AADL programs provide inspiration!

If you live hereIf you live here

Jannie Ho who participated in last summer's AADL Comics Fundamentals six-week workshop recently announced on her blog that she has finished her first comics story for the Sketch Book Project. In the epilogue, she thanks Comics Fundamental instructor Jerzy Drozd whose question sparked the idea for her book, If You Lived Here. And now Jannie’s book will tour the country before joining the book collection of The Brooklyn Art Library.

Pretty cool huh? If you want to develop your visual storytelling ideas join the next Comics Fundamentals six-week workshop. It will meet on Wednesdays July 6-August 10 (6:00-8:00 p.m.).

The Night Bookmobile

You may already be familiar with Audrey Niffenegger, author of best-selling works such as The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry. What you might not be familiar with is Niffenegger’s newest publication, The Night Bookmobile. Initially serialized in the UK newspaper, The Guardian, The Night Bookmobile is her first graphic novel. Topping out at 40 pages, the graphic novel could be called a “graphic novelette”. But this short work really packs a punch, and the artwork is unique and endearing.

The story is about a young woman who, after a fight with a boyfriend, takes a walk in the middle of the night and encounters a night bookmobile, with a night librarian, too! Contained in the traveling library is every book she has ever read, even going all the way back to Pat the Bunny. A strange story follows, and it is indeed thought-provoking to say the least, especially for those involved in library work, and anybody who has ever truly loved to read. Some have criticized the work - but you be the judge. For myself, I think I will be a little haunted by this one for years to come.

Take Part in Art -- Art that Tells a Story

by "T" altered art, Flickr.comby "T" altered art, Flickr.com

People have been using pictures to tell stories since…well, forever! Cave paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and the Bayeux Tapestry are all ancestors of modern picture books and graphic novels. To explore the relationship between art and storytelling, you could always come visit the Youth Art Table downtown, or enjoy our abundant and awesome resources at home.

Some excellent artists – modern and historical – have focused on using art to tell stories. To learn more about these artists try reading:
Brueghel: A Gift for Telling Stories – about the life of Dutch artist Pieter Brueghel.
En mi Familia and Family Pictures by Mexican-American artist Carmen Lomas Garza.
Pretty much anything about Norman Rockwell.

To explore how artists tell stories using pictures, try these books.
Telling Stories in Art by Joy Richardson provides examples readers can use to create their own story in art!
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud describes how graphic novelists use pictures to tell their stories, and Drawing Words and Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel guides readers in creating their own graphic novels!
Read a wordless picture book to see how amazing a story without words can be.

If you have children ages 4-7, you can also attend one of the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s Storytime in the Museum programs starting January 8. University of Michigan students read stories related to the art on display at the museum to bring art to life!

Finally, to see how art can tell different stories to different people try Twice Told -- a collection of short stories based on paintings. The twist? Each painting inspires two stories by different authors. See how different stories based on the same picture can be! What story would you tell?

Comic Artists Forum: Make a Mini-Comic with Matt Feazell

Matt Feazell 2Matt Feazell 2

At the next Forum create your own 8-page mini-comic with the guidance of freelance cartoonist Matt Feazell. His comics and spot illustrations have appeared in Disney Adventures and Nickleodeon Magazine and his regular weekly series, The Amazing Cynicalman runs every week in the Hamtramck Review newspaper. He's currently writing and directing a live-action Cynicalman movie.

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, January 9 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Downtown Library | Grades 6-Adult

Comic Artists Forum features Star Wars artist Katie Cook

Katie CookKatie Cook

The Forum moves Downtown in December. Join us in the Multipurpose Room for a presentation by Katie Cook who does licensed work for Star Wars products, webcomics for The Clone Wars, The Lord of the Rings, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Heroes and Fraggle Rock. She’s also the creator of the webcomic Gronk: A Monster’s Story.

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, December 5 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Downtown | Grade 6 – Adult

Author Birthdays: Atwood, Foster, Moore

November 18th marks the birthday of authors Margaret Atwood, Alan Dean Foster, and Alan Moore.

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian writer who has won many literary awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award for The Handmaid's Tale and the Booker Prize for The Blind Assassin. She has also published novels like The Penelopiad, a reworking of Homer's Odyssey that focuses on Penelope, and The Tent, a collection of short stories and line drawings.

Atwood has also written many books of poetry. Among them are The Door, published in 2007 and discussing the topic of old age, and True Stories, which is dedicated to fellow poet Carolyn Forché and focuses on the subject of human rights.

Alan Dean Foster is an American sci-fi and fantasy writer. Among his numerous series are Flinx and the Commonwealth, Dinotopia, Spellsinger, and The Taken Trilogy.

Singular novels by Foster include Quozl, a tale of alien "invasion", which Booklist has called "entertaining and even comic at times without being frivolous", and Parallelities, a story of parallel worlds in which the main character, Max, finds himself many times over.

Alan Moore is an English writer and popular adult graphic novelist. His most popular works would probably be the graphic novels Watchmen and V for Vendetta, both of which were made into films. He has won many awards for his works, including the Jack Kirby Award, the Eagle Award, and the Harvey Award.

Moore has also written many other adult graphic novels. From Hell and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, like Watchmen, were turned into films as well. The Ballad of Halo Jones, categorized as a "feminist space opera", tells the story of Halo Jones and her need to escape her boring, futuristic world. Promethea, another one set around a superheroine, has been noted to be "awash in references to mythology, literature, religion, and arcania".

Norwegian cartoonist Kim Holm Discusses Comics Publishing in the New Media Century

Kim HolmKim Holm

Join us Monday, November 22 from 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm at the Malletts Creek Branch for a fresh view on the debate over the future of copyright during this interactive discussion with Norwegian cartoonist Kim Holm. Does copyright law ensure innovation and personal creativity, or does it steal from the public domain? While digital piracy is claimed to be an inevitability by some and a threat to capitalism by others, Kim has embraced the distribution methods used by pirates to broaden his audience. He has explored publishing models that altogether eschew the use of copyright, releasing his work into the public domain as a digital edition while simultaneously selling print editions on his website. During this presentation Kim will raise some provocative counter-arguments to commonly-held beliefs about current copyright law, exploring some of the ways it may be improved, if not discarded altogether.

Comic in a Box: Make an Accordion Mini-Comic

Accordion mini-comicAccordion mini-comic

Make an accordion mini-comic and a box that fits it perfectly. Cartoonists Anne and Jerzy Drozd will guide you through the process of making a "done in one" improvisational short comics story. Learn how to make an Accordion Mini-Comic with a strip of paper folded upon itself; draw your story, and fold it into a comic. Then with provided materials you will create a box for your comic. Voila! You have the perfect gift for friends or family.

Comic in a Box | Saturday, December 4 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Grades 6 - Adult

Ben 10 Alien Force, on DVD

Okay, Ben 10 fans, you’ve checked out all the books and read them twice. Which means you’re ready for some DVD action starring Ben 10. “There’s never a dull moment in the life of Ben 10,” the fifteen year old superhero.

New to AADL are several DVDs of Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 Alien Force to fill your desire. Also check out the live action movie.

Meet Children's author & illustrator, Mark Crilley!

For many children meeting the author of a favorite book can be a life-changing experience! Mark Crilley, the author of the recent comic book release, Brody's Ghost Vol. 1, will be doing a special visit at the Ann Arbor District Library on Sunday November, 21 from 2:00-3:30 PM at the Downtown Library.

Mark Crilley was raised in Detroit and attended Kalamazoo College where he met children's book writer/illustrator (and 2001 Caldecott award winner) David Small. David’s example inspired Mark to pursue writing and illustrating professionally. Mark’s first series of books featured, “Akiko” The first in the series, "Akiko on the Planet Smoo", was published in 2000; the tenth, "Akiko and the Missing Misp", hit stores in 2008. Mark also wrote the Billy Clikk books and the four-volume manga series "Miki Falls.” Miki Falls has been optioned for film development by Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt's Plan B production company. Volume two of his newest series, Brody’s Ghost, will be released in January of 2011.

Join us for a high-energy, educational, hilarious and interactive afternoon. From telling stories and drawing characters attendees will be inspired by Mark’s creativity, talent and enthusiasm! The Vault of Midnight will be selling Mark’s books and Mark will sign these (and any personal copies that fans bring with) after his talk.

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