FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2013 offerings Part the Fifth
Note: Free Comic Book Day will be referred to as FCBD from here on out in these reviews.
This is the fifth and final installment of my reviews of the books that I picked up on my daylong, multi-county (okay, it was only two counties), multi-store marathon on FCBD 2013.
2000 AD Free Comic Book Day 2013 (2000 AD, cover date 2013)
This is a compilation of material from 2000 AD Progs 47, 525, 1241, 1398, 1750, and Judge Dredd Megazine (Vol. 5) No. 5, with publication dates ranging from 1978- 2011. This was the rarest of the FCBD issues, at least in this neck of the woods. I only saw one store carrying it, and it was the very last one that I went to. This is chock full of great stuff. Future Shocks: Red Moon, is one of the most delightfully fucked up stories that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. The Visible Man is also incredible, and it will be collected in the forthcoming trade paperback 2000 AD Presents Sci-Fi Thrillers, available December, 2013. I'm totally in for that one. The Judge Dredd stories are both good. Insurrection is available as a trade paperback which I have already scooped up. The purpose of these FCBD issues are to spur sales, and this one has definitely sucked some money out of my wallet. Bravo!
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Barack The Barbarian No. 1 (Devil's Due Publishing, cover date June, 2009)
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Christopher Schons
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
I had always intended on buying this but never got around to it. There was an Amazon fish* floating around for a trade paperback for a while but the book was never officially solicited. Then Devil's Due was dropped by Diamond Distributors and nearly imploded, leaving this series in limbo.
(*Amazon fish is a term originally coined by Jeph York on the Masterworks Message Board. The term is used to describe books which pop up on Amazon through the book market channels before they are officially solicited through the Direct Market. These are often unreliable as contents, page counts, and price points change before the book becomes an official release. The denizens of the MMB have used this term for nearly a decade. It is now common fan vernacular, even used in articles on Bleeding Cool. All because of Jeph York.)
Regardless of your political stance, this is a hilarious spoof of our then-new President of the United States, Barack Obama. His admitted childhood love of Marvel Comics, particularly Spider-Man and Conan, endeared him to nerddom. Here we have Obama recast as a barbarian in a story titled Quest For The Treasure Of Stimuli!, where Barack journeys to Warshingtun . Filled with groan-inducing yet highly amusing puns, this silly and painfully dated read is worth a chuckle.
This was not a proper FCBD comic, rather it was one of those excess store stock, please help us get rid of it comics. I enjoyed it quite a bit and would still buy a trade paperback of it.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
Tabula Rasa (Image, cover date September, 2006)
Writer: Shannon Eric Denton
Artist: Matt Jacobs
This was also not a proper FCBD comic, rather it was another one of those excess store stock, please help us get rid of it comics. I enjoyed this well enough.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.
Arrow #1 Special Edition (DC, cover date December, 2012)
Writers: Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim, Greg Berlanti, and Geoff Johns. Back-up story by Judd Winick
Artists: Omar Francia; Back-up story by Freddie Williams and Rob Hunter
Colorists: Rex Lokus; Back-up story by Richard & Tonya Horie
Did it really take 4 writers to do 11 pages of story? Good god, talk about waste. This is an underwhelming preview for the new CW television series and is a waste of time. The only redeeming quality is the Mike Grell cover art.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 1.25 out of 5.
My Favorite Martian FCBD (Hermes Press, cover date 2012)
Artist: Dan Spiegle
I love old stuff, but some stuff is just lost on me. Nothing about this reprint of Gold Key's My Favorite Martian No. 2 from 1964 works for me. It's a horribly dated read from a horribly dated concept. Hermes Press has issued this in a deluxe Archives hardcover for those who have nostalgia for this series. Given the lackluster quality of the story and the mediocre restoration techniques used when prepping the material for digital, I think I'll pass. Your mileage may vary.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 1.75 out of 5.
And that's it for my FCBD marathon for 2013! I had a lot of fun going to all of these shops with my kids. My son and I have gone a for a few years in a row but this was the first year that my daughter went along too. She was quite the trooper and hung in there the whole day. I look forward to repeating this again in 2014.