Post-Nuclear-War Graphic Novels

In popular fiction, the atom bomb destroys not only physical matter, but also society and even reality as we know it. Nuclear destruction is the modern day equivalent of the biblical flood that wipes out the world and its entrenched order. Unfortunately (according to the imaginations of most writers) this tends to lead to an even more brutal world instead of giving our children a clean slate and a fresh start. I guess we’ll never learn. Here are a few of my favorite post-nuclear-war graphic novels.

Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind – This ecological parable from the artists of Studio Ghibli follows a teenage girl caught up in a war for the dwindling resources of the planet.

V for Vendetta – A masked crusader fights for freedom against the corrupt government in the post-nuclear totalitarian state of England.

Barefoot Gen – After the bomb destroys Hiroshima, Gen, his mother, and his little brother must find a way to survive and carry on with their lives.

The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger rides to meet his destiny among the sorceries and plots of his war-torn world.

Akira – Neo-Tokyo sits on the ruins of the old city, which was destroyed by a mysterious blast years earlier. Now history is beginning to repeat itself.

PokeMonday

Monday July 16, 2012: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Summer's here and that means it's time for Pokemondays! Join us for 4 Mondays in a row. We'll be holding these tournaments at different branches each week, so be sure to check the out one close to you. As always you'll need to bring your Nintendo DS or DSi and a copy of your Pokemon game (black and white won't work,sorry.) Big screen and Union Rooms battles are used for admittance into the finals, so be sure to have Pokemon, level 30 or under trained for battle. They'll be needed for qualifying rounds!

This event is for grades K - 5.

PokeMonday

Monday July 9, 2012: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

Enjoy a good game and challenge? Well, summer's here and that means it's time for Pokemondays! Join us for 4 Mondays in a row. We'll be holding these tournaments at different branches each week. As always you'll need to bring your Nintendo DS or DSi and a copy of your Pokemon game (black and white won't work,sorry.) Big screen and Union Rooms battles are used for admittance into the finals, so be sure to have Pokemon, level 30 or under trained for battle. They'll be needed for qualifying rounds!

This event is for grades K-5.

Comics!

Comics and comic book characters have always been popular with many but have more recently broken into the mainstream in a huge way. Because of the recent rise in popularity, many kids (and "kids at heart") are taking up an interest in comic books.

The Ann Arbor District Library has fantastic Graphic Novel collections in youth, teen, and the adult sections of all 5 library branches and also offer lots of neat programming involving comics, how to create them, and info about those who do.

Tomorrow, May 7th, 2001, is Free Comic Book Day. Free Comic Book Day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops around the world give away comic books to anyone who comes into their stores. Check out local comic book store, Vault of Midnight, and see what you can find!

And for those busy tomorrow that can't get out to Free Comic Book Day, check out this event in June: Kids Read Comics hosted at the The Chelsea District Library and throughout the downtown business district in June.

"Kids Read Comics Convention is a totally free event that unites kids, teens, parents, teachers and librarians with professional artists and writers from the comics and animation fields. Our goal is to introduce kids to worlds of imagination while unlocking their creative impulses, and to serve that goal, the convention features:

* hands-on workshops
* panels and presentations for kids, families, and educators
* a chance for kids to meet and chat with comics and animation professionals
* the opportunity for kids to have their own art portfolios reviewed"

Hands-On Manga Workshop With Visiting Manga Artists Konohana Sakuya!

Konohana SakuyaKonohana Sakuya

Thursday March 10, 2011: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Join us for an amazing hands-on evening with two visiting Japanese Manga artists! Konohana Sakuya is the alias of the working partnership between two comic artists, Kohei Nishino and Tsugumi Nishino. Since August 2004, the duo has had its latest work, "The Lights," serialized in the monthly version of the Shonen Jump magazine.

Learn how to make your own manga comic and ask questions about the real world of manga in Japan!

Ghost in the Shell

Vast information networks, artificial intelligence, and cybernetics applied to the human body are the wave of the near-future in Masamune Shirow’s sci-fi thriller, Ghost in the Shell. Major Kusanagi, an operative of Section 9, must follow the trail of the Puppet Master, a mysterious hacker who can even access the human mind and manipulate memories. What Kusanagi doesn’t know is that the Puppet Master has been looking for her as well.

The film version of Ghost in the Shell received high critical praise upon its release in 1996 and has strongly influenced the genres of anime and science fiction. Empire magazine placed it at #92 on its list, The 100 Best Films of World Cinema.

Masamune Shirow also created the popular graphic novel series Appleseed. If you like futuristic manga involving cyborgs and existentialism, Masamune Shirow is the author for you!

Youth and Teen Magazine Update -- Mars, Manga and the World's Greatest Drummers

by Nadya Pekk, Flickr.comby Nadya Pekk, Flickr.com
Want to jump into January 2011? Try these magazines -- with awesome new issues for the New Year!

For kids:
Ask Magazine: Giant dinosaurs, an island of tiny humans, and the reason giants don't exist.
Muse Magazine: Women Astronauts, Space-Sickness and Martians, oh my!

For teens:
Drum! Magazine: The Ultimate Readers' Choice Awards -- The World's Greatest Drummers!
Otaku USA Magazine: News, reviews and, of course manga! This month Otaku USA features sneak peeks at Lychee Light Club and Street Fighter Gaiden, with reviews of FLCL, Gravitation, Xam'd: Lost Memories.

Read 'em while they're new, people!

Happy Birthday Masashi Kishimoto!

Today, November 8, is the 36th birthday of Japanese Manga artist Masashi Kishimoto, creator of the hugely popular Naruto series. Naruto, for those not familiar with this collection, is the ongoing story of teen ninja Naruto Uzumaki and his adventures. For those not acquainted with the cultural phenomenon of manga, check out materials like Manga! Manga! : The World of Japanese Comics or go straight to a prime source like the magazine Shonen Jump: The World's Most Popular Manga.
narutonaruto

Ponyo - "The Little Mermaid" Reincarnated

Ponyo, a children's animated film released in theaters in 2009, is a great, fresh take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Little Mermaid."

In Ponyo, "a young boy named Sosuke rescues a goldfish named Ponyo, and they embark on a fantastic journey of friendship before Ponyo's father forces her to return to the sea. Ponyo's desire to be human upsets the balance of nature and only Ponyo's mother, a beautiful sea goddess, can restore nature's balance and make Ponyo's dreams come true."

With a famous English voice cast, including stars such as Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Cloris Leachman, and Lily Tomlin, Ponyo is entertaining and intriguing, though it may be a little slow or long for younger children.

There is also a bit of an environmental theme in the movie, influencing the audience to help keep the oceans clean.

Oddly enough, there are diverse other reworkings of "The Little Mermaid." These include a teen fiction novel, Midnight Pearls, in Debbie Viguié's Once Upon a Time series; an adult fantasy novel entitled The Mermaid's Madness by Jim C. Hines; and of course, the most well-known, the Disney film adaptation of the story.

The Queen of Manga

Rumiko Takahashi FamilyRumiko Takahashi FamilyYou might not recognize Rumiko Takahashi by name, but I bet you’ve seen her manga and anime characters before. Rumiko Takahashi is one of the most successful manga artists/authors in the world. She’s the creator of several worldwide favorites like InuYasha, Maison Ikkoku, and Ranma ½. Her manga is very popular and several of her series have been made into anime TV shows. AADL has lots of her manga series and a few of her anime series on DVD. Take a look!

One more thing. Fans of InuYasha will be happy to know (if you don’t already) that the final story arc is at long last being adapted for TV! AADL has DVDs of the original series and the movies. Check out the manga and follow along with the story as it unfolds each week.

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