Red hearing: Bushwick Book Club sings about Red Hook superhero

A super group: Members of the Bushwick Book Club will play songs inspired by Dean Haspiel’s graphic novel about a Red Hook superhero at Barbès in Park Slope on July 25.
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This music group is getting the Hook!

A dozen bibliophile musicians will perform original tunes inspired by a Red Hook superhero who saves the borough from disaster at a July 25 show at Barbes in Park Slope. The creator of “The Red Hook” webcomic, recently released as a graphic novel, said he is excited to sit back and see what the Bushwick Book Club does with his heroic character.

“It’s such a cool idea — I’m going to be as surprised as anybody else,” said Dean Haspiel, who has illustrated several stories set in his longtime Carroll Gardens neighborhood. “I was in full control of the comic book, in terms of writing and drawing it and creating it, but I have no control over anyone’s response to it.”

The Bushwick Book Club has created monthly musical responses to various books since it was founded in 2009. Haspiel, who has also drawn the superheroes Spider-Man and Batman, pitched the idea of performing his latest superhero comic to the group after seeing them react to his friend Jonathan Ames’s thriller “You Were Never Really Here” in March.

The performers will use a wide variety of sounds to tell the story about the superpowered Red Hook hero, said the group’s founder.

“It will definitely run the gamut: there will be hip-hop, cabaret songs, folk songs, who knows, rapping,” said Bushwick resident Susan Hwang. “We don’t discriminate against musical genres — I love when there’s a big variety of music done in different styles.”

Haspiel hopes the gang finds a way to incorporate techno tunes — his writing and drawing music of choice.

“I hope there’s some electronica in there, because that’s what I listen to and hear when I write,” he said.

The group will pay homage to the comic’s strong visuals with superhero costumes and a dance number, Hwang said.

“It’s a different kind of experience reading the graphic novel because you want to take in the visuals, too,” she said. “We’ll have a choreographer and what we call the Bushwick Book Club Dance Team.”

Bushwick Book Club presents Dean Haspiel’s “The Red Hook” at Barbès (376 Ninth St. at Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, July 25 at 8 pm. $10 suggested donation.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Posted 12:00 am, July 20, 2018
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