Sunday, May 15, 2016

Free Comic Book Day Pt. 1

This year when I, Art Bee, looked at the list for FCBD, I cringed. The majority of the comic books looked like they were aimed at children so boo-hoo for us adults. I am very jealous of my daughter, because she won a raffle for one copy of every FCBD book. A couple of the comic books picked are very good the others, the majority are not. I will be reviewing some of the ones I picked and a few of my daughter’s. I tried to get her to review a couple but she got embarrassed. Let’s get started.

The Stuff of Legend

Story:  Mike Raicht & Brian Smith
Illustrations:  Charles Paul Wilson III
Design and Colors:  Jon Conkling & Michael DeVito

This is the reprinting of another FCBD comic book for the first volume of this title. They claim it is to honor their current readers in anticipation of the fifth volume. This seems a little strange. Why reprint a free comic of the first volume to promote your fifth volume?

This story seems to be aimed at children and looks to be a Toy Story recreation with an element of horror. The story features a little boy, whom is kidnapped by the Boogie-Man, and the boy’s toys have to mount a rescue attempt.

Even though the artistry is fantastic, the story really sucks. The toys discuss and debate which of them is going on the mission for far too long. There is no way a child would stay focused long enough on this debate, and as something of an adult, I did not want to finish it due to its childishness.


Written: PJ Haarsma & Alan Tudyk
Illustrations:  Sarah Stone
Producers:  Alan Tudyk, PJ Haarsma, and Nathan Fillion

This seems like it will be an awesome series. Spectrum was the first comic I picked on FCBD mainly due to me being a major Firefly fan, so when I saw this comic was produced by Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion, I clapped my hand and giggled like a little girl getting a Barbie (this is not an exaggeration I am sorry to say).

The story’s title is the name of the ship that will be featured in this series, and a picture with technical data is provided in this comic book.

On the inside of the front cover is a nice long backstory to provide the setting and useful information for the reader. This has been a great tactic started by the Star Wars movies and is used by smart writers of science fiction.

The artwork is good for the most part, but it has a bit of an odd element to the lines of it. That is the best statement I can make. Once you see the work you will understand. Other than that there is not much to say.

If you are a fan of the Firefly series, you will love this. If not, then you will still like this and you should watch the awesomeness known as Firefly.

Serenity:  The Warrior and the Wind

Script: Chris Robinson
Art: Stephen Byrne
Lettering:  Michael Heisler

Hellboy:  The Mirror
Script:  Mike Mignola
Art:  Richard Corben
Colors: Dave Stewart

Aliens Defiance:  Extravehicular
Script:  Brian Wook
Art:  Tristan Jones
Colors: Dan Jackson

There are three stories in this one free comic book. I was truly taken aback by the rude implantation of crap with my Firefly/Serenity story. That was very not nice.

Serenity: the Warrior and the Wind is a short story in which River, one of the main characters, is telling Emma, the daughter of Zoe and Wash (both main characters as well), a bedtime story featuring all of the cast. This is a very unique way to provide the backstory of the series mixed with a bit of fairy tale. By my admission, this is very clever.

The artwork and colors are astonishing although a bit cartoony. This fits with the theme of this short story, so my feeling is it is admissible.

Now we move to Hellboy: the Mirror. Even though I have never been a Hellboy fan, this is utter crap. Hellboy enters a house, looks into a mirror, is attacked by a ghost, and begs for it to stop. The ghost disappears, and then Hellboy leaves. The End. See what I mean – crap.

If that wasn’t enough, the artwork was painful to look at as well.

The third story in the book is Aliens Defiance:  Extravehicular. This story featured some very nice lines and color, but the story itself was very bland for starting in the heat of a fight. Realistically this should have been an exciting piece. The dialog and flow did not convey the intensity it should have.

Camp Midnight

Writer:  Steven T. Seagle
Artist:  Jason Adam Katzenstein

The opening for this comic book is:
“Skye’s parents put her on the wrong bus, and now she’s about to find out what it means to be the only human girl at an all monster camp . . .”

Now the theme and title scream children’s comic to me. This story also addresses some classic child themes such as fitting in, standing up to bullies, and being loyal to friends. What does this all mean? I was very bored reading this comic book. My daughter seemed to really like it, so I am right on the mark for the theme.

I really don’t want to address the artwork, but my obligation as a comic book critic deems it necessary. The artwork made me throw up in my mouth just a bit. The lines are not consistent, but the colors are. Each panel has a color . . . just . . . one . . . color. Can we say mono-tone?

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