Vietnamerica: Pop-Up Exhibition by GB Tran

The University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities has a new Pop-Up exhibition series in the Osterman Common Room (#1022). The first, Vietnamerica, is an exhibition of images from GB Tran's graphic memoir of the same name, a visually stunning portrait of survival, escape, and reinvention, and of the fit of the American immigrants' dream. The exhibition will be up through Friday, November 7.

GB Tran be there to talk about his work on Friday, November 7, 2014 at 2:00pm.

Note: The Common Room at Institute for the Humanities is open M-F 9am-5pm.

Star Wars Reads!

On Saturday, October 11 libraries and book stores across the country will be celebrating the 3rd annual Star Wars Reads Day! It’s a day to celebrate reading and all things Star Wars. Last year over 2,000 Star Wars Reads Day events took place! Do you geek Star Wars? Do you geek books?

Hey kids, maybe you’re into Star Wars graphic novels, chapter books, easy readers, or informational books. Or maybe you dig all things LEGO Star Wars! Adults, maybe you’re into Star Wars graphic novels, science fiction books, or informational books. There are also plenty of Star Wars graphic novels and novels for teens too. AADL has many books to choose from for all ages.

Don’t forget about the Star Wars television shows and movies also available for consumption!

This Saturday at noon at Malletts Creek we are hosting a craft program featuring Star Wars themed crafts for children in Grades K-5. Join us! May the Force be with you no matter how you choose to celebrate or what books you choose to read.

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!

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.

This One Summer

Rose and her family have been coming to Awago Beach during the summer "ever since...like...forever." For Rose, it's always been a place of idyll joy and a fun escape. But this year, something is different. Rose's parents won't stop fighting; her mom seems determined not to have a good time. Rose is pretty sure she knows why - but she doesn't want to talk about it, not even with her friend Windy. She'd much rather lose herself in the unfolding drama and potential tragedy brewing among the local teenagers. Sometimes, though, anger makes us unable to see things clearly. Sometimes, what we think we know about a situation can be very wrong. Recognizing that is part of growing up, and for Rose, much of that growing up happened This One Summer.

Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind the award-winning comic Skim, have smashed it out of the park once again with this excellent graphic novel. This One Summer is many things: an atmospheric story that captures the feel of summer so well you'll swear you can hear the buzz of cicadas; a portrait of the simmering resentment that family struggles we don't quite understand can cause, and how it can bleed into our perceptions elsewhere in our lives; a quiet coming of age story; an authentic portrayal of friendship and family; and a visual masterpiece, with rich, textured, expressive artwork. But above all, it's a very good read!

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is a very unique comic - it’s actually a sequel to a musical concept album by writer Gerard Way’s band (and more famous creation), My Chemical Romance! The CD, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, was set in a post-apocalyptic California in the year 2019, and followed the original Killjoys as they fought against the evil mega-corporation Better Living Industries.

The comic, deftly brought to life by Becky Cloonan’s masterful pencil, takes place a few years later and follows The Girl, the last surviving Killjoy, as she and the other desert dwellers take the fight to BLI once more. It's a coming of age tale soaked in desperation and rock music, a twisty, weird yarn about shouldering the legacy you’re given and fighting the man. And there are robots, bounty hunters, and mutant vampires, too.

This isn’t Way’s first foray into comics, either - his superheroic collaboration with Gabriel Bá, Umbrella Academy, won the Eisner award for best limited series in 2008!

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man

In the Ultimate universe, Peter Parker is dead, but Spider-man lives on!

Thirteen year old Miles Morales doesn't want to have superpowers. When he gets bitten by an experimental Oscorp spider and begins to exhibit all the same powers as Spider-man and more, he's terrified. But it doesn't matter, he thinks, since there's already a Spider-man. He's just a kid, after all; nobody needs him to be a hero. Until Peter Parker dies. Left as the lone bearer of spider-powers, Miles takes to heart the words that drove Peter – "with great power comes great responsibility" – and dons the mantle of Spider-man. But Miles has a lot to contend with that Peter didn't, including a father who hates all superpowered people, a criminal uncle, and a guilt-ridden Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D, who feel responsible for not saving Peter.

The beautiful, expressive art by Sara Pichelli and Chris Samnee is worth a look all on its own - add that to Brian Michael Bendis' script and you have the recipe for one of my personal favorite ongoings. If you like characters like Captain America or Superman, fundamentally good characters with the strength to do what's right and an innate sweetness that persists even in the face of personal tragedy, you'll love Miles Morales!

Volume 4 has only just recently hit our shelves, and we have volume 1, volume 2 and volume 3 here as well, so the whole series as it stands is at your finger tips. While the original Spider-man spins webs in the box office, why not give his successor a try?

Comic Artists Forum with Brandon Dayton

Sunday May 4, 2014: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

Want to get better at drawing? Want to take your art to the next level? There is more to getting better than just “talent.” Hard work—combined with the right approach—can help an artist of any skill level advance to the next level.

Whether you are a seasoned artist or a beginner, Brandon will discuss practical strategies for assessing your current abilities and specific exercises and drills to help you make the most of your art study.

Brandon Dayton is a concept artist and comic book creator who has created concept for EA Games and Disney Interactive’s Disney Infinity. His 2009 comic book Green Monk won the 2011 YALSA Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens book award.

The Forum is for comics enthusiasts and cartoonists—beginning and professional. Bring your drawing tools and drop in for learning, drawing and sharing

Avatar, the Last Airbender

If you're looking for a fun TV show that appeals to both kids and adults, check out Avatar, the Last Airbender. This cartoon has a great plot that will keep you interested until the very end.

The wold is divided into four nations (Earth, Water, Fire, and Air). Each nation’s people are able to manipulate their specific element. This manipulation is called “bending” and each nation’s bending is based off of a specific martial art (for example, water bending is based on tai chi, and fire bending is based on Northern Shaolin). There is one person who is born with the ability to bend all of the elements called the “Avatar,” this person is also in charge of keeping peace between the nations. However, when the Fire Nation decides to attack, the Avatar disappears.

A hundred years later, the Fire nation is now on the verge of dominating the entire world. But two siblings from the water tribe, Katara and Sokka, have just found the missing Avatar, a twelve-year-old boy named Aang, and his flying bison frozen in an iceberg. But can Aang learn to master all four elements and restore peace in time?

While this cartoon is not technically considered anime, it is heavily influenced by anime in it’s character designs. The fighting sequences are incredibly entertaining to watch and there are plenty of humorous moments which makes this cartoon a hit with the young and not-so-young.

If you enjoy the TV show, you should also check out the books, graphic novels, or even The Last Airbender movie that was directed by M. Night Shyamalan (disclaimer, if you are a big fan of the cartoon, this movie may miss the mark).

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