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Fantastic Fantasy Comic and Graphic Novel Series

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:47am by nsvinicki

As the weather starts to cool down, I start looking for books to curl up with on cool evenings - Especially long-running series that will keep me engaged! Here's five of my favorite fantasy graphic novel series to start your fall with a touch of magic.

Sandman Chronicles by Neil Gaiman
10 books in the series, several stand-alone volumes
Start with: Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
Neil Gaiman has become almost a household name in the world of fantasy fiction for film adaptations of his works Stardust and American Gods. But before either of those books were published, Gaiman wrote the Sandman series. First published in 1989, it tells the story of the personification of dreams, named Morpheus, and of his adventures with humans, gods, spirits and denizens of worlds unknown. Gaiman weaves a rich tapestry of figures from every major mythology into an intensely exciting and thought-provoking reading experience. In this first adventure, Morpheus has been trapped by the magician Aleister Crowley for 60 years, but Crowley's waning power has made it possible for the Dream King to make his escape.
See Also: Death: The High Cost of Living, The Sandman: Dream Hunters, The Sandman: Endless Nights

Lucifer by Mike Carey
11 books in the series
Start with: Lucifer Vol. 1, Devil in the Gateway
We meet this series titular protagonist in Gaiman's Sandman chronicles – Lucifer Morningstar, fallen angel and lord of Hell. This serial begins with Lucifer holding court at his nightclub Lux, in Los Angeles. Why is Lucifer on Earth, and not ruling Hell? Well, he's quit. This act of rebellion has some serious consequences – and has left Hell prey to power struggles between heaven and the multiverses. But now that he's free, Lucifer has decided to enjoy life as much as he can, until Heaven comes to him with an offer he can't refuse. Thus begins an epic 11-volume adventure on par with Gaiman's Sandman.

The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen
5 books in the series
Start with: The Wicked + the Divine, Vol 1: The Faust Act
In Wicked+Divine, the gods our our mythology are reborn in the bodies of 13 teenagers every 90 years. They are loved by many, hated by some, but will be dead in two years. This short life-span, combined with the power of gods, makes these teenagers international superstars. They perform around the world for sold-out shows, sharing their powers with their adoring fans. But in the 21st century, being a teenager is hard enough – a teenage god is even worse. This story follows their mortal fan, Laura, as she tries to befriend the gods. But Laura is not what she appears...

Constantine: The Hellblazer by Ming Doyle
2 books in the current series, 39 total published
Start with: Vol 1: Going Down
John Constantine holds the record for longest graphic novel character in print - he's been featured since the 1980's. Whether you're a long-time fan of the Hellblazer, or the film version portrayed by Keanu Reeves, Doyle's retelling is a great introduction to this trenchcoated anti-hero. Constantine is a chain-smoking narcissist with more than one personality disorder, a sorcerer who is just as likely to get the people he's agreed to help killed as he is to save their lives. And when you're dealing with demons and ghosts, he'll probably get your soul damned in the process. He's a great guy - as long as you aren't his friend. But what makes Constantine such an enduring character is his deeply flawed nature and his true desire to do some good in the world – even if he really just ends up bungling it all up in the end.
See Also: Hellblazer: Original Sins, Hellblazer: India

Fables by Bill Willingham
22 books in the series, 3 tie-in series
Start with: Fables Vol 1: Legends in Exile
A lot of fantasy is in supposition, and Fable is no exception. In Willingham's series, the characters from the fairy tales we grew up with are real people, alive and well, living in our world. Think about the TV show Once Upon a Time (which also has a graphic novel tie-in), but restricted to New York City. Our fairy tale characters are from "The Homelands" of Europe, but were forced to the new world by a mysterious Adversary. Their luxury high rise in New York City has become a peaceful and secret society, until proper politician Snow White's partygirl sister Rose Red is apparently murdered. Snow hires Bigby Wolf (formerly the Big Bad Wolf - reformed, pardoned and made sheriff) to find Rose. It's a "grim" whodunnit mystery; was it Blackbeard, Rose's notorious ex-lover, or Jack (of beanstalk fame) her current live-in boyfriend?

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Blog Post

A2CAF Badge Drop! SO MANY POINTSSSSS

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 10:11am by eli

Badge Drop!


Done with this week's badge drop already? WHAT? NO? YES? PERHAPS? AFTER LUNCH? Well, we are stereotypically DELIGHTED to bring you even MORE BADGES as we KICK OFF SUMMER GAME 2017!



Because, this weekend is A2CAF, the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival! 11-5:30 on Saturday, and 12-5:30 on Sunday, we've got SCADS of CARTOONISTS, COMICS, and all-around HILARIOUS PEEPS descending upon the downtown library for UNRIVALED GOOD TIMEZ!



And it wouldn't be A2CAF without a literal DELUGE of POINTS and BADGES! You can get 5000 points just for completing the ALLEY CATCHER BADGE! And a 1000 point bonus if you acheive the rare and challenging A2CAF MEGAFAN BADGE, which only 31 players managed to obtain last year! A2CAF is a delight for all ages, so get on downtown this weekend and grab a handy A2CAF CODE SHEET to help you CATCH THEM ALL!


A2CAF Badges
echo theme_summergame_badge(1353,1354,1356,1358,1361);
?>




A2CAF only comes around once a year, so start your Summer Game off with a POINTS-INFUSED RUSH and SAMPLE THE DELIGHTS here with us at A2CAF!



Thanks for playing! SEE YOU AT THE LIBRARY!


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Blog Post

Two Graphic Novels that May Cause you Trauma and One that won’t

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 6:11pm by gulickb

Sometimes a comic or graphic novel will come around that will strike you so hard on a deep emotional level that you will walk away from it slightly traumatized (in a good way). In this blog I’m going to give you two amazing graphic novels that has the potential to do just that, and because I’m a nice guy I’ll give you a third one that is just amazing and hopefully not at all traumatizing!

The first graphic novel is The White Donkey: Terminal Lance by Maximilian Uriarte. This graphic novel has been garnering a lot of attention, and for good reasons. It is a fictionalized account of a second Gulf War soldier. For those of you who are familiar with the Terminal Lance online webcomic this graphic novel offers something different. It is darker than the comic, but it doesn’t lack those moments of humor that the comic is renown for. The art style is phenomenal and it encapsulates the essence of the story. This graphic novel is worth the time it will take to read, and worth reading over again.

The second graphic novel is Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn. This story is seriously well written. The art is always interesting, and the traumatic events are… traumatic. This is one of the best comic series to come out in the past year and I fully expect it to win awards this award season.

The last and non-traumatising (I hope) graphic novel is volume 2 of the Giant Days series. This series is very similar in terms of style and humor to the Lumberjanes series but with more mature content. Giant Days is set in a UK university and follows a group of “freshers” (that’s British for freshmen) as they adjust to their new life. So if you need a break from heavy graphic novels then check out Giant Days!

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Blog Post

Teens! Volunteer at the AADL this summer!

Wed, 06/01/2016 - 4:07pm by eapearce

Hey, teens! Are you interested in volunteering at the library this summer? If you’re between the ages of 14 and 18, you can! We need your help with program prep, filling summer game prize shop orders, and with hosting the tons of great programs that take place over the summer including the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival and the Detroit Circus’ performance at the AADL!

Visit www.aadl.org/teenvolunteer to fill out the application form and find out information about orientation dates and times. You’ll also find a link there to the permission slip, which needs to be printed out and signed by a parent or guardian and brought to one of 6 orientations taking place over the course of the summer. At these orientations, you’ll learn about volunteering at the library and have the chance to sign up for the volunteer shifts you’re interested in, so bring your calendar!

At the end of the summer, you’ll get a letter from the AADL emailed to you that states the number of hours you volunteered helping us out.

Questions? Email teenvolunteer@aadl.org or call (734) 327-8326. See you this summer!

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Blog Post

It's Hard to be evil on a part time wage.

Mon, 01/25/2016 - 6:08pm by gulickb

It sure is hard being the devil and a lord of a vast demon host when you only get part time hours at the local McRonald's restaurant. But Sadao Mao (as the Devil now call himself) is doing just that. Originally from another world called Ente Isla the Devil and his arch nemesis the Hero Emelia are thrust through a magic portal into our world. Left without their magic they are stuck and the Devil and his demon companion have to live in a tiny apartment and work part time jobs just to pay the bills.
This Manga based on a Light Novel and Anime of the same name is fantastic. It will keep you guessing as to what the real motivations behind the demon lord of Ente Isla truly is. The series has everything, action, adventure (and possible a little love) so if you're looking for a light hearted look at the Devil and his companions you can't go wrong with The Devil is a Part-Timer and the library is getting volume 1, Volume 2 and Volume 3!

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Blog Post

Crossover Graphic Novels January Edition

Fri, 01/22/2016 - 10:06am by gulickb

Another year another wonderful selection of graphic novels that are great for young and old alike. This month brings some awesome graphic novels from some supremely talented artists and authors!

First up is Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola and Emily Carroll. This book takes the slavic folktale character Baba Yaga and reimagines a world in which she might live, and indeed do well enough to need an assistant. Whoever chose Emily Carroll to do the artwork for this book deserves to be applauded for their forward thinking. The artwork is a wonderful mix of simple and complex. Everything “ordinary” is drawn simply and really gives a sense of the “normalness” of them while Baba Yaga and other such extraordinary things are clearly drawn as different from the normal. The story itself really benefits from this style of art. As for the content of the story, it is more than just another reimagining of a folktale that are so popular at the moment. It truly strives to use the folktale as a frame for the story and not the other way around.
So if you like the weird, the extraordinary and people outthinking the “bad guys” then this book is for you!

The second graphic novel(s) in this month's crossover blog is the wonderful “Chronicle of Claudette” series which include the volumes Giants Beware and Dragons Beware. The first volume follows young Claudette as she goes in search of a local giant to slay and make her mark on the world. The Second follows as she attempts to get the famous sword Breaker that her father lost when trying to slay a dragon. The dragon took the sword along with her father's legs and one arm! The artwork is cute at times, but don’t let that distract you. The story is engrossing and will keep you reading.
So if you like giants and dragons, and awesome young protagonists who do what no one thinks they can, then this graphic novel is for you!

Lastly (and I’ll hope you’ll forgive me for this) I’m not going to point out a new series, but rather highlight that we will be getting volumes 2 and 3 of Lumberjanes!!! So if you’ve read the first volume Beware the Kitten Holy and loved it half as much as I did you should request to be added to the hold list for the new volumes because they are awesome, and if you haven't read the first volume you should go read it as soon as possible! It won lots of awards last year and for good reasons!

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Blog Post

2015 Ignatz Award Winners Announced

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 8:29am by anned

The Small Press Expo (SPX) announced the winners of the 2015 Ignatz Awards for excellence in independent comics, and women artists swept all categories! Winners receive a brick, a nod to Ignatz's weapon of choice in the classic comic strip Krazy Kat by George Herriman.

Also worth a read are the nominees.

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Blog Post

AADL Japanese Manga Collection!!!- That's right you can read them in their original language here at AADL!

Sat, 08/08/2015 - 11:14am by gulickb

Have you ever read a manga in English and thought to yourself, I wish I could read this in the original Japanese? Well you can on a large amount of manga through your local AADL branch! You can search the entire Japanese manga collection or if you want here's some of the more popular manga the library has in Japanese (I'm using the English titles when they are listed)

Bleach is a story about Ichigo Kurosaki who obtains the power of the Soul Reapers. Ichigo then is forced to take on the duties of guarding humans from evil spirits.

Attack on Titan follows Eren Yeager, his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman and their friend Armin Arlert after the wall that has been protecting their city is breached by giant 60ft tall titans who are the enemies of humans. (Note this manga is pretty graphic in its depictions)

Naruto follows young ninja Naruto Uzumaki who yearns to be the Hokage (the ninja who is leader and strongest of all).

Inu Yasha follows Kagome Higurashi a 15 year old girl from Tokyo who gets transported to the Sengoku period after falling down a well. There she meets Inuyasha a half-demon and accidentally shatters a sacred jewel.

One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a man whose body has the properties of rubber, and his crew of pirates.

Fullmetal Alchemist follows two brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who are trying to find a philosopher's stone to restore their bodies after an alchemical accident.

Fruits Basket follows the story of Tohru Honda, a young orphan, who discovers a family who are possesed by the animals of the chinese zodiac when they are weak, stressed, or embraced by someone of the opposite sex.

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Blog Post

Have you wanted to read Proust but were intimidated by Proust? Well here's your chance for a novel introduction to one of his classics.

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 10:38am by gulickb

In Search of Lost Time is arguably one of Proust's greatest novels. Split into 7 volumes it encompasses themes such as memory and the nature of art. The first volume of this great work is Swann's Way and if you want to jump right into the novel go ahead, but if you, like me, have been intimidated by Proust's work then perhaps the new graphic novel of In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way is the way to go.

The artwork is beautiful and at times breathtaking, especially the artists great grasp of the importance of background in graphic novels. It is not a perfect adaptation but it is one worth your time. If you have ever wanted to tackle a work by Proust then here is a perfect chance. If you've never heard of Proust, here's your chance to get to know his works in a manageable manner.

If after reading this you want to read some of Proust's other work check these out

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Crafts

Create Your Own Illustrated Book with Ruth McNally Barshaw

Wednesday April 6, 2016: 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
Grade 4 - Adult