- Posted by Johanna on May 9, 2009 at 10:23 pm
- Category: Indy Comic Reviews
Free Comic Book Day was last Saturday, but I haven’t had a chance to read through my haul until now. I’m not reviewing them so much as evaluating them on whether they succeeded in their purpose: making me want to read (and buy) more of their comics.
Here I talk about comics from some of the Silver Sponsors. I previously covered Gold Sponsors.
Comics Festival! (Toronto Comics Art Festival) — Promoting the show that publishes it and independent creators in general, the biggest problem with this anthology is that a page or a half-page isn’t enough to give a real taste of many of the contributors, although cover artist Emmanuel Gilbert gets 10 pages for a Sardine story about throwing baked goods into the sky. I was glad to see favorites like Faith Erin Hicks and Tara Tallan included, but what I saw from the others, mostly unknown to me, wasn’t enough to make me want more. Success rate: Unsuccessful, unfortunately, because I like the intention.
FCHS (AdHouse Books) — A more mature take on high school with simple, open art and a wide cast of characters. The dialogue can be raw, and the situations more mature than the Archie comics which may have been part of the inspiration. (It also reminds me of a modern-day Dazed and Confused.) Unfortunately, there’s not a story here, just introductions to people and situations, and with so many in the cast, it can be hard to understand who’s who. I hope the graphic novel scheduled for the fall actually has a plot. This comic also has a simple-looking “danger pals” backup, but I don’t know who it’s by, and I didn’t find it a very good match for the cover story. Success rate: Marred by the delay and incomplete content.
Love & Capes #10 (Maerkle Press) — I expected to love it, and I did. But then, I’m already a very happy customer of the series. In preparation for their upcoming marriage, Abby takes on Mark’s Crusader powers for a short time, just to better understand that part of his life. It’s very clever reasoning to set up a classic comic girlfriend plot, and as usual, Thom Zahler handles it with a great deal of humor, depth, and emotion. As with most issues of this series, anyone can start reading here, since everything you need to know is covered, even though there’s an ongoing story. Planning a wedding and working out relationship differences are subjects almost anyone can relate to, even if there is a superhero involved. If I could find people to make up a group with me, I’d love to go to a convention as Charlotte, Abby’s snarky sister. Success rate: Fantastic! There’s information on what else is available and how to get it in the back of the issue, and the material is welcoming to everyone.
Nancy & Melvin Monster (Drawn & Quarterly) — Love the design-y covers and the faux yellowed pages. The first Nancy story, where she meets new friend Oona Goosepimple and visits her haunted house, isn’t at all what I expected. I found it very entertaining in an Addams Family style. I also liked the second, about a search for luck and money. The Melvin Monster was similar, like Little Lulu but with creepy creatures. Success rate: Great sampler for the upcoming collections, mentioned in an ad. I’d like to read more.
Owly And Friends (Top Shelf Productions) — Owly solves a gardening problem while caring for his plants and working with his friends. Korgi gets swallowed by some kind of giant creature (odd, but the monster looks like something out of a kid’s imagination). Johnny Boo is goofy weirdness. Success rate: Consistently charming, year after year. I always buy the new Owly books whenever they’re available. The other two aren’t so much for me, but I imagine kids enjoy Boo especially.
Overall, not a highly successful day for me — I found several comics I very much enjoyed, but they were titles I was already familiar with. I suppose I could have passed on some of those I already knew to try less familiar comics, but I didn’t want to miss out on what I already liked. I think that’s the problem that faces most comic customers, come to think of it, when it comes to trying new books.