This year, publishers have distributed fifty-two titles for Free Comic Book Day this Saturday.
While it is not uncommon for many comics shops to order all of the titles, it is becoming common that most comics shops anticipate large crowds of customers. While this is a good thing, it means that the stores must limit the number of free comics a customer can select. (The comics are free to customers, but the comics shops do pay for the copies they give away.)
So, your earnestwhile reviewer at Comics Beat International has read each issue and will post detailed reviews Saturday morning. But before all that, here are the ten best titles, if you need to do a quick grab as the hordes clamor behind you!
In no particular order…
Publisher: ONI PRESS INC. (via Monkeybrain)(W) Chris Roberson (A/CA) Scott Kowalchuck“The last thing you want to see is my hands.” They’re called the Strangers. They’re deadly. Dangerous. And you’ll never see them unless they want you to. But now they’ve come up against something big – United States government big. A cover-up of international proportions, and at the center of it all is the Strangers’ deadliest foe, a man known only as Capricorn. A man who knows the Strangers. A man who sees them.
(silver book, not available in all stores)
Publisher: DRAWN & QUARTERLY(W/A/CA) Gilbert HernandezDrawn & Quarterly continues its FCBD tradition of offering the best free comic in the industry by publishing an exclusive excerpt of its lead Spring 2013 book by legendary alternative cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez of Love & Rockets fame. Marble Season is a semi autobiographical epic about a group of kids growing up in the 1960s seen through the eyes of a young boy. Comics and popular culture of the day will dominate the proceedings and tell the untold story of one of the medium’s greatest and most respected artists. This FCBD has no nudity and no swearing and it will serve as a great preview for the upcoming book of the same name, which will be one of D+Q’s lead titles of 2013.
Sesame Street & Strawberry Shortcake
Publisher: APE ENTERTAINMENT(W) Georgia Ball, Jason M. Burns (A/CA) Amy MebbersonOn side one, Elmo, Cookie Monster, The Count and Super Grover teach you about the magic of reading comics! It’s GUARANTEED to chase the clouds away! On side two, join Strawberry Shortcake and friends on 3 berry sweet adventures!
Includes “The Blue Flu”, “The Hunt for Blackberry’s Treasure”, and “Blueberry’s Book Tour”.
It’s a bushel of fun!
Dark Horse Star Wars Captain Midnight Avatar
Publisher: DARK HORSE(W) Joshua Williamson & Various (A/CA) Ryan Hill & VariousAll-ages adventure! Star Wars joins fan-favorite villains Darth Vader and Boba Fett! Then explore the upcoming Dark Horse series Captain Midnight, where the search for the missing superhero is on! And the smash hit Avatar: The Last Airbender follows Mai as she deals with her broken heart . . .
Molly Danger / Princeless
(silver book, not available in all stores)
Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT(W) Jamal Igle, Jeremy Whitley (A) Jamal Igle & VariousTwo complete stories! She’s Strong, She’s smart, and she’s incredibly brave. She’s the protector of Coopersville, the Princess of Finesse, the petite powerhouse known only as Molly Danger! But what secrets threaten everything she holds dear. And on her way to rescue her sisters, Adrienne finds another mysterious princess locked away in a tower, but she’s guarded by one of the knights sent to hunt Adrienne. Who is this princess and will Adrienne and Bedelia survive trying to rescue her?
Top Shelf Kids Club
Publisher: TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS(W/A) Andy Runton & Various (CA) Rob HarrellHere at Top Shelf, we’re celebrating FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2013 with friends old and new — the latest lineup of the Top Shelf Kids Club! This FREE comic book contains not one, not two, but SIX different adventures for readers of all ages.
Inside are brand-new stories featuring OWLY by Andy Runton, JOHNNY BOO by James Kochalka, KORGI by Christian Slade, PIRATE PENGUIN VS NINJA CHICKEN by Ray Friesen, and UPSIDE DOWN by Jess Smart Smiley, plus the debut of MONSTER ON THE HILL by Rob Harrell, who also contributes this year’s cover! Come on in and join the party!
Kaboom! Summer Blast!
Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT(W/A/CA) VariousAn explosion of All-Ages awesomeness from KaBOOM! this Free Comic Book Day! Sure to be one of the most popular offerings this Free Comic Book Day, the KaBOOM! Summer Blast is 48 pages chock-full of the most popular all-ages comics on the stands today! Featuring excerpts from Adventure Time, Peanuts, Regular Show, Bravest Warriors, Garfield, Ice Age and some brand-new surprises, these series will keep readers young and old coming back to your comic shop again and again!
The Steam Engines of Oz
Publisher: ARCANA STUDIO(W) Erik W. Hendrix, Sean O’Reilly (A/CA) Yannis RoumbouliasSteamPunk Originals Presents: The Steam Engines of Oz FCBD. Get a special sneak peek at the upcoming re-imagining of Oz through a SteamPunk lens. Find out what happens 100 years AFTER the witch is dead. In an Oz ruled by a once revered hero, salvation comes from the unlikely wrench of Victoria Wright, who dares to question status quo and sparks a rebellion. This FCBD Edition will give you an exciting extended preview of the upcoming graphic novel AND a look at what else Arcana’s SteamPunk Originals line has in store for readers!
The Walking Dead Special
Publisher: IMAGE COMICS(W) Robert Kirkman (A/CA) Charlie Adlard, Cliff RathburnThis special Walking Dead issue contains a new Tyrese short story, who made his television debut in The Walking Dead Season 3! It also reprints short stories featuring Michonne, The Governor and Morgan. This special issue is a must-have for Walking Dead fans–none of these stories will be reprinted in the trade paperbacks!
Absolution The Beginning
Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INCChristos Gage (Avengers Academy, X-Men: Legacy, Authority: Prime) created a visceral world where law enforcement turns to super cops to subdue the new breed of street evil. But when one cop crosses the line and begins hunting and killing criminals in secret, he becomes worse than those he brought to ultimate justice. Absolution takes fans on an insane roller-coaster ride that ends in a public hero’s downfall and the uprising of a violent judge, jury, and executioner. Absolution: The Beginning reprints the first two issues (#0-1) of this classic series and provides a sneak peek preview at this summer’s highly anticipated sequel, Absolution: Rubicon! Perfect for fans of the Punisher and Authority – Absolution will show you what happens when a superhero is pushed beyond the boundaries of sanity and decides to push back.
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.
Ask me anything!