There is always an uptick in holds and checkouts when a book gets a live-action adaptation. Ava DuVernay’s upcoming big-screen translation of beloved children’s classic A Wrinkle In Time is no exception. Copies of the first book are flying off shelves, along with the less well-known sequels in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet.
Hello comic book fans! If you’re in the mood for something weird and wonderful, I have the perfect recommendation for you.
Doom Patrol, Vol. 1: Brick By Brick is the flagship comic from DC’s brand new Young Animal imprint. Written by Eisner winner and imprint curator Gerard Way, Brick By Brick is a reboot of the classic Doom Patrol comic from the 1960s. The team was originally created by Arnold Drake, then repopularized for later generations by Grant Morrison in the 1980s. Way’s incarnation is a kaleidescopic fever dream of singing telegrams, sentient robots, a space ambulance that leaves a rainbow jetstream in its wake, time travel, and a missing cat. The main protagonist is Casey Brinke, one of a handful of new characters written for the reboot, who meets up with the scattered members of the original team one by one as their enemies chase them across time, space, and reality.
One of Neil Gaiman’s best-known pieces of fiction, a topic of fascination and discussion for his sizeable fanbase, is the novel American Gods. It’s a high-concept doorstopper of a book, with both a universe-shattering frame story, and a series of thematically similar but otherwise unconnected vignettes. The frame story follows protagonist Shadow Moon as he accompanies the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (a barely disguised Odin from Norse tradition) as he rallies other half-forgotten deities from various mythologies and cultures. The focal antagonists are new “gods” based in the worlds of modern technology, like television and the Internet, and all are hard at work trying to capture Shadow to get him to fight for their side. The vignette stories mostly show us who the other gods are in this fictional universe, to flesh out the mythology and show us how these ancient beings might navigate a modern setting.
I finally got a chance to see the movie adaptation of this remarkable true story on Martin Luther King Day. It seemed fitting, since it’s another historical landmark for African Americans. However, this story is one that I was never taught in school.
With the newest entry in the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J. K. Rowling has once again proven herself a master of imagination. However, it’s important to remember that there are now two books bearing this same title: the screenplay which is the basis for the movie starring Eddie Redmayne, and the Hogwarts Library edition that serves as a facsimile of Harry Potter’s text book. Both are available through the Chesapeake Library, and both are quick, entertaining reads, but make sure you know which version you’re looking for. (Click on the book covers to go to that item’s catalog page!)