FCBD 2016: All-Ages Gold Comics

Free Comic Book Day is meant to promote comics and is a fun “holiday” every 1st Saturday in May for 15 years now!  The installments in the ComicSpectrum FCBD 2016 Review Extravaganza that will go up today, Thursday May 5th, will be “All Ages” books and are meant to be a guide for what to keep an eye out for this Saturday if you have some kids you’re looking to get comics for (though you’ll no doubt like some of these as an adult too!)

There are 12 “Gold” comics for Free Comic Book Day each year, and every shop that is participating in the FCBD event  is supposed to carry all the Gold Books, so you should be able to find these at any local shop you find here: http://www.freecomicbookday.com/storelocator   Out of the 12 FCBD Gold books this year, 5 were what I’d consider “all ages”, with one of those skewing towards much younger readers.

Remember that while these comics are free to you as a fan, they are NOT free to your comic shop and shops pay some amount of money for each of these comics you carry away with you, so browse around at your local comic shop and buy a few comics while you’re there picking up your FCBD swag.  Hopefully you’re lucky enough to have a local shop having some fun event and/or a nice sale in conjunction with the FCBD festivities!  Get to your shop early for best selection as many shops will run out of free comics later in the day. Let’s look at the Gold all ages books:


CREDIT: Dynamite

Bob’s Burgers FCBD 2016 Edition (Dynamite)
Rating: 3.5/5 – Stories for Fans of the TV Series.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Fans of the Bob’s Burger cartoon will likely enjoy this book by creators who also work on the show.  I’ve never watched the show and was still entertained by the comic, but I don’t think I got as much out of it as people will who are fans of the show.  There are 3 stories focusing on (I believe) the kids of the family.  The first features Tina at school having fun with a cloning machine. Second is a story where a bunch of kids, led by Louise, make a startling discovery in the basement that is both more and less than it seems on first examination.  Finally we have a fun fantasy told in rhyme featuring Gene that ends with a poop joke.  The issue wraps with pinups from various artists.  Seems like a must have for fans of the show.


Layout 1

CREDIT: Bongo Comics

Bongo Comics Free-For-All FCBD 2016 Edition (Bongo)
Rating: 4/5 – The Simpsons vs. Gluten and Other Fun

by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

The Simpsons has been on TV since 1989, it seems like anyone who has not seen at least one episode is really going out of their way to avoid the show and should therefore also avoid this comic.  For the rest of us who are either casual or hard-core fans of the yellow-skinned family from Springfield, did you know Bongo has been publishing Simpsons comics since 1993?  Over 225 issues of the main series and lots of spin-offs.  This comic captures the feel of the TV show and as a casual fan of the show I thoroughly enjoyed it.  We get a main story where Bart & Homer suit up as Pie Man & Cupcake Kid to go after the bakery-based bandit Glutenus Maximus and his sidekick Gluten Tag (what great punt names!).  There’s a hilarious 2-page public service announcement about the dangers of video games by Evan Dorkin, a story where Principal Skinner is mistaken for a vampire, and a few other treats.  Well worth picking up for any Simpsons fan.




BOOM! Studios Summer Blast FCBD 2016 Edition (BOOM!)
Rating: 4.5/5 – Sampler of Series That Are Quite Different.

by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

This is a great sampler for anyone who wants to check out a broad range of stories that show just how different comics can get.  On the “media tie-in” front we get a 5-page story featuring Ludo from Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and a 6-page story with Adventure Time’s Finn & Jake by Box Brown.  There is a new 8-page Mouse Guard story by David Petersen.  Finally, there are preview pages to give a taste of some upcoming projects: 10 pages from “The Cloud” an OGN wherein a boy gets a wishing stone and that’s only the beginning of the adventure.  I must say I was very impressed by Vincenzo Balzano’s art…certainly not “comic book standard”.  We’re treated to a 5-page preview of the upcoming Lumberjanes: Don’t Axe, Don’t Take which follows the girl guides on an edible plant identification that ends in a scary  story around the campfire that is a launchpad for adventure. Rounding out the issue we get 6 pages of Goldie Vance #1 where we get to meet this plucky girl who lives in a Florida resort managed by her father but yearns to be a detective.  This looks like a story in the vein of “Nancy Drew” or “Encyclopedia Brown” updated for modern audiences and told through the visual medium of comics.

This 44 page sampler is jam-packed with material and is my “pick of the page”, a lot of comics fun to use one of your FCBD picks on.



CREDIT: Image Comics

Camp Midnight #1 FCBD 2016 Edition (Image)
Rating: 3.5/5 – The Only Human Girl at Monster Summer Camp.

by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

Skye’s parents put her on the wrong bus and she ended up at a summer camp seemingly populated by monsters where they have midnight snacks of eyeballs, spider legs, and other creepy things associated with monsters in many kid-oriented stories of this nature.  If you have a child who is into the “fun monster” genre (typified by things like Hotel Transylvania) this should be right up their alley.  Writer Steven T. Seagle is co-creator of Ben 10 so he knows how to weave a tale that appeals to kids.  The art by Jason Adam Katenstein is very stylized, have a look at it and see if it’s appealing, I think it’s a good fit for the story, but your mileage may vary.  This comic is a 27 page preview of the 248 page graphic novel, so give this a try and if you like it you can know that you’ll enjoy the full length story.



CREDIT: Viz Media

FCBD 2016 Perfect Square Pokemon Pocket Comics (Viz Media)
Rating: 3.5/5 – Pokemon Fun For Younger Fans.

by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

This title is skewed toward much younger fans who are also Pokemon card/video game/cartoon enthusiasts.  The main story is told in 20 pages with 2 large panels per page.  There are also Pokemon fact and quizzes along the way.  Not much here for older readers, but seems like it will be well received by younger readers who love Pokemon.

That’s it for the Gold books. watch for the next installment of the ComicSpectrum FCBD 2016 review coverage where we go over more all ages books in the “Silver” category that are being offered but may not be carried by every shop.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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1 Response to FCBD 2016: All-Ages Gold Comics

  1. Pingback: Free Comic Book Day 2016: A Comic Fan’s Holiday… | ComicSpectrum – Bob's Blog

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