Monday, June 30, 2008

Of Summer, Comics, Good Times and Great Reads

Hi guys,
Man, summer is here and things are loony here at the library (busy, busy, busy)!!!!! "This Sith, methinks, has misplaced his mind!!!!!!!!!" he says out loud to no one in particular. Take a look at these before summer and during summer pictures of me working at the library.



Okay, enough of this nonsense!!!!!!! As some of you may or may not know, we had this really coolprogram at the library called "Kids Love Comics! Workshop for Aspiring Artists & Young Fans." on June 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Basically, we had some very cool guys who work on comics and graphic novels do a how-to-create-your-own-comics program. They also talked about the books they work on, answered any type of questions, and talked about comics and graphic novels. Everyone who attended got a free comic in which most of these guys' work appeared. Also, after the program, the guys hung around to talk to attendees and sign comics and graphic novels. Man, I really had a blast and I know everyone who attended had a good time too!!!!!! The guys who basically did the program for free were:

John Gallagher front and center who works on such comics as NASCAR Heroes, Buzzboy & Roboy Red.

Rich Faber (middle) with John Gallagher and Jimmy Dash (NASCAR Heroes) who also works on Roboy Red, NASCAR Heroes and Buzzboy.

Josh Elder(right) with Rich and Jimmy Dash whose work includes Mail Order Ninja and The Batman Strikes.

Harold Buchholz (left) with Rich and John who works on Acredale Kolor Komics Kollection.

I am very sorry to report that, because I ran out of room for pictures on the digital camera, I was not able to get a picture of Scott Sava in action at the event. He really did an awesome job and I found him to be an extremely talented and nice guy. Some of the books he makes are The Dreamland Chronicles, Pet Robots and Ed's Terrestrials.

Jay Piscopo (middle) with Rich and Jimmy Dash who works on The Undersea Adventures of Capt'n Eli.

These guys really did an awesome job and so did everyone who attended. A terrific time was had by all!!!!! Check it out:

If you want to learn more about these guys' work, I suggest the following web sites:

Well, to complete my post, I'm going to give you the skinny on some really excellent graphic novels I have read recently:

Transformers Animated, Volume 1 adapted by Zachary Rau - I don't know about you guys, but I love the Transformers!!!!! Well, this is the first graphic novel in a series about them and how they came to be on planet Earth. The Autobots (the good guys) are Optimus Prime (mechanized form - Fire Truck), Bulkhead (mechanized form - S.W.A.T. Assault Cruiser), Ratchet (mechanized form - Ambulance), Bumblebee (mechanized form - Undercover Police Cruiser) and Prowl (mechanized form - Motorcycle). The Autobots' evil adversaries are the Decepticons. Some of the Decepticons are Megatron and Starscream (mechanized form - Jet Fighter). This first volume sets the stage for how the Autobots and Decepticons reach Earth and what they are fighting over the Allspark. This is a cool graphic novel with great characters and action-packed adventure.

Warriors: Warrior's Return, Volume 3 created by Erin Hunter, written by Dan Jolly and art by James Barry - This is the concluding volume in the story of Graystripe's search to find his clan with Millie accompanying him. As they continue their adventure and journey to find where the cat clans have relocated or even if they still exist, Graystripe grows angrier as he sees what the twolegs have done to his former home and the way he is treated by them in general. Greystripe despairs that they may have even destroyed all the cat clans. Millie keeps his hopes up and insists that they continue forward on their journey, no matter what, to find what has become of the clans. This graphic novel can be read alone but if you can get your hands on the first two volumes (The Lost Warrior and Warriors Refuge), which the library carries, I highly recommend reading the entire trilogy. This is very good stuff!!!!!

Marvel Adventures Avengers: The Dream Team, Volume 4 by Jeff Parker & Leonard Kirk - If you want to read about a team of superheroes that kicks butt; well, my friend, look no further!!!!! The Avengers are made up of Marvel Comic's biggest and best heroes. The Avenger are Storm, Iron Man, Giant-Girl, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Wolverine and Captian America. This graphic novel collects Marvel Adventures the Avengers #13 - 15 and Giant-Size Marvel Adventures the Avengers #1. In this volume we get to see the mighty Avengers team up with Thor, one of my favorite Marvel heroes, in Asgard. It seems trouble is brewing for Thor and his fellow Asgardians in the form of Malekith and his fellow dark elves who have joined with the Frost Giants to destroy Asgard and all the gods who reside there. Will the Avengers be able to turn the tide in this battle of epic preportions? And this is just one of the four stories in this volume. Read this graphic novel for guarenteed thrills and excitement.

Well guys, I think I said a mouthfull. So until next time, peace,


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hacksaw Jim Writes In and An Epic Story of a Boy and His Deer

Greetings, fellow readers. We have a new comment form our friend Hacksaw Jim Duggan from the Guys Read blog. It's about the Percy Jackson Book Club:

Hey Guys,

That club sounds really cool! I'm a huge Percy Jackson fan, and I would so be in that club! I havent had a chance to read the latest book yet, though, because I'm re-reading the series b4 I read the Battle of the Labrynth. It's sitting on my shelf, taunting me, so I'm reading the books as fast as I can! Hope the club continues to go well!

Hacksaw Jim Duggan from Guys Read

Thanks, Jim! You'll really like the fourth book. BTW, have you all seen the What's More Macho post on their blog? It's a good one. Write in and them what you think would be the most macho thing.

Well, I'm starting to recover enough so that I can talk about books. I can't do any new ones yet, so I'll tell you about a some of my favorites for a while. Here's one of my very favorite single books ever, The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. This is a book any guy would love because it has all the action and adventure that you could want but it also deals with things we all deal with-- friendship, family, and what to do (or not do) when life isn't fair.
The story takes place in Florida right after the Civil War. This isn't the Florida you'd think of today--it was a real wilderness, full of scrub pines, palmetto trees , and swamps. Life was a constant struggle for survival. In this backwoods country lives Jody Baxter with his Ma and Pa. They manage to make a decent living with their crops but there is always danger from bears, illness, and thunderstorms that last two weeks! Pa is a good-natured guy but Ma is tough and grim from years of living in the wild. Jody finds a young deer while out hunting and doesn't have the heart to kill such a helpless creature. Could he keep it as a pet? Pa doesn't mind but Ma doesn't want something else to feed. Besides, she says, wild animals won't grow up tame. What will happen when it starts eating their crops? And what will Jody do when that does happen? The answer will really hit you like a blow to the head. Don't think that this is just a cutesy boy-and-his-pet story; it's a real guy kind of book. There's the epic bear hunt that Jody takes with his Pa, the story of Jody's unlikely friendship with Fodder-wing, and what happens when Jody runs away. These events will stay in your mind for a long time. I can't say enough about this book. Go and read it!!! It's long, yes, but long in a good way. Like The Lord of the Rings, it's long but you don't want it to end. I read after I had an operation and had to stay out of work for a month. I was up one night and wanted to read a few pages before going to bed---and stayed up for hours until I finished it. I couldn't stop reading! You won't either!! Go find it!!!


Monday, June 23, 2008

First Meeting of the Percy Jackson Book Club or Thank You, Mrs. Riordan!!!

Hey, everyone, life goes on. It's still sad, but I know what my mom would say at a time like this: "Well, don't sit around and mope about me--you've got work to do!" So I've put my myself back into gear and found some good stuff to do--like the first meeting of our Percy Jackson Summer Book Club. Boy, did we have a good time!! We had some lively discussion, some games, and even learned a little Greek!! Here are some pictures:

Every good time has to start with snacks! (one daughter of Athena studies her Greek mythology even during snack time)

Geting into the discussions!

One mom knits while kids talk (but is that really a mom or one of the Fates????)

This is my good friend Fred. He's a real, honest-to-goodness college professor. He knows how to read and write Greek. He's showing us how to write "Hercules" ("Herakles") as the Greeks would have. He also wrote several of the kids' names in Greek!!

And at the end I passed out the Camp Half-Blood T-shirts that were so generously supplied by Becky, who turns out to be none other than Mrs. Riordan herself!!! Thank you, Mrs. Riordan!! This was extremely good of you.

We plan to have the second half of our book club in August, when we'll talk about the 3rd and 4th books.

On a different note, Bill is going to do another Heroes Bold from Days of Lore program this Thursday. It'll be The Death of King Arthur, another of the truly great stories of all time. If you're between 8 and 11 and can get to Imaginon this Thursday at 2 pm, you gotta hear it!!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thanks, Friends

Hey, everyone, it's Carl. I want to thank Bill and all of you for your kind expressions of sympathy. It's great to have friends at a time like this.

Cyber Kid 303 and his mom sent these notes:

Dear Carl,

Carl, I'm so sorry about your mother. Moms are so special and I know you'll miss her.

We were so sorry to hear about your mother. She must have been a very special woman to have raised a son who has become such a kind, caring and outgoing man. As a mother, I know our greatest joy is to see our children happy and healthy. I am sure you played a huge role in making your mother’s life a good one. A mother is never really separated from her children. They stay in our hearts and minds even when they are far away. Your mother is still watching over you and keeping you in her soul, and her spirit lives within you. We will keep you in our prayers as you go through this difficult time.

Carl, I'm so sorry about your mother. Moms are so special and I know you'll miss her.

Bonnie, Tim & Joseph “Cyberkid” Stewart

Thanks, guys. That means a lot. Our friend Lord Vader also sent his sympathies along with a couple of cool reviews:

My family and I were sorry to hear about Carl's mom. He and his family are in our thoughts. I just finished two books that had references to this. One was Star Wars Boba Fett: Maze of Deception by Elizabeth Hand where Boba remembers a lot about what his father had told him about being a bounty hunter. He had to learn a lot of hard lessons and try to avoid another hunter that was trying to get her hands on what was left for Boba. This was my first Clone Wars book and I really liked it a lot. The other book I finished was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I liked this one as well, but having already seen the movie it didn't have the same suspense as the first Narnia book. I'll be reading the third one soon and plan to read Prince Caspien before I see the movie so it isn't ruined.Mikie (a.k.a Lord Vader)

Thanks, Mikie---I mean, Lord Vader. As I said, it's good to know so many people care.

And I'm glad you guys kept on reading. It's really important and will help you as you grow up. Reading is one of those unusual things that are both good for you and fun at the same time! Let me know how you like Prince Caspian--both the book and the movie. (did you see my review from June 6?)

cyber kid also sent us a good comment:

I did read No More Dead Dogs because Mr. Bill suggested it on the blog. In the book, the character complains that all the dogs in dog books die. I noticed most of those books turned into movies. I found a dog movie the other day where the dog doesn't die! It's called Big Red.

I finally read Diary of a Wiimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. It's about a middle school kid named Greg and his friends and family. Greg and his friend, Rowley, go trick-or-treating,wrestle and get bullied by teenagers in this funny book. (Even though being bullied is never funny in real life.) It's a very popular book. When I requested it from the library system, I was 61 on the request list. It was worth the wait.After I read Diary of a Wimpy Kid I wanted to read the second one, so my friend across the street loaned it to me. It's called Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. It's like the first one, only better!

Thanks once again, everybody! It's good to have friends. I'll tell you all about some good stuff later, especially about our Percy Jackson Summer Book Club.

Monday, June 16, 2008

To Our Friend

Hi guys,

I guess you all heard the news about Carl's Mother. Carl is really a great guy and his family is super nice (I know you who already read this blog know this), so keep them in your thoughts. I know I will be keeping them in mine.

Well, I have read some really great Graphic Novels lately and wanted to share them with you. So take a look and see what you think about these:

The Life and Times of $crooge McDuck Companion by Don Rosa - As the title states this is a companion to Don Rosa's "Walt Disney's The Life and Times of $crooge McDuck" (which I reviewed on my 2/18/08 post). This is really a terrific addition to the previous Graphic Novel in that it presents even more stories of Uncle $crooge's past. These stories are ripe with adventure, intrigue, comedy and much more. The tales are epic in scale and just a blast to read. Some of my favorite stories included "The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff" in which Uncle Scrooge teams up with famous old west figures such as Geronimo, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and others against the notorious Dalton Boys; "The Cowboy Captain of the Cutty Sark" in which Cowpoke Uncle Scrooge serves aboard the famous Clipper Ship The Cutty Sark; and "The Dream of a Lifetime" in which the Beagle Boys have stolen a machine that allows them to enter Uncle Scrooge's dreams to find the combination of his safe. All the stories are fun and inventive and just plain fun to read. So give it a chance, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Amelia Rules! What Makes You Happy by Jimmy Gownley - Okay technically this books main character is a girl named Amelia McBride. So I know some of you out there are going: "Bill, what are you doing talking about a book with a girl as the main character in the "Boys Rule Boys Read" Blog Site? Well all I can say is I'm doing it because it is a really cool Graphic Novel and does have some guys in it that really make it rule!!!!!!!! Amelia is a 4th grade spitfire, wise-cracking, tomboy whose parents have divorced and she and her Mom have relocated away from New York City. She makes knew friends and faces new challenges throughout this period in her life. Her friends include Reggie (er, I mean Captain Amazing), Rhonda, Pajamaman (really, a kid who spends every waking moment in PJ's), Sunday, Joan, Kyle (or should I say Ninja Kyle), her Aunt Tanner and of course her Mom and Dad. My favorite parts of this Graphic Novel are when Captain Amazing and G.A.S.P (Gathering of Awesome Super Pals) are taking on their dreaded arch-nemesis the Ninjas led by Ninja Kyle. This Graphic Novel is at times laugh out loud fun to very moving. I love this Graphic Novel and all the others in the series. So give it a shot and tell me what you think. If you would like to get some more information on this series checkout

Marvel Adventures Hulk: Misunderstood Monster by Paul Benjamin, David Nakayama and Juan Santacruz - It's the Hulk Baby!!!!!! He's mean, green and ready to cream anybody who messes with him. This Graphic Novel collects the first 4 issues of the comic. I have been a Hulk fan for a long time and the stories included are really great (lots of action and humor). The first story is the origin, naturally, of Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk. The Hulk has friends in Rick Jones, Monkey (who happens to be just that, a monkey) and sorta in Jamie Madrox, The Multiplying Man. He also has more than a few enemies such as General "Thunderbolt" Ross and his Hulkbusters and The Radioactive Man. This really is a fun read so check it out and see: "Hulk Smash!"

Well that's all for now my amigos. Keep this summer fun and be nice to each other,


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some Serious News

Hey guys,

I hate to drop some serious news on everyone, but my mom passed away recently. She was 86 and in failing health, so it wasn't totally unexpected but it's still hard. I'm going to an out-of-town service, so I'll be out of things for a while. Bill will take over while I'm gone, so please keep writing.
And keep reading!! This is why reading is so important, guys! Tough times are bound to come and reading can give you the battle gear to face them. For instance, those who've read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe will know why death isn't the final word. Reading will help you out. So keep at it!

As Bill said in a post recently, we're all in this together, men!



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another One from Cyber Kid!

This guy is hot!! Here's another review from our friend cyber kid 303:

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman is an okay book about Wallace Wallace who writes a bad book report on Old Shep My Pal. His teacher makes him go to the school play rehearsals which turns out to be Old Shep My Pal. This book is very funny and I suggest you read it.

Very good, cyber kid! Did you happen to read Darth Bill's review of it on May 7? Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Top 12 List From a Fellow Reader and Blogger!!

Hey everyone,

It's Carl. Just got a comment from our friend Hacksaw Jim Duggan over at the Guys Read blog. Take a look:

Hey Guys,Cool post. It Makes me want to celebrate Happy Blog Day! I want to list my top 12 07-08 books,too, so here goes. ( Not listed in any certain order)
1)The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
2)The Looking Glass Wars & Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor
3)Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
4)Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz ( I cant put the whole series because I read all the other books last year)
5)The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson By far the best series I've ever read...
6)Notes from the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick
7)The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
8)The Teen James Bond series ( Silverfin & Blood Fever) by Charlie Higson
9)Crispin & the Cross of Lead by Avi ( I haven't read the second yet )
10)The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Seltznik
11)The Downsiders by Neal Shusterman
12)Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
Well, those are my top 12 07-08 books read. If you want to see my Meosphere, then check out the latest post on the Guys Read blog!
Hacksaw Jim Duggan from Guys Read

Thanks, Hacksaw Jim! I haven't had a chance to look at your Mesosphere yet, but hope to soon. Have any of you other guys seen it? BTW, they've had a great discussion on what makes a book a Guy Book. Do you all have any thoughts about that? Or a Top 12 list of your own? Write to them and us!

Reading Bugs and Forgotten Doors

Hey, Everyone,

School is out for some of you and almost out for the rest. You know what that means, don't you--SUMMERTIME! VACATION!! NO MORE SCHOOL!!!

What a great time of year. I always looked forward to my summer breaks when I was in school. Well, we at the library think that summer is great too, but we know there are a lot of things to do and some of you might forget about reading (which we think of as another fun summer thing to do), so every year the library comes up with a Summer Reading Program. This year's theme is:

And the Summer Reading program starts tomorrow!! June 11!! Come down here to Imaginon or head to your local branch and pick up your reading record. "What is a reading record, you cool fool?" you might ask? It's a chance to record how many hours you read--and get prizes for reading!! Go to this link on PLCMC's website to find out. If you live outside of the Charlotte/Mecklenburg county area, check with your own local library and see what they've got for your summer.

We've also got some great programs lined up for this summer. Bill and I are doing the Heores Bold From Days of Lore programs again on June 12 and 26, as well as July 17 and 31. They're at 2:00 pm here at Imaginon. I'll do the Greek myth of Perseus on the 12th and Bill will do The Death of Arthur on the 26th.

We'll also have a Guys' Movie Afternoon on June 19 and July 24. We'll show Jason and the Argonauts on the 19th and Sky High on 7-24. Both movies are at 1:00 pm. Call 704-973-2720 to register. Still plenty of time! Free admission!! And we'll serve some free pizza!!!

AND we have a new review from our good friend cyber kid 303:

The Forgotten Door by Alexander Key is a book about a kid who falls through a door to Earth from another planet. He meets the Beans who try and help him. He has lost his memory. He finds out he can read minds. Some people try to hurt the boy, Jon, and employ him in the government. The story teaches that you shouldn't be mean to people because they are different.

Thanks, cyber kid! I think it's funny that a book about a Forgotten Door should be written by someone named Key!!

ON TOP OF THAT--we've got a lively discussion going with a post I made way back on February 25. It was about who should play the different characters in the Lightning Thief movie. We've had some coments about it over the last couple of weeks--go back to that post (called "Who Would You Pick for the Lightning Thief Movie?") and read them. And tell us who you would pick!

Catch that Reading Bug!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Happy Blog Day....

Do you know what today is? It's our first Happy Blog Day!! Our one-year anniversary! We started this nuttiness one year ago on June 7, 2007. Can you believe it?? We've had a lot of fun since then, learned a whole lot, read a ton of good books, and made friends with some really cool people. Bill (Sith Rule!!!!) and I want to thank all of you for making this a really good year. Here's to many more!

In honor of this occasion, I'd like to list my 12 favorite books of the last year. (12 books for 12 months) I've put the dates of the reviews with them so you can go back and read the original posts.

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (6-7-07) The first book I reviewed and still the best single book ever! I have favorite series but this is my favorite single book.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan (8-1-07; 11-13-07; 1-30-08; 5-15-08; 5-23-08) What else can I say? They're grrrreat!!

The Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander (3-12-08)and the Tiger Magic series by Laurence Yep (1-2-08) Outside of Percy Jackson, Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia, my two favorite fantasy series.

The Barnstormers series by Loren Long and Phil Bildner (3-19-08; 4-1-08; 4-25-08) The most original, fun, exciting series I've read in a long time.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick
(8-7-07) Winner of the Caldecott Medal last year, this book is like nothing you've ever read before. Everyone, and I mean everyone who's read it loves it.

Tumbleweed Christmas by Alane Ferguson (12-20-07) Yes, it's a picture book and it's about Christmas, but it's one of the very best Christmas stories I've read, better than a lot of chapter books.

Pappy's Handkerchief by Devin Scillian (2-20-08) Another picture book, but this one is definitely good for any age. It's fictional but based on real events. Made me grip the book, it was so good!

Pond Scum by Alan Silberberg (2-8-08) What a fun book! I really enjoyed it. The characters and settings are so vivid that this book creates a movie in your head.

Here follow 3 nonfiction books that prove that history is not boring and can be every bit as exciting as fiction:

You Wouldn't Want to be a Greek Athlete: Races You'd Rather Not Run by Michael Ford (1-11-08) Funny and informative, with hialrious illustrations. Great guy book!

John Smith Escapes Again by Rosalyn Shanzer (8-25-07) This one is better than a lot of the fiction I've read. Hard to believe all that really happened--but it did!!

Black Whiteness: Admiral Byrd Alone in the Antarctic (6-7-07) An incredible true story of survival and endurance.

It's harder than I thought to narrow down the choices to 12! I had to leave some good graphic novels out. And now, to present you with his Top 12, here's that wild and crazy, wacky and fun-loving, Jedi-smashing and galaxy-conquering Sith----DARTH BILL!!!!!!

Darth Bill's Favorite 12, from month to month, from the past year! Read these books and I guarantee the Force will be strong in you:

From June 2007: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: A Novel in Cartoons by Jeff Kinney - This is a great book that is too funny. See my review from way back on the 6/6/2007 posting.

From July 2007: Roanoke: The Mystery of the Lost Colony by Lee Miller - If you like history and strange events, this is the book for you. It was one of the best Non-Fiction books I read this year. See my review of this book on the 7/30/2007 post.

From August 2007:The Battle of Iwo Jima: Guerrilla Warfare in the Pacific by Larry Hama and Anthony Williams - This book is not only a great Graphic Novel telling the story of this true War War II event, it also includes a preface with a great deal of information about this battle and a afterwards pointing out other locations to learn more about this event. This GN is really top notch, but see my review from 8/15/2007 post. The rest of these books in this World War II graphic novel series are great also; for more information on them see the 11/8 /2007 post.

From September 2007: Any Book in the Artemis Fowl Series by
Eoin Colfer - Okay, technically I did not review the entire series in September of 2007 (I reviewed the first book in the series), but these books are so cool I'm breaking the rules (I'm a Sith; it's in my nature). See my review of the first book in the series from the 9/18/2007 post.

From October 2007:
Cowboy & Octopus by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith - Man, October was a hard month to chose from as I read so much great stuff (Interworld by Neil Gaiman, The Tiger Moth Series, etc.). However, after much deliberation, I had to go for this whacked out and crazy book that made me laugh so hard it hurt. See my review of this book from the 10/10/2007 post.

From November 2007: The Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean Series by Rob Kidd- Okay I'm cheating again (I only reviewed the first book that month, "The Coming Storm", from the series), but these books are terrific. If you liked "The Pirates of the Caribbean" Movie Series, you'll love these books. If you have not read this series yet all I can say is "Ouch!!!!!!" See my review of "The Coming Storm" from my 11/27/2007 post.

From December 2007:
Interworld by Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves and The Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Series by various - Wow, now I doubling the cheating (Like I said, I'm a Sith; I can't help myself!!!!!). Interworld is a really great science fiction story written in part by one of my favorite authors ever--Neil Gaiman. It's a terrific book that seems to have been overlooked by many people. Now The Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Graphic Novel Series is really AWESOME!!!!!! It's got everything that makes Star Wars so great: action, adventure, Jedi, Sith, more Sith, Clone Troopers, Yoda, Mace Windu, Chewbacca, R2-D2, C3PO, Sith, and so much more. It really rocks hard!!!!!! For Interworld see the 12/10/2007 post and for Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures see my 12/4/2007 post.

From January 2008:
Stan Lee: Writer & Creator by Sue Hamilton and Jack Kirby: Creator & Artist also by Sue Hamilton - Okay, I'm not even going to say anything more about cheating, period. These are two great biographies about two men who helped make the Comic Book Industry what it is today along with creating many of the superheros we are still reading about. See my 1/6 /2008 post for a great review of these books. Their are other books in this series about famous Comic Book creators that are owned by the Library System if you enjoy these books (Joe Sinnott, John Buscema, John Romita, Sr, Joe Simon).

For February 2008: The Bone Series by Jeff Smith - The book in the series that I actually reviewed in February was "Ghost Circles." This is a truly great Graphic Novel Series that is kind of like "The Lord of the Rings" combined with "The Marx Brothers." Great adventure mixed with great laughs. See my 2/6 /2008 for the review for "Ghost Circles."

For March 2008:
Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories. Volume 1 & 2 / all stories written and drawn by Carl Barks - These Graphic Novels present some of the master of the Disney Ducks writing and drawing Carl Barks at his very best. Great adventure and comedy follow Uncle Scrooge, Donald, Huey, Louie and Dewey wherever they go. These are great reads that you will love!!!! See my 3/27 /2008 post for a review of Volume 1.

For April 2008: Tunnels by Roderick Gordon & Brian Williams - If you are still in the dark about this book, you have to read it as soon as possible. This book is probably the best I read all year and I guarantee you will love it to. See my review from the 4/5/2008 posting.

For May 2008:
No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman and Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher - No More Dead Dogs is one of the funniest books I have read in a very long time. Please don't let the title put you off; it's not what you think. See my review from the 5/7 /2008 posting for more information on this book. I also had to include Stoneheart as it is such an exciting and fast paced adventure that will grab you and not let you go until the end. Which will leave you waiting for more. See my 5/30 /2008 posting for a review of this very cool book!!!!!

Well, guys, this past year has been a gas and we have had a great deal of fun. We hope you have also!!! If you want, why don't you post about your favorite books from the first complete year of our blog (and when I say "our", I'm talking about you guys out there in Blogland, Carl, and myself. We are in this together, men!!!!!!)

Well, peace everyone,

and Carl

Friday, June 6, 2008

Prince Caspian--the Book and the Movie

Greetings, all you readers in the Royal Lands of Blog, it is I, Carl the Great Goof-Off---I mean, Carl the Great Good Blogger. I saw the Prince Caspian movie lately and liked it a lot, so I thought this would be a good time to talk about the book and the movie.
Prince Caspian is, of course, one of the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Several of you have read them all, but if you're a newbie to this series, you're in for a treat. The Narnia books have everything you want--adventure, thrills, humor, and even some good life lessons (but don't worry; Lewis gives them to you as part of an exciting story)

In the first book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, four kids find their way into the magical world of Narnia and find that it's been taken over by the thoroughly evil White Witch. A ancient prophecy says that when they become kings and queens of Narnia, her reign will be over. The witch finds a way to thwart the prophecy, however, and the great lion Aslan must intervene to save the land.

In Prince Caspian, the same four kids are sitting at a train station and suddenly get pulled into Narnia again. Everything is different this time, however. The dwarfs, centaurs, dryads, and all the other magical creatures seem to have disappeared. Even their old castle has changed drastically. Just as the four kids find out what has happened, they come across Prince Caspian, who has escaped from his wicked uncle, King Miraz. Perhaps the four children can restore Caspian to his throne and make things right--but they will need Aslan's help, and he seems slow in coming. Will he show up in time? You'll like this one a lot.

The Prince Caspain movie was really good too. It's a great big epic movie, like the Lord of the Rings movie. The special effects are awesome, there's lots of humor (especially first encounters with Reepicheep), and there's a lot of action. The truly good kind--swordfights, escapes on horseback, massive battles between armies, all the stuff that makes a movie fun. Now if you've read the book, you'll see that they added a whole bunch of scenes that weren't in there--like the assault on Miraz's castle. But that's all right. Those extra scenes are good and, if you've read the book, you won't mind. So, should you read the book or see the movie first? Well, in this case, I don't think it matters. Sometimes I say you should definitely read the book first but with Prince Caspian, you'll enjoy them both no matter which one you get first.

Aslan Forever!!


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Return of the Kandy Kane Kid

Howdy, Partners, this here's the Kandy Kane Kid!! Now you all might think I look a bit...peculiar. Well, that's because I ususally come out only at Christmas time to shoot everyone up full of holiday cheer. But I've found out about something so great that I just had to come here and tell you sidewinders. (besides, I had to let you know that Big Bad Darth Bill ain't the only gunslinger in these here parts!) Turns out that the grownups from the Main Library are going to show a bunch of COWBOY MOVIES here at Imaginon this summer!!!! Yeee haaa!! Now, most of these movies are fur grownups and are long and full of boring grownup talk, but there are three that are rip-roarin' , rootin'--tootin', fun movies that you'd enjoy. And the first one is this Sunday!!

It's Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne, the greatest movie cowboy of them all!! In this one, a Texas sheriff has to protect a murderer that's in his jail. This movie's full of slam-bang action! It shows Sunday, June 8 at 2:00 pm in the Wachovia Playhouse Movin' Picture Theatre here at Imaginon.

By the way, these movies are for older buckaroos, 10-13 years old.

The next is a side-splittin' comedy, Go West, with that hilarious funny man, Buster Keaton. (That's him on the left)Now this here's a silent movie, cowpokes!! You might say, "Oh, man!! Why would I want to see anyting like that?" Let me tell you, that Buster Keaton's funnier than a herd of monkeys fallin' off their horses!! And this movie has a real piano player to accompany the movie and that makes for a rollicking good time! That one's on June 22 at 2:oo pm in the same place.

The third one is the last of one of the series, Ride the High Country, starring Randolph Scott, who was born right here in Charlotte. In this one, two aging lawmen are hired to guard a shipment of gold. It'll be August 24, same time, same place. Couldn't ask fur a better time at the movies, could ya? All right then, cowpokes, come on down to the Imaginon Ranch for Texas-sized fun. (and bring yore dads and uncles and cousisn and grandads too)


Carl (aka The Kandy Kane Kid)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Good Time at the Kickoff Party

Here we all are, intrepid readers

and bold discus tossers!
As you can see, we all had fun at the Percy Jackson Summer Book Club Kickoff Party last Saturday. There were a lot of games--Athena sent word searches, the Minotaur dropped off mazes (glad he didn't stay!!), and everyone took turns at the Discus Toss. It's easy to do--just staple two paper plates together and you have a discus worthy of the original Olympic games. Poseidon was pleased to hear from Apollo that people in North and South Carolina have something called "beach music," so we all listened to that during the party. There was food, too. If you look closely at the first picture, you'll see, behind the kids, The Snack Table of the Gods. Hephaestus sent hot candy, Dionysus sent Diet Coke and juice drinks, and Aphrodite, naturally, sent sweets--including kisses!!

We're going to meet June 21 and talk about the first two books, then talk about the last two in July. It looks like we have a fun group and just about the right size. (We've got eight so far, with 3 more possibly coming) The girl in the baseball cap is named Anna, so we called her Annabeth!! (It's not a Yankees cap, so she couldn't turn invisible) We'll keep you informed! Are there any other Percy Jackson book clubs out there this summer? Let us know!

BTW, Poseidon did show up:
OK, so it's me and not the sea king. You could say I'm all wet for saying that!! Hardeee har har!! That claim couldn't hold water!!! Ha ha ha ha!!! Oh, I should be a comedian--I'd make a big splash!!!! Oh, ha ha ha...ha....why am I the only one laughing???


PS--be sure to sign up for the Kids Love Comics workshop!