Reading Video Games

Fans of video games and graphic novels alike can celebrate! Did you know that many of your favorite stories and characters from the world of gaming have made the jump to comics? If you’re a younger player, you probably already know about the huge collection of Pokémon books, Sonic the Hedgehog books, Kingdom Hearts books, and even adaptations of the many stories of The Legend of Zelda. What about Ratchet and Clank? What about The Prince of Persia? Man, you really know your stuff!

Grown-up gamers, don’t despair. Get caught up in the stunning artwork and off-world adventures of the Halo series. Follow Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad into battle with the Gears of War graphic novel. Mobster hit men, elemental chaos forces, and superheroes collide in The Darkness. And, for saucy video game commentary, check out the Penny Arcade series.

Meet the Creators of nemu*nemu at Comic Artists Forum

Sunday, February 5 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Downtown Library | Multipurpose Room | Gr. 6-Adults

Welcome cartoonists Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga from sunny Honolulu, Hawaii (via Skype), as they discuss how they work together to create comics and run their business.

Audra and Scott are the co-creators of nemu*nemu, an original, online comic that has been running since 2006. Not only are they inspired by anime and manga, but the duo also strives to bring a touch of Saturday morning cartoons and Sunday funnies with a good dose of “small kid time” nostalgia to everything they do.

Comic Artists Forum Follow-up: Photoshop Lab

Sunday, January 15 | 1:00-4:00 PM | Downtown 3rd Floor Computer Training Center | Gr. 6-Adult

Bring in your comics art and use Photoshop Elements to clean it up and to apply color and shading. Cartoonist and Photoshop expert Jerzy Drozd will be on hand to provide instruction and answer questions for those who need it.

You can bring your comics art scanned and saved on a USB drive or we can scan it here at the Library. Don’t miss this chance to use PhotoShop to make your finishing work a snap!

Comic Artists Forum With Rob Stenzinger via Skype

Sunday, January 8 | 1:00-3:00 PM | 4th Floor Meeting Room – Downtown Library

Guest artist Rob Stenzinger will show you how to publish your serial comic one page at a time, keep your readers interested, and have it all link together as one big story. In this interactive workshop via Skype, Rob will share comic storytelling techniques, the importance of the dramatic reveal, and why comics are the perfect home for your serial story. We'll even work as a group to chain together a few short comic strips into a serialized comic! Rob is the creator of Art Geek Zoo: The Way of Sound, a music fantasy adventure online, collected in print, and available as an eBook.

Join the Forum to get fresh ideas for your next comics or graphic novel creation. Drawing supplies will be provided, so drop in to draw, learn, share, and network with other cartoonists.

Drink and Draw at Roos Roast this Thursday

Hey Cartoonists! Drop in 5-8 p.m. this Thursday, December 8 for a Drink (coffee) & Draw (comics) event at Roos Roast, 1155 Rosewood Suite B in Ann Arbor. Rosewood is just off South Industrial. Enjoy some great coffee, conversation, and cartooning!

December's Books to Film

Steven Spielberg directs the animated film adaptation of The Adventures of TINTIN. This first of a planned triogy is base on a very popular comic book series created in 1929 by a Belgian artist who called himself Hergé. Clever and ever-curious, TINTIN is a reporter-turned-detective whose pursuit of villains, criminals, treasure and the occasional artifact takes him all over the world, along with a colorful cast of friends. Hergé based his stories on real-world events and cultures - from space exploration to Arab oil wars.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer's critically acclaimed novel in which 9 year-old Oskar Schell embarks on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York in order to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts on an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

I was perfectly happy with the original film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the first in his Millennium Trilogy. But I could be persuaded to take in the American remake coming this month with some irresistible big names (Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer) and a sizzling newcomer (Rooney Mara).

Benjamin Mee's memoir is adapted in the feature film We Bought a Zoo. Benjamin Mee, a former newspaper columnist, known for his humorous "Do It Yourself" column in the UK’s Guardian Weekend moved his family to an unlikely new home: a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. Mee had a dream to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. Nothing was easy, given the family’s lack of experience as zookeepers, and what follows is a magical exploration of the mysteries of the animal kingdom, the power of family, and the triumph of hope over tragedy.

Comic Artists Forum With Ryan Estrada and Jerzy Drozd

Sunday, December 4 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Multipurpose Room – Downtown Library

Join Ryan Estrada, cartoonist and Google+ guru with 32,000 followers, and Ann Arbor cartoonist and teacher extraordinaire Jerzy Drozd for an interactive discussion on using audio, video, and other exciting digital media to add extra layers of content to your comic's website. Learn how to spread the word about your work via a variety of social media like Google+, Twitter, and more.

Come to the Forum to get fresh ideas for your next comics or graphic novel creation. Drawing supplies will be provided, so drop in to draw, learn, share, and network with other cartoonists.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #295

Now for something fun... try The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: a novel in pictures * by novelist Caroline Preston. It is the first of its kind - a scrapbook novel.

Former archivist at Harvard's Houghton Library, Preston pulls together her personal collection of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus and other prized ephemera to create an engaging Frankie Pratt as she makes her way in the dazzling world of the1920s. Preston chronicles Frankie's growing up a small New England town, the grief of losing her father, crossing paths with the likes of “Vincent” (Edna St. Vincent Millay) at Vassar, meeting exiled Russian princes, living free and wild in Paris as she searches for success and love.

"Lighter than lightweight but undeniably fun, largely because Preston is having so much fun herself." A total pleasure and visual feast. Definitely for scrapbookers and vintage hobbyist.

* = starred review

Zombie Story Invasion!

Help! There’s a pack of zombies headed for the library! Zombie graphic novels, I mean. It’s an outbreak of zombie apocalypse stories! Soon there won’t be any stories about living humans (or even vampires) left! For those of you who have eaten your way through The Walking Dead and loved every gory piece of it, check out these new titles coming soon to a library near you.

Death Valley – Being a high schooler is hard when your class is the last vestige of humanity. This is what a John Hughes zombie apocalypse story would look like.

Zombie Tales – An anthology of short stories that take the old human vs. zombie formula and turn it on its head. These humorous stories are often more akin to Oscar Wilde than George Romero.

Dead InsidePostSecret crossed with 28 Days Later. This collection of photographs from the post-apocalypse tells a story with pictures and “found” items.

The Hidden – A gorgeously colored and illustrated horror story about the end of times, featuring the undead… and more!

Daybreak – Award-winning author Brian Ralph brings a very different visual aesthetic to his story of two survivors in a zombie infested wasteland.

Author David Petersen Discusses His Award Winning Mouse Guard Books

Saturday, October 22 | Noon-1:00 PM | Downtown – Multipurpose Room | Grades 6-Adult

Author and artist David Petersen will share how he created the comic series "Mouse Guard."

Learn how the original vision of what Petersen called "1149," a tale that was closer to Disney's Robin Hood, reshaped itself into "Mouse Guard." This medieval tale of mice in the natural world surviving the real dangers of daily life, thanks to the brave assistance of the noble brotherhood known as the Mouse Guard, has quickly become a classic series in comics.

After the presentation, David will answer questions and sign books, for sale at the event courtesy of The Vault of Midnight.

David Petersen's collected edition Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 and Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 were both awarded the prestigious Eisner Award in 2008. Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 is also listed on the Young Adult Library Services Association's 2008 Great Graphic Novels for Teens. His anthology Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 1 won the Gem Award for Best 2010 Anthology and earned a 2011 Eisner in the same category.

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