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!

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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.

Courtney Crumrin

Not sure what to read now that you've finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (or while you wait for your copy)? Still haven't had your fill of magical creatures and spells? Then Courtney Crumrin might be for you. Courtney's family moves to Hillsborough to care for her eccentric Great Uncle Aloysius and she soon finds that things are not what they seem. Uncle Aloysius is far from decrepit and mysterious creatures are lurking in the nearby forest. Courtney learns that knowledge of witchcraft runs in her family and Uncle Aloysius has plans for her education. Courtney is a bit more pessimistic than Harry, but Ted Naifeh has done a wonderful job of taking the edge off of darker moments by mixing stylized characters (such as cute and noseless Courtney) with some more realistically rendered designs--reminiscent of Arthur Rackham.

Justice League: A New Beginning

Back in 1987, following the DC Comics LEGENDS crossover event, a new Justice League was born. Not only was it under the creative team of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis (with new artist Kevin Maguire), but it featured a cast of "second stringer" heroes such as Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Black Canary, Captain Marvel, and the macho-jerk Green Lantern known as Guy Gardner. What's more, this particular league's stories focused a lot on the humor found in the down-time between their inter-dimensional monster fighting adventures. Some have even compared the Giffen/DeMatteis run on Justice League to how a sit-com is structured. The biggest surprise of all was when it became the top-selling comic in the late '80s and early '90s. Issues 1-6 of Justice League and Justice League International 7 have been collected in A New Beginning,which is now available at aadl.

The humor and humanity of this title is further emphasized by the artwork of Kevin Maguire, master of the expressive face. Maguire's art takes comics character acting to new heights. Though they're wearing costumes and calling each other by code-names, the characters register as real people and the comedy speaks to all ages.

Road Trip Reads: The Doom Patrol Archives, Vol. 2

A cover to one of the issues in this collection features a French-speaking gorilla who is piloting a giant purple robot that is swinging a submarine at a 50-foot tall woman wearing SCUBA gear. This is the madness that was the Silver Age of comics, and it's never been more fun than in The Doom Patrol. Join Robot Man, Elasti-Girl, Negative Man, and The Chief as they struggle against evil adversaries such as Monsieur Mallah (the aforementioned French-speaking gorilla), The Brain (literally a talking brain in a jar), and Madame Rouge (a woman who can mold her face like putty to look like anyone she wants). Adventure has never been weirder, nor more thrilling. Best of all, it can be enjoyed by the whole family.

A good sketch is better than a long speech

I've been in to picture books, comics, manga, graphic novels or what ever you prefer to call the medium of artistic story telling for a long time. I remember trying to explain my appreciation for graphic novels to my parents. They looked at me with slightly puzzled, slightly worried looks...

"...so are they called graphic novels because they are violent?"

"Some are some aren't, but thats not important"

"... so are they called graphic novels because they have naughty pictures?"

"Some do some don't, but that's not important"

".. so is it the foul language that makes them graphic?"

" NO!, they are called graphic because of the art work."

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