Friday, May 3, 2013

Rant Ramblings: Free Comic Book Day Edition!

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day, which is pretty self-explanatory. For those of you who have never participated, however, it may be helpful to have a few of the details clarified. Generally, FCBD goes something like this: You enter your local comic shop-- if you're unsure where the nearest one is, you can find out right here-- and the FCBD comics are displayed on a table or shelf, usually separate from the rest of the merchandise. Some shops place a limit on how many free books you can choose, while some let you grab as many as you like; it's all up to the owners of each store. Whatever the case, make sure to buy something while you're there, because while the comics are free to customers, the stores have to pay for them. They pay much less than they do for a normal comic, but it's still money out of their pockets.

FCBD grows each year, and so does the selection of free comics. It can be a little overwhelming, particularly with all the extra traffic most shops experience during the event. It helps to have a few key comics in mind that you're interested in, so acquaint yourself with what will be available here. (Of course, keep in mind that not every comic shop will have ordered every single comic. Generally, the majority should be offered, however.)

With all that said, these are the FCBD offerings I'm most looking forward to tomorrow!

Bongo Comics Free-For-All/Spongebob Squarepants Freestyle Funnies
The Bongo crew always puts together a nice sampler of their publishing line, which focuses mostly on Simpsons-related comics. They also hold the title of Best. FCBD Cover. EVER! for last year's offering!

The Walking Dead Special
Many FCBD offerings stick to reprints of existing material, but Image's TWD issue is among those offering new content. Fan-favorite Tyrese, who finally debuted in the middle of the TV show's third season, stars in a new story, and we'll be getting reprints featuring Michonne and King Dickbag--er, the Governor. Obviously, this one is gonna be essential for fans of the comic or TV show.

Kaboom! Summer Blast
Boom's imprint focusing on kid-friendly comics publishes some fine material, including Peanuts and Adventure Time! There's bound to be something in here for pretty much everyone.

Atomic Robo and Friends
Obviously, this is always a highlight of FCBD! Publisher Red 5 proclaims Atomic Robo  the perfect comic to give to a new comics reader, and that is truly no idle boast. If you see this in your local comic shop, get it! Even if it looks uninteresting, give it a shot. Unless you just hate joy in any form, you're bound to like it a least a little.

Buck Rogers/Prince Valiant
For anyone interested in comics from a historical perspective, this one is definitely worth a look. Personally, while I am interested in the historical perspective, I'm looking forward to reading these classic strips, too!

I've heard of this historical-figures-battling-zombies comic, but never actually read any of it. Zombie stories have to have some sort of novel twist to get me interested at this point, and the historical angle is enough to get this history lover to pick this up.

The Smurfs
Papercutz's reprint series of the classic Smurfs strips are the first exposure many of us have had to the original comics, myself included. They're charming and fun, and I highly recommend this one to kids and adults alike.

Judge Dredd Classics
Judge Dredd is one of those characters I know about, but about whom I've actually read very little. Pretty much all I've read featuring Dredd are his crossover specials with Batman. Naturally, this issue reprinting a key story with new coloring is very attractive to me, and it has art by Brian Bolland to boot!

Mouse Guard/Rust
Archaia made a big splash with last year's FCBD offering, a great little hardcover book that was the talk of the event wherever I went. It was the first time I'd read any of their comics, and now I'm really looking forward to this year's issue. This is another great option if you want something aside from the usual superhero comics.

Red 10
A superhero retelling of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, this series debuted last year. I read about it, it looked interesting, and then I promptly forgot all about it. Oops. Well, it's back on my radar now, so I'll be checking it out.

The Tick
It's the Tick. Duh.

Overstreet Comic Book Marketplace
These Overstreet issues always have some very interesting articles about the history of the comic book industry, and I always look forward to them. Unfortunately, they're never available at the shop we go to. All the same, I'll be keeping an eye out for it tomorrow. Maybe we'll get lucky this time!

Valiant Harbinger Wars/Valiant Masters Showcase
The relaunch of the Valiant line has been chugging along nicely, and while I wouldn't call any of the books so far truly great, they've all been very solid and entertaining. I've read very little of the "classic" Valiant line, so whatever is in the Valiant Masters Showcase is likely to be new to me.

These are not the only FCBD issues I'm planning to get, but most of these are offerings from smaller publishers that you might not notice tomorrow unless you're specifically looking for them. Even this sampling of what's available displays the amazing diversity of the comic book industry, and there's no better time to try something new than FCBD. So get out there tomorrow and support your local comic shop, and have fun!

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