Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Free Comic Book Day Comics Part 4

I shall attempt to keep my remarks short, as I begin to grow weary of this series and am glad to see it come to its conclusion. I have a mere two free comics yet to cover, and I have been saving what is perhaps the coolest Free Comic Book Day offering ever for the very last.
That is not to imply that the first comic under consideration this day, Antarctic Press' Zombie Kid, is bad. Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact.  Not, strictly speaking, a comic, per se, Zombie Kid, designed to resemble a handwritten journal with one or two illustrations per page, in the manner of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, tells the story of Bill Stokes, who, along with his mother, became a zombie as a result of an experimental virus she picked up while a volunteer for a medical test.
Being a zombie is not without certain drawbacks, especially when you're attempting to keep your transformation a secret and continue with a relatively normal life as a typical middle school student, complete with tests, school bullies and everything else that entails.  Still, Bill finds that there are certain advantages to his current condition, especially in regards to his ambition to be a champion professional video gamer.  For example, he notes that his reflexes have greatly improved and that he is able to stare at a TV screen for hours at a time without blinking.
It is Bill's dreams of gaming glory that set up the conflict of the main story here, as he schemes to get out of going on a class field trip which all his friends are looking forward to but that conflicts with a video game tournament that he badly wants to enter and win.
Overall, Zombie Kid is a well written and illustrated book that is perfectly pitched to appeal to its obvious target audience of teenage boys.
They, whoever "they" might be, say that "You get what you pay for," and with Free Comic Book Day comics that is, unfortunately, all too often the case.  I've encountered quite a few that aren't even worth the cover price.  On the other hand, there's Archaia Entertainment's free sampler for 2012, Mouse Guard, Labyrinth and Other Stories: A Free Comic Book Day Hardcover Anthology.
This is a beautifully put together full color fifty page hardcover book featuring complete, albeit short, stories, not just snippets of longer tales, previewing six of Archaia's graphic novel series; Mouse Guard,Labyrinth, based on the Jim Henson film; The Dapper Men, Rust, Cursed Pirate Girl, and Cow Boy.  I really can't believe that Archaia was just giving this book away.  For a product of this quality, I would happily pay around five dollars.  I'm not just referring to the book as mere physical object, either.  The contents reflect some of the best, in both writing and art, that the comics medium has to offer, and all of them are definitely worth reading more of. I certainly hope the investment  Arhaia Entertainment made in producing this truly unique Free Comic Book Day giveaway pays off for them in terms of increased sales of the featured books.
That wraps up Free Comic Book Day for this year.  I'll be back soon with posts about comics I actually paid for, and maybe some I wish I hadn't.

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