Meet Children's author & illustrator, Mark Crilley!

For many children meeting the author of a favorite book can be a life-changing experience! Mark Crilley, the author of the recent comic book release, Brody's Ghost Vol. 1, will be doing a special visit at the Ann Arbor District Library on Sunday November, 21 from 2:00-3:30 PM at the Downtown Library.

Mark Crilley was raised in Detroit and attended Kalamazoo College where he met children's book writer/illustrator (and 2001 Caldecott award winner) David Small. David’s example inspired Mark to pursue writing and illustrating professionally. Mark’s first series of books featured, “Akiko” The first in the series, "Akiko on the Planet Smoo", was published in 2000; the tenth, "Akiko and the Missing Misp", hit stores in 2008. Mark also wrote the Billy Clikk books and the four-volume manga series "Miki Falls.” Miki Falls has been optioned for film development by Paramount Pictures and Brad Pitt's Plan B production company. Volume two of his newest series, Brody’s Ghost, will be released in January of 2011.

Join us for a high-energy, educational, hilarious and interactive afternoon. From telling stories and drawing characters attendees will be inspired by Mark’s creativity, talent and enthusiasm! The Vault of Midnight will be selling Mark’s books and Mark will sign these (and any personal copies that fans bring with) after his talk.

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.

November Comic Artists Forum


Looking for fresh ideas for your next comic or graphic novel creation? Do you enjoy drawing while listening to other cartoonists discuss their favorite drawing techniques or the latest trend in comics? Join this monthly forum. Bring your favorite drawing tools and enjoy a few hours of drawing, learning and sharing.

Guest artist this month will be Jim Ottaviani who is the author of many graphic novels about scientists ranging from physicists to paleontologists to behaviorists. His most recent is T-Minus, a book about the science and engineering of the space race. Other cool science graphic novels by Jim in the AADL collection include:

Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards
Dignifying Science: Stories About Women Scientists
Fallout: J. Robert Oppenheimer, Leo Szilard, and the Political Science of the Atomic Bomb
Suspended in Language: Niels Bohr’s Life, Discoveries, and the Century He Shaped
Two-Fisted Science: Stories About Scientists.

Comic Artists Forum | Sunday, November 7 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Grade 6-Adult

What's a Zine? Find out October 10!

Soup ZIneSoup ZIne

Zines are small, self-published booklets which are usually printed with a photocopier or home printer. They include comics, poetry, travel essays, how to’s – anything you want to express – and can even be used in the classroom to jazz up writing assignments. Though zines are generally low tech you can use the web to learn more about them at sites like We Make Zines: a place for zinesters, writers, and readers.

Zine enthusiast and creator Brian Steinberg will talk about making a diary comic zine, give a hands-on demo. And then create a zine of your own. All materials provided.

What Do You Mean, What’s a Zine? | Sunday, October 10 | 1-2:30 PM | Malletts Creek | Grade 6-Adult

60 Year Anniversary of the First Peanuts Comic Strip!

On October 2nd 1950, after many rejections, the first Peanuts comic strip was published in 7 newspapers. Just 2 years later the first Peanuts book was published. Over the years, the Peanuts have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List with Happiness is a Warm Puppy. I personally always loved that book in particular. It takes you through a number of simple things that make people happy and reminds me of reading it at my grandmas house when I was little. The Peanuts were on the cover of Time Magazine in 1965. That same year, Charles Schulz even won an Emmy for outstanding children's programming for A Charlie Brown Christmas. In later years, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, You're a Good Sport Charlie Brown and Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown. By 1999, before his retirement, more than 2,600 newspapers worldwide were publishing the Peanuts. On February 12, 2000, the day before the final Sunday Peanuts comic strip ran, Charles Schulz died at the age of 77. New Peanuts strips are not being made however, many of these loved classics can be found here at the library. The library also offers a number of Peanuts DVD's such as: It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Valentine, This is America, Charlie Brown and many more. Be sure to place holds early for the holiday books and DVDs because they lists grow quickly! I'm happy to see that even after 60 years people still love the Good Ol' Charlie Brown and the Gang!

October Comic Artists Forum


Looking for fresh ideas for your next comic or graphic novel creation? Do you enjoy drawing while listening to other cartoonists discuss their favorite drawing techniques or the latest trend in comics? Join this monthly forum. Bring your favorite drawing tools and enjoy a few hours of drawing, learning and sharing.

Our guest artist this month will be Jono Balliett, comics professional. He’s the creator of Smedley and other comics like Shipwrecked.

Comic Artists Forum | Sunday, October 3 | 1:00-3:00 PM | Malletts Creek | Grade 6-Adult

International Read Comics in Public Day!!

This Saturday, (August 28--the birthday of Jack “King” Kirby), join fellow comic book enthusiasts in dispelling a stigma. Read a comic book in a public setting—a park bench, a beach, a bus, your local library. Let strangers see you reading a piece of sequential art. Let the world know once and for all that Comics is not a genre, it's a format—there's something for everyone.

You can find comics to read in public at AADL.

Comics Digital Workshops for Teens and Adults

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Cartoonist Jerzy Drozd will teach you how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements to clean up your art, fill in line work with colors and halftones, create cool lettering, prep the finished page for printing, and more. Jerzy will provide one of his scanned comics pages for instruction but you can also bring your own comics page (scanned or unscanned) to work on.

Register at any information desk at any location or call 327-8301.

Comics Art Digital Coloring 101 for Teens Gr. 6-12 | Tues. August 17 | 1-3 pm OR 4-6 pm | Downtown 3rd Floor Computer Training

Comics Digital Coloring for Adults and Older Teens Gr. 9-12 | Wed. August 18 | 3-5 pm OR 6-8 pm | Downtown 3rd Floor Computer Training

Congratulations to Vault of Midnight

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Vault of Midnight, an Ann Arbor institution for 15 years, has won this year's Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award. The award, handed out to a store who has "done an outstanding job of supporting the comics art medium both in the community and within the industry at large", was given out last night at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con, the comic industry's biggest event of the year. As frequent partners with Vault of Midnight, we can attest to their involvement with the community; almost any day of the week you can walk in and find a book signing, an art show, or a game night happening at 219 S. Main Street.

Stores from all over the US and Canada are entered into the running for the award, and owners Curtis Sullivan and Steve Fodale were surprised to get the award. Read more about the win on and then stop in to say congratulations!

Comics Fundamentals for Adults and Older Teens

Jerzy DrozdJerzy Drozd

Did you devour comics as a kid? Ever thought of creating your own comics or graphic work? Here’s a free chance to broaden your creative skills!

In this intense six-week series, cartoonist Jerzy Drozd invites adults and older teens to explore of some of the illustration and storytelling strategies used by professional cartoonists to create graphic novels, manga, and comic books. You'll learn how to choose the right moments in your story, how comics take advantage of the rules of art as well as literature, and how the illustration style you choose contributes to the tone of your work.

Can’t draw? No worries. If you can draw a stick figure you can create a great comics story.

Whatever story you want to create, this workshop will provide you with the tools you need to make your story a reality. We'll provide the pencils, erasers, paper, rulers, etc. Registration is required and can be done online, in person at any location, or by calling 327-8301.

Comics Fundamentals | Wednesdays July 7, 14, 21, 28 and August 4, 11 | 6-8 p.m. | Pittsfield Branch

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