of my favorite characters. This year I’m planning to cosplay as Roadhog, from Overwatch. If you’re as into costumes as me, come check out some of our books to help you take your costume to the next level!

New this year, The hero's closet : sewing for cosplay and costuming, is a great intro book to cosplay and costume making. It has a lot of helpful beginner steps if you’ve never tried to make your costume before.

Epic cosplay costumes : a step-by-step guide to making and sewing your own costume designs is another great reference for all of the parts of costume making. With cute advice notes from the author, this book is a great start to becoming your favorite character.

For a more basic guide that you can use with items around your house, check out: Halloween : a grown-up's guide to creative costumes, devilish decor & fabulous festivities. This book centers more on simple designs and standard Halloween costumes. It also includes some tips for spooky home décor!

Here's a cute costuming book for the younger costumers among us: Creating Halloween crafts. It has fun craft ideas for decoration and costumes that might be fun for the whole family!

These next two books are probably the best for my costume. If you’re into characters with fancy and elaborate weapons, these two will help you learn how to design your own, much lighter, versions.

Make : props and costume armor : create realistic science fiction and fantasy weapons, armor, and accessories is written by a master prop maker, and goes into details for both armor and weaponry. It is a very in-depth collection of ideas using everything from simple foam to 3D printing.

In another recent release, The costume making guide : creating armor & props for cosplay, you’ll find all of the steps to take your idea and turn it into a full costume. The author guides you through each part of costume making whether you need armor, weaponry, or other outfit parts.

Looking forward to seeing all of the ideas everyone reading this comes up with! Hopefully I’ve given you a bit of inspiration. Now to get back to making my hook…

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hit theaters on May 5th and has already taken in more than $500 million dollars in the worldwide box office. The popular film is another in a long list of movies that take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, inhabited by popular characters such as Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk and other characters in the Avengers, as well as the more recent additions which include Ant-Man and Dr. Strange.

In addition to the first movie, the Blu-ray edition of Vol. 1, and the awesome soundtrack, we have plenty of materials to help satisfy your Guardians of the Galaxy craving.

For kids, we have the picture book Night Night Groot as well as the comic book Guardians of the Galaxy: Beginnings.

For teens, we have many different comic trade paperbacks, including Guardians of the Galaxy: Prelude (an official Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-in), Vol. 3 of the War of Kings and Legendary Star-Lord Vol. 1: Face It, I Rule. We also have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers, Vol. 2: Angela and a cross-over with the All-New X-Men called The Trial of Jean Grey from the mind of Brian Michael Bendis.

For an adult audience, we have titles such as Guardians of the Galaxy: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 4: Realm of Kings, as well as a cross-over with the Avengers called Avengers: the Korvac Saga.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is estimated to be released on DVD and Blu-ray in September 2017, so look for it in our collection then!

Logan

Logan opened in theaters on March 3rd to rave reviews and is looking to reshape the superhero movie as we currently know it. Hugh Jackman returns as Wolverine/Logan in his 9th appearance in the role spanning 12 years-- this marks his last appearance as Logan. The film takes inspiration from both the revisited Old Man Logan and the original Old Man Logan (available through MelCat), as well as Death of Wolverine. Whether you've seen it yet or not, the library has plenty of materials to quench your thirst for Wolverine.

Revisit Jackman's previous work as Wolverine with the first and second movies in the Wolverine trilogy: X-Men Origins: Wolverine and The Wolverine. You can also revisit Wolverine as part of the X-Men, in movies such as X-Men, X-Men United: X2, X3:The Last Stand, X-Men First Class, X-Men Days of Future Past and X-Men Apocalypse. It's not an X-Men movie, but also take a look at Shane, which features heavily in Logan and shares similar thematic elements.

Looking for more comic book fun? Give Wolverine, Wolverine: Origins & Endings, or Weapon X a try. Review Wolverine's past with Wolverine Omnibus Vol 1, or watch him face off with his former friends in Wolverine vs. the X-Men.

Kids can also get in on the fun with Readers such as This is Wolverine, Marvel Superhero Squad: Adventure Collection. They can look up key facts about their favorite heroes with Meet the Marvel Super Heroes, and read comics like Mini Marvels. Wolverine even features as one of the superheroes in the The Super Hero Squad Show series.

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.

Crossover Graphic Novels- December edition special TV/Movie tie-in edition!

This month we're going to take a look at some of the great comics that have TV or movie tie-ins. Sometimes watching a show or a movie just isn't enough and you want more. Thankfully we live in a wonderful time where comic book companies have realizes this and provide us with sometimes hundreds of issues of our favorite movies and shows in comic form. So without further ado here are some great graphic novels that are wonderful for kids and adults alike!

With Star Wars Episode VII:The Force Awakens just a mere 10 days from release now is a great time to catch up on the Star Wars universes wonderful comics. From comics that are humourous (such as the Star Wars Jedi Academy series), to the continuation of the Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures, and even Manga style Empire Strikes Back. So while you count down the days until The Force Awakens why not read some excellent graphic novels.

The longest running animation in US history is The Simpsons and it's no surprise that they have been making Simpsons comics for quite a while now (Bart even has his own series of comics if you can't get enough of his antics!). What is surprising is that the comics feel like the show and if you're familiar with the characters than it is entirely possible that you will read the comics in their voices! The comics keep the feel of the show without duplicating the actual episodes, so if you have seen all the episodes and still want more (or even if you haven't seen them all) then The Simpsons Comic is for you!!!

Teen Titans is a great show for fans of the DC comic world and their latest series "Teen Titans Go" is wonderful as well, but now in a move that turns your favorite comic book turned TV stars back into a comic you can read the first volume of the newly release Teen Titans Go comic. The artwork is identical to the cartoon and so if you need more Teen Titans in your life then Teen Titans Go Voume 1: Party Part! is just the comic for you!

Crossover Graphic Novels November Edition!

We've got a whole bunch of great crossover graphic novels for you this month and these ones are amazing!

First up this month we have Gryphon's Aren't So Great by James Sturm of Adventures in Cartooning fame. This story follows The Knight and his best friend Edward (who is his horse). Like all friendships this one is troubled by a gryphon (what your friendships don't have gryphon troubles? Must just be me). The Knight meets the Gryphon and starts riding him instead of Edward, and talking to Edward about how great Gryphon is. So just what will Edward do when Gryphon turns out to be more perilous than a pet? Read Gryphon's Aren't So Great and find out.

The second crossover graphic novel this month is Fable Comics which has a variety of artists but was edited together by Chris Duffy. These are not your normal every day fables. Nope these ones include ninja grapes (that may or may not be sour), ironic stepping on people, and leopards who really know how to rock! First Second, the published of this collection, really brought their A game to the table. The art is all great and the stories will make you chuckle, if not laugh out so loud that people wonder what's funny.

The third and final crossover is an adaptation of a wildly successful book series Warriors. Follow Ravanpaw, Tigerstar, Sasha, Graystripe, and Scourge amongst others as these graphic novels take you through new stories set in the world of Warriors. The art work in the books captures the feel of the novels, and its interesting to see what someone else imagines your favorite cats to look like! Those of you who are not already fans of the Warriors series (or who think you're too old for them) the stories in the novels are often captivating and any cat lover could enjoy the antics of these wonderful cats!

That's it for this month, but keep your eyes open for other great graphic novels that we blog about in the next month!

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

Tiny Expo: Ann Arbor's biggest little indie arts & craft fair — Downtown, December 13th!

Ann Arbor's biggest little indie arts & craft fair is back! After a few years of hopping around to different locales, Tiny Expo will land at the Downtown AADL this December 13th, 11am—5:30pm!

Just what IS Tiny Expo? It's a fun local, and handmade shopping experience that began with a small group of artists in 2010. As the initial group of creative folks banded together to hold a fun, informal little fair, expo-goers responded, and the show grew just a teeny bit each year. Finding a location that could fit everyone was a perennial challenge, though, and so Tiny Expo jumped around town — from Kerrytown to Felch Street and back again.

This year, the Downtown Library will host Tiny Expo's marvelous collection of local indie artists and crafters, including a few audience favorites from past Tiny Expo editions! We'll be announcing the final artist roster in mid November, but if you or an artist you know might be a good fit, you can apply here to be a part of things!

So, get excited, get ready, and mark your calendar — for the biggest little indie arts and craft fair, this December!

Comic Con 2013!

San Diego Comic Con, arguably the biggest event in comics, is in full swing and if like us, you couldn't make it this year, that can be quite the bummer! While we can't send you there or replicate the experience, you can still get a little taste of Comic Con here at AADL. If you've never been and want a look at the kinds of events, costumes, celebrities and creators that come to SDCC, check out Comic Con: Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. Or, while we wait for this year's Eisner Awards winners to be announced, you can read some of the past years' winners.

This year, SDCC has a lot of artists' spotlights, ranging from relative newcomers like Faith Erin Hicks and Vera Brosgol, to favorites like Chris Samnee and J.H. Williams III, to legends like Jeff Smith and Neil Gaiman. Give their work a look in our graphic novel collection!

And if all the news coming from the convention has put you in a creative mood, why not come out to the Super Comics Challenge and make some comics of your own? Like SDCC, the Super Comics Challenge involves the possibility of prizes and freebies, including Summer Game codes!

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