A Guide to Free Comic Book Day 2017

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Two years ago, I read all of the Free Comic Book Day offerings in one day and listed the titles you definitely needed to pick up. I did it again with a new crop of comics! There were some great titles and hopefully, they’ll get reluctant readers to dive into the world of sequential storytelling.

The event takes place at a participating comic shops on Saturday, May 6th.

Top Picks

Malika: Warrior Queen (Youneek Studios)

I really enjoyed this comic about a warrior queen caught between a rebellion and foreign pressures. It’s set in 15th-century Africa and it’s awesome. I want to read more from creators Roye Okupe, Ayodele Elegba, Chima Kalu and Godwin Akpan. Please, give me more.

Fresh Off the Boat (BOOM! Studios)

Gene Luen Yang is really great at matching the voice of the comic with its TV counterpart. I saw this with the Avatar: The Last Airbender comic series at Dark Horse and he does it again with Fresh Off the Boat. It was a very entertaining read and Jorge Corona — loved his art in DC Comics’ We Are Robin — adds flair to the character design. If you enjoy the show, you’ll love it. If you haven’t seen the show, you’ll love it.

Wonder Woman #1 Special Edition (DC Comics)

I wrote about this issue when it came out and loved it so much. I think it was a smart choice for DC to go with this issue because 1) it’s accessible and fantastic but also 2) their Wonder Woman film is coming out in a month! If you haven’t read Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott’s take on Wonder Woman, you should. The art is gorgeous (the colouring!) and develops its character quickly.

I also recommend these two!

  • Steam Wars: Strike Leader (Antarctic Press)
  • Buffy: The High School Years featuring Plants vs Zombies (Dark Horse Comics)

Fantastic art, great story and some wit throw in there too (I’m advocating mostly for Buffy and less so for Plants vs Zombies).

Collected Previews

Hilda’s Back featuring Garbage Night (Nobrow Press)

I read Hilda and The Stone Forest by Luke Pearson months ago and it’s a great all ages book. In this Nobrow sampler, you also have Jen Lee’s Garbage Night which is making its TCAF debut next weekend before releasing in North American in June. After reading the preview, I’m excited to get my hands on it.

Other previews that showcase their publishers well:

  • Miraculous featuring Kid Sherlock and Toyetica (Action Labs)
  • Summer Blast (BOOM! Studios)
  • Hostage featuring Poppies of Iraq (Drawn and Quarterly)

I love Kid Sherlock which has Sherlock as a child but it also has Watson as an adorable dog.

For the Youths

Barbie (Papercutz)

I grew up playing with Barbie as both a doll and a PC game. The comic is pretty good with two stories written by Sarah Kuhn (author of Heroine Complex) and Tini Howard with art by Jules Rivera and Alitha Martinez. It’s a fun read and yes, Barbie has two different careers that these stories explore.

Bad Machinery (Oni Press)

I couldn’t get into John Allison’s other comic series, Giant Days, to my dismay but I did enjoy Bad Machinery. Who doesn’t love kids trying to solve mysteries? The characters are amusing and it did an excellent job of getting me to want to read more of the story which is what Free Comic Book Day is all about.

Other comics for the young people in your life:

Manga

Attack on Titan (Kodansha)

Megan has written about Attack on Titan already so I recommend checking that out. I think the manga offering is pretty disappointing which is unfortunate given the great manga titles out there (*cough* Yen Press’ Horimiya *cough*). Vernieda writes more about that in Free Comic Book Day: Where’s Your Manga? 

There are other manga titles you should check out below:

  • Dragon Ball Super featuring Boruto (Viz Media)
  • The Legend of Zelda (Viz Media)

Honourable Mentions

They make you laugh or have that X factor that makes you want to keep reading. Who knows? Maybe you’ll dig them.

  • Spongebob Freestyle Funnies (United Plankton Pictures)
  • The Tick (New England Comics)
  • Free For All: The Simpsons (Bongo Comics)
  • The Looking Glass Wars: Crossfire
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About Author

Senior Editor. BA in criminals (a minor in daydreams). Batman seeks her advice constantly. Bylines at Book Riot, Teen Vogue, Slate, The Toast and Hyperallergic.

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