Imagine Your Story- RiverCon Interview with Clare Kolat

Image courtesy of Clare Kolat.

Welcome back to our RiverCon interview series! RiverCon, our first annual mini-con at the library, was moved to at home activities to keep everyone safe this summer. We have also adapted our summer reading inspired RiverCon panel discussion to blog format so you can enjoy “meeting” amazing local comic artists and authors from home!

This week we hear from Clare Kolat, a talented Cleveland native who is a spectacular comic creator, artist, and designer. Clare’s comics have been featured in Vagabond Comics, The Ohio City Tremont Observer, and Cleveland Scene Magazine. You can learn more about Clare and her work by visiting her website- just click here!

What inspired you to pursue a career in comics?

Clare: Making my own stories and art always came naturally to me. I’ve found mountains of books and comics I made as a kid in my parents’ attic. Somewhere along the way, I realized that it was something I could keep doing as an adult, so I never stopped! 

Was there a favorite comic book you read in your youth?

Clare: While growing up in Mentor, my parents always got the News Herald, and for a time, they would include reprinted copies of old Spider-Man comics on Sundays. I would always grab the newspaper and shake out my comic to read first thing in the morning! I was also really into manga because of Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon.

Image courtesy of Clare Kolat.

Why do you think storytelling, specifically in the comic or graphic novel format, is important?

Clare: Stories teach us valuable lessons and let us escape to worlds outside our understanding. They let us explore, grow, and share experiences with others we would never have otherwise. I absolutely think graphic storytelling is important as well. It’s a highly accessible medium. Anyone can read comics. Even if you don’t necessarily understand the words, the art is there to guide you through the story. It is really unique in that way. Comics are for everyone. 

How have folk tales, fairy tales, or mythology influenced your work?

Clare: I’ve always loved fantastical stories and magical worlds. Fairytales and mythology always gave me an exciting place to escape. They offer you a different perspective and an opportunity to find magic in the mundane.

Image courtesy of Clare Kolat.

Do you have a favorite folk tale, fairy tale, or myth?

Clare: It’s so hard to pick one. I’ve really been getting into American folklore lately, especially stories about Appalachian cryptids and ghosts. I love the story of the Tailypo and did my own version for Vagabond Comics issue 9.

Image courtesy of Clare Kolat.

What is a favorite comic book or graphic novel that you have read in the past year?

Clare: Again, it’s hard to pick just one favorite, but to name a few Paper Girls, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, and Pilu of the Woods are all excellent.

Be sure to join me next Thursday morning for our final Imagine Your Story RiverCon interview! Stay safe and happy reading.

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here some of the new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week!

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda – Rendered famous in childhood for her miraculous survival of a dangerous storm, a young woman changes her name and struggles to hide from the media before waking up one evening to find a corpse at her feet.

The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor – A series debut set in Dublin and New York introduces homicide detective and divorced mom Maggie D’Arcy, who in the wake of a disappearance and new clues reopens the investigation into her cousin’s disappearance 23 years earlier.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory – Going against her better judgement, LA lawyer Olivia Monroe secretly starts dating a hotshot junior senator until their romance is made public and her life falls under intense media scrutiny, jeopardizing everything.

Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri – Haunting the park near Tokyo’s Uneo Station, the ghost of a man whose life eerily paralleled the Emperor’s reflects on the milestones that impacted his existence, from his homelessness and the 2011 tsunami to the 1964 and 2020 Olympics.

Nothing Can Hurt You by Nicola Maye Goldberg – In a tale inspired by true events, the author of The Doll Factory explores the high-suspense aftermath of a college student’s baffling murder and its reverberations through a chorus of interconnected lives.

The Mist by Ragnar Jonasson – In this gripping conclusion of the critically acclaimed Hidden Iceland series, Detective Hulda is haunted forever by the events that occurred in an isolated farmhouse in the east of Iceland that opened its doors to a killer.

Eliza Starts a Rumor by Jane L. Rosen – Clinging to the community bulletin board she created 15 years earlier, a suburban housewife struggling with agoraphobia engages in fabricated gossip to keep the site more interesting before community member lives are upended by personal setbacks.

People of the Canyons by Kathleen O’Neal & W. Michael Gear – A healer allies himself with a witch hunter to prevent a tyrant from claiming an artifact of power, while his adopted granddaughter uncovers terrifying truths about her parents. By the best-selling authors of People of the Raven.

Everyone Knows How Much I Love You by Kyle McCarthy – Moving in with a childhood friend she betrayed years earlier, Rose becomes increasingly drawn to her roommate’s boyfriend and exerts unconscious influence that threatens to reignite the worst moments of each woman’s life.

Love by Roddy Doyle – Attending his father’s deathbed in hospice, a man reconnects with a drinking buddy from his Dublin youth while reflecting on a long-ago love, his wife’s role in upending his life and the truth about his departure from Ireland.

 

~Semanur

 

Imagine Your Story: RiverCon Interview with Karly West

RiverCon, our first annual mini-con at the library, was moved to at home activities to keep everyone safe this summer. We have also adapted our RiverCon panel discussion to blog format so you can enjoy “meeting” amazing local comic artists and authors from home! Each Thursday morning from now until July 2nd you can read a new interview right here on Read it Or Weep.

Our first RiverCon interview kicks off with Karly West! Karly is the author and artist of The Scholarly Banana: Fitcher’s Bird and a Rocky River native! Read more about Karly here.

What inspired you to pursue a career in comics?

Karly: I have a lot of weird, varied interests that I stubbornly refuse to give up! As a kid, I wanted to be an artist, an author, and a teacher. College was the same story: I interviewed with the journalism department, the art department, and the education department, but I had the worst time making a decision. For whatever reason, even though I loved each of these subjects, none of these career paths felt like the right fit for me (note: I earned my degree in education, but I’ve worked as a professional artist since 2010). In 2016, I created The Scholarly Banana as my “dream project” that would enable me to do everything I loved in one fell swoop: Writing, Researching, Design, Sculpture, Photography, Photoshop, Teaching, and…being weird, I guess! I’m happy to say that this has been the most creatively satisfying (and challenging) thing I’ve ever done.


Was there a favorite comic book you read in your youth?

Karly: Fox Trot. Back in the 90s, I collected all the Fox Trot anthologies and spent countless hours drawing the Fox family. My honorable mention goes to Dilbert. Although I’ve never worked in a cubicle before, I think Scott Adams is hilarious. Side note: His nonfiction books are great, too.


Why do you think storytelling, specifically in the comic or graphic novel format, is important?

Karly: Pictures are just another form of communication, so a well-designed, well-written, artistic book should be the best of both worlds, right? Graphic novels are incredibly cinematic. They’re like highly-polished storyboards! But unlike movies, graphic novels let us enjoy stories at our own pace, which is fantastic. I love to re-read my favorite books to analyze and admire all the subtle details. Graphic novels and well-designed picture books are great for that. 


How have folk tales, fairy tales, or mythology influenced your work?

Karly: I’ve been a voracious folklore nerd since 2002! More than anything, I love learning about the history and analysis of these ancient, influential stories. My favorite fairy tale books tend to be research-focused, though I don’t always have the mental energy to read college-level texts anymore. I created The Scholarly Banana to solve this problem! The Banana showcases the most exciting facts about folklore studies in a casual, friendly, and irreverently joyful way. It’s like a quirky, artsy CliffsNotes. But with fairy tales. And a banana.

Photo courtesy of Karly West.


Do you have a favorite folk tale, fairy tale, or myth?

Karly: The Story Of Grandmother is the tale that first got me hooked on folklore studies. Haha, I know the title sounds lame, but this is one of the craziest stories I’ve ever read! It’s an old French version of “Little Red Riding Hood.” However, the girl in this story doesn’t have a red hood, she unwittingly eats her grandmother for lunch, and she arranges her escape by telling the wolf that she has to go outside to use the bathroom. No joke. That’s the story.


What is a favorite comic book or graphic novel that you have read in the past year?

Karly: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. It’s beautifully creepy. Can I get some honorable mentions for this too? I’m a big fan of Reza Farazmand’s Poorly Drawn Lines (IG @poorlydrawnlines) as well as Patt Kelley’s single-paneled comics (@pattkelley). 

Thanks so much to Karly for participating in our blog interview! Keep your eyes peeled for her next Scholarly Banana book- The Juniper Tree!

Imagine Your Story – Adult and Teen Events @RRPL

WEEK OF JUNE 8, 2020

Here’s what’s happening for adults & teens at RRPL this week!

Summer Reading begins! Sign up at Beanstack or call us to register! For additional information, check out our Summer Reading Flyer.

MANNA FOOD TRUCK | All Ages | Wednesday, June 10, 5-7 pm
Library Front Lawn Enjoy dinner from Manna Food Truck while you picnic on the lawn. Order online before the event from the link in our event calendar or at the truck the day of.

SMARTPHONE VIDEOMAKING | Adults & Teens | Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
June 11: (apps, writing, shooting) and June 25: (apps, editing, how to share)
Bring your smartphone (any device) and learn how to write, shoot, and edit your video all from your phone with TV producer Hollie Brubaker. Be prepared with a full battery, storage space for new apps on your device, and an idea inspired by Rocky River. Each participant will be encouraged to share their work at our River of Stories event the week of July 21-27. Adults and Teens welcome. Register and you will be emailed an invitation to join this virtual event. Registration required.

MEET THE AUTHOR: ABBY L. VANDIVER | Adults | Thursday, June 11, 6:30 pm
Abby L. Vandiver will talk about her recently published book, A Deadly Inside Scoop, first in her new series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery, published by Penguin Berkley. Hear her exciting journey from lawyer, to successful self-published Amazon #1 bestselling author, to Penguin published
author! Register and you will be emailed an invitation to join this virtual event. Registration required.

Check out the Information Kiosk in front of the library for more information, including Summer Reading, Summer Events and Summer Reading Slips.

Happy Reading!

~ Dori

Imagine Your Story — A Postcard From Home

This summer isn’t panning out to include the travel many of us were hoping for. One summer tradition we don’t need give up on this year is sending postcards. That’s why each of our adult summer reading participants can stop by the library’s curbside service to pick up one of these fantastic ‘Greetings from Rocky River’ postcards. Shout out to our graphic designer, Stephanie for bringing this design to life!

You can pre-register for our summer reading by creating an account and logging in here. Stop by the library’s curbside service starting Saturday, June 6 to request your free postcard while supplies last.

—Beth

Imagine Your Story @ RRPL- Countdown to RiverCon!

Only three more days to go until we kick off Rivercon! What is RiverCon you ask? RiverCon is a celebration of comic books, graphic novels, and manga that you don’t want to miss. Originally envisioned to be a mini-con at the library, we’ve adapted our event so you can enjoy awesome comic content and activities safely from home this June!

Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm yours truly, along with Teen Librarian Ms. Megan, and Children’s Librarian Ms. Amanda, will be passing out RiverCon@Home kits to pre-registered patrons in front of the library. We even have comic-themed face masks to stay safe, courtesy of Ms. Megan.

Here’s a look at what you can expect for this Saturday, June 6th. There is something for everyone!

  • 9 am- 1 pm: Patrons who pre-registered for a RiverCon@Home activity kit (if you didn’t claim your kit yet click here!) can pick-up their kits by stopping at the front entrance of the library to grab your kit from one of the librarians. You can also sign-up early for one of our super fun summer reading programs!
  • Pre-registration for kits will end June 5th, but fear not- we will have unclaimed RiverCon@Home kits on hand to pass out to anyone who stops by on a while supplies last basis!
  • What will my RiverCon@Home kit include? A RiverCon magnet, materials to make your own upcycled comic book bookmark, blank panel pages to draw your own comics, a librarian curated graphic novel reading list with discussion questions to explore at home, superhero stickers, Hoopla swag, and more!
  • 2-3 pm: Teens and adults can learn all about the interesting history of comics and graphic novels in Cleveland from CSU literature professor Jeff Karem at our Graphic Novelists in Cleveland webinar. Register today to get the Zoom link to join emailed to you the day of the event!
  • 2-3:30 pm: Kids ages 8-12 can sign up to participate in our online Nintendo Gaming Tournament. We’ve got plenty of spaces left so snag your spot to play today!

The fun continues all month with our first ever Community Cosplay Contest running from June 6th- June 29th! Find all the necessary information for participation here. We want to see your creativity! All ages are invited to bring to life your favorite characters for a chance to win a sweet prize bag. Two lucky winners will win a selection of graphic novels and gift cards to Carol & John’s Comic Shop, Immortals Inc., and Mitchell’s Ice Cream!

Keep checking back here every Thursday, June 11- July 2 to read interviews with talented local comic artists and writers! We will be talking to Karly West, creator of The Scholarly Banana, comics designer and artist Clare Kolat, and Tony Isabella, creator of Black Lightning, to name a few.

Later this month families will also be able to a enjoy a super-fun superhero storytime via YouTube with Ms. Amanda as part of our RiverCon program lineup! Keep your eyes peeled on the website for more details.

We can’t wait to see you! Happy Reading and Happy Summer!

Imagine Your Story @RRPL

 

YA Round Up

I have been reading (and by reading, I mean listening to) a lot of true crime and thrillers lately, but I also read a good amount of YA books. I am the Teen Librarian, after all. Early in the Covid…

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here some of the new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week! The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper – A female, African American ER physician describes how her own life and encounters with her patients led…

Imagine Your Story – Sympathetic Serial Killers

I admit it, I love a good serial killer story. And, no, the quarantine didn’t drive me to it; I just like the way that authors let us readers live inside of the mind of fictional characters, and some of those characters happen to be serial killers.

If we want to trace the beginnings, though, while I’m sure I was influenced by all the baddies that Stephen King had to offer back in the day, I first, truly fell for a serial killing character in The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. I admit to reading this one after seeing the flick starring Matt Damon and Jude Law. Reading it really made me fall for Ripley, though. So misunderstood, so handsome, so deadly.

Next up was when I met Dexter in the novels by Jeff Lindsay-and my friend tells me the series is great too. But here, too, I encountered an utterly handsome and charming guy, who is almost perfect– minuses for working as a blood spatter analyst (yuck!) and for regularly murdering people (but he only murders bad people!)? So, who wouldn’t fall for that kind of guy…am I right?

Oh, and then there is Patrick Bateman from Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, who was, to be honest, fun reading about, but I wouldn’t want to run into personally. Ew, actually, he was pretty demented, Let’s just skip him.

Which brings me to today’s obsession–Villanelle. My latest serial killer obsession is the star of Killing Eve, a BBC show that just concluded its third season. This British black comedy-drama spy thriller television series follows Eve Polastri (the amazing Sandra Oh), as a British intelligence investigator who has been tasked with capturing the psychopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer). As the chase progresses, the two develop a mutual obsession. I’m with you, Eve. I can’t wait for season four either!

I get it if these murderous types aren’t your cup of tea, though. Just wait a week and I’ll likely be back to birds and kittens.

 

 

 

 

Imagine Your Story This Summer @RRPL

We have something for everyone this summer! Our theme is IMAGINE YOUR STORY and includes events and summer reading for all ages. From creating costumes for RiverCon to Smartphone Video and Writing classes inspired by Rocky River to weekly giveaways to inspire your outdoor activities, we’ve been planning for you.

Summer reading begins June 6 with our RiverCon Kit, Teen Book Kit, Children’s Summer Reading Kit, and Adult Summer Reading slips/postcard pickup. See our online calendar to register for the RiverCon and Teen Book Kits. For the Chidren’s kit, see the calendar for open times to pick up your kits. Adults can attend on Saturday the 6th to pick up Summer Reading slips and to get a lovely Rocky River postcard to mail to a friend. They can also call the Reference Desk and we’ll get slips to you through curbside pickup.

All ages will be using our new online reading log, Beanstack. Beanstack’s user friendly interface and convenient mobile app allow you to participate in our summer reading program from wherever you are. Create an account for yourself or one for your whole family.  

Once you have created your account, click “add a reader” and then enter the information for yourself and each family member.  Based on age, different readers will have access to their age appropriate reading program. Register each reader for the appropriate reading challenge and start logging books today!

TEENS – GRADES 6-12 

Sign up to receive a Summer Reading starter kit that includes a new book, candy, library swag, and a summer reading board.  Choose from: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, or Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page. Starter kits will be distributed beginning Saturday, June 6 once you register for your kit online. Quantities are limited to the first 100 requests. 

Summer reading will take place using Beanstack. Teens will get tickets for earning badges and automatically earn a ticket for signing up and another for completion. They will also earn a badge for every book read, up to 10 books, and for every activity completed. Tickets can be entered into the raffle of their choice: $25 gift cards to Mitchells, Starbucks, Panera, Danny Boys, Dollar Tree, Books-a-Million, Immortals, Inc., and Gamestop. 

ADULTS 

Adults have options when it comes to Summer Reading this year! For every book read, participants can ‘log a book’ on Beanstack, call the Reference Desk so staff can fill out a paper slip, or drop off a paper slip at the library in our Summer Reading mailbox. You can pick up paper slips using our curbside service. Every entry is eligible to receive one ‘virtual’ ticket, and each ticket can be submitted to earn one of seven raffle prize packs. This year’s prize packs feature $50 gift cards to Joe’s Deli, Bomba, Danny Boys, Herb’s Tavern, King Wah, Rocky River Brewing Company, and Wine Bar. Participants can also visit the library’s curbside service to request a free Rocky River postcard while supplies last.  

Keep an eye on our calendar, our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and right here on our blog for info about upcoming events and programs at RRPL for Adults and Teens.

June 1-6:

MIDDLE SCHOOL BOOK CLUB 
Wednesday, June 3, 3:30 p.m.  
Due to popular demand we’ve added another virtual book club session! Join us in Google Hangouts for a discussion of the book Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder. This title is available in Hoopla as an audiobook and ebook. We will send an invitation to the event via email closer to the day of the event. 

RRPL TRIVIA WITH ZOOM LIVE +
Thursday, June 4, 6:30 p.m. 
Join us for a fun night of trivia! Hosted by Cleveland Trivia, you will need to create a Zoom account on your computer or download the app on your phone. Feel free to form teams in advance with your friends or the host will assign teams. Register and you will be emailed an invitation to join this virtual event. Registration required. 

BOOK TALKS AT RRPL 
Friday, June 5 
It’s the first Friday of the month and let’s review some books. In June we’ll be reviewing Dads in fiction. Register for this event and you will be emailed a list of titles so that you can jump into that next great read. 

RIVERCON! @ HOME 
Saturday, June 6- Monday, June 29 
Celebrate comics and fandom with RRPL’s RiverCon @ Home throughout the month of June! Register to reserve your RiverCon @ Home kit that will include materials to make your own recycled comic craft, graphic novel book discussion guides for three select titles (adult, children, and teen), a RiverCon magnet, information on our cosplay contest, and more! Safe and secure pick-up details will be emailed to registrants before the pick-up date of Saturday, June 6th. While supplies last. 

Check out the Rivercon page on our website throughout the month of June for more virtual programming you can enjoy from home including interviews with local comic illustrators and authors, a superhero themed storytime, a community cosplay contest, and downloadable graphic novel discussion guides. 

GRAPHIC NOVELISTS OF CLEVELAND – Adults & Teens 
Saturday, June 6, 2-3 pm 
Gotham may get all the attention, but the heart of comics is really in Cleveland. Join Jeff Karem, a professor of literature at Cleveland State University, for an engaging discussion of the rich history of comics and graphic novelists from Cleveland. Presented as part of our RiverCon schedule. Register and you will be emailed an invitation to join this virtual event. Registration required. 

Everyone has a story to tell ~

~ Dori