The Rabbi’s Cat

In 1930s Algeria, the Rabbi’s cat has gained the ability to speak (by means of a murderous act) and wishes to have a Bar Mitzvah and study the kabbalah. The cat expresses his impertinent opinions about Judaism until he breaks another commandment and loses the ability to talk to humans. This is a beautiful and sad story wonderfully told through Joann Sfar’s expressive illustrations. Sfar is the French cartoonist behind the Little Vampire series. You can visit his website here (if you can’t read French just click on the pictures to explore). The Rabbi’s Cat won a 2006 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material.

This is l33t

Looking for something l33t to read? Try MegaTokyo Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 4. MegaTokyo is webcomic by Fred Gallapher, who will be judging the upcoming Manga Drawing Contest hosted by the library. The story revolves around two friend Piro and Largo who find themselves stuck in Japan, trying to earn enough money to buy plane tickets back to the USA. Piro manages to get himself a job using his Japanese and fanboy skills. Largo on the otherhand, tries to defend himself from 3vil using his l33t skilz.

Be careful what you wish for

xxxHolic by CLAMP, the all-female manga artist group, is the story of Watanuki Kimihiro, a high school student who has always been able to see spirits. When spirits chase him into the shop of a mysterious witch, Yuuko, she offers to grant his wish to never see spirits again. There's just one catch: Watanuki has to work in Yuuko's shop until he pays off the price of his wish.

CLAMP likes to include many crossovers between its series, and xxxHolic is no exception. The first volume of xxxHolic features a major crossover with Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, vol. 1; you don't have to read both for the story to make sense, but it's certainly more fun if you do. (Props to the first person who identifies the other crossover in xxxHolic, vol. 1 in the comments!) If you're a fan of either series, or just of anime and manga in general, be sure to come to the June 5 meeting of the teen Animanga Club: we're going to be screening episodes of the brand new Tsubasa anime.

The Truth About Stacey

Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are back in book number 2 of Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novel adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s series, The Baby-sitters Club. The club is faced with a competing “agency” and Stacey is trying to deal with how her parents are handling her diabetes. As always, Raina’s art is amazing. Fans of Lynn Johnston’s For Better or For Worse will see some similarities in style. Raina is great at showing the characters’ emotion with just a few lines and her interpretation is truly timeless.

Rurouni Kenshin @ Animanga Club, Thursday, May 17th

Join us this Thursday @ the Malletts Creek branch from 7:00 to 8:30 as we travel back to Meiji-era Japan with the Rurouni Kenshin anime and manga. We'll be watching episodes of the anime, courtesy of Media Blasters, and doing a fun trivia quiz (with small prizes for the winners!). Not a fan of Kenshin? Do you think Peacemaker Kurogane or Kaze Hikaru has better swordfighting action? Come anyways! You can talk about ANYTHING relating to anime, manga, Japan--and give us your ideas for summer events. Snacks and drinks will also be served. See you there!

Don’t miss the latest installment!

Volume 16 of Fruits Basket has hit #15 on USA Today Best-Seller List—the best showing ever by a volume of manga. In this volume, we learn more about Tohru’s parents, Kyoko and Katsuya. If you’re following the story of Tohru and the Sohma family, be sure to add yourself to the hold list today!

Heard the one about the goatman in the lemon grove?

Gilbert Hernandez took a break from his work on Love & Rockets (done collaboratively with his brother Jamie) to create another book on his own, Sloth.

Hernandez uses his rough and expressive style of illustration to work magic on the story of Miguel, a youth full of suburban ennui who wills himself into a coma as a means of escape. When Miguel wakes up a year later, his physical movements have slowed to a sloth’s pace and he finds himself mixed up in a local urban legend. The story takes some unexpected twists and and comes out looking like a Möbius strip.

Grease Monkey: a tale of growing up in orbit

On those days when you’re trying to figure out how the adult world works wouldn’t it be great to have an 800-pound gorilla on your side? Cadet Robin Plotnik, is about to get just that. He is assigned to work with mechanic Mac Gimbensky, for whom fixing space fighters is a passion and an art. Mac’s “creative” work style has chased off many a cadet but Robin manages to survive his first day as Mac’s grease monkey. In no time the two become good friends.

Together, this unlikely duo maintains the fighter craft for the all-women Barbarian Squadron, which constantly competes against other fighter jocks. Full of adventure, romance, and humor Grease Monkey will engage you to the last page.

La Perdida

Jessica Abel, known for her comics series Artbabe, has already received a lot of acclaim for her latest graphic novel, La Perdida (The Lost One).
Mexican-American Carla, moves to Mexico City (with a Frida Kahlo obsession and a pair of rose colored glasses) in search of her Mexican heritage and herself. Her naiveté and preconceived notions soon get her into trouble.
Abel’s brushwork is amazing. The black and white artwork, though simple, adds depth to the story. She does some interesting things with the Spanish dialogue to really give you an idea of what it is like for a non-Spanish-speaker.

American Born Chinese is 2007 Printz Award winner

The first graphic novel to win the Printz Award is American Born Chinese by Gene Yang. Announced today in Seattle, the 2007 Printz Award winner “focuses on three characters in tales that touch on facets of Chinese American life. Jin is a boy faced with the casual racism of fellow students and the pressure of his crush on a Caucasian girl; the Monkey King, a character from Chinese folklore, has attained great power but feels he is being held back because of what the gods perceive as his lowly status; and Danny, a popular high-school student, suffers through an annual visit from his cousin Chin-Kee, a walking, talking compendium of exaggerated Chinese stereotypes.” (Booklist review)

Printz Honor books are:

Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Taken From Accounts by his Own Hand and Other Sundry Sources by M.T. Anderson
Abundance of Katherines by John Greene
Surrender by Sonya Hartnett
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak

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