Graphic Classics

Among the graphic novels held at Wellington City Libraries are several adaptions of classic literary works. If you’re looking for a first step into these works, or simply want to experience them in a different way, here is a selection of what’s available!

Dracula / Bess, Georges
“Bram Stoker’s original novel about the world-renowned vampire, Dracula, is adapted into a beautiful graphic novel by the renowned artist Georges Bess. This volume includes an epilogue adapting Stoker’s short story “Dracula’s Guest” (believed to be the original novel’s first draft chapter before later revived for publication two years after the author’s passing).” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Watership down : the graphic novel / Sturm, James
” Watership Down is a classic tale of survival, hope, courage, and friendship that has delighted and inspired readers around the world for more than fifty years. Masterfully adapted by award-winning author James Sturm and gorgeously illustrated by bestselling artist Joe Sutphin, this spectacular graphic novel will delight old fans and inspire new ones, bringing the joy of Watership Down to a new generation of readers.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Macbeth : a tale of horror / Ascari, Stefano
“Deep within the walls of Castle Dunsinane, a seed of madness begins to bloom. Spurred on by the prophesies of witches, and the whispers of his scheming wife, Lord Macbeth plots the death of his friend, King Duncan. This one cruel act soon spirals out of control, and murder after murder erupt into a wave of chaos and violence that threatens to consume all of Scotland.” (Catalogue)

Continue reading “Graphic Classics”

Library of Dune

This week sees the release of the much-anticipated Dune: Part Two. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film will complete his adaption of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel. Like the first part, this is a movie that will definitely be best experienced on the big screen!

To mark the occasion, I took a look at what we have in the way of adaptions of Dune and other related media.

After a lengthy development that initially began in 2008, Denis Villeneuve’s take on Dune arrived on screens in 2021, having been delayed by the COVID pandemic. Starring Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Issac, Stellan Skarsgard and Dave Bautista, it was greeted with critical acclaim and commercial success.




  Frank Herbert’s Dune
A four-and-a-half-hour miniseries produced by the Sci-Fi Channel and broadcast in 2000. This version was directed by John Harrison and starred Alex Newman, William Hurt and Saskia Reeves. This link refers to the DVD , but both this title and its follow-up Children of Dune can also be viewed using Kanopy.




Dune : a place beyond your dreams : a movie beyond your imagination
The first version to make it to screens was released in 1984. It was directed by David Lynch and starred Kyle McLachlan, Max von Sydow, Patrick Stewart and Sting. Although not a success at the time it has nevertheless endured as a cult favourite.




Continue reading “Library of Dune”

So…Peter Gabriel has returned

After a fairly quiet last few years, Peter Gabriel has released i/o, his first album of original material in 22 years. Originally the frontman for progressive rock legends Genesis, Gabriel departed the band following their 1974 masterwork The lamb lies down on Broadway / Genesis (Musical group) to embark on a solo career that would bring him both critical acclaim and commercial success over the ensuing five decades. He would also branch out into film soundtracks, scoring such films as The Last Temptation of Christ (see below) and Rabbit-proof fence.

In 1982, driven by an interest in world music, he founded the WOMAD (World of Music, Art and Dance) festival, followed in 1989 by the Real World record label. Both are still going to this day and have been instrumental in bringing world music to a wider audience in the West. Many of the titles in Wellington Libraries World CD collection will have been issued on Real World.

The following list, while by no means exhaustive, provides an overview of Gabriel’s work held at Wellington City Libraries.

Peter Gabriel [1] / Gabriel, Peter
After taking some time out after leaving Genesis, Gabriel announced himself as a creative force in his own right with the first of four self-titled albums (we have them all!). Co-produced by Todd Rundgren it’s a varied collection containing one of his greatest and most recognisable songs, “Solsbury Hill”.


Continue reading “So…Peter Gabriel has returned”

At the movies: Books on filmmaking

Whatever the status of the filmmaking world itself, one thing that remains consistent is the larger-than-life personalities that people it and the fascinating creative processes that bring films to the screen. Here are a selection of books dealing with cinema published in 2023, available from the Wellington City Libraries collection.

Every man for himself and God against all : a memoir / Herzog, Werner
“Legendary filmmaker and celebrated author Werner Herzog tells in his inimitable voice the story of his epic artistic career in a long-awaited memoir that is as inventive and daring as anything he has done before. Every Man for Himself and God Against All is at once a firsthand personal record of one of the great and self-invented lives of our time, and a singular literary masterpiece that will enthral fans old and new alike.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The path to paradise : a Francis Ford Coppola story / Wasson, Sam
“Granted total and unprecedented access to the Academy Award-winning director’s archives, the author, drawing on hundreds of interviews with the artist and those who have worked closely with him, chronicles his attempt to reimagine the entire pursuit of moviemaking though his production company American Zoetrope.” (Catalogue)

Charlie Chaplin vs. America : when art, sex, and politics collided / Eyman, Scott
“In the aftermath of World War Two, Charlie Chaplin was criticized for being politically liberal and internationalist in outlook. He had never become a US citizen, something that would be held against him as xenophobia set in when the postwar Red Scare took hold. Politics aside, Chaplin had another problem: his sexual interest in young women. He had been married three times and had had numerous affairs. Eyman explores the life and times of the movie genius– and of an America consumed by political turmoil.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Everywhere an oink oink : an embittered, dyspeptic, and accurate report of forty years in Hollywood / Mamet, David
“Award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and director David Mamet shares scandalous and laugh-out-loud tales from his four decades in Hollywood where he worked with some of the biggest names in movies. David Mamet went to Hollywood on top-a super successful playwright summoned west in 1980 to write a vehicle for Jack Nicholson. Over the next forty years, Mamet wrote dozens of scripts, was fired off dozens of movies, and directed eleven himself. In Everywhere an Oink Oink, he revels of the taut and gag-filled professionalism of the film set. ” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Steven Spielberg : all the films : the story behind every movie, episode, and short / Bousquet, Olivier
“Organized chronologically and covering every short film, television episode, and blockbuster movie that Steven Spielberg has ever directed, Steven Spielberg All the Films tells the behind-the-scenes stories of how each project was conceived, cast, and produced; from the creation of the costumes to the search for perfect locations. Spanning more than fifty years, Steven Spielberg All the Films details every aspect of the creative processes that resulted in some of the most memorable and celebrated films of all time, including E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, The Color Purple, Schindler’s List, and Saving Private Ryan as well as newer work such as Lincoln, The Post, and The Fabelmans.” (Catalogue)

Bogie & Bacall : the surprising true story of Hollywood’s greatest love affair / Mann, William J
“From the noted Hollywood biographer and author of The Contender comes this celebration of the great American love story–the romance between Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart–capturing its complexity, contradictions, and challenges as never before. Mann offers a comprehensive look at Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, and the unlikely love they shared. He details their early years, paints a vivid portrait of their courtship and twelve-year marriage, and offers a sympathetic yet clear-eyed portrait of Bacall’s life after Bogie.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The last action heroes : the triumphs, flops, and feuds of Hollywood’s kings of carnage / De Semlyen, Nick
“The behind-the-scenes story of the larger-than-life action stars who ruled ’80s and ’90s Hollywood–Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jackie Chan, Steven Seagal, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, and Jean-Claude Van Damme–and the beloved films that made them stars, including Die Hard, Rambo, and The Terminator. Drawing on candid interviews with the action stars themselves, plus their collaborators, friends, and foes, The Last Action Heroes is a no-holds-barred account of a period in Hollywood history when there were no limits to the heights of fame these men achieved, or to the mayhem they wrought, onscreen and off” (Adapted from Catalogue)

MCU : the reign of Marvel Studios / Robinson, Joanna
“The unauthorized, behind-the-scenes story of the stunning rise–and suddenly uncertain reign–of the most transformative cultural phenomenon of our time: the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Entertainment was a moribund toymaker not even twenty years ago. Today, Marvel Studios is the dominant player both in Hollywood and in global pop culture. How did an upstart studio conquer the world? Dishy and authoritative, MCU is the first book to tell the Marvel Studios story in full–and an essential, effervescent account of American mass culture” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Seasonal sounds from our CD collection

It’s almost Christmas, and amongst other things that means Christmas songs have started to fill the airwaves. It’s easy to roll your eyes at the prospect, but there is actually a great deal more to Christmas music than “All I Want for Christmas is You” (nothing against Mariah’s seasonal juggernaut, if it’s your preferred Christmas jam we do have it on Merry Christmas / Carey, Mariah).

A wide variety of artists have recorded Christmas albums, the following is just a sampling of what is available at Wellington City Libraries. They range from fairly straightforward collections of seasonal standards to more personal and idiosyncratic affairs, to some which can only be described as very out of the box. Either way, if you’re looking for something to soundtrack your Christmas break, one of these might do the trick!

Ella wishes you a swinging Christmas / Fitzgerald, Ella
Christmas with the Rat Pack
The Christmas collection / Jackson 5
Christmas songs / Krall, Diana
Dr. Demento presents the greatest Christmas novelty CD of all time
Quality Street : a seasonal selection for all the family / Lowe, Nick
Tinsel and lights / Thorn, Tracey
One more drifter in the snow / Mann, Aimee
Christmas party / She & Him

Ella wishes you a swinging christmas Christmas with the rat pack The Christmas collection / Jackson 5

Christmas songs / Krall, Diana Dr. Demento presents the greatest Christmas novelty CD of all time Quality Street : a seasonal selection for all the family / Lowe, Nick

Tinsel and lights / Thorn, Tracey One more drifter in the snow / Mann, Aimee Christmas party / She & Him


50 Years of Darkness

2023 marks 50 years since the release of Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon.  The group’s eighth studio album, Dark Side of the Moon is a conceptual work dealing with mental illness and how the pressures of modern life (particularly the life of a rock band…) can exacerbate it. As with much of Pink Floyd’s work, the shadow of founder Syd Barrett, by then a recluse due to mental illness and drug abuse, hangs over the album.

Sessions took place at EMI Studios in London with the album being released on 1 March 1973. Although the music was written by all four band members, bassist Roger Waters was by this point responsible for all the lyrics. As well as its musical strengths the album also showcased another Floyd trademark via its extensive use of sound effects.

Dark Side of the Moon would top the album charts on both sides of the Atlantic and has at the time of writing sold in the neighbourhood of 45 million copies. It spent an astonishing 741 non-consecutive weeks on the Billboard Top 200, only finally slipping off on 8 October 1988. The two singles from the album, “Money” and “Time” are among Floyd’s most well-known songs and remain staples of classic rock radio.

The iconic sleeve was designed by Storm Thorgerson, an English graphic designer who would go on to design similarly distinctive covers for several other Pink Floyd albums (showcased in Mind over matter : the images of Pink Floyd / Thorgerson, Storm).

Since its release, Floyd have frequently returned to the album and several acts have paid tribute to it, the following is what’s available at Wellington City Libraries.

The dark side of the moon [remaster] / Pink Floyd
The original masterpiece is available in several different cd and vinyl versions, the most recent in the collection being the 2011 remastering on vinyl.



The dark side of the moon : live at Wembley, London, 1974 / Pink Floyd
Recently released as park of a 50th anniversary package, this captures a widely bootlegged concert at Wembley Arena where the newly released album was performed in its entirety.


Continue reading “50 Years of Darkness”