Ambiguity Machines: An Examination April 29, 2015 Ambiguity Machines: An Examination Vandana Singh A test for Junior Navigators of Conceptual Machine-Space. The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn April 22, 2015 The Pauper Prince and the Eucalyptus Jinn Usman Malik He will inherit the Unseen. The Ways of Walls and Words April 15, 2015 The Ways of Walls and Words Sabrina Vourvoulias Can the spirit truly be imprisoned? Ballroom Blitz April 1, 2015 Ballroom Blitz Veronica Schanoes Can't stop drinking, can't stop dancing, can't stop smoking, can't even die.
From The Blog
April 30, 2015
The Folklore Origins of The Avengers
Caitlyn Paxson
April 28, 2015
Five Books Where Music is Practically a Character
Sabaa Tahir
April 27, 2015
Message Fiction: Politics in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Literature
The G
April 24, 2015
5 Extremely Accurate Predictions For Star Trek Beyond
Ryan Britt
April 22, 2015
Daredevil, Catholicism, and the Marvel Moral Universe
Leah Schnelbach
Thu
Apr 30 2015 10:00am
Original Comic

Con/Game

Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Con Game Cory Doctorow Jen Wang

We’re pleased to present Con/Game, an original comic from acclaimed author Cory Doctorow and rising star cartoonist Jen Wang, set in the world of their graphic novel In Real Life. First published on Tor.com on September 30, 2014, Con/Game will be also be available on Free Comic Book Day as part of the Comics Festival collection. Look for it this Saturday, May 2nd, at your local comic shop!

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.

[Read Con/Game]

Wed
Apr 29 2015 11:00am

The (Welcome) Invasion of the Whippersnappers

free comic book day children's book week

The most wonderful time of year for comic book geeks is almost upon us. No, not the opening of comic book movie season, even one that includes premieres of the new Avengers world domination story, the awesome-looking Fantastic Four movie, or Batman and Superman Have a Pissing Contest while Wonder Woman Gets Bored and Goes Off to Save the World.

In a few short days, the first Saturday of May to be exact, is Free Comic Book Day! It is the day we give thanks to our ancestors for bestowing upon us this glorious medium by descending en masse on our local comic book shops and scrabbling to get everything on our wishlist. This year is also the first time Children’s Book Week and Free Comic Book Day are joining forces to help get kids interested in reading, which this librarian thinks is pretty darn great.

[“A great nation is a reading nation.”]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 2:00pm

To Be a Ghost-Fly on the Wall: Our Pop Quiz Interview with Mike Johnson

Mike JohnsonWelcome 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 Johnson, a comics author who has worked on DC’s Supergirl and the current run of IDW’s Star Trek. He also works with co-creator and illustrator Rafael Albuquerque on the original series EI8HT, published by Dark Horse. Issues 1-3 are available now, with a collected edition forthcoming in October 2015.

Join us as we uncover the strange, alchemical secret to Mike’s writing, and he reveals his thoughts on who’s really the most Force-sensitive character in a galaxy far, far away. Plus, check out some preview pages below from the upcoming issue of EI8HT!

[Read More]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 9:00am

Iceman Already Kinda Sorta Tried to Come Out as Gay in the 1990s

Bobby Drake Iceman gay

I imagine that all the recent hubbub about Iceman coming out as gay in this week’s #40 issue of All New X-Men (and by hubbub I mean “Oh, Facebook Trending updated itself again”) is interesting to comic book fans who grew up reading X-Men comics. Perhaps not because it’s astonishing or new or uncanny, but maybe because it represents the return of a plotline that cropped up in a little-remembered Almost Very Special Issue of Uncanny X-Men published in 1994, more than 20 years ago.

[“Bobby... ...is there anything you want to say?”]

Thu
Apr 23 2015 8:00am

Morning Roundup: VeggieTales: Nights!

We already thought the Matt Murdock/Foggy Nelson friendship was pretty adorable, but Tumblr-er MissMuggle has taken things to a whole new level. Look how cute they are! And so determined to use the law to bring down the Kingpin!

Morning Roundup brings you thoughts on comics’ conquest of the universe, the changing colors of The Avengers, and the classiest version of the Doctor Who theme ever!

[Plus William Gibson predicts the future!]

Wed
Apr 8 2015 11:30am

Diversity and Inclusivity at WonderCon 2015

This year was my third year attending WonderCon, and while it’s not my favorite con (that would be Worldcon), it’s still three solid days of geeky fun. As always, I went with my best friend, and she and I went through our usual range of emotions: being bored on Friday; overwhelmed, annoyed, and slightly disappointed on Saturday; and pleased and totally satisfied by Sunday. Prolonged exposure to that many people is equal parts challenging and entertaining for a pair of friends that are basically the 32-year-old versions of Daria and Jane.

We switched from Comic Con to WonderCon a while back for a lot of reasons, but mostly because the former never felt as comfortable as the latter...

[Read more]

Fri
Apr 3 2015 2:00pm
Excerpt

Last of the Sandwalkers (Comic Excerpt)

Jay Holser

Last of the Sandwalkers Jay Holser Nestled in the grass under the big palm tree by the edge of the desert there is an entire civilization—a civilization of beetles. In this bug's paradise, beetles write books, run restaurants, and even do scientific research. But not too much scientific research is allowed by the powerful elders, who guard a terrible secret about the world outside the shadow of the palm tree.

Lucy is not one to quietly cooperate, however. This tiny field scientist defies the law of her safe but authoritarian home and leads a team of researchers out into the desert. Their mission is to discover something about the greater world, but what lies in wait for them is going to change everything Lucy thought she knew: Beetles are not the only living creatures in the world.

Deftly combining suspenseful adventure storytelling with the principles and tools of scientific inquiry, entomologist and cartoonist Jay Hosler has created in Last of the Sandwalkers a tale that satisfies and fascinates even the most bug-averse among us—available April 7th from First Second Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 1:30pm

Afternoon Roundup: Flash Dance... What a Feeling

The Flash dance set photos Grant Gustin Tom Cavanagh

Well, isn’t this delightful: While shooting an episode of The Flash earlier this month, Grant Gustin and Tom Cavanagh (in-costume as The Flash and Reverse Flash) realized they had attracted an audience. What better reaction than to break into an impromptu waltz! Check out the whole gallery at ImageBam (via The Flash Spoilers).

Afternoon Roundup brings you a new Spock documentary; what happens when “the cloud” bursts; and the most badass deer to get caught in your headlights.

[Read more]

Mon
Mar 30 2015 10:00am

Pull List: Getting Emotional Over Bitch Planet

Originally, this edition of Pull List was supposed to be all Kelly Sue DeConnick all the time as a co-review of Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly. And then I read issue #3 and curled up in a cuddle puddle with my pet rat and cried for half an hour. I don’t even know how to explain everything, all the emotions that Penny’s history flooded up inside me, and even if I could it’s far more than this post could sustain. This review is rambling and wandering, but if you could manage to talk about a series like Bitch Planet and not get worked up emotionally then there is something terribly wrong with you.

[“...and you bastards ain’t never gonna break me.”]

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]