Some Free Comic Book Day stuff, and another sad passing.

§ April 12th, 2007 § Filed under free comic book day Comments Off on Some Free Comic Book Day stuff, and another sad passing.

It just occurred to me that, aside from my mention of folks not understanding when the event actually is, I haven’t really said a whole lot about Free Comic Book Day.

Well, I don’t know that I have a whole lot to add beyond what I’ve already said last year (before and after), so aside from some comments about some of this year’s offerings, and any horror stories that may arise from the day itself, I’ll probably not be talking too much about it.

That said, I do want to note some things: Marvel’s offering this time around has the potential, for once, of actually being good. A new, full-length, Dan Slott written and Phil Jimenez drawn Spider-Man story, which will be out about the time of Spider-Man 3…barring any inappropriate content for younger readers (always possible, given Marvel’s usual “two giant steps backward for every tiny step forward” publishing strategy), this could make a nice all-ages giveaway.

On the other hand, we have DC’s Justice League of America #0.

Now, there’s a joke I use at the store every once in a while, when a customer asks me about trying jump into a new Marvel or DC series. If the title in question is one of those that requires extensive knowledge of that company’s “universe,” or just of the book’s history…if it just requires plain ol’ geeky knowledge, I’ll refer to the book as being “for the advanced reader.”

I would say that Justice League of America #0 is “for the advanced reader.” On top of needing to know your DC continuity (or whatever passes for it, nowadays), you need to be ready for the fact that the story jumps back and forth in time, from panel to panel. Don’t get me wrong…I enjoyed the comic when it was originally released, and the DC dork that I am got a kick out of all its continuity-candy. But it’s a real “preaching to the converted” offering…this is one of those FCBD comics designed to get folks already reading comics to try yet another comic they might not be reading. Non-comics fans, or even casual readers, may not be ready for a non-linear, continuity-heavy superhero book, particularly if their only regular exposure to comics is the comparatively more straightforward storytelling techniques in their local papers’ funnypages.

DC is also offering a comic based on their Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon, which makes up for it. This type of comic is a very effective tool for outreach to kids. “Hey, you watch that Legion cartoon? Here, have a comic based on it!” Replace “Legion” with “Justice League Adventures” or “Teen Titans,” and you have DC’s successful giveaways from past FCBDs. (I left out the Batman Strikes comic, since, well, our customers don’t seem to react well to that cartoon.)

I am looking foward to the FCBD Gumby Special (because the new Gumby comics rule your school), Owly & Korgi (because Owly is cuter than a cute thing that’s cute, with a side helping of cuteness), and the new FCBD Nexus Special (because Nexus is one of the Most Perfect Comics Ever, particularly with Baron ‘n’ Rude back at the helm, and you all better read this series or I’m going to your houses and giving you serious noogies).

So, any FCBD titles you guys ‘n’ gals are waiting for?

When I was a junior in high school, lo these two or so decades ago, I was in an art class, and one of our assignments was to draw a face, with an emphasis on shading. Well, it just so happened that I was reading a certain book at the time, and thought the author’s photo on the back cover would make a good subject for this particular project.

Normally, I wouldn’t whip out old, embarrassing drawings of mine…the eyes are a bit off-center, I realize, and it sorta looks like a cross between Bob Ross and Sidney from M*A*S*H…but, for Kurt Vonnegut, I can bear a little public humiliation. Besides, this drawing, for all its flaws, remains a favorite of mine, if only because it reminds me of Vonnegut and my love for his work.

It’s been a while since I’ve read, or reread, one of his novels, come to think of it. I suddenly have the urge to read Slapstick again.

So long, Kurt.

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