Daughter of Necessity October 1, 2014 Daughter of Necessity Marie Brennan Tell me, O Muse, of that ingenious heroine... Midway Relics and Dying Breeds September 24, 2014 Midway Relics and Dying Breeds Seanan McGuire Between the roots and the sky. The Golden Apple of Shangri-La September 23, 2014 The Golden Apple of Shangri-La David Barnett A Gideon Smith story. Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera.
From The Blog
September 29, 2014
Powerful Words:The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Anton Strout
September 29, 2014
Slarom, the Backward Morals of Fairytales
Jack Heckel
September 25, 2014
After Paris: Meta, Irony, Narrative, Frames, and The Princess Bride
Jo Walton
September 23, 2014
It’s All About the Benjamins in Sleepy Hollow: “This is War”
Leah Schnelbach
September 23, 2014
The Death of Adulthood in American Culture: Nerd Culture Edition
Lindsay Ellis
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.”]

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]