A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween. This Chance Planet October 22, 2014 This Chance Planet Elizabeth Bear We are alone, except for the dog. Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza October 15, 2014 Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza Carrie Vaughn A Wild Cards story. The Girl in the High Tower October 14, 2014 The Girl in the High Tower Gennifer Albin A Crewel story.
From The Blog
October 23, 2014
Devil in a Blue Dress: Horns by Joe Hill
Alex Brown
October 21, 2014
Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets
Kelly Quinn
October 21, 2014
Happily Remixed and Mashed-Up Ever After: Modern Fairy Tales!
Leah Schnelbach
October 20, 2014
Snow White: The Blankest Slate of Them All
Natalie Zutter and Emily Asher-Perrin
October 17, 2014
The Bloody Books of Halloween: The October Country by Ray Bradbury
Will Errickson
Wed
Oct 29 2014 2:00pm

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 10:00am

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.]

Mon
Oct 27 2014 12:00pm

Nobody Puts Jarl in a Corner: The Way of Shadows Graphic Novel

The Way of Shadows graphic novel

Say one thing for Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy; say it’s full of action. I borrow that turn of phrase from Joe Abercrombie, whose main character Logen Ninefingers often uses it to demonstrate his ‘tell it like it is’ demeanor.

I borrow it in much the same way that Ivan Brandon and Andy MacDonald have borrowed for the graphic novel The Way of Shadows; we create something similar to the original, but also completely pervert it to our own ends. Where Weeks took time to develop his narrative beyond mere action, the graphic novel glosses over much of the detail, creating a shallower tale that focuses on the action and, really, only the action.

[Read More]

Wed
Oct 22 2014 11:00am

Batgirl’s New Creative Team is Already Punching Sexism in the Face — With Science!

Batgirl

I’m a sucker for youthful superheroics of any kind, from the Teen Titans to the Great Saiyaman. But all too often, super-powered kids get written as slightly less verbose adults, with no concern for young people’s actual tastes, tendencies, or—most importantly—problems. The new creators on DC Comics’ Batgirl, on the other hand, are doing a bang-up job portraying college student Barbara Gordon’s hectic life as an academic superstar by day and hip vigilante by night. But what’s coolest of all—besides her kickin’ new outfit—is that Batgirl is finally standing up for modern young women everywhere. And she’s doing it with science.

[Read more...]

Tue
Oct 14 2014 11:15am

From Plot Devices to Normal People: Transgender Themes in Comics at NYCC

NYCC Transgender Issues in Comics panel Charles Battersby Gail Simone

At New York Comic-Con’s panel Secret Identities: Transgender Themes in Comic Books, Batgirl writer Gail Simone related a conversation with another comics creator who said that (paraphrased) “you’ll know we’re ‘there’ [regarding diversity] when we have a transgender character on the cover of a comic book.” While the industry hasn’t quite hit that level of visibility, it’s well on its way with panels like this one at NYCC (and a similar one at SDCC, also featuring Simone, which filled the convention’s largest room).

Moderating NYCC’s panel was Charles Battersby, a playwright and journalist who also runs Press XY, a website examining trans issues in gaming. Other panelists included Morgan Boecher, author and artist of the semi-autobiographical webcomic What’s Normal Anyway?, about his FTM (female-to-male) transition; and P. Kristen Enos, a cisgender lesbian LGBTQ activist and author.

The panel discussed the history of transgender characters in comics, from offensive plot devices to someone as normal as your roommate. They also discussed how to avoid tokenizing such characters, and offered recommendations for characters so that trans readers can see themselves reflected in comic books.

[Read more]

Mon
Oct 13 2014 12:00pm

Internet Activism and Global Economics: In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

Cory Doctorow Jen Wang In Real Life graphic novel review

The arbitrary line drawn between the internet and “real life” is a long-standing pet peeve of mine. When I was a kid, it came in the form of well-intentioned family and friends telling me that my online relationships weren’t real. As an adult, it has been any number of folks from across the political spectrum belittling “Twitter activism” and other online forms of dissent—whether because it doesn’t work, or because, in their strangely drawn rulebooks, it doesn’t count as real action.

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang’s graphic novel, In Real Life, hits both of these notes with grace while staying true to the playfulness and fun that draw so many of us to online spaces in the first place.

[Read More]

Fri
Oct 10 2014 11:00am

Here and There: The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins

The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil Stephen Collins review

Beneath the skin of everything is something nobody can know. The job of the skin is to keep it all in and never let anything show.

So begins The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil, award-winning cartoonist Stephen Collins’ first graphic novel proper, and it is as dark and charming a parable as the poetry of its first panels portends.

The eventual originator of the evil beard is a drone called Dave. Not literally a drone, however his behaviours are practically mechanical. In that, Dave is not dissimilar to the other strangely hairless inhabitants of Here; like them, he lives in almost constant fear of There. Happily, his job at A&C Industries occupies his thoughts during the day, and in his downtime, Dave draws. He draws the pedestrians that pass his house; he pencil sketches pets and post boxes; but by and large his subject is the street. “It was just so neat,” you see. “So... complete.”

[Read More]

Thu
Oct 9 2014 1:40pm

Rocket & Groot Conquer all the Covers!

When Marvel tells us that We are Groot they mean it! We’re getting 20 homages of classic Marvel covers in November, all featuring Rocket Racoon and his incredibly endearing bodyguard. The image above (a variant for Superior Iron Man #1) is a gleefully subversive take on the classic Iron Man arc, “Demon in a Bottle,” while the one below is, well...

[Read More]

Thu
Oct 2 2014 2:50pm

Join Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang on Their In Real Life Tour!

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang will be making appearances in support of their new graphic novel In Real Life, adapted from Doctorow’s story “Anda’s Game”! While playing her favorite MMORPG, Coarsegold Online, Anda meets and befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake. The comic, published by First Second Books, is available October 14th.

Check out an excerpt from IRL, and read the Tor.com original comic “Con/Game,” set in the IRL universe. Then click through to see if the IRL tour is coming to a town near you!

[Tour dates!]

Wed
Oct 1 2014 10:00am

Pull List: Lumberjanes

From the first page of the first issue, I knew Lumberjanes was going to be my new favorite thing. All the girls are awesome—I absolutely adore Mal, probably more than is healthy—the story is easy but engaging, and the dialogue is sharp, cheerful, and pleasantly down to earth. But it wasn’t until page 9 that I fell in love.

The girls use famous/important women as interjections, and on that page Molly referenced a woman who has been my hero since I was a little girl: Bessie “Queen Bess” Coleman. She was the first African American person of any gender to have an international license, and the first Black female pilot in the world, and it’s a rare day when I encounter someone who not only knows of her but treats her with the respect she deserves. This is probably going to be less review and more love letter, because there’s just so much greatness bundled up in such a little comic.

[“What the junk?!”]

Tue
Sep 30 2014 9:00am
Original Comic

Con/Game

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Con Game Cory Doctorow Jen Wang

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—and Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake. 

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, Con/Game is an original comic story set in the world of Doctorow and Wang's In Real Life, a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

[Read Con/Game]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 12:00pm

Cosplay is Not Killing Comic Con, and Neither are Selfies and “New” Fans

Superman costumes, Comic Con

Denise Dorman, wife of comics illustrator Dave Dorman recently made some waves with a piece she posted on her own blog ComicBookWife.com, which then appeared on Bleeding Cool. She was pointing to a very real problem at current conventions—that creators, writers, and illustrators are no longer making enough money at conventions to justify the expense of going in the first place. Her belief is that a new brand of convention-goer—the sort who worships cosplayers over creative talents—are largely to blame for this issue.

And... no. No, they’re not.

[But what is?]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 9:00am

This Chinese Comic Bootleg of Star Wars is Full of Droid Kissing and Booze

Star Wars Chinese Comic

Ah, the bootleg DVD. In China, this manner of receiving entertainment is all but an enterprise. (I have a particular memory of a friend’s father bringing home a pirated copy of Pirates of the Caribbean from a business trip to China, where the subtitles were clearly from a different film—during their duel, Will Turner accused Jack of never coming home: “All you want to do is go disco disco with your friends!”)

But before that, did you know that there were lianhuanhua? Meaning the equivalent of “linked picture book,” these were an early form of comic in China—many of which were adapted from popular films that the public didn’t have access to.

And you need to look at this Star Wars one.

[Check it.]

Thu
Sep 18 2014 12:36pm

Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman and Has an All-Girl Band Called The Mary Janes

Gwen Stacy Spider-Man The Mary Janes band

So it’s already cool that Gwen Stacy (embodiment of one of the saddest twists in comics history) gets to be Spider-Woman in a new alternate-universe comic, Edge of Spider-Verse #2 out this week, jumping off buildings instead of falling off them. She rocks a rad costume, saves Peter Parker from bullies, and has a much more emotionally grounded reason to hide her secret identity from her police chief dad.

But the best part? She’s in an all-girl band with Mary Jane Watson called—what else—The Mary Janes.

[FACE IT TIGER]

Mon
Sep 15 2014 9:00am
Excerpt

In Real Life (Comic Excerpt)

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Cory Doctorow Jen Wang In Real LifeAnda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing. 

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer—a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake. 

From acclaimed teen author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, In Real Life is a sensitive, thoughtful look at adolescence, gaming, poverty, and culture-clash.

[Read In Real Life]

Thu
Sep 11 2014 3:37pm

3D-Printed Prosthetic Hands Turn Little Kids Into Superheroes

3D prosthetic hand Wolverine kid

This might be the best thing to come out of 3D printing. First you’ve got Enabling the Future, an organization that utilizes this technology to create prosthetic fingers and hands for people in need. Then you have the creative, geeky types who have hacked Enable’s prosthetic hand model to create specialized, superhero-themed prosthetics for children whose hands aren’t fully developed. Two lucky little boys can now call themselves Wolverine and Iron Man.

[We just have something in our eye...]

Wed
Sep 3 2014 2:00pm

Pull List: Legendary Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Racoon

In case you’ve been under a rock the last month, the Guardians of the Galaxy went from relatively obscure comic book heroes to global superstars. As of August 25, the film has raked in over $500 million worldwide, with more than $94 million of that coming in opening weekend in just North America. 44% of its opening weekend audience was female, beating the last record holder of 40% female audience for The Avengers. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s entertaining as all get out.

Tying in to the film’s release, Marvel released several comics to sate fans looking for more Groot-y goodness. To that end, let’s dive into Legendary Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon.

[“No one calls the Guardians of the Galaxy krutackers!”]

Tue
Sep 2 2014 10:00am

Which 21st Century Comics Will Be Remembered in 50 years?

What qualities make a comic or graphic novel linger in the genre’s memory? Which comics of 2000-2014 will we still be reading and discussing in 2064?

This was the subject of a panel at the recent LonCon, at which, comics authors Maura McHugh, David Baillie and Hannah Berry, publisher John Anderson, and comics enthusiasts Adam Rakunas and myself discussed the famous, the obscure, the deserving, and the overhyped in the last fifteen years of international comics publishing. We also looked back at comics from 50 years ago, to see what qualities have helped past titles stand the test of time.

[So who made the cut?]

Wed
Aug 27 2014 3:00pm

Lois Lane Gets Her Own YA Novel With Virtual Reality Video Games and Internet Romance

Lois Lane young adult YA novel Fallout virtual reality video games cyberbullying Instant Messenger Clark Kent Superman DC Comics

When DC Comics publisher Dan DiDio hinted last year that “we have big plans for Lois Lane in 2014,” we assumed that meant her own comic, in time for Superman’s 75th anniversary. Instead, Lois’ first real solo project will be a young adult novel called Fallout, by Gwenda Bond.

Much like Dean Trippe’s excellent (and, sadly, rejected) Lois Lane: Girl Reporter pitch, Fallout aims to introduce Lois to an entirely new generation of comics fans and reporter wannabes. And they’re doing so in the most Millennial way possible.

[Read more]

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.”]