Friday, May 3, 2013

Free Comic Book Day 2013: Where You Should Go and What You Should Read

So, yes indeed, it's the most wonderful time of the year again! No, not Christmas; it's Geek Christmas, better known as Free Comic Book Day! Just in case you've been living under a rock, or are new to this whole comic book thing, once a year, this year being tomorrow, May 4th, the various comic company's provide special comics to retailers at a drastically reduced price to give out to the reading public for free. Most put their best foot forward and give out some very cool new product. An international promotion, just about every good comic book retailer takes part in the event. It's usually a really festive day, with all sorts of promotions, costumes, and just a sense of the community that I've talked about before and is the hallmark of a good comic shop.

I will, as I am most years, be spending my Free Comic Book Day at my comic shop, Dewey's Comic City, in Madison, NJ, where we'll not only be giving out tons of free comics, but having a bunch of great events, including an artist's alley with free sketches, additional giveaways, and an appearance by the 501st Legion, the Star Wars costume guild (because remember, it's also international Star Wars day, May the Fourth be with you!). I'd love to see everyone there, so go to THIS LINK to get some details about what we're doing.

But as cool as the artists, costumes, and other giveaways are, what this day really is about is the comics. And so I now provide you with the books I am most excited about in:


Atomic Robo
The highlight of pretty much every FCBD for me since the inception of this series has been the new offering from Brian Clevenger and Scott Wegener's awesomely incredible Atomic Robo. Usually FCBD means a new confrontation between Robo and his archnemesis, the confused and firearms loving Dr. Dinosaur. But since this year's Robo mini is Dr. Dinosaur centric, we instead get Robo fighting a big robot. And if you know Robo, you know how well all that is going to go. If you've never read Robo before, this is a great one shot to give you the flavor of the series, so why not try out one of the best comics on the rack?

Molly Danger/Princeless

I've written a lot about Princeless, especially lately, since the second mini-series has begun, so you know I'm excited for a new short featuring Adrienne, Bedelia, and Sparky. But just as exciting is the debut of Molly Danger, a new comic with a similar flavor as Princeless, but this time about a young woman superhero. From Jamal Igle, a great talent and one of the nicest guys I've ever met in the comic book industry, the first Molly Danger graphic novel will be coming out in July, but this will give you a great feel for what kind of fun action Igle has planned for us.

Star Wars/Captain Midnight/Avatar

A Star Wars inclusion for FCBD has been an annual tradition since the first year, sometimes with new material, sometimes with reprint. This year, I'm happy to say we get an original short from Brian Wood, who has been doing great work on the monthly title, set right in the heart of the Classic Trilogy, featuring Boba Fett and Darth Vader. Also, get a short with classic pulp hero Captain Midnight, whose Dark Horse Presents serial was one of my favorite in recent issues and who will be getting his own series shortly. And on the flip side of the flip book, check out a new story from the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. I have to admit to not being familiar with Avatar very well, so I might have to read this to get a little more in the know.

The Strangers

For the past few years, Oni Press has debuted a series on FCBD. The most successful of these is the excellent weird western, The Sixth Gun, and I was a big fan of last year's offering, Bad Medicine, as well. This year we get The Strangers, a conspiracy, spy book with a great sixties feel. Pitching new projects to the widest audience possible is one of the great benefits of FCBD, and I love how Oni embraces it, so I'll always try out their new issue ones.

Scratch 9

I wrote this book up as today's recommended reading, but I figured I'd just toss it on here too. It's a reprint of the first issue of a fun all ages series about a cat named Scratch who can some his other eight lives to help him. It's cute, action packed, and a lot of fun.

The Walking Dead

If you're a fan of either the phenomenon that is the TV show, or a fan of the comic, you should definitely check out this year's Walking Dead free comic. Featuring short stories that have rarely if ever been reprinted, there's a story about Michonne (originally published in Playboy and then in the Michonne Special), The Governor (from a CBLDF benefit book and then the Governor Special), Morgan (from an Image Comics holiday special and then only in the giant Walking Dead Omnibus Vol.1) and a brand new Tyrese story that writer Robert Kirkman says he has no plans to reprint. A great way to get a little backstory on some of The Walking Dead's best characters.

There are plenty of other comics, of course. Two each from Marvel and DC (One all ages, one regular), a couple from Valiant and Dynamite, and pretty much any other company you can imagine. I implore you to try something new and different, even if it's not one of the ones I talked about above.
 With a price point like this, there's no better time to see if a new and different comic is something you might love.

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