Well, Free Comic Book Day 2011 is over, but the impact it left has not. This year's FCBD had a massive amount of titles over all genres, that it was easy for some of them to be overlooked a bit. I decided to share two of my favorites with the BSR! readers.
Frist, from Oni Press, we have Rated Free for Everyone. This is definitely an all ages book. We're given previews of two upcoming Oni books, but thankfully both stories stand on their own as well. In Sketch Monster by Joshua Williamson and Vinny Navarrete, we meet Nicole. She's your average 8-year old, except for the fact that the monsters she draws sometimes come to life.
It's a fun romp with Nicole, and her two sketchy pals Happster and Meanie, as they try to figure out how to stop the "Attack of the 100 Foot Booger"! The thing about Sketch Monster than really has me wanting to pick it up the hardcover when it is released in the fall is the bio page after the story. It seems that Nicole expresses herself through her drawings, and the full tale is about growing up and learning self-expression. I really like that. You can have your fun, but there is a lesson attached, too. This book is definitely on my radar, and it would not have been if not for FCBD.
The second story in Free for Everybody is Power Lunch. This tale, by J. Torres and Dean Trippe is why I picked this book up. I am a big fan of Trippe's and Torres is no slouch either. The story itself is a pretty neat concept. Joey, a kind of sickly looking boy, can only eat foods that are white. This seems really odd, and it is, but the fun really starts when Joey's mom allows his to eat different colored foods. Each one gives him a new superpower! Noodles give him the ability to stretch, and miniature chocolate shrinks him, and so on. When he's being picked on at school, he uses his ability to get a little light-hearted payback.
The other FCBD book that surprised the heck out of me, because I enjoyed it so much was Silver Scorpion by Liquid Comics. Even before we get to the story itself, this book is fascinating. While the book is written by Sharad Devarajan and Ron Marz (with art by Mukesh Singh), the concept was created by a group of disabled Syrian and American students.
The story itself revolves around Bashir, an artist who works with metal in his sculptures. One day he and his friend Kamal are searching Bashir's uncle's scrap yard for the perfect piece to Bashir's new masterpiece. The two friends find themselves in a no-man's land where the city's street gangs have mined the area. Tragedy strikes as Kamal is killed, and Bashir loses his legs. The accident leaves Bashir bitter an angry at the world and himself. His fate takes a turn for the strange when he meets Tarek, a friend of his uncle's. Through a series of tragic events, Bashir finds himself with the ability to manipulate metal in all forms, which he can only use to benefit others. As we leave his origin story, Bashir, now the Silver Scorpion is thrust into a world he doesn't fully understand, but it's one I am eager to see unfold.
Before reading this, I have never read a book by Liquid Comics before. I was aware of them, but never really gave them a shot. Now, thanks to Silver Scorpion and Free Comic Book Day, I am much more likely to pick up their stuff. The best thing about Silver Scorpion is that if you missed getting it on FCBD, it's available to read online via Scribd. The book itself says an app for your iDevice is also coming, but as of this writing, it isn't available yet.
Both of these books epitomize what Free Comic Book Day means to me. Not only do you have books that encourages children to get into comics, but you have offerings that can turn the head of even the most seasoned comic fan. The next time you hit up your local shop, see if they can be persuaded to give you a copy of one of these, or the many other smaller press books that were offered this year. You won't be disappointed. After all, they're free!