Well, another May is upon us. And with it comes the 12th Annual Free Comic Book Day. This Saturday, Comic shops all over will open their doors to rabid fans who want one thing and one thing only: FREE COMICS! (So it’s not just a clever name). In a perfect world, all free comic offerings would be available at every store and you’d be free to take as many copies as you like. Unfortunately, due to the large amount of people that come out to this event and the natural limits of your local comic emporium, there is usually a limit to how many titles you can pick up at a particular store. This means that one must choose wisely when picking their free comics. And that’s a difficult task for some. That’s why I have taken the time to peruse the many titles available and devise a surefire list to get the optimum comic enjoyment this weekend. The Big Two appear lost this year as DC attempts to remind you that Superman is still relevant (are they lying or just kidding?) and Marvel is trying real hard to make Thanos look like a bad-ass. Thankfully, all the other companies have picked up the slack. Here’s some definite titles to check out.
The Walking Dead Special – This one’s a no brain-er. The most popular Image comic title is also one of the most popular shows on television. But make no mistake, the comic kicks the t.v. show’s ass and this special does a good job of reminding us of this. There’s an all-new short story with Tyrese from back before he met up with Rick and gang. There’s also reprints of shorts featuring Michonne, The Governor and Morgan. These stories are not set to be reprinted in any of the Walking Dead collected editions so if you miss ’em here, you’re out of luck. Even if you haven’t read the comic but are a fan of the show, pick up this book as all the stories are self contained. The King of Zombie Comics will be the King of Free Comic Book Day.
Finding Gossamyr/Stuff of Legends Flipbook – Th3rd World studios has been knocking it out of the park with not just one but TWO great titles, both of which are represented here. Finding Gossamyr made it’s debut at last years’ FCBD and has been a rip-roaring all ages adventure ever since. What’s that you say? You didn’t pick it up last year? You never found out about the portal that takes you to an imaginary land where math is magic? You really missed out. Thankfully, you can correct this oversight by picking up this year’s book. It’s a great jumping on point as it recaps everything that’s gone on in the book so far as well as tells a brand new tale about the Lorelarks, the scribes tasked with chronicling the happenings within Gossamyr. Plus, we also get a tale from the world of Stuff of Legends that focuses on one of my favourite characters, the native princess. She’s had a rough time in the dark and in this story, things don’t get much better for her. Pick it up and see that all ages isn’t just for kids.
Dark Horse Presents Star Wars, Captain Midnight and Avatar – From the moment that the credits rolled on Jedi back in ’83, fans have been chomping at the bit for more Star Wars. It’s the whole reason those shitty prequels were made. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that there may be a beacon of hope on the horizon with new Star Wars film slated to arrive in 2015. But for the comics world, which has always a much healthier relationship with the Star Wars franchise, that beacon of hope is already here with the new series written by Brian Wood. Sadly, I did not pick up the first issue of this book and after reading the Darth Vader and Boba Fett team up in the DH Free Comic, I’m kicking myself for not jumping on board when I had the chance. Star Wars’ best bad-asses working together to layeth the smacketh down on some imperials that don’t know their place. I’ll take it! And for fans of Avatar (that airbender kid) and Captain Midnight (an upcoming Dark Horse series) will go away happy as well.
Kellerman/L’Amour Sampler – This is the free comic that puts the novel in graphic novel. Taking excerpts from two upcoming graphic novel adaptations from Random House, Law of the Desert Born by Louis L’Amour and The Web by Jonathan Kellerman, this book is a nice escape from the usual sci fi and superheroes associated with comics. Truth be told, the L’Amour story is worth the read all by itself. If you like classic westerns with some pretty cool visuals, this book is for you. If you are not taken by the art in this book, you have no soul. Plain and Simple.
Kaboom Summer Blast! – This is the book for the whole family to enjoy. It’s funny, it’s exciting and it’s got stuff that kids of all ages can love. There’s a “Choose your own Adventure” Adventure Time story. Charlie Brown teaches you how to draw Linus. Garfield brings his unique brand of comedy. And that’s just half the book. This book wins the “Most Bang for your Free” award, hands down. When they say Kaboom, they really mean it as this comic sampler is exploding with fantastic content. This isn’t an advertisement disguised as an anthology book. It’s an anthology book disguised as a, well, it’s an anthology book. It’s a lot of fun and kid friendly to boot. Have a Blast with the Kaboom Summer Blast.
The Tick – Last year, there was sadness in my heart when I found out that there was no Tick Free Comic Book Day offering. Thankfully, there is no sadness this year as New England Comics provides us with 32 page color Tick book with an ALL NEW story. No reprints here, my friend. So what does this story provide? Giant Lobsters! An over-cooked Arthur, and the Tick being his usual, awesome self. If you’re a long time fan of the Tick, you will be pleased. If you’ve never read a Tick comic before, this is the perfect chance to check it out. SPOON!
Fubar – This era-spanning zombie anthology really struck for me as one of the best comics offered for this year’s Free Comic Book Day. So much so that I had to pass it along to our resident comic reviewer, Kris Johnson. Be sure to check out his column, You’re So WEIRD, Multiverse!, for a comprehensive preview of this book. All I will say is that it took me by surprise. Check out Kris’ review tomorrow for more.
So there you go. These are just some of the great titles available this Saturday. Be sure to check out your local comic shop and grab as many free comics as you can. And bring the family as most stores will be hosting cool events, raffles and give-a-ways, and store-wide sales. It’s a great day to be a comic fan this Saturday. Free Comic Book Day is just one day of the year. Let’s all make sure it’s a special day for all of us.
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!