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."

Road Trip Reads: Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 1

20 issues of the series that launched the Silver Age, plus the first annual are collected in this volume. In 1961, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed the world's perception of what a super-hero was by creating the Fantastic Four, a family of heroes with real human problems. Meet the monstrous yet lovable Thing, the hot-headed and impetuous Human Torch, the compassionate Invisible Woman, and the dashing scientist known as Mister Fantastic. While their inter-personal conflicts reflect real world problems and concerns, their rouges gallery is a cast of wonderfully overstated characters.

Road Trip Reads: Showcase Presents Superman

With the current comics industry rushing for mainstream acceptance and critical acclaim, one could almost forget that there was once a time when comics was mostly entertainment for entertainment's sake.

Thankfully, DC Comics has begun releasing their Showcase Presents Library of Classics. In the first volume of Showcase Presents Superman, we're reintroduced to the box-chested Man of Steel as envisioned by Silver Age artists Curt Swan and Stan Kaye. It's unpretentious, over-the-top adventure, featuring villains such as the green-skinned, pink leotard-wearing Braniac, the imperfect duplicate of Superman known as Bizarro, Titano the super-ape, and even Mr. Mxyzptlk (pronounced mix-yes-pit-lick).

At a whopping 500 pages, this volume is perfect for that long road trip and fun for the whole family.

Persepolis animated film premieres at Cannes

Fans of Marjane Satrapi and her popular and acclaimed graphic novels, Persepolis and Persepolis 2 may be interested to see this french trailer for an animated film based on the books which is premiering this week at Cannes. It includes voice acting from Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni, and will surely see a US release. While you wait, you might try Satrapi's lesser-known Embroideries or Chicken with Plums, or view this video of the author's visit to the Seattle Public Library when Persepolis was the subject of their 2006 community read.

Stardust

Stardust was quite a good read. It’s a fairy tale but for mature teens and older readers. Be advised that there is some graphic language. And Yes they do ultimately live happily ever after. Gaiman is a central figure in the emergence of the "graphic novel," a genre that combines novelistic storylines with comic-book graphics and is well known for his many other works such as the graphic serial novel "Sandman" : and other works.
It’s exciting to learn that Stardust has been made into a movie that is coming out this summer with a star-studded cast including Robert De Niro, Peter O'Toole and narrated by Ian McKellen. Hopefully the movie will remain faithful to the story line. There is also a graphic novel version of this book illustrated by Charles Vess.
The Ann Arbor District library has a great collection of graphic novels with collections for youth, teens and adults.

Babymouse!

Jennifer L. Holm has teamed up with her brother Matthew to create Babymouse, an adorable and imaginative comic starring a school-aged mouse and her best friend Wilson the Weasel (who both happen to love monster movies and cupcakes). Anyone who has been through grade school can relate to Babymouse and her problems with meatloaf lunches, lockers, and the incredibly mean Felicia Furrypaws. She gets through it all with the help of her friends and her favorite books. Drawn very simply in black and white with some pink thrown in for flair (and I could have sworn I saw some Ed Emberley animals roaming the school halls).

RARRARG!*

* Patrick the Wolf Boy

Patrick is a young boy who likes to do all the things that young boys do, only with his own flair—Patrick is a werewolf. He communicates by growling, but his parents and friends understand him just fine. Artist Art Baltazar and writer Franco Aurelian have created a cute and amusing character drawn in a style that pays tribute to 1950s Charles Schulz (Patrick’s shirt is even an invert of Charlie Brown’s).
If you would like to meet the artist, Art Baltazar will be making an appearance at the Motor City Comic Con May 18-20.

Avatar @ Animanga Club Thursday, April 12!

What's the coolest type of airbending? Join us this Thursday @ the Northeast Branch from 7-8:30 as we discuss an American spin on anime, Avatar The Last Airbender. We'll watch the DVD of Book 1: Water. Not a fan of Avatar? Come anyway! You can talk about ANYTHING relating to anime, manga, Japan - etc. Snacks and drinks will also be served. See you there!

Plastic Man is Back!

Kyle Baker has re-visited the Golden Age Plastic Man in his Eisner Award winning series. First released in 2004, issues 1-6 have been collected into one volume Plastic Man: On the Lam. Follow Patrick “Eel” Obrien from his days of crime to his transformation into Plastic Man and then see what happens when his former identity is framed for murder. Baker’s wonderfully energetic style and sense of humor translate beautifully to this character. Be on the lookout for surprise characters from Plastic Man’s past and members of the Justice League acting a bit out of character.

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