Illustrators adorn public library with murals
TBy Bill Roundy hey’re really up against the
A series of seven colorful
murals celebrating the power of
books now decorates the children’s
section of Brooklyn’s biggest
reading room. The Brooklyn Public
Library unveiled the images,
which are spread along one wall
of the Youth Wing of its Central
Library, at a celebration on Oct.
7. Adding art to the library was a
one-in-a-lifetime opportunity, said
one of the creators.
“I never would have dreamed
that I could contribute in this
way to this borough that I love
so much,” said Stephen Savage,
a 25-year Brooklyn resident and
illustrator of the children’s book
“Polar Bear Night.”
The art project began as a way
to liven up the plain white walls
of the library’s Youth Wing with
framed prints, but soon snowballed
into a mural project involving
seven acclaimed children’s book
illustrators with ties to the library
The artists worked together to
create a unifying theme for the
seven murals, said the Brooklyn
illustrator who also art directed
“What we came up with was
‘What happens to a book when it
leaves the library?’” said Sophie
Blackall, artist of the “Ivy and
Bean” series and a two-time
winner of the Caldecott Medal.
“The book goes out into the
community, and it gets read in
treetops, and on the subway —
By the Brooklyn Frightful Film Bureau The movie monsters are loose!
The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
will unleash a wave of terrifying films
across the borough during its run next week,
from Oct. 17–24. If you are overwhelming
by the many fearsome features, spooky
shorts, and demented documentaries taking
place —take heart! We have picked out a few
of our favorite frightening flicks for you.
Learn more at Brooklyn Horror Film
Festival (www.brooklynhorrorfest.com). All
listed events cost $16.
Looking for a real mind-bender? Look
no further than “Daniel Isn’t Real.” This
psychological horror follows a young man
who, faced with the stress of caring for his
mentally ill mother, turns to an odd source
for help: Daniel, his childhood imaginary
friend, who slowly takes control of their
“friendship,” turning his life into a waking
nightmare. Director Adam Egypt Mortimer
will discuss his film after the screening.
At LIU Kumble Theater (1 University
Plaza between Willoughby Street and Dekalb
Avenue Downtown). Oct. 18 at 9 pm.
COURIER L 68 IFE, OCT. 11-17, 2019
and ‘Where does the book takes
you?’ — to imaginary places and
The murals start with Savage’s
image of a flying saucer hovering
over the Central Branch, lifting a
red book with a tractor beam. Other
murals show the book traveling
around the world, street scenes
of Brooklyn, imaginary creatures,
and finally, children reading while
floating above the Earth.
Repeating motifs across the
murals include that spaceship,
a mother pushing a stroller,
butterf lies, and the golden
creatures that adorn the front gates
of the Central Branch Library.
Working with the library was
repaying a debt, said Blackall, an
“I would do almost anything —
almost —for the library,” she said.
“The library and I go back a long
way. About 20 years ago I moved
to this country, not knowing a
soul, in the dead of winter, and my
infant son learned to walk in the
Youth Wing. The library opened
its doors to us. It was warm, it
was free, and we read our way
through the stacks, and along the
way, I took notes on how to make a
Brooklyn horror legend Larry Fessenden
recently released “Depraved,” a modern
adaptation of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein”
set in Williamsburg — and he also directed
a documentary about how he pulled it off,
titled “Fessenden’s Depraved: Making
Frankenstein in a Brooklyn Loft.” Check out
the doc to learn about his creative process,
and if you have any questions, ask him
yourself after the show.
At Cobble Hill Cinema (265 Court St.
between Butler and Douglass streets in
Cobble Hill, www.cobblehilltheatre.com).
Oct. 19 at 4:50 pm.
High-school tensions come to a bloody
resolution in “The Shed,” which follows
the strained relationship between lifelong
friends Stan, Roxy, and Dommer,
after Roxy gets popular and leaves the
boys behind. But the answer to their
problems may lie in Stan’s backyard, where
an ordinary-looking tool shed houses
At Cobble Hill Cinema (see above). Oct.
19 at 8:45 pm; Oct. 24 at 9 pm.
Mad men: Learn how a Brooklyn director unleashed a mad scientist in Williamsburg, in the documentary
“Fessenden’s Depraved.” Glass Eye Pix
Take a break from monster movies to
scream with laughter at the comedy show
“Gas Station Horror,” which takes short
clips from horror films and asks comedians
to come up with their own unlikely endings.
The night will also feature a raffle, free
candy, and horror trivia.
At Independent FIlmmaker Project (30 John
St. between Jay and Pearl streets in Dumbo,
www.nymediacenter.com). Oct. 19 at 8 pm.
The festival’s “Slayed” short film
collection features seven horror flicks
starring queer characters, including
“Penance” about queer teens who seek
revenge on the therapists trying to turn
It’s not easy being green: The title character in
the queer horror film “Bathroom Troll,” part of
the “Slayed” block of the Brooklyn Horror Film
them straight, and the evocatively titled
At Independent FIlmmaker Project (see
above). Oct. 20 at 5:50 pm.
Best of the Brooklyn Horror Film Fest
Other mural artists were
Christopher Myers, Javaka
Steptoe, Paul Zelinsky, Selina
Alko, and Yuyi Morales.
Central Library Youth Wing
10 Grand Army Plaza at Eastern
Parkway in Prospect Heights, (718)
Open Mon–Thu, 9 am–9 pm; Fri,
Sat, 9 am–6 pm; Sun, 1–5 pm. Free.
READ THE ROOM
Ship shape: Brooklyn illustrator
Stephen Savage refers to his
mural as a “close encounter of the
literary kind.” Gregg Richards
On the shelf: Award-winning children’s book illustrator Sophie Blackall sits in front
of her mural at the Brooklyn Public Library. Gregg Richards