Random – So this past weekend was Free Comic Book Day, I packed up the family and made our semi-annual trek down to Dearborn MI to visit Green Brain Comics. Last year I was bummed with the way the event was handled at my local stores so going back to our old neighborhood was refreshing. They pull out all the stops with artists on hand, people in costume and charity drives to get more free stuff.
Of course "free" means I spent more than I anticipated on some new books. As of late my comic budget has been pretty scare to nonexistent so it was nice to get some of the back issues I wanted to read.
First up, I picked up the All New Ghost Rider – I was sceptical about it as Ghost Rider doesn't ride a bike and lives in East LA. When I heard this concept I immediately thought that Marvel was reaching with their "ethnic reimagining" of some characters. As a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to messing with characters I like this irritated me to no end. Of course after giving the book a chance and reading the first two issues I have to say they've done a nice job with the character and I can see picking this up for a while to see where it goes. The book was really light on action (as well as Ghost Rider) but the set-up of a young kid raising his disabled brother while dealing with the thugs and gang bangers in his neighborhood is worth the read. I'm hoping the pace picks up over the course of the next few issues. It's really hard to convey the same sense of motion that the biker version had as the character is confined to a big black box most of the time. They do a nice job with the panels to convey a Fast and the Furious feel to the action without being boring drawing of speedometers and gear-shifts.
I also picked up the Dredd: Underbelly movie sequel and a few other IDW Dredd books. I haven't had a chance to read through them but a quick flip through made them look promising.
So where's the Free? Well with the whole family making the trek we each got five books and donated a bunch of food and old cell phones to get more. The selection of free books this year was very good. Marvel had a big Guardians of the Galaxy push with them featured in several books. My son picked up a few young reader books which I also enjoyed reading Atomic Robo and Boodie Troll were really good and I'm tempted to see about getting some the their trades. My daughter really liked the Walking Dead book and was bummed that the BONGO book didn't feature Futurama but was just another Simpsons book (which she still enjoyed)
My favorite free book was the 2000AD sampler which had a good selection of material to read and enjoy. I really like the Dredd story and some of the old reprints of the Newspaper strip were really funny. The Rogue Trooper story was ok but it seems like he could have had a better introduction to the character.
The Durahm Red story was pretty cool but the art on it felt super punk rock circa 1980. Which does seem to be the general theme for some of the 2000ad material.