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Newsletter March 2019

Mission Viejo Library Comic-Con: 5 Questions with Expert Costumer Anastasia Hunter

If you like comic books, video games and animation, make plans for the second annual Mission Viejo Library Comic-Con from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 23 at the Mission Viejo Civic Center, 200 Civic Center Drive.

With something for everyone, this exciting day includes comic book creators, animators and vendors; crafts; games; costuming; themed storytimes; and more.

Anastasia Hunter

The day includes separate costuming events for adults and children as well as a discussion with seasoned costumer Anastasia Hunter.

After winning 1st place in the Master Costumer Category at the North American Science Fiction Convention in 1999, Anastasia has dressed up at fan events throughout the country. When not costuming, she enjoys taking photographs of fellow cosplayers and helps organize a variety of anime, pop culture and steampunk conventions for fellow fans.

We caught up with Anastasia to find out more about the inspiration behind her costuming.

MVL: What inspired you to start costuming and how long have you been involved in it?

AH: Like most, my passion for dressing up started with Halloween and has continued for more than 40 years!

MVL: What was your first costume? Can you count how many costumes you’ve made since then?

AH: Two of my earliest costumes included a store-bought UnderDog complete with a mask and Wonder Woman! I have made and modified around 75 costumes, many that are interchangeable for various themed events.

MVL: Sewing is a huge part of building a costume, so how did you develop your sewing skills?

AH: In college, my best friend’s mother taught me how to sew and my first project was a peasant blouse for the local Ren Fair. It took me eight hours to complete as all the seams had to be perfect. I still wear it today!

MVL:  How far in advance do you start planning when you get inspired to create a costume?

AH: Planning really depends on how complex of a project you want to make. I like to sketch out my ideas before I make my outfit to ensure I keep to my vision and prioritize the different parts of the project that need to be constructed. Often, I'll put a binder together with sample patterns, fabric swatches and sketches.

MVL: Since we’re a library, we must ask – what book character costume would you like to create?

AH: There are so many costumes on my to-do list! For book costume projects, I have a Jane Austen's Regency dress and Harry Potter-inspired outfit just waiting for some free time.

To hear more from Anastasia, don’t miss her chat at the 2019 Mission Viejo Comic Convention. 

We look forward to seeing you there in costume!

Veterans’ program and resources at the library


The Mission Viejo Library will host a free program for veterans at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28.  During the hour-long program, Jerrie Muir of the Mission Viejo Elks Veterans' Committee will discuss the benefits of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans' Educational Assistance Act (the Forever GI Bill). Registration is required.

For more information and to register, call 949-830-7100, ext. 5105.

The library has many resources for veterans on subjects like job searching, transitioning to civilian life and applying for military benefits.  The library also partners with CalVet to offer monthly one-on-one appointments to help connect veterans and their families to benefits. Visit our website for more information.

Purse donations sought for May’s Purse Palooza

Purse Palooza

The Purse Palooza is back by popular demand! Join us on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at City Hall to buy new or gently used purses as part of a unique Friends’ fundraiser with all proceeds benefiting our library’s resources.

Evening clutches, designer handbags, Italian leather shoulder bags, wallets, suitcases and other bags are sought and can be dropped off at the library bookstore through Saturday, April 20. You can also call 562-505-0831 for pick-up. This fundraiser is a great way to declutter your environment and support the library!

The New York Times is now available for free online

New York Times

Online access to the New York Times is now available at the library and from home.

Thanks to generous support from the California State Library Mission Viejo Library patrons can access the New York Times online for free.

From 1851 to the present, all regular newspaper content, multimedia content, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese versions of the paper, and personalized access including email newsletters, customizable news feeds and article recommendations are included.

Visit the library’s Online Resources page today to get started!

Writer’s Present: Alan Brennert’s long-awaited novel “Daughter of Moloka’i”

Alan Bernnert

Alan Brennert's 2003 novel “Moloka’i” was a book club phenomenon that became a national bestseller and captivated hundreds of thousands of readers. Brennert returns to Mission Viejo on March 6 for a 7 p.m. Writers Present program with his much-anticipated sequel, “Daughter of Moloka’i.”

In “Daughter of Molokai,” Ruth Utagawa, the daughter of lepers but not afflicted with the disease herself, is taken from an orphanage and adopted by the Watanabes, a Japanese family. The Watanabes move from Hawaii to California in the early 1920s and start a strawberry farm.  Ruth is a remarkable woman who grapples with identity, belonging, family and history in this emotionally gripping story.

This is a free program, but to reserve a seat and receive priority book signing, visit https://alanbrennert.brownpapertickets.com/ to purchase a ticket, which includes a signed personalized hardcover of “Daughter of Moloka’i.”  Free seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.  Books will be sold on site by Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.

Podcast phenom and #1 bestselling author Gretchen Rubin presents

Gretchen Rubin Author Event

Drum roll please …  Gretchen Rubin, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of “The Happiness Project” and “the Four Tendencies,” will appear in Mission Viejo on Monday, March 18 to discuss her new book, “Outer Order, Inner Calm.”

This popular and comical podcast speaker will appear at 7 p.m. at the Norman Murray Community Center.

For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm.  In her study, Gretchen found that no one-size-fits-all approach exists, so her book offers many ideas for readers to choose from that will lead to their success. Written with humor, “Outer Order, Inner Calm” tackles the challenges of clearing clutter to help create the peaceful, pleasant, orderly and happier environment that we yearn for.

Gretchen has an enormous readership and her books have sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide in more than 30 languages. She makes frequent TV appearances and is a sought-after speaker. On her weekly podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” she discusses good habits and happiness with her sister Elizabeth Craft. Gretchen started her career in law and was clerking for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

To reserve two general admission seats and receive priority book signing in the order purchased, buy one book for the Writers Present discussion, Q&A and book signing at https://rubinmissionviejo.brownpapertickets.com. Limited free seating is available at the Writers Present program on a space-available basis beginning at 6:45 p.m.

If you love to watch a dog do tricks, then save this date!

man and dog

Come see Larry Kay (author of the award-winning “Training the Best Dog Ever”), Chris Perondi, top stunt and trick trainer in the country and his adorable fluffy cover star Vinny Valentino in action at 6 p.m. March 19 at the Norman Murray Community Center.

Chris and Larry, coauthors of “The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever: A Step-by-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts, “will explain the benefits of positive reinforcement trick training, as well as how to tailor a training session to your pup’s learning style and demeanor (low-energy versus high-energy). This fun, engaging program ends with a mini-tricks demonstration featuring Vinny Valentino and a brief demonstration of how to teach a simple trick. A Q&A will follow.

Books will be sold on site by A Whale of a Tale Bookshoppe. Guests who purchase a book will have an opportunity to meet Vinny, Chris and Larry and have their book personalized in the order of purchase. Mission Viejo Animal Services staff will be at the event to answer questions and provide information about our animal center, programs and volunteer opportunities. Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. and seating is first-come, first-served. The Norman Murray Center is located at 24932 Veterans Way. Note: Please leave your beloved dogs at home!

Pinning and tweeting your family history

Genealogy research

Pinterest and Twitter are two social media sites with a huge following, but are you using them for genealogy? There's so much you can do with Pinterest and Twitter in regards to genealogy.  In this presentation hosted by the South Orange County California Genealogical Society, you will learn more about Pinterest and Twitter and why these two social media tools can help you learn, network and find your family history.

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher and instructor whose focus is genealogy and social and women's history. She holds a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and Religion. Her published works include two books, numerous articles, two volumes of “Tracing Female Ancestors” (Moorshead Publishing) and a “QuickGuide” from Legacy Family Tree.  She is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s magazine “Crossroads.” The presentation will begin after a short business meeting at 10 a.m. and ends at noon.

Visitors are invited to this free program on Saturday, March 16, which includes refreshments.  The society meets at 27976 Marguerite Parkway at Hillcrest Drive.  Park and enter behind the LDS church.  For more information, contact vicepresident@soccgs.org.

The SOCCGS Genealogy Research Center located at the Mission Viejo Library is open seven days a week with docents available to help you.  Visit www.soccgs.org for hours.

Super Science Fiction Graphic Novels

For the past couple months as lead-up to our Mission Viejo Library Comic-Con, we’ve highlighted graphic novels in our library collection to help promote the event. This month, we’ll list graphic novels that are space stories with great girl heroes.


Zita the Spacegirl
This fun adventure story is about Zita, whose best friend Joseph is zapped across the universe and abducted by an alien doomsday cult. Zita must find Joseph and while searching befriends many strange creatures including a neurotic robot, a mouse big enough for her to ride and a chicken. Nevertheless, as her legend grows, Zita feels hard-pressed to measure up to her reputation. Created by Ben Hatke, this is a fantastic space tale of a girl finding herself while searching for her best friend and making new friends – in space.

Cleopatra in Space
Much like Zita, this is another space adventure with a kick butt girl. Written and drawn by Mike Maihack, this story starts with the historic person Cleopatra and zaps her into the far future where she attends high school to learn about alien languages, advanced fighting techniques and extraterrestrial biology. However, where Zita had to step up and fill the expectations of her growing reputation, Cleopatra who is already queen of Egypt, must learn a little humility on her adventures.


Paper Girls
Not really a space adventure, Paper Girls is more of a time travel saga. Written by Brian K. Vaughn and illustrated by Cliff Chang, this is the story of four girls – Erin (the new girl), MacKenzie (called "Mac" by her friends), Karina (also known as "KJ") and Tiffany, who are mysteriously transported from 1988 to 2018. They also are entwined in a time war between two factions. With many time shifts and unexplained paradoxes, Paper Girls is a great read for people who like complex narratives.

Rocket Girl
This is another time travel story by Brandon Montclare with art by Amy Reeder. In an alternate futuristic 2013 where everything is different than our normal present, a teenage New York City police officer Da Young Johannsen must travel back to 1986 to fix a time paradox which is interrupting her version of 2013. With things happening with De Young in 1986 affecting in “real time” events in 2013, this is another complex time travel story that will make you think.


On a Sunbeam
This graphic novel by Tillie Walden, which was originally a web comic, is available in print. Set in the future, the story is about people who ride in fish-shaped space ships and populate many areas of the galaxy. This is a subtle story of five people who are basically space contractors and restorers who travel around fixing building. On a deeper and more satisfying level, “On a Sunbeam” is also a love story between Mia, the new member of the crew, and her school crush who had left her behind.

Mercury Heat
Set on the planet Mercury, this crime tale tells the story of Luiza. She is practically a psychopath but is an investigator needed to solve crimes in the lawless mining colonies on Mercury. Though Luiza wants to become a police office, the over-watching computer AI called Grapevine has other plans for her. Written by Kieron Gillen with art by Nahuel Lopez, this comic is another great example of world building and suspenseful Sci-Fi action.

Other graphic novels set in space that portray strong women include:

Space Dumplins
Brass Sun
5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Bitch Planet

The Mission Viejo Library Comic-Con is on Saturday, March 23 and boasts a full day of fun including comic books, costumes, games, storytimes, crafts, food and more.


MV Life

Keep your finger on the pulse of City of Mission Viejo, CA with the free MV Life mobile app. The City of Mission Viejo has rolled out this special app to provide you with timely information about events, amenities, shopping, dining, and recreation so you can savor the good life in this picturesque South County city. Whether you are seeking family entertainment, cultural arts or activities for the young and young at heart, Mission Viejo has it all.

Download App https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.missionviejo
MV Life app image