Friday, May 4, 2007

Hoopla! - Episode 20: Free Comic Book Day!!!

Hello and welcome to Hoopla!, a zesty blend of comic-book reviews, commentary, and weekly excuses for not having written very much. This week we continue in the proud Hoopla! tradition by apologizing for another delay in the eagerly awaited The Shield bonus feature. The Shield is not a comic-book, it's true, but it is one of the best TV shows of all time, and that's gotta count for something. But... not for enough, apparently, because I didn't get to it this week.


On the other hand, it's my birthday today!!! So, cut me some slack, eh?
[Extra-special HAPPY BIRTHDAY going out to Mark, Jason, and Pritam!!! Hey, it's a Hoopla! birthday bonanza!!!]

Anyway, I just received a HUGE box of comics in the mail yesterday (my monthly shipment of yummy goodness) but haven't had a chance to actually read any of them, so we also won't be featuring any comic-book reviews this week.


So, where does that leave us...?

It leaves us with a very brief promo for tomorrow's big event... Free Comic Book Day!!!

Free Comic Book Day is usually scheduled for my birthday or thereabouts, and this is clearly no coincidence. It's because I love comic-books and the comic-books, well, they love me.

And so it is that on Saturday, May 5, you are encouraged--not merely by myself but by the entire comic-book industry--to stroll into your local comic-book store and grab some free comic-books.

[Well, don't actually grab them. That would be rude. You can politely pick them up, though, and take them home, bag them, encase the bag in plastic, and then sell them on e-bay for millions of dollars in a few years.]

A few extra-interesting comics that are being offered tomorrow that you might want to keep an eye open for...

The Train Was Bang On Time—FCBD EDITION
An Episode from The Black Diamond Detective Agency
by Mr. Eddie Campbell

First Second Books celebrates Free Comic Book Day with a preview of the graphic novel The Train Was Bang On Time: An Episode from The Black Diamond Detective Agency by Mr. Eddie Campbell, to be published later this spring. It’s a tale of robbery, explosions, and terror in America's heartland at the turn of the twentieth century.

Eddie Campbell has done some pretty amazing stuff in his time (From Hell, for example) and I have very high hopes for this book.

by Various

Three for the price of… none? Conceived and written by My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy features interior art by Gabriel Bá (Casanova) and Dave Stewart (Hellboy), and covers by multiple-Eisner-Award-winning artist James Jean (Fables). The Umbrella Academy debuts with a 12-page story set before the start of the upcoming series. This issue also features sneak-peeks of two other upcoming Dark Horse titles: Zero Killer, by Rex Mundi creator Arvid Nelson and Matt Camp (Shadows), and Pantheon City, written by Ron Marz (Samurai: Heaven and Earth) and drawn by Clement Sauve (Stormwatch)!

I don't know much about the stories listed above, but I have seen a preview of Pantheon City that looked pretty neat (great art!) and how can a series titledThe Umbrella Academy not be excellent? It hardly seems possible. So, hurray for Dark Horse!!!

by J. Torres & Chynna Clugston-Flores

An all-new, all-ages Johnny DC series spinning out of the smash-hit animated series on Kids WB! starring Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes! In this debut issue, the Legion travels back in time for reinforcements to stop the Fatal Five from destroying Metropolis, because this looks like a job for… Clark Kent?! Can six teenagers from the future help a mild-mannered teenager become the Man of Steel, or will the Fatal Five determine his destiny before it’s even begun?

I'm very much looking forward to this. I've gotta say, though, I think DC screwed up a bit on this in terms of scheduling. They announced that this would be their free comic-book before the original version had even been published. In other words, this is a reprint of a book that just came out a few weeks ago. So, if one were interested in getting this comic, there'd be absolutely no reason to buy it since it's being offered for free.

But, so it goes...

I do think it's a great choice, however, in terms of being accessible to new readers and especially for getting kids interested in comics.

by Various

It’s time again for Comics Festival!, the most exciting FCBD title of the year! Featuring new stories from Darwyn Cooke (The New Frontier), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Hope Larson (Salamander Dream), Chip Zdarsky, Michael Cho, and a host of great Canadian cartoonists (including a full-color section!), Comics Festival! 2007 is the FCBD book not to be missed!

I almost overlooked this one because I've never heard of the publisher (Legion of Evil Press) and the cover is pretty generic and uninteresting.


If you take a look at their little promo text, there are some amazingly talented people working on this, including Darwyn Cooke, who is pretty damn excellent. So, although I don't have much of a sense of what the contents of this book will be, I'm thinking it may be quite excellent indeed.

Lynda Barry Extravaganza—FCBD EDITION

Lynda Barry is one of the best known contemporary cartoonists — her comic is syndicated in numerous weeklies and has been read faithfully by thousands for almost 30 years. She got her start in the late ’70s when her then-schoolmate (a certain fellow by the name of Matt Groening) published her first comic in the school newspaper and the rest, as they say, is history. This all ages, all-Lynda Barry Free Comic Day issue will be an excellent sampler of the work of this legendary cartoonist and will provide a sneak peak at what’s in store from D+Q and Lynda Barry in the months and years ahead. Features an all-new cover by Lynda Barry!

For what it's worth, I once saw Lynda Barry do a live performance and it was absolutely hilarious. I'm not such a big fan of her books, but if you've never read any of her stuff, you definitely should take a look at this. There are those who absolutely love her comics... you may be one of them. Who knows?

by Charles M. Schulz

Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts is the most-reprinted comic strip of all time, with literally hundreds of collections published in the last 50 years. You would expect that by now every Peanuts strip has been collected more than once... and you’d be very wrong! In fact, hundreds of Peanuts strips were never reprinted. The Complete Peanuts has been rectifying this, and The Unseen Peanuts is a special collection of over 100 of these rarities. It’s a great introduction of the strip to new readers, and a fascinating trove of rarities that will surprise and delight even the most diligent Peanuts — a perfect sampler for both neophyte and old hand!

I've been curious about Fantagraphics' Complete Peanuts series and I suppose this will give me a good sense of whether or not I want to start picking up those huge, beautiful, over-priced books.
This is also a good choice from Fantagraphics because it's something that will appeal to kids as well as adults.
Anyway, if you want to know more about the Where, When, Why, and What of Free Comic Book Day, here's a handy-dandy link to all the information you need. There are about 43 different free comics available, so no matter who you are or how difficult to please you may be, there ought to be something there for you.
And it's FREE!!!
Anyway, I'm going to wrap this up and start birthday-ing like it's 1999... but I'll see y'all next week, when we'll finally have The Shield special bonus feature and a bunch o' comic-book reviews. Until then, go get some dang free comics already!!!
- Paul


M said...

What Paul, in all his free comic frenzy, has forgotten to mention is his new URL:

Yes, the old, long URL still works, but your time is precious, so use the new one and bank those extra seconds. Soon you'll have enough time to actually read Paul's blog. Remember, if just one person reads this blog, it doubles the readership. It's that simple!

Happy Birthday to Wilbur!!!!

JK said...


M said...

By the way, nice use of the "lame excuses" tag.