Archive | Comics and Manga RSS feed for this section

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.

She’s the Man on the Twelfth Night: A Modern Movie and a Classic Play

24 Oct

In the comedy of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night it is ironic how there is a romantic happy ending but only tragedy is his romances – but that is the irony and beauty and also frustration of Shakespeare’s genres.

Now, although I’m sure while Shakespeare may have seemed ahead of his time, he would thoroughly appreciate being labeled as one of the original Rom-Com artists there were. And in this label of rom-com comes a modern twist on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night called She’s the Man. In case some were not aware – yes, Amanda Bynes’s She’s the Man was based on Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night.

Now, while some of the originality of the comedic twists and satire may be lost in this modern day version, what shocked me the most was the accuracy in its depiction – while I’m aware of this contradiction this portrays, let me elucidate.

Shakespeare was very direct in his meanings – even if they seemed hidden within his plays – about sexuality, gender and love. He always found a way to get across how blurry all the lines can seem when it came to one’s identity in romance and attraction and even personality. Twelfth Night was one of those plays that all the lines were so blurred that they almost came across as very clear. It was evident that his plays were meant to entertain – just as the modern day rom-com movie interpretation – but what it also revealed was the reality of mixed identity in all of us.

What the performance reveals by way of concealing in Twelfth Night as a text, is how the way one dresses suggests the existence of a sense of “truth.” It is with this suggestion that we are presented within this “truth,” “true” identity. On the same note, it elaborates on having more than one “true” identity. It is suggested that if the true self is a performed self, then this justifies moreover that the many layers of clothing one can put on, allows them to perform – reveal – many “true selves”.

In turn, in “She’s the Man” Viola of course changes her attire to match that of Sebastian’s, but in actuality she is only putting on another layer of her true self in order to fit in and succeed in love, in identity and in life. It’s not that her true layer is a man, it’s what her true layer as a man represents within the movie, and within the play.

More so, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or, What You Will alludes this within the second title What You Will. This suggests that what you will – will power – yourself to do is who you are at that moment. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “will” as “desire, longing, and disposition” (OED). It is in this very definition of “will” meaning “disposition” that we see another suggested implication of the title meaning. So, What You Will could possibly translate into “What You Control”, and what one controls within this play are the clothes they put on. It is the tangible covering of the different layers of clothes that each character puts on that only reveals another “costume” or performance of themselves.

It is in this act of “will” that we see Viola try to take control of her identity, of her disposition. But all this is hidden in a comedic plot line with witty quips, satiric innuendos, and “happy endings.”  Having read the play, it is interesting to see the deeper development within each scene in the film adaptation. It’s also strange to feel a sense of relation to Disney’s classic Cinderella, whom also identified and changes her future in love and personality by what she wore only for it to be stripped away at the stroke of midnight. It’s strange to see how powerfully Shakespeare was onto something way ahead of his time – and the shear fact of how one can be identified by the layer they put on, both metaphorically and literally.

If you often find Shakespeare intimidating, you can borrow a variety of accessible versions of Twelfth Night from BCCLS Libraries including the original text with a modern version side by side, a retelling in rhymed couplets for kidsa filmed version starring Helena Bonham Carter, and even a comic Manga adaptation.  Also check out our previous post on how to stop hating Shakespeare!

Written by:
Sherissa Hernandez
Adult Programming Assistant

%d bloggers like this: