Thursday, February 14, 2008


To help dispel the February blahs just open up the Previews magazine and take a look at some of the stuff coming up in April.
Right at the front of the catalog is the list of comics to look forward to on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY on Saturday May 3rd. I can't tell you how excited I get every year at the sight of all those great books I can use to help bring new readers into the store(or entice lapsed readers to return). Make no mistake, this is a huge investment in time and money for me as I try to order enough material not just for FREE COMIC DAY itself but to hold sufficient quantity in stock to use for school and library donations all through the coming year. Any I have left by October get bundled up for Halloween goodie packs. But the cost is more than justified when I see that look on a little ones face as they get a comic in their hands and start into it before even leaving the store.

Archie Comics gives us 2 entries again this year and both are great all ages choices. The Jughead comic is a new story featuring a look at the Geppi Entertainment Museum. I'm not sure if this is Archie's way of sucking up to the boss or not (Steve Geppi owns Diamond Comics, the sole source of all North American comics). Still it sounds like the kind of place I would like to open if I had a million bucks to spend. Their 2nd pick is a reprint of the first Sonic comic which given that the book is quickly approaching the 200th issue mark is quite a piece of history and much older than the majority of its current readers. They are both good choices as anyone who likes what they see can easily find more of the same in the dozens of paperback collections available or the many years worth of older single issues.

Not so good a choice are the selections from DC Comics. Once again they deliver 2 books, both reprint material. The first is, All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison, and while an excellent Silver-Age style comic that is still suitable for younger fans, there isn't really any way for a new reader to follow up on the rest of the story without shelling out $20.00 for the hardcover collection or trying to track down the single issues(probably more than $20.00 if you did).
A better, but annoying choice is the Tiny Titans. A fun all-ages version of the Titans characters many kids will be familair with(although very different in look from the Titans Go cartoon). The problem is their won't be much follow up material for this book either. The Titans Go digest books are a good read for the money but not quite the same as these characters. And I'd hate to see any parent pick up the regular Teen Titans for a little one thinking its all the same thing.

Marvel covers the bases with X-Men for the teens and Marvel Adventures for the kids. The X-men is a new story by Greg Land and Mike Carey that will most likely tie in with Marvels plans for the big X-Men #500 coming in July. The Marvel Adventures issue features Iron Man, Hulk and Spider-Man. With the Iron Man movie coming out the same weekend and the Hulk movie the following month this one is a natural, and with the regular release of the monthly comics for all 3 characters plus the kid sized digest collections, finding enough material for the most avid reader should be no problem.
Speaking of movies, there's no denying the Transformers was a big hit last summer and the new animated adventures should do well also. This comic may be a nice lead in to the cartoon, but whether it will interest kids in reading a monthly comic is another story.
The Bongo entry this year again features the Simpsons and Futurama, but apparently in a digest format this time. I like the idea of making the comic a smaller more portable size, but unless Bongo intends to start collecting material in this format, it may be confusing to customers looking for their next read.
The Disney entry is usually one of the most popular each year, but this time around they are going with one of the less familiar but fun characters Gyro Gearloose. At least Donald and the boys are included on the cover. I almost wish they'd stop doing Disney entries for Free Comic day as there is virtually no support issues available at all as the regular sized monthly comics and digest collections ended over a year ago. Even the square bound deluxe comics seem to be coming in less frequently. Still as I said, its all about that look on their face as they clutch their new possession and the ducks are universally accepted as good for kids.
For more FREE comics and stuff coming SATURDAY MAY 3rd check out the on-line store and keep your eyes on this site as I will be planning some specials to co-incide with the big day.

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