Friday, June 22, 2012


Junior Funnies #13 [Harvey; February 1952] was the final issue of
the title.  It had started as Family Funnies and ran eight issues
before becoming Tiny Tot Funnies for a issue and Junior Funnies for
issues #10-13. 

As Family Funnies, it boasted of containing the “world’s best known
comics, all in ONE magazine” and the border around the main cover
illustrations do show well over a dozen characters.  I’m guessing
the title featured reprints of newspaper strips.  The one issue of
Tiny Tot Funnies issue changed the cover slogan to “WORLD’S best
known comics for little folk,” but still featured a dozen or more
characters in its border.

When the title changed to Junior Funnies, the title added “special
new playtime puzzles and games for juniors” and the character line-
up seems to have been reduced to Dagwood, Henry, Popeye, Daisy and
the Katzenjammer Kids.  One issue promised to teach readers how to
make “Dagwood’s soap boat.”

The Grand Comics Database hasn’t indexed these issues yet, so I’m
unable to tell you exactly what was in them.  However, I did find
one online mention of an artist names Frank Fletcher who was said
to have drawn stories of Daisy and Her Pups.  As always, I welcome
further information on this and other comics from my birth month of
December 1951.


My friends at Stormwatch Comics in East Berlin, New Jersey, sent me
all the Free Comic Book Day issues so that I could review them in
this bloggy thing.  If you’re in East Berlin, do me a solid and buy
some comics from them.  They’re good people.

Lady Death is from Boundless Comics, which is a division of Avatar
Press.  Created by Brian Pulido and Steven Hughes, the character is
some kind of goddess and she’s been published in several different
venues over the years.  There was even a Lady Death animated movie
made in 2004 by ADV Films.  Clearly, the character has enjoyed some
success over the years...just not with me.

This FCBD giveaway was 34 pages of full-color comics from the first
Lady Death volume.  Yet, even with so many pages, it failed to make
me care about the lead character or any of the other characters in
the segment.  Indeed, the overwhelming impression I came away from
this comic with was that it was pretty much one bloody fight after
another.  Nothing to win me over, nor any clear explanation of what
was happening.  Some readers will certainly like this better than
I did, but I’d rate it a fail as a FCBD effort.


From Gemstone Publishing, Overstreet’s Comic Book Marketplace #2 is
focused on “the greatest horror comics of all time.”  Since there
is now talk of a second, Halloween-centered Free Comic Book Day, it
would have been better suited for that.

Inside the giveaway, we get a selection of short articles on horror
comics and the creators who worked on them.  Most of the articles
are too short to convey much knowledge and the writing, with a few
notable exceptions, doesn’t have much flair. 

The purpose of this giveaway largely eludes me.  CBM doesn’t come
out on a regular basis, so it’s not really being promoted here.  If
the intent was to promote other Gemstone publications, the giveaway
didn’t do that well either.  I’d have to rare this FCBD item as a
well-intentioned miss.


The Transformers: Regeneration #80.5 [IDW] does a pretty good job
of recapping earlier issues of a title whose numbering is continued
from the Marvel Comics series of the 1980s.  Kudos to writer Simon
Furman for that.  The Andrew Wildman/Stephen Baskerville art looks
good.  It almost makes me wish I gave a rodent’s behind about these
giant shape-shifting robots.  Almost.

This falls squarely into the “if you like this sort of thing, you
will like this comic book” arena.  If you’re a Transformers fan and
you didn’t know about the various comic-book series featuring those
characters, this FCBD giveaway will delight and inform you.  Which
makes it a FCBD success.


Witchblade: Unbalanced (Top Cow/Image) tries to do pretty much the
same thing as the Transformers giveaway.  However, its summation of
the character’s history comes off as a long and tiresome monologue
with illustrations.  I’ve enjoyed the Witchblade comics I’ve read
in the past, but this giveaway wouldn’t inspire me to start reading
the current title.  Your mileage may vary, but this FCBD book just
didn’t work for me.


Worlds of Aspen 2012 “proudly presents a preview of all we have to
offer!” Until an online friend recommended Executive Assistant Iris
to me, I had never read any of this publisher’s titles.  I thought
Iris was a pretty good comic book, so I was eager to see what else
Aspen was doing.  This Free Comic Book Day giveaway didn’t give me
a great deal of information on Aspen’s titles, but a few of them -
Homecoming, Idolized, Shrugged, and various Iris-related series -
did look interesting.  Were money no object, I’d buy all of those.
As it is, I’ll see if I can get the collection editions through my
local library system.  I’d rate this a good FCBD effort.


Yo Gabba Gabba! Free Comic Book Day! [Oni Press] features strange-
looking creatures I’ve only seen from channel-surfing.  I’ve never
watched an episode of the show, but I still found the four stories
featured in this giveaway to be charming, funny, and, very weird.
I have no idea how closely the comic resembles the TV show, but, if
it is like the show, I think fans of the show will also like Oni’s
ongoing comic book.  I still don’t know the who, what and why of Yo
Gabba Gabba
, but this FCBD giveaway seems to be a terrific way to
win the show’s audience to this comic book and, hopefully, comics
in general.


The Zombie Kid FCBD Special by Fred Perry with art by Brian Dehman
(Antarctic Press) isn’t a comic book.  It’s a heavily-illustrated
prose story.  I had a tough time getting through it, but there is
probably an audience for this material.  I’m just not part of it.
The giveaway does a good job of introducing the character, so, on
that basis, it’s a decent FCBD effort.

That concludes my Free Comic Book Day reviews.  I’ll be back on the
morrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella

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