Comics. For some of us it was our first reading experience, laying on the bed and cracking open the newest adventure of Spider-man, Batman or Spawn. I was one of those kids, I normally contribute writings to movie/television reviews and being apart of the dreaded Internet Wrestling Community, but my one true love is comics. Especially if they’re free.
On the first Saturday of every May and usually around when a comic related movie is about to hit theatres (this year its Thor) the local comic shops get an influx of books ranging from the majors, DC, Marvel and Image and some minor independents, 12 Gauge, Avatar and Kaboom! All this is done as part of an original grassroots project started in Concord, CA, to promote literacy in children and bring back some old readers. I’m the latter.
I’ve fallen from the comics bandwagon. Years of sub-par stories and mega crossovers have dried up my interest, and while like a junkie I still fiend for it; the high just isn’t there. Well while driving by my local shop, Have Fun Collectibles, I seen all these people swarmed around the entrance, looking rabid and decided to follow. Walking in my eyes were transfixed with interest, there was dozens of free swag on a table waiting to be looked through. Dark wing Duck/Rescue Rangers was a duo of cartoons I used to watch in the mid-nineties, and is now in comic form, and yes it is still awesome some fifteen years later. The inner child in me was satisfied. Then it was jumping around in acclaim at the sight of a two sided Dark Crystal/Mouse Guard book. Inside was advertised the “Origins of the Dark Crystal” being a fan of Jim Henson’s classic story for young and old finally having the story prequel was long overdue and as an added bonus was advertisement for an unearthed screenplay being adapted into the graphic medium called “A Tale of Sand” Jim Henson and Jerry Kuhl were unable to get it on the screen but in September, thanks in no small part to Jim Henson Studios in partnership with Archaia we will get an original 120 page graphic novel taken from the third and final draft. With my nostalgia fix, I was finally ready for the adult to score. This is of course when my eyes fell on 12 Gauge comics, story “Loose Ends“, a southern romance crime story told in four parts. Stories about drug runners and edgy crime dialogue only seen in a Charlie Huston or Lawrence Block novel is a great plus. Come July I will be picking that up. All in there was some books that I missed, Joe Hill’s Lock and Key slipped through my fingers and off the table before I could claim it. But I was able to snag a 2000AD comic featuring Judge Dredd, now if your only memory of this character is from the atrocious Sylvester Stallone movie then your missing out on Britain’s best Judge, Jury and Executioner. The short story S.A.M, takes the reader on a hilarious ride through Mega-City One’s bureaucratic housing system that causes a man to bring an artificial intelligent bomb to the office.
There internet clamor said there was 37 free comics out and from my count I had about 15, and out of those I found about four that satisfied my interest. Free comic book day is now mainly directed toward the children and with schools getting involved it is likely to stay that way. With that in mind for the lucky few that picked up Loose Ends, Judge Dredd, Dark Crystal/Mouseguard and Darkwing Duck/Rescue Rangers I hope this has reignited in the hope that comics are not all about crossovers and crisis’s but about story. Pure and Simple. I would like to end this article with a thanks to G for allowing me to post on Wonderpodonline.com.