As a comics fan, Free Comic Book Day was a blast for me. It was great seeing lots of young readers and their families heading out to the shops and checking out a new batch. Unfortunately, from the titles I read, the free comics for all ages readers weren’t quite up to their normal standard. But let’s focus on the positive, shall we? Here are three comics featured on FCBD that I’d highly recommend:
1. KABOOM SUMMER BLAST
The Kaboom Summer Blast was unsurprisingly great considering the quality of the source material. Instead of producing an entirely new Adventure Time comic, they reprinted their CYOA comic from issue #10. That CYOA comic was one of the best single issues from last year, so printing it for free was a great idea.
It was followed up with a Regular Show comic by Brian Butler (instead of the team for the upcoming series), which did a good job capturing the feeling of the show. Out of the remaining four comic previews, HeroBear and The Kid stood out the most — partially because it wasn’t a branded property and partially because even though the comic was just a preview, it worked in getting me to want to read more. The art was wonderfully expressive and the story, while very simple, worked and felt real.
Meanwhile the Ice Age and Garfield stories were taken from longer series that didn’t work particularly well, especially the Garfield comic. The Peanuts comic, on the other hand, did a great job of entertaining as Charlie Brown showed how to draw Linus in what may have been the most meta comic I’ve read in a while. But the tone fit Charlie Brown and it was fun.
2. MOLLY DANGER/PRINCELESS
The other fantastic book this year with all new material was Action Lab’s Molly Danger and Princeless comic. Two all-new stories — Molly fought the evil Medula (evil brain monsters are fantastic) and his giant robot. It’s well-drawn and was probably the best new young superheroine costume since Brian Michael Bendis’ Takio. The Princeless backup comic, featuring Adrienne and Bedelia, was another homerun, but I’ve discussed how great that series is before. The heroines end up saving a new princess who might be more than she seems. If it was a hook, it worked by telling a complete story first. The comic was a hoot, the girls reminding us all the while that they can be heroes, too.
3. MARBLE SEASON
Marble Season, which I didn’t cover in detail for the preview, was created by Gilbert Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame. This one also did a great job building interest while telling a series of disjointed stories. Partially autobiographical, the comic feels like the haze of summer events from years ago with a variety of quickly fleshed out and realistic characters. This one should spark discussion about the ideas of masculinity as portrayed by the characters.
While I did miss out on the DC Nation and Marvel Animation preview comics that I had initially discussed, I was able to pick up Chakra the Invincible and Atomic Robo and Friends.
Stan Lee’s Chakra the Invincible (created by but not written by him, as is becoming the norm) introduced the character and his world, but felt more like a marketing packet to executives rather than a comic for kids to read. Atomic Robo and Friends, which normally is a sure thing, didn’t work as well either. There was too much fighting with not enough of humor.
Were there any books that you enjoyed? Let us know in the comments below.