Following last weekend's ridiculously awesome geek weekend of epic proportions, I finally took the time to sit down throughout the week and finish going through all of the comics I picked up for Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2012. Most stores limit you to pick 1-3 books per person..., so I went to 2 stores and got a majority of the rest of them from the Midtown Comics website (don't worry, other than a handling fee of a couple cents, they didn't cost anything, so it was totally worth it!). I figured instead of dedicating a lot of space and time to talk about issues I thought were awful and not worth reading, I'd focus my attention on listing the top 5 FCBD releases that ARE worth your time and give you all better, more detailed descriptions on each. So without further ado, let's get this party started with #5!
5. Moomin Color Special
People are going to call me crazy for this one, but I don't care. Part of the spirit of FCBD is about getting kids into comic books, and this is a great way to do it. Memories from titles like these are the things you look back on as you get older, and say "Aw man, I remember that! Wow, those were the days..." This little special illustrates that emotion perfectly, as does the little "Anna & Froga" story thrown in. Absolutely charming and essential, especially in today's world.
4. DC Comics The New 52 Special Edition
If you've been keeping up with DC's New 52 as of late, this book will most likely make you pretty happy. Half of the book consists of a preview for DC's next big event (not including "Before Watchmen;" that's a whole other story). The mysterious "woman in red" who first appeared in Flashpoint takes center stage in this upcoming story. You also get a preview for further issues of Batman Incorporated amongst others. I'm just glad DC decided to put out new material this time instead of just reprinting the same old stories again and again.
3. Transformers #80.5
I was a tad psyched for this one, as the original Generation 1 Transformers comics first ended with Marvel in issue #80. This issue is here to be a bridge gap between issue #80 and the upcoming issue #81. This is marking the first return to the first generation of Transformers since the title's cancellation in 1991. There's not that much new material going on (as the events in this issue are mostly recapping previous story arcs), but the little bit of boost on what's coming make it all the more worthwhile. It may be a bit confusing for new readers however.
2. Atomic Robo & Friends
You pretty much can't have a FCBD list without Atomic Robo in your top 5. Otherwise, you probably just didn't read it altogether! Atomic Robo is a great way to pull people into comics that simply don't read them normally. The stories are always humorous, always creative, and most importantly, always fun. The two other preview stories also give off the sense of adventure and humor that are worth checking out. This is one of those books you simply can't go wrong with.
1. Mouse Guard, Labyrinth, & More HC
This one easily takes the cake. Not only is this a beautiful hardcover volume, but the stories contained are all quite excellent once again. This is another one that's great for all ages, but I believe adults will find even more things to love here. Mouse Guard, Dapper Men, and Rust are the winning stories, each one representing Archaia at their best. The other two remaining stories are worth a look as well. By making it a small hardcover, Archaia turned this into not only the best FCBD title to read this year, but to display on your shelf with pride.
Other things you should still read:
Star Wars/Serenity: A nice trek back into the universes of Star Wars with Han and Chewie, and the universe of Firefly/Serenity with Mal Reynolds. The artwork could have been a little better (especially in Serenity's case), but the stories themselves hold out. Serenity's in particular is right on the money, and both stories happen to be written by Zack Whedon himself. And no, this is not a crossover event, as amazing as that would have been...
Worlds of Aspen 2012: A great look into a new upcoming series called "Homecoming," as well as other great previews and pieces of artwork. As a Lady Mechanika fan, I absolutely love the pull-out poster they threw in.
Censored Howard Cruse: Funny, funny, FUNNY! Even censored, you'll probably end up at the very least chuckling, if not laughing out loud more often than not. Even better is the knowledge that the graphic novel will not have the little black censor boxes when it comes out.
Image 20: While none of the stores included here actually stand out so much, it's nice to see Image still going strong and it's good to see what kinds of new directions they'll be taking for the future. I might keep my eye on a few of these titles as they come out, just to see where they're going. Who knows? You may find another "Invincible" or "Walking Dead" among the bunch.
Hope you've enjoyed this little romp of mine and had fun this weekend as well. And hey, if you missed out and live near me, feel free to let me know and maybe I'll lend you a few. Cheers my fellow geeks!