Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rayboy's Review: FCBD "Top 10"!!

If Newsarama can get away with listing their top ten reasons why every time Marvel or DC breaks wind it somehow smells like daisies, then so can I. Forty-two individual titles were available for fans who stopped by their local comic book shop last Saturday for "Free Comic Book Day 2012", and that's not counting Hero Clix figures and other remaindered items that the individual shop owners may have offered. Of course not every store carried every single book, but still forty-two books - free for the taking. It's quite an annual event for geeks of all ages, and to be honest, most of my picks for this years top ten fall comfortably within the all-ages purview. 
A number of publishers released two books (and props to them for showcasing as much of their products as possible), but frankly several of this years titles were issued in an anthology format and this didn't work out too well in my opinion. I understand why the publishers opt for this style of presentation, it gives more of a taste of the variety of product that they offer, but frankly the books that featured full issue and/or self-contained stories stood out from the pack simply for being a complete read. While select genres can benefit from this format, not everything lends itself to being fragmented. The New 52 from DC is a prime example.

Without further ado here are the books that I felt deserved the accolade of top ten status (in no particular order): Bongo Comics Free-for-All; Marvel Comics, The Avengers: Age of Ultron; Archaia Entertainment, Mouse Guard: Labyrinth and Other Stories; Oni Press, Yo Gabba Gabba!; Hermes Press, My Favorite Martian; Archie Comics, Sonic the Hedgehog; Boom Entertainment, The Hypernaturals; Viz, Voltron Force: Shelter From the Storm; Fantagraphics, Donald Duck Family Comics; Diamond Distributors, 2000 AD Judge Dredd Special; and my "Honorable Mention Choice" goes to Gemstone Publishing, Overtreet Comic Book Marketplace.

The Mouse Guard hardback book was easily this years best offering in presentation alone, and it even managed to showcase several worthy series from the publisher in an anthology format (so it can effectively be done). You will note that several choices were complete stories (Avengers, Voltron Force, Sonic) and a few reprinted work by classic writers and artists (Dan Spiegle in My Favorite Martian, Carl Barks in Donald Duck, Alan Moore in 2000 AD), plus the Overstreet Marketplace book nicely covered the history of horror comics. No matter how you slice it or what your personal preferences are, this year there was truly something for everybody. We should all be grateful to the publishers, distributors, creators and hundreds of comic shop proprietors for gifting us with another Free Comic Book Day to remember.

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