In 2015 and 2017, I read most of the Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) offerings and showcased the ones I thought were worth picking up. Some may call that an act of public service but I truly do this out of the goodness of my heart. Like clockwork, I return two years later to once again read a ridiculous number of comics before listing the ones that gripped me, made me laugh or took my breath away.
Free Comic Book Day is the first Saturday of May and you can find out whether or not your comic book shop is participating here.
Malika: Fire and Frost (Youneek Studios)
This comic is written by Roye Okupe with art by Sunkanmi Akinboye. In 2017, Malika: Warrior Queen made it to my list, but this time, the story takes place in 2025 as opposed to the 15th century. The story has Queen Malika collecting power stones before the bad guys do. It does a great job at enticing people to check out the graphic novel series.
Welcome to the Whedonverse: Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Firefly (BOOM! Studios)
I thought the Firefly story was fine, but what makes the list is the Buffy The Vampire Slayer story “Frenemies” written by Jordie Bellaire with art by Dan Mora and Serg Acuña, colours by Doug Garbark, and lettering by Ed Dukeshire. This is the second time a Buffy comic appeared on my FCBD list and this story felt very much like watching the show. Jordie Bellaire has a great reputation in comics for her colouring and it’ll be interesting to see if this comic adds “great writer” to her utility belt. I plan on adding this series to my reading list.
Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World (Vertical Comics)
I enjoyed reading Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World by Keiichi Sigsawa and Kouhaku Kuroboshi. It’s good to see more manga incorporated into FCBD. I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that it’s an amusing story that makes use of the road trip narrative through a contained detour while also reminding readers that they can access this world again via the series. Oh and it involves a talking motorcycle.
A Sheets Story (Caracal)
I truly dug this story. It’s a mini narrative sent in the world of Brenna Thummler’s Sheets. Marjorie and her family visit her grandmother to celebrate Mother’s Day. Thummler’s colouring is visual eye candy and it’s a perfect short story to nab if your comic shop has it.
Dear Justice League (DC Comics)
This is a preview of the full length graphic novel from DC Comics’s middle grade imprint, DC Zoom, written by Michael Northrop with art by Gustavo Duarte. I’ve been covering DC Comics’ new imprints for the site and from what I’ve read in this sampler, I’m looking forward to reading the full book! It’ll be a delight for kids but also the grown ups in their lives.
The best part of FCBD is finding the gems that you didn’t expect to like. I recommend checking out the comics not on this list too if they look interesting or picking up the ones listed here that you didn’t think you would pick up.