June's Books to Film

Green Lantern is based on the grahic novel series by DC Comics. In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force call the Green Lantern Corps has been dependent upon as protectors of peace and intergalactic order. When a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power, the fate lies in the hands of Green Lantern's newest recruit, the first human ever selected to wear the ring that grants them superpower.

In Submarine, 15 year-old Oliver Tate has two big ambitions: to save his parents' marriage via carefully plotted intervention and to lose his virginity before his next birthday. Worried that his mom is having an affair, Oliver forges suggestive love letters from his Mom to his Dad. Meanwhile, Oliver attempts to woo his classmate, Jordana, a self-professed, bossy, pyromaniac who supervises his journal writing --- especially the bits about her. I look forward to this delightful adaptation from Joe Dunthorne's humorous and imaginative novel (2008).

Based on the The X-Men comics created by Stan Lee, the current box-office smash X-Men, First Class is set up as a prequel. Before mutants had revealed themselves to the world, and before Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr took the names Professor X and Magneto, they were two young men, closest of friends, working together to prevent nuclear Armageddon.

green lanterngreen lantern

June 5 Comic Artists Forum

Erik ReichenbachErik Reichenbach

Sunday, June 5 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Downtown Multipurpose room | Teens and Adults

Guest artist Erik Reichenbach, one of the final five of "Survivor: Micronesia," will discuss how to tear apart plot and story elements. Eric’s a Pinckney native and 2009 graduate of EMU. He is the creator of The Town of Tymes a kind of survivor story. Erik will start with a brief history of plot theory, discuss the cutting edge of post-modern writing, and relate how stories may be depicted visually by comic, photography, and even online.

Join the Forum to get fresh ideas for your next comics or graphic novel creation. Drawing supplies will be provided, so drop in for drawing, learning, and sharing.

Comics!

Comics and comic book characters have always been popular with many but have more recently broken into the mainstream in a huge way. Because of the recent rise in popularity, many kids (and "kids at heart") are taking up an interest in comic books.

The Ann Arbor District Library has fantastic Graphic Novel collections in youth, teen, and the adult sections of all 5 library branches and also offer lots of neat programming involving comics, how to create them, and info about those who do.

Tomorrow, May 7th, 2001, is Free Comic Book Day. Free Comic Book Day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops around the world give away comic books to anyone who comes into their stores. Check out local comic book store, Vault of Midnight, and see what you can find!

And for those busy tomorrow that can't get out to Free Comic Book Day, check out this event in June: Kids Read Comics hosted at the The Chelsea District Library and throughout the downtown business district in June.

"Kids Read Comics Convention is a totally free event that unites kids, teens, parents, teachers and librarians with professional artists and writers from the comics and animation fields. Our goal is to introduce kids to worlds of imagination while unlocking their creative impulses, and to serve that goal, the convention features:

* hands-on workshops
* panels and presentations for kids, families, and educators
* a chance for kids to meet and chat with comics and animation professionals
* the opportunity for kids to have their own art portfolios reviewed"

Comic Artists Forum in May

Ozone Jones colorOzone Jones color

Sunday, May 1 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Downtown Multipurpose Room | Grade 6- Adult

Guest artist Michelangelo Cicerone creator of Ozone Jones will show you the secrets to drawing just about any cartoon or comic book character at this character design workshop. Learn how to create a personality for your character, too. No special skills required - just your imagination!

There will also be time for you to mingle with fellow cartoonists to talk about ideas for your next comics or graphic novel creation. Drawing tools and paper will be provided. Drop by for some learning, sharing and drawing.

Comic Artists Forum with Denver Brubaker

Checkered ManCheckered Man

Sunday, April 3 -- 1:00-3:00 PM -- Downtown -- 4th Floor Meeting Room

Celebrate the first birthday of the Tales of a Checkered Man web comic. Creator Denver Brubaker will talk about what’s happened with the comic and his website since it’s launch April 6, 2010.

Yes, there will be plenty of time to interact with your fellow cartoonists to get fresh ideas for your next comics or graphic novel creation. Drawing supplies will be provided, so drop in for learning, sharing, and drawing.

Graphic Artist Matt Dembicki Discusses "Trickster: Native American Tales"

"Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection" is an amazing collection of more than 20 Native American tales cleverly adapted into comic form. Each story is written by a different Native American storyteller who worked closely with a selected illustrator, a combination that gives each tale a unique and powerful voice and look. Ranging from serious and dramatic to funny and sometimes fiendish, these tales bring tricksters back into popular culture in a very vivid form.

This unique collection of Indian lore was conceived and edited by cartoonist Matt Dembicki, the founder of DC Conspiracy, a comic creators' collaborative in Washington, DC. Matt will be here to discuss this work, the Indian lore which inspired it, and what it takes to create a graphic novel.

Monday, March 14, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm --- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Kids Read Comics Extravaganza

KRC ExtravaganzaKRC Extravaganza

Meet some of the most super cartoonists in the Southeast Michigan area at the Ann Arbor Art Center and work with them to make some comics and manga of your own! SEE a gallery exhibition of cartoons and comics pages by cartoonists from Michigan and beyond! LISTEN as some of Michigan's brightest cartoonists lead presentations on how to make comics! WATCH comics being created live on site! PARTICIPATE in fun and interactive storytelling and drawing events with local cartoonists! Whether you're a kid or an adult, if you've ever wondered about making your own comics stories, this free event will have something for you!

Saturday, March 12 --- 10:00 am to 8:00 pm --- Ann Arbor Art Center, 117 West Liberty St.

March Comic Artists Forum

Chicken GirlChicken Girl

Join us for the upcoming Comic Artists Forum. Guest artist Jannie Ho will discuss how she got the inspiration for her comic story, If you lived here, from her experiences of living in Ann Arbor and her participation in the Sketch Book Project. She will also discuss the similarities and differences between creating a comic book and a picture book. There will be a live demo of her drawing her chicken characters!

Afterwards take time to chat and share your work with fellow cartoonists or draw while listening to other cartoonists as they discuss techniques. Basic drawing supplies will be available.

Comic Artists Forum | Sunday, March 6 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Downtown | Grade 6 – Adult

Author Birthdays: Ford, Banks, Ellis

February 16th marks the birthday of authors Richard Ford, Iain Banks, and Warren Ellis.

Richard Ford is an American writer. He won the Pulitzer and the PEN/Faulkner Award for the sequel Independence Day, which is the second in a trilogy of books featuring the character Frank Bascombe, also seen in The Sportswriter and The Lay of the Land.

Ford's first novel was A Piece of My Heart, a "story of two godless pilgrims" which turns violent. His first collection of short stories, Rock Springs, is described by Booklist as having "characters so put upon by life that resorting to desperate acts even murder is totally within the realm of possibility".

Iain Banks is a Scottish author. If you see a book written by Iain M. Banks, that's also him, but specifically in the sci-fi genre. He was named one of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945" by the New York Times.

Banks's newest novel is one of those M. sci-fi ones, called Surface Detail. Part of the "Culture novels", it continues the line of stories of the Culture, an interstellar society that is both socialist and utopian. If you're not interested in sci-fi, his 2009 Transition, a historical fiction novel (perhaps erroneously published under the name Iain M. Banks), might be more your style.

Warren Ellis is an English writer of mostly graphic novels, though his Crooked Little Vein is a mystery (non-graphic) novel. One of his works, Red, you may recognize, since it was recently made into a film starring Bruce Willis.

Among Ellis's other many graphic novels is the series Fell, which is extremely interesting in its layout. Ellis created the graphic novel so that it would be cheap to buy--$1.99, actually--by using more panels per page to create less pages.

Author Birthdays: Grey, Oe, Morrison

January 31st marks the birthday of authors Zane Grey, Kenzaburo Oe, and Grant Morrison.

Zane Grey was an American author who wrote primarily westerns; his most famous was probably Riders of the Purple Sage. Many of his books were turned into movies, including Fighting Caravans (starring Gary Cooper) and The Thundering Herd (with Harry Carey).

Grey's westerns also include Betty Zane, which was inspired by his great-great-grandmother of the same name and was his first novel, and The Great Trek: A Frontier Story, which was inspired by Grey's deep-sea fishing trip to Australia in 1935.

Kenzaburo Oe is a Japanese writer and Noble Prize winner. His first novel was Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids, which Booklist called a "bleaker and more pessimistic" Lord of the Flies.

Oe's books are almost all influential. A Personal Matter is a semi-autobiographical story that touches on the subject of his son's brain hernia; also semi-autobiographical is The Changeling, which includes a fictionalization of the suicide of Oe's brother-in-law.

Grant Morrison is a Scottish comic writer and adult graphic novelist. He has done quite a few issues of Batman and Robin graphic novels, as well as many other superhero works with DC Comics.

Morrison's other works include the graphic novel series WE3, which is about three household pets turned deadly cyborgs, and Sebastian O, the steampunk story of an alternate Victorian London and the assassin Sebastian.

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