Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and Birute Galdikas

From author Jim Ottaviani’s boundless curiosity and research springs another fascinating graphic historical science comic. Primates relates the stories of three female scientists and how their life experiences brought them to discovery in the world of primates. All three women are protégés of anthropologist Louis Leakey and each find their niche of study – Jane Goodall researches chimpanzee behavior, Dian Fossey becomes a leading expert on mountain gorillas, and Birute Galdikas builds world awareness and understanding of orangutans.

The adventures of these three women who would come to know one another are ably illustrated by Maris Wicks who employs a cartoon style that infuses the energy and passion of each woman. Though cartoony the earth green/brown colors lend a realism that help the reader imagine the habitats in which these women live and work.

World War II Veterans Tell Fascinating Stories

On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, an Ann Arborite walked into the library and told me about a project she started in the 1980s -- working with about a dozen World War II veterans to record service memories. She produced printed manuscripts -- at no cost to veterans -- to share with their families. One result of her project is that three transcripts are now accessible on her blog, "World War Two Remembered: Veteran Memoirs from World War Two." The blog honors the memory of her father and his father, both veterans, in addition to the men she worked with. "Some of them became good friends, and I miss them," she writes. All her life she has been interested in World War II, particularly the North Africa campaign.

Comic Artists Forum with Cartoonist Jesse Hughes

Sunday November 3, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

CosmiCat creator Jesse Hughes will talk about developing expressive facial expressions and body language.

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

Drawing Lab: Capturing the Human Gesture

Saturday November 2, 2013: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up)

Drawing the human body has been an artistic endeavor since the cave paintings of Lascaux, France. Throughout art history many artists have tackled this complex form. From Michelangelo's robust figures to Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending Staircase", the human body has undergone many different forms of representation. But what remains present throughout these drawings, paintings and sculpture? What separates stick-figures and mannequin-like drawings from figure drawings full of life? The gesture. The gesture of a figure captures not only the static pose in front of you, but also the energy, the movement, the being that is essential in human-being.

Math Monahan, a graduate student at the University of Michigan, Stamps School of Art & Design, will lead this workshop in an exploration of the human gesture. There will also be a model (clothed) present for you to practice drawing. They will be taking several short timed poses throughout the session and then a longer pose toward the end. If you're looking to add life to your drawings or just want some practice drawing the figure, this workshop is for you!

New Download: Local Artist Papillon's "The Amber Dawn"


Paris-born Actor, Artist, Musician and Ann Arborite Papillon's first solo album, The Amber Dawn is now available for instant download by AADL cardholders. A bit of hiphop infused with Jazz and Soul makes for an outstanding full-length set of tracks that will find a home in many local music collections. Papillon is also running an Indiegogo Campaign to help fund his newest album, Calligraphy, and it wraps up soon, so have a listen to The Amber Dawn and check Papillon out if you're looking for more!

Teen Stuff: 45 Pounds (More Or Less)

Michigan native K.A. Barson’s first novel, 45 Pounds (More Or Less), tells the story of young Ann. Ann is 16 and wears a size 17 while her weight-obsessed mother wears a size 6. Her aunt is getting married in 2 months and Ann is determined to lose 45 pounds (more or less) to squeeze into that bridesmaid dress. Those are the numbers that rule her brain this summer. Among her daily adventures with friends, boys, a job, family issues, and her own insecurities, Ann is a 16 year old girl full of humor, heart and courage in this worthy debut young adult novel.

Meet the author! Kelly Barson will be in Ann Arbor at Nicola’s Books on Tuesday, October 8th at 6:30pm for a discussion and signing of 45 Pounds (More Or Less)

College Night: Solving the College Admissions Puzzle

Wednesday September 25, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

For those involved in the college selection process, it's AADL's 7th annual College Night with the co-authors of "Solving the College Admissions Puzzle: A Guide for Students and Families About College Selection, Essay Writing, and High-Stakes Testing"- Community High's college prep counselor John Boshoven; Debbie Merion, the founder of Essay Coaching; and performance coach Geraldine Markel.

Learn about the college selection and application process: Part 1: Finding the College that Fits; Part 2: Applying to College: Those Pesky Essays; Part 3: Applying to College: Those Pesky Tests.

This event will include a book signing with copies of the book available for purchase.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #422 - Spotlight on Ann Arbor Authors (with news flash!)

Words failed me in describing Matt Bell's In the House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods *. It disturbs my dreams and shows up at unguarded moments. I now see why Keith Taylor recommended it as a "must-read" this summer. (Listen to the podcast and check out the feature in Publishers Weekly).

By turn called "charmingly bizarre and disturbing ", "spare, devastating", "dark, intriguingly odd fable", it tells how a newly-wed couple relocates to a remote and desolate homestead along a lake - to live simply off the land and water, to build a house and raise a family. With each failed pregnancy, they grow more distant - the child-obsessed husband begins to rage at this new world and resent the wife whose beautiful voice could sing physical objects into existence and altering nature's course. As grief divides them, they must also separately grapple with the bear who rules their woods and the squid who dwells in their lake. A story that is "as beautiful as it is ruinous,... A tragedy of fantastic proportions".

"Bell finds whimsy in despair and reality in the absurd in this absorbingly virtuosic near fairy tale about marital struggle and personal reclamation. The result is a novel of catastrophic beauty and staggering originality. "

Formerly of Ann Arbor (a senior editor at Dzanc Books), currently an assistant professor in the English department at Northern Michigan University, Bell will be one of the speakers at this year's Kerrytown BookFest on Sunday, September 8th.

Signing at the BookFest will be local author Shirley G. Coleman, for her debut novel Mersoon Rising which the Michigan Chronicle review called a "sociopolitical space opera", that chronicles the lives and loves of the Jymirr race during an epic battle for the fate of a planet and an entire solar system.

Check out the feature story in the September 4th issue of the Ann Arbor Journal on Ms. Coleman, and Mersoon being the first title published by Plenary's Wild Seed Press imprint, which honors the late Octavia Butler, and is dedicated to publishing black American authors.

Click here for the BookFest event schedule.

* = starred review

Purple Rose: The Vast Difference

The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea is presenting "The Vast Difference," a comedy by Jeff Daniels from September 19 to December 14.
From the Purple Rose website: "George Noonan is having a mid-life crisis. The father of five girls and a flight attendant for a small Midwestern airline, he is scheduled to have a vasectomy. As he works up the courage to go through with the procedure, George becomes reflective on his struggles with his career, living up to his father's expectations, and the nature of "being a man" in the modern world. Contains mild adult language and themes." The play is directed by Guy Sanville. Tickets may be purchased here.

Comic Artists Forum with Cartoonist Joshua Buchanan

Sunday September 8, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room

To kick off another year of the Forum we have guest artist Joshua Buchanan who believes bringing characters to life is an art form in and of itself. Josh says, “As cartoonists and storytellers, we strive to give that life to our character so our readers will feel a part of the world and narrative in a personal way.” During his presentation he will shed light on the basic principles you can use to create lively anthropomorphic characters.

Joshua Buchanan is a graphic designer by day, comic artist by night. His latest work includes his self published comic book The Rocket, and the recent releases of the all ages comic Scratch9.

Get fresh ideas for your next graphic novel or comic creation at the Forum. Drop in to draw, learn and network with other cartoonists. Drawing supplies are provided.

Note: Cartoonist Jay Fosgitt originally scheduled for September 8 will present at the January 5 Comic Artists Forum.

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