La Perdida

La Perdida (2006) has waited patiently to be picked up and read. Long before this I read creator Jessica Abel’s Life Sucks and flipped through her Drawing Words & Writing Pictures: Making Comics: Manga, Graphic Novels, and Beyond. Both titles I enjoyed as part of keeping up with teen graphic novels and good works on comics creation. But from the moment I gazed at the gorgeous cover of La Perdida I knew I was in for a treat.

La Perdida means ‘the lost one’ and that’s what twenty something Mexican American Carla is as she arrives in Mexico City to search for the Mexican side of herself. At first she stays with an ex-boyfriend and hangs out with his associates, other Anglo expats. Then wanting something more authentic Carla finds Mexican friends, handsome Oscar, a DJ wannabee, and charmer Memo, a revolutionary wannabee. Oscar and Memo are involved with petty crimes but Carla turns a blind eye to their shenanigans. That naiveté will suck her in until she becomes an unwilling part of a serious criminal endeavor. Fascinating to the end – this story is all about finding oneself by getting lost.

Comic Artists Forum kicks off with James Anderson

Sunday, September 9 | 1:00-3:00 p.m. | Downtown Library | Multipurpose Room

Join us for a little world building even if it’s out of this world! Cartoonist James Anderson will show you how he has created a world full of alien flora and fauna for his web comic strip Ellie on Planet X!

Join the Forum to get fresh ideas for your next comics or graphic novel creation and/or feedback from fellow cartoonists. Drawing supplies will be provided, so drop in to draw, learn, and network with other cartoonists.

Creating Noir Comics with Shawn Martinbrough at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 29 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Downtown Library | Multipurpose Room

Learn how nationally-known graphic novelist Shawn Martinbrough became a graphic artist, illustrator, and novelist and about his approach to art.

Shawn's works include DMZ, Vol. 11: Free States Rising with Brian Wood; Batman: Detective Comics; Luke Cage Noir; a new monthly series, Thief of Thieves with Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead); and How to Draw Noir Comics: The Art and Technique of Visual Storytelling. If all the above isn’t enough, check out an interview regarding Shawn’s latest project The Ren.

The bulk of Shawn's work has been done for Marvel Comics, Vertigo and DC Comics. His client list includes Coca Cola/POWERade, The Hershey Company, The Topps Company, Cricket Wireless, Vibe, Bad Boy Entertainment, Penguin Books and McGraw-Hill.

Vault of Midnight will sell Shawn's books, and the event includes a book signing.

P.S. Summer Game Code Fans, here's a chance to get one of the last event game codes!

Comics Digital Coloring 101 for Adults and Older Teens

Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop Element to clean up your art, fill in line work with colors and half tones, create cool lettering, prep the finished page for printing, and more. Cartoonist Jerzy Drozd will be your instructor. Art will be provided for you to work with or we can scan your art for you to work on.

Select from one of the time slots listed below. Both sessions are identical. Registration is required. Register at any AADL location, online at aadl.org or call 327-8301.

Wednesday August 22 -- (3:00-5:00 PM) OR (6:00-8:00 PM) -- Downtown Library -- 3rd Floor Training Center

Comics Digital Coloring 101 for Teens

Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop Element to clean up your art, fill in line work with colors and half tones, create cool lettering, prep the finished page for printing, and more. Cartoonist
Jerzy Drozd will be your instructor and guide.

Choose from one of the time slots below. Both sessions are identical. Registration is required. Register at any AADL location, online at aadl.org or call 327-8301.

Tuesday August 21 -- (1:00-3:00 PM) OR (4:00-6:00 PM) -- Downtown Library -- 3rd Floor Training Center

Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey

GB Tran, born and raised in South Carolina, wanted to better understand his parents, his father’s remoteness and his mother’s willingness to stay in a marriage that was at times fractious. To do this he needed to understand their past in Vietnam, the war torn country from which they fled in 1975. He needed to know more about them growing up within that conflict, their families and friends, and what it felt like to start new in their adopted land the USA but hold onto family in the old country.

The result of his research is Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey, a complex look at his family, where they’ve come from and where they are today. It also highlights GB’s own growth and understanding as a young man, the importance of knowing self by seeing the roots from which you’re sprung. Check out page 26, one of my favorites in the book, overlaying the faces of GB, and his father and mother, a powerful reminder that each generation leaves its stamp on the next.

Vietnamerica blends memoir, theme, narrative, and art together to create a deeply compelling graphic novel.

Joe Kubert, world-renowned cartoonist and graphic artists, has died

Joe Kubert, known throughout the world as a cartoonist and graphic artist extraordinaire, died yesterday.

Kubert was born to draw. By the time he was 12 in 1938, he was selling his work for $5 a page ($79.80 in 2012 dollars) and he was an informal apprentice for the MLJ Studio, the forerunner for Archie Comics.

In the fall of 1943, he began his lifelong association with DC Comics, serving as it's Director of Publications from 1967 to 1976.

Among his large body of work which built his fame are Yossel: April 19, 1943 in which he imagined what his family life would have been like if the Kuberts had stayed in Poland (now Ukraine). He also drew Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place, one entry in hissix-part series of the WW II adventures of Sgt. Frank Rock.

In 1973, he opened the The Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, now called The Kubert School. The grueling three-year program has aspiring artists glued to their drawing boards eight to ten hours a day.

In 2009 the National Cartoonist Society awarded him their Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award.

Two of Kubert's sons, Andy and Adam, are popular graphic artists in their own right.

Kubert was just shy of his 86th birthday when he died.

A World of Characters With Cartoonist Jake Parker

Saturday, August 11 | 1:00-3:00 p.m. | Downtown Library | 4th Floor Meeting Room | Gr. 6-Adult

How do you create a plausible world filled with vibrant and identifiable characters? Join New York Times best-selling artist Jake Parker (Missile Mouse and The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man) via Skype to explore how compelling character designs can be achieved by varying simple shapes. Learn how the worlds you build can be used to refine the look of your characters and bring out their inner lives! Q & A with Jake follows.

Get a flavor of Jake’s range for imaginative characters and worlds through a sneak peak at The Antler Boy and Other Stories, his current project funded by Kickstarter.

July's Books to Film

The Amazing Spider-Man ( PG-13) is based on the Spider-Man comics

Peter Parker, an outcast high schooler, abandoned by his parents as a boy, struggles to figure out who he is. When Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance --- leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.

Killer Joe (NC-17) is adapted from Tracy Lett's play (1993) about a small-time drug dealer who hires a hit man to murder his mother for her life insurance money. Starring Emile Hirsch, Matthew McConaughey, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church.

Savages (R) is based on the novel by Don Winslow (in audio)

Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben and Chon run a lucrative, homegrown industry raising some of the best marijuana ever developed, until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands a partnership.

Based on the Batman comics, The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13) opens eight years after Batman vanished into the night. Turning fugitive and assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for the greater good.

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist with ruthless plans for Gotham.

New Graphic Novel Series


After plowing through all the classics you were setting aside for summer (and the Summer Game), you’re probably ready for some fun, engaging reading material. Check out AADL’s latest graphic novel series and start a whole new chapter! Apologies for the pun.

Soldier Zero – Capt. Stewart Trautmann’s tour in Afghanistan comes to an end when he loses his legs to a roadside IED. He returns home dejected and crippled, but his fortunes change again when an encounter with an alien parasite changes him into a hybrid superhero. Now he finds himself embroiled in a very different war.
Boneyard – A young man inherits a graveyard from his grandfather. To his surprise, the inhabitants of this plot of land are not dead, not human, and not interested in moving. Get out your pitchforks and torches!
Planet of the Apes – How did the balance of power on Earth shift so much as to place humans in bondage to apes? This new series takes place long before the astronaut Taylor’s return to a much-changed planet.
Tanpopo – Tanpopo has super-human intelligence, but cannot experience emotions. She longs to change this, and enlists the help of Kuro, a shape-shifting creature who offers her the chance to experience love and happiness. For a price, that is. The volumes of this series correspond with and allude to great literary classics, beginning with Goethe’s Faust.

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