From Heartstopper to American Born Chinese: 6 of the best graphic novel adaptations to stream now

From Heartstopper to American Born Chinese: 6 of the best graphic novel adaptations to stream now

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Wednesday, 24th May 2023
Ben Wang in American Born Chinese. Credit: Disney +.

As the much-loved graphic novel American Born Chinese lands on Disney+ today, we look back at some of the best graphic novels turned TV series.



After her house is smashed by a giant’s foot, 11-year-old Hilda is forced to move away from her home in the secluded forest to the big city of Trolberg. Although she is now socialising with children her own age, this adventure comedy sees Hilda (voiced by Bella Ramsey) preferring folklore-inspired creatures as her friends.

Each episode Hilda finds herself tangled up in a quest, always with a magical character she must help or save. These include trolls that become rocks by daylight, sassy cloud spirits, hairy little men who occupy ‘nowhere space’ and a ghost that tidies your room.

All of Hilda’s adventures manage to have a firm moral message, which makes it ideal for children or adults who need a bit of a lesson in friendship, dealing with mistakes or how not to mess with witchcraft.

Hilda’s first two series and feature length film are available to watch on Netflix, with a third series being promised in 2023.

The Umbrella Academy


Based on My Chemical Romance front man, Gerard Way’s, comic book series, The Umbrella Academy is set in an alternate universe where 43 unrelated women give birth on 1 October 1989 at noon, despite showing no prior pregnancy symptoms.

Seven of these children are adopted by an unconventional billionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore), who intends to turn them into a superhero team.

Series one sees the pseudo-siblings reunite upon learning of Hargreeves’ death. Now in their 30s, they are as powerful as they are riddled with personal issues such as drug addictions, being a 58-year-old trapped in their 13-year-old body and being dead and only able to communicate with one sibling. At the funeral, Five (Aiden Gallagher) returns from the future to reveal to the siblings that a global apocalypse is on the horizon.

The End of the F***ing World


Dark comedy The End of the F***ing world began as a coming-of-age graphic novel (emphasis on graphic) by Charles Forsman.

Alyssa (Jessica Barden) is an angry 17-year-old who, wanting to escape her difficult home life, runs away with James (Alex Lawther), her mysterious classmate. What she doesn’t realise is that James thinks himself a psychopath and has been killing animals for a few years now, with plans to graduate to human life.

As the two embark on a road trip, James is desperately trying to find an opportunity to kill Alyssa, whilst she is trying to find the time to engage in an entirely different kind of physical activity with James.

The End of the F***ing world originally premiered on Channel 4, but is now available on Netflix.

American Born Chinese

Disney +

Chinese American high-schooler Jin Wang (Ben Wang) is at the centre of this coming-of-age series, until it takes a swift turn into fantasy adventure as he is asked to look after the new foreign student Wei-Chen Sun (Jim Liu), who just so happens to be the son of the 'Monkey God'.

Wei-Chen has been sent to earth in human form by his father to try and prevent an uprising of figures from Chinese Mythology. He enlists Jin to help him, but as the gates between heaven and earth open, can they protect the human world, all the while figuring out the complexities that come alongside a Chinese American cultural identity?

American Born Chinese is adapted from the 2006 graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang, and directed by Charlie’s Angel Lucy Liu. It will be available to watch on Disney Plus from 24 May 2023.



This coming-of-age romcom is adapted from Alice Oseman’s graphic novels of the same name, centring around the ins and outs of high-school friendships, first loves, and coming out of the closet. Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) is a young gay schoolboy who develops a crush on the popular boy who sits next to him, Nick Nelson (Kit Connor).

The two boys’ feelings develop across the series, with Nick realising his when he feels an urge to hold Charlie’s hand as he sleeps. Their road to a relationship is anything but clear as they come up against homophobia in the form of Nick’s friend Harry (Cormac Hyde-Corrin), and heteronormality in the form of Nick being set up and sent on dates with women.

The highly anticipated second series will explore Nick and Charlie’s growing relationship, and will be released on Netflix on 3 August 2023.

The Boys


The Boys presents a world where superheroes exist – but they are entirely corrupt. Much loved by the public, ‘The Seven’ are a team of leading ‘supes’ but also persistent perpetrators.

Series one opens with one half of a happy couple being accidentally obliterated by a passing supe. This leads to the heartbroken half, Hughie Campbell (Jack Quaid), joining ‘The Boys’, a vigilante group fixated on putting a stop to the ever-growing list of atrocities, including intentional and unintentional murders, caused by ‘The Seven’.

The team of Superpowered individuals is led by Vought International, a Superhero entertainment conglomerate who founded ‘The Seven’ and is hell-bent on covering their barbarous actions.

The Boys is based on the comic book series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. A spin-off TV series entitled Gen V is expected to be released later in 2023, featuring young supes testing their powers in battle royale style challenges in a university run by Vought International.

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As the much-loved graphic novel American Born Chinese lands on Disney+ today, we look back at some of the best graphic novels turned TV series.