Well, folks, it is that time again. It’s time for Free Comic Book Day! On May 6, 2017, comic and book shops across the known ‘verse will offer up exclusive comics to patrons for free. But it’s not just about dropping in and grabbing free loot and bailing. No, friends, this is the day you need to get out and show your appreciation for these stores. Because while the comics are free to you, they are not free to the shopkeepers. They buy those for distribution as a way of thanking us for our business. And what better way to pay it forward is there than to drop a few bucks in their businesses? I’ll leave it to you and your conscience, but know that what you do on FCBD will affect what the shops are able to do in the future. My local comic shop closed, certainly you would not want the same fate for yours, would you? Click here to find a participating comic shop near you!
But all the peer pressure aside, let us take a look at what the day will bring us in the way of comics. But remember, every shop may not have every title.
I would be remiss if I failed to shine a spotlight on my favorite cartoon family and friends. This year Bongo Comics offers up a few stories to please any Simpsons fan in Bongo Comics: Free-For-All. Forcing Bart to become one of the kids he mocks should teach him a lesson, but does it? Milhouse gets a little love in a story all his own, who “nose” maybe you’ll love it as much as I did. A few more shorts stories explore burglary, errant LARPers, and more. A truly worthy look at Bongo for readers this year
With less than a month to go until her first feature film ever, it is only fitting that DC Comics would present DC Comics Rebirth: Wonder Woman for Free Comic Book Day 2017. With a more introspective viewpoint than many would have expected, it comes as no surprise that I enjoyed it immensely. Preparing readers and viewers alike, this comic is a spectacular addition to the ongoing 75th Anniversary of our favorite Amazon, Princess Diana of Themyscira.
As any fan of the franchise will attest, having Dark Horse Comics give us a new vampire slayer story in Buffy: The High Schools Years is like manna from heaven. the best part is not the slaying but the fact that much of it takes place in a comic shop and Buffy even gives a little girl some positive role-modeling. It reminded me of the times I saw my gal pal Lisa introducing comics to young girls, sometimes even in costume! Bonus for this comic: there’s a Plants Vs. Zombies tale, too!
The good folks at American Mythology chose well this year by presenting us with my favorite old school cartoon character, Underdog! Featuring two full length Underdog stories and a one page story of Commander McBragg, this is a comic that will appeal to all ages. Nothing beats the combination of nostalgia and humor, at least not in my book.
So what does a comic that features The Tick contain? Two awesome stories featuring the big blue hero and his sidekick Arthur, that’s what! In the first one, we go on a quest to understand birthdays and give The Tick his first every party to celebrate one. This tale is followed by one that will have you rolling on the floor as it explores politics with a superhero and supervillain angle. Hilarity ensues as our candidates look ever so familiar!
And while that rounds out my top five picks this year for FCBD, there are more than forty additional comics from which to choose. Speaking of, here they are:
2000 A.D.: 2000 A.D.
Action Lab: Miraculous: Tales Of Lady Bug And Cat Noir
Antarctic Press: Steam Wars: Strike Leader
Archie Comics: Betty & Veronica
Archie Comics: Riverdale
Automatic Publishing: Looking Glass Wars
Benitez Productions: Lady Mechanika
BOOM! Studios: Fresh Off The Boat
BOOM! Studios: Summer Blast
CBLDF: Defend Comics
Chapterhouse: Captain Canuck
Dark Horse Comics: Avatar and Briggs Land
DC Comics: DC Superhero Girls
Drawn & Quarterly: Hostage and Popples Of Iraq
Drawn & Quarterly: Colorful Monsters
Dynamite Entertainment: Animal Jam
Epicenter Comics: Tex Patagonia
Fantagraphics Publishing: World’s Greatest Cartoonists
Gemstone Publishing: The Overstreet Guide To Collecting
Humanoids: The Incal
IDW Publishing: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Broken
IDW Publishing: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Image Comics: I Hate Image Comics
Image Comics: Kid Savage
Kodansha: Attack on Titan
Lion Forge Comics: Catalyst Prime
Macmillan: Spill Night
Marvel Comics: Guardians Of The Galaxy
Marvel Comics: Secret Empire with Spider-Man
Nobrow: Hilda’s Back!
Oni Press: Bad Machinery
Oni Press: Rick & Morty
Papercutz: The Loud House
Red 5 Comics: Keyzer Soze and The Rift
Scholastic: Time Shifters
Titan Comics: Doctor Who
Titan Comics: Monster High
Tokyopop: Disney’s Descendants
Udon Entertainment: Street Fighters vs. Wrestlers
United Plankton Pictures: Spongebob Freestyle Funnies
Valiant Entertainment: X-O Manowar
Viz Media: Dragon Ball Super and Boruto
Viz Media: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Ocaraina of Time
Youneek Studios: Malika: Warrior Queen
Z2 Comics: The Ballad Of Franklin Boniesteel
Zenoscope Entertainment: Grimm Fairy Tales