Author Archive

::STAFF PICKS::CBLDF BANNED BOOKS WEEK HANDBOOK::SEPT.16::

September 17, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksandy_staff_picksFrom the CBLDF website:
“The CBLDF Banned Books Week Handbook is a free resource that gives you the scoop about what comics are banned, how to report and fight censorship, and how to make a celebration of Banned Books Week in your community! CBLDF’s Banned Books Week Handbook is an essential tool to assist librarians, educators, and retailers in planning their Banned Books Week celebrations, while also being a vital reference to help readers everywhere fight censorship”
Be sure to pick up your FREE!!! copy of this insightful publication and then plan to join us at one of the Banned Book Week Discussions at various branches of the CM Library!
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BANNED BOOK WEEK EVENTS :: HEROES DISCUSSIONS at CM LIBRARY BRANCHES

September 15, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: Comics Industry, EVENTS, Heroes Aren't Hard To Find, Looking Ahead, NEWS, Other Events, Out and About, This Just In

ABFFEAlong with the opening week of the Football season and the beginning of the new school term, each year September also brings us Banned Book Week. It is an annual reminder of our freedom to read.

Banned Book Week is officially scheduled Sept. 21 – 27 but there are a variety of events that will occur throughout the month. BBW is sponsored by local libraries, independent retailers along with a supportive legion of readers all over the world From the Banned Books Website: “BBW was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. There were 307 challenges reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom in 2013, and many more go unreported.”

Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) publishes a Top Ten list of Frequently Challenged Books. This year’s list (published in April) includes the # 1 Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series for offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence. The list is rounded off with Jeff Smith’s Bone series at #10 for political viewpoint, racism, and violence

“This year we spotlight graphic novels because, despite their serious literary merit and popularity as a genre, they are often subject to censorship,” said Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee.

At this past summer’s HeroesCon, Prof. Craig Fischer created a panel that focused on the history of the Comic Book Defense League Fund as well as a roundtable about the local issues an NC school had with Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. This will be posted at the Dollar Bin site later this month. www.thedollarbin.net

Locally, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Libraries are offering dozens of Banned Book Week events—everything from Art contests to Reading groups. To see all of the events in your area go to: www.cmlibrary.org/programs/

This year, Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find is doing their part to support this noble and important movement.  Warehouse Manager Seth Peagler and Heroes Discussion Group leader Andy Mansell will be appearing at a number of branches this month to discuss Banned Books:

Seth will join UNCC Professors Robert Campbell (Graphic Design) and Dr. Erik Waterkotte (Print Media) to discuss the importance of comics and graphic novels and how they are susceptible to censorship. Audience: Adults, Teens (12-18) 9/18/2014 at 6:00 PM: Morrison Regional near South Park.

Andy will lead discussions at the following branches on why comics are particularly vulnerable to challenges and focus on some of the more frequently challenged titles.

9/18/2014 at 6:00 PM: Scaleybark  Audience: Teens (12-18), Adults, Seniors

9/24/2014 at 2:30 PM: Independence Regional   Audience: Teens (12-18)

9/25/2014 at 5:00 PM: Mountain Island Audience: Teens (12-18), Adults, Seniors

We hope to see you there and remember, reading is one of our greatest gifts. Never take it for granted!

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STAFF PICKS :: ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD WWI IN POETRY & COMICS :: SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

September 09, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksandy_staff_picksHappy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Great War, Happy Birthday to you! Wow– you’re 100 years young and you still make a difference in our modern lives. There are few events in history that have had more of an historical and cultural impact than WWI. ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD WWI IN POETRY & COMICS  is an anthology that selects a number of pieces from the substantial body of  poetry that emerged during and after the long bloody conflict. In addition, to the “trench poetry” of Sassoon, Owens, Graves and other great talents of the era, editor Chris Duffy has enlisted some of the finest contemporary comic talents to illustrate these harrowing and powerful poetic works. The roster includes: Stephen Bissette, Eddie Campbell, Lilli Carré, Garth Ennis, Sarah Glidden, Sammy Harkham, Kevin Huizenga, Kathryn Immonen, Stuart Immonen, Peter Kuper, Pat Mills, Anders Nilsen, George Pratt, Carol Tyler and many others. If this book moves you as much as I anticipate, I’d like to also re-confirm my earlier recommendations for other Great War comic material namely Joe Sacco’s ground-breaking panorama, The Great War and Jacques Tardi’s two brilliant WWI graphic novels from Fantagraphics– all of these important books are available from Heroes! Just have Justin point you in the direction of Flanders and remember to wipe your muddy feet!above_dreamless_cover-600x849

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STAFF PICKS :: LITTLE NEMO RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND #01 :: AUGUST 20, 2014

August 19, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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I am a classic comic strip fanatic. And in the past I’ve hated most of the comic book updates of the old strips. I’ve enjoyed the Popeye run from Langridge, Neely and others because their comic was true to the source material. But most of the time– DC’s Modesty Blaise (meh), that late ‘80s Popeye superhero revamp (ugh!), the Marvel Annie comic (YIKES!!) –they have been a source of embarrassment at best. So when I heard about IDW’s update of Windsor McKay’s all time great strip Little Nemo in Slumberland, I said no way. Can’t they just leave things well enough alone? But then I saw the beautiful cover by Gabriel Rodriguez and I became a bit less guarded. The artwork has a spark of the master. Then I found out that the writer of the series was none other than Eric Shanower–who has done such a splendid and respectful job on the OZ adaptations–and I thought…. maybe. Then I heard the plot– King Morpheus’ daughter needs a playmate and he may be drafted into service to dream’s daughter against his will– and I admit I’m all in on this gamble.  This looks too good to miss.
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STAFF PICKS :: YOUNG READERS of CHARLOTTE UNITE :: AUGUST 9, 2014

August 11, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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ANDY’S PICKS :: DC SUPER FRIENDS: A WORD ADVENTURE BOARD BOOK: SUPERMAN | DC SUPER FRIENDS: A WORD ADVENTURE BOARD BOOK: WONDER WOMAN | DC YR BOARD BOOK BATMAN SHAPES | DC YR BOARD BOOK CATWOMAN COUNTING | DC YR BOARD BOOK SUPERMAN COLORS | DC YR BOARD BOOK SM WONDER WOMAN ABC’S: Attention all pre-schoolers reading this! Remember all those times you went with Dad to that super cool store with the pretty statues, the big scary Spiderman and not so scary Statue of Liberty. Think of how many times your dad spent way too much on his weekly comics fix and suggested that you “….don’t tell your mom”. Well, this week it’s payback time. When your dad reiterates your little weekly secret, hand him a stack of these delightful YR Instructional books that feature Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman! Not only will these books help you learn your shapes, and master counting, colors and most importantly those tricky ABCs (the mystery of ‘LMNO’ finally revealed!) but it will assuage your dad’s on-going sense of guilt.  Plus you and dad can read great comics together and you will make Mr. Justin smile. It’s a win-win-win. And each book only costs ‘this many’.

Just don’t tell mom.
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STAFF PICKS :: Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter :: August 05, 2014

August 05, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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Ever since I completed the 5 volume Cartoon History of the Universe by comics legend and History scholar Larry Gonick, I’ve been on the look-out  for more text book offered in a readable sequential format. In addition to other books by Gonick (the Cartoon Guides to Physics, Chemistry, Computers, Statistics etc.) I’ve read Jim Ottaviani’s books about Niels Boers and recent comic examination of Primates. I’ve also devoured the reprints of Will Eisner’s PS Magazine– a military publication that provides soldiers with difficult mechanical and technical directions in a simple to follow comics form. In all of these books, comics become a teaching tool. This Wednesday, Andrews McNeel Publishing adds another to this growing field with  Reading With Pictures: Comics That Make Kids Smarter a book that uses comics as a tool to improve visual literacy for use in the classroom and in real life. Topics include  Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, and Science featuring art by Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey , Katie Cook, the great , and many more. PLUS! you get a downloadable Teachers’ Guide that offers a number of tools for educators who see the potential and want to utilize comics in their classroom. Join in on the fun as comics continue to reach their greater potential.
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STAFF PICKS :: BATMAN: A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS :: JULY 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: BATMAN: A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS: It seems like every time you turn around there is another HC Celebration of one character or another. They all blend into a kind of expensive jumble. But BATMAN: A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS really stands out. The editors at DC have put together one heck of a collection. This 432 (!) page book includes the following landmark tales: DETECTIVE COMICS #27 (1st appearance!), 83 (Alfred!), 211 (Catwoman!), 216 (The Batman of the Future!), 327 (First New Look!), 359 (Batgirl!), 395 (Secret of the Waiting Graves!), 442 (Toth!), 474 (Rogers/Austin/Deadshot!), 574 (Origin revamp plus Alan Davis!), 633 (Milligan!), 711 (Knight Out!) , 757 (Air Time!) and 821 (Dini /Williams!), BATMAN #1 (Joker!), 49 (Vicki Vale!), 181 (Poison Ivy!), 497 (Batman needs to see a chiropractor), BATMAN #2 (from THE NEW 52), WORLD’S FINEST COMICS #94 (The Supes/Bats Team Origin!), DC SPECIAL SERIES #21 (Frank Miller!) and BATMAN SPECIAL #1 (The Wrath!) This is going to be a great party and everyone’s invited!!
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::HEROESCON PANEL UPDATE!!!!:: ARCHIE MOVES; GCD ADDED::

June 18, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: EVENTS, HeroesCon News, Schedule

It wouldn’t be a major convention of any sort without a bit of last minute shuffling. We have  a time/date change and an addition.

First the change:

Due to some travel issues, The ARCHIE PANEL originally scheduled for Friday at 4:00 has been moved to SATURDAY at 2:00pm.

SATURDAY 2:00PM Room 201
PART I :: ARCHIE: Life, Afterlife and Beyond
Join moderator Jimmy Aquino (COMIC NEWS INSIDER) in a talk about the major events happening at Archie Comics – from the hit horror series AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE to the upcoming “Death of Archie” in the pages of LIFE WITH ARCHIE and much more – with an all-star cast of Archie staff and stars, including artist FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA (Afterlife with Archie), PAUL KAMINSKI (Archie Comics Executive Director of Editorial) and Red Circle Comics Editor and Archie SVP – Publicity and Marketing ALEX SEGURA.
PART II :: ARCHIE: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG and MEGAMAN
Get the inside scoop on what’s coming up in Archie’s best-selling “Action” line of video game titles, including SONIC THE HEDGEHOG, SONIC UNIVERSE and MEGA MAN, with SONIC/MEGA MAN editor PAUL KAMINSKI and long-time Sonic and Mega Man creators IAN FLYNN and TRACY YARDLEY

and we have a special addition to the schedule:

SATURDAY

Room 206
10:30 am
MEET THE GRAND COMICBOOK DATABASE (GCD)

Find out what all goes into compiling and maintaining the enormous (and indispensable) GRAND COMIC BOOK DATABASE. BOB BAILEY, WILL ALLRED, DANIEL NAUSCHUETZ and STEVEN ROWE will explain the challenging process of indexing comics.  Thanks to their efforts, the GCD has become the go-to source for creator listings.  DC and Marvel both use the GCD for their archives. Stop by dive deep into comics and comics’ history and prepare to be astounded by their Herculean effort.

The best just keeps getting bester.

 

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HEROESCON UPDATE:: EVENTS SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE::

June 15, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: Guest List, HeroesCon, HeroesCon News, QuickDraw, Schedule

PANELS—WE’VE GOT PANELS!!

The HeroesCon 2014 Schedule is up. Just click on this link….

http://www.heroesonline.com/heroescon/schedule/

So what have we got? Take a few minutes and look through the program; we try to have something for everyone. Plan your days around a few of these gems like:

How about THE INKWELL AWARDS? Saturday at Noon–BILL SIENKIEWICZ IS THE GUEST OF HONOR At the 4th Inkwell Awards Live Ceremony! See the live results from April’s votes for the BEST INKERS of 2013 and the recipients of the JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME AWARD!! To read more about this annual event, click here…

http://www.inkwellawards.com/?p=3923#more-3923

Speaking of ANNUAL HeroesCon Events— we have

  • COSPLAY—3 ways! Group Photo, Meet the Cosplayers Panel and The 2nd Annual Cosplay costume Contest
  • 4 SCAD Workshops
  • Inking Panel
  • 2 IMAGE Panels!
  • MARVEL Panels
  • 2 ARCHIE Panels
  • The 2nd Annual convention within a convention—THE CAROL CORPS!!!
  • Self-Publishing
  • The Humor Panel—this is a can’t miss panel this year
  • The All Ages Panel
  • THE MEGA PANEL—Comics Regulation, Comics Censorship: Past and Present
  •  The Comic Strip Panel!!
  • TWO (!!) Teaching Comics Roundtables
  • Adam & Comfort’s Workshop
  •  New Masters of Horror!!
  • INDY COMICS CREATORS
  • And of course The QuickDraw—All Three days

Celebrate TwoMorrows Publishing 20th Anniversary all day Saturday with

  • Modern Masters: Lee Weeks, Cliff Chiang, Mark Schultz and Art Adams!!
  • CONAN Panel with Roy Thomas and Tim Truman!
  • A Kirby Tribute Panel
  • A Conversation with Denis Kitchen
  • and A TwoMorrows Roundtable

Heidi MacDonald of THE BEAT and Tom Spurgeon of THE COMICS REPORTER head our team of all-star moderators so if it is scintillating conversation you want …

  • Mark Waid
  • Jim Starlin and Andy Smith
  • Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez!
  • KEVIN EASTMAN!
  • ONLINE COMICS!
  • Breaking Into Comics as a Writer
  • The Challenges of a famous Property with Jeff Smith and Terry Moore

AND MORE—LOTS MORE—

And make sure you stop by on Sunday to pay respects to our absent friend NICK CARDY!!! A True Titan!

ENJOY!!–This is all for YOU!!!!

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STAFF PICKS :: DISNEY JUNIOR ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ANIMATED CHARACTERS :: JUNE 4, 2014

May 30, 2014 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picks andy_staff_picksANDY’S PICK :: DISNEY JUNIOR ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ANIMATED CHARACTERS: Where was this book when I was a kid. As a Disney obsessed youth (I blame the classic Gold Key published, Walt Disney Comics Digest) I used to make lists of every character I could. These were the years before the internet so I had to go off memory and comic books. What I wouldn’t have done for a book like this! There are over 150 entries with illustrations and character info starting with Ariel (I imagine) and ends (I’m pretty certain) with Zurg. And the inside of the book jacket is a giant poster. All for only $13.00!!! Any pre-teen will love it!STK637695

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