Bill Watterson Lives!

Bill Watterson, the cartoonist who created the beloved comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes,” is a notorious recluse – so much so that he has been called the J.D. Salinger of the cartooning world. Watterson hasn’t been seen or heard from since he announced his retirement – and the end of Calvin and Hobbes – back in 1995. So it came as a surprise yesterday to see that Watterson allowed himself to be interviewed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer in a story published on Feb. 1. This is his first interview since 1989. When asked why he ended his strip after just 10 years of newspaper publication, Watterson said “It's always better to leave the party early. If I had rolled along with the strip's popularity and repeated myself for another five, 10 or 20 years, the people now "grieving" for "Calvin and Hobbes" would be wishing me dead and cursing newspapers for running tedious, ancient strips like mine instead of acquiring fresher, livelier talent. And I'd be agreeing with them.”

Nevin Martell is one person who disagrees with that sentiment. He recently published the book Looking for Calvin and Hobbes, in which he chronicles the story of the strip and details his personal quest to track down Bill Watterson. Martell never got the chance to interview Watterson (his letter of request went unanswered), but he did interview many other people close to Watterson who could provide insights into the cartoonist’s life, inspirations, and motivations. The lack of Watterson’s voice makes the book largely speculative, but it is fun to read other cartoonists praising Watterson and recounting their love for the 6-year-old boy and his tiger. Notable fans of Watterson’s include humorist Dave Barry, author Jonathan Lethem, and cartoonist Bill Amend (creator of the strip FoxTrot). In fact, nearly every contemporary cartoonist or graphic novelist considers themselves to have been influenced or inspired by Watterson. I think that speaks to the legacy of Calvin and Hobbes – a legacy that Watterson himself downplays, desiring only to return to his quiet, private life in the Cleveland suburbs. Fortunately for his millions of fans, Watterson has donated his original artwork to the Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University in Columbus. In museums and in comic books, Calvin and Hobbes will live forever.

February Comic Artists Forum

drozd dinodrozd dino

If you’re a beginning or experienced comics/graphic novel artist looking to hone your skills while mingling with other artists, join the next Comic Artists Forum on Sunday, February 7. Several participants are creating a 6-8 page mini-comic. Those who complete their comic by April can sell their work at the Kids Read Comics Convention in Dearborn June 12-13.

Basic supplies (paper, pencils/pens, rulers, erasers) will be provided. To get your creativew juices flowing go online and visit Art & Story: Talking Shop with Comics Creators Mark Rudolph and Jerzy Drozd.

Comic Artists Forum | Sunday, February 7 | 1-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Guest Artist-Jerzy Drozd | Teens and Adults

Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival

traversetraverse
Michael Moore said "In times like these, humor should ride to the rescue." Creator of films such as Roger & me, Sicko and Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore grew up in Michigan and still lives here. Along with Jeff Garlin of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame, the two are the co-founders of the Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival scheduled for Feb. 19th--21st.

Headliners are Roseanne Barr, filmmaker John Waters (Hairspray, Cecil B. DeMented) and Mike Birgiglia. Other acts will feature improvisational groups and premieres of comedy movies — including a short-films competition — plus a show for children.

Most of the events will take place at the State Theatre, a refurbished, 546-seat movie house that Moore helped save from the wrecking ball, and two other downtown showplaces: the City Opera House and the Old Town Playhouse.

For more information go to Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival.

Comic Artists Forum-Sunday, January 3

drozd dinodrozd dino

If you’re a beginning or experienced comics/graphic novel artist looking to hone your skills while mingling with other artists, join the next Comic Artists Forum on Sunday, January 3 at the Malletts Creek Branch. The first forum participants set a goal to create a short comic book/graphic novel by early April. Those who reach this goal will be able to sell their work at the Kids Read Comics Convention in Dearborn June 12-13.

Basic supplies (paper, pencils/pens, rulers, erasers) will be provided. Bring ideas for your characters and a short description of the story line. Need help? Go online and visit Art and Story: Talking Shop with Comics Creators Mark Rudolph and Jerzy Drozd. (Dino reprinted by permission of Jerzy Drozd.)

Sunday, January 3 | 1-3 PM | Malletts Creek | Guest Artist-Jerzy Drozd | Grades 6-Adult

Comic Artists Forum for Teens and Adults

No matter whether you’re a budding or veteran comic artist stop by Malletts Creek this Sunday for a chance to share your work and get fresh ideas for your next comic or graphic novel project. Bring your favorite drawing tools and drop in for a few hours of drawing, learning, and sharing. For beginners we’ll provide basic supplies (i.e. paper, pencils, erasers, rulers). Jerzy Drozd will be our guest artist sharing a drawing or publishing tip.

Comic Artists Forum | Sunday, December 6 | 1-3 PM | Malletts Creek | Grades 6-Adults

Everyone's favorite orphan on stage starting Friday

The popular musical "Annie" will be presented by Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter at 8 p.m. Nov. 27-29 and Dec. 3-6, 10-13, & 17-19. This highly peppy, Tony Award-winning 1976 musical comedy was inspired by the Little Orphan Annie comic strip. Set in New York in the Great Depression, the story follows feisty Annie and her puppy Sandy as they escape from an orphanage and find a home with millionaire Daddy Warbucks. Popular songs from the show include "Tomorrow," "Hard-Knock Life," and "Easy Street." Buy tickets here.

Books into Graphic Novels

They make books into movies so why not make books into graphic novels? The library has several in the collection like P. Craig Russell’s adaptation of Coraline by Neil Gaiman which is beautifully done and in my opinion better than the movie. The Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan has gone manga. Takahiro Arai’s artwork has made Cirque a manga hit in Japan. After translation it’s now available in the English-speaking world. Fahrenheit 451: The Authorized Adaptation is another book turned into graphic novel winner. It’s creator, Ray Bradbury provides an intriguing introduction to this adaptation by Tim Hamilton. The storytelling and artwork set a dark and heavy tone that is ever faithful to this classic dystopian tale.

Fluffy

Fluffy is a baby rabbit being raised by a single man called Michael Pulcino. Fluffy wonders if he will have black hair like Michael's when he grows up and if he can keep the library book that he loves about tractors. He also wonders what his nursery school teacher is doing visiting his apartment late at night. Michael struggles with relationships, a rabbit in denial, and being a single dad. Fluffy is absolutely adorable.

Simone Lia is one half of Cabanon Press.

Simon's Cat

If you are a cat lover check out the hilarious wordless comic strip collection called Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield. Tofield, a British animator, started with animated shorts of the same name, available for free on his website. Tofield does all the characters including the 'meows'.

Here is one of my favorites:

If you are interested in knowing more about cats and caring for one, AADL has many books to choose from, click here for a list

3rd Annual Manga Drawing Contest Winners Announced!

2009 Manga Contest2009 Manga Contest

The judging is done and the winners have been announced! Judging was conducted by Jerzy Drozd and Shannon "Roku-Chan" Townsend. With over 80 entries in four age categories the judges had a tough time this year! The top three finishers in each category received gift certificates to Wizzywig and medals. All of the artwork will be on display through August in the Downtown Youth Department and can also be found online in our image gallery!

Click Read More to see the list of the winners!

Syndicate content