Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Comics of Free Comic Book Day
Brief reviews

I've read most of them by now. With this weekend's nice weather, i've sat in the backyard reading, which is cool. The only ones i haven't read yet are the EC sampler and some of the kid-oriented stuff.

Broken Trinity Prelude
- I knew next to nothing about these characters (Witchblade, Darkness, Angelus). The opening story here is an introduction via a story being written by a reporter for an alternative weekly paper. It was informative. Definitely i know more about these characters than i did before. I'm not rushing out to buy the trades, but i'm slightly intrigued.

Amelia Rules - All four of these stories are very good. The first one, "The Things I Cannot Change" really impressed me. It could have been cheesey or maudlin, instead it was emotional and smart. This is good stuff. Obviously it's aimed at kids, but it's intelligent an nuanced enough for grown ups.

Hero By Night/Gunplay - HBN is pretty cool. It's old school superheroics. There seems to be a lot of story potential built into the set-up. The Gunplay half of the book looked kind of cool, but it seems like they pulled pages from various issues, and they didn't flow well at all, so it was hard to tell quite what was going on.

X-Men - This was a good read. It felt a lot like a Buffy episode, including the depiction of the demons as simultaneously very nasty and chuckleheaded. Pixie is cool, even if she's a bit munchkined out (she can fly, teleport, throw pixie dust, detect magic, and has a demon-killing soulknife? c'mon...). What does a Welsh accent sound like? Is this the creative team that will be taking over the regular comic? Is Pixie from the Morrison run?

Shonen Jump Special - Not bad, but these selections are too short to give much of an idea of the series. I can fill in some gaps b/c i know enough of the "shonen" tropes that these things usually follow. I didn't read the one about basketball.

Marvel's Best-Selling Authors - Meh.

Kid Houdini and the Silver-Dollar Misfits - I like some of the art, but the book didn't hold my interest. Why Houdini?

The Moth - The art here is awesome--design, layout, linework, it's all stupid good. The Moth is a likable character, too. I just might pick up the regular series when it starts.

Del Ray & Dabel Brothers 2008 Preview - The Dresden Files bit could have told us a lot more about the main character, but it made me wonder about it, so it did what a preview is supposed to, i reckon. Wild Cards is actually very interesting. Are the novels in print? I haven't seen them, even at Ed McKay's. Frankenstein i didn't read. The monster should not look like Fabio's prettiers, skinnier son. In Odd We Trust might be a good read, but i'm not sold on it.

Avengers/Invaders Sketchbook
- It's got some sketches in it. That's it. That "previously unknown" Golden Age team looks kinda cool. But what's up with that guy having a star over his nose?

Ignatz - Some of this stuff is too "heavy" for me--life provides enough problems on its own, thanks. Baobab has a cool setting and strong art, but if it's all as laconic as the pages here, it could be hard to read. Grotesque: i like the art a lot, but i'm not sure what it's about. Interiorae: why do these women want drugs, apparently whatever drugs they can get? i'd like to read this just to see what's going on. Delphine: this looks cool. Remember Sala's cartoons on "Liquid Television"? Those never made sense to me, but this thing looks cool. Reflections: There's no story here, but the character drawings are great. Ganges: I liked this. I'll have to look for it at the store. It's funny. It's accessible. The art is sharp. What makes me hesitant about getting into these Ignatz book is the price. A while back i got the first issue of New Tales from Old Palomar, and it was 7.95. They're bigger and have more pages than a regular comic, but it might make more sense to buy them when they're collected.

Dan Dare/The Stranded - Dan Dare is fun. The Stranded seems complicated. Ramayan 3392 A.D. looks fairly kickass, but that little snippet didn't tell me much.

The Death-Defying 'Devil - Here's some background on 'Devil and superbaddie the Claw. The Claw is crazy pulpy badguy fun. So, are the people in the story calling 'Devil "Devil" or are they calling him "Daredevil" but we just read it as "devil" b/c of copyright issues?

Atomic Robo - This is the best FCBD offering. It's high-octane action with humor, and it stars a robot built by Tesla. It's really good. Neozoic is cool, too. I want to read that trade when it comes out.

Bongo Comics Free-For-All! - This was funny. I dug it. Way funnier than that not funny movie they made.

Drafted - That was really good. The ads and solicits didn't make it look this good. I can see how it might devolve into a shoot-em-up/bad video game type of thing, but it seems smarter than that. Now i want to read this series.

Owly And Friends! - It's very, very cute. Johnny Boo made me laugh. Yam: an enjoyable read.

Comic Book Diner - Nothing here did anything for me, but the character design of Buzzboy is cool, and the colors on Tbyrd Fearlessness are awesome.

Hellboy - Best FCBD offering next to Atomic Robo. "The Mole" is creepy and surreal, and a nice character study. I really need to start reading those B.P.R.D. trades, b/c Guy Davis rocks. "Bishop Olek's Devil" has a great lovecraftian monster.

Jughead - Now i want to visit that museum. But watching "The Wire" has made me afraid to go to Baltimore. Wouldn't it have been crazy if Bubbles had walked in there and tried to con Archie out of some money for smack? Or, is Jughead's food problem a metaphor for drug use? Hmmm...

I volunteered at the local store. I got there a few minutes after they opened at 10:00, and there was a very long line outside the store. That line did not let up for over three hours. That's not b/c we were slow, either. We were stuffing bags with free comics like we had tapped into the Speed Force. We made three types of bags: kid, teen, and adult. It was a lot of work, but worth it.