Chicken With Plums

Marjane Satrapi’s newest graphic novel, Chicken With Plums, was released this month. In her earlier Persepolis books, she tells her story of growing up in Iran during (and after) the 1979 revolution. This time it is 1958 and we witness the last eight days in the life of her great-uncle, Nassar Ali Khan, a revered tar player.
Satrapi’s personal and sometimes humorous look into her great-uncle’s life is wonderfully enhanced by her simple black and white drawings. She has a gift for illustrating complex human issues and making them universally understandable.
Be on the lookout for Persepolis in animated movie form, to be released sometime in 2007 by Sony Pictures Classics.

Ever wonder what happened to your favorite fairy tale characters?

What if all of your favorite nursery rhyme, storybook and fable characters turned out to be real and were secretly living in present day New York? What happened to Snow White after she married Prince Charming? Did the Big Bad Wolf have any further pursuits after his run in with the Three Pigs? Bill Willingham answers these questions and more in his Eisner award winning comics series, Fables.

Writer Bill Willingham goes back to the original dark and sinister versions of the fairy tales, before they were ‘Disneyfied’. He has also added modern sensibilities to the stories, giving them a soap opera feel. This series is definitely not for children!

Look for other influences throughout the story-line, including Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies and Seven Days in May. Also, be sure to check out the latest in this series, 1001 Nights of Snowfall, (released this week) to explore character backstories as told by Snow White.

Cowboy Robots

Daisy KutterDaisy Kutter

Kazu Kibuishi (of Flight fame) released his debut graphic novel, Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, in 2005. It has been receiving praise ever since, including being selected by the American Library Association as one of the Best Books for Young Adults for 2006.
The story is simple. Daisy Kutter is a retired gunslinger who takes on one last job. The setting has an old west feel with robots. Kibuishi’s mastery of comics timing adds dimension to the story and characters. Hints of his influences, such as Hayao Miyazaki, can be seen in his work, but his loose and fluid style is unique.
Be on the lookout for Kibuishi’s lastest work, Amulet, due out in fall of 2007 from Scholastic’s Graphix imprint.

The Baby-Sitters are Back

Any child of the eighties will remember the adventures of Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey. Now you can revisit Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club series thanks to comics artist, Raina Telgemeier (known for her webcomic Smile). She has updated our old friends for a new generation in her graphic novel adaptation of Martin’s series, recently published by Scholastic/Graphix. Telgemeier’s clean and expressive black and white artwork enhance the story by adding comedy, action, and emotion.

What's Michael? Planet of the Cats

Volume 11 in the spot-on tails of cats, Japan and absurdity by Makoto Kobayashi is just as fab as the previous 10 volumes. No one draws cats with as much humor and accuracy as Kobayashi. The stories show how people interact (and often make idiots of themselves) with cats - while letting us look into the lives of cats and the people who love (and hate) them! Whether you are a cat-lady-in-training or an official cat-hater you *will* find something to love in these great stories.

Comics Art Digital Coloring 101, Sunday, November 12

The FrontThe Front

Comics art in your blood? Jerzy Drozd will teach you how to use Adobe Photoshop Element to clean up your art, fill in line work with colors and halftones, create cool lettering, prep the finished page for printing, and more.

Choose the session you'd like to attend [12:30-2:30 p.m. OR 3-5 p.m.]. Register by calling 327-8301 or stop by any information desk.

What's so great about Comics?

We all love Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes, but do we know why? What is it about the comics art form that draws us in so effortlessly? Scott McCloud answers this in his 215 page graphic essay Understanding Comics. Whether you are a parent who wonders why your teen is fascinated with Naruto, or an aspiring comics professional, this work is an invaluable read.

Also follow the McCloud family (Scott, wife Ivy, and daughters Sky and Winter) as they make their way across the country with the Making Comics 50 State Tour. They will be in the Midwest in Spring of 2007.

X-Men Extravaganza

Loved the new movie and want more? Didn't care for it and want something different? Somewhere in the middle? Wherever you fall, the AADL is here to help.

Ultimate X-Men, a guide to the universe, covers the original Dark Phoenix saga. Astonishing X-Men Volume 1: Gifted contains the story of the "cure" for mutancy, as written by Joss Whedon of Buffy and Firefly fame.

One thing is certain: for better or for worse, none of the books feature Kelsey Grammer in a Cookie Monster suit.

What, Me Worry?

MAD

If upon reading above caption, you immediately grin, smirk, chuckle, snort, or downright guffaw, then you're one of the millions who've enjoyed MAD since its inception in 1952.

So go ahead, check out what AADL has in its collection - from the magazine (yes, there's even a kids' version) to several books put out by the "Usual Gang of Idiots."

And for those of you who have never read the magazine, but watch MADTV, just where did you think Spy vs. Spy came from?

Enjoy, kids!

- Alfred E. Neuman

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