Free Comic Book Day 2017
Silver Sponsor Comics
Learn the secrets and hidden tales from the summer before the eternal love-triangle begins in this special issue. Featuring two short stories focusing on the major players and events in the Riverdale series: Spend some time at Archie’s summer construction job and learn how it leads him to a fateful encounter with the alluring music teacher, Ms. Grundy. Find out more about Veronica’s mysterious life in New York, before the shocking event that would send her family scrambling. You dare not miss this special FCBD version of the commemorative one-shot issue that serves as a prelude to the CW Riverdale TV series! [TEEN]
Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Brian E. Paterson, James DeWille, Art: Elliot Fernandez, Thomas Pitilli, Thomas Chu, Janice Chiang Cover by Francesco Francavilla
[Review copy not available.]
National Geographic’s Animal Jam, the online playground for kids to adopt and play with wildlife, is one of today’s fastest-growing multiplayer games, with a whopping 55 million players worldwide! Now, Dynamite Entertainment is proud to welcome comic book fans of all ages to the fictional world of Jamaa, where zoological adventure awaits! In the comic book debut of Animal Jam, Clover Greenleaf, a friendly and curious rabbit, arrives in the colorful new habitat of Jamaa. During a celebration of her arrival, Clover accidentally stumbles across Graham the Monkey’s scientific equipment and opens a portal to a fearsome new realm! Can the Alphas, the animal guardians of Jamaa, save Clover? [ALL AGES]
[The reader gets a good, solid introduction to Jamaa. The rest of the comic features two-page spreads which tease other “cute” licensed properties, including a new Betty Boop series from Roger Langridge and Gisèle Lagacé!]
An all-new, never-before-seen, original illustrated story, featuring Ladybug and Cat Noir! This is the start of the all new illustrated monthly series of Miraculousby Action Lab. [ALL AGES]
[This one is for fans. No introduction to the characters, and the story is cut in the middle. Kid Sherlock introduces Watson, a talking dog in a universe of grade school children. Toyetica intrigues with a story of how fairies were subjugated as pets and playthings, until civil rights allowed them more autonomy. Now, the toys are based on actual individuals, which has a bit of “reality television star” quality.]
There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here! American Mythology is proud to announce our follow-up to the 2016 Pink Panther FCBD special with another beloved kids comic! Underdog is back and aimed at introducing a new generation of readers to all-ages fun! [ALL AGES]
[The Underdog story works, and seems to capture the style of the cartoon. We also get a reprint from a 1975 Gold Key issue. Not much of a story, but an interesting teaching tool for 8-panel page design. There are coloring pages in the back, and a teaser for Casper and Rocky & Bullwinkle.]
The Free Realms are crumbling under the Crimson Empire’s mighty sky dreadnoughts. A small band of Free pilots have gathered for a desperate mission, but their bravery and skill is not enough. They must use an untested, secretly developed fighter to strike back against these terrifying ironclads, or be crushed forever by tyranny. [ALL AGES]
[Steampunk mixed with World War I and flying aircraft carriers. This is a complete issue, but doesn’t really introduce anything, just tosses the reader into the middle and hopes for the best. Waiting for the trade might be advisable… there’s a lot to explore in this series.]
Introduce new readers to this steampunk bestseller, which has been remarkably successful with female readers as well as fans of the popular steampunk genre, with this FCBD special that includes the original 14-page one-shot introducing Lady Mechanika, a young woman in Victorian England with mechanical limbs and no memory of how she got them, searching desperately for the secrets to her past, plus excerpts from the Lady Mechanika trades and comics! [TEEN]
[I’m not certain, but I think the first story was featured in a previous FCBD issue. Three previews, mostly self-contained, from three different eras of Lady Mechanika. Victorian steampunk, richly illustrated, worth a longer read in trade.]
“Sur Saray” is a Year One story set during Tom Evans’ time serving in the Afghanistan war. Tom has returned to active duty after going AWOL to rescue his brother from Site ALEPH, but his unit, the PCE Squad is folded into an unscrupulous mercenary platoon. Frustrated by the injustices he’s witnessing on a daily basis, Tom begins slipping away by night, using his new powers to right the street-level wrongs the military is too unwieldy to effectively address. This tale is the perfect lead-in to the much-anticipated return of Captain Canuck in his own regular series later in May 2017. [ALL AGES]
DIE KITTY DIE
“She’s survived multiple attempts by her publisher to end her life. Now, Kitty Ravencraft is trying to relax and hold a summer BBQ for her friends, but who just crashed the party?”
[We get a “Year One” story about Captain Canuck, and it’s self-contained, although it continues.
Die Kitty Die is Parent’s and Ruiz’s amalgamation of Archie glamour mixed with Harvey ghoul-igans. The plot? Kitty’s publisher is trying to kill her off to improve his bottom line. Buy the trades!]
Queen Alyss Heart of Wonderland faces great difficulty as she fends off assaults from rival suit families while struggling to prevent with the tribes of Boarderland. No longer sure whom to trust, she turns to disgraced rogue millinery Ovid Grey to uncover a conspiracy that threatens both Wonderland and our world. [TEEN]
[A Hatter M tie-in. I have no idea what’s going on. Some cool stuff in Venice. Nice art style.]
Boasting 10 million viewers, the critically acclaimed family comedy series Fresh Off the Boat (Tuesdays at 9pm on ABC) comes to the world of comics for Free Comic Book Day 2017! Fresh Off the Boat is the story of a Taiwanese-American family living in Orlando in the 1990s and comically explores themes of immigration, assimilation, and identity. BOOM! Studios teams with producers 20th Century Fox Television and the creative team of Fresh Off the Boat to capture the show’s authentic spirit and humor in comic form.
Introducing the the Legion of Dopeitude! Tying into an episode of the television series airing in May, this Free Comic Book Day special reveals the characters created by Eddie and Emery for a comic book contest on the television show! Pick up a copy of this book on Free Comic Book Day and see what they created! [TEEN]
[Is this an ongoing series? Or just a tie-in? A fun story. Props to ABC for recreating the Norman Rockwell station wagon. The tie-in episode airs Tuesday, May 2, but you can also watch it online. The TV promo is here.]
D+Q presents excerpts from two contemporary french language masterpieces, debuting in English in 2017. Guy Delisle’s Hostage recounts the harrowing experience of a kidnapped man held in solitary confinement in the Caucasus region, while Poppies of Iraq is Brigitte Findakly’s nuanced account of her relationship with her homeland Iraq, stretching from her childhood during Saddam Hussein’s regime to the 2015 Paris attacks, as drawn by master cartoonist Lewis Trondheim. [TEEN]
[Two true stories. Poppies of Irag seems to be excerpts. I do hope they fix the lettering…the kerning is awful. Do read the graphic novels…both seem to be headed for “best of” lists later this year.]
D+Q presents a giant sampler loaded with 64 pages of our most beloved comics for kids – delightful misadventures with Moomin and his family, strange and spectacular tales of Kitaro, and more hilarious antics from Anna & Froga. Enjoy a sneak peek into the rollicking sketchbook of cartoonist Elise Gravel, with colorful monsters, imaginary friends, and activity pages where readers can draw right alongside her! [ALL AGES]
[64 pages! Lots of fun stuff in this comic! My fave? Kitaro. But also search for Gravels sketchbook!]
In our 2017 all-ages offering, you’ll thrill to a monster-slaying, citizen-saving adventure with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sixteen-year-old Buffy is still learning her trade, and sometimes battles with demons and bad luck can erode a girl’s confidence – and her ability to have high-school fun. #SlayerStruggleIsReal. Then, your favorite plants and zombies will take a time-traveling journey to the past, where they run into a devious sheriff. If they have to work together to rise to the sheriff’s challenges, can they do it? It’s Plants vs. Zombies vs. Sheriff Tarnation! [ALL AGES]
[Love that cover! Two fun stories!]
DC Super Hero Girls is an exciting new universe of superhero storytelling that builds character and confidence and empowers girls to discover their true potential. This special FCBD issue features an exciting, action-packed story from the upcoming original graphic novel DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus that readers of all ages will enjoy. [ALL AGES]
[Ah DC… when will you get wise and make your kids comic the GOLD title, guaranteeing greater distribution? You’re preaching to the choir by selecting an adult DCU title for Gold sponsorship, although, this year, it’s not an #0 event tie-in, but Wonder Woman #1.
Double Dare makes a cameo! Wonder Woman and Bumblebee spend summer at Mount Olympus, invited by her absentee father, Zeus! A sneak peek at the new original graphic novel!]
I’ve been writing for The Beat since July of 2010.
I’ve been reading comics since 1974, collecting since 1984, and spreading the graphic novel gospel since 1994.
I’m a bookseller, a librarian, an amateur scholar, a cool uncle, and a comics evangelist.
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