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Like the New Show? Check out these Graphic Novel Inspirations: Stumptown, The Boys, and Watchmen

27 Nov

Several new TV and Streaming shows this year are based on graphic novels.  If you are enjoying the TV shows then check out the graphic novels that inspired them.  All three are intended for adult audiences.

Stumptown


I’m really enjoying Stumptown, a TV series which centers on, Dex, an Army Veteran that decides to become a PI.  I checked it out since I was a fan of Cobie Smulders on How I Met Your Mother, but was hooked by the likeable, but flawed characters.  She lives with her brother with Down syndrome (excellently acted by Cole Sibus) and her best friend is an ex-con.  Fans of the graphic novel seem happy with the adaptation, especially that the series kept Dex’s bisexuality, which was explored in a recent episode.  The first volume of the graphic novel deals with the kidnapping of Sue-Lynne’s granddaughter, which also begins the TV series.  The second volume deals with a case of a missing guitar.  They are written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Matthew Southworth.

The Boys
Boys

What if we lived in a world of super humans; who would police the vigilantes?  Garth Ennis’s The Boys answers that question.  A secret group makes sure that super heroes don’t cross the line with their behavior.  Although the violence level is a bit high for me, my husband is a fan of the new streaming series and I’ve watched a few episodes with him.  You can check out the first Ominbus edition from Hoboken Public Library or Hoboken residents can check out digital issues from Hoopla.  You can also read a previous review of the series on our blog.

Watchmen
Watchmen

If you like The Boys than you should also check out the graphic novel series The Watchmen by Alan Moore, considered a groundbreaking classic, the series looks at how the presence of superheroes would change history.  Like The Boys, the superheroes even when using their powers for good, often have many flaws.  The series was first adapted as a movie which has now been followed up by a TV series set after the event in the film and graphic novels; I found the first TV episode a bit slow paced, but I’m curious to check out more.  It is available in several digital editions from Hoopla.

If you are a huge Comics fan then you should come to our second annual HPL Mini Comic Convention on Saturday, December 14 starting at 12 PM at the Hoboken Public Library.  You can learn to dance like a superhero, play Super Smash Bros, and learn some new cosplay techniques!  There will be crafting with our new Cricut machine, a photo booth and more.

A Year of Speculative Fiction: The Novels and Movies Our Science Fiction and Fantasy Group Enjoyed in 2019

16 Oct

Once a month the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group meets to discuss speculative fiction that has been suggested by participants.  We also feature beforehand a movie/TV adaptation or a film with a similar setting or theme, which is a way for people who don’t have time to read the book to still participate.

Altered Carbon
by Richard K. Morgan
Altered Carbon
We started the year with Cyber Punk Noir Mystery, Altered Carbon.  In the future the rich can live hundreds of years through the use of cortical stacks and clones; others who cannot afford clones may be transferred into other people’s bodies.  Fans of the Netflix adaptation will still find new things to enjoy in the novel which had changes made in the adaptation such as an AI hotel being based on the personality of Jimmie Hendrix in the book being changed into Edgar Allen Poe in the show. We paired the movie with the live action adaptation of the Anime classic Ghost in the Shell.

A Darker Shade of Magic
by VE Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic
In February we read A Darker Shade of Magic which takes place in a reality where there are not one, but multiple Londons, one of which is similar to our own in the middle ages, but others contain powerful magic.  Few can cross between these alternate dimensions, but when something dangerous is brought between them it may spell disaster to all of the worlds.  We watched the first of the Fantastic Beasts movies.

The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood
Hadmaid's Tale
Before the sequel came out in honor of Women’s History Month we read Margaret Atwood’s cautionary dystopian novel about the dire consequences when women’s rights are stripped away.  We watched the movie adaptation beforehand.

The Calculating Stars
by Mary Robinette Kowal
The Calculating Stars
In April the group read Mary Robinette Kowal’s first novel in her Lady Astronaut’s series which gives an alternate history where a meteor strike pushes the space exploration forward and women get to take part.  We paired the book with a screening of the thrilling modern space exploration movie Gravity, which features a strong performance by Sandra Bullock.

Mortal Engines
by Philip Reeve
Mortal Engines
For the month of May, the group read the Young Adult Steampunk novel Mortal Engines and also watched the movie adaptation.  The group felt the novel was stronger than the movie adaptation.

King of the Wyld
by Nicholas Eames
kings of the wyld
June’s pick was Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames which uses the analogy of old mercenaries being similar to aging rock stars doing one last tour. They must rescue one of their band’s daughters.  Before the book discussion we enjoyed the campy fun of the Hercules TV show.

A Memory Called Empire
by Arkady Martine
Memory Called Empire
This year’s Summer Reading theme was Space, so for July and August the group read two space operas.  July’s novel was A Memory Called Empire which revolved around a planet sized city where an emissary from a remote post must solve the mystery of what happened to her predecessor.  We paired the novel with the Joss Whedon, space western classic, Serenity, the sequel to the Firefly TV Show.

Luna: New Moon 
by Ian McDonald
Luna New Moon
Ian McDonald took the concept of a multigenerational soap opera like Dallas and placed it on a moon colony with all sorts of political scheming and romantic drama in August’s book, Luna: New Moon.  The group wanted to read the second in the series after the first book ended on a cliff hanger for our November discussion (Nov 18).  We watched Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, a colorful space opera based on a French graphic novel.

Strange Practice
by Vivian Shaw
Strange Practice
I was intrigued when I learned Arkady Martine’s wife was also an author and wanted to see how their writing compared.  Vivian Shaw’s Strange Practice features a doctor who treats supernatural creatures like vampires and mummies.  The group felt that this was a very light, funny novel and was an interesting contrast to the more serious tone of A Memory Called Empire.  We also watched the very funny Hotel Transylvania.

Want to join us for some great discussions?  On Monday, October 21 we will be celebrating Halloween with Deborah Harkness’s Discovery of Witches.  The discussion starts at 6 PM.  Beforehand you can also join us for an enjoyable viewing of a family friendly animated movie treat at 4 PM.  Email hplwriters @ gmail.com to be added to our mailing list.   

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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