Home Free Comics FCBD Free Comic Book Day 2015: Read It! The Ten Best Comics

Free Comic Book Day 2015: Read It! The Ten Best Comics

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I’ve finished reading all fifty Free Comic Book Day titles for 2015!

This year’s been better than most… there were very few which made me wonder why someone spent time and money to produce something so lackluster.

Since most stores limit how many titles a customer can select, I have selected what I think are the best titles from this year.

To make it easier, I’ve selected two titles, one for adults, one for kids, which I think are the best of the lot.  They are:

FCBD 2015 HIP HOP FAMILY TREE 3-IN-1 FEATURING COSPLAYERS (MR)

and

FCBD 2015 COMICS FESTIVAL

Please realize that the best titles this year are all Silver sponsors, which means that some stores may have limited quantities available, or none at all.

Honorable Mention:

FCBD 2015 DARK HORSE ALL AGES AVATAR PVZ BANDETTE

 FCBD 2015 TERRIBLE LIZARD #1

FCBD 2015 STEAMPUNK GOLDILOCKS



FCBD 2015 MERCURY HEAT DEBUT (MR)

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC
(W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Omar Francia
[No summary, age rating.]
Kieron Gillen also wrote Phonogram, and Über, which I recommended last year.
This is hard science fiction, set in a future where Mercury is used as a solar energy farm.  Luiza, deemed psychologically unfit to be a police officer on Earth, instead becomes a freelance cop on Mercury.
Half of the book is text and sketches, detailing the creation of this fascinating world.  (Did you know Mercury is habitable?  But you have to keep moving ahead of the sunrise.)  The trade is worth a read went it comes out.

FCBD 2015 MOTORCYCLE SAMURAI

Publisher: IDW – TOP SHELF
(W/A/CA) Chris Sheridan
Look hard into the storm clouds. You may yet see her, mounted on her electric steed, streaking past. The last hero of the West… THE MOTORCYCLE SAMURAI! It’s been called “the new benchmark for indie digital comics.” Now discover the mad genius of The Motorcycle Samurai for yourself, as Chris Sheridan does the unthinkable: brings his creation to print! Top Shelf celebrates FREE COMIC BOOK DAY with 24 pages of full-color action, whetting appetites around the world for the future release of The Motorcycle Samurai graphic novel. Now saddle up and let’s ride!
Rating: Teen
Yup… the latest iteration of the American Monomyth!  Part Western, part Martial Arts, with a straightforward smile reminiscent of Scott Pilgrim.  This should appeal to younger and older readers.

FCBD 2015 SUPERMUTANT MAGIC ACADEMY STEP ASIDE POPS COMBO

Publisher: DRAWN & QUARTERLY
(W/A/CA) Jillian Tamaki, Kate Beaton
Drawn & Quarterly celebrates its 25th year in publishing with this special edition all-ages FCBD previewing two of its biggest books for 2015.
Kate Beaton is back with Step Aside, Pops! her 2015 follow-up to her bestselling debut, Hark! A Vagrant, with more irreverent and hilarious comics on history and literature. Sharing the billing is Jillian Tamaki, best known for co-creating Skim and This One Summer – moody and atmospheric award winners. SuperMutant Magic Academy, which Jillian has been serializing online for the past four years, paints a teenaged world filled with just as much ennui and uncertainty, but also with a sharp dose of humor. Drawn & Quarterly’s FCBD showcases two of the best known women in comics today and is ideal for retailers looking to expand and diversify their customer base.
Rating: All-Ages
For all the cool kids who hang out in the school library!  Kate Beaton continues her Hark! webcomic, covering a wide variety of subjects!
Jillian Tamaki, one of the latest greatest cartoonists, offers samples from her new book, available NOW!  (Well done, D+Q!)

FCBD 2015 TEEN TITANS GO SCOOBY DOO TEAM UP

Publisher: DC
DC Entertainment’s all-ages FCBD special edition has two tales for readers of all ages! The Teen Titans are back in Teen Titans Go! Chapter 10, and Scooby Doo Team Up! #6 features the Super Friends! Readers will want to follow the adventures of the Teen Titans in Teen Titans Go! Volume 1, and Scooby Doo’s adventure with the Super Friends will continue in the forthcoming collected edition of Scooby Doo Team-Up! Super-hero adventures for readers of all ages have never been so much fun!
Rating: All-Ages
Teen Titans Go! is very similar to the cartoon.  Scooby-Doo Team-Up is a guilty pleasure, as those meddling kids share adventures with other cartoon superstars!  (Superfriends! Johnny Quest!  Secret Squirrel!  The Jetsons!) If you don’t want to waste your pick on this title, then I STRONGLY  recommend you buy S-DT-U#6!  Were I editing a collection of the best DC team-ups from the past 75 years, this would be one of the stories included!
Yes, Batman is smiling.
dun Dun DUNNNN…

FCBD 2015 2000 AD SPECIAL

Publisher: REBELLION / 2000AD
(W) Matt Smith & Various (A) Norm Breyfogle & Various
The galaxy’s greatest Eisner-nominated SF anthology returns to Free Comic Book Day with a 48 page zarjaz line-up of stories. In Through the Out Door, a brand new story from Matt Smith and Norm Breyfogle, Judge Dredd uses the iron fist of the law to settle a block dispute; in 3000 AD some jobs are murder, as proved by The Traveller from Mick McMahon; galactic frontiersman Ajax Bloodthirsty meets his match on the astronomical object of oblivion known as the Death Rock in a new tale from Ben Willsher and Barry Krishna; the Grand Master of Termight is sickened to find that his final resting place has been defiled by the legendary alien freedom fighter, Nemesis the Warlock in Tomb of Torquemada  by Pat Mills and Kevin O’Neill; wizened master of the occult, Doctor Sin returns to pass on his mantle (and battle a demon) in Don’t Call It A Comeback by Rob Williams and Luca Pizzari; pilot of the future, Dan Dare, discovers an alien satellite in Star Slayer by Dave Gibbons and Gerry-Finley Day; Celtic warrior Sláine acquaints more enemies with his axe in A Simple Killing by Pat Mills and Simon Davis; Judge Dredd upholds the law in some classic Dredd newspaper strips by John Wagner, Alan Grant and Ron Smith; and Prepare your mind to be melted by Tharg’s Alien Invasions from supreme craz-o-naut Henry Flint.If this wasn’t enough each strip comes with a FREE digital story attached!
Rating: Teen+
Wow!  What a stellar bang!  This is just like the weekly comic, with a variety of stories! Unfortunately, Norm Breyfogle suffered a stroke, so the lead story was reassigned. And as the summary above states, there are free digital comics available!  Just scan the Q-codes!

FCBD 2015 AVENGERS #1

Publisher: MARVEL COMICS
WHAT BETTER WAY TO CELEBRATE FREE COMIC BOOK DAY THEN BY ASSEMBLING EARTH’S MIGHTIEST-AND MOST POPULAR-HEROES?!
Iron Man! Captain America! Thor! Black Widow! Hawkeye! Hulk! Vision! Everyone’s favorite heroes take on a dangerous new threat!
Rating: All-Ages
They left out “Mark Waid!”  Judging from the advertising blurbs, this is part of the new Marvel Universe?  Part of Battleworld?  Doesn’t matter.  We have the camouflaged Spidey, Ms. Marvel, and teen Nova are on the Avengers, partnering with “Crystal” Iron Man (“Sam”?), Lady Thor, Vision, and the new Captain America.  Fun stuff!
The backup story is from the Uncanny Inhumans.  Beautiful artwork!  The story is a nice tone-piece, explaining the Terrigen cloud that is turning ordinary humans into Inhumans.  I’m a bit confused by some of the social dynamics, but I’m sure that will be detailed in the ongoing series.
There’s also a short preview of “Max Ride: First Flight”, and a two-page ad for the Disney Kingdoms titles.
My advice?  Grab this instead of the Secret Wars prologue.

Publisher: RED 5 COMICS
(W/A/CA) Jay P. Fosgitt
With a mix of playfully irreverant humor, attention-grabbing art and incredible heart, BODIE TROLL is a perfect first comic to give to a non-comic-reader of any age. In an all-new exclusive adventure, things turn ugly for cute BODIE TROLL when he gets hijacked into that most agonizing of events – a little girl’s tea party! Plus, an all-new adventure from the world of DRONE and previews of 2015 Red 5 favorites and new faces.
Rating: All-Ages
Bodie gets drunk!  (On root beer, so it’s okay.)  Seriously… after you read this, you’ll want to buy the trade!  Jay P. Fosgitt is a master of cartooning, on a level with Jeff Smith. Humor, amazing figure drawing…  you almost wish it were a cartoon, but this is better, because you can linger over every panel at your leisure!
Oh… right…. there are two more stories!  “Drone” sets up an interesting premise…the military uses remote-controlled robot soldiers. The main protagonist is a gamer, not a soldier, and thus the misfit of the squad. This looks promising.  Also, “Creature Academy” has nice art, but the story is a bit lacking.

Publisher: COMIC BOOK LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
(W/A) Various (CA) Dean Trippe
For over 25 years, the CBLDF has fought to protect your right to read, and that crusade continues with this light-hearted look at a serious topic. Defend Comics is a sampler of the great YA comics available, and explores the censorship of comics with some of today’s most talented creators!
Writers on Defend Comics include Andi Watson, Gene Yang, George O’Connor, Dan Parent, Larry Marder and Jorge Aguirre, with art by Watson, Sonny Liew, O’Connor, Parent, Marder, and Rafael Rosado.
Stories include “The Green Turtle Fights for Free Speech!” by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew, “Rabbids!,” “Princess Decompsia and Count Spatula” by Andi Watson, “Beanworld” by Larry Marder, “Archie Presents Kevin Keller” by Dan Parent, “Giants Beware!” by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado, and “A Tale of the Olympians: The Ears of King Midas” by George O’Connor.
Rating: All-Ages
Only the Archie story is a bit preachy (which is okay).  The rest nicely express the themes of the CBLDF.  I want to read more Princess Decomposia stories!  (And Beanworld, of course, but it’s worth the wait!)

FCBD 2015 COMICS FESTIVAL

Publisher: COMICS FESTIVAL
(W/A) Various
It’s a Comics Festival! Continuing the tradition of featuring all-new short stories by some of the greatest comics creators in Canada! A wonderful showcase for existing and forthcoming comics & graphic novels! Here’s who’s inside:
* Cover by Isabelle Arsenault (Jane, The Fox, and Me).
* Back Cover by Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy, Teen Boat)
Plus:
* Lady’s Favor, by Kate Beaton (Hark, A Vagrant)
* The Boss, by Mariko Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer) and Gillian Goerz
* In Real Life: Con Game, by Cory Doctorow (Little Brother) and Jen Wang (Koko Be Good).
* Once Upon a Pony, by Svetlana Chmakova (Nightschool)
* Superhero Girl: The Death of Kevin, by Faith Erin Hicks (Friends with Boys)
* Costume Quest, by Zac Gorman (Magical Game Time)
Rating: Teen+
This comic is sponsored by the Toronto Comics Arts Festival (being held next week!)
Lots of good stuff in this one, for everyone!

Publisher: FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS
(W) Ed Piskor, Dash Shaw (A) Ed Piskor & Various (CA) Ed Piskor
Featuring Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree series and Dash Shaw’s Cosplayers! Piskor’s half features excerpts from all three existing HHFT volumes, plus the Rob Liefeld/Spike Lee commercial adaptation and exclusive pinups by R Crumb, Scottie Young, Jim Rugg, Ben Marra, and more…! Shaw’s side delivers an all-new, 24-page issue of his thoughtful and funny exploration of human endeavor and social interaction as seen through the lives of two cosplayers. Enjoy the works of two of the great contemporary graphic novelists of their generation! With exclusive wraparound cover by Piskor.
Rating: Teen+
Wow.  Excerpts from volumes 1, 2, and 3, mostly featuring Rick Rubin.  Also appearing: Russell Simmons, Ladies Love Cool James!
But wait…
Howabout pinups by Skottie Young, R. Crumb, Ben Marra, and Jim Ruff?  Not enough? How about Rob Liefeld and Spike Lee?
Not enough?  Sheesh.  Okay…  I know what will get you to read this!
Dash Shaw doing comics about cosplayers!  (And just because you were so reticent…JACK KIRBY!)

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