Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land August 20, 2014 Seven Commentaries on an Imperfect Land Ruthanna Emrys Stories of Tikanu. Hero of the Five Points August 19, 2014 Hero of the Five Points Alan Gratz A League of Seven story. La Signora August 13, 2014 La Signora Bruce McAllister If love is not enough, then maybe death... Sleeper August 12, 2014 Sleeper Jo Walton It is best to embrace subjectivity.
From The Blog
August 22, 2014
Mercy Thompson Series Sweepstakes!
Sweepstakes
August 15, 2014
“Perhaps It Was Only an Echo”: The Giver
Natalie Zutter
August 15, 2014
We’re Holding Out for a (New) Hero: How Heroes and Villains are Evolving
Leah Schnelbach
August 14, 2014
Doctor Who: “Deep Breath” (Non-spoiler Review)
Chris Lough
August 13, 2014
Eight Essential Science Fiction Detective Mash-Ups
David Cranmer
Wed
Aug 13 2014 10:30am

Guardians of the Galaxy, We Need to Talk

Let me make a few things clear before we get into the grumpy bits. I enjoyed the hell out of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Not only I was part of that 44% female audience for opening weekend, but I also plan to see it again. It was the first MCU movie I’ve seen opening day or weekend, and only the second one I’ve seen in a theater (the first was Captain America: The Winter Soldier). The soundtrack has been on repeat on my iPod for nearly two weeks, and half my Tumblr is dedicated to Rocket and Groot being adorbs and Sister Assassins being awesome. I’d pay cold, hard cash for a dancing baby Groot toy, and Groot fanart is my desktop wallpaper. I would give just about anything to have a TV prequel of teenage Gamora and Nebula kicking ass. I will even cover the “Rocket Raccoon,” “Legendary Star-Lord,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” comics in an upcoming Pull List. TL;DR: I love the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Well, I love about 85% of it, and have serious reservations about a few key issues.

Spoilers abound...

[“I am going to die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy.”]

Wed
Aug 6 2014 2:00pm
Original Comic

Remainder: A Wrenchies Story

Farel Dalrymple

Remainder Farel Dalrymple The Wrenchies

Leking Snipes has been turned into a bug.

A bug with a gun.

This isn’t making the apocalypse—already filled with nightmarish soul-sucking creatures, loss, and abandonment—any easier to deal with.

But at least in the apocalypse, there’s always something new to fight—whether it’s demons or the insanity of the world he lives in.

Read Remainder, a short story from the world of Farel Dalrymple's graphic novel The Wrenchies.

[Read Remainder by Farel Dalrymple]

Thu
Jul 31 2014 11:00am

Dovebuckets and Face-Crabs: The Sandman: Overture Issue 3

Sandman Overture #3 Neil GaimanThe Sandman: Overture Issue #3 has finally arrived! I’ll skip over the part where I snark about how long it’s taking, because the art is so amazing I’m cool with it taking three times this long. I’ll also say upfront that I think some of the writing is shaky in this issue, but that I’m still happy to be along for Morpheus’ journey to try to save the universe. Again.

I am faced with my usual conundrum of how much to say here… I want to talk about the issue, but I also want to stay as non-spoilery as possible. Let’s start off with the basic plot...

[Read More]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 2:00pm

Pull List: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel

Captin Marvel Carol Danvers Kelly Sue DeConnick

Welcome to Pull List, a new monthly comics column. We’ll look at everything from decades-spanning titles to oneshots and miniseries, from graphic novels to caped crusaders to webcomics. There’ll be a strong focus on works with high marks in diversity and feminism, out-of-the-box artistic creativity, and envelope-pushing, as well as some old school silliness every now and again.

Being a comics fan ain’t easy, especially if you don’t fit the outmoded paradigm of straight white male. As someone who doesn’t meet two thirds of that criteria, I avoided the whole comics thing for ages. I had the joy of growing up with the X-Men, Justice League, Superman, and Batman cartoons, and the supreme displeasure of discovering that comics-on-tv was pretty much the only space in which I was allowed. For years, whenever people asked me my favorite comics characters, my go-to were Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Jubilee, Storm, and Oracle, but my knowledge of them was strictly television-based.

[The first thing I bought? Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 12:00pm

Magazine Theft and Terrible Cats: Michael Cho at SDCC

Michael Cho Shoplifter Artist and illustrator Michael Cho has done covers for Marvel and DC, but this year he came to SDCC to talk about his new graphic novel Shoplifter, to be released by Pantheon in September. Shoplifter is the quiet, delicately-told story of Corinna Park, a writer in her mid-twenties who went from an English degree and dreams of writing novels to five years of writing copy at an advertising agency, a lonely apartment, and a terrible cat named Anais—with the occasional bit of (very) petty theft. Between panels, Cho took a moment to talk about the origins of Shoplifter, his comics process, and the difficulty of drawing bad-tempered cats.

[Read more]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 9:30am

Yes, Women Want to Be Thor—So Why is the New Avengers Line-up Cause For Ire?

Mjolnir, Thor's hammer

Oh, the fury. The rage of fans who rally against change, across the board. There are so many reasons for the anger, too. There’s the academic “I don’t like where my media is going, so this specific move is a harbinger of everything that’s wrong!” There’s the over-concerned “I just think they should be more creative when trying to open up properties to groups that have classically been overlooked.” There’s the brazen “Diversity is just pandering, and if that’s what my favorites stories have become, I’m out of here.”

[What’s wrong with Thor being a woman, again?]

Sat
Jul 26 2014 7:20pm

Sandman Overture #3 Gives us a Preview!

Sandman Overture #3 should be coming out next Wednesday, July 30th (only a year after the first issue was teased at San Diego Comic Con...), and we'll have a review for you! In the meantime, we have a preview...so skip this if you don't want any spoilers!

[Read more]

Fri
Jul 25 2014 11:15am

“Longer lines at the ladies room.” SDCC and the Increased Presence of Women in Comics

female heroes marvel SDCC

The SDCC schedule this year is notable for its abundance of panels about female characters and women in comics and games—Monday alone featured “Female Heroes, Then and Now,” “Beyond Clichés: Creating Awesome Female Characters for Film, TV, Comics, Video Games, and Novels,” and “The Most Dangerous Women at Comic-Con.” All of these panels were well-attended—in fact, I couldn’t even get into “Beyond Clichés.” As the weekend progresses, themes are bound to emerge, and it will be interesting to see where it goes.

[Read More]

Thu
Jul 24 2014 11:30am
Original Comic

To Eternity

Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter

To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook Barrie Potter

If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch.

In this short (romance?) comic by Barrie Potter and Wesley Allsbrook, things are not normal.

[Read To Eternity by Wesley Allsbrook]

Wed
Jul 23 2014 12:30pm

A Brief History of Batman’s Trunks

Batman’s trunksIn honor of Batman's 75th anniversary, we're rerunning this article on the caped crusader's costume, which originally appeared on Tor.com in February 2011.

Let’s get something straight here: they’re trunks, not underwear. Nobody but losers wear their underwear on the outside—and Batman ain’t no loser, see?

We’ve lost many precious things as a society over the centuries, but perhaps one of the saddest would have to be the racial memory of the origins of superhero costumes. The ability to look at the Caped Crusader’s fighting togs and see nothing but the proud heritage of the circus performer is slipping farther and farther away from us—and we are poorer for it. What was once simply a piece of apparel not too dissimilar to bathing trunks is now ridiculed as “underwear on the outside.” The universe weeps.

[Read more]

Tue
Jul 22 2014 5:00pm

Bringing Back the Golden Age: An Interview with Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig

Adam Christopher Chuck Wendig interview The Shield Archie Comics Archie Comics is pairing a new look and new writers with some of their best-known titles in their new Dark Circle superhero imprint. The Black Hood, The Shield, and The Fox are all scheduled for a reboot in early 2015. The Shield in particular is looking at some major changes, including a gender-swapped cast of characters that will introduce a female Shield in “Daughter of the Revolution.” 

Adam Christopher (The Burning Dark, Hang Wire) and Chuck Wendig (The Blue Blazes, Mockingbird) are pooling their experience with novels, film, comics, television, and everything in between to co-write The Shield. They recently answered a few questions about gender, the Golden Age, and the inspiration behind the new series. We’ve got their thoughts, along with a heaping pile of heroism and justice, below the cut! 

[Read More]

Thu
Jul 17 2014 2:00pm
Excerpt

The Rise of Aurora West (Comic Excerpt)

Paul Pope

The extraordinary world introduced in Paul Pope's Battling Boy is rife with monsters and short on heroes... but in this action-driven extension of the Battling Boy universe, we see it through a new pair of eyes: Aurora West, daughter of Arcopolis's last great hero, Haggard West.

A prequel to Battling Boy, The Rise of Aurora West follows the young hero as she seeks to uncover the mystery of her mother's death, and to find her place in a world overrun with supernatural monsters and all-too-human corruption. With a taut, fast-paced script from Paul Pope and JT Petty and gorgeous, kinetic art from David Rubin, The Rise of Aurora West (the first of two volumes) is a tour de force in comics storytelling.

The Rise of Aurora West is out on September 30th from First Second Books, but you can read an excerpt now!

[Read an excerpt from The Rise of Aurora West by Paul Pope]

Thu
Jul 17 2014 1:20pm

Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig Will Revive and Gender-Flip Classic Hero The Shield

Archie Comics has announced the first three titles in their Dark Circle superhero imprint! The Shield, from writers Adam Christopher (The Burning Dark, “Cold War”) and Chuck Wendig (Blackbirds) and artist Wilfredo Torres (The Shadow: Year One); The Black Hood from writer Duane Swierczynski (Judge Dredd, X, Birds of Prey) and artist Michael Gaydos (ALIAS); and The Fox from writer/artist Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, HBO’s Bored to Death) and scripter Mark Waid (Daredevil, Kingdom Come, founder of Thrillbent).

The titles will be overseen by editor Alex Segura, and will launch early next year. They will all serve as jumping on points for new readers, using characters from Dark Circle Comics in unique new ways.

The Shield (pictured here) will be a gender-flipped version of a classic all-American hero who originally debuted in 1940 (predating Captain America!) and will be a new way to explore history. Adam Christopher said of the title: “We’ve all poured a lot of love into the new Shield—she’s a very powerful, very modern female superhero. And that I think is something to celebrate.”

We can’t wait to see her adventures!

Thu
Jul 17 2014 11:17am

Falcon is the New Captain America!

Sam Wilson, Captain America

It’s not exactly unusual for people other than Steve Rogers to take up Captain America’s iconic shield, but coming off the announcement of the brand new female Thor, this is liable to stir the pot even more—Sam Wilson (also known as Falcon) will be Cap in the comics, starting this October.

[Read more]

Wed
Jul 16 2014 5:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Mike Huddleston

Mike Huddleston pop quiz interview Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Mike Huddleston, a comics illustrator who has worked on a variety of titles, including Gen13 and Harley Quinn. Along with author David Lapham, Huddleston is currently in production on a comics adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain trilogy. Four trade paperbacks of the series are currently available from Dark Horse, and issue one of The Strain: The Night Eternal story arc publises August 20th.

What mystical connection does Mike share with a microscopic bear? Read on to find out!

[Read More]

Tue
Jul 15 2014 5:00pm

Advice to Aspiring Comic Book Creators

Gene Luen Yang The Shadow Hero

I turned forty last year.

When I was a kid, forty seemed like a lifetime away. I didn’t think about forty all that much, but when I did I imagined I’d have life figured out. By the time I got that old, I’d have cracked the code.

My actual fortieth year has been a blur of ink and airplane trips and diapers. Most days feel chaotic, but it’s a satisfying sort of chaos. And while I definitely haven’t cracked the code, I have learned a few things along the way.

That’s why, when I get asked for advice by aspiring cartoonists, I feel that I have something to offer. The following is for those of you considering a career in comic books. I hope you find it helpful.

[Read More]

Tue
Jul 15 2014 2:15pm

Thor is Now A Title, Not A Name, and the New Thor is A Woman!

New Thor

Mjolnir is switching allegiance! It would seem that plain ol’ thunder-god Thor is heading elsewhere within the Marvel Comics universe, and a new Thor is on the way.

[Details, thoughts, armor...]

Thu
Jul 10 2014 3:15pm

Batgirl Gets a New Creative Team and a Rad New Look

Batgirl new look costume photo new creative team Gail Simone DC Comics

Barbara Gordon’s Batgirl has been through a hell of a lot: getting paralyzed and becoming the hacker hero Oracle in 1986, only to get retconned in DC Comics’ New 52 in 2011, regaining the use of her legs. Not to mention her brother being a serial murderer and her family falling apart.

So, DC is giving her a break. Starting with Batgirl #35, we’ll see the lighter, younger, more hipster-y adventures of Barbara Gordon—a redux complete with a whole new creative team and a much more practical (but thrift store-approved) costume.

[Find out what the new Babs has in common with Veronica Mars and Sherlock Holmes]

Tue
Jul 8 2014 10:00am

The City that Never Sleeps or Goes Away: Harlan Ellison and Star Trek, Again

Leonard Nimoy William Shatner Harlan Ellison City on the Edge of Forever Star Trek

Growing up, I was that annoying kid who was suspicious of The Next Generation like five years after I was potty-trained. Precocious and pretentious about all things Star Trek doesn’t begin to cover it, and when a library book called Inside Star Trek gave me a glimpse of the story behind the story of the most famous classic Trek of them all—“City on the Edge of Forever”—I nodded knowingly. Affectation is a powerful force and when you couple it with little-kid intuition, weird truths can be uncovered. Because even back then, when I first watched Kirk and Spock leap through that giant donut time-machine, something about this adventure felt incomplete.

[Read more]

Mon
Jun 23 2014 10:26am
Original Comic

The Imitation Game

Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis

The Imitation Game by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis

Today, Alan Turing is considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. The mathematician, born on June 23, 1912, was a brilliant World War II codebreaker and parlayed that insight into theorizing and creating the first stored-memory computers. Unfortunately, this Officer of the British Empire was persecuted by the British government of the time for his homosexuality and suffered through chemical castration before ending his life.

The Imitation Game by Feynman author Jim Ottaviani and Resistance illustrator Leland Purvis chronicles the life of Turing in a full-size graphic novel. Check back every day this week as Tor.com releases the entire graphic novel in four parts.

[The Imitation Game by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis]