Kirby is King.

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These days an average comics artist working on books like The Fantastic Four, Captain America, and X-Men is hard pressed to create 22 pages of story every month. Jack "King" Kirby, on the other hand, was known for keeping a staggering pace of 15 pages per week over the majority of his 40+ year career. He also co-created many of the aforementioned characters and established what became known as "The Marvel Style" in comics. Despite such an impressive work ethic and fertile imagination, Kirby received little in the way of financial compensation beyond the page rate given to the average artist.
Mark Evanier, assistant to Kirby over a significant portion of his career, charts the King's life in comics from his early years with Joe Simon (with whom Kirby co-created Captain America), to his bittersweet years at DC Comics, to his final days as a story consultant for animation companies like Hanna-Barbera. Kirby: King of Comics is a behind-the-scenes story detailing the triumphs of a soaring imagination as well as the heartbreak that comes from working in an industry before it learned to adequately reward its creative talents.

Graphic Novel Bootcamp: Training in the Fundamentals of Comics Storytelling

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How is a graphic novel different than a comic book? Is it the length of the story, the format in which the story's printed, the genre or subject matter, or is there something more going on? Find out Sunday, September 28, 2008 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm in the Pittsfield Branch Program Room .

Join cartoonist and teaching artist Mark Rudolph, author of the graphic novel Closing Doors (recently featured in a documentary aired on Detroit Public Television), in an interactive discussion and hands-on workshop that explores the unique affordances granted to a cartoonist when making a graphic novel. Learn some of the fundamental techniques used by professional cartoonists as you create some of your own comics work. Discover some of the idiosyncratic storytelling possibilities facing an author of "long form" comics stories.

Supplies will be provided. All you need to bring is your imagination and the urge to create!

Comic Masters Film Series Playing at the Michigan

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The Comic Masters Film Series playing at the Michigan Theater features select comic works by some of Hollywood’s master comedy directors. The series is starting off with films by Woody Allen, and will eventually feature films by Mel Brooks, Blake Edwards and Hal Ashby. The remaining Allen films are Annie Hall, Manhattan, Stardust Memories, Purple Rose of Cairo, Radio Days, and Zelig. Be sure to check the theater’s website for the full schedule of all films playing by all directors between now and mid-December. (Including Young Frankenstein and Harold & Maude!) What a great way to celebrate some of our greatest directors of comedy.

Super Duper! Kirby Does It Again!

Comics just don't get more fun than this. Join cub reporter Jimmy Olsen and his pal Superman in some utterly irreverent and outright zany adventures as only Jack "King" Kirby could create. When Kirby came to work for DC Comics he was given the opportunity to write and draw any book he wished. Not wanting to put a fellow comics creator out of work, Kirby instead asked to be assigned to the lowest-selling book in the lineup. Kirby's iconic designs and intense action propelled the series to become one of DC's top sellers. Check out the collected Jimmy Olsen by Jack Kirby to find out why. If you enjoy films like Indiana Jones or Remo Williams, there's no way you won't get a kick out of this book.

Spiral-Bound (top secret summer)

It's summer vacation and time for an adventure. The whole town is abuzz with the secret of the monster in the local pond. Turnip Elephant is attending sculpture camp run by a whale in a glass bubble. Ana Rabbit is becoming an investigative reporter for the town's truly underground newspaper. Stucky Dog is building a submarine. Their stories eventually become one in the final "showdown" with the pond monster. Spiral Bound features an all animal cast. Aaron Renier has done a fantastic job filling the pages full of imaginative visual information that drives the action packed plot. Quite possibly with a nod to Richard Scarry.

The Real Comics from HEROES

If you are as addicted to the TV series HEROES as I am, then you'll be excited to hear that there is a series of comics that continues the stories of all the characters! The new comics are published online on the official NBC HEROES website each Tuesday. However, if you want to catch up on all of the juicy Season One background stories, the library has just what you need. Check out Heroes: Volume One, which collects all of the first season's comics into one hardcover book.

For links to all of the available comics so far, visit the graphic novel's Wikipedia page. And don't forget, we have episodes of the TV show available for check-out also!

Benny and Penny: Just Pretend

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Benny and Penny: Just Pretend, by best-selling children's book author Geoffrey Hayes, is an adorably illustrated graphic novel that features a day in the life of a sister and brother mouse duo. Benny is having fun playing pirates and Penny wants to join the fun. But big brother Benny will not be found playing with his pesky little sister. He tries to make her hide so good in hide and seek that she won’t find him again and then he’ll get to play all by himself. He soon finds out that maybe playing with someone, even your annoying crybaby little sister, is more fun than playing pretend by yourself. Hayes learned a similar lesson in his youth thanks to his tag-along little brother.

Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book DayFree Comic Book Day

It's that time of year again. Spring is upon us and, along with being the birthday of Niccolo Machiavelli, Saturday, May 3 is Free Comic Book Day! What is Free Comic Book Day, you ask? It is a wonderful day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books to anyone who comes into their stores. Local comic book shops that are participating include Get Your Game On, Vault of Midnight, and Fun 4 All. I'm especially looking forward to Tiny Titans! Too busy to go to the comic book store this Saturday? Fear not, true believer! Everyday is "free comic book day" at the library. AADL has thousands of comics and graphic novel titles available for checkout.

Fuzzy Times

The most recent collection of Get Fuzzy comics is titled Loserpalooza. Get Fuzzy is one of the funniest newspaper comics of all time, rivaling the ranks of Calvin and Hobbes, Foxtrot, and The Far Side. While we are on the topic of hilarious comics, give Unshelved a look the next time you are online. This is a funny interpretation of library life, through the eyes of reference librarian Dewey.

Meet Mat in Malaysia, in Lat's Graphic Novel, Kampung Boy

Kampung Boy by one of the most beloved cartoonists of Southeast Asia, Lat tell the story of Mat, a Muslim boy growing up on a rubber plantation in rural 1950s Malaysia. The sequel, Town Boy follows Mat as he attends boarding school, moves to the city and experiences budding romance and a growing passion for art. Recently available in the US Lat's autobiographical stories will take you to a time and a place that barely exists in Malaysia anymore. The warm and expressive pen-and-ink drawings will draw you into Mat's world.

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