New Marvel Graphic Novels @ AADL

For fans of comic books, graphic novels, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe this weekend is sure to delight. Avengers: Age of Ultron debuts at theaters nationwide this Friday and Saturday is Free Comic Book Day at local comic book shops across the country. Before immersing yourself in this weekend’s festivities, take a second to check out these new Marvel books at AADL -- because once Ultron is over and your free comics have been read, you’ll need something to fill the void.

Avengers & X-Men: AXIS: When the Red Skull hijacks the brain of Professor Charles Xavier he is transformed into the Red Onslaught and World War Hate begins. Personalities, allegiances, and motivations become skewed and twisted and the Marvel Universe looks like nothing you’ve seen before.

Frank Miller’s Daredevil & Daredevil Vols. 1 and 2: Within eleven days of its Netflix release, Daredevil became the company’s most-watched original series. AADL has recently added the first two volumes of Marvel NOW’s Daredevil, and a three-volume set written by Frank Miller (300, Batman: Year One, Sin City). Drop in and spend some time with the defender of Hell's Kitchen.

Silver Surfer: Marvel relaunched this title in early 2014 with writer Dan Slott (Superior Spider-man) and artist Mike Allred bringing the cosmic traveler vividly to life. Allred’s art is the main attraction here; Allred’s pop-art style fits perfectly with the characters and landscape.

Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Keep up with Kamala Khan as she navigates being both a teen and a superhero. Super-cute, super-fun, super-Marvelous!

Boredom Busters to the Rescue!

Need something fun to do on spring break? Never fear, AADL has it covered with brand new youth nonfiction books!

Monstergami by David Mitchell gives even the most experienced origami artists a new challenge! Make the Fangster, a fierce dragon with pointy teeth; a Sky Sprite with feathered wings; or even a monster Totem with multiple stacked heads! Other new origami books include Folding Origami and Origami X: Paper Folding for Secret Agents.

Comics: Investigate the History and Technology of American Cartooning by Sam Carbaugh is perfect for fans of graphic novels and aspiring artists! Travel through the history of how comics started with ancient civilizations, design your own unique characters, and investigate various comic styles like manga and webcomics.

Totally Washi: More than 45 Super Cute Washi Tape Crafts for Kids by Ashley Ann Laz will inspire you to get decorating right away! Washi tape is patterned tape that is actually made of paper. Maybe you already knew that you could make beautiful cards and bracelets, but did you know that you can also make cool "feather" earrings, a color-coded keyboard, or temporary wallpaper? For more washi tape fun, check out the free Crafting with Washi Tape book from Cherry Lake Publishing!

Magic Mike's Miraculous Magic Tricks by Mike Lane will keep the boredom away this spring! Astound your friends and baffle your parents with these amazing illusions, including the Coin Flip, Floating on Air, The Chosen One, and Money Morph!

For even more spring break fun, check out all of the upcoming events for kids at AADL!

The new graphic novel Here is the coolest thing ever!

Richard McGuire’s Here is graphic novelization at its best! The focus of the book is a single space and the events that take place in and around it over millennia. For much of the book, this space is a living room in a large house on the East Coast, but it is also a swamp, a city, a future archaeological dig, and much more. McGuire’s uses multiple panels on each page to show the overlapping and intertwining years. A dinosaur wanders by while a child plays with a similar plastic dinosaur in a panel on the opposite page. A question posed between people in the 18th century seems related to a question or answer between different people in the 21st century. The natural world changes and interweaves throughout the book too. A tree grows for several hundred years, and then is depicted on the forest floor. Swamps give way to glaciers, which then give way to forest and farmland. I loved how the unique perspectives that Here provides beautifully represent the transient nature of all things. “Meanwhile,” states the book jacket appropriately, “the attention is focused on the most ordinary moments and appreciating them as the most transcendent.”

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!

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