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Reading Groups

Beyond the Tropes: Speculative Characters with Marc L. Abbott

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Four Sessions Sundays, 1:00 pm EDT - 2:30 pm EDT March 5 to June 4, 2023

Online via Zoom

Registration for this group has closed.

The ‘With Books’ option includes all titles required for this group at a 10% discount from our Bookstore.

Meeting Dates:
3/5, 4/23, 5/7, 6/4
Online via Zoom

This course we will be reading and discussing original stories with characters that have been established in movies and comics. We’re going to look at how authors take these popular characters from two different visual mediums and bring them to life in literary form. We will examine what changes they have made to enhance those characters, what tropes have been broken to expand on the characters’ backstory and/or what mission they are undertaking to make this story original.

We will then take a look at the influence of the graphic novel in speculative fiction with Kiladelphia. Graphic novels are often seen as just being a longer version of a comic book. But a strong story combined with striking art can be just as compelling as a literary novel. We will break down the story, see how common tropes are drawn into the mix and discuss how seeing the story rather than visualizing it can change our perspective on storytelling as a whole.


Led by

  • Photo: John F. Sheehan Photography (

    Marc L. Abbott

    Marc L. Abbott

    Marc L. Abbott is a Brooklyn-based author, actor and storyteller. His short stories are featured in several anthologies, most notably the Bram Stoker Nominated horror anthology’s New York State of Fright and Under Twin Suns: Alternate Histories of the Yellow Sign. Most recently, his work can be found in Even in the Grave and A Woman Unbecoming. He is the co-author of the two-time African American Literary Award-winning horror anthology Hell at the Way Station and the sequel Hell at Brooklyn Tea. In addition to his literary work, he is also an instructor for Speculative Fiction Academy, a Moth Story Slam and Grand Slam Storyteller winner. Find out more about him at