This is always one of the highlights for me, as there usually is very little as creative and entertaining, with as good a mix of older and new material, as what 2000AD puts together. This year is no exception, and this is easily one of the better offerings this year.
Well, the art’s nice. I’ll chalk this up to very much Not For Me and leave it at that.
I always forget that this franchise has a silly, sci-fi conspiracy story as a framing device. I can’t see this appealing to anyone outside of existing fans of the franchise, as pretty much nothing happens in the two short stories here other than people talking about things that will only make sense if you’re a fan of the franchise.
Attack on Titan Anthology
Previews of various works inspired by the manga and anime series that I absolutely fail to see the appeal of. Some of this is quite nicely done, but it’s Not For Me.
If you asked someone to describe a parody of a Grant Morrison comic, you might get something close to this.
That it’s actually written by Morrison is either brilliant or depressing.
Action Lab does some nice kid’s books, and this is a promising start to a sci-fi series with some interesting characters.
I still don’t get the appeal of the show, but this is pretty good, occassionally inventive all-ages fare.
Bongo Comics Free-For-All
Excellent cartooning, but every time I look at a Simpsons comic I’m struck by how much less verve they have then even the “shadow of its former self” TV version has.
Boom! 2016 Summer Blast
A really excellent collection of nicely illustrated and genuinely entertaining all ages comics.
Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises
While this is well done, the “Bruce Lee unfrozen in modern times” conceit is just a little too ghoulish. It leaves me wondering who exactly is the market for something like this.
Visually arresting, unfortunately to the point of unreadability at times. But if you can make out the action, it’s a cute kids books about a summer camp for monsters and the one human girl who goes there.
A really well illustrated story about Captain America punching some Nazis. Which, really, is all anyone could really want.
Also, some back-up nonsense about Spider-Man, but you can skip that.
Civil War II
The worst thing Marvel intentionally published gets a sequel. It’s Bendis and Cheung, so the competence is there, and of course if you have any intention of following Marvel’s latest semi-annual mega event that changes everything forever for six months, you’ll need to read this.
As super-hero fare goes, it’s inoffensive, but absolutely not for me.
A completely random sampler of what I’m presuming are comics published by Z2 comics. This is the sort of sampler I intensely dislike, because it leads with a bright kid-friendly appearing comic of the aggressive whimsey variety, and then gets progressively darker and more violent, meaning it’s really not appropriate for anyone.
Dark Lily & Friends
A strange little assortment of general ages books, mostly in a kid-friendly horror/magic tone. It all falls squarely in those realms of being neither dull, nor offensive, nor particularly compelling either.
DC SuperHero Girls
Well, if the completely and totally decimated shelves carrying this merch in Target is anything to go by, this will probably be in short supply. It’s quality is fairly typical of DC all-ages material, but the cliff-hanger ending leading into an ad for a graphic novel that isn’t out yet is pretty disappointing.
A good assortment of kid’s comic’s stories, most loosely themed around the concepts of free speech, that does a good job of explaining it to younder readers.
Scholastic’s graphic novel line puts out some remarkably good books on a regular basis, that mostly get overlooked, it seems, by the online comics community because, well, there’s not much to gripe about with them. The story here isn’t the most original, but it’s well done and the art is very nice, so this could be worth looking out for.
Brief, fun enough, stories, but, and bear in mind your source in this, I think I’m full up of just about all I need of anything related to post-relaunch Doctor Who.
Grumpy Cat (And Pokey!)
While this isn’t as shameless a Garfield rip-off as I suspected it would be. If you have kids who like dumb jokes and cute animals, maybe they’d like it. It’s really not for anyone else.
Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom
H.P. Lovecraft has infiltrated pop culture consciousness to the point where he’s now fodder for an exploitatively cute kid’s comic.
Take that as an condemnation or an endorsement as you will.
The 90s are back! In steampunk form!
Legend of Korra
Some nicely illustrated and written stories tying into children’s media franchises I really am not interested in.
Love and Rockets
At this point if you don’t know that this is going to be the best book in stores for Free Comic Book Day, well, I don’t know what to tell you.
Beautifully illustrated and absolutely essential sampler of John Lewis’s autobiographical comics about the height of the civil rights era activism.
Mix Tape 2016
A sampler of titles published under the resurrected Devil’s Due label? Remember them ? I do, but I’ve cared far too much about comics for far too long.
Anyway, this is a mixed bag. I liked Squarriors, a nicely illustrated tale in the genre of ultra-violent small rodent warriors, the most. And only one story made me slightly embarrassed for the comics industry as a whole.
Starkly beautiful, engaging, and funny comic work by Tom Gauld, otherwise known as “that guy whose cartoons you see without attribution on Tumblr all the time who isn’t Kate Beaton.”
Really charming, and lushly illustrated, story of a half-witch girl dealing with school, family, and the usual all-ages fantasy fodder.
Well…they tell me it’s good, but I’m not persuaded. Granted, my tastes in boy’s manga runs more to the likes of Assassination Classroom than “we must fight to be better fighters so that we can win the next fight” stories, so I’m not the auidence here anyway.
Overstreet’s Comic Book Marketplace
And, once again, nothing misses the mark for what this day is supposed to be about more than Overstreet’s offering. Rather than put something out that celebrates comics as an art form, or a form of entertainment, they once again treat comics as an investment, as a damned collectable. And now, joy of joys, they’re even applying that mindset to cosplay. It’s gross.
The Phantom is one of those properties that I might be interested in some good, quality reprints of, especially given some of the artists that have worked on it over the years. But the quality of the material that Hermes Press puts out is just ugly, with muddy colors and poor reproduction. It literally hurts my eyes to try and read this.
These are just absolutely peculiar Pokemon gag cartoons. I mean, I suspect the translations are a bit…generous, but it’s just silliness.
Literally no one wants this.
Sanjay and Craig
I am…not a fan of this kind of humor in kid’s cartoons.
Hey, fun, well drawn, actually educational science comics for kids. And actual science, not the “fuck yeah, science!” type of “science.”
With all the really great stuff Dark Horse has put out in the last year, they lead with the thing that suggests they’re feeling the pinch from losing the Star Wars license.
Anyway, there’s a Hellboy story illustrated by Richard Corben in here that’s worth looking at.
Sonic comics: Yes, they still exist.
Very nicely illustrated book that largely consists of a collection of sci-fi cliches.
Spongebob Freestyle Funnies
The usual eclectic mix of rather corny comics, saved by really good cartooning.
Hey, it’s the revival of the toyetic 80s media property that hasn’t been ruined by horrible nerds because of an ironic joke taken too far!
Anyway, this is cute fun, and a really good example of how to make an appealing kid’s comic out of a licensed property based on horrible puns.
Street Fighter V
Udon’s books always look pretty.
I never have any idea what’s going on in them, but they look pretty.
Stuff of Legend
It’s beautiful, of course, and it’s nice to see the original story again. If you haven’t gotten it before, this is as good a time as any.
A reprint of the not terribly impressive first “New 52” relaunch, done in the name of corporate synergy.
Some entertaing and peculiar Tick comics. As usual, this is one of the better books offered for Free Comic Book Day, and consistently has been.
Lots of people whose opinions I trust keep talking up the current Valiant books to me, and honestly? There’s a lot of good looking, promising stuff here. But I am not getting into yet another super-hero universe. I’m not sure anyone, anywhere, needs another super-hero univer, to be blunt.
But if you have to, these look pretty good.
We Can Never Go Home/Young Terrorists
Two really strong, surprisingly effective stories here. They verge into the “grim and gritty” territory that, yes, we all say we’re tired of, yet continue to buy. But the samples here have strong, unique voices that make them something really quite impressive and worth seeking out.
Worlds of Aspen 2016
Aspen Comics: still exist