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So, for quite some time, every year, I’ve read and reviewed the offerings publishers provide for Free Comic Book Day. And then last year, frankly, broke me. The quality to quantity ratio was so abysmal that I realized that I was killing myself to read and comment on, well, disposable junk.

So, this year, and for as long as I continue to keep doing this, I will just break books into the usual categories of “Get It”, “It’s Free”, and “Avoid.”

And if you’re in the Southern California area, be sure to swing by Sterling Silver Comics and Arsenal Comics and Games for your comics.


Get It

2000 AD, 2000 AD

All New Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Comics

The movie-fication of the characters is complete. And as someone who bought Rocket Raccoon books off the rack in the 80s, and thus should feel slightly put out by that, this is an enjoyable book, with lushly detailed art by Aaron Kuder that still has an engaging cartoony edge.

Boom 2017 Summer Blast, Boom! Studios

Colorful Monsters, Drawn and Quarterly

DC Superhero Girls, DC Comics

The very existence of this project I take as a personal vindication of me saying, for years, that DC neglecting the fact that Wonder Woman is both a super-hero and a princess, was leaving money on the table. The popularity of the concept with every little girl I’ve met is heartening. The stories are charmingly illustrated and told as well.

Hilda’s Back, Nobrow Press

The Incal, Humanoids

Time Shifters; Graphix

A fun looking book with monsters and time travel. I mean, this is a book that has Vampire Napoleon in it. That’s some good, mad, high concept comics madness.

Wonder Woman Special Edition, DC Comics


It’s Free

Bad Machinery, Oni Press

The Ballad of Franklin Bonisteel, Z2 Comics

Barbie, Papercutz

Bongo Free-For-All, Bongo Comics

Buffy the High School Years, Dark Horse Comics

Captain Canuck Year One, Chapterhouse

Catalyst Prime, Lion Forge

Doctor Who, Titan Comics

Dragonball Super, Viz Media

Drawn and Quarterly Presents, Drawn and Quarterly

Fresh off the Boat Presents, Boom! Studios

As much as I adore the TV series, the concept doesn’t really translate well into comics form, even as a jokey reference to an event within the show itself. Great art, and it does manage to capture some of the verve of the show itself.

Grimm Fairy Tales, Zenescope

Kid Savage, Image Comics

Keyser Soze: Scorched Earth, Red 5 Comics

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Viz Media

The Loud House, Papercutz

Malika: Warrior Queen, Youneek Studios

Miraculous, Action Lab

Monster High, Titan Comics

Rick and Morty, Oni Press

Riverdale, Archie Comics

An interesting companion to the TV series, but lacking the “oh I can’t believe they went there” raucousness that is a good chunk of what makes the show work.

Spongebob Freestyle Funnies, Bongo Comics

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken, IDW

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, IDW

Tex: Patagonia, Epicenter Comics

The Tick, NEC

Underdog, American Mythology

World’s Greatest Cartoonists, Fantagraphics

XO Manowar, Valiant Comics


Avoid

Attack on Titan, Kodansha Comics

Avatar, Dark Horse Comics

Betty and Veronica; Archie Comics

I generally like the work of Adam Hughes. And I’m not one to deny that Betty and Veronica have been portrayed in a cheesecake style more often than not, and that this has lead to some fun work in the past. But the combination just doesn’t work here. This feels rushed and sketchy in comparison to most of Hughes’ work, and it just lacks visual appeal.

Descendants, Tokyopop

Lady Mechanika, Benitez Productions

The Looking Glass Wars: Crossfire, Automatic

Secret Empire, Marvel Comics

Even setting aside the question of if the entire concept of “Captain America was secretly a Nazi a Hydra agent all along,” is offensive, what this book is, is yet another iteration of the “heroes fight heroes instead of villains” storyline, with a not at all unusual “secret traitor” twist. But that’s aside from the utter grossness and tone deafness and utter antagonism to fans that the writer and the publisher have pursued in the course of this story. Even apart from all that, it’s a boring, trite, done to death story. And this book only emphasizes that, with spectacularly ugly and unappealing artwork.

Steam Wars Strike Leader, Antarctic Press

Street Fighter V Wrestling Special, Udon

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© 2012 Dorian Wright Some Images © Their Respective Copyright Holders