Thoughts while continuing to wade through the "To Read" pile: FCBD edition.

I was doing so well getting through the To Read pile, and then Free Comic Book Day had to go and just about double it again. But like I'm going to turn down free comics? Nope... even if it does make me look like a greedy hoarder, I take one of everything that looks interesting to me. It's the best chance all year to try out new stuff and get re-acquainted with some old favorites at the same time. Besides, I had Liam with me, and I grabbed quite a bit of kid-friendly stuff for him that we'll read together as soon as he learns to be a little less grabby and destructive with books and magazines (the kid can wreck even the heartiest of board books... you should see what he can do to a magazine or catalog if the mood strikes).

Long story short - too late - here are some more brief thoughts about stuff I've read, this time focusing on some of the FCBD books we got.

Unseen Peanuts - Wow. Even dated, weird, or just unfunny classic Peanuts strips are still in a category above almost everything else, huh? My favorite part about this (besides the cover, which mimicked the old paperback collection covers) was that it took me almost an hour to read; it takes me less than ten minutes to read a book I pay $3 to $4 for, and this freebie takes me 6 times that. Fun and economical!

Comics Festival 2007 - Lots of great stuff here - like the Darwyn Cook piece and the funny-but-scarily-true Dinosaur Comics strip, to name two - but I think my favorite was the piece by Bryan Lee O'Malley starring my favorite supporting cast member from the Scott Pilgrim books, Kim Pine. It captured the flavors of the character herself and the book she hails from, but still works well as its own entity. The Frasier to Scott Pilgrim's Cheers, if you will. I'd like to see more.

Amazing Spider-Man: Swing Shift - The Slott/Jiminez story was more fun than any regular Spider-book has been in years, but I got the uneasy feeling from what I was reading that Joey da Q's gonna get his pre-marriage Spider-Man back after this One More Day malarkey. Not bad, and certainly more readable than JMS, but I'd still rather read Marvel Adventures or Spidey Loves MJ.

Amelia Rules - Hangin' Out - The Amelia Rules FCBD books are always highlights for me, and this one was no exception. Lots of good laughs in here - Reggie's definition of "hanging out" and the pay-off of Rhonda's cold were my favorites - and I'm reminded yet again that I need to get the rest of the trades for this series. Didn't care much for the Apathy Kat back-up, though. Kinda generic and just not very funny.

Gumby Special 2007 - More bizarre Gumby hi-jinks from Bob Burden. Very fun story, but I wish they had gone with just one artist. The shifting in styles was just too jarring for me.

Umbrella Academy/Pantheon City/Zero Killer - My niece actually told me to keep an eye out for Umbrella Academy because of the My Chemical Romance connection, which I thought was pretty cool, and cooler still was the fact that I thought it was a lot of fun. Maybe a little derivative of B.P.R.D. (probably because of the Gabriel Ba artwork), but fun. The Pantheon City snippet didn't really go anywhere, per se, but I did like it. Zero Killer, though, is definitely not for me. But as the 'Loaf sang, two out of three ain't bad.

Bongo's Free For All 2007 - I usually end up liking the Bongo FCBD books best, but this year's fell flat for me. I'm not really a Futurama fan, I don't think Bart Simpson-centric stories are particularly fun (even when written by Evan Dorkin, apparently), and Ralph Wiggum is a better supporting cast member than protagonist. I would've preferred a story with the whole Simpsons family, or at least just Homer, and maybe something from the Radioactive Man side of things, too. I didn't dislike this, but I was certainly disappointed.

Wahoo Morris - The lead characters were kinda boring, I wanted to smack the allegedly funny roommate guy, and the supernatural element comes jarringly out of left field at the last second. I get what it's trying to do, but it doesn't do it in a way that makes me ever want to read another issue.

The Astounding Wolf-Man - I think the premise is interesting enough - dude gets mauled by werewolf, but decides to use the curse to be a hero instead of a monster - but this introductory issue didn't exactly grab me. But Kirkman's one of those guys who reads better in the trades, anyway, so maybe I can give this another shot somewhere down the line. And the Jason Howard artwork was quite nice, I thought, so there's another reason to give this the eventual second chance.

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