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.

Shazam!

Jeff Smith's take on Captain Marvel is finally available in the collected edition, Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil, and it's one of my favorites from 2007. Those of you who know and love Smith's Bone will not be disappointed. Captain Marvel has been brought into the present day world, but Smith has nailed the childlike quality of the hero perfectly. His art, his story, his dialogue, pacing, the sheer sense of wonder on display all reflect the age of the hero, young Billy Batson. Great story, great art.

Whiteout: Melt

U.S. Marshall Carrie Stetko is back in Antarctica in Whiteout: Melt, this time to investigate the mysterious explosion of a Russian research depot. Novelist Greg Rucka and Illustrator Steve Lieber team up on this beautifully done (and most deserving) Eisner winner. Lieber's brushwork is amazing, plus he's a master of zippotone!

If you missed the first four issue mini-series "Whiteout" (from Oni Press 1998), you can read the complete first issue for free at comicspace. Rumor has it that Rucka and Lieber are working on the third (and final) chapter of Carrie's story, "Whiteout: Thaw". The only hint Rucka has given is "Carrie's leaving the ice – the only question is how." A movie, directed by Dominic Sena and starring Kate Beckinsale as Carrie, is in the works and due for release in 2008.

Chicken and Cat

Comics artist Sara Varon seamlessly entered the realm of picture books with Chicken and Cat. She creates an abundantly cute and simple world in which chickens, cats, raccoons, bunnies, dogs, humans, and other creatures (all with built in pockets) can happily coexist--meaning ride bicycles and rollerskate in the same park and buy things from one another. Her illustrations are charming and amiably cluttered. One can't help but smile.

Kafka and Comics

In Kafka's The Trial, Josef K. finds himself the subject of undefined charges by an authority that is also never clearly defined. It is now 1986 and the accused 'K.' is in America for The Appeal. The great Will Eisner has added an interesting twist to the story--the judge is now the defendant. Eisner has a wonderful technique for flashbacks and the outcome of the new "trial" is priceless.
Peter Kuper has also done a wonderful job interpreting The Metamorphosis and Give It Up!:and other short stories. His black and white drawings, reminiscent of woodcut prints, result in a noisy, in your face, American take on German Expressionism.

Comics Workshop for Teens! Today!!

Hey! Want to learn more about comics? Working on a webcomic or graphic novel? Need some help developing your characters and making them more expressive?

Comics artist Jerzy Drozd will be at the Pittsfield Branch at 6:30pm today to teach you how. The focus of the workshop will be exploring, developing, and expressing the inner lives of comics characters in humorous stories.

Comics AND Science!

What better format through which to explore science than comics? Jim Ottaviani does a splendid job of introducing us to the scientists who shaped the 20th century (including one of my all time favorites Richard P. Feynman). His informative writing is enhanced by the illustrative stylings of many talented artists.

Jim Ottaviani will be at the Kerrytown Book Festival this Sunday (September 9) appearing on the Future of Comic Art panel with Jerzy Drozd, Kay Fedewa, and Chad Sell.

Finally! A Defender of Fashion!!

Who has supersonic feet, x-ray eyes, and a brain that can mix and match hundreds of outfits in a second? It's Fashion Kitty!!!!
Regular cat by day (if you consider wearing clothes, walking on two legs, attending school, and speaking regular for a cat), Fashion Kitty by night. Super nice Kiki is always ready to answer a call of despair and use her super powers to save other cats from making fashion faux pas . Don't miss her exciting origin story in Fashion Kitty and watch her take on the evil Fashion Queen in Fashion Kitty Versus the Fashion Queen! It's nonstop sparkly pink action!

A Dungeon Too Many

What happens to the Keeper's lucrative business of luring, plundering, then massacring adventurers when a competing dungeon (complete with balloons, cotton candy, and puppet shows) is built next door? Get an inside look at the workings of a fantasy dungeon, run CEO style by a bird in a top hat. Full of heroes such as Marvin, an anthropomorphic vegetarian dragon who loves to bake, and Herbert, a timorous duck. Joann Sfarr has teamed up with other French cartoonists, Lewis Trondheim, and Manu Larcent to create the wonderful universe that is Dungeon. Larcent's panels are dense with informative details. Including gory cartoon-violence! The subtle jokes involving Grogro the monster are particularly wonderful.
Cliquez ici pour visiter le site officiel du Donjon (en français).

Manga Drawing Contest Winners!

megatokyomegatokyo

Our first annual Manga Drawing Contest Award Ceremony was last night @ 7:00 at the Downtown Library - I'm sorry you missed it! Over 70 kids and teens in grades K-12 entered the contest and ALL of their work is currently on display in the Downtown Youth Department and will be for the month of August - check it out! Our fabulous judges, Fred Gallagher and Jerzy Drozd had a daunting task - they spent HOURS last Saturday making their decisions and writing comments and feedback for each and every piece of artwork. Over 70 kids/teens/families/friends attended the award ceremony to hear WHO got Wizzywig gift certificates, the Olympic-worthy medals and more... Most importantly everyone got to meet and greet with Fred and Jerzy! And the winners are (click read more for the complete list):

Grades K-2:
1st Place/Duaa Aljirafi; 2nd Place/Runner-Up/Domonique Littlefield; 3rd place/Honorable Mention/Samuel Wasserman. Best Fan Art/Kristen Umbriac; Best Original Character/Sophia Cho.

Grades 3-5:
1st Place/Agnes Cho; 2nd Place/Runner-Up/Samantha Linn; 3rd Place/Honorable Mention/Bernadette Lamb. Best Fan Art/Lillian Xie; Best Original Character/Charlotte Cardon.

Grades 6-8:
1st Place/Lena Ji; 2nd Place/Runner-Up/Kylah Thompson; 3rd Place/Honorable Mention/Kyle Mink. Best Comic Strip/Andrew Hacott; Best Fan Art/Emily Ji; Best Original Character/Jessica Maronen.

Grades 9-12:
1st Place/Xin Gu; 2nd Place/Runner-Up/TIE/Brittany Adams and Donovan Adams (not related); 3rd Place/Honorable Mention/Michelle Lin. Best Comic Strip/Stephanie Mannheim; Best Fan Art/Desha Stewart; Best Original Character/Kaitlin Casternino.

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