Happy Birthday Masashi Kishimoto!

Today, November 8, is the 36th birthday of Japanese Manga artist Masashi Kishimoto, creator of the hugely popular Naruto series. Naruto, for those not familiar with this collection, is the ongoing story of teen ninja Naruto Uzumaki and his adventures. For those not acquainted with the cultural phenomenon of manga, check out materials like Manga! Manga! : The World of Japanese Comics or go straight to a prime source like the magazine Shonen Jump: The World's Most Popular Manga.
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Promethea

Alan Moore is well-known for his graphic novel epics such as Watchmen and From Hell, both of which have also been adapted into films. However, lately I have been reading Alan Moore’s Promethea – which has only recently been on my radar, even though it’s about ten years old now.

Promethea begins with the story of college student Sophie Bangs, who is seeking information about the literary goddess arch-type Promethea for a research paper. Sophie Bangs discovers more about Promethea than she bargained for and is literally transformed into the goddess – the newest incarnation of Promethea. Moore incorporates historical literature, occult symbolism, feminist themes, and references to the writings of Aleister Crowley, just to name a few. In combination with the gorgeous artwork, the series is very unique and beautiful. Rarely do I purchase books any longer since I check out most materials from the library, but Promethea is a collection I would love to own. Highly recommended.

November Comic Artists Forum

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Looking for fresh ideas for your next comic or graphic novel creation? Do you enjoy drawing while listening to other cartoonists discuss their favorite drawing techniques or the latest trend in comics? Join this monthly forum. Bring your favorite drawing tools and enjoy a few hours of drawing, learning and sharing.

Guest artist this month will be Jim Ottaviani who is the author of many graphic novels about scientists ranging from physicists to paleontologists to behaviorists. His most recent is T-Minus, a book about the science and engineering of the space race. Other cool science graphic novels by Jim in the AADL collection include:

Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards
Dignifying Science: Stories About Women Scientists
Fallout: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the Political Science of the Atomic Bomb
Suspended in Language: Niels Bohr’s Life, Discoveries, and the Century He Shaped
Two-Fisted Science: Stories About Scientists.

Comic Artists Forum | Sunday, November 7 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Grade 6-Adult

More October's Books to Film

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The Social Nework, considered by people in-the-know as perhaps, the best film of the year, is based on Ben Mezrich's The Accidental Billionaires : the founding of Facebook, a tale of sex, money, genius and betrayal - a fast-paced, inside look at a story of fortune gained and innocence lost, and how a company that was created to bring people together ultimately tore two friends apart.

In 2003, Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergrads and best friends looking for a way to stand out among the university’s elite and competitive student body. Then one lonely night, Zuckerberg hacked into the campus computer system to pull off a prank that crashed Harvard’s network. This stunt almost got him expelled, but it also inspired Zuckerberg to create Facebook, the social networking site, and their small start-up quickly went from college dorm room to Silicon Valley. But different ideas about Facebook’s future tested their relationship that eventually spiraled into out-and-out warfare.

Opening this weekend is Red, a star-studded espionage-thriller, based on the graphic novel by Warren Ellis (writer) and artist Cully Hammer.

Paul Moses (Bruce Willis) retired -- until the CIA, his former employer decided he was too dangerous to live. When a kill team interrupts his solitude, he changes his status from green to red. As the bodies pile up, the men who set this ruthless killer back into action feel safe in their Langley offices without realizing that Moses has a different plan.

October's Books to Film

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Now a Focus Features film, teen novelist Ned Vizzini's It's Kind of a Funny Story is a "whimsical coming-of-age story".

Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn't brilliant compared to the other kids and soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable. One night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig's suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness. For a novel about depression, it's definitely a funny story.

Based on the graphic novel** by Posy Simmonds Tamara Drewe (trailer) is loosely inspired by Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd. It delightfully skewers modern mores and manners with great wit and understanding for the foibles of humanity.

At a bucolic writers' retreat run by Beth and Nicholas Hardiman, where Dr. Glen Larson, an American professor and struggling novelist, is staying. An ambitious young Tamara Drewe, mourning the loss of her mother, has returned to her family home nearby. A bookish girl not so long ago, Tamara is now a gossip columnist at a London paper and undeniably sexy. She quickly has every man in the vicinity falling at her feet. Meanwhile, long-suffering Beth sees to the needs of the writers while managing the farm, the household, and the many affairs of her husband, a best-selling detective novelist.

** = starred reviews

October Comic Artists Forum

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Looking for fresh ideas for your next comic or graphic novel creation? Do you enjoy drawing while listening to other cartoonists discuss their favorite drawing techniques or the latest trend in comics? Join this monthly forum. Bring your favorite drawing tools and enjoy a few hours of drawing, learning and sharing.

Our guest artist this month will be Jono Balliett, comics professional. He’s the creator of Smedley and other comics like Shipwrecked.

Comic Artists Forum | Sunday, October 3 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Grade 6-Adult

September Comic Artists Forum

Checkered ManCheckered Man

Looking for fresh ideas for your next comic or graphic novel creation? Do you enjoy drawing while listening to other cartoonists discuss favorite drawing techniques or the latest trend in comics? Join this monthly forum. Bring your favorite drawing tools and enjoy a few hours of drawing, learning and sharing.

Guest artist this month will be Denver Brubaker creator of Tales of a Checkered Man.

Comic Artists Forum | Sunday, September 12 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Grade 6-Adult

International Read Comics in Public Day!!

This Saturday, (August 28--the birthday of Jack “King” Kirby), join fellow comic book enthusiasts in dispelling a stigma. Read a comic book in a public setting—a park bench, a beach, a bus, your local library. Let strangers see you reading a piece of sequential art. Let the world know once and for all that Comics is not a genre, it's a format—there's something for everyone.

You can find comics to read in public at AADL.

Comics Digital Workshops for Teens and Adults

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Cartoonist Jerzy Drozd will teach you how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements to clean up your art, fill in line work with colors and halftones, create cool lettering, prep the finished page for printing, and more. Jerzy will provide one of his scanned comics pages for instruction but you can also bring your own comics page (scanned or unscanned) to work on.

Register at any information desk at any location or call 327-8301.

Comics Art Digital Coloring 101 for Teens Gr. 6-12 | Tues. August 17 | 1-3 pm OR 4-6 pm | Downtown 3rd Floor Computer Training

Comics Digital Coloring for Adults and Older Teens Gr. 9-12 | Wed. August 18 | 3-5 pm OR 6-8 pm | Downtown 3rd Floor Computer Training

Congratulations to Vault of Midnight

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Vault of Midnight, an Ann Arbor institution for 15 years, has won this year's Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. The award, handed out to a store who has "done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large", was given out last night at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, the comic industry's biggest event of the year. As frequent partners with Vault of Midnight, we can attest to their involvement with the community; almost any day of the week you can walk in and find a book signing, an art show, or a game night happening at 219 S. Main Street.

Stores from all over the US and Canada are entered into the running for the award, and owners Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale were surprised to get the award. Read more about the win on annarbor.com and then stop in to say congratulations!

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