Dave's Free Comic Book Day 2010 Capsules

Another Free Comic Book Day, May 1, although this time it didn't coincide with Marvel's big summer kickoff opening. Rather, Iron Man 2 will hit theaters next week. That didn't stop Marvel from putting Iron Man on the cover of both of their FCBD books, of course. :) As in previous years (and yes, this is a cut and paste from last year), I'm not going to review these as themselves...in other words, I'm not really aiming at whether you should pick up these specific books. After all, they're free, if you can find 'em and are the least bit interested (and your shop lets you grab more than one title), just snag 'em. Rather, seeing these as the advertising that they are, I will decide whether I think you should consider picking up the regular titles, or books by this publisher in the cases where these aren't tied to specific titles. In some cases, of course, I will be biased by my existing buying habits (BUY ATOMIC ROBO!), and in others I may recommend you look at it even if I don't plan to buy it myself...after all, I know that there's plenty of good stuff out there that simply doesn't strike my fancy. In any case, keep in mind that these all interested me at least enough to pick 'em up for free and write a few lines about, which puts 'em ahead of a lot of books. My store was shafted slightly, getting none of the non-book stuff like HeroClix and Mini-Mates that they ordered. But they got all the comics, so that's good enough. Resurrection #0: Oni Press - I really have no interest in the main story, but there's a Tek Jansen backup. The main story is, like many FCBD books from smaller publishers, a promotion for an upcoming graphic novel. And it mostly features characters who won't be in the graphic novel for reasons that become obvious by the end. The high concept is that aliens invaded Earth in the late 1990s, occupied it for years, and then were somehow driven off. Earth rebuilds, but those in charge are lying about how things happened, to Protect People From The Truth. Guggenheim's writing is fairly interesting, but not enough to overcome my general lack of interest in the conspiracy theory premise. The Tek Jansen story is, unfortunately, about par for the course for his comics. Which is to say it has its clever bits, but mostly pushes things into unfunny "trying too hard" territory. Weathercraft and Other Unusual Tales: Fantagraphics - The indie-ish stuff was pretty poorly represented this year, either because my store didn't order it or because it wasn't out there to begin with. This was the only one of that reduced range that interested me enough to pick up. The main story is an excerpt from an upcoming graphic novel set in Jim Woodring's "Frank" universe. Probably the best way to categorize this setting would be "strange dreams committed to paper" but with a bit more narrative structure. The main story is wordless, as are most of the shorter pieces included, but the one time there are words they're pretty much nonsense. There's a page in the middle explaining the setting and characters a bit, which helps, but it's still fairly opaque. On purpose. Iron Man Supernova #1: Marvel - This is not actually called Iron Man Supernova on the cover, it's Iron Man and Nova. But Supernova's in the indicia, and it's how the book was solicited. For some reason, this all-ages book has a smaller pagesize, being 2cm shorter and 1cm narrower than other comics. The lead story by Paul Tobin is a Marvel Adventures Avengers tale, while the backup is a Super-Hero Squad piece by Todd Dezago. I'm pretty sure the lead story was a case of Tobin coming up with the title first ("There's an Ape for That") and then figuring out how to tell a story to let him use the title. :) Iron Man comes off looking like a bit of a chump here, although some of that is because it's kinda easy to underestimate apes. Still, he doesn't really come across well. Nova only looks good by comparison, but he's always a bit of a goofball in this version of the setting. The SHS story makes Iron Man look like even MORE of a chump, and I'm starting to suspect conspiracy here. I'd wonder if Iron Man's a chump in the other FCBD book, but given that Fraction's name is on the cover I *know* he's a chump in it. Owly and Friends! 2010: Top Shelf - Owly, Johnny Boo and Korgi share the book this year. As usual, Owly is "wordless" in the sense that dialogue takes the form of pictograms, while Korgi is truly wordless. And Johnny Boo talks a lot. The Owly story is pretty representative of the sorts of stories Owly has, but Korgi's a bit on the trippy side. Not compared to Woodruff's stuff, mind you, but compared to his usual. The Johnny Boo story is boring, but that's intentional. This does its job as a sampler, and if you're likely to enjoy any of these books you'll probably know if they're for you once you read this. Love and Capes #13: Maerkle Press - It's the honeymoon issue! Well, actually it's the post-Honeymoon issue, as things get back to what passes for normal and the differences between dating and being married start to become apparent. This is a series you should be following, and it helps that about a third of the issues are FCBD-based. :) This isn't one of the best issues of the series, but I think that's because it's so heavy on the "minor consquences and fallout" resolution that there's no really big scene. Still, worth buying if you can't get the FCBD version (a priced version will come out later this month). Atomic Robo/Neozoic/Box 13 FCBD 2010: Red5 Comics - Well, it's no Dr. Dinosaur, but the Robo story is still pretty darned good. Werk. Mind you, if this is your first exposure to Atomic Robo, it may be a little lacking, but the story premise is simple enough that even a newbie shouldn't have trouble. Not so much with Neozoic, which doesn't even pretend to explain its premise to the uninitiated. And despite reading a few other FCBD Neozoic tales, I was largely lost. Box13 sets up the main character and suggests that his life is a lie, or maybe the final scene takes place a while after the main scene, or maybe the visual storytelling is too muddled for me to be sure if the confusion is intentional or accidental. In any case, the preview doesn't really get me interested in reading the book. Dave Van Domelen, "Super speed doesn't make things *less boring*. Just faster." - Crusader on the topic of writing thank-you notes, Love & Capes #13
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