Welcome to Playtime Arts & Culture!

Playtime has a wide range of artists, readers, critics, and fans. Most of Playtime’s staff bonded over our love of film at several old film message boards. We invite you, not only, to explore our many back issues–but to jump in and leave us a comment here or on our forums.

Books and Comics

In a world where adventure comics seem to consist of nothing but grim, tortured heroes fighting grim, tortured villains for grim, tortured reasons, Atomic Robo is a comic with the apparent – and unthinkable – goal of making its readership smile. Oh, there’s violence, and vampires, and Nazis, and all sorts of that kind of thing, but they’re there in service of excitement and thrills, rather than the battling of […]

2010 (so far): The greatest year in the history of the comics medium? The nightmarish nadir from which it will never recover? The year when the whole industry, and our relationship with it, changed forever? Nope. But come with us nevertheless to yestermonth, for a look at some of the comic books, trade paperbacks, and funnypages/comic-strip collections of oh, say, the middlish part of the year. Gorilla-Man #1 Creators: Jeff […]

It was the announcement from a major comic book publisher that split the Internet in half. Or the one for that week, anyway. Actually, it was really the one for that month – the announcement was that big. We refer here, of course, to the announcement that they were radically changing Wonder Woman’s costume. The ever-shrinking strapless one-piece swimsuit that the Amazon princess had worn into battle for over half […]

March of 2010 saw the release of Hardware: The Man in the Machine, a trade paperback collecting the first eight issues of the comic book Hardware; but it was in April of 1993 when Hardware #1 first hit the shelves. Written by Dwayne McDuffie with art by Denys Cowan, Hardware was the first title in a new line, or imprint, of DC Comics titles, called Milestone Media. The milestone referred […]

Moonlight In Odessa, the debut novel from Janet Skeslien Charles, is a warm and funny story of the bleak and deceptive world of mail-order brides. Its heroine and central figure is Daria, an intelligent, strong, and educated Odessan woman who finds a job working for a ‘matchmaking service,’ and ends up one of its clients, to her eventual sorrow. It’s a marvelous book, witty and subtle and affecting, and a […]

I had always wanted to read Stephen King’s Cell.  Despite the intriguing central concept of cell phones turning people into zombies, I somehow never took the plunge and bought it.  This is probably due to the fact that the book was slightly larger than most paperbacks, which, I am convinced, was done solely to artificially inflate the price of the book. So I was quite excited when my editor, the […]

The neo-slave narrative, as defined by literary critic Ashraf Rushdy, is a genre of work that grew out of the awareness and turmoil of the 1960s Black Power movement. As a genre, the neo-slave narrative “assumed the form…and the first-person voice of antebellum slave narratives,” while attempting to position itself in the burgeoning debate between mainstream and minority opinion on history and cultural critique of the era.  While the 60s […]

With time, unfound gems will be uncovered, newly discovered favorites will be shelved and I’ll be a richer person from the experience. I’d now like to reflect on those stories that count most to me and have left the greatest impact: my favorites.

If you’re a frustrated genre novelist, aspiring fantasy screenwriter, or fanfic writer in the making — and really, who isn’t? — you’ve probably found yourself standing at a bewildering crossroads of dramatic options. Should you rip off Star Wars, or Batman?  What does it truly mean to be human in an age where technology itself blurs the definitions of humanity? What are the limits of love in the face of […]

I passionately love fairy tales. I love the act of storytelling-using words, tone, and gesture to conjure scenes. I love stories told of heroes, fools, and villains in comedic upsets, heart-rending drama and inevitable resolutions. I love being in the audience, watching a master at work and envisioning all they convey; to be immersed in a well-told story is as nourishing for the soul as a bracing meal is for […]

In honor of the release of Star Trek, Playtime is running science-fiction themed articles during the Month of May. And what could be more apropos than talkin’ about some of the most badass spaceships to be put on-screen? Regular Playtime contributors and posters were asked to submit lists of their Top 5 Starships. In Part 1 of 2 of Playtime’s Top 5 Starships, we have culled three of the most […]

To me, the Chronicles of Prydain were a revelation. Until then, I had never been enthusiastic about reading, seeing it more as a chore than as a pleasure….It wasn’t until my dad came home from a library sale with that battered copy of The Book Of Three that I discovered not only a true passion for reading, but for all things fantasy.