Dog March 25, 2015 Dog Bruce McAllister "Watch the dogs when you're down there, David." The Museum and the Music Box March 18, 2015 The Museum and the Music Box Noah Keller History is rotting away, just like the museum. The Thyme Fiend March 11, 2015 The Thyme Fiend Jeffrey Ford It's not all in his head. The Shape of My Name March 4, 2015 The Shape of My Name Nino Cipri How far can you travel to claim yourself?
From The Blog
March 24, 2015
Protecting What You Love: On the Difference Between Criticism, Rage, and Vilification
Emily Asher-Perrin
March 23, 2015
Language as Power in Shakespeare’s The Tempest
Katharine Duckett
March 16, 2015
What Changes To Expect in Game of Thrones Season Five
Bridget McGovern
March 13, 2015
Five Books with Fantastic Horses
Patricia Briggs
March 13, 2015
Is Ladyhawke the Best Fairy Tale of Them All?
Leah Schnelbach
Thu
Mar 26 2015 11:05am

New Avengers Line-Up Revealed

All-New All-Different Avengers

This summer, Marvel Comics is merging all of its various realities in a battle royale crossover event known as the Secret Wars, and today the new Avengers line-up that will emerge from that event has leaked (and then promptly officially released).

The new line-up reflects the changes that many of Marvel’s A-list characters have undergone in the past year—from Falcon taking up the mantle of Captain America to the power of Thor being passed on to a (currently) mystery woman—and seizing on the popularity of new characters such as Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man Miles Morales. Assembled, these characters present a bold representation of the Marvel Universe as it stands today.

[Read more]

Wed
Mar 18 2015 2:00pm

Pull List: Women’s History Month

Pull List Women's History Month

It’s tough being a girl in comic books. You don’t have a lot of options. The big divide is between being a superhero or a mundane, but that’s just physics. In reality your choices aren’t based in whether or not you have any powers but what kind of woman you are.

You can be the Romantic Love Interest—with the option of becoming the Wife if you can convince the hero to stick around or, if he dumps you, the Femme Fatale/Villain. If you are a Career Woman, you usually only do that while biding your time until the hero proposes or dumps the Sexy Girl. The Sexy Girl exudes sexuality and seduces other characters left and right. She functions under what should be sex positive behavior but is generally treated by the creators as a chance to get a woman as close to naked on the page as they can. She wears nothing but bikinis, revealing costumes so tight they look painted on, or outfits perpetually coming undone. Sometimes you can be the Lesbian, but most of the time that’s just an excuse for the writers to have you talk about all the sex you’re having and for the artist to draw you in a variety of titillating poses. In other words, you’re the Sexy Girl with slightly different window dressing.

[Things aren’t all bad, though.]

Tue
Mar 17 2015 2:00pm

Afternoon Roundup: Arya’s Journey, Summed Up in One Image

Donato Giancola Game of Thrones sketches Arya the Hound

Artist Donato Giancola, who wonderfully illustrated the Song of Ice and Fire 2015 calendar, has gifted us with more ASOIAF-inspired work. Recently he has posted several excellent drawings to his Facebook page, including one of Brienne of Tarth and this image of Arya and the fallen Hound. Check them all out!

Afternoon Roundup brings you Batman rumors, Mal and Wash on a spaceship again (sorta), and Commander Riker in Nerd Court!

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 9 2015 9:00am
Original Comic

The Fantôme Ball

Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula Andi Watson

Decompisia is the underworld’s most stressed Princess—she has plenty of her own work to do but always seems to find herself doing her layabout father’s job, as well. To help in the understaffed kitchens, Princess Decomposia has hired Count Spatula, the vampire chef with a sweet tooth. He’s a charming go-getter of a blood-sucker, and pretty soon the two young ghouls become friends. Together, can they keep the kingdom running smoothly?

Tor.com is pleased to present The Fantôme Ball, an original comic set in the world of Andi Watson’s Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula, a sweet and mildly spooky tale of friendship, family, and management training for the undead!

[Read More]

Fri
Mar 6 2015 2:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: All Frankenstein’s Monster Wants is a Good Strong Cuppa

Frankenstein Boris Karloff teacup behind the scenes set photos

Vintage Everyday has collected these great photos of Boris Karloff lounging around on the set of Frankenstein circa 1930: getting fitted for costumes, getting his hair combed, getting dirtied up. Our favorite, however, is him daintily drinking tea while getting fitted for his wardrobe. Perhaps if the townspeople had met the monster with teacups instead of torches, things could have turned out differently.

Afternoon Roundup brings you robot recipes, possible Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer details, and rumors of a new J.K. Rowling book!

[Read more]

Thu
Mar 5 2015 3:45pm

Women SFF Artists Redesign Female Characters and the Results Are Fantastic

women SFF artists redesign female characters Red Sonja Melissa Gay

Orbit Books Creative Director Lauren Panepinto regularly blogs about art on the Muddy Colors blog, but in her latest post, “What Women Want in Women Characters,” she’s given us a special treat. Panepinto called upon members of the hundreds-strong Women in Fantasy Illustration group to redesign famous sci-fi/fantasy, comic book, and video game characters in ways that honor their narratives and keep them properly clothed.

[Read more]

Wed
Feb 25 2015 11:00am

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 9:00am

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 3:00pm

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 3:00pm

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 5:00pm
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 10:00am

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 3:00pm

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 11:00am

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 11:00am

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 1:00pm

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 3:30pm

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 6:05pm

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 1:00pm

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 4:00pm

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.”]