Anyone who reads this here blog will know that I have fast become a bit of a comic book nerd. I spend more than I care to mention on graphic novels and comic related paraphernalia (HELLO EVER GROWING FUNKO COLLECTION), so needless to say, a day in which I can sample new comics for absolutely zero £’s, is a day I’m all over.
Free Comic Book Day is on the first Saturday of May every year, and involves comic book shops from all over the world. Each year, there are a selection of single issue titles available for absolutely free, with different shops offering a certain number of those titles for nothing, with the option to pay for additional ones. You can find out more about FCBD here. Depending on where you go, many stores also have signings and other cool stuff going on as well.
Comics, Games & Coffee (otherwise known as CGC Emporium) in Chichester has solidified itself as a favourite place to spend my money. The guys that work there are awesome, and they really did pull out all the stops for their very first FCBD (fyi, it was also the first time I have partaken in it too!). I tweeted out a few days before to say I was excited to pick up Camp Midnight and Love and Rockets, so to ensure I got a copy they ordered in extra. Pretty amazing, right?!
On the day, they had people dressed up in costume handing out flyers in Chichester town centre, as well as a Stormtrooper welcoming people in to the shop. They’d laid out all the titles so you could easily have a look, and also gave recommendations to anyone who wasn’t sure what to go for. Another great thing about FCBD is that many shops choose to use the occasion to raise money for a good cause – one of the chosen charities that CGC had opted for was one very close to my heart, Mind.
The atmosphere in the shop was really great – there wasn’t just a cluster of us adult nerds hanging about, but families getting involved too. I really do hope that FCBD did convince some that had never picked up a comic before to get started, because you’ll never turn back once you do!
So, let’s take a look at the titles I picked up and what I thought…
Free Comic Book Day 2016 Picks
Love and Rockets – 2.5/5
I picked this up as I was pretty intrigued by the artwork which is all black and white. I’m a sucker for artwork, and am quite specific about what reels me in and I was initially excited by it. Whilst the stories within it were interesting, and they did leave me curious about how the plots for those particular strands develop, I wasn’t particularly blown away by Love and Rockets.
The story implies it has a lot of background prior to where this one shot picks up, and although the issue goes some way to explain this backstory, it just made me yearn to find out more about who these characters were before, rather than what they are now. The series is being rebooted in a quarterly graphic novel series starting in July, so I might consider picking the first volume up to see whether it’s a grower.
Check out the New Stories collection: Love and Rockets: No. 1: New Stories
Camp Midnight – 4/5
This was another case of OMG ARTWORK when I saw Camp Midnight’s cover for the first time. I thought it was pretty cute and a bit different, especially for a kids comic. It was also from Image Comics, and I will basically buy almost any Image comic because they are generally pretty darn good.
The basic premise of this issue is that a girl called Skye has been sent off to camp but her parents put her on the wrong bus and she has ended up at Camp Midnight, where she is the only human girl at an all-monster camp. The best way I can describe my thoughts on the story is ADORABLE. Also, Skye is a little bit sassy in the way she speaks to the camp’s leader, and I love that. She’s not this stereotypical girl who will do as she’s told. She’s scared, and experiences the emotions of a young girl, but she’s also pretty badass and has her head screwed on.
I’ve already added the book to my Amazon wishlist, so I’m looking forward to reading more of Skye’s adventure! Oh FYI, if you’re a fan of Big Hero 6, the book was written by the creator.
Pick up the collection here: Camp Midnight
The Stuff of Legend – 3/5
I realise this is probably sounding a lot like a broken record right now, but what enticed me to The Stuff of Legend was yup…the artwork. It was the best artwork of the lot because of how intricate and beautiful it was. It looked as if it had been painstakingly drawn using pencil, with an amazing amount of detail in each panel.
What’s more, the story for this issue was really sweet and interesting. A little boy is dragged away through his closet by the boogeyman, and his toys all come together to embark on the journey to get him back. It’s like a dark twist on Toy Story. I can’t quite decide if this comic is for kids, adults or both. There’s something quite sinister about it.
Although I wasn’t as gripped by the cliffhanger at the end of the issue as I was with a couple of the other comics I picked up, I would be interested to find out where the story heads next.
Start reading The Stuff of Legend with this volume: The Stuff of Legend, Book 1: The Dark
Junior Braves of the Apocalypse – 3.5/5
When a comic is described as a combination of The Walking Dead and The Goonies, I’m going to get curious about it. This first issue opens at the tail-end of a scouting trip with the Junior Braves. Their leaders are driving them back home when they realise that something is very wrong – their town is abandoned and it’s not long before they come across an invasion of zombies.
As a fan of The Walking Dead, this was an adorable take on the zombie story, refreshingly different as it doesn’t dwell on the guts and gore (given that it’s a comic for kids), but it still has one or two shocker moments. It ends on a great cliffhanger that made me want to find out what happens next, and the artwork was fairly decent too.
Find the first instalment here: Junior Braves of the Apocalypse
Did you pick up any comics on FCBD? Or are you now curious about getting involved next year? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!