The covers alone say so much about the diversity of imagination you can find in graphic novels. A selection from our latest April new titles. If you haven’t explored this genre before I’d encourage you to give it go.
28 April 2013
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11 February 2013
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Dust off your Daleks and polish up your Pokemon – Armageddon is early this year (9 and 10 March 2013). Our household is full of very earnest discussions about what shade of grey is acceptable for which character, and whether international shipping can be relied upon to deliver the necessary in time for the big weekend. The girl-child is attempting two different cosplay costumes, one from the insanely popular Homestuck online comic series, and the other from something that I am not even beginning to understand. There’s body-paint involved, and horns made out of papier-mache, and that’s all I care to know, frankly.
If you or your dear ones want to join the madness this year, fear not – the library has a range of resources to help sort out those pesky costume issues, study up on pop culture and comics, or just embrace your inner fanboy/girl.
- Search the catalogue for books about making your own costume.
- Check out our huge range of graphic novels and comics, if you’re looking for inspiration.
- Read about other people’s interesting obsessions – collecting, gaming, cosplay …
- See how other people did it – there’s heaps of photos on our Flickr pages.
- Explore the Armageddon website, and see who this year’s guest stars are, plan your pillow-fighting and pizza-eating schedule, and start saving your pennies for those collectible figurines.
And if all else fails, and inspiration is still lacking, travel back in time and read our reports from previous years’ Armageddon visits.
27 January 2013
23 January 2013
It’s no secret that comic memoirs are one of my favest thing: See Draw your life – graphic novel memoirs and this one on Tangles. Fabby Flavorwire has just made my morning by coming up with a tasty list for us graphic novel memoir lovers: 8 Worthy Successors to Alison Bechdel. I’ve read Unterzakhn and Tangles already, and have Dotter of her father’s eyes at home on my to-read pile.
I’m happy to report we have them right here at Christchurch City Libraries for your delectation:
- Unterzakhn Leela Corman
- Dotter of her father’s eyes Mary Talbot
- Tangles Sarah Leavitt
- The Impostor’s daughter Laurie Sandell
- The Voyeurs Gabrielle Bell
- Calling Dr Laura Nicole Georges
- Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir Ellen Forney
29 December 2012
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I’ve just been reading (and looking at) a book which I feel like recommending to everyone. It’s the story of a hunting, shooting, fishing Kiwi bloke called Stag which might not sound like it has appeal to many women. But… this book, Stag Spooner; wild man from the bush by Chris Maclean, has everything.
First its a great story – as well as being a hunter, Stag was a talented artist who created what could be New Zealand’s first graphic novel. This is included in the book and will seem immediately familiar to people today. Stag went off to fight in World War II and made a bit of money designing envelopes and Christmas cards for his fellow soldiers to send home to their families. Examples of these also fill the book. Check the family archives – there might be one of these among your grandparent’s World War II memorabilia. Stag’s story also harks back to a time when hunting and fishing opportunities were far richer and many families supplemented their diet and their income by what they could shoot in the hills or catch in rivers and the sea.
Stag was very much an individual as photographs in the book show and also a man for whom his family was very important. The rest of his life story makes compelling reading, as does the story of how this book came to be.
Stag Spooner is also a beautifully produced book. All the elements – the cover, the layout, the quality of illustrations and paper are just as a good book should be.
29 November 2012
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So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
So the questions is would he have been as upset with computer screens – even if they are there to convey the content of a book? Maybe if I had shown him TumbleBookCloud he would have been forgiving? TumbleBookCloud is aimed at young adults but may also be of help to ESOL students. It contains:
- E-books: the classics such as Macbeth and modern publications such as Victorio’s War;
- Read-alongs: full-length professional narration and highlighted text so you can follow such titles as The Great Gatsby or Battle of the Bands;
- Graphic novels: If you like comics then witness the exploits of Excalibur: The Legend of King Arthur in all its glory;
- Audiobooks: Hear George Orwell’s 1984 or the award-winning Born Confused ;
- Videos: see a Muhammad Ali biography, explore the Mystery Of The Crop Circles or find out what Snail Zombies are!
If you seek the same sort of resource but for a younger audience try TumbleBooks.
25 September 2012
A beautiful graphic novel called Tangles by Sarah Leavitt tells the story of her mum Midge, their family, and how Alzheimers came into their lives. First it just seemed like a bit of forgetfulness. But then Alzheimers began its mean attrition.
Sarah kept notes and drew pictures from the pre-diagnosis days, to her mother’s death, and beyond. The story she tells has the honesty of observation. Some details are hard to take, but are instantly recognisable to anyone who has had a loved one with Alzheimers.
It’s a bloody brave book and it broke my heart open like a fruit.
- Search our catalogue for Alzheimers
- Alzheimers websites in our Internet Gateway
- Search for Alzheimers-related organisations in CINCH Community Information Christchurch
- Explore more fine graphic novel memoirs in the post Draw your life
18 September 2012
I found this graphic novel yesterday at Shirley Library quite by accident. It’s called Aotearoa Whispers, The Awakening. I think it’s awesome, so decided to blog it as maybe other people might enjoy it too. The story is set in Christchurch. Be warned there were a couple of illustrations of the Cathedral, the Chalice and the chess set from the square – this gave me a bit of an unexpected whiplash of nostalgia ( a reaction I wasn’t expecting from a graphic novel) and the author Gonzalo Navarro wrote his foreword in the city in February 2011, in the aftermath of the earthquakes.
The Awakening tells the story of of Kahi Moana, a young teenager who has a potentially life-changing exchange with his grandmother after tripping over his own shoelace.
The conversation that ensues with his kuia introduces the reader to Te Rauparaha, touches on aspects of local history (it mentions the naming and history of Cathedral Square), the battles at Kaiapoi Pa, Ōnawe and Akaroa before moving on to share a retelling of the traditional kōrero of Māui and Mahuika from the perspective of the author. Ultimately the conversation with his Nan impacts on his perspective of how he sees the world and views his own identity.
I loved the style of the art work and the fact that I could read the story in Te Reo (the translation has been provided by Charisma Rangipunga) or English. The fact that the story was set locally and that the storyline included events and happenings that occurred in our area. It made me feel like I had an instant connection with the story and the characters. I also liked the fact that it was sharing story in a graphic novel type format, I haven’t come across many New Zealand stories told in this way.
If you try this one and like it, you might also like to have a look at Ngārimu Te Tohu Toa (Te Reo) which tells the story of Te Moana nui a Kiwa Ngarimu VC or Victory at Point 209 if you want to read the English version. Both of these were written by Andrew Burdan who has also written Hautipua rererangi (Te Reo) or Born to Fly (English version) which tells the story of NZRAF Flying Officer Porokoru Patapu (John) Pohe of Ngati Rangi,who served 22 missions in his first tour of duty during the Second World War. I have added both of these to my for later shelf.
As an aside, If you do read Aotearoa Whispers and it whets your appetite in terms of learning a little more about local history then you might like to check out our website Tī Kōuka Whenua. This resource is a great source of local history and Ngāi Tahu information- and if you’re interested you can read more about the battles mentioned in Aotearoa Whispers, the history of Kaiapoi and the battle at Ōnawe Pa as well.