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.

The Possum Act of Tokyopop

Almost half a year has passed since Tokyopop closed its North American branch. The company produced "unflipped" English language versions of several popular manga such as Chobits, Fruits Basket, Saiyuki as well as several manhwa titles (Demon Diary, I.N.V.U.) and English translations of Japanese novels (Trinity Blood, 12 Kingdoms).

Following the statement that Tokyopop would close in April, the company held a "garage sale", selling off toys, posters and books. Then, on May 31, Tokyopop seemed to close its doors for good. Since then some of Tokyopop's titles have been picked up by other companies -- Yen Press acquired Alice in the Country of Hearts and Viz Media picked Loveless.

On October 12th, however, Tokyopop launched a new Twitter account and then confirmed intent to publish English language manga again. Many people seem skeptical of Tokyopop's revival, this has not been helped by the fact that the company no longer has a website -- only a twitter account and a facebook page.

DC to Release Larsson Graphic Novels

Comic book giant DC Comics has announced that in partnership with the estate of Steig Larsson and Hedlund Library Agency the virally popular Millenium Triology will be made into a series of graphic novels.

The comic books will be released by DC’s adult/mature audience branch Vertigo, known for titles like Nail Gaiman’s the Sandman, Max Allen Collin’s The Road to Perdition, Bill Willingham’s Fables and Mike Carey’s the Unwritten.

Dan Didio, the current co-publisher of DC comics, said: “The intricate characters and stories Larsson created in the Millennium Trilogy are a perfect match for the graphic novel format, where we can bring Lisbeth Salander to life in entirely new, visually compelling ways.”

Each of the novels in the trilogy will appear as two volumes and be released in both paper and digital formats.

DC plans to release the graphic novel adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo in 2012. The remaining two books are to be adapted in the following years ( The Girl Who Played with Fire in 2013 and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest in 2014).

Teens Make Comics Panel Discussion

Tuesday, October 18 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Malletts Creek | Grades 6-Adult

It's never been easier to dive in and make comics on your own!

Join a group of local teen cartoonists -- who are already publishing and distributing their own comics -- for a discussion on how to get started making comics and building your audience. Learn how a combination of curiosity, willingness to learn, and dedication to your craft can put you on the path to being a published author, regardless of age!

Comic Artists Forum Follow-up: Photoshop Lab with Jerzy Drozd

Sunday, October 16 | 1:00-4:00 PM | Downtown – 3rd Floor Training Lab | Grades 6-Adults

Clean up and finish your comics art using Adobe Photoshop Elements. Cartoonist and Photoshop expert Jerzy Drozd will be on hand to provide instruction for those who need it. For experienced users of Photoshop, just bring your scanned work on a USB drive or scan it here, then get to work.

Comics’ writer Dan Mishkin to present at Comic Artists Forum

Sunday, October 2 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Downtown Multipurpose Room | Grades 6-Adult

Guest artist Dan Mishkin will talk about what a comic book writer does, and how it's important to think visually and to understand how comics work -- valuable information for writers, but also for artists. From 1982 to 1985 Dan was member of the writing team for Wonder Woman. More recently Dan is the co-creator of the comic book series "Amethyst", "Blue Devil", "Creeps" and "Spellgame", and author of the children's illustrated novel "The Forest King."

Join the Forum to get fresh ideas for your next comics or graphic novel creation. Drawing supplies will be provided, so drop in for drawing, learning, and sharing.

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