Discover Comics & Graphic Novels on hoopla

Written by Vicky, staff member, Halifax Central Library

When I was a kid, my best friend owned, what could only be described as, a hoard of Archie comics, and there were days when we would do little more than sit in her room and read. And though she could always outread me (and still can to this day) it was fun to jump into these illustrated adventures with her, and not only get into the Betty vs Veronica drama of it all, but also to appreciate the art behind each frame.

Adult comics take this to a whole new level! They offer a deep dive into story and style that can vary from adorable and humorous to dark and gritty. Given their artistry in both writing and illustration, many of these issues could be placed on par with literary fiction, or an Oscar-worthy film.

Want to take a look? Here are a few digital examples available on hoopla, opens a new window!

1. Batman: Last Night on Earth, opens a new window

by Scott Snyder and Jonathan Glapion

We all know the story of Batman/Bruce Wayne: his parents are killed; he's raised by his butler; when he grows up, he uses his money, brains, and place in society to fight crime in Gotham City. But this story is different. In a frightening future, Bruce Wayne wakes up young, of sound mind, and in Arkham Asylum. He has never been Batman. Now he must try and figure out what has happened to him and how this terrible future came to be.

2. Gender Queer: A Memoir, opens a new window

by Maia Kobabe

Comics aren't always fiction. Sometimes, they are incredibly personal narratives that come directly from real life. This comic explores what it means to be gender queer, but for author Maia Kobabe (pronouns e/em/eir) it tells the story of discovering eir own identity, of dealing with crushes, and the question of how to come out to eir family.

3. Rascal, opens a new window

by Jean-Luc Deglin

We all know that moment when your pet does something bad, but they look at you with their big, wide eyes...and as much as you want to be mad...that feeling melts away. They're just too cute. That is Deglin's Rascal: a black cat that arrives in the mail and disrupts the everyday life of his new owner. But as much as his adventures cause chaos, they also are heartwarming and fun.

4. The Umbrella Academy: Part 1, opens a new window

by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá

Saving the world is a lot of pressure to put on a kid, even when they have superpowers, even when there's a family of them. Born from spontaneous pregnancies and adopted by a millionaire inventor, the seven members of The Umbrella Academy struggle to understand their powers and their place in society.

5. Kindred, opens a new window

by Octavia E. Butler, John Jennings, and Damian Duffy

Like a film, comics can turn your favourite books into something above and beyond. Kindred, a novel by Octavia E. Butler, is adapted into a graphic novel, and demonstrates through words and illustration how detrimental and long lasting the effects of slavery are in the United States. A work that explores feminism, race and history, it is a complex piece of science fiction.

6. Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search, opens a new window

by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru

Wait, wasn't this a show on Nickelodeon in the early 2000s? A show for children? Yes. Yes it was. But sometimes characters and stories are so well done they cross the age gap and appeal to everyone. Avatar: The Last Airbender was one of those shows, and continues on in comics. An extension of the Avatar story, The Search follows the original cast of lovable characters on a quest to answer the television show's lingering question: What happened to Zuko's mom?

7. The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes, opens a new window

by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg and Sam Kieth

Thought by some to be one of the greatest examples of graphic storytelling, The Sandman mixes mythology, folklore and fairy tales together in a dramatic and horror filled tale. Traditional characters you thought you knew are transformed into new versions of themselves – like Death, the quirky goth girl – and take you on a journey like no other.

8. Bingo Love Vol 1: Jackpot Edition, opens a new window

by Tee Franklin, Marguerite Bennett, Gail Simone, Alyssa Cole, Jenn St-Onge, Beverly johnson, Janice Chiang, Paulina Ganucheau

When you find love, you know it. And characters Hazel and Mari knew it the first time they saw each other. But the world had other plans; societal and family pressures of their youth kept them apart. But, years later, is it possible things have changed and these grandmothers can finally be true to what's in their hearts?

9. Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time, opens a new window

by Scott Tipton, David Tipton, Kelly Yates, Roger Langridge, Gary Erskine and Simon Fraser

If you love Doctor Who, you LOVE Doctor Who. His television sci-fi adventures have been inspiring people since the 1960s, and this comic series, featuring Doctors 1-11, is sure to have something for every fan. When the companions are kidnapped, only a combination of all of the Doctors can save them in this epic journey through time.

11. The Archie Wedding: Archie in Will You Marry Me?, opens a new window

By Michael Uslan and Stan Goldberg

You didn't think I'd skip out on this, did you? People have been growing up with Archie for nearly 70 years, and now he's really on the verge of adulthood. He's about to make the decision that's haunted him his whole life: Betty or Veronica? Veronica or Betty? What will his life be like when he's finally decided which one is the girl of his dreams?

Discover great comics like these, movies, audiobooks and e-books, all available on hoopla, opens a new window. If you have not tried hoopla and are curious to learn more, we have step-by-step instructional videos, opens a new window to help you.