Comics Fundamentals: A six-week series starts July 6

Jerzy DrozdJerzy Drozd

Wednesdays, July 6 thru August 10 | 6:00-8:00 PM | Pittsfield | Grades 9-Adult

Join cartoonist Jerzy Drozd as he helps you explore illustration and storytelling strategies used by professional cartoonists to create graphic novels, manga, and comic books. Learn how to choose the right moments in your story, how comics take advantage of the rules of art and literature and how the illustration style you choose contributes to the tone of your work.

Basic supplies (pencils, erasers, paper, etc.) are provided along with a weekly gamecode to add to your summer game totals. No registration required.

Miss the first session? No problem. Jerzy has designed each session so you can quickly catch on.

Kids Read Comics!

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The Kids Read Comics Celebration kicks off this Friday, June 17, at 6pm at the Downtown AADL branch with a live comics reading by Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy, X-Men: Misfits) and Raina Telgemeier (SMILE, Baby-Sitters Club). Then at 8pm, Kevin Coppa will join Dave for a live performance of Dave Roman Presents: Avatar: The Last Puppetbender live!

The fun doesn't stop there! Saturday and Sunday (June 18-19), Kids Read Comics will take over downtown Chelsea with free events for comics lovers of all ages! Festivities begin at the Chelsea District Library at 10am, the event will also expand down Main Street to the Clocktower Commons, where shops and restaurants throughout the downtown business district will host artists and special activities from 10am to 8pm Saturday and noon to 6pm Sunday.

Events include:
Artists’ alleys where you can meet comics and animation professionals
Hands-on comics workshops
Art demos and discussions
Portfolio reviews for youth and teen artists
Opening reception for the Comics Jam! art exhibition at the River Gallery (Saturday at 6pm)
For preschoolers through preteens:
Costume parade
Superhero crafts
For teens:
Giant drawing wall and interactive art events
Cosplay classes and marketplace, plus Saturday evening costume contest and masquerade party
For teachers and librarians:
Professional development workshops on Sunday

See a complete list of events on the Kids Read Comics Programming page!

Teen Stuff: It’s time for Breakin’ Curfew!

Breakin CurfewBreakin Curfew

The Neutral Zone and UMS present the 8th annual Breakin' Curfew. The event is created, produced, marketed, and performed by local teens. The performances at Breakin' Curfew feature everything from dance, spoken word, jazz, classical music, rock, to hip hop, and much more. The electricity of a teen-centric audience watching a show of teens, produced by teens, is amazing. It is quite the unique showcase of talent. All this fun takes place at the Power Center on Saturday, May 14 at 8pm. See here for ticket info and more. Yes, adults are of course welcome to attend and support these great minds!

May 14, 8pm | Power Center | See UMS site for ticket info

AADL programs provide inspiration!

If you live hereIf you live here

Jannie Ho who participated in last summer's AADL Comics Fundamentals six-week workshop recently announced on her blog that she has finished her first comics story for the Sketch Book Project. In the epilogue, she thanks Comics Fundamental instructor Jerzy Drozd whose question sparked the idea for her book, If You Lived Here. And now Jannie’s book will tour the country before joining the book collection of The Brooklyn Art Library.

Pretty cool huh? If you want to develop your visual storytelling ideas join the next Comics Fundamentals six-week workshop. It will meet on Wednesdays July 6-August 10 (6:00-8:00 p.m.).

826Michigan books for you

thanksandhavefunthanksandhavefun

The library owns a few books put out by 826Michigan (the fabulous local non-profit that offers tutoring and workshops, and supports writing endeavors for kids age 6-18.) They have many books that are samples and collections of students’ work, highlighting the best and brightest of writing talent that will knock your socks off. True Stories and Tall Tales culminates a year’s worth of work at Ypsilanti’s Childs Elementary School and features histories, fantasies, and other such silliness written by the students, while lead by 826Michigan volunteers.

Another book written by 826Michigan students, and other 826 chapters across the country, is Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' Letters to President Obama. Which is essentially just that: a collection of letters written by kids and addressed to President Obama. Some are funny, some are heartfelt, all are worth reading.

If you’re looking for more works put out by 826, or some McSweeney’s titles, or want to hear more about what they do there, check out the shelves at the Liberty Street Robot Repair and Supply Shop at 115 E. Liberty.

Found On The Shelf: Requiem For A Paper Bag

RequiemRequiem

Ann Arbor’s own Davy Rothbart, creator of Found Magazine, presents us with a new collection of “found” items in Requiem for a Paper Bag: Celebrities and Civilians Tell Stories of the Best Lost, Tossed, and Found Items from Around the World. This time around we get to hear the stories behind finding the items! Davy reports, “I asked my favorite writers, musicians, artists & entertainers to tell me about the things they’ve found. These are the stories they’ve shared.” The found items range anywhere from love letters, hate notes and birthday cards, to shoppings lists, dirty laundry and homework assignments. Read in their own words how Seth Rogen, Miranda July, David Simon (creator of The Wire), and Chuck Klosterman came across some interesting items.

For more of Rothbart’s unique and hilarious collection of found items, check out Found and Found II, which are bouth laugh out loud funny and quick reading.

Jerzy Drozd Presents: Why Superheroes Communicate to Us

On Saturday, April 25th at 4pm in the Downtown library, Cartoonist Jerzy Drozd, author of The Front: Rebirth and other graphic novels, will deliver a dynamic presentation aimed at adult audiences on the greater significance that superheroes have in our world.

From the author: Superheroes have been an integral part of American culture since the late 1930s. Almost everyone knows what effect Kryptonite has on Superman, why Batman has a disdain for guns, or how Spider-Man learned "with great power comes great responsibility". But are these cultural icons merely a power fantasy for young people, or do they speak to wider human experiences and struggles? And why have they until only recently been a genre exclusive to comic books?

Join cartoonist and teaching artist Jerzy Drozd for an interactive discussion about the role of superheroes in fiction as well as the parallels that can be found when one compares them to characters found in mythology and fables.

Mittenfest of Music to Benefit 826Michigan

MittenfestMittenfest

Ypsilanti’s Elbow Room will play host to the 3rd annual Mittenfest. This year’s Mittenfest is three nights of local musicians at one location, where all proceeds will go to 826Michigan. Ann Arbor's 826Michigan is the Michigan chapter of 826National, which was started by Pulitzer nominated author Dave Eggers. 826 is a "non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write." They offer totally free programs, such as tutoring, workshops, drop-in writing and all sorts of other fun things. (And they are housed in a robot store!) Mittenfest is a great way to enjoy quality local bands (such as Great Lakes Myth Society) and support a great organization. See here for a list of all the bands.

Elbow Room | 6 South Washington St. Ypsilanti | Dec 26, 27, 28 | Doors open @ 5pm, Music @ 6pm | $5 per night | $12 for 3-day pass

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