Kids Read Comics Presents: Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival!

December 18th, 2015

A2CAF Logo - tranparent bg

Beginning in 2016, Kids Read Comics’ annual two-day comics celebration, hosted by the wonderful Ann Arbor District Library, will have a new name: Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF for short).

The Festival will still feature dozens of comics artists along with workshops, demonstrations and interactive drawing games. It will still be as kid- and family-friendly as ever. And attending the event will be free as always.

What we hope the new name makes clear is that young children aren’t the only ones who can enjoy a fun-packed Ann Arbor weekend filled with comics and creativity. We welcome teens and adults (always have) and offer a slate of guests and activities to meet a wide range of comics-related interests (ditto).

So join us as Kids Read Comics celebrates eight years of bringing comics excitement to Michigan libraries, when we inaugurate the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival on June 18 & 19, 2016 at the Ann Arbor District Library.

Keynote speakers at A2CAF 2016 will be Cece Bell, whose comics memoir El Deafo was named a Newbery Honor Book, and the children’s author Tom Angleberger, writer and illustrator of the bestselling Origami Yoda series.

A2CAF Guest List Is Live!

April 27th, 2016

A2CAF Guests 2016

Wondering who you’ll find in Artists Alley at A2CAF this year? Well wonder no more!

Our complete list of over 50 artist and writer guests (way more than we can feature in this small space) is available right here!

So check them out now…and meet them June 18 & 19 at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library!

It’s FREE!

Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics – 2016 Shortlist

April 24th, 2016

Kids Read Comics is proud to announce the shortlist for the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics, which will be handed out at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF) on June 18.

The Award honors the pioneering comics and animation writer and Humanitas Prize winner Dwayne McDuffie, who cofounded Milestone Media and created the teen superhero Static among others. Judges seek out excellent comics aimed at children through age thirteen, scoring the work on four main criteria: Quality, Timelessness, Originality and Diversity.

After reading more than 100 volumes published in 2015, the judges narrowed the field to a list of ten that showcase today’s amazing variety of comics for young readers: fiction and nonfiction; of both American and international origin; fantasy adventure and slice-of-life realism; human and animal (and skeletal) protagonists; and work intended for readers from beginners to middle school.

On this year’s shortlist are the following:

McDuffie Shortlist 2016

AWKWARD, by Svetlana Chmakova, introduces Penelope (Peppi) Torres, a new girl at middle school who makes an embarrassing first day worse by hurting the feelings of another social misfit — and soon compounds a rivalry between the school’s art-nerds and science-nerds. (Yen Press)

CHI’S SWEET HOME, VOL.12, by Konami Kanata, concludes the story of the lost kitten adopted by Yohei Yamada and his family — as mischievous Chi finds her mother and faces an important decision about the future. (Vertical)

COURTNEY CRUMRIN VOL. 7: TALES OF A WARLOCK, by Ted Naifeh, tells the tale of Courtney’s Uncle Aloysius as a young man — joining the Anti-Sorcery Society’s crusade against witches and warlocks, while hiding his own magical ancestry. (Oni Press)

FLOP TO THE TOP! by Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing offers a modern-day fable of fame and fandom — when the picture young Wanda posts of her floppy-eared bulldog goes viral and brings all the celebrity she’s ever dreamed of…but for the dog, not for her. (Toon Books)

THE FLYING BEAVER BROTHERS AND THE CRAZY CRITTER RACE, by Maxwell Eaton III, continues the adventures of Ace and Bub, and this time they’re tangled up in an island-hopping race with more at stake than the grand prize…as a fast-growing vine starts to entangle them all! (Random House)

HUMAN BODY THEATER, by Maris Wicks, gives readers a front-row seat for a theatrical revue of each and every biological system of the human body — courtesy of a skeletal master of ceremonies who puts on a new layer of her costume (that is, her body) with each act. (First Second)

LUMBERJANES, VOL. 1: BEWARE THE KITTEN HOLY, by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen, follows butt-kicking best friends Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley as they spend their summer at Lumberjanes scout camp…where yetis, three-eyed wolves and giant falcons await! (Boom Studios)

NATHAN HALE’S HAZARDOUS TALES: THE UNDERGROUND ABDUCTOR, by Nathan Hale, uncovers the true-life story of abolitionist Harriet Tubman — who was born into southern slavery and escaped to the north, embarking on a lifelong career to help other enslaved people find their freedom. (Abrams)

ULTRAMAN, by Tomohiro Shimoguchi and Eiichi Shimizu, is the story of Shinjiro, an ordinary teenager who inherits a family legacy that leads him to take on the role of Ultraman and defend planet Earth against a deadly alien invasion. (Viz)

THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL, VOL. 1: SQUIRREL POWER, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, collects the first five issues of the comic series that takes a whole new look at the Marvel universe of heroes and villains, as seen through the eyes of the nuttiest and most upbeat superhero in the world! (Marvel)

The judges for this year’s McDuffie Award are Edith Donnell, a Kids Read Comics cofounder and youth and teen librarian; Andrew Woodrow-Butcher, manager of Little Island Comics, a comic shop exclusively for kids; Eva Volin, a children’s librarian and comics-in-libraries advocate; and Marv Wolfman, a comics and animation writer and editor whose storied career goes back nearly half a century.

Kids Read Comics hosts the annual Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival — a free, weekend event for kids, teens and adults that features over 50 artists and writers and a full slate of interactive programs including many hands-on workshops — in collaboration with the Ann Arbor District Library. Guests at the 2016 show include Newbery Honor winner Cece Bell (El Deafo), bestselling children’s author Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda), and Eisner Award winner Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet).

A2CAF is immediately preceded by A2 Inkubate, a one-day conference for educators and librarians that’s aimed at helping them use comics successfully in their professional settings, and that connects them with cartoonists to work on advocacy for comics.

Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival has its own website!

January 30th, 2016

A2CAF Tumblr AvatarFor all the latest information on the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, check out the A2CAF website at (here’s a shocker) A2CAF.COM or A2CAF.ORG.

Comics creators who are interested in having a free Artists Alley table at this year’s A2CAF can find a link to the application form in the navigation area of the site. (Note that the deadline for applications is February 29.)

A2CAF Special Guests: Cece Bell and Tom Angleberger

December 18th, 2015

We’re thrilled to announce that our special guests at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival held on June 18 & 19, 2016 will be Cece Bell and Tom Angleberger!

In addition to her 2015 Newbery Honor Book, El Deafo, a comics memoir about growing up with hearing loss and an oversized hearing assistance device, Cece is an author and illustrator of children’s books including Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, Bee-Wigged, I Yam a Donkey, and the Sock Monkey series.

Tom has delighted elementary and middle school readers with books like Fake Mustache, Poop Fountain!, The Rat with the Human Face, Horton Halfpott, and Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run, as well as the popular Origami Yoda series (complete with folding instructions), which he also illustrated.

Cece and Tom are married (to each other!) and collaborated on the book Crankee Doodle.

At A2CAF, they will give the Saturday morning keynote presentation and participate in programming throughout the weekend. They’ll also be available for signing and for chatting one-on-one about comics and kids’ books.

Be sure to mark your calendar!

Search #kidsreadcomics this weekend!

June 18th, 2015

Hashtag word balloonIf you can’t make it to Ann Arbor for the Kids Read Comics Festival this Saturday and Sunday, you can still check out the action on social media by searching the hashtag #kidsreadcomics.

Organizers, guests and fans have been invited to use the tag when they post photos and reports from KRC. And while it’s not quite like being there, you’ll be able to get an eyeful of what you’re missing…and maybe consider making plans to visit us at next year’s show.

So look for #kidsreadcomics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and wherever fine hashtags are used!

Cast Your Vote in the Kids’ Comics Revolution! Awards!

May 18th, 2015

The Kids’ Comics Revolution! Awards have become a big part of the annual Kids Read Comics festival, and voting has already begun. So it’s time for YOU to get in on the action!

The KCR! Awards celebrate everything you love about comics…including categories for “Best Hair,” “Grossest Thing” and “Most Tricked-out Ride” in your favorite comics. And you can vote for those — as well as favorite hero, webcomic, cartoonist and more — in three different ways:

  • Print out and mail in a ballot
  • Fill out an online ballot at comicsaregreat.com
  • Pick up your ballot at the Kids Read Comics information table at the Ann Arbor District Library on Saturday, June 20

Awards will be presented in a fabulous, fun, full-of-surprises ceremony on Sunday, June 21, at the conclusion of the Kids Read Comics weekend event!

More information and links are available right here! So what are you waiting for???

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for the Latest KRC News!

May 18th, 2015

KRC Dino SquareWe’re just a month away from Kids Read Comics ’15, a festival so full we can’t contain it all in one location! So make sure to check in with Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates.

Over the next weeks we’re spotlighting guests and programs, and we’ll be blasting out news of schedule changes and unexpected happenings as needed.

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

Come see us on June 20 & 21 at the Ann Arbor District Library!

Just Published: Rafael Rosado’s “Dragons Beware!”

May 13th, 2015

Dragons Beware

Fresh off the presses: A second book by Jorge Aguirre and returning KRC guest Rafael Rosado featuring young Claudette and her adventures — first seen in Giants Beware!

Rafael will be at this year’s Kids Read Comics festival on Saturday only, June 20, and he’ll be pleased to talk about drawing and about his books — and sign them too! — at his Artists Alley table.

Meanwhile, you can check out a preview of Dragons Beware! right here.

Cool New Posters & Flyers for KRC 2015

May 1st, 2015

Kids Read Comics 15 special guest Kean Soo has come up with a terrific poster for this year’s event! We want to share it with you here, and we hope that you can share it too.

Are you a librarian or a comic shop or bookstore owner (or worker)? It would give KRC a great big boost if you’d print up flyers and leave them where kids and parents can easily find them.

If you’re a teacher, we’d love it if you could distribute flyers around the end of the school year, when KRC is taking place!

Flyers are available in full letter-sized sheets or at a two-per-sheet size. There’s even a larger poster size available!

Please click here to get your KRC 2015 printable posters and flyers!