My Dog: The Paradox

Having come out of a “doggy” summer, I picked up My Dog: The Paradox and enjoyed a good laugh. Creator Matthew Inman’s many years of observing his dogs, in particular Rambo to whom the book is dedicated, helped to serve as the inspiration for this ode to man’s best friend. He explores such questions as how is it that dogs are absolutely fearless in the face of trucks, animals four times their size, and thoroughly love to roll in horse droppings yet are unable to cope with a hair blow dryer and can’t make eye contact with cats?

Based on one of Inman’s online comics posted at The Oatmeal man’s best friend is simply yet colorfully portrayed in this little book not to be missed.

Comic Artists Forum with Cartoonist Joshua Buchanan

Sunday September 8, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

To kick off another year of the Forum we have guest artist Joshua Buchanan who believes bringing characters to life is an art form in and of itself. Josh says, “As cartoonists and storytellers, we strive to give that life to our character so our readers will feel a part of the world and narrative in a personal way.” During his presentation he will shed light on the basic principles you can use to create lively anthropomorphic characters.

Joshua Buchanan is a graphic designer by day, comic artist by night. His latest work includes his self published comic book The Rocket, and the recent releases of the all ages comic Scratch9.

Get fresh ideas for your next graphic novel or comic creation at the Forum. Drop in to draw, learn and network with other cartoonists. Drawing supplies are provided.

Note: Cartoonist Jay Fosgitt originally scheduled for September 8 will present at the January 5 Comic Artists Forum.

Drawing Lab: Perspective

Saturday, August 17, 2013 | 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm | Downtown Library | Multi-Purpose Room

The theory of perspective has been simplified over the decades. It is basically the notion that objects appear smaller the further away they are from the viewer. However, very few artists understand the mechanics of the theory. For the artist, there is a very specific process to follow to accurately represent the illusion of real space.

Illustrator, Joe Foo, will help you unlock the secrets of drawing accurate perspective the same way the old masters did. The tips and tricks will help you improve your landscapes and still life, with a small section discussing drawing figures in perspective.

Paper and pencil supplies will be on hand. Please join us for an afternoon of discovery.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up)

Storytelling in Comics

Monday, August 12, 2013 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Malletts Creek Branch

You’ll be challenged to improve your visual storytelling skills using a variety of themes. For more ideas about storytelling check out the 22 rules of storytelling according to Pixar.

Collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, there will be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb

Trinity by first time graphic novelist Jonathan Fetter-Vorm visualizes the steps that led to the destruction of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. His art and pacing draws readers into the excitement of discovering the atom and its power, onward through the development of the ultimate weapon, and finally resulting in the horrific outcome of its use upon the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There are other works about the development and aftermath of the bomb’s use in graphic novels like Fallout: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the political science of the atomic bomb by local author Jim Ottaviani and Barefoot Gen, the heart-breaking manga about Hiroshima by Keiji Nakazawa. Yet this compact 160-page work is worth the read for the science, history, politics and people involved.

Comics: The Importance of Line

Monday, August 5 | 6-8 PM | Malletts Creek Branch

Lines are critical in comics defining characters, moods, actions, motion, and more. This week you will face three exciting challenges to improve your use of lines.

Come every week to collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, each week there’ll be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

Comics - Panel Sequence and "Camera" Angles

Monday, July 29 | 6-8 p.m. | Malletts Creek

This week you’ll put on your director’s hat to determine the best sequence for telling your story and choose the best "camera" angles for the most effective visual storytelling. Master teacher Jerzy Drozd will pose three challenges that will have you looking at comics creation in a whole new way.

Come every week to collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, each week there’ll be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

Comic Con 2013!

San Diego Comic Con, arguably the biggest event in comics, is in full swing and if like us, you couldn't make it this year, that can be quite the bummer! While we can't send you there or replicate the experience, you can still get a little taste of Comic Con here at AADL. If you've never been and want a look at the kinds of events, costumes, celebrities and creators that come to SDCC, check out Comic Con: Episode IV: A Fan's Hope. Or, while we wait for this year's Eisner Awards winners to be announced, you can read some of the past years' winners.

This year, SDCC has a lot of artists' spotlights, ranging from relative newcomers like Faith Erin Hicks and Vera Brosgol, to favorites like Chris Samnee and J.H. Williams III, to legends like Jeff Smith and Neil Gaiman. Give their work a look in our graphic novel collection!

And if all the news coming from the convention has put you in a creative mood, why not come out to the Super Comics Challenge and make some comics of your own? Like SDCC, the Super Comics Challenge involves the possibility of prizes and freebies, including Summer Game codes!

My Friend Dahmer

Yes, you read that right. This is indeed a graphic novel about Jeffery Dahmer. Yes, that guy; the one ultimately arrested for the gruesome murders of seventeen young men and boys in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Akron, Ohio areas. Sadly from the media frenzy of the early 90’s the title of this graphic novel is all most people need to read to know who the novel’s main character is. If it had been My Friend McInnes or My Friend Thompson, one might have said, “I wonder what that is about?” Instead, most see My Friend Dahmer and think, “Do I really want to read that?” My answer would be yes.

This isn’t a book about a rehash of his grisly crimes, replete with panels awash in bright reds. Instead it is a book about Jeff Dahmer’s life from junior high school through to the first few years after his graduation, primarily as seen through the eyes of one of his classmates – the author’s. In effective, stylized black and white, Derf Backderf recounts his teenage years going to school with Dahmer in Ohio. He fills in the holes of Dahmer’s life during that time with source material from Dahmer’s prison interviews, FBI files, and Dahmer’s father. The end product is almost a slice of life 1970’s high school reality complete with cliques, bullies, and outcasts, but with a chilling undertone as one watches Dahmer slowly transform and develop.

There are a few ‘ish’ scenes and the ultimate subject matter is certainly heavy, so there is a little bit of reader beware required, but I think it is a worthwhile read for anyone who was in high school in the 70’s and early 80’s, has even a passing interest in the Dahmer story, or for anyone looking at the peer-to-peer interaction of high schoolers and its impact that is still applicable today.

More Comics Fun at AADL!!

Mondays, July 8-August 12 | 6-8 PM | Malletts Creek

If Kids Read Comics inspired you to try your hand at making comics, then you’re ready for the SUPER COMICS CHALLENGE! Or, if you’ve been making comics for a while but looking for a creative boost, then by all means join us.

At this weekly series, you'll design dynamic fortresses, awesome heroes, lugubrious villains, and unlock achievements of the comics-storytelling masters! Each week you'll have two fun drawing challenges to level up your comics-making powers and get special Summer Game codes.

Come every week to collect a special series of video challenges! Become the supreme master of visual storytelling! ALSO, each week there’ll be a drawing for awesome items donated by 2013 Kids Read Comics artists!

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