Top Ten Graphic Novels for Teens: Sidescrollers

There are a lot of great graphic novels out there for teens. If you want to read a really interesting graphic novel, check out YALSA's 2008 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens. The folks at the Young Adult Library Services Association picked out ten great graphic novels, including Sidescrollers.

Sidescrollers is the thrilling adventure of three guys who want to play video games and go to a concert. But to get to the concert they have to face their archnemesis, the big bully Richard (they call him "Dick"), an evil cat, angry girl scouts, and matrix lobsters. Will the trio make it to the concert and save the girl? Is Cap'n Crunch the meanest cereal guy or is he a wimp? Will Brian ever lose at Street Fighter?

Stop asking and read!

Graphic Novel Bootcamp: Training in the Fundamentals of Comics Storytelling

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How is a graphic novel different than a comic book? Is it the length of the story, the format in which the story's printed, the genre or subject matter, or is there something more going on? Find out Sunday, September 28, 2008 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm in the Pittsfield Branch Program Room .

Join cartoonist and teaching artist Mark Rudolph, author of the graphic novel Closing Doors (recently featured in a documentary aired on Detroit Public Television), in an interactive discussion and hands-on workshop that explores the unique affordances granted to a cartoonist when making a graphic novel. Learn some of the fundamental techniques used by professional cartoonists as you create some of your own comics work. Discover some of the idiosyncratic storytelling possibilities facing an author of "long form" comics stories.

Supplies will be provided. All you need to bring is your imagination and the urge to create!

As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial

Is there anything funny about global warming? Derrick Jensen, a committed and very serious environmental activist, manages to find some thin threads of humor behind the despair in As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial. In the format of a graphic novel, he tells a fable-like story of the Earth versus big business; environmentalists versus profiteers; creatures (yes, snails and foxes and a one-eyed bunny) versus dam builders. The result manages to score the point: if we don’t change our direction, we will end up where we are headed. Other titles by Jensen include Thought to Exist in the Wild, which presents the case against zoos, and How Shall I Live My Life?, interviews with ten progressive thinkers about resisting the dominant culture of excess.

Star Wars: Clone Wars

If the recently released animated Star Wars film inspired your curiosity in the story of the Clone Wars, check out the graphic novel series of the same name. Clone Wars is a nine volume collection of graphic novels from several series in the Star Wars world. These volumes tell the story of the events following Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones up to and including Anakin Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader. Also featured are the stories of some characters not seen in the films such as Quinlan Vos and Asajj Ventress. These graphic novels are written with a slightly older audience in mind and have a higher level of violence and a more serious mood. Full of action, espionage, and epic battles, this collection is sure to satisfy fans of the iconic Sci-Fi series.

Batman

Go see The Dark Knight. Now. This is a powerful movie with superb acting from everyone involved. If for some wild reason you can't go this instant (i.e. work, watching the kids, tonight is your jazzercise class, etc.), then at least rewatch Batman Begins in the meantime. If Batman Begins is checked out, you are left with two choices. You'll have to either check out our many graphic novels in the Batman series or our collection from Hollywood's previous attempt at the movies.

Mid-summer Manga Overload!

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If you're looking for yet another reason to visit our new Traverwood Branch look no further than the expanded graphic novel, comic and manga collections! I have it under good authority that teens looking for a great selection of NEW manga must visit Traverwood now! Currently none of Traverwood's materials are being used to fill the hold lists so there's a lot more great, new stuff sitting on the shelves than you may find at other locations. This will change at some point in the future so it's a limited-time luxury :) The Adult Graphic Novel collection is also filled with a lively selection of new graphic novels, and manga series. The kids' graphic novels are a hot commodity, but rest assured more are on the way! If you're looking for titles or series that you haven't seen in our collection be sure to submit a suggestion!

Three Shadows...

This is one of the more bittersweet graphic novels that I have read in a long time. A fast read, but one that will stick with you. Three Shadows was written by Cyril Pedrosa who is a French comics writer who began his career in animation, working on, among others, the Disney films Hunchback of Notre Dame and Hercules. The story is a haunting fable about a family living an idyllic existence until three mysterious shadows arrive and change everything. The illustrations are lovely and very evocative - be prepared to shed a few tears!

Three Shadows

Three shadowy figures on horseback have invaded the peaceful lives of Lise, Louis, and their son Joachim. It soon becomes apparent that they are there for Joachim. Lise and Louis will stop at nothing to protect him.
In Three Shadows, Cyril Pedrosa has created a beautiful and poetic fable about love, possession, and grief. Pedrosa's characters are full of wonderfully fluid movement and, following the mood of the story, he is able to switch effortlessly from a sketchy abstract expressionist style back to straight up cartooning. Simply beautiful. Pedrosa is a French cartoonist who drew for Disney (Hunchback of Notre Dame & Hercules) back in the 1990s.

Laika

In Laika, Nick Abadzis beautifully and compassionately tells the sad tale of Sputnik II and Laika, the Russian dog who became Earth's first space traveler. Abadzis carefully blends fact with fiction to show the human side of the overtly political Soviet Space Program of the 1950s. Unfortunately, we all know that Laika's story does not have a happy ending. There was never a plan for her return. Abadzis takes full advantage of the affordances of comics storytelling, using thoughtful and poetic page layouts to fully investigate the inner lives of the characters and their struggles. The panels themselves are packed full of visual information--including phases of the moon depicted accurately to the date of the events within the story. Abadzis explores the fragile balance between obligation to one's duties and having to live with the consequences.
If you'd rather have a happy ending, try Pupniks by S. Ruth Lubka. It tells the story of Sputnik 5, in which Belka and Strelka returned safely to Earth in 1960.

Benny and Penny: Just Pretend

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Benny and Penny: Just Pretend, by best-selling children's book author Geoffrey Hayes, is an adorably illustrated graphic novel that features a day in the life of a sister and brother mouse duo. Benny is having fun playing pirates and Penny wants to join the fun. But big brother Benny will not be found playing with his pesky little sister. He tries to make her hide so good in hide and seek that she won’t find him again and then he’ll get to play all by himself. He soon finds out that maybe playing with someone, even your annoying crybaby little sister, is more fun than playing pretend by yourself. Hayes learned a similar lesson in his youth thanks to his tag-along little brother.

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