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‘Belly Flop!’ release party slated for Monday

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Local cartoonist Stephen McCranie will throw a release party for his recently published graphic novel, from 4-6 p.m. Monday at the Mesa Public Library.
The free event will include a short talk by the author and a chance to purchase a signed copy of the book for $10.
The new book, “Belly Flop!” is the third volume in the kids graphic novel series, Mal and Chad. The story follows the boy genius inventor, Mal and his loyal dog, Chad.  
For all Mal’s inventions, he still can’t seem to get the attention of his school crush, Megan.
But Megan becomes the least of Mal’s worries when his weather machine goes haywire and engulfs the town in a freak snowstorm.
McCranie began Mal and Chad as a comic strip for The University of New Mexico school newspaper.
A publisher from Penguin spotted the strip online and contacted McCranie about making the feature into an all-ages comic book series.
McCranie has since created three Mal and Chad books, including: “The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever!,” “Food Fight!” and most recently, “Belly Flop!”
Leading up to the release party, McCranie will visit Piñon and Mountain elementaries to teach students about cartooning and what it’s like being a cartoonist.
Similar topics will be covered at the release party presentation. All ages are welcome.