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!

Her Life

The past year has given us a number of excellent LGBT stories, especially from the L and the T. From graphic novels to memoirs to teen fiction, check out one of these incredible stories. You won't be able to put it down.

Are You My Mother?, by Alison Bechdel - Bechdel's amazing 2006 graphic novel, Fun Home, told the story of her relationship with her father and her experiences growing up with him. Are You My Mother gives the same treatment to her other parent. With references to Virginia Woolf and various psychotherapists, Bechdel's recollections are as literary and allusive as they are fascinating.

Pariah - Alike is a 17-year-old living in Brooklyn with her mom, dad, and sister. She is starting to embrace her identity as a lesbian, but this causes tension between her mother and father who differ in their attitudes toward their daughter. Alike's home life and her friends constitute two different worlds, and her struggle to reconcile the two is heartfelt and compelling. This critically acclaimed film currently boasts a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, by Jeanette Winterson - Winterson recounts the story of her early life, growing up with a fanatical mother obsessed with hell and damnation, not unlike the mother character in Carrie. She tells of finding shelter in her local library, discovering poetry and the world of words, and eventually becoming an author herself. This book is a fascinating autobiography of a leading lesbian author. Don't miss it.

Albert Nobbs - The titular character, played by Glenn Close, lives in 19th century Ireland, a time and place unwelcoming of independent women. Nobbs is living the life of a man, working as a butler in an upper class hotel. Nobbs maintains an introverted personality in order to prevent any discovery of the nature of her gender, but when other employees of the hotel get too close, her carefully constructed walls are compromised.

The Difference Between You and Me, by Madeleine George - Two very different high-school girls, Jesse, a politically active outsider, and Emily, a popular girl on the student's council, have been having clandestine meetings in the third-floor library bathroom to kiss. The"opposites attract" formula is put to the test when the two find themselves on opposing sides of a battle about a megastore threatening to crowd out local businesses. This is smart, thoughtful writing that will entertain, but also make teens (and adults) think.

Happy Accidents, by Jane Lynch - Fans of Tina Fey's Bossypants will be tempted to assume the two comedian-penned memoirs are similar, but Lynch's book is less jokey and more personal. She tells it all, from her teenage alcohol abuse to her success as a popular actress. Jane Lynch has led an amazing life, and I'm happy she put it all down on paper for our enjoyment.

The Sixth Gun series

“During the darkest days of the Civil War, wicked cutthroats came into possession of six pistols of otherworldly power. The Sixth Gun – the most dangerous of the weapons – has vanished. When the gun surfaces in the hands of an innocent girl, dark forces reawaken. Villains thought long dead set their sights on retrieving the gun and killing anyone in their path. Only Drake Sinclair, a gunslinger with a shadowy past, stands in their way.”

Thus begins The Sixth Gun, a fast paced supernatural horror series currently consisting of three volumes – Book 1: Cold Dead Fingers; Book 2: Crossroads; and as of April 25, Book 3: Bound. Follow Drake, Becky, O Henry, and Gord through a wild and twisted old west.

One more thing - Book 1: Cold Dead Fingers is up for two Eisners, Best Writer-Cullen Bunn and Best Coloring-Bill Crabtree.

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