Bone (in color!)

If you missed out on the first run of this great comic series (originally released from 1994-2004 by Cartoon Books) you won’t want to miss Scholastic’s re-release. The writer/illustrator, Jeff Smith, is currently working with colorist Steve Hamaker to color all nine volumes, which were previously released in black and white.

The story follows the adventures of three cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone as they are run out of their hometown of Boneville and find themselves in a mysterious valley. There they encounter giant rat creatures, swarms of locusts, dragons, princesses, and racing cows. It’s a fantasy saga that doesn’t take itself too seriously all the time. Take Smith's humor, throw in a little adventure, romance, and suspense, and you have a comic that appeals to all audiences.

Visit Jeff Smith's website to learn more about Bone.

You will find the new Scholastic color versions through volume four in our collection (volume 5 is due out next February):
1.Out from Boneville
2.The Great Cow Race
3.Eyes of the Storm
4.The Dragonslayer

AADL also has some of the black and white Cartoon Books releases:
1.Out from Boneville
3.Eyes of the Storm
4.The Dragonslayer
6.Old Man’s Cave
8.Treasure Hunters

Depths of Concrete

Paul Chadwick’s 1980s Concrete series has been recently re-released by Dark Horse Comics. The series follow the life of Ronald Lithgow after aliens transplant his brain into a massive body made of rock. Instead of having Concrete seek revenge on the aliens who put him into this predicament, or having him declare his intentions to rid the world of evil-doers, Chadwick explores how Mr. Lithgow (former senatorial speechwriter and average Joe) deals mentally, emotionally, and physically with suddenly having a "nigh invulnerable" body.

In the first book of the series, Depths, we get Concrete’s origin story, complete with aliens and woodland creatures. Also included are some of the early stories, never before collected, in which Concrete attends a birthday party, attempts to swim an ocean, and becomes bodyguard to a rock star. The page layout choices are well thought out and the illustrations are fantastic. Chadwick’s attention to detail throughout adds a lot to the story (especially the 150 panel swim sequence on page 54).

All good things must come to an end

One of the most popular manga in the U.S. is Fruits Basket, the story of Tohru Honda and her friendship with the rich and mysterious Sohma family.

After 7 years and 136 chapters, the manga has finally concluded its serialization in Japan; the final chapter was published in the magazine Hana to Yume on November 20th. While you’re waiting for volumes 16-23 to reach the states via Tokyopop’s translations, why not watch the excellent anime adaptation? It’s twenty-six episodes long, spread over four DVDs, and covers events (with a few differences) from the first six volumes of the manga.

Fruits Basket, Vol. 1 (Episodes 1-6)
Fruits Basket, Vol. 2 (Episodes 7-12)
Fruits Basket, Vol. 3 (Episodes 13-19)
Fruits Basket, Vol. 4 (Episodes 20-26)

“Well, I’ll be an eight-ball’s uncle!”

Secret Wars #8Secret Wars #8

In Secret Wars #8, released in the mid eighties, an alien machine gave Spider-Man the now infamous black costume. It turned out to be an alien symbiote and soon became one of his greatest foes, Venom.
Since then we have not seen Spider-Man in the black costume. But, in the aftermath of Civil War, Marvel’s summer event, we once again see Spidey don the black threads. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Back in Black! series runs through next February.

Could this be a possible tie-in with the upcoming Spider-Man 3, where we see Toby Maguire also wearing the black costume?
Get reacquainted with your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man with books and movies from aadl’s collection.

Trust and Betrayal

Samurai XSamurai X

The Meiji Restoration (1866-1869) marked the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan. The two part OVA Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal is a story set during that tumultuous era. In the shadows of Kyoto, Himura Kenshin works for the Choshu revolutionaries as their best assassin. But a chance meeting with a mysterious young woman named Tomoe leads him to reconsider his choices.

Samurai X is gorgeously animated and features some of Japan’s best voice actors, including Mayo Suzukaze and Tomokazu Seki. It’s based on events from volumes 19, 20, and 21 of the manga Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki, but unlike the manga, it’s aimed at adults rather than teens.

If you’re interested in reading more about this historical era, the library also has some great nonfiction books about it, such as Inventing Japan, 1853-1964, The Making of Modern Japan, and The Last Samurai: The Life and Battles of Saigo Takamori.

Comics Art Digital Coloring 101, Sunday, November 12

Enjoy drawing your own comics and working on computers? This teens only program is for you. You’ll learn how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 on Mac computers to clean up your art, fill in line work with colors and halftones, create cool lettering, prep the finished page for printing, and more.

Choose one of two sessions to attend [12:30-2:30 p.m. OR 3-5 p.m.]. Register by calling 327-8301 or stop by any information desk.

Chicken With Plums

Marjane Satrapi’s newest graphic novel, Chicken With Plums, was released this month. In her earlier Persepolis books, she tells her story of growing up in Iran during (and after) the 1979 revolution. This time it is 1958 and we witness the last eight days in the life of her great-uncle, Nassar Ali Khan, a revered tar player.
Satrapi’s personal and sometimes humorous look into her great-uncle’s life is wonderfully enhanced by her simple black and white drawings. She has a gift for illustrating complex human issues and making them universally understandable.
Be on the lookout for Persepolis in animated movie form, to be released sometime in 2007 by Sony Pictures Classics.

Ever wonder what happened to your favorite fairy tale characters?

What if all of your favorite nursery rhyme, storybook and fable characters turned out to be real and were secretly living in present day New York? What happened to Snow White after she married Prince Charming? Did the Big Bad Wolf have any further pursuits after his run in with the Three Pigs? Bill Willingham answers these questions and more in his Eisner award winning comics series, Fables.

Writer Bill Willingham goes back to the original dark and sinister versions of the fairy tales, before they were ‘Disneyfied’. He has also added modern sensibilities to the stories, giving them a soap opera feel. This series is definitely not for children!

Look for other influences throughout the story-line, including Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies and Seven Days in May. Also, be sure to check out the latest in this series, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, (released this week) to explore character backstories as told by Snow White.

Cowboy Robots

Daisy KutterDaisy Kutter

Kazu Kibuishi (of Flight fame) released his debut graphic novel, Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, in 2005. It has been receiving praise ever since, including being selected by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books for Young Adults for 2006.
The story is simple. Daisy Kutter is a retired gunslinger who takes on one last job. The setting has an old west feel with robots. Kibuishi’s mastery of comics timing adds dimension to the story and characters. Hints of his influences, such as Hayao Miyazaki, can be seen in his work, but his loose and fluid style is unique.
Be on the lookout for Kibuishi’s lastest work, Amulet, due out in fall of 2007 from Scholastic’s Graphix imprint.

The Baby-Sitters are Back

Any child of the eighties will remember the adventures of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey. Now you can revisit Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club series thanks to comics artist, Raina Telgemeier (known for her webcomic Smile). She has updated our old friends for a new generation in her graphic novel adaptation of Martin’s series, recently published by Scholastic/Graphix. Telgemeier’s clean and expressive black and white artwork enhance the story by adding comedy, action, and emotion.

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