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Collecting Comics: September 2018 edition with Ally Watkins

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Here are some great September comics your teens and tweens will enjoy!

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SLAM! The Next Jam by Pamela Ribon and illustrated by Marina Julia with Brittany Peer and Veronica Fish (BOOM! Box, September 11). Knockout and Can Can have broken one of the biggest rules in roller derby…not to mention some actual bones. When they get back to practice, can their teammates trust them? Collects all four issues of the limited run series.

Star Wars: A New Hope Graphic Novel Adaptation by Alessandro Ferrari (IDW Publishing, September 18). Faithfully bringing the film to the page, this graphic novel adaptation of Episode IV will thrill both your comics fans and your star wars fans. This volume is the first in a planned trilogy of adaptations of the original Star Wars series.

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The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (HMH Books for Young Readers, September 18). In this full-color, nonfiction graphic work, Brown explores the realities of the Syrian refugee crisis and the life the Syrian people live while living in and fleeing a war zone.

Science Comics: Solar System: Our Place in Space by Rosemary Mosco, illustrated by Jon Chad (First Second, September 18). The wildly popular Science Comics series is back, this time exploring Earth and its neighbors in our solar system. Your nonfiction readers will love the art and the facts!

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Check, Please! #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second, September 18). The extraordinarily popular webcomic comes to print!  Eric is a former figure skater who scored a spot on the Samwell University hockey team his freshman year, but nothing could prepare him for the experience he’s about to have–or for Jack, his moody and attractive team captain.

Supernova (Amulet #8) by Kazu Kibuishi (Graphix, September 25). Kabuishi’s thrilling Amulet graphic novel series continues! In this installment, Emily has lost control of her amulet and must find a way to fight back.  Meanwhile, Navin is having his own problems as the Resistance prepares to do battle. Both siblings must fight their hardest to save themselves and planet Alledia.

 

Collecting Comics: December 2017 Edition, by Ally Watkins

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Welcome to the December 2017 edition of Collecting Comics! Here are a few suggestions of things coming out this month that your teens and tweens will enjoy!

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Gotham Academy, Second Semester, Volume 2: The Ballad of Olive Silverlock by Brendan Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, and Karl Kerschl, illustrated by Adam Archer (DC Comics, December 5). In this final volume of the popular Gotham Academy series, we learn the fate of Olive, who has been possessed by her ancestor, Amity Arkham, who wants nothing more than to destroy Gotham City. Will the rest of the Detective Club be able to save her? Collects issues #9-#12 and #4 of the comic book series. This one features a lot of Gotham references, so give it to your Batman fans.

I Am Groot by Chris Hastings, illustrated by Flaviano (Marvel, December 5). When the Guardians of the Galaxy get stuck in a wormhole, a small Groot finds himself on his own in an alien world where no one can understand him. He must make a journey to the center of the world if he wants to find his family again! Collects issues #1-#5 of the comic book series.

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Star Wars: Rogue One Graphic Novel Adaptation by Allesandro Ferrari (IDW Publishing, December 12). This graphic adaptation of the popular Rogue One film features Jyn Erso, daughter of the Death Star’s creator, who is trying to save her father from Imperial control and steal the plans for the Death Star. Leads directly into the opening scene of Episode IV. All of your young Star Wars fans will be lining up for this one.

Lumberjanes Volume 7: A Bird’s-Eye View by Shannon Waters and Kat Leyh, illustrated by Carey Pietsch, Ayme Sotuyo, and Maarta Laiho (BOOM! Box, December 12). The High Council is coming to camp for inspection and everyone is trying to make everything perfect, even though there’s a storm brewing and kittens from the boy’s camp are manifesting magic powers. The multiple Eisner-award winning series is back with a new trade volume! Collects issues #25-#28 of the comic book series. Lumberjanes is perfect for fans of summer camp adventures and friendship stories.

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Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes, illustrated by Selina Espiritu (BOOM! Studios, December 12). Brianna has big cooking dreams. She wants to open her own restaurant. But the only place she can afford to do it is in Monster City…where she’s the only human. Will her restaurant succeed?? Collects the entire limited series.

Misfit City Volume 1 by Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Kurt Lustgarten, illustrated by Naomi Franquiz (BOOM! Box, December 19).  Nothing fun has happened in Wilder’s hometown since they filmed a cult classic movie there in the 80s. But then she and her friends happen upon a centuries-old pirate map…and they discover their town might not be so boring after all! Collects issues #1-#4 of the comic book series. Give this one to your adventure readers.

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Ms. Marvel Volume 8: Mecca by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Adrian Alphona (Marvel, December 26). An old enemy resurfaces and begins to target those closest to intrepid teenage hero Kamala Khan. She begins to suspect that something even more sinister is at work. Collects issues #19-#24 of the comic book series. Your superhero fans will love Ms. Marvel, the Pakistani-American teen trying to balance family, friends, and superhero-ing in her hometown of Jersey City.

See you in 2018!

C2: Collecting Comics for September and October 2017 with Ally Watkins

Today, librarian extraordinaire Ally Watkins begins her new monthly feature where she talks to us about comics and graphic novels to help us all with our collection development. Thanks Ally!

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Do your young students and patrons love comics? Are you constantly on the hunt for more? Here are some suggestions for comics and graphic novels coming out in September and October that your tween and teen friendos will inhale!

September

Older Than Dirt by Don Brown and Michael Perfit (HMH Book for Young Readers, September 5) A one of a kind, wild, nonfiction history of the earth by Sibert Honor medalist Don Brown and scientist Dr. Michael Perfit. Booklist’s starred review says: “Brown and scientific consultant Perfit provide an astonishingly comprehensive overview and manage to humanize it with witty asides from the woodchuck and worm who serve as surrogate teacher and student.” Your middle school nonfiction readers will check this one out instantly.

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All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (Dial Books, September 5) From the author/illustrator of the widely loved and Newbery Honor book Roller Girl comes a new graphic novel! Impy has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire and she’s excited that she’s old enough to train as a squire herself. But first comes a new adventure: she’s going to school for the first time after being homeschooled her whole life. Her new friends seem really nice…until they don’t. How will Impy handle her new life? TLT’s review can be found here.

Castle in the Stars: The Space Race of 1869 by Alex Alice (First Second, September 12) Check out the steampunk adventure that Booklist calls “a rollicking good time”! What if the world developed space exploration in 1869 instead of 1969? A son on the hunt for his missing mother, spies, royal drama, and more!

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Spinning by Tillie Walden (First Second, September 12) For years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s entire life—practices for hours a day and on weekends, competitions, and more. But as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love for the first time, she began to question—was this what she really wanted? A moving teen graphic memoir, TLT’s review can be found here.

Jonesy Volume 3 by Sam Humphries, illustrated by Caitlin Rose Boyle (BOOM! Box, September 19) Jonesy is back at it again in the third trade paperback of her comic adventures. Jonesy is a normal teen except for one thing: she has the power to make people fall in love! The catch is, it doesn’t work on herself. Collects issues #9-12 of the comic book series.

October

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Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (First Second, October 3) Priyanka Das has a lot of unanswered questions, about her mother’s former life in India, about her father, and about her own identity. All Pri’s questions might be answered when she finds a magical pashmina scarf that transports her to the India of her dreams. But is it the real thing? And can it be as good as it seems? Check out the graphic novel that SLJ called a “dazzling blend of realistic fiction and fantasy.”

Cucumber Quest: The Donut Kingdom by Gigi D.G (First Second, October 10) A pun-filled MG graphic novel about, well, mostly bunnies. Cucumber the magician and his little sister Almond, a knight-in-training, set out to find the Dream Sword, the only thing powerful enough to defeat the Evil Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight! Give this to your kids who love adventure, humor, and fantasy.

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I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings (Tu Books, October 15) In this YA graphic novel, Alfonso Jones is killed by an off-duty police officer. This story is about his afterlife, where he meets other victims of shootings, and also his family, who are fighting for justice. Kirkus calls it “painfully important.”

Giant Days Volume 6 by John Allison, illustrated by Max Sarin, inked by Liz Fleming (BOOM! Box, October 24) Giant Days is an excellent crossover title that your older teens will love. Esther, Susan, and Daisy have started their second year of university and they’re now living in their own off-campus housing! But does that really make them grownups? Collects issues #21-24 of the comic book series.

Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña (Getty Publications, October 24) A personal graphic memoir of the life of renowned Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide, written by award winning YA author Isabel Quintero and illustrated by Zeke Peña. Gorgeous black and white illustrations help tell the story of Iturbide, whose career has taken her all over her native Mexico and the world. May be of special interest to the budding artists in your classrooms and libraries.

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The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill (Oni Press, October 31) The author/illustrator of the adorable Princess Princess Ever After is back with The Tea Dragon Society. After discovering a lost tea dragon, Greta learns about the old art of caring for tea dragons. As she meets the owners of the tea dragon shop and the people in their lives, she begins to understand how lives can be enriched by these creatures. Gorgeous art will make your kids want their own tea dragons and might even inspire some fanart.

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag (Graphix, October 31)  A middle grade graphic novel about a world in which the boys become shapeshifters and the girls become witches. Period. Anyone who crosses these line is exiled. But Aster is 13 and still hasn’t shifted. And he’s fascinated by witchery. This story has already been optioned for feature film by Fox Animation.

Riverdale Volume 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, illustrated by Alitha Martinez and Joe Eisma (Archie Comics, October 31) Not published specifically as YA, this comic will have a lot of crossover appeal for your young fans of the show. The first trade paperback collection of the comics that are set specifically in the universe of the popular CW show.

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BONUS NON COMIC: Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Brooklyn Allen (Amulet Books, October 10). The Lumberjanes are crossing over into middle grade novels! The five Scouts of Roanoke Cabin–Molly, Jo, Ripley, Mal, and April–are ready for a new adventure climbing the tallest mountain they’ve ever seen! Of course, it doesn’t exactly go as planned. Hijinks ensue; also unicorns. Your Lumberjanes-loving readers will be so thrilled to see their faves in a new format!

TPiB: Comic Book Creations

Today I am hosting my first Teen program for this year’s super hero themed program. This is hands down my favorite SRC theme to date. So many cool, easy and fun things to do. Today I’m just having a kind of informal comic themes Maker program where we will cut up discarded graphic novels/manga/comic books to make a wide variety of crafts.

1. Upcycled Bottle Cap Crafts

Bottle cap crafts are quick and easy. You can make magnets. You can hang a washer with a magnet on a string and make easily interchangeable necklaces. And since we’re using GNs and comics we can use pictures or catchy phrases.

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To make the bottle cap crafts you need:

  • Some type of pictures (here I used discarded GNs)
  • A 1 inch hole punch
  • Bottle caps
  • 1 inch circle epoxy stickers
  • Some type of glue to glue the picture into the bottle cap
  • Magnets

To make the necklace: tie a washer to a string long enough for a bracelet or necklace. Attach a magnet to the washer. You can then easily interchange bottle caps to change out your jewelry.

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I also bought a variety of comic book and super hero themed duct tape which will work really well for making button crafts as well. In addition, I bought photo mats and my goal is to have the teens use the duct tape to cover photo mats and frame their GNs pages with it.

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2. Upcycled Buttons

Buttons are actually really popular with my teens. Cutting up GNs and comics to make them is quick and easy.

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3. Turn an old GN into a new (and personalized) GN

I cut up a bunch of discarded GNs to make my own GN. You could glue it to a piece of paper. I happen to have a bunch of various size acrylics to decorate my teen area so I went ahead and made it into a mural/wall art.

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4. Make collages

The above wall art came about actually quite by accident. I started making a simple collage to frame because we have a ton of smaller acrylic frames that were donated and I knew they would make a fun craft for teens to take home. Then I just kind of got carried away and made it into a wall panel. But a basic collage works as well.

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5. Make your own comic strips & gn pages

I am going to be doing this portion of the program in two ways.

BY HAND

comiccrafts8On Amazon I was able to order a few different comic book creation tools that had long comic strip sheets for teens to fill in and graphic novel templates. You can find them here and here.

BY TECHNOLOGY

comicbk3I made the above comic page using an iPhone and the ComicBook app. I wrote previously about comic book creation tools here.

Take 5: Comic Book/Strip Creation Tools

Reel Thoughts: The Wolverine (movie review by Christie G.)

I am a comic book geek, and I am addicted to movie adaptations (for good or ill) of comic book series. I have seen the good (X-Men: First Class, Marvel’s Adventures) and the bad (Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), and even though I was a little nervous about taking my teens to go see The Wolverine, I figured that if it was as bad as the previous one, at least we could mock it…
 


To my great surprise it was actually really good. It’s placed timeline-wise after X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) when Logan (Wovervine) has destroyed Jean/ Phoenix, and is struggling with both her death and what his life has become. He is found in the Canadian outback by Yukio, an assistant to a Japanese soldier Logan saved from a nuclear blast during World War II.  Now the soldier wants to return the favor:  to save Logan’s life by taking his immortality.

Anyone who’s watched the Wolverine animated series on G4 (soon to be the Esquire channel), or read the 1982 limited comic series written by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, will be familiar with the story line and how most of the movie goes. The violence is similar to other X-Men movies, but to me didn’t seem nearly as realistic or jarring as the terrorism scenes in Iron Man 3. 

My teens and I really enjoyed it.  It’s definitely one that I will add to our library collection and would love to show at the library, if Disney ever gets the rights back from Fox for the X-Men properties.

For weird/awesome things that can possibly spoil the movie, follow the break!


STAY THROUGH THE CREDITS

DC hasn’t done this for some of their movies, and sometimes Fox hasn’t done it for their comic creations either, but this time they are taking a page from the rest of their Marvel brethren and adding in a teaser for where the franchise is going. On the bright side, it’s only one, not the three different endings that came out during the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine; but on the semi-negative side where it’s placed depends on what *type* of movie you see. We saw it in 3-D so it was pretty close after the listing of the cast (at the transition from the 3-D credits to the 2-D credits), but I’ve seen online that if you see the movie in 2-D that it’s shown after *all* of the credits.

It’s not any surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the news that came out from Comic Con, but it’s fun to see anyway, and gets you excited for what’s coming next. I’m interested to see how they’re going to mesh everything together in X-Men: Days of Future Past with the “old” and “new” cast, and I am super excited about the Sentinels


EDITING FLAWS

There were some flaws in editing that we noticed that shouldn’t have happened in a film this size- it’s like getting a misprinted book. If you haven’t seen it yet and are interested, go take a look and see if you catch it.

Taking things off twice


There’s a scene with Viper/the doctor in which she’s taking off her gloves, and they cut it weirdly- she ends up taking her gloves off twice…

Chopsticks


There’s a scene with Logan and Mariko (the granddaughter) where they are eating and discussing important plot points. (Here’s where action people are all like, NOOOOOOOOOOOO, discussion?!?!  Need more fighting!!!!) Near the beginning of the scene she takes his upright chopsticks out of his food and sets them to the side; at the end of the scene she again takes the upright chopsticks out of the food and sets them to the side. Now, Logan might have put them back in the food as a rebellion move, but you (the viewer) never see him to it…

CHARACTER ISSUES

I really like to know *where* characters come from, and their back story. I want it in my books, and I want it in my movies. Marvel has won me over with what they’ve been doing with the Avengers and the whole series surrounding all of it because of how they’re building that world. The newest Batman movies build that world and sold me, too. I’m not so sure about some of the characters in The Wolverine; my teens were fine during the movie with the characters just appearing out of nowhere, but as we were driving back were asking me or using their phones to search for more information.

Viper- The good doctor really doesn’t follow any of the established storylines. Depending on which one you follow, she’s either part of Hydra, or a master assassin, or something else entirely. The problem is, she’s not really established in the movie. The immunity to poisons is cool, and the biotech smarts is awesome (yea girls with science) but the shedding skin thing at the end just didn’t work quite right.  What’s with the blonde hair then going bald but with perfect makeup?  That’s totally inconsistent with all the variations.

Silver Samurai– They have this huge, awesome silver samurai suit, and this huge, wonderful backstory. The movie publicists build up an epic battle with Wolverine and Silver Samurai- and there is, because this is what everything has been building up to (even though two of my teens guessed who was in the suit) and the whole point of the movie. Yet, it’s really like the Batwing from the original Batman with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson:  tons of money, and a one-off.

Still Really Good

None of this detracts from this being a really good movie. It definitely made my inner comic geek happy, and it gave my teens a really good buzz. I adored the soundtrack music, and they fact that they really kept it in the Japanese flavors. I would love to do a marathon before the release of Days of Future Past but as of right now none of the movies are covered by our public performance license. I shall have to geek out at my house beforehand.

Happy Free Comic Book Day! From author Jeramey Kraatz


Today is Free Comic Book day. If you have a chance, you should swing by your local comic shop and pick up one of over 50 special issues for you to take home and devour free of charge. Your local library may even have them! You should ask.  
I’m a big comic book nerd. I had issues of Swamp Thing in my toybox before I was even old enough to read. I was an editorial intern at Marvel while in grad school. There’s a framed poster of Gambit from the X-Men hanging over my sofa right now that has been on the wall of every place I’ve lived since I was in elementary school. I probably know more about superheroes than I do about most of my friends.

I also write books for kids. On good days, I get to chat with young readers. Every time I walk into a classroom or library and see a stack of graphic novels or comics, I can’t help but smile. Partly because comics are kind of my thing, and partly because of how valuable they can be in helping kids and teens grow into readers and writers. I know because I’m a walking testament to that. 

I got into comics hardcorewhen I was seven years old. At the time, there was an X-Men cartoon on every Saturday morning that was the best thing in the entire world. It created a hole in my life that could only be filled with every action figure, trading card, and, comic I could convince my parents to buy me. I was a boy obsessed with superheroes. By the end of elementary school I was a walking encyclopedia of the Marvel universe because I’d readthe Encyclopedia of the Marvel Universe. 
But there was a problem. Comics came out on Wednesdays. The cartoon aired on Saturdays. That left me five days a week without some kind of super-powered fix. 
I solved this in two ways. 
First, I read novelizations of some of the X-Men’s more famous storylines (Marvel used to sell books like this back in the day). After I’d read all of those a few times over, I asked for books that read like comics. I got into kids’ fantasy and sci-fi books. The more I read, the better I became at it, and eventually I graduated to books of all shapes and sizes. Looking back, it seems like a big and important jump in my reading life since moving from comics to novels meant suddenly losing art, but at the time it seemed like no big deal. Part of that is because reading comics improved my imagine. A lot of action in comics takes place between panels or off-screen. The scene plays out in your head, even if you don’t realize it. The ability to visualize the story was what made novels come alive for me, and I definitely owed part of that to comics.
The other way I solved my craving for superheroes was by picking up a pencil and notebook. When I’d finish a comic and knew an end-of-issue cliffhanger wouldn’t be resolved for another week or month, I wrote down what I thought would happen (here’s the imagination coming back into play). Eventually, I started writing my own short tales of superhero exploits. I have never been very good at drawing, so I stuck with words. In a file on my bookshelf right now is a one-and-a-half page story called “The Vampire State Building” I wrote when I was nine (my mom printed several copies of it out when I was done to make it seem official). The story is about Jean Grey (of the X-Men) and me fighting hordes of the undead. I’m pretty sure I stole the title from a book I’d seen at the school book fair, but that’s beside the point, which is that I was creating stories for fun as a kid because I loved comic characters and adventures so much. 
I wasn’t aware of what a huge impact comics had on my reading-and-writing life until I started working on The Cloak Society, a book about a 12-year-old boy born into a family of supervillains. The story is definitely comic inspired. There are a lot of superpowers involved in the book. When I was still plotting out who the characters were and what their battles might look like, I had the strangest sense of déjà vu, until I realized that I’d actually done this same thing before. Countless times. Usually sitting on the floor of my childhood bedroom with a dozen comics spread around me, trying to figure out how the X-Men might work together to topple Magneto’s latest plot. Or while daydreaming about the Avengers showing up in my classroom. I was an adult employing all the skills I’d honed and sharpened as a reader and writer over the years—skills that can be traced back to comics. 
Today is Free Comic Book day. I’d suggest you take advantage of it if you can. There are issues available for every target age group and almost every genre. Here’s a handy website all about the event http://www.freecomicbookday.com. Who knows—maybe you or your student or your kid might end up as inspired by comics as I have been. Happy Reading!
Jeramey Kraatz has wanted superpowers ever since he opened his first comic book as a kid. He’s a graduate of Texas Christian University and the MFA writing program at Columbia University, and is the author of The Cloak Society and it’s forthcoming sequel Villains Risingfrom HarperCollins. His work has been featured in places like Salon, Gizmodo, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Jeramey lives in Texas, where he works in the animation industry. You can find him at www.jerameykraatz.com, or on twitter @jerameykraatz. 
What impact has comics had on your? Leave us a comment and share.

TPiB: Free Comic Book Day

This Saturday marks the 11th year of Free Comic Book Day, and I LOVE this day. Started in 2002, and coordinated by Diamond Comics, participating comic shops AND libraries across the country give comics AWAY FREE to those who come by. These comics are free to customers (not the stores), and the day has three purposes:

1. to introduce people everywhere to the joy of reading comics (we love reading, right?)

2. to gain future comic readers (and gaining future readers is always good)

3. to thank current comic book buyers and customers for their support (generates excellent good will within the community)

However, if you do not HAVE free comics to give away to your patrons, DO NOT PANIC. You can still put together an awesome Free Comic Book Day event with a minimum of effort.

First, check the Free Comic Book Day website for retailers that are participating in your area. Give them a call and explain who you are and that you want to put flyers up in the library pointing patrons to their locations for Free Comic Book Day, and that *NEXT* year you’d love to partner with them. By this time, it’s way too late to expect shops to free up some of their inventory for you, but this way you can start generating the good will with the shops for next year.

Second, think about what type of programming you can reasonably handle on Saturday without stretching your staff too thin.  If you have a wonderful manager, or are in charge of your own schedule, then full speed ahead; if you’re not, take a look at when you’re on the desk and how the rest of the library is staffed. Always keep an eye on what you can REASONABLY handle, and what the rest of the library staff can handle as well. The best types of programs will not stress ANYONE out needlessly.

Think about whether you want to do self directed or staff directed programming. Then take a look at the ideas below that can fit into either.

STAFF DIRECTED PROGRAMS

Movie Marathons: Do you have a public performance license? Do you have the equipment to show movies? Do you have the space (teen room, program room, various areas)? If so, pull movies to show throughout the day, and combine them with some of the self directed ideas below. Iron Man 3 will be released in theaters this Friday; show Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers. Need to show movies that are more family friendly as you are in an open space?  Go with Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, Despicable Me, Scooby Doo, or Speed Racer. Or if you have the additional anime license, show anime from the Movie Licensing USA Collection.


http://blogs.strose.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/boardgames.jpgLow Tech Gaming: Have a space or some empty tables? Put up flyers advertising a Low Tech Gaming day. Let your teens know to bring their Yu-Gi-Oh cards and your tweens to bring their Pokemon decks. See if any of your staffers would be willing to lend their comic based versions of Monopoly (I know I am not the only one out there that has Star Wars The Clone Wars Monopoly or Marvel Monopoly). Maybe someone has Simpsons Operation. Find a copy of Apples to Apples Disney Version. Or maybe someone has Scooby Doo Clue.

Console Gaming: If you have the space and the equipment, set up your console gaming equipment for some free style gaming. Titles like Marvel vs Capcom, Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, DragonBall Z and Naruto completely fit the bill for a comic based program. An entire page in Wikipedia is devoted to titles (note: not all titles will be appropriate for teen programs in all libraries- you know your library so choose what would work for you).

Costume Party: Get buy-in from your library management, and have a costume party- everyone come dressed as their favorite hero (or villain). If you can’t go all out in dress, see if you can get a waiver for everyone to wear jeans and their favorite comic based T-shirt (within workplace rules- no graphic language, etc.). Then have a costume contest with your teens! Have their secret identity be their normal identity, and then they have a certain amount of time to change into their superhero (or villain) identity (without having to strip).  The changing room could be a closet off the program room or a storage area (if needed), and everyone would vote for their favorite costume. Music could be queued up from various comic based movie scores, and the winner announced at the end. Stations could be made from various self directed ideas, and it could be an entire celebration.

SELF DIRECTED PROGRAMS
 
Often times we just can’t do everything we want to do (money, time, staff, energy) and we need to remember that IT’S OK. Teen and youth service specialists are some of the most self-sacrificing people I know, and we want to give our “kids” everything- and we can’t do it sometimes. An easy way to have ‘something’ without driving ourselves over the bring is to do self directed programs- things that can be left out at a table with directions that tweens and teens can do on their own. It’s still a program, it counts for your stats, but it involves minimal effort.
PAPERKRAFT: I love paperkraft (cubees in other words). I can print a set off, run off copies on the black and white printer, set them out with the kiddie scissors, crayons and tape and let my tweens and teens loose.  I really like these super hero ones.
 

SUPER HERO CUFFS:  Over at Sewing In No Man’s Land they have a quick tutorial for Super Hero Cuffs…  Perfect for all those toilet paper rolls you didn’t know what to do with….

JOURNAL PROMPT: Sometimes all teens want is a chance to draw and doodle, so why not make May a month of self exploration with a Saturday of journal prompts? Comic Book Saturday could start with what type of superhero would I be…  Lay out scissors, blank copy paper, leftover magazines, colored copy paper, construction paper, markers, and other craft supplies, and let them loose.  

INNER SUPER HERO: Or if art journaling is too much, have them create their Inner Super Hero with the printable forms from KOMBOH.


You can also put together a GN page template in Publisher and invite teens to create their own GN page.  Once they are done, use them to decorate your endcaps.  PS – you can also do a simple comic strip panel template as well.  There are some downloadable PDFs here.

In the past, I have also hired a Caricature artist to come for a few hours into the teen area and just had an informal program where teens hung out, read comics, and had their caricatures made.  You can do online searches to find caricature artists in your area.
 
What plans do you have for Free Comic Book Day? Or are you celebrating it as Star Wars Day (May the 4th Be With You)…?

Graphically Speaking: From Page to Screen, summer movies based on graphic novels

I am in *love* with movies that are based off of comics and graphic novels. Nothing makes me happier than an excellent adaptation of them, and nothing ticks my inner geek off more than a crappy one. And it’s such an excellent way to tie those readers who swear they aren’t readers (or don’t think they are) into reading and browsing your collection!  We have such a wonderful line-up of movies coming through, you should definitely see what you have and tie it into your display! (And, superheros and mystery and secret identities and plots all work for the Collaborative Summer Reading Program themes….)
IRON MAN 3
 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEIVPiTuYkQ?rel=0] 
Based on the Iron Man Extremis storyline
 http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/files/2013/04/d4ece-extremis1.jpg
MAN OF STEEL
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DaPBBOHfsA?rel=0]
Man of Steel isn’t going to be based off of *any* of the previous histories, but uses the same characters we’re all familiar with, according to this article.   Random House and DC is also doing a Superman Day for libraries on June 15.
RED 2 
 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTcWTf-pfyU?rel=0] 
The comics may not be suitable for a teen collection, but I know my older teens (older ya) and new adults (college age and up) love the movie based on Ellis and Hamner’s works.
http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/files/2013/04/03b77-2010-10-20-red-2.jpg
RIPD
One that *just* released a trailer is Rest In Peace Department, all undead officers working to uphold the law on the other side.   It’s to star Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Bridges, and is set for a July 2013 release.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X07xNrVd7DU?rel=0&w=560&h=315]
http://images.darkhorse.com/covers/300/12/12391.jpg 
 The Wolverine 

 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-TdhnFW0As?rel=0] 

 is based off of Chris Claremont’s acclaimed 1982 Wolverine story arc, set after X-Men: last Stand (2006); there have also been animation versions of what could be some of the storyline airing on television’s G4 channel in the last few years.
http://assets3.indiemoviesonline.com/files/editorspics/Wolv3.jpg
Kick Ass 2
 [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0zu5isIBZo?rel=0]
Following the first movie, which drew huge criticism for having a nine-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl, Kick Ass 2 is amping it up and following the comics right along the storylines, if the trailers are any indication.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/image30-600x327.jpg 
And that, my friends, takes us until the end of the summer, at least graphically speaking….  BOOK WISE is a WHOLE ‘NOTHER story…
Which ones are you looking forward to?  Share in the comments below!

The Iron King, Graphic Novels/Comic Books, Reluctant Readers, Crowdsourcing – OH MY!

The true confessions of reluctant reader Darren Davis and his attempt to use crowdsourcing to help turn The Iron King by Julie Kagawa into a grapich novel
Editor’s Note: Just last week, the largest (and fastest) crowdsourcing project ever occurred.  In just  a few hours millions of dollars were raised via Kickstarter to fund the Veronica Mars movie. There are a lot of articles out there about it and I recommend reading up on it.

We are currently working with Julie Kagawa on developing a manga/ comic book version of the best selling YA novel “The Iron King”.  As a huge fan of the YA world, this benefits both me as a publisher and Julie for her love of manga.  Her agent contacted us to see our interest level; We have done YA adaptations with fame SE Hinton so they knew we would take care of their project.   It has been fun working with Julie on this to get her characters right.  She has her hands totally in it.  I am not a fan at licensing something – I want to make sure we work one on one with the people.  And yes, working with SE Hinton was a dream come true for me (but more on that later).


We decided to do the crowdsourcing to have the fans be involved with the process  – seeing it from the character designs to the final product.  Fans of the Iron Fey series in general are very invested in this.  We want their feedback.  We have made some changes already because of their feedback.  Crowdsouring is a fun way to give back to her community – we have a lot of fun Iron King stuff – from sketches from Julie (she is an artist too), to t-shirts.  Julie is also helping us out a lot in this.  At the end of the day I want her to be proud of this as much as I am .  The people at Harlequin Teen have been wonderful too in their support of the brand.   

We are working with some great people, too, that are involved in the YA world.  Sara Gundell, from “Novel Novice” is adapting the book into a comic book.  Sara did a biography comic book on “Suzanne Collins” for us last year.  Also, we are working with famed manga artist Lidia Chan to draw the book.  

The hardest part of crowdsourcing is the constant ask.  I have resorted to telling stories on my personal Facebook page – like a telethon.  It is not an easy process to do these.  It reminds me of when I was a kid selling magazines door to door! We are posting brand new images everyday to get feedback from the fans.  I also want to do this project because it will get even more kids reading.  

I was one of those kids who was always afraid of reading.  I was your typical reluctant reader growing up.  Seeing a book that was more than 100 pages – I automatically shut down.  It impacted by school work and I was pretty much a C student (with a couple of D’s).  There were two tools that helped my reading skills growing up – one was SE Hinton books (it shocks me when teachers do not know who she is) and the other was comic books.  My parents did not care at the time what I read, as long as I was reading. 


The good news is that I did go to college and get a full education.  But I am still a reluctant reader as an adult.  I look at huge bound books and will not read them.  They freak me out…. 

I did find a tool recently that has helped 100%.  The Kindle.  I know some people hate these things, but I am a person that loved to hold a book in their hands.  The feel, the smell, the having it on my shelf as a trophy that I read it.  But since I got the Kindle, I have read more books in the last two years than I have in the last 10.  I read almost a book a week from “Gone with the Wind”, “Dorian Gray” to all of the Janet Evanovich books.  I just finished “Gone Girl” and started on the “Ender’s Game” series.  Things that I never thought I would read because they were too long don’t freak me out.  

The odd thing about my job is that I am a publisher of a popular comic book company called Bluewater Productions.  We do some of our own titles – like an updated “Dorian Gray” and the fiction works with William Shatner, John Saul and Logan’s Run.  My favorite book we have done is getting to work with my hero, SE Hinton, and bringing some of her titles to graphic novel form.  We have also gotten a lot of notoriety from doing biography comic books on politicians, YA authors, celebrities & sport stars.  We also do a female empowerment series about women who have made a difference in the world called “Female Force”, from Hillary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres, Sonia Sotomayor and more.  We do these unbiased with an empowerment twist.   The coolest thing about the biographies is they are taught in schools for the reluctant readers!  I love that and I am very proud to be part of that.  

I am talking from a kid who spent a lot of time in the libraries.  It is were I did my research, it is also where I hung out with my friends.  You can see all the outreach we do to get kids reading.  It is my passion project!  


We do a Comic Book 101 at libraries for kids and teens.  But we do it different, as a kid I wanted to be a comic book artist and saw my peers who were better at this than I was.  So I felt discouraged and took another path (I worked in the entertainment world in marketing).  What we do is teach kids that not only is there different types of artists out there, but other types of jobs to be creative in comic books.  It is not all about the art.  We team kids up together and have them work together so each feels empowered.  They love it because some can write, some can draw, some can ink, some can just come up with a cool idea.  It shows them that it is not one person that does just do a comic book – it takes a village.  They leave with new friends and contacts!  

We developed a book called Violet Rose which I use in the Comic Book 101’s to show them that kids can create.  My niece was 11 when she created this character and I hired an artist to work with her.  She is the youngest published comic book author.  When her graphic novel came out (still available), it helped pay for her college.  She is now 22 and an amazing creative force.  But it shows that you are never too young to create.  We even had some television interest in her property!  

We are offering any library or school this Comic Book 101 as a thank you for helping us pass the word on the IRON KING manga series campaign – We will send this FREE do-it-your-self program to teach kids how to create a comic book without needing to know how to draw!  This graphic novel we are producing is not only to get kids reading – but comic books can be used as a tool for reluctant readers like me!   No gimmick – this is a passion project and we need help getting the word out.  

“The Iron King” is a huge YA novel written by Julie Kagawa.  It is on the best seller list of the New York Times and USA Today.  It is a great series (I have read this, Hunger Games & Twilight). Not only will “The Iron King” be a cool comic book/ manga series – but also a tool for the reluctant reader. 

So please help us spread the world about YA novel IRON KING by Julie Kagawa as a manga book http://bit.ly/ZLl0Zh get kids reading! Even $1.00 for each person will help this out.  If you are a fan of the series, YA novels, comic books, the arts, kids reading or anything we have to make the goal to make this happen.  


Darren G. Davis
President/Editor in Chief
Making his way in the world by marketing the entertainment industry at such companies as E! Entertainment Television and USA Networks, Darren left to pursue his creative dreams in publishing, taking on a position at Wildstorm Studios – which shortly after joined with comic book conglomerate, DC Comics. After his tenure in Corporate America, Darren joined on as President of Joe Madureira’s Beyond Entertainment, with such title as Battle Chasers. Following several years with Wildstorm, Darren took the next step towards creative freedom and formed his own publishing company known as Bluewater Productions, in which he created such popular titles as 10th Muse, the sixth highest selling comic in November 2001. Darren continues to represent the top comic book talent in the industry while writing comics and novels, as well as serving the role of Editor-in-Chief of Bluewater.

Want to know more about reaching “Reluctant Readers”? Join us the week of Aprl 15-20 as we host Reluctant Reader week with Orca Books, lots of information and an awesome giveaway.