The Warren Commission Report is an awesome graphic novel!

I sat down to read The Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation into the Kennedy Assassination, and finished it in one sitting. I loved it! I didn't know too much about the JFK assassination prior to reading this super-cool graphic novel, and it was so great to learn about it and its aftermath through Dan Mishkin's carefully chosen language and information, accompanied by the beautiful art of Ernie Colon and Ann Arbor resident Jerzy Drozd. This book details the events of the assassination itself, the findings of the Warren Commission, and explores the controversies and conspiracy theories that still surround the event. The book "speaks to theorists and skeptics alike, breaking down how decisions made in the days that followed the assassination not only shaped the way the commission reconstructed events, but also fostered the conspiracy theories that play a part in American politics to this day," reads the jacket, and I agree wholeheartedly. I appreciated that the book was not the least bit didactic, but simply well-researched and presented clearly and concisely.

If you're at all interested in learning more about the JFK assassination, I would highly recommend starting with this fantastic graphic novel.

Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home, is coming to Ann Arbor

Hugely popular graphic novelist Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama, and many other graphic novels, will be coming to the Michigan Theater on January 22, 2015. Bechdel's work intertwines political and personal spheres. She uses stories of her father's life before gay rights and her mother's life prior to the women's rights movement to portray intimate images of oppression. In Fun Home, her most popular work, Bechdel shares her personal tales of coming-of-age and coming out in the 1950s and 1960s, under the shadow of her parents' unhappy marriage and nation-wide homophobia.

Bechdel's talk at the Michigan Theater will begin at 5:10pm. The event is free and open to the public. You can read more about Bechdel and the event itself here.

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?

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!

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