Big comic book week wraps with Free Comic Book Day 2012

In a big comic book week that was highlighted by the release of the second wave of New 52 comics by DC on Wednesday, The Avengers Marathon in theaters on Thursday, and the U.S. premiere of The Avengers movie on Friday, droves of comic book readers young and old raided comic book stores Saturday across the country for the annual Free Comic Book Day.  Even at a big store like the one where I get my weekly books you could have showed up hours into the day and have a nice pick from dozens of books, from the obscure like My Favorite Martian to DC Comics’ and Marvels’s latest freebies.

The strangest free comic must be Graphic Elvis by Liquid Comics, a bizarre homage to the King of Rock and Roll that even includes a story by Stan Lee of Elvis going to heaven (for anyone thinking he’s still around).

I always pick up the latest Aspen comics book to see what they are up to–always full of good art of the Michael Turner influence, but unfortunately not a full story issue.

Boundless Comics’ Lady Death: The Beginning actually included a cover to cover, complete story with great artwork.

For the three people out there that missed DC Comics’s New 52 releases, The New 52! Issue #1 offered some nice overview panels including previews of this week’s Second Wave titles.

Dark Horse offered up a younger-leaning flip book featuring Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Guild, both with half-length stories.

Borg fans will like seeing that the Marvel free book was a complete Ultron story, The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Liquid Comics presented what really is a cool sketch book featuring a preview of the new Dinosaurs vs. Aliens graphic novel due out this summer.  Only a short amount of Grant Morrison’s story was included but the art was superb, including sketches and script page excerpts.  I just hope the full version is not another Cowboys and Aliens type release that can’t get past its title.

But the big winner is Archaia Entertainment’s hardcover–in part for being the first Free Comic Book day hardcover edition ever released.  Comprised of six complete short stories including one from the brilliant writer/artist David Petersen and his Mouse Guard characters, this book reminds me of how cool it was when Batman: The Killing Joke hit the stands as the first big and shiny prestige format comic years ago.  Great design and content = a book more than worth the trip to the comic store.

Of course, as we mentioned earlier last week, you could see plenty of writers and artists doing signings and sketches.  One fireman visiting Elite Comics was very impressed with a caricature drawn of him by a local artist.  We had fun with costumed characters giving several kids and adults a chance to get photos with their favorite genre characters.

CJ Bunce as Gimli’s taller brother Jimli, John Clark as Superman from this week’s Action Comics #9, Iron Man from IBOT, and Trina Rice as American Dream, at Elite Comics in Overland Park, KS. Photo by Justin Cline.

I always enjoy catching up with Ande Parks, who mentioned a new Dynamite series he is writing to be released soon featuring WitchBlade.  And plenty of visitors bought back issues for half price or less, which can’t be beat.

Another successful Free Comic Book Day is “one for the books” as they say.

C.J. Bunce


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