The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized. The Language of Knives February 4, 2015 The Language of Knives Haralambi Markov They share the rites of death, and grief.
From The Blog
March 2, 2015
A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy That Would Please Crom Himself!
Leah Schnelbach
February 27, 2015
Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy — What Spock Meant to One Geeky 12-Year-Old Girl
Emily Asher-Perrin
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
February 20, 2015
Evil Eighties: The Paperback Horrors of Lisa Tuttle
Grady Hendrix
Wed
Feb 25 2015 10:00am

Pull List: Sex Criminals

Can this whole intro just be the lyrics to “Fat Bottomed Girls”? No? Fine. In that case, let’s talk about sex, baby. Specifically, sex involving bank-robbing, library-saving, relationship-ruining criminals as written by the kind of comics creators who do great work in the mainstream and off-the-wall-awesome work at Image Comics. This is the story of a fledgling relationship, of two young people struggling with the whole “adulthood” thing, of people who can stop time, of sex scientists and sex cops and sex criminals, of the ways we live and love and screw and screw up. So put down that street muffin, brimpers. This is about to get weird.*

*But not that weird. This review is totally SFW. Unless you click the links. So maybe wait to do that until you get home. Ok? Ok.

[“Anyway, so… Freddie Mercury huh?”]

Wed
Feb 11 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: We Would Be So Compatible With This Droid!

The Valentines Day chocolate bar has been set! What you are looking at is a 150 pound, life-sized R2-D2, made entirely of chocolate. This magnificent work of art was created by Fernando Arreola, the pastry chef and Executive Chef at Fairmont Hotel. It was inspired by the Star Wars Exposition, which will run at the Tech Museum of San Jose, California until February 23rd. 

Morning Roundup brings you more wise words from the set of The Force Awakens, ideas for the new Spider-Man/Marvel Cinematic Universe extravaganza, and outrageous concept art for Jupiter Ascending!

[Plus, a new way to read comics!]

Wed
Feb 4 2015 2:00pm

Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s Picks for February

Barnes and Noble Bookseller's Picks

For over a decade, Jim Killen has served as the science fiction and fantasy book buyer for Barnes & Noble. Every month on The B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog and Tor.com, Jim shares his curated list of the month’s can’t-miss new SF/F releases.

[B&N Picks for February]

Tue
Feb 3 2015 2:00pm

Scott McCloud Gets an Entourage of Dancing Bears for Our Pop Quiz Interview

Scott McCloudWelcome 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 Scott McCloud, the award-winning author of Understanding Comics, Making Comics, Zot!, and many other fiction and non-fiction comics spanning 30 years. An internationally-recognized authority on comics and visual communication, technology, and the power of storytelling, McCloud has lectured at Google, Pixar, Sony, and the Smithsonian Institution.

McCloud’s latest graphic novel, The Sculptor, is the story of a desperate young artist who makes a deal with Death. Available now from First Second Books, you can read an excerpt here on Tor.com.

Join us as Scott finds himself accidentally part of an Internet sub-culture!

[Read More]

Tue
Jan 27 2015 4:00pm
Excerpt

The Sculptor (Comic Excerpt)

Scott McCloud

The Sculptor Scott McCloud David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier! 

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work—The Sculptor, available February 3rd from First Second.

[Read an Excerpt]

Thu
Jan 22 2015 9:00am

Tiamat’s Terrain: Comics that Traverse the World

Kamala Khan Ms Marvel

I didn’t mean to fall into comics at the beginning of 2015, but sometimes that’s just the way the wind blows. And these comics, hailing from France, Italy, Cyprus, and America, traverse the whole world, entering unexpected longitudes and latitudes.

Intriguingly, the content that takes the reader into far-flung corners of the globe reflects the authors’ own travels and lineages: Squarzoni, a French graphic novelist who worked in ex-Yugoslavia, has traveled through Mexico, Palestine, and Israel as a human-rights observer and has published work on Central American politics and the Holocaust; the Italian, Hugo Pratt, inducted in 2004 to the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, lived in Argentina, London, Italy, Switzerland, and France, while also traveling Patagonia, Canada, and Africa; Wilson is an American who lived and worked for a time in Cairo; Hoplaros grew up in Zimbabwe before moving back to her home-country, Cyprus; and Sattouf, who used to write for Charlie Hebdo, is a French-Syrian who spent his childhood in Algeria, Libya, and Syria. With well-traveled captains like these at the helm, you know you’re in for a rip-roaring ride.

[Read More]

Tue
Jan 13 2015 2:00pm

Getting Excited About Comics Again: Image Expo 2015

As those of you who read my monthly Pull List column here know, last year was the year I finally returned to comics after having abandoned them as a teenager. Well, specifically, it was the year I went back to superhero comics. I’d been reading alt comics and graphic novels for years—Preacher, Sandman, Hellboy, and Y: The Last Man hold a special place on my bookshelves—but even my readership in those had nosedived after my frustration with The Walking Dead comics put me off just about all illustrated works. Going back to capes meant going back to graphic novels, which lead directly to my belated discovery of Image Comics' current output.

And that’s why I was so excited to attend Image Expo for the first time last week. I’ve been to a variety of SFF cons in the last few years, but had no idea what to expect with this one. It both surpassed and underwhelmed my expectations, but regardless I had a grand time. First off, it’s not a con, at least not in the way I thought it would be. I’m terrible at judging crowd sizes, but it seemed like there couldn’t have been more than two thousand people, if that. Which worked out perfectly in a venue as small as the Yerba Buena Arts Center in San Francisco.

[Read More]

Tue
Jan 13 2015 10:00am

Samuel Delany Pukes on a Baby: Authors Can Be Art, Too!

Saga

There have been many storied cameos in comics history: KISS, Barack Obama, Stephen Colbert, and the entire 1977 cast of Saturday Night Live. There are also plenty of instances of comic writers appearing in their own books, and a giant fabulous example of fictional characters adventuring together.

But what about comics that feature other authors? I spent some time recently looking for cameos by writers homaged in comic books and found a vampire Neil Gaiman, an alien Samuel Delany, and the mighty she-god Isaac Asimov?!? Take a look.

[He did write a sestina about vampires...]

Mon
Jan 12 2015 10:00am

The Best Sci-Fi Adventure You Didn’t Read in 2014 — Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye

Transformers comic Wait, come back! I promise this doesn’t involve Mark Wahlberg hate-chugging a Bud Light.

I have a friend whom I’d turned onto IDW Publishing’s Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye a few weeks ago, and she immediately began recommending it to her other friends. While writing this article, I asked her how she was wording these recommendations, and she responded, “Oh man, I just started this great comic, aliens on a big old mission after this huge war ends and they Voyager themselves and the characters are amazing and it’s funny and heartbreaking and…. it’s Transformers.”

That last part tends to be where most people lose interest.

[Read More]

Fri
Jan 2 2015 12:00pm

What Really Happened in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

As a loving tribute from A Wrinkle in Time’s 50th anniversary a couple years back Faith Erin Hicks presented us with a comic detailing her favorite part of the book. It is honestly the most adorable thing we’ve seen in a long time.

Faith Erin Hicks is the author and illustrator of a number of webcomics, including Demonology 101 and Zombies Calling. Her comic Friends With Boys is now available as a graphic novel from First Second.

[Read more]

Wed
Dec 31 2014 2:30pm

Pull List: Saga

There are a lot of good comics out there. Sure, there are quite a few bad comics, and a ton of mediocre ones, but the really great ones are few and far between. Those are the comics that don’t just break the rules, they shatter them into a million unidentifiable pieces. They shove convention and tradition out the window and do whatever the hell they want. The graphics are more art than illustration, and the text more literature than natter. The great ones push the boundaries of what is acceptable, what is deviant, what is perverted, and what is awe-inspiring. They force the reader to really think about their world, and revel in the thrill of the reader forging a personal connection to the characters or material. They take the medium and elevate it to such great heights that the very concept of “high quality” is redefined.

And then there’s Saga.

[“Life is mostly just learning how to lose.”]

Fri
Dec 12 2014 5:05pm

Even If You Look Closely, You Still Won’t Believe This is a Silver Surfer Costume

Silver Surfer makeup drawing cosplay

That’s a pretty great drawing of the Silver Surfer, right? Wrong. That is, it’s a fantastic work of art, but it’s not an illustration. That’s a real person you're looking at, thanks to Hollywood makeup effects artist Cris Alex. Having worked on X-Men: Days of Future Past, Alex is no stranger to superheroes, and challenged herself to recreate a specific Silver Surfer comic book cover. Her final result is definitely a step up from those pop art Halloween costumes.

[Take a closer look]

Wed
Dec 10 2014 12:00pm

We Need a Kink in Our Stories: BDSM Characters in Your Favorite Genre Fiction

Farscape, Scorpius, John Crichton

Look at a beloved genre TV show, movie, or comic book. Is there simmering sexual tension marked by shifting power and the exchange of control? Do the characters strut around in leather corsets and wield whips? Does someone get tied up? You’re looking at BDSM (variously standing for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism) at play. Which really doesn’t come as a surprise, because geeks are kinky as all get out.

Older, more conservative narratives would have us believe that people who engage in BDSM are somehow wrong or depraved. But the sheer presence of kinky characters across so many stories—whether hiding in children’s shows as jokes for the parents, or in the case of Farscape’s Scorpius, hiding in plain sight—simply proves how universal the notion of power exchange is.

Remember your safe words, ’cause it’s time to meet our favorite fictional kinksters!

[Read more]

Mon
Dec 1 2014 3:00pm

Pull List: Batgirl and Thor

DC’s New 52 reboot in 2011 was much needed, somewhat successful, and totally controversial. Women creators dropped from 12% to a depressing 1% (as of August 2014, that number is under 10% between the Big Two). Catwoman, Starfire, Voodoo, and Harley Quinn were way oversexualized. And then there was Batgirl. Barbara Gordon was thankfully spared the worst aspects of the New 52, by which I mean she wasn’t tarted up in a black and yellow bikini with Liefeld-esque accent pouches. Three years later, a new writer and artist have taken over the title and breathed new life into Batgirl.

A week before Batgirl dropped, Marvel launched their newest series aimed at young women: Thor. Yes, in the 2014 Marvel comics universe, Captain Marvel is a woman, Ms. Marvel is Pakistani-American, Captain America and Ultimate Spider-Man are Black, and Thor is a woman (with really unfortunate boob-plate armor). Quite a few characters have taken over the mantle of Thor over the years, but this time it’s for real. For now, anyway.

So, we have two old titles with two new personalities. How do they stack up? And, more importantly, should you buy? Oh, hell yes.

[“Quick, say something badass.”]

Mon
Jun 23 2014 9:26am
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]

Mon
Nov 24 2014 11:21am

Warren Ellis’ Crowdsourcing Crime Fighters Comic Global Frequency is Being Adapted for Television

Global Frequency TV show Warren Ellis

Already looking ahead to the next television season, Warner Bros TV continues to look to comic books for new series. Deadline reports that producer Jerry Bruckheimer is looking to bring Warren Ellis’ early-2000s techno-thriller comic Global Frequency to TV, with Farscape creator Rockne S. O’Bannon adapting. Fox has made a pilot production commitment for the drama, which Bruckheimer, O’Bannon, and Ellis will all co-produce.

[Read more]

Thu
Nov 13 2014 10:00am

The Kind You Save, The Kind You Stop: Death, Disability, and the Superhero by José Alaniz

Death Disability and the Superhero review

The history of superhero comics is at least as strange and subversive as the stories themselves. Golden Age superheroes arrived on the scene in the 1930s-40s rife with all the problematic social underpinnings of their time. White, male, and beyond-able-bodied, heroes like Superman and Captain America (a verifiable human eugenics project) represented everything America aspired to be. Counterculture, social change, and the more nuanced Silver Age of comics brought with them a dramatic shift in many of these perspectives—suddenly, superpowers were tied to other, less traditionally “super” qualities. Characters like Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four even saw his power as a curse, a bodily deformity that marked him as abnormal and monstrous—a stark change from the paragons of virtue mentioned above.

José Alaniz’s recent book, Death, Disability, and the Superhero: The Silver Age and Beyond, tackles these themes head-on, drawing on examples from across The Big Two’s publishing history to highlight how changing perceptions of bodies, disability, and death have shaped the characters and franchises that continue to intrigue us today. Exploring issues from the infamous revolving door of death to secret identity plots as passing narratives, DD&S is a fascinating read for old comic fans and newbies (like myself) alike.

[Read More]

Tue
Nov 4 2014 9:00am

Is Loki Canonically Genderfluid Now?

Loki, Original Sin: Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, female lady Loki

Loki’s current exploits in the Marvel universe have been fun for sure, ranging from heists and cons to discovering that he and Thor have an extra sibling they never knew about. Writer Al Ewing made a splash even before his run with the character began by stating that Loki is bisexual, and that he would shift from male to female on occasion as well. The announcement was met with a flutter of interest and many questions—had Loki always been bisexual? What would the swapping mean for his gender identity? Would this add dimension to the character, or come off hollow?

It seems as though Ewing has done more than make Loki bisexual, however; with the Original Sin arc (by Ewing and Jason Aaron), it looks like Loki has been established as genderfluid as well. Which is awesome.

[Read more]

Wed
Oct 29 2014 1:00pm

Pull List: Joe Hill’s Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland

It’s almost Halloween, which means the Brown household is in the middle of its annual Joe Hill October (Joetober? Octohill?) Celebration. Between consuming Wraith, Horns the movie, and Horns the book for Tor.com, I’ve also spent my lunch breaks at work binging on his ebook short stories.

At this point, most of you should be at least passingly familiar with Joe Hill, but to quickly sum up, he’s a masterful writer of horror fiction who has also spread his talents into graphic novels. For this special Halloween edition of Pull List, we’re talking Wraith: Welcome to Christmasland, but I also highly recommend The Cape (no, not the TV show Abed was obsessed with) and, of course, the excellent Locke & Key.

[“We’re on our way to Christmasland!”]

Wed
Oct 29 2014 9:00am

Bring Me a Cuddly Marshmallow Robot: Big Hero 6 Will Make You Cry, and That’s Okay

Big Hero 6

Another Disney-Marvel venture that comes from the pages of a comic book, Big Hero 6 was already set to combine our favorite sci-fi buzz words—superheroes, robots, alternate realities—and deliver something fun for the whole family. But the movie supersedes those expectations to ruminate on invention, family, and how grief transforms us all... for better or for worse.

Spoiler-light review below.

[I am satisfied with my care.]