Scott Westerfeld and Alex Puvilland

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October 4, 2017

Announcing the Spill Zone Fan Art Contest

Greetings SPILL ZONE fans!

We know news from the zone has been scarce for a while, but it’s the one year anniversary of the web comic, and we are excited to announce one of our most exciting events yet.

The Spill Zone Fan Art Contest starts today, and the winner will receive:

  • a signed personalized copy of the book
  • a signed Spill Zone phone case with an variant cover design
  • an exclusive Spill Zone art print,
  • the chance for their art to be featured here and in the official :01 First Second Books fan newsletter.

Entering is easy! Just follow :01firstsecond on instagram, and use #SpillZoneFanArtContest when you post your best Addison, Alexa, Vespertine, King Wolf Thing (shudder) or whatever else you’ve got up your sleeve before 10/31. We’ll post the five finalists right here on the site for a short voting period, and then we’ll have something even more exciting to announce…



No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age 13 or older. Entry period begins at 12:01 am Eastern Time (ET) on October 4, 2017 and ends at 11:59 pm ET on October 31, 2017. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit Sponsored by 01FirstSecond, a division of Macmillan Publishers, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010 The Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.



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May 2, 2017

End of Book 1

Yes, this is end.

Of Book 1, anyway! Spill Zone 2 comes out in July 2018. But we’ll be serializing it right here starting in October.

In the meantime, stay tuned to this blog for behind-the-scenes stuff, fan art, and news about the series. Plus, you can buy the hardback at last. It came out yesterday!

I hope you enjoyed the ride. Alex, Hilary, and I have really enjoyed putting this graphic novel out into the world. Much thanks to them, and to the crew at First Second for shepherding Spill Zone into its webcomic and physical forms, and for doing such a brilliant job of editing, designing, and marketing the book.

You can come see me talk about the book in these cities: Menlo Park CA, Bethesda MD, Athens and Buford GA, Dallas TX, Parma OH, St Paul MN, Santa Cruz CA, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Austin TX, Coral Gables FL, Rhinebeck NY, or New York City. Details here.

And don’t forget that the Free Comic Books Day prequel, called Spill Night, is out soon—May 6. Wherever fine comic books are sold!

Thanks to all of you who read along with Spill Zone, especially those who commented, retweeted, and otherwise shared the site. It would have been somewhat pointless without you!

Till next Wednesday, when there will be something new here, I promise.

Scott out.

image of commenter, princesswillow
1 month ago

love this book even read it to my mom and she loved it to

image of commenter, Birn
2 months ago

Can't wait for the second book!!

image of commenter, Dragonnerd
3 months ago

I'm so excited for the next book I've already put the release month in my calendar so I know :))) I really loved the first one and I'm definitely gonna read it a couple more hundred times ;)

image of commenter, Foxes Beyond
Foxes Beyond
4 months ago

I am so sad I have to wait a whole YEAR for the next book... :( BBBUUUUTTTT.... the first book is awsome! I keep reading it repeadedly! keep up the good work!

image of commenter, TheIceGuardian
5 months ago

I loved the first book. I really liked the cliff hanger ending aswell. But please try and make the second book faster, I don't want to losee interest before the second one comes out.

image of commenter, Rose Embolism
Rose Embolism
5 months ago

I just want to say that I've been completely enthralled by your comic- the combination of the artwork, characterization and plotting, plus the incredibly bizarre setting, puts it in my top 10 for webcomics. I have to note that the completion of this story arc will put this comic in contention for the 2018 Hugo Awards. I'm going to start promoting it as a worthy contender.

image of commenter, Amy
5 months ago

Hi! How can't I get a copy of Spill Night?

image of commenter, Gary Worley
Gary Worley
5 months ago

Got into SZ via FCBD and well impressed! The story length makes a detailed story more novel than comic, Roadside Picnic/Stalker comes to mind. The spill simply does not care about us. Is book 2 going to take us hard sci fi, fantasy or something else more character driven, can't wait! All the little touches as well, the Banksy-esqe anonymous art sales, the realistic dirt biking sneaking past the checkpoint and back matter beneath each page, excellent!

image of commenter, Jayle Enn
Jayle Enn
6 months ago

Waited most of an hour for my favourite local shop to open, but happily snagged a copy of Spill Night!

image of commenter, Bree
6 months ago

*Stomps on purple thing* "Oh, sorry - was that your betrothed?"

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April 25, 2017

Penultimate Pages!

Yes, this is the second-to-last installment of Book 1 of Spill Zone.

Let us recap:

Addison has found her million-dollar-bounty. Wiley has found the incriminating photos. Lexa has found her voice. And Vespertine? Well, she’s ABOUT to find something—exactly what, you will discover next Wednesday.

Or you can find out next TUESDAY, May 2, if you head out to your local comics shop and buy Spill Zone in its delicious full-color, hardcover glory! (Click here to find an indie bookstore close to you.)

That night I’ll be onstage at Vroman’s Books in Pasadena, CA, in conversation about Spill Zone with the wonderful Tracy Brown, who writes about books and comics for the LA Times. Hope to see some of you Los Angelinos there.

I’ll also be in another fourteen cities in the next three weeks, bringing my own personal shill zone wherever I go! Please come and see me in Menlo Park CA, Bethesda MD, Athens and Buford GA, Dallas TX, Parma OH, St Paul MN, Santa Cruz CA, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Austin TX, Coral Gables FL, Rhinebeck NY, or New York City. Tour specifics here.

This is also the last week you can pre-order the book, and thus get the special free tattoos. They are really cool.

And finally, let me remind you that the Free Comic Books Day prequel, called Spill Night, will be out on May 6. Wherever fine comic books are sold, and given away on FCBD!

Thanks to all of you who’ve come so far with us.

Hope to see you next week for the last pages of Spill Zone, Book 1.

image of commenter, Mike Z
Mike Z
6 months ago

Look at her eye color! She has touched the fire.

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April 19, 2017

Two to Go

You read that right, this is the ante-penultimate installment of Spill Zone, book 1. The end is seriously nigh.

With Addison on her way home, we’ve rejoined Jae, the sole survivor of North Korea’s Zone. He’ll have a bigger role in part 2, but I love him here, showing how the Spill’s magic can have effects outside the Zone. Dramatic ones.

Looking at these pages now, I like what happened with the framing of this—how it got kind of meta. Instead of Jae simply levitating on his own, the FBI agents are there to watch him levitate. So the reader isn’t just an observer, but an observer of an observer.

Big narrative reveals get more interesting and more complicated when other characters see them happen. Because you, the reader, have to process two things at once—what you’ve just learned, and that someone in the story has learned it too.

That’s why Shakespeare loved hidden watchers and identities. More drama, more better!

Here in Spill Zone, of course, the presence of the FBI also means that larger forces are coming into focus. Not just the North Koreans, but the US government as well. This might give you an idea of how events might shift and expand as the story continues in book 2.

Here’s the rundown of what’s happening as we get close to the end of book 1:

Spill Zone comes out in hardback on May 2, at comic and online stores everywhere. If you pre-order the book now through this page, you’ll get these awesome temporary tattoos as well:

SZ tattoos

The Free Comic Books Day prequel, called Spill Night, will be out on May 6. It’s filled with s3krits!

I’ll be on tour for Spill Zone in the following cities: Chicago (C2E2), Pasadena and Menlo Park CA, Bethesda MD, Athens and Buford GA, Dallas TX, Parma OH, St Paul MN, Santa Cruz CA, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Austin TX, Coral Gables FL, Rhinebeck NY, and New York City. Here are the details. (Texas librarians, I’ll be at TLA this weekend!)

See you next Wednesday.


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April 12, 2017

Three to Go


Thus ends our extended second trip to the Zone, which began back on page 142! Alex really nailed the twisted interiors and the Wolf King, and as I’ve said before, Hillary’s Zone colors for this section are amazing. It’s passages like this that make me ecstatic to be working with such great artists.

But most important, Addison has survived and grabbed her million-dollar dust! And she even got a present from the Wolf King. Don’t worry. What exactly that flower means will be evident soon.

It has to be soon, because we only have three more installments before the end of Book 1 of Spill Zone! The last pages will post on May 3, the day after the book is published in glorious hardcover on Tuesday, May 2.

So when will Book 2 happen? The inking is already underway, though the script isn’t completely done yet. (My bad.) We’ll start posting pages in late summer or sooner, ending up around its pub date in May 2018.

NOTE: there will be plenty of new content here in the interim. Hopefully some fan art and variant art, and definitely some more blog posts from me. Anything you guys can do to get more people to the site, now that part one is almost complete, will motivate us to keep the site active and alive.

Share! Comment! Review! Tweet!

All of it helps.

Three more things:

1) The Free Comic Books Day prequel, called Spill Night, will be out on May 6. Like the sign says, it’ll be FREE at fine comics stores everywhere.

2) I’ll be on tour for Spill Zone starting May 2 at the following cities: Chicago (C2E2), Pasadena and Menlo Park CA, Bethesda MD, Athens and Buford GA, Dallas TX, Parma OH, St Paul MN, Santa Cruz CA, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Austin TX, Coral Gables FL, Rhinebeck NY, and New York City. Here are the details. (Texas librarians, I’ll also be at TLA next weekend!)

3) And finally, if you pre-order the book now by clicking here, you’ll get these awesome temporary tattoos as well:

SZ tattoos

See you next Wednesday.

image of commenter, Collette
5 months ago

Thanks for the outstanding advice, it really is useful.

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April 4, 2017

King Wolf

This new creature that Addison encounters outside the hospital is important to our story, and has a name. But that’s a spoiler, and in the first draft of script it was simply called “the King Wolf Thing.”

Alex and I went back and forth on its exact appearance, because we wanted it to be scary and regal and awesome. Also, it had to be recognizably like the Wolf Thing from Chapter 1, but turned up to eleven.

We started with something like this:

kingwolf 1

Pretty good. But not distinct enough from the original wolf thing. And given that I’d used the word “king,” we thought about adding a crown.

So Alex’s next sketch added colored tentacles and horror breath, with Addison to show the scale.


I love this image—how we have a motorcycle in the shot, and even some grass! It’s great how Alex’s sketches always tell a story, and that all it takes is simple body language and setting.

But we kept pushing it. I wanted there to be the sense of the King Wolf’s body being made from several wolves joined together.

So we got an extra pair of legs:


I said, “Great, but more!” and Alex went to pages without any more input from me. The red bulging eye and white skin were his ideas. The end result in the pages above is terrific/horrific.

This process is one of my favorite parts of doing a graphic novel—helping to design something that fits the story, the page layout, and a desire to make the reader say, “Holy moly.”

And to create something that the world has never seen before.

Okay, the book comes out May 2, and we are deep into pre-order mania here. If you order now by clicking here, you’ll get these amazing temporary tattoos as well.

tattoo pic 2

But act fast, supplies are limited. And don’t forget the Free Comic Book Day issue following on May 6.

See you next Wednesday!

SZ tattoos

image of commenter, Algesiras
6 months ago

Amazing. I'm hhoked and the pages are spectacular. This comic keeps getting better and better.

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March 28, 2017

The Goiânia Accident

This part of Spill Zone, in which Addison steals a radioactive component from an x-ray machine, is actually based a real-life event. It’s called the Goiânia Accident, and it took place in Brazil in 1987.

Our story begins when a private radiotherapy institute moves to a new building, leaving behind a teletherapy unit—a device for zapping tumors in cancer patients. The old premises was left to fall apart and, two years later, a pair thieves snuck into the institute and removed the machine, thinking it had some scrap value.

As they disassembled it, the thieves began to show symptoms of radiation poisoning—vomiting, dizziness. But they figured it was just the flu. They kept going and sold the unit to a scrapyard.

There, a strange glowing substance was discovered within the device. This brought great wonder, and friends and family of the scrapyard owner came to gaze upon the dust. People rubbed it on their skin. Kids played with it.

This story does not end well.

In the end four people died—the six-year-old daughter, the wife, and two employees of the scrapyard owner died. The thieves both had parts of an arm amputated. A total of 249 people were found to have been contaminated, some as tangential to the events as fellow travelers on the busses the victims took to the hospital and the doctors who treated them there. Contamination was also found on three buses, forty-two houses, fourteen cars, and five pigs.

This story of abandoned high technology cutting a swath through a community is a grim, secret inspiration for Spill Zone. Once you read about it, you won’t forget it, like a scientific Curse of the Mummy, a reminder that foraging among the ruins can unearth nightmares.

And maybe a reminder not to play with old x-ray machines and medical waste in general.

On a somewhat less grim topic, if you still want to put weird things on your skin after that story, you should pre-order Spill Zone now! Anyone doing so before May 1 will also receive a free set of Spill Zone tattoos! These tattoos are totally safe and will not result in amputations! While supplies last. (Supplies of tattoos, not amputations.)

SZ tattoos

In equally non-grim news, another book of mine came out yesterday. It’s called Horizon, and you can read about it here. (It’s kind of like Hatchet, but geekier. And like Lord of the Flies, but less depressing. And a bit like Lost, but the characters are lost instead of the writers.)

See you next Wednesday!

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March 22, 2017

Spill Zone Tour

Only four pages today, alas. But we’re closing in on the end of Book 1, and we want have the last pages appear the day Spill Zone drops in stores. Which is:

Tuesday, May 2. Pre-order here.

Now that publication day is getting close, the events for my launch tour are all scheduled. You can either use this map, zooming in to find dates and locations at a city near you. Or you can click here for the same info in reliable text form.

So what do all those different logos mean? It’s kind of complicated.

Just before Spill Zone comes out, I’m touring for another book, called Horizon. It’s a middle-grade adventure novel, starring a Brooklyn robotics team using their engineering smarts to survive in an alien jungle after a plane crash. It’s Lost meets Hatchet meets Lord of the Flies meets Little Brother, kind of.

The stops marked with an H are for Horizon. Which means that my Holmdel NJ, Canton CT, Collegeville PA, Raleigh NC, and St. Louis MO events are all BEFORE Spill Zone comes out. Still, please come, say hi, and check out my other work!

The stops marked with either a nuclear cooling tower or the Fierce Reads logo are for Spill Zone: Chicago IL, Pasadena CA, Menlo Park CA, Washington DC, Athens GA, Buford GA, Dallas TX, Cleveland OH, St Paul MN, Santa Cruz CA, Toronto CA, Austin TX, Coral Gables FL, New York NY, and Rhinebeck NY. So at these stops you can buy SZ and have me sign it!

Note the stops with a Fierce Reads logo are part of a group tour with three other authors, Erin Beaty (The Traitor’s Kiss), Taran Matharu (The Battlemage), and Kristen Orlando (You Don’t Know My Name). But I’ll be talking Spill Zone none the less!


Again, for all the details in text, click here.

I hope to see you on the road, or at least next Wednesday for more pages!

image of commenter, Joe in Australia
Joe in Australia
7 months ago

OK, this is the creepiest installment yet. And if the dead (?) people are puppets, who's talking to her?

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March 14, 2017

Snow Day!

There’s too much blizzard in NYC for me to blog this week.

I mean, look at this:


But hey, the details for my Spill Zone and other tours have been posted! More on that next week, or click here now to see if I’m coming to a bookstore or library near you.

See you next Wednesday for Addison’s escape from the hospital!
(Or will she?)

image of commenter, Sylvain Abélard
Sylvain Abélard
7 months ago

This is awesome, please keep up with the great work! I'd love an RSS feed too. I can help set this up. Cheers <3

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March 8, 2017


Addison is very close to the radiology department, and her reward of a million bucks. But can we talk for a minute about Hilary Sycamore’s amazing colors?

In my original script for Spill Zone, only the Zone was ever shown in color. The “real world” was black and white. Sort of like The Wizard of Oz or The Secret Garden (1949), but with motorcycles and Wolf-Things.

But as I discussed earlier, more of the story than expected wound up being set in the real world. And nobody on our team wanted to do a mostly black-and-white graphic novel. So to make the Zone a very different place, we decided that the colors there would be turned up to eleven.

As you can see from these pages, Hilary was the right woman for the job. She makes the Zone as fluorescent as a Peter Max poster from the 1970s, without ever becoming comical or “groovy.” The Zone’s colors always feel serious, even dangerous, despite being eye-rattlingly lurid.

We just got the finished books in, and Hilary’s work looks just as amazing on paper. When you casually flip through the pages, the Zone sections reach out and arrest your eyes.

There’s also a thing that Hilary and Alex do with the color registration, like reality is coloring outside the lines a little. Or maybe either the printing process—or your brain—is melting down. The whole thing is way better than my original idea of making the real world monochrome.

It pays to work with talent.

Okay, thanks to everyone at Emerald City Comic Con for coming out to see me last weekend! If our paths didn’t cross there, I’ll be touring in April and May, for both Spill Zone and my middle grade novel, Horizon. Watch this space or my blog for details.

See you next Wednesday!

image of commenter, lords mobile hack ios
lords mobile hack ios
6 months ago

Pretty! This was a really excellent post. Thank you for your supplied advice

image of commenter, Algesiras
7 months ago

Hilary Sycamore isn't featured on the author's page. Why?

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