The Warren Commission Report

Out today is The Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation by comic maestros Dan Mishkin, Ernie Colon, and Jerzy Drozd, host of AADL’s Comics Are Great podcast! This new graphic novel brings the titular report, put together by a seven-member commission called for by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy, to life. The commission determined there was no "credible evidence" to support any theory other than a lone gunman, but even now, America wonders. Was there a magic bullet? Did the shots come from Texas School Book Depository, or from the now-infamous grassy knoll? How could the Warren Commission reach the conclusions that it did? We've all got questions about the moments leading up to JFK's death, and the Warren Commission report provides one possible set of answers, answers now fantastically illustrated for your perusal.

Want to meet the minds behind the book? Wonder just what kind of research writing and drawing about something so historic requires? Want to get your own spanking new copy signed? Vault of Midnight comic book store is hosting a signing with Dan Mishkin and Jerzy Drozd from 7 pm to 9:30 pm tomorrow, Wednesday, September 17th. If making a fabulous comic masterpiece of your own is more your speed, consider coming to AADL's Webcomics Lab tomorrow from 6 to 8 pm at the Malletts Creek Branch. We'll have some great art toys for you to play with – if you've never gotten your hands on a Wacom tablet, or a light box, or Manga Studio, come on over!

AADL Webcomics Lab

Wednesday September 17, 2014: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grade 9 - adult.

Got an idea for a webcomic but don't know where to start? Having trouble finding the time to put into that comics project? Or maybe you just want a break from creating alone in your studio (or the coffee shop) and wish you could work along side of your fellow comics creators?

Come to the monthly Webcomics Lab at AADL, where you can make make your comics in the company of professional and hobbyist cartoonists alike. Get a chance to share your work in progress with fellow creators, put in some essential drawing time on your project, and hang out with the people who are all struggling with the same thing you are--expressing character, drama, and humor through the comics page.

Lab host Jerzy Drozd will be on hand to help you with your work, and you'll be able to try out new tools and techniques using the new AADL Comics Tools collection. Best of all, you can get your work published. Each strip you finish during the Lab can be submitted for inclusion on the new AADL Webcomics Page!

Celebrating Batman’s 75th Birthday

It may be hard to believe that Bruce Wayne began his crusade against crime 75 years ago (he looks so young!), but this year marks just that occasion. To commemorate this milestone DC Comics has released a volume consisting of some of the greatest bat-stories ever told. Batman: a celebration of 75 years is sure to engage and entertain both new and experienced Bat-readers. While you’re waiting for your hold to come in, or if you’d like to brush up on what Batman’s been up to for the last few decades, be sure to check out some of these Bat-classics from our catalog!

The Long Halloween - Batman is on the hunt for a serial killer whose devious crimes coincide with major holidays. Noirish and complex, perhaps the greatest Batman story ever told.

Batman: Year One - Writer Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) offers his take on the successes and failures of Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon during Batman’s first year in Gotham. Year One is counted as one of the inspirations for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.

The Dark Knight Returns - Frank Miller adds to the Batman canon by bringing an aged Bruce Wayne out of retirement to battle the powerful Mutant Gang and -- gasp! -- Superman. This Miller classic was drawn upon as source material for 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.

Knightfall Part One: Broken Bat - Creative team Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench introduce Batman to one of his strongest and most intelligent foes: Bane! Tune in to find out just how far the Batman can bend before he breaks.

This One Summer

Rose and her family have been coming to Awago Beach during the summer "ever since...like...forever." For Rose, it's always been a place of idyll joy and a fun escape. But this year, something is different. Rose's parents won't stop fighting; her mom seems determined not to have a good time. Rose is pretty sure she knows why - but she doesn't want to talk about it, not even with her friend Windy. She'd much rather lose herself in the unfolding drama and potential tragedy brewing among the local teenagers. Sometimes, though, anger makes us unable to see things clearly. Sometimes, what we think we know about a situation can be very wrong. Recognizing that is part of growing up, and for Rose, much of that growing up happened This One Summer.

Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind the award-winning comic Skim, have smashed it out of the park once again with this excellent graphic novel. This One Summer is many things: an atmospheric story that captures the feel of summer so well you'll swear you can hear the buzz of cicadas; a portrait of the simmering resentment that family struggles we don't quite understand can cause, and how it can bleed into our perceptions elsewhere in our lives; a quiet coming of age story; an authentic portrayal of friendship and family; and a visual masterpiece, with rich, textured, expressive artwork. But above all, it's a very good read!

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is a very unique comic - it’s actually a sequel to a musical concept album by writer Gerard Way’s band (and more famous creation), My Chemical Romance! The CD, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, was set in a post-apocalyptic California in the year 2019, and followed the original Killjoys as they fought against the evil mega-corporation Better Living Industries.

The comic, deftly brought to life by Becky Cloonan’s masterful pencil, takes place a few years later and follows The Girl, the last surviving Killjoy, as she and the other desert dwellers take the fight to BLI once more. It's a coming of age tale soaked in desperation and rock music, a twisty, weird yarn about shouldering the legacy you’re given and fighting the man. And there are robots, bounty hunters, and mutant vampires, too.

This isn’t Way’s first foray into comics, either - his superheroic collaboration with Gabriel Bá, Umbrella Academy, won the Eisner award for best limited series in 2008!

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man

In the Ultimate universe, Peter Parker is dead, but Spider-man lives on!

Thirteen year old Miles Morales doesn't want to have superpowers. When he gets bitten by an experimental Oscorp spider and begins to exhibit all the same powers as Spider-man and more, he's terrified. But it doesn't matter, he thinks, since there's already a Spider-man. He's just a kid, after all; nobody needs him to be a hero. Until Peter Parker dies. Left as the lone bearer of spider-powers, Miles takes to heart the words that drove Peter – "with great power comes great responsibility" – and dons the mantle of Spider-man. But Miles has a lot to contend with that Peter didn't, including a father who hates all superpowered people, a criminal uncle, and a guilt-ridden Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D, who feel responsible for not saving Peter.

The beautiful, expressive art by Sara Pichelli and Chris Samnee is worth a look all on its own - add that to Brian Michael Bendis' script and you have the recipe for one of my personal favorite ongoings. If you like characters like Captain America or Superman, fundamentally good characters with the strength to do what's right and an innate sweetness that persists even in the face of personal tragedy, you'll love Miles Morales!

Volume 4 has only just recently hit our shelves, and we have volume 1, volume 2 and volume 3 here as well, so the whole series as it stands is at your finger tips. While the original Spider-man spins webs in the box office, why not give his successor a try?

Comic Artists Forum with Brandon Dayton

Sunday May 4, 2014: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up.

Want to get better at drawing? Want to take your art to the next level? There is more to getting better than just “talent.” Hard work—combined with the right approach—can help an artist of any skill level advance to the next level.

Whether you are a seasoned artist or a beginner, Brandon will discuss practical strategies for assessing your current abilities and specific exercises and drills to help you make the most of your art study.

Brandon Dayton is a concept artist and comic book creator who has created concept for EA Games and Disney Interactive’s Disney Infinity. His 2009 comic book Green Monk won the 2011 YALSA Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens book award.

The Forum is for comics enthusiasts and cartoonists—beginning and professional. Bring your drawing tools and drop in for learning, drawing and sharing

Go on tour with Marceline and the Scream Queens!

Battling bands and monsterous fears in the world of the hit cartoon Adventure Time! Rock and roll vampire queen Marceline and the responsible, respectable Princess Bubblegum don’t tend to see eye to eye; in fact, Bubblegum thinks that Marceline’s music is just a bunch of discordant noise. Or at least, she does until she hears Marcy and her band play their hearts out in concert. Inspired to learn the true meaning of rock, Bubblegum joins Marceline and the Scream Queens on a tour that takes them from the Candy Kingdom, to the bottom of the ocean, to the depths of the dreaded Nightosphere. But while Bubblegum might be having herself a fun summer vacation, Marceline is plagued with a slowly growing, emotionally-crippling anxiety that might just end her musical stardom for good.

And Marceline and the Scream Queens isn't the only Adventure Time comic we have by any means! Check out the ongoing series by Dinosaur Comics' Ryan North for further adventures of Finn and Jake, Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake by series storyboard artist Natasha Allegri, or the Flame Princess-centric graphic novel, Playing With Fire by Girls With Slingshots creator, Danielle Corsetto!

If you like this book, considering checking out the creator's other work. Marceline and the Scream Queens is for all ages, but writer and artist Meredith Gran is best known for her less kid-friendly webcomic, Octopus Pie. It's another tale of two ladies: one a directionless post-grad creative writing student, the other a successful hippie baker, who begin rooming together in Brooklyn, NY. You can give it a go here at AADL or online at www.octopuspie.com.

Fearless adventurers heed the call - to Spera!

When her tyrannical mother the queen attacks a neighboring kingdom, murdering their king in cold blood during a royal visit, Pira steals away to save her friend, the dead king’s daughter - Princess Lono. Two Princesses on the run don’t seem to have much chance against a powerful sorceress like the queen, even with a shapechanging fire-spirit to guide them. And gentle Lono doesn’t seem very well equipped for a life of adventuring. But Pira was born with a sword - quite literally - and she has big plans to make a career out of questing, once they get to the city of Spera. She’s not about to let a little thing like her evil mother get in her way!

Set up as a series of short stories as opposed to one unbroken narrative, and showcasing a variety of different artists and styles, Spera is a unique fantasy read. Check out both volumes 1 and 2 here at AADL, and head on over to spera-comic.com, where you can find additional short stories set in Spera's world for free!

4th Annual Mini-Comics Day on March 22nd from 10 am to 6 pm!

This Saturday, March 22nd, it's time once more for University of Michigan's Mini-Comics Day at the Duderstadt Center! From 10 am to 6 pm, writers and artists will be gathered together with one goal: make a full mini comic in a single day. If you've ever thought about making your own comic, here's your chance to do it and have company all the while. Not really sure what a mini-comic is? You're welcome to come and find out! In addition to its fantastic collection of standard-sized comics, the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library in the Duderstadt Center ALSO has a circulating collection of mini-comics that you can peruse.

You'll have to register, so head on over to the form if you think you'd like to attend!

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