So I made it out to Free Comic Book Day this year. A few new comics under my belt. They had an artist there and I wish I could have bought the print he had of the Iron Giant holding the TARDIS even though I have no place to currently hang it. So instead I will promote artist Frank Malec’s Facebook and tell you I have a birthday coming in July. Otherwise it was nice little diversion from stores, doctors, and the occasional family gathering for me to get out of the house for.
Of the comics I was hoping to pick up there were a few I missed. Crush, The Tick, Ghost In The Shell: Global Neural Network, Sparks, and My Hero Academia/RWBY were both gone by the time I got there. I also picked up World’s Greatest Cartoonists, forgetting I looked at the previews and these weren’t mind kind of comics, but I can at least appreciate the varied art styles. I did manage to snag eight comics off of my want list (I didn’t mention the Overstreet book because I thought it would be magazine style, not comic style) and reviewed them on Twitter under the #BW_FCBD hashtag. But here’s is a wrap-up of what I picked out.
CBLDF Presents Defend Comics, FCBD Edition 2018
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (May, 2018)
“Claudette Shuts-Up” (WRITER: Jorge Aguirre ARTIST: Rafael Rosado)
A little girl named Claudette (I think this is somewhere in France) complains about a statue of the Marquis in their playspace…although I don’t see it taking that much room from it. Sure, the Marquis is a jerk and threatens to have her arrested for her constant complaining, which even her friends are annoyed by, but I don’t get her problem. However, when the Marquis tries to get her to stop complaining her friends realize that it’s violating her free speech and speak up in her defense. Outside of the misplaced Trump references it’s a pretty good short and I dig the art style.
“Chasma Knights” (Boya Sun & Kate Reed Petty)
I”m not sure what’s happening here. It’s some time of future tale with kids looking for toys or something. I like the art but there isn’t enough of the story to be interested in continuing to follow it.
“Tiger Vs. Nightmare” (Emily Tetri)
Another story that continues in another comic but at least this sets up the plot better. A young tiger has a monster friend who shows up at night and defends him from nightmares. Looks cute.
“I Can Say” (Charise Mericle Harper)
Another free speech commentary in which a little girl is free to say whatever she wants, but it’s insulting and stupid and folks decide they don’t want to listen, which is their right. This is something BOTH SIDES of the political climate needs to learn.
“The Creepy Casefiles Of Margo Maloo (Drew Weing)
One of the monsters Margo has as an informant talks about her bringing humans around so maybe she and her partner only look human? They’re at least kids, who go to investigate a haunting reported by two other kids and that’s it. It sounds like an interesting premise.
“Kitten Construction Company” (John Patrick Green)
The last story features a trio of kittens working on a construction site but only doing things because they look cute doing it. They try to do something useful and show their design skills, which they also look cute doing. Not sure where this one is going but it looks…sorry, kitties…cute.
Comic Friends Forever
First Second (March, 2018)
Another sampler anthology but for a specific company.
“Be Prepared (Vera Brosgol)
Two kids going to summer camp. Phil’s counselor gives him a warm welcome, but Vera’s is busy trying to find a lost guinea pig and her owner and her tentmates are not the nicest people…and both named Sasha. There’s some interesting concepts here if this is your kind of tale. It looks good.
“All Summer Long (Hope Larson)
Also not my kind of story. A girl’s friends all went away for the summer and her mom has cut off her not-Netflix because she spends too much time watching TV…when there’s nothing else for her to do alone. Look, I’m all for making the kids play outside, but in this case I’m on the girl’s side. Then she loses her key after going on a shopping run for her mom, and has to break into one of the friends’ houses to get the spare key and runs into his sister. It looks okay but it doesn’t seem like my kind of story either.
“The Amazing Crafty Cat” (Charise Mericle Harper–yes, again)
A girl named Birdie can’t get mess from a cupcake off of her dress and must transform into Craft Cat to solve the problem. It seems okay. Might be one I’d like to learn more about. At least this one is a self-contained story.
“Zita The Spacegirl” (Ben Hatke)
I know a bit about this comic, but you don’t learn a lot from the sample. Zita and her friend find a button in an asteroid and when she presses it (over his protests) a portal opens and tentacles grab him. She drops the button and runs off. From what I know of the plot that doesn’t seem like a good introduction to a comic about a girl who travels in space. I like the art style though.
“Real Friends” (Shannon Hale & LeUyen Pham)
The final story follows third grader Shannon wondering if her friend Adrienne can be her friend and still part of the cool group. Also the school has a lot of Jennifers and a girl named Jen is Adrienne’s friend from church, who is also part of the group. This is one I’d like to look more into.
DC Super Hero Girls: Date With Disaster
DC Comics (March, 2018)
“S.T.A.R. Of Metropolis”
WRITER: Shea Fontana
ARTIST: Yancey Labat
COLORIST: Monica Kubina
LETTERER: Janice Chaing
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Diego Lopez
EDITOR: Marie Javins
The heroes are called in to help when S.T.A.R. Labs explodes. (Not the whole building but there is an explosion.)The Mayor covers it up but Batgirl suspects someone deliberately caused the explosion and fire. She meets with Lois but they run into Batgirl’s dad on a date with…wait, is that Silver St. Cloud? I know they don’t really deal with the subject of secret identities in this series and I have mixed feelings about that but it’s the time scale I can’t process. So Lois is now a teenager and who is she reporting for if not the Daily Planet, but Silver is an adult and dating Gordon? My confusion comes from the fact that Superman is already graduated and Super Hero High’s most famous graduate, like having a celebrity graduate your college. I guess it is a college because Lois and Bumblebee went to high school together, but this is Super Hero HIGH….this continuity is confusing as heck, but the story is good on it’s own and is a good preview for this graphic novel, now under the DC Zoom imprint.
Doctor Who Free Comic Book Day 2018
Titan Comics (June, 2018)
“Catch A Falling Star” (10th Doctor)
WRITER: Nick Abadzis; ARTISTS: Giorgia Sposito & Arianna Florean
The first tale features Gabby, a woman who traveled with the 10th Doctor and had to be rescued by the 12th. A good introduction to her, though why she’s changing Doctors I can’t say. I sadly haven’t been able to follow any of Titan’s Doctor Who books given my current lack of income. It’s a good introduction (re-introduction?) to the character.
“The Armageddon Gambit” (7th Doctor)
WRITER: John Freeman; ARTIST: Christopher Jones; COLORIST: Marco Lesko
The Doctor and Ace defeat a galactic threat, but we only hear about the results and see the aftermath. It’s like there’s a good story here but we don’t get to see it. Also, why did they go with the TV Movie TARDIS console room? We’re denied the classic room and makes me sad.
“Midnight Feast” (11th Doctor)
WRITER: George Mann; ARTIST: Mariano Laclaustra; COLORIST: Carlos Cabrera
So they had the Doctor go through the same craving spell he did when he first regenerated? The writer does know that’s not a usual character trait but just the Doctor trying to figure out who he is, right? Still, he ends up stopping a war just by his reputation because he has the respect of both sides. I kind of like that.
“And Introducing…” (13th Doctor)
WRITER: Jody Houser; ARTIST: Rachael Stott; LETTERER: Jimmy Betancourt
The lady Doctor comes out of the TARDIS. That’s it.
This one was hit or miss. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t a terrible comic either.
Action Lab (May 2018)
CREATOR: Thomas Astruc
WRITER: Nolween Pierre
ARTIST: Angie Nasca
ADAPTED FOR COMICS: Bryan Seaton, Nicole D’Andria, Justin Birch, & Cheryl Black
COVER ART: Brian Hess
Don’t expect to see these superheroes doing superhero stuff. Instead we get two stories with kids hanging out. Seems pointless to me, but…
Marinette wants to find a topic to write about, and is inspired to write about her parents making three wedding cakes in one day. Cute little story, but outside of a talking ladybug thing named Tikki nothing seems abnormal here. We learn about her parents and her crush on a guy named Adrien. Not really meeting my goal here. I don’t have Netflix so I’ve never seen this cartoon before and I’m learning nothing about it or the superheroes “Ladybug” or “Cat Noir” here.
There’s a printing error where the last page was printed at the start of the story. Otherwise a girl named Rose finds a notebook she really likes but some mean girl named Chole makes fun of her for being so excited. So Marinette and their other friends cheer her up by writing cool things in the notebook, and the crush compliments Marinette on the rose she drew in it. It’s a good short story but I have learned nothing about the superhero side of this series. Does it even have superheroes? Is it just a couple of cosplayers? I know nothing here!
“Bonus Preview: Sami The Samurai Squirrel” (story and art by Scoot McMahon)
This preview cuts out before the action starts. It features cute animals in the Art Baltazar & Franco mode (who also draw the origin story pages) about a samurai squirrel who protects her new home and has to go after pirates to rescue one of the villagers. It’s a cute, fun story that I do want to check out. At least I learned something in this comic. Just not about the title series.
The Overstreet Guide To Collecting
Gemstone Publishing (Spring, 2018)
WRITER: J.C. Vaughn
ARTISTS: Brendon & Brian Fraim
COLORIST: House Imagi
COVER COLORIST: Gabe Eltaeb
GRADING ART: Gene Gonzales
DESIGN: Mark Huesman
LETTERER: Marshall Dillon (wait, is that a pen name or where his parents Gunsmoke fans? If the latter I feel sorry for him. You know the kids made fun of him.)
ADDITIONAL TEXT: Robert M. Overstreet, Amanda Sheriff, & Carrie Wood
EDITORS: Mark Huesman, Braelynn Bowersox, Amanda Sheriff, & Carrie Wood
The comic opens with a man breaking into a comic store to hold the place up…for it’s comics. Then he learns it’s Free Comic Book Day before being beaten down by “the man from Overstreet”…and that’s where the fun ends. The rest is about how awesome pop culture is and how comics are the forefront of current pop culture. There’s also a section on grading comics. I feel disappointed. We have one more comic to go.
Star Wars Adventures Free Comic Book Day 2018
IDW Publishing (May, 2018)
“Hunter Vs. Hunted”
WRITER: Cavan Scott
ARTIST: Derek Charm
LETTERER: Tom B. Long
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Peter Adrian Behravesh
EDITORS: Bobby Curnow & Denton J. Tipton
We only have trailers of Solo: A Star Wars Story to follow and I’m not sure if the artist is going for Harrison Ford, Alden Ehrenreich, or a mix of the two (my thought is the mix) but it’s some nice cartoony art. The story is good too as bounty hunters come for Han, but it’s part of a plan by Han and Chewie to effect a rescue. This is probably my favorite of the comics I picked up for Free Comic Book Day.
So what were YOUR hauls like? Did you find a brand new comic that you wanted to collect, or get a fun story from one you already do? Did you make a new friend over one of your choices? And did you follow my request and actually buy something, remembering that the comic stores were paying out of pocket for those comics and you wanted to make it at least partly worth their effort? Because even I was able to buy something. Just one thing, not counting the boards and bags for the issues. (25 cents for individual because I couldn’t get the big sets.)
I know, I should have waited for the hardcover that is being promoted with bonus features but…come on, I still had to. And unless I find a job or get a lot of Patreon support or something I may not be able to get the hardcover. Review coming next week.