As The Amazing Spider-Man 2 swings into theaters this weekend, I thought I would take this opportunity to suggest some classic adventures featuring everyone’s favorite neighborhood wall crawler. The following titles, and many more, can be found in the Palm Beach County Library System.
In the early 2000s, Marvel Comics released a series of comics under the Ultimate banner. These titles were meant to reintroduce and reimagine many classic characters. Arguably the best of the bunch was Ultimate Spider-Man. The series puts Peter Parker back in high school, and in modern times. The origin may be the same, but Brian Michael Bendis does an amazing job taking well-known characters and making them fresh and exciting. This collection compiles the first 13 issues of the series.
J. Michael Straczynski, of Babylon 5 fame, constructs one of the most daring and innovative Spidey tales of all time. In this volume, Peter meets a mysterious, and mystic, stranger named Ezekiel who reveals that perhaps Spider-Man isn’t as unique as he has always thought. This beautifully written and illustrated book sheds new light on Spider-Man’s past, and was an instant classic upon publication.
These collected stories, originally published in the early 70s, showcase what made Spider-Man—and Marvel—so groundbreaking. The events of Death of the Stacys have shaped and impacted Spider-Man’s universe to this day. A must read for any Spidey fan, new or old.
Another classic Spider-Man tale, Kraven’s Last Hunt features one of Spidey’s most dangerous foes: Kraven the Hunter. Kraven has hunted and killed every type of dangerous animal there is, except for Spider-Man. In one of Spider-Man’s darkest tales, Kraven is determined to kill and replace the web-slinger.
The mid to late 80s saw a huge development for Spider-Man as he was introduced to the black symbiote suit, and eventually one of his greatest threats: Venom. This collection tells the origins of Spider-Man’s Black Suit, as well as the instantly and insanely popular Venom. Over the years, Venom’s origins have been altered, but this is still a must read for Spidey fans.
Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley reunite to tell one of the most shocking and daring Spider-Man tales ever. Set in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, the story deals with the death of Peter Parker, how the city mourns, and the eventual arrival of a new Spider-Man. This story breaks ground in many ways, and is a staple on many top ten lists.
The renowned and award winning duo of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale craft a heart-felt and retrospective story unlike any other. Spider-Man: Blue revolves around Peter Parker recounting the early days of his relationship with Gwen Stacy. Loeb and Sale explore one of the elements that make Spider-Man such a unique character: his heart. This beautifully illustrated love story captures all of the appeal of Spider-Man, and is personally one of my favorite graphic novels.
Lately, it seems the Minecraft phenomenon is sweeping our library system. This month, the Acreage and West Boca branches are hosting exciting programs.
Thu, Mar 20, 11:00 am
Join Steve as we build our own real life versions of Minecraft favorites like torches, pigs, nethergates, and even the horrible Creeper. Then see who can build the strongest fortress as we attack each other with catapults. Ages 6-16. (90 min.) Preregister.
West Boca Branch
Fri, Mar 21, 10:30 am
Minecraft & Your Craft
Gather with other Minecraft enthusiasts. Bring your device and challenge other players or just come for a craft. Ages 7 & up. Space limited. (90 min.) Preregister.
The hit series Divergent, by Veronica Roth, is debuting it’s title feature film in theaters March 21st. Pick up a copy of the first book and join us for festivities and an exciting discussion.
Sun, Mar 09, 2:00 pm
Celebrate the upcoming release of the movie “Divergent,” based on Veronica Roth’s popular teen series. Ages 12-17. Limit 20. (60 min.)
Hagen Ranch Road Branch
Sat, Mar 15, 2:00 pm
Divergent: One Choice Can Transform You
What faction will you choose? Celebrate the release of the movie with games, trivia, and snacks. Grades 6-12. Limit of 15. (90 min.) Preregister.
West Boca Branch
Sun, Mar 16, 2:30 pm
Divergent: What If You Had to Choose?
“One Choice Can Transform You.” Prepare for the forthcoming movie by discussing the book and eating cake. Grades 6 & up. (45 min.) Preregister.
Glades Road Branch
Tue, Mar 25, 6:00 pm
What faction are you? Explore the Divergent world, including a Dauntless challenge. Snacks provided. Grades 6 & up. (60 min.) Preregister.
Fri, Mar 28, 4:00 pm
Divergent Movie VIP After-Party
Celebrate the release of the film of Veronica Roth’s popular YA novel “Divergent.” Walk the red carpet and join us for snacks, crafts, and trivia. Ages 12-17. (60 min.) Preregister.
Other Amazing Programs: Continue reading
Hey, history buffs! Join us tomorrow, Saturday, February 1st, for an informative discussion regarding the history of graphic novels in America and Japan. The panel discussion will feature associate professor and chair, Eric Berlatsky, of Florida Atlantic University, and myself, Josh Stone, of the Palm Beach County Library System. The event will be held at the Royal Palm Beach Library at 3pm. Professor Berlatsky and I will explore the unique and distinctive histories of both American and Japanese comics, while showing how the two have constantly influenced one another.
Over the weekend it was reported that comic book legend Nick Cardy passed away. Mr. Cardy was a member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame for his seminal work on such titles as Aquaman, Teen Titans, Bat Lash, and his numerous cover designs. He was the artist for both the first Aquaman and Teen Titans ongoing series, in addition to being the artist to introduce Wonder Girl to the Teen Titans roster. Mr. Cardy’s work helped define the look and feel of many classic DC characters. In 1943, Mr. Cardy was drafted into World War II where he would receive two Purple Heart awards.
I met Mr. Cardy at the 2013 Florid SuperCon, held in Miami. He gave an intimate talk to a small group of fans that felt more like spending time with your grandfather than a typical comic panel. During his panel he talked extensively about his experience in the war, as well as his fondness for his Aquaman and Bat Lash work. His stories were humorous and sincere, as I imagine he was his entire life. He didn’t tell the typical war stories, rather his involved being shipped around by commanders and generals that needed things drawn. During the war, Mr. Cardy always had a sketchbook and pencils with him; whether they were eating, or in the battlefield, he never went anywhere without his sketch pad. At one point during his service, Mr. Cardy was called upon to drive a tank. He quickly discovered that driving a tank, especially turning a tank, is not easy, at all. According to Mr. Cardy, there are now multiple buildings in Germany with chunks missing due to his tank driving skills. Throughout his discussion he was humble and grateful for the attendance, and seemed surprised that there were even a few teenagers in the room. Meeting Nick Cardy was a great honor and a definite highlight of my day at SuperCon. It’s a shame that he will not be there this year, he will truly be missed.