Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey

GB Tran, born and raised in South Carolina, wanted to better understand his parents, his father’s remoteness and his mother’s willingness to stay in a marriage that was at times fractious. To do this he needed to understand their past in Vietnam, the war torn country from which they fled in 1975. He needed to know more about them growing up within that conflict, their families and friends, and what it felt like to start new in their adopted land the USA but hold onto family in the old country.

The result of his research is Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey, a complex look at his family, where they’ve come from and where they are today. It also highlights GB’s own growth and understanding as a young man, the importance of knowing self by seeing the roots from which you’re sprung. Check out page 26, one of my favorites in the book, overlaying the faces of GB, and his father and mother, a powerful reminder that each generation leaves its stamp on the next.

Vietnamerica blends memoir, theme, narrative, and art together to create a deeply compelling graphic novel.

Joe Kubert, world-renowned cartoonist and graphic artists, has died

Joe Kubert, known throughout the world as a cartoonist and graphic artist extraordinaire, died yesterday.

Kubert was born to draw. By the time he was 12 in 1938, he was selling his work for $5 a page ($79.80 in 2012 dollars) and he was an informal apprentice for the MLJ Studio, the forerunner for Archie Comics.

In the fall of 1943, he began his lifelong association with DC Comics, serving as it's Director of Publications from 1967 to 1976.

Among his large body of work which built his fame are Yossel: April 19, 1943 in which he imagined what his family life would have been like if the Kuberts had stayed in Poland (now Ukraine). He also drew Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place, one entry in hissix-part series of the WW II adventures of Sgt. Frank Rock.

In 1973, he opened the The Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, now called The Kubert School. The grueling three-year program has aspiring artists glued to their drawing boards eight to ten hours a day.

In 2009 the National Cartoonist Society awarded him their Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award.

Two of Kubert's sons, Andy and Adam, are popular graphic artists in their own right.

Kubert was just shy of his 86th birthday when he died.

A World of Characters With Cartoonist Jake Parker

Saturday, August 11 | 1:00-3:00 p.m. | Downtown Library | 4th Floor Meeting Room | Gr. 6-Adult

How do you create a plausible world filled with vibrant and identifiable characters? Join New York Times best-selling artist Jake Parker (Missile Mouse and The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man) via Skype to explore how compelling character designs can be achieved by varying simple shapes. Learn how the worlds you build can be used to refine the look of your characters and bring out their inner lives! Q & A with Jake follows.

Get a flavor of Jake’s range for imaginative characters and worlds through a sneak peak at The Antler Boy and Other Stories, his current project funded by Kickstarter.

July's Books to Film

The Amazing Spider-Man ( PG-13) is based on the Spider-Man comics

Peter Parker, an outcast high schooler, abandoned by his parents as a boy, struggles to figure out who he is. When Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance --- leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

Killer Joe (NC-17) is adapted from Tracy Lett's play (1993) about a small-time drug dealer who hires a hit man to murder his mother for her life insurance money. Starring Emile Hirsch, Matthew McConaughey, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church.

Savages (R) is based on the novel by Don Winslow (in audio)

Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben and Chon run a lucrative, homegrown industry raising some of the best marijuana ever developed, until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands a partnership.

Based on the Batman comics, The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13) opens eight years after Batman vanished into the night. Turning fugitive and assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for the greater good.

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist with ruthless plans for Gotham.

New Graphic Novel Series


After plowing through all the classics you were setting aside for summer (and the Summer Game), you’re probably ready for some fun, engaging reading material. Check out AADL’s latest graphic novel series and start a whole new chapter! Apologies for the pun.

Soldier Zero – Capt. Stewart Trautmann’s tour in Afghanistan comes to an end when he loses his legs to a roadside IED. He returns home dejected and crippled, but his fortunes change again when an encounter with an alien parasite changes him into a hybrid superhero. Now he finds himself embroiled in a very different war.
Boneyard – A young man inherits a graveyard from his grandfather. To his surprise, the inhabitants of this plot of land are not dead, not human, and not interested in moving. Get out your pitchforks and torches!
Planet of the Apes – How did the balance of power on Earth shift so much as to place humans in bondage to apes? This new series takes place long before the astronaut Taylor’s return to a much-changed planet.
Tanpopo – Tanpopo has super-human intelligence, but cannot experience emotions. She longs to change this, and enlists the help of Kuro, a shape-shifting creature who offers her the chance to experience love and happiness. For a price, that is. The volumes of this series correspond with and allude to great literary classics, beginning with Goethe’s Faust.

Baltimore: Volume 1: The Plague Ships

The Great War in Europe has ended with no victor because of a plague and an infestation of vampires. Lord Baltimore a British one-legged veteran of the war becomes the scourge of the undead after being wounded on the battlefield and witnessing a horrific attack on his men by vampires. He too is attacked by the vampire Haigus and manages in desperation to gravely wound him. Haigus swears vengeance and thus the plague is set in motion. Is there any way Baltimore prevent the end of humanity?

The team of Mike Mignola and Christoper Golden bring you Baltimore: The Plague Ships. Horror fans don’t miss this one or others in the series. This is graphic novel gothic horror at its best.

Comics Fundamentals: A six-week series continues August 1

Wednesdays, July 11 thru August 15 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Pittsfield | Grades 9-Adult

Join cartoonist Jerzy Drozd as he helps you explore illustration and storytelling strategies used by professional cartoonists to create graphic novels, manga, and comic books. Learn how to choose the right moments in your story, how comics take advantage of the rules of art and literature and how the illustration style you choose contributes to the tone of your work.

THIS WEEK: Take a camera with you to your favorite place and snap at least six pictures of things you see that you like. Bring them to class. Also start thumbnailing your story and bring it with you to class.

Basic supplies (pencils, erasers, paper, etc.) are provided along with a weekly gamecode to add to your summer game totals. No registration required.

Comic Book Academy: A six-week series continues July 31

Tuesdays July 10 thru August 14 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Grades 6-12

Hey teens! Enjoy doodling and have a story to tell? Join the six-week Comic Book Academy at Malletts Creek this summer. Cartoonist Jerzy Drozd will guide you through the steps to creating a complete comic book. You’ll learn about character design, writing the story, penciling the first draft, refining and completing the penciled pages, and inking (finishing) the pages.

THIS WEEK: Learn more about comics creation and start your comics story.

All the supplies (pencils, erasers, paper, etc.) will be provided along with a weekly gamecode to add to your summer game totals. No registration required.

Kids Read Comics at AADL July 7-8: A Brief Look at Saturday

Can’t make it to the San Diego Comic Con this summer? No worries.

Join the fun in downtown Ann Arbor at the Ann Arbor District Library the weekend of July 7-8 for the 2012 KIDS READ COMICS convention, a comics convention - offered at NO admission charge - for comics creators and fans of all ages. This convention is for all “kids” whether 5 or 45!

Saturday, July 7 will be jam packed with fun stuff like voice actor Neil Kaplan reading Winnie the Pooh in multiple voices, puppetbending with Kevin Coppa, turning your life into a comic with Eisner Award winner Raina Telgemeir, creating an Ellie McDoodle/Wimpy kid book, making a mini-comic with Matt Feazell, video game creation via playing Underwater Tomato Ninja, live recording of Comics are Great! podcast, and so much more.

Check the schedule to see how you can visit/shop with 60 cartoonists in Artists Alley, attend the many workshops, and take in Quick Draw sessions.

AADL Summer Game Players – you’ll be able to pick up MULTIPLE Game Codes throughout the two days of this convention!

Kids Read Comics at AADL July 7-8: A Brief Look at Sunday

Join the fun in downtown Ann Arbor at the Ann Arbor District Library the weekend of July 7-8 for the 2012 KIDS READ COMICS convention, a comics convention – offered at NO admission charge - for comics creators and fans of all ages. This convention
is for all “kids” whether 5 or 45!

Sunday, July 8 will continue the comics craze with fun stuff like drawing Adventure Time characters with Chris Houghton, animation with Australian cartoonist Richard Stevens, exploring classroom comics with Josh Elder, storytime with voice actor Neil Kaplan, a “Bigfoot Boy” sighting with J. Torres, and hamming it up in the "Interactive Graphic Novel Theater" with Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman, and so much more.

Check the schedule to see how you can visit/shop with 60 cartoonists in Artists Alley, attend the many workshops, and take in Quick Draw sessions.

AADL Summer Game Players – there will be new Game Codes on Sunday!

Syndicate content