Reading Comics With…Sam Sykes

I’m always trying to get more people into reading comics for the first time but it can be a struggle as some regard it as just one genre (superheroes) and not a medium. Some people don’t know about the variety of stories being told and the different ways to tell a story that are unique to the medium. I regularly review comics and talk about them often on my podcast, but my opinion only carries so much weight.

Last year I contacted several fantasy authors to lend a hand by talking about their experiences with comic books, how they into reading comics and what they are currently enjoying at present. This week Tor.com will be running those short interviews.

Today features the mysteriously be-scarved Sam Sykes, the author of Tome of the Undergates, the first book in the Aeon’s Gate series. Black Halo, the second book in the series comes out on March 22nd.

Stephen Aryan: When did you first get into reading comics?

Sam Sykes: I first got into comics around the time I was twelve. This would have been about…1995 or so? I had just discovered Spider-Man at that point and loved the idea of a superhero that had a genuinely hard time with things. He had super powers, but they weren’t a guaranteed win for him and balancing his life around his career as a super hero was just as difficult as anybody he ever fought. I sort of lost interest around the time of the Clone Saga, because…well, really.

What comics are you currently reading?

I’m currently balls-deep into Lucifer at the moment, the series that was born from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series. It’s possibly the greatest depiction of the devil I’ve ever seen before. There is just something so satisfying about a protagonist so confident in his own intelligence that he barely ever calls down the powers he’s been endowed with. Mike Carey is a superstar.

What is your favourite comic at the moment and why?

Lucifer, mostly for the reasons above.

Are there any new comics that you are particularly looking forward to?

I’ve got to say, I’m not the best at keeping up with comics. I mainly wait and listen to the overall buzz to see if there’s anything worth checking out. In this, I find I tend to be pretty rewarded with random discoveries like The Boys and Lucifer.


Stephen Aryan is a lifelong fan of comics, science fiction and fantasy. He co-hosts the Comic Book Outsiders podcast and writes fantasy and comic book reviews at Walker of Worlds.

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