Reviews and Blog Posts: Graphic Novels

Out From Behind the Mask--DPL @ Denver Comic Con!

Denver Comic Con

We hope you've heard by now that DPL staff will be out in force at Denver Comic Con, May 31-June 2 at the Colorado Convention Center.

Library staff will have a table (come see us!) and be participating on a diverse set of panels that are sure to give you some ideas for your summer reading. One of these panels is Out from Behind the Mask: Queer Heroes Among Us, which will focus on comics and graphic novels depicting a wide range of sexualities and gender identities. No longer in the closet as taboo subjects, GLBTQ characters in comics can be heroes or villains, and are giving hope to both adults and teens.

Rust: Playful Steampunk with Heart (and Word Balloons)

Steampunk is kind of silly. It's hard not to smirk at someone in 19th century garb, complete with top hat and coattails, who also has goggles and a raygun. But the silliness of steampunk is part of the charm. And just because something is silly, doesn't mean it can't be great.

Case in point: Royden Lepp's wonderful graphic novel RUST.

Rust is an imaginative adventure story set in the prairie lands of an unknown time. It has all the hallmarks of steampunk: goggles, jet packs, big clunky robots with lots of gears. It's even colored in shades of sepia (it doesn't get more steampunky than that!). But it's also touching, funny, and intriguing. The graphic novel is drawn in an engaging, playful style that's reminiscent of both Calvin and Hobbs and Manga. The story centers around a mysterious boy with a jet pack who crash lands on a struggling family's farm. Then the big robots show up...

DPL’s Guide to Denver Comic Con

Comic Book Classroom

Denver Comic Con is just around the corner and it’s time to get ready! Comfortable shoes? Check. Snacks and bottled water? Check. Boba Fett costume? Check. But are you mentally prepared? There are dozens of artists, writers, and experts scheduled to attend. How will you keep it all straight? We’ve got you covered with all sorts of resources to help you get the most out of your Comic Con experience.

Follow these links to our catalog so you can check out comic books and graphic novels created by many of Denver Comic Con’s guest artists and writers:

So Many Ways to Geek Out!

Watchmen

Are you ready to geek out with Fresh City Life My Branch this week? Let us count the ways...

Whether you want to share photos and stories about your neighborhood, your high school, or some other group you are or have been involved with, the newest way to do it is with DPL's Creating Your Community Web Site! Learn all about this social archive and how you can use it to explore, connect, and share your pieces of Colorado with others! Tuesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. at the Ross Cherry Creek Branch.

Twisted Comics

Black Hole

I love a good illustration, as they say a picture is worth a thousand words, though in some instances there truly are no words...

These comics are NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN, please bear that in mind, I am talking about R. Crumb inspired twisted insanity. Like:

Grimmer Tales by Eric Bergstrom - These are very funny riffs on nursery rhymes, things do not go as planned!

Weathercraft by Jim Woodring- This book just gave me the creeps, I was amazed, confused, grossed out and yet completely riveted.

Hugo Nominees Announced!

Among Others

The nominees for the Hugo Award, given in 15 categories by the members of the World Science Fiction Convention, were recently announced. For the complete list, check the Hugo website.

Here are some of the nominated novels, works of nonfiction, and films that the Denver Public Library owns:

Best Novel:

Among Others, Jo Walton

A Dance With Dragons, George R. R. Martin

Deadline, Mira Grant

Embassytown, China Miéville

'MetaMaus' Celebrates 25 Years of Maus

Twenty five years ago, Art Spiegelman gave us Maus, a story about enduring and surviving the Holocaust and the father/son relationship that developed afterward. The only graphic novel to have been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, it is now iconic, and has influenced how many of us think about comics, narrative and fiction, and literature.

And now, to celebrate and commemorate this groundbreaking work, Spiegelman has given us MetaMaus, a behind-the-scenes explanation and exploration of the work.

If you are interested in more graphic novels of the non-superhero, and non “funny papers” variety, here are a few places to start.

Hammer time! Thor's not just a comic book movie (really)

Thor DVD cover

Kenneth Branagh's Thor, coming to DVD this week, is more than just the latest superhero movie from Marvel Studios (tying in to the Iron Man and Hulk movies), it is also (loosely) based on classic Norse mythology. That combination gives those interested a lot to check out....

In 1962, Stan Lee thought it might be "fun" to use the Norse mythology as a starting point for a new character. The result was Thor.

The movie adaptation of the comic book deals with the Viking legend source material, introducing various Norse gods (though these versions are a lot more like their Marvel comics versions than the originals). Kenneth Branagh partially got the job directing because he was familiar with family troubles between classical royalty after his Shakespeare adaptations.

Wordless Woodcut Novels

Image from God's Man by Lynd Ward

Lynd Ward is known as a graphic innovator.  A prolific artist, he has illustrated more than 200 books for children and adults. 

In 2010, the Library of America published a two volume collection of six wordless woodcut novels by Lynd Ward.  The first novel God's Man was originally published the week of the 1929 stock market crash and was considered the first woodcut novel published in the United States. 

Eisner Award Nominees Announced

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love

The nominees for the 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were announced today. See the complete list here.

Whether you're a seasoned graphic novel reader or are new to the format, this list is a great place to find suggestions for what to read next. The nominees cover a wide range of categories, from continuing series to single issue, from publications aimed at kids, teens, and adults, to humor, reality-based, and anthologies. There are also specific awards for the all of the different artists who put their talents to work to make a graphic novel as a whole: writer, penciller/inker, painter, cover artist, lettering, and coloring.

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