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Tag: Graphic novels

Graphic Adaptations

I read my first Jane Austen novel after watching the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. From there I read the other books – and watched various movie adaptations of each. Movie adaptations are often used in schools a culminating activity, with some sort of compare contrast note-taking work. The thing is, a good adaptation can help readers before they tackle the original, giving them the sense of the plot and characters, as well as the big ideas the work addresses.

Some recent graphic novels can serve the same purpose – giving readers access to a work of literature before they tackle the original – whether for school or for pleasure.

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Fun and Informative Science-Themed Graphic Novels

Who hasn’t turned to David Macaulay’s original The Way Things Work (1988) or The New Way Things Work (1998) to understand how something works by seeing it explained using illustrations, instead of just text? His books are standard reference sources in many libraries where I’ve worked. I’m really happy to know that an even newer revised and updated edition called The Way Things Work IMG_2875Now will be published in October 2016.

I’m a visual learner and it really helps to see how something works with images, as opposed to just with text. Many teens learn visually as well. Science concepts that are hard to imagine are much easier for teens (and adults) to grasp if we can visualize them. So much of what we are familiar with can be explained using science. Kids on a playground may not realize that everything they’re playing on uses physics: a swing is a pendulum, a see-saw is a basic lever and a slide is friction and gravity.

To accompany some of the other recent posts relating to science books for teens, here are just a few graphic novels where science is made more fun, interactive and understandable for teens in a graphic novel format. The books listed range from middle grade books with appeal to older readers, to those published for adults with teen appeal.

In 2016, First Second will begin publishing its Science Comics series. Coral Reefs written and illustrated by Maris Wicks and Dinosaurs by MK Reed and Joe Flood are both being published May, 2016. Volcanoes, written and illustrated by Jon Chad will be published in October 2016. (all Gr. 4 & up)IMG_2894IMG_2895IMG_2877

Every volume of Science Comics offers a complete introduction to a particular topic. Coral Reefs examines the biology of coral reefs as well as their ecological importance using Wicks’ signature appealing and accurate illustrations.

Human Body Theater by Maris WicksHuman Body Theater: A Nonfiction Revue written and illustrated by Maris Wicks. (2015) (Gr 4-8)

A talking skeleton tells all about the human body as part of its “all- singing, all-dancing” stage show. The skeleton entertainingly but accurately explains how each body system works, what can go wrong with it, and how to care for it. Lots of humor is reflected in Wicks’ colorful and detailed illustrations. (2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens)

IMG_2896Jay Hosler’s The Last of the Sandwalkers (2015) written and illustrated by the author. (Gr. 5 & up)

In this fun and informative graphic novel, Lucy is a tiny field scientist who is also a beetle. She lives in a beetle civilization where beetles write books, run restaurants, and even do scientific research. But, the powerful elders don’t want too much research to be done because they guard a terrible secret about the world outside the shadow of the palm tree. Lucy defies them to lead a team of researchers into the desert to discover more of the wider world…but what lies in wait for them is going to change everything Lucy thought she knew.

IMG_2867Howtoons: Tools of Mass Construction by Dr. Saul Griffith, illustrated by Nick Dragotta (2015) (Gr. 4-8)

This 360 page part graphic novel, part instruction manual, features siblings Tuck and Celine who are urged to make something out of household treasures to keep them out of trouble. Howtoons was originally created by scientists Saul Griffith, Joost Bonsen and artist Nick Dragotta from MIT. Just a few of the science projects here include ice cream in a bag, an electric motor, bugeye lens, an underwater scope, a terrarium, a mini-submarine, spring-loaded chopsticks, pneumatic muscles, and rockets.

IMG_2892Howtoons: [Re]ignition by Fred Van Lente, illustrated by Tom Fowler. (2015) (Gr. 4 – 8)

Part graphic novel story, part science/energy instruction manual and energy history lesson, in which siblings Celine and Tuck and their parents are in suspended animation riding out an energy crisis. When the kids wake up, and find their parents gone, they must try to find them. As they cross a strange new world, they have to rely on their science knowledge to save them – and the world. Along the way, they learn to build such projects as a wind turbine, a solar cooker, and a go-kart.

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Women in Comics: Spies and Assassins

Spies and assassins have been big at the movies this year. The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Spectre, Spy, Hitman, Kingsman, Mission Impossible, the year has been full of these stories. If they have sparked your interest in characters of this sort, you can continue exploring them through an array of comics ranging from classic characters to more modern offerings.

Mockingbird

Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary by Chelsea Cain with art by Joelle Jones – Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, is a top agent at S.H.I.E.L.D., but a murder means that her work as an agent has to take a backseat to ensuring that justice is done. This one-shot is a great introduction to the character and is perfect for anyone who was curious about her when she popped up in Hawkeye.

Angela: Asgard's Assassin

Angela: Asgard’s Assassin by Kieron Gillen with art by Marguerite Bennett – Though she grew up in the Tenth Realm, Heven, and was trained to hate Asgard completely, Angela is secretly Thor’s sister. When she can no longer live in either realm, Angela is left to find her own path in life even while trying to determine what everyone wants from her. Fans of Thor and Loki will want to read this series to learn more about Asgard’s children.

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Comics for Tweens

Does the tween in your life or your library love comics? Here are a few that need to be on your radar and will make your kids go absolutely nuts.

Awkward

Peppi Torres is just trying to survive her first days middle school. Suddenly she finds herself being both the teased and the teaser, and in the middle of a club war! Can she figure out how to make middle school bearable for both herself and those around her?

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Teen Perspective: Digitally Remastered – Comic books for gamers!

If something exists, chances are that somebody is already trying to profit from it. Popular book series starring a teenage girl in a dystopian future? Hollywood is already writin’ up the script! Another Disney movie about a princess? Somebody is already planning a musical!

Video game characters like Super Mario and Pac-Man have become just as popular as the likes of Mickey and Bugs Bunny, so when something is THAT popular, you know that they’re going to go beyond just video games, right? We’re not just talking action figures and posters, but full movies! I can see it now: the greatest actors all over the country, being called together to act out some of time’s most beloved video game stories, with fantastic… um……yeah.

The majority of video game movies fail to stay true to their source material. Forget ’em for now.

So, what other kind of media has proven to be faithful to gaming? Comics! The comic format is very nice for expressing a serious tone, while also allowing for a more relaxed and comedy-based narrative. Practically every big video game franchise from Japan has a Manga series adaptation, and many other American games have gotten the panel-by-panel treatment as well.

For today’s article, I’ll be looking at a few comic books, all of which are based on some of my favorite games to play!comic books for gamers

The first is Mega Man, which is  published by Archie Comics, written by Ian Flynn, with art by Patrick Spaziante. This is the most recent of the 3 comic franchises, as it is the only one that debuted during the 21st Century. The story follows Dr. Thomas Light and Dr. Albert Wily, as they start work on service robots called ‘Robot Masters’. Angered by Light’s fame over his own, Wily corrupts the Robot Masters into becoming war machines. Doctor Light converts one of his own housekeeping robots, ‘Rock’, into a fighting robot in order to stop Wily’s reprogrammed Robot Masters.

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2015 Young Adult Services Symposium Preconference: Panels & Pages

YALSA’s 2015 Young Adult Services Symposium included a pre-conference session on using graphic novels to inspire programming, recommended titles, a discussion with comics creators Terry Blas, Faith Erin Hicks, Mariko Tamaki, Gene Luen Yang, Leila del Duca, Joe Keatinge, and a discussion with teachers who use graphic novels in classroom instruction.

ya_symposium_2015

Robin Brennar, Teen Librarian and runs No Flying No Tights website, was our moderator.

First, librarians Cara and Emily talked about graphic novel readers advisory and using graphic novels in teen programming:

Who is your Batman?

Comic books always change. Your Batman may be different from your teens’ Batman. Lego Batman may be the Batman that resonates most with your teens! Keep this in mind when you do readers advisory and programming, your ideas and tastes may not match theirs.

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Getting Graphic: Popular YA Books Adapted as Graphic Novels

twilightgraphicnovelI’ve noticed a trend in young adult literature that has been growing over the past year or so- a lot of popular YA books are getting the graphic novel treatment. I first noticed this with Twilight a few years ago, but recently I’ve seen more and more popular YA fiction titles are being reimagined as graphic novels. The reasons for this escaped me for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I like comics. I have nothing but love for Batman and Batgirl. But when books that were successful and popular without pictures suddenly started showing up in my library in a completely new picture-filled format the first thing I asked myself was why?

The cynical side of me realizes it’s a whole new way to make money off of a story. We all know that books that get made into movies tend to sell better, so putting them out in graphic form is another way to extend their moneymaking. Or perhaps by changing the format of the books publishers can get people who already own the originals to buy them again. These are certainly valid reasons, and it’s likely there’s truth there. The non-cynical side of me sees other reasons for this trend.

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