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?

Webcomics Lab: Making Webcomics - Brad Guigar

Tuesday January 27, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 9 and up.

Got an idea for a webcomic but don't know where to start? Having trouble finding the time to put into that comics project? Or maybe you just want a break from creating alone in your studio (or the coffee shop) and wish you could work along side of your fellow comics creators? Come to the monthly Webcomics Lab at AADL, where you can make your comics in the company of other cartoonists. Work you finish during the Lab can be submitted for inclusion on the new AADL Webcomics Page!

This month Brad Guigar co-author of How to Make Webcomics, will be our special guest via Skype. Brad has been working on webcomics for over a decade now, starting with Greystone Inn and eventually spinning that off into Evil Inc. He’s been a very active voice in webcomics, working as the editor-in-chief for Webcomics.com, author of The Webcomics Handbook (follow-up to How to Make Webcomics), and one of the hosts for the Webcomics Weekly podcast.

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!

AADL Webcomics Lab: Writing from Life - Carolyn Nowak

Wednesday December 10, 2014: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 9 and up.

Got an idea for a webcomic but don't know where to start? Having trouble finding the time to put into that comics project? Or maybe you just want a break from creating alone in your studio (or the coffee shop) and wish you could work along side of your fellow comics creators? Come to the monthly Webcomics Lab at AADL, where you can make your comics in the company of other cartoonists.

This month's guest will be Ann Arborite Carolyn Nowak. She's the creator of the weekly webcomic Lazy, contributing artist for Lumberjanes, and has worked for Cartoon Network. Carolyn will be here to talk about writing from life and how to find the storytelling moments. She’ll also give tips on where to put your comics on the web.

Celebrate Your Right to Read Comics!

It's Banned Books Week and this year ALA and CBLDF have joined forces to raise awareness of frequently challenged comics. In the last few years, attempts to ban critically acclaimed graphic novels Persepolis and Barefoot Gen made international headlines. Other comics attacked in recent years include the all-ages classic Bone by Jeff Smith, which made ALA’s list of the ten most challenged books in 2013, as well as acclaimed books for adult readers like Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. Learn more about which comics have been banned or challenged here.

Local Banned Books Week events:

Seconds? Yes, please!

Even though school has started and the weather looks and feels a lot like Fall, it’s not too late to catch up on any Summer blockbusters you may have missed. Seconds is author/artist Bryan Lee O’Malley’s first graphic novel since he finished up the much-acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series nearly four years ago, and those who waited patiently were awarded with a huge payoff.

Seconds follows twenty-something Katie, a formerly successful chef whose life seems to be stuck in a rut. After Katie causes an accident that injures a server, she returns home to her apartment only to find the tools and instructions to prevent the accident from happening in the first place:

1) Write Your Mistake
2) Ingest One Mushroom
3) Go To Sleep
4) Wake Anew

When Katie’s first delve into fixing her own reality works, she is tempted -- over and over -- to fix everything in her life. And when her actions threaten her reality and sanity, Katie becomes desperate to make things right one final time.

Fans of O’Malley’s work will appreciate his signature comedy that runs throughout the book, but will also be pleasantly surprised at the maturity O’Malley demonstrates. The story holds together well and none of the action seems forced.

Exploring themes of “existential angst, hope, fantasy, growing up and learning how to be okay with your own decisions,” O’Malley has created a stand-alone novel that will delight his established fanbase and is a perfect starting point for readers new to the genre.

The Warren Commission Report

Out today is The Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation by comic maestros Dan Mishkin, Ernie Colon, and Jerzy Drozd, host of AADL’s Comics Are Great podcast! This new graphic novel brings the titular report, put together by a seven-member commission called for by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy, to life. The commission determined there was no "credible evidence" to support any theory other than a lone gunman, but even now, America wonders. Was there a magic bullet? Did the shots come from Texas School Book Depository, or from the now-infamous grassy knoll? How could the Warren Commission reach the conclusions that it did? We've all got questions about the moments leading up to JFK's death, and the Warren Commission report provides one possible set of answers, answers now fantastically illustrated for your perusal.

Want to meet the minds behind the book? Wonder just what kind of research writing and drawing about something so historic requires? Want to get your own spanking new copy signed? Vault of Midnight comic book store is hosting a signing with Dan Mishkin and Jerzy Drozd from 7 pm to 9:30 pm tomorrow, Wednesday, September 17th. If making a fabulous comic masterpiece of your own is more your speed, consider coming to AADL's Webcomics Lab tomorrow from 6 to 8 pm at the Malletts Creek Branch. We'll have some great art toys for you to play with – if you've never gotten your hands on a Wacom tablet, or a light box, or Manga Studio, come on over!

AADL Webcomics Lab

Wednesday September 17, 2014: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grade 9 - adult.

Got an idea for a webcomic but don't know where to start? Having trouble finding the time to put into that comics project? Or maybe you just want a break from creating alone in your studio (or the coffee shop) and wish you could work along side of your fellow comics creators?

Come to the monthly Webcomics Lab at AADL, where you can make make your comics in the company of professional and hobbyist cartoonists alike. Get a chance to share your work in progress with fellow creators, put in some essential drawing time on your project, and hang out with the people who are all struggling with the same thing you are--expressing character, drama, and humor through the comics page.

Lab host Jerzy Drozd will be on hand to help you with your work, and you'll be able to try out new tools and techniques using the new AADL Comics Tools collection. Best of all, you can get your work published. Each strip you finish during the Lab can be submitted for inclusion on the new AADL Webcomics Page!

Celebrating Batman’s 75th Birthday

It may be hard to believe that Bruce Wayne began his crusade against crime 75 years ago (he looks so young!), but this year marks just that occasion. To commemorate this milestone DC Comics has released a volume consisting of some of the greatest bat-stories ever told. Batman: a celebration of 75 years is sure to engage and entertain both new and experienced Bat-readers. While you’re waiting for your hold to come in, or if you’d like to brush up on what Batman’s been up to for the last few decades, be sure to check out some of these Bat-classics from our catalog!

The Long Halloween - Batman is on the hunt for a serial killer whose devious crimes coincide with major holidays. Noirish and complex, perhaps the greatest Batman story ever told.

Batman: Year One - Writer Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) offers his take on the successes and failures of Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon during Batman’s first year in Gotham. Year One is counted as one of the inspirations for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.

The Dark Knight Returns - Frank Miller adds to the Batman canon by bringing an aged Bruce Wayne out of retirement to battle the powerful Mutant Gang and -- gasp! -- Superman. This Miller classic was drawn upon as source material for 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat - Creative team Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench introduce Batman to one of his strongest and most intelligent foes: Bane! Tune in to find out just how far the Batman can bend before he breaks.

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