Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me by Ellen Forney

Marbles

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me by Ellen Forney offers a candid look at a period of her life over the course of several years treating her bi-polar disorder.

Forney picks up every rock of her life during that period and shows us the grimy underside. She (literally) draws the merry-go-round ride that describes the mood-swings of manic-depressive, or bi-polar disorder. Her diagnosis was crushing.

Throughout her memoir, she discusses her strongly held stereotype of the “crazy-successful artist”, insisting that all the greats were crazy (and presumably untreated) and if she treats her condition she will ultimately become boring and not creative. She struggles with this idea more after her therapist suggests she has a condition which may require drug treatment. Forney wants to get “better” but insists that she and her art will be negatively affected. This is a common image held by people with mental disorders.

It sounds a bit like, “I am who I am and I want to feel good about myself, but there’s something wrong with me. If I acknowledge that and treat this condition which ultimately contributes to who I am, am I making myself less than myself.”

In Forney’s eyes, her mental disorder is simultaneously a stigma and a badge of honor or a membership card into “The Van Gogh Club”, as she calls it. Thankfully, she had a wonderful support system of friends and family who were able to help her cope with her diagnosis and treatment.

Forney cycled through many drug treatments before (acknowledging that recreational drugs may have been affecting how her body reacted to treatment and) finding the correct doses that balanced her mental state while allowing her to flourish creatively.

Forney was fortunate to know about her mother’s struggles with mental illness and had been seeing a therapist before being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. Not everyone has the support they need. If you or someone you know needs help please use the resources listed below or call 911.

Palm Beach County Helplines
Crisis Line – 24 Hr/7 Days a Week 211 or 561-383-1111 (PBC)
Abuse Hotline 800-962-2873
Homeless Helpline 800-493-5902
Mobile Crisis Team 561-383-5777
Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255, 800-784-2433

Drawn to Manga August 2015

Akira

Akira, Volume 1
By Otomo, Katsuhiro
2009-10 – Kodansha Comics

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Welcome to Neo-Tokyo, built on the ashes of a Tokyo annihilated by a blast of unknown origin that triggered World War III. The lives of two streetwise teenage friends, Tetsuo and Kaneda, change forever when paranormal abilities begin to waken in Tetsuo, making him a target for a shadowy agency that will stop at nothing to prevent another catastrophe like the one that leveled Tokyo. At the core of the agency’s motivation is a raw, all-consuming fear of an unthinkable, monstrous power known only as Akira.

Katsuhiro Otomo’s stunning science fiction masterpiece is considered by many to be the finest work of graphic fiction ever produced, and Otomo’s brilliant animated film version is regarded worldwide as a classic.

This edition includes a new foreword from the author and a postscript from Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson!

 

Master Keaton

Master Keaton, Volume 1
by Nagasaki, Takashi; Katsushika, Hokusei
Art by Urasawa, Naoki
2014-12 – Viz Media

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Taichi Hiraga-Keaton, the son of a Japanese zoologist and a noble English woman, is an insurance investigator known for his successful and unorthodox methods of investigation. Educated in archaeology and a former member of the SAS, Master Keaton uses his knowledge and combat training to uncover buried secrets, thwart would-be villains, and pursue the truth…

When a life insurance policy worth one million pounds takes Master Keaton to the Dodecanese islands of Greece, what will he discover amidst his scuffles with bloodthirsty thieves and assassins?

 

Monster

Monster, Vol. 1: The Perfect Edition
By Urasawa, Naoki
2014-07 – Viz Media

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Johan is a cold and calculating killer with a mysterious past, and brilliant Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the only one who can stop him Conspiracy and serial murder open the door to a compelling, intricately woven plot in this masterwork of suspense.

Everyone faces uncertainty at some point in their lives. Even a brilliant surgeon like Kenzo Tenma is no exception. But there’s no way he could have known that his decision to stop chasing professional success and instead concentrate on his oath to save peoples’ lives would result in the birth of an abomination. The questions of good and evil now take on a terrifyingly real dimension. Years later, in Germany during the tumultuous post-reunification period, middle-aged childless couples are being killed one after another. The serial killer’s identity is known. The reasons why he kills are not. Dr. Tenma sets out on a journey to find the killer’s twin sister, who may hold some clues to solving the enigma of the “Monster.”

 

Ranma 1/2

Ranma 1/2
By Takahashi, Rumiko
2014-03 – Viz Media

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One day, teenaged martial artist Ranma Saotome went on a training mission with his father and ended up taking a dive into some cursed springs at a legendary training ground in China. Now, every time he’s splashed with cold water, he changes into a girl. His father, Genma, changes into a panda What’s a half-guy, half-girl to do? Years ago, Genma promised his old friend Soun Tendo that Ranma would marry one of Soun’s three daughters and carry on the family’s martial arts school. Except that the girl picked to be Ranma’s bride doesn’t seem to like him, Ranma keeps getting into fights, and did we mention that whole changing into a girl thing?

 

Fruits Basket

Fruits Basket, Volume 1
By Takaya, Natsuki
2007-10 – TokyoPop

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This premium hardcover includes Volumes 1 and 2 of the popular “Fruits Basket “series, featuring interior color art, a new cover, a new Foreword, and an autograph from the creator.

 

Superman: Red Son

Superman Red Son Superman: Red Son is an Elseworld* story depicting what the Cold War would have been like if our “good old American farm boy” landed in Soviet Russia rather than Kansas, USA. The Soviets waste no time in capitalizing on Superman’s powers. Stalin has even taken him on as a protege, hoping to have Superman take control of Russia after him.

It’s interesting to note that in Red Son Superman doesn’t have an alter-ego. He never has to hide his powers – he is always Superman. This is sometimes jarring to those of us familiar with the humanized side of Clark Kent. Many of Superman’s actions in Red Son would have benefited from Kent’s moral decision-making.

This is the first Elseworld story I’ve read and I really enjoyed seeing familiar characters in unfamiliar situations. For example, Lois Lane still works at the Daily Planet, but since she never meets Superman she ends up with Lex Luthor. Without Superman to foil his plans in the U.S., Lex eventually becomes president. Hippolyta and the Amazons originally rub elbows with Stalin. My best guess for this change is because the only other “super” is in Russia and not the U.S.

Red Son was published in 2004 and I have to say that I’ve heard of it but I’m honestly surprised that I had never heard about the ending. No spoilers here except that apparently Grant Morrison gave Mark Millar the idea for the mind-bending Elseworld ending. If that gives you any clue as to what’s in store… I almost dropped the book when I read it. I just can’t believe no one had ever spoiled it for me. Thank you, geekdom!

Red Son is definitely a must-read for Superman fans and for superhero fans who want to see something different from our heroes.

*Elseworld stories take our heroes from their usual settings and puts them into strange times and places – some that have existed and others that can’t, couldn’t, or shouldn’t exist.

Top Ten Graphic Novels of July 2015

The top ten best-selling graphic novels of July 2015 were:

  1. FABLES VOLUME 22 TP DC
  2. THE WICKED & THE DIVINE VOL. 2: FANDEMONIUM TP IMAGE
  3. HAWKEYE VOLUME 4: RIO BRAVO TP MARVEL
  4. RED SONJA #1973 DYNAMITE
  5. BATMAN: HARLEY QUINN TP DC
  6. AUTUMNLANDS VOL. 1: TOOTH & CLAW TP IMAGE
  7. DIVINITY TP VALIANT
  8. CIVIL WAR TP MARVEL
  9. BATMAN ETERNAL VOLUME 2 TP DC

*published by Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. Diamond Announces Top Products for July 2015

Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which includes the monthly market shares and all top product charts — are compiled by Diamond Comic Distributors from sales made to thousands of comic book specialty shops located in North America and around the world.  Additional sales made to online merchants and other specialty retailers may be included as well.

The Strain is back on FX!

The Strain

Eeeeew!

This Sunday FX will air the fifth episode (season 2) of The Strain, based on Guillermo del Toro’s novel trilogy and comic book series.

If you missed season one, I’ll give you a quick recap. The Strain follows CDC scientist Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his companions as they uncover the truth behind a mysterious “viral outbreak” that has claimed the lives of a Boeing 767 full of passengers. As the virus continues to spread across New York City, Eph and his team discover the threat is far more supernatural and considerably more dangerous to the human race. (Psst, it’s vampires.)

Season 2 continues the epic battle between the Master and the human race. Our heroes have injured the Master, but he has a plan to hit Eph close to home and destroy his long-time rival, the vampire hunter expert Abraham Setrakian.

Del Toro’s horror chops shine with this series. The grotesque aspect of the human transformations and the bizarre visage of the Master obliterates the favorable romantic image of the vampire (no sparkles, no gorgeous brooding, etc.) and leaves me with chills.

PBCLS has volumes one and two of the graphic novel interpretation of the Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain.
You can check out more of del Toro’s The Strain trilogy at your local library.

Drawn to Comics August 2015 – Spotlight on Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four Volume One Fall of the Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four Volume 1: The Fall of the Fantastic Four
Robinson, James
Illustrator Kirk, Leonard
2014-09 – Marvel Comics

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The world’s greatest comics magazine begins anew But as the Fantastic Four embark on a strange mission, they aren’t met with new beginnings, but an untimely end Marvel’s first family heads towards their darkest hour, but who is behind their downfall? Manhattan is under attack by a killer swarm from a corrupted pocket universe, and in order to defeat it, the Human Torch must make a terrible sacrifice And with one member down, a new menace emerges: the Wrecking Crew, their powers mysteriously elevated As Ben and Alicia’s romance rekindles, the threats of Fin Fang Foom, the Wizard and the Puppet Master loom, the Baxter Building is quarantined, and the Fantastic Four are held accountable for the destruction in Manhattan It’s the trial of the century, and a major turning point for the family.

More from Robinson’s run of FF.
 

Fantastic Four New departure, new arrivals

Fantastic Four, Volume 1: New Departure, New Arrivals
By Fraction, Matt
Illustrator Bagley, Mark
Illustrator Allred, Mike
2013-04 – Marvel Comics Group

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We have seen the future and it will be fantastic When Reed and Sue decide that the family needs to relax, they take Ben, Johnny and the kids on a little vacation … through all of infinite time and space And in the real absence of Marvel’s First Family, a substitute FF, hand-picked by the real deal – Ant-Man, Medusa, She-Hulk and the all-new Miss Thing – stand ready to guard the Earth and the nascent Future Foundation … for the four minutes that the Fantastic Four will be gone. What could possibly go wrong?

 

FF Island of death

Island of Death
By Beland, Tom
Illustrator Doe, Juan
2013-02 – Marvel Comics Group

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All three of the Fantastic Four’s Puerto Rican adventures Marvel’s First Family investigates a long-kept secret, bringing them to the island of Puerto Rico – face-to-face with an old nemesis and a creature known as el Chupacabras. Then, it’s a return trip to the tropics, and the Human Torch is bringing his good buddy Spider-Man. They must find out what has turned the island of Vieques’ tranquil bay into a giant radioactive monster.

 

Fantastic Four. Season one

Fantastic Four Season One
By Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto
Illustrator Marquez, David
2012-02 – Marvel Comics Group

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There is an order to everything. A balance to the world and the nether-realms beneath the world. And now that balance is being tipped, as dark forces gather like a storm. The occult mutants known as Salem’s Seven are once more banding together. But this time, it’s to bring their father, the nefarious Nicholas Scratch, back to life. If they should somehow succeed… pray for the Fantastic Four’s souls!

 

Fantastic 4. The master of doom

The Master of Doom
By Millar, Mark
Illustrator Hitch, Bryan
2009-10 – Marvel Comics

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Who are the Masters of Doom? Millar and Hitch take a journey into a previously unexplored chapter in the life of Doctor Doom. Also, the story we had to call “A Fantastic Four Wedding And A Funeral.” Plus, Mister and Mrs. Thing!

 

Program Highlights: August 2015

Here are some highlights from PBCLS’s August calendar. As usual, check out more of our awesome programming in the Happenings.

 
Acreage Branch

Superhero Cinema & Craft
Mon, Aug 03, 2:30 pm
“The Avengers.” ©Walt Disney Pictures. (142 min.) Enjoy an out-of-this-world afternoon constructing a superhero craft while watching your favorite heroes save the planet. Preregister. PG-13

Board Game Day
Sat, Aug 08, 2:00 pm
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon playing a variety of classic and contemporary board games. All ages . (2 hr.) Preregister.

Comic Book Night: “Justice League” Edition
Thu, Aug 13, 7:00 pm
Comic book fans unite and chat about your favorite heroes and villains while enjoying pizza. This month, the group will focus on “Justice League.” (90 min.) Preregister.

Card Gamers Club
Wed, Aug 26, 7:00 pm
Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon, Magic and more. If you like collectible card games, this is your place to be. Bring your deck, box, or binder and come with a friend or make a new one. All ages . (90 min.) Preregister.

Greenacres Branch

Folded Book Sculpture
Thu, Aug 27, 2:30 pm
Join craft enthusiast Robert Rosenthal and transform books into works of sculpture. Materials provided. Limit 15. (2 hr.) Preregister.

Hagen Ranch Road Branch

Writers’ Workshop
Wed, Aug 05, 4:00 pm
Sign up for this six session course facilitated by award-winning poet Stacie Kiner. Sessions are Wednesdays, 4:00 pm on Aug 05 & 19, Sep 16 & 30, and Oct 14 & 21. Limit 10. (90 min.) Preregister, beginning Mon, Jul 27.

Lantana Road Branch

Gamers Club
Sat, Aug 22, 2:30 pm
Love to play Xbox and Wii games? Play against others in friendly competition. If you have a favorite multiplayer game, bring it to play! Or if you prefer card games like Magic: The Gathering or Yuh-Gi-Oh!, bring your cards to play against others! We welcome RPG players as well. Ages 18 & up. (90 min.)

Otaku Club
Sat, Aug 22, 2:30 pm
Be proud to be an anime and manga fan! Join us for anime-related fun. Ages 18 & up. (90 min.)

Main Library

Nail Stamping 101
Sat, Aug 08, 2:00 pm
Want to rock amazingly artistic nails but don’t know how? Try nail stamping! Learn about this nail technique that lets you add designs, details, and drama to your favorite manicures. Please paint your nails prior to arriving to the program. All materials provided. (60 min.) Preregister.

Okeechobee Boulevard Branch

Writer’s Critique Workshop
Tue, Aug 04, 5:30 pm
Offer and accept constructive criticism and comments to improve your fiction, nonfiction and poetry in a supportive atmosphere led by library staff. (2 hr.)

Superhero Movie
Thu, Aug 13, 1:00 pm
“Captain America the First Avenger.” ©Walt Disney Pictures. (124 min.) PG-13

Royal Palm Beach Branch

Book Life Presents: Adult Coloring: Meditative Mandala
Wed, Aug 19, 2:15 pm
“Mandala” comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “circle”, and these intricate, circular designs are believed to represent perfection, wholeness and oneness, allowing us to mediate on the many circular relationships we experience in nature and life. Rediscover the creative and relaxing attributes of coloring while you meditate on and personalize your own individual mandala. Materials provided. Ages 16 & up. (60 min.)

Wellington Branch

Bookmark Bonanza
Tue, Aug 18, 6:30 pm
Have fun at this open-ended creative session with paper, mixed media, Mod Podge and more. Add to the fun by leaving one or more bookmarks somewhere in the library stacks for someone to find and use. (90 min.) Preregister.

West Boca Branch

Crafternoon: Paper Beads
Mon, Aug 17, 2:00 pm
Use recycled magazines to create colorful paper beads and then use the beads to make a unique bracelet. (60 min.) Preregister.

Fantasy Football Draft
Sun, Aug 30, 2:00 pm
Join us for the inaugural West Boca Branch NFL Fantasy Football League! Assemble the ultimate roster and get acquainted with fellow league members at our kick-off event. All skill levels welcome. Ages 16 & up. (2 hr.) Preregister, beginning Sat, Aug 01.

West Boynton Branch

Sherlock Holmes Mystery Club
Tue, Aug 11, 7:00 pm
The game’s afoot with facilitator Howard Schoen and other Sherlock fans for films and discussions of the renowned literary detective. (90 min.)

Crafternoon: Cards for Heroes
Thu, Aug 20, 2:00 pm
Create beautiful hand-crafted cards: one for you and one for a local hero serving our community. Materials provided. (60 min.) Preregister.