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!

My Friend Dahmer

Yes, you read that right. This is indeed a graphic novel about Jeffery Dahmer. Yes, that guy; the one ultimately arrested for the gruesome murders of seventeen young men and boys in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Akron, Ohio areas. Sadly from the media frenzy of the early 90’s the title of this graphic novel is all most people need to read to know who the novel’s main character is. If it had been My Friend McInnes or My Friend Thompson, one might have said, “I wonder what that is about?” Instead, most see My Friend Dahmer and think, “Do I really want to read that?” My answer would be yes.

This isn’t a book about a rehash of his grisly crimes, replete with panels awash in bright reds. Instead it is a book about Jeff Dahmer’s life from junior high school through to the first few years after his graduation, primarily as seen through the eyes of one of his classmates – the author’s. In effective, stylized black and white, Derf Backderf recounts his teenage years going to school with Dahmer in Ohio. He fills in the holes of Dahmer’s life during that time with source material from Dahmer’s prison interviews, FBI files, and Dahmer’s father. The end product is almost a slice of life 1970’s high school reality complete with cliques, bullies, and outcasts, but with a chilling undertone as one watches Dahmer slowly transform and develop.

There are a few ‘ish’ scenes and the ultimate subject matter is certainly heavy, so there is a little bit of reader beware required, but I think it is a worthwhile read for anyone who was in high school in the 70’s and early 80’s, has even a passing interest in the Dahmer story, or for anyone looking at the peer-to-peer interaction of high schoolers and its impact that is still applicable today.

More Comics Fun at AADL!!

Mondays, July 8-August 12 | 6-8 PM | Malletts Creek

If Kids Read Comics inspired you to try your hand at making comics, then you’re ready for the SUPER COMICS CHALLENGE! Or, if you’ve been making comics for a while but looking for a creative boost, then by all means join us.

At this weekly series, you'll design dynamic fortresses, awesome heroes, lugubrious villains, and unlock achievements of the comics-storytelling masters! Each week you'll have two fun drawing challenges to level up your comics-making powers and get special Summer Game codes.

Come every week to collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, each week there’ll be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

Comics Character Challenge at AADL

Monday, July 15 | 6-8 PM | Malletts Creek

This week in the SUPER COMICS CHALLENGE get ready to conjure up some awesome heroes and lugubrious villains! Yes indeedy, cartoonist and teaching artist Jerzy Drozd’s challenges will loosen up both your brain and drawing arm.

Come every week to collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, each week there’ll be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

Worldbuilding in Comics

Monday, July 22 | 6-8 PM | Malletts Creek

Worldbuilding is the challenge in this week's session. You will face four different challenges in creating the world that fits your characters and storyline. From imagining a fortress to an entire universe, these challenges will have your synapses firing like mad!

Come every week to collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, each week there will be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

Dirt Candy

It's a restaurant. It’s a cookbook. It’s a graphic novel. It’s worth checking out.

Dirt Candy: Flavor-forward food from the upstart New York City vegetarian restaurant, by Amanda Cohen & Ryan Dunlavey, is a graphic novel that tells the story of how the actual NYC restaurant came to be. It is also a cookbook as it includes recipes that are served at the restaurant interspersed with the story. The recipes include chapters on pickles, soups, salads, appetizers, sauces, entrees, pasta, desserts. All vegetarian, many with vegan variations. The book is honest and quite humorous and would be a fun read for foodies, graphic novel enthusiasts, and those who are in the restaurant business.

Superman flies back into theaters this weekend in Man of Steel!

Inspired by comics such as Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright, Man of Steel tells the story of Clark Kent's transformation from lonesome farmboy to greatest hero the world has ever known. A survivor of the distant alien planet of Krypton, Clark struggles to determine his purpose in life on Earth. Knowing his tremendous power may inspire fear in others, he keeps to himself, a secret guardian angel. But with famed reporter Lois Lane on his trail, and the murderous kryptonian General Zod seeking vengeance, Clark must choose whether to claim his birthright and step into the light as Earth's protector.

With 75 years of history behind him, Superman has a mighty presence at the library and AADL can help you go up, up, and away! Having seen the beginning, why not check out the end? Find out the answer to the question "What would Superman do if he knew he was dying?" in the Eisner award-winning graphic novel from Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly, All-star Superman. Or read all about how the hero has developed and influenced the world in journalist Larry Tye's Superman: The High Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero. You can even discover how the superhero helped thwart real-life villains.

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

All paths of Lucy Knisley’s life lead through the kitchen in search of a good meal in the mouthwatering memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. Along the way she offers reflections on cooking, eating, and living along with some delectable recipes for dishes like marinated lamb, mom’s pesto, the best chocolate chip cookies, and more.

Lucy was destined to make food the center of her being. Her mother is a chef and her father a gourmet. Her tales from childhood to adult years delight the senses from creating carbonara to making mushrooms (mom’s way).

The art is bright and fun. Lucy’s recipe presentations are visual delights and easy to follow providing as in the case of Huevos Rancheros that shows an exploded view of all the delectable layers. This is not a book so much to be read as to be devoured.

Calling Cosplayers!

6:30-8:30 PM | Saturday, June 22 | Neutral Zone

The Kids Read Comics event will sponsor a free teen Cosplay party and concert at the Neutral Zone featuring the best comics band on the planet, the O>Matics. Choose your character, transform yourself, and get ready to rock!

KRC Kickoff with Ben Hatke 11 a.m. this Saturday

Saturday, June 22 | 11:00 a.m.-Noon | Downtown Library – Multipurpose Room

Special guests at Kids Read Comics (KRC) are Ben Hatke, creator of fan-favorite Zita of Zita the Spacegirl, and 10-year-old cartoonist Angelica Hatke! And this is your chance to make comics with them!

Ben will be leading our annual kickoff event Saturday, June 22, at 11 am. During this interactive talk Ben will walk through his process of making comics and share how to create characters readers care about, worlds that readers believe in, and dangers that set readers on the edge of their seats!

Then he and Angelica will lead two workshops over the course of the weekend where he’ll share the 3 secrets to making great comics! These sessions will start with an interactive talk, after which Ben will work with you to create a short comics story of your own.

The sessions will run Saturday and Sunday, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm in the Multi-Purpose room at the Downtown Library. To see the full weekend of programming check out the program brochure!

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