Sunday, May 13, 2018

Free Comic Book Day Highlights

Several Small Reviews

So, I just wrapped up my first turbulent and intriguing year of graduate school and I am still winding down from everything. I’ve spent the past semester learning more about the human skeleton than I thought was possible and managed to name my 20-page research paper from my lithics class with a comic book reference. Next week I’ll be immersed in finishing up as much of my museum work as possible before diving into an intense self-directed study of Pompeii. Only 2 ½ weeks until I leave for Italy for field work! Whew, I am exhausted. Due to this I’ll just be highlighting a few comic book encounters from the past month.

First up, Free Comic Book Day!

My husband, son, and I checked out both of the local comic book stores in our new town and ended up going to the one that not have a line down the street. It was a nice setup and a Spiderman cosplayer gave my son a high five. The store itself was great and had additional sales to go along with FCBD. We got 4 free comics each (which was plenty) and picked up a Mouse Guard alphabet book.

Image result for mouse guard alphabet book

My son can read at this point (level 1 stuff, nothing fancy, but beyond needing an alphabet book) however, this book has neat little Mouse Guard blurbs with each letter and the art is gorgeous. My son loves Mouse Guard and since I always try to purchase something from the store hosting FCBD it was MG or the BB-8 cook book and the recipes did not look exciting (I think my son just liked the pictures). After spending some time with the alphabet book, I feel like it was a good purchase. 

Caution to other parents: Mouse Guard isn’t really made for children. It may look like a child’s book at a glance, but it contains a lot of warfare and death. My son started going through Mouse Guard at age 4 and frequently requests it, but there were quite a few story points he struggled with. He’s still upset about Conrad’s final encounter with the crabs from story arc one. Even so, if they can deal with Mufasa’s death in the Lion King it should be mostly okay.

Image result for wormwood saga fcbd

The other books we picked up that were worth noting are: The Wormwood Saga and Sparks.
The Wormwood Saga was interesting enough that I’d like to pick up further issues at some point. It is definitely all-ages as advertised but the art is oriented towards a young crowd used to animation. Don’t get me wrong, the art is appealing, just somewhat simplistic for my tastes. My son found it easy enough to follow the story though and that’s important for young people reading comics. It seems to be a fairly standard magical fantasy world adventure story (think of the Spiderwick Chronicles, Narnia, and Terebithia type genre). A young boy’s father can create paintings that are portals to another world and the boy shows this to a girl he wants to be friends with to impress her. He’s not supposed to share this with anyone so I’m sure that will go really well for him as the story progresses. Regardless of the seeming predictability, I like this type of genre and would hope the story branches out a bit more as it goes.

Image result for sparks fcbd

Sparks! was the true winner of our FCBD excursion. It hit a lot of high points for my son – cats in a dog robot trying to be heroes. The dog robot even puts out a fire by “peeing” on it. As you can imagine, my 5-year-old was cracking up while reading this book. The art is cartoony, but cute. The whole story is narrated by a sentient litter box and the villain is an alien hiding out as a human infant. This story is definitely for younger kids but it is a lot of fun with likable characters.

Thor: Ragnarok

Image result for tom hiddleston lokiI just saw this for the first time 2 days ago while decompressing from finals. I’m not a big Thor fan but I adore Tom Hiddleston as Loki so I keep watching these movies. First, I still love Loki, never stop stabbing people in the back sir. Besides that, this movie really tried to hard. It was entertaining but seemed to be trying to be sarcastic and funny in a way that works for Guardians of the Galaxy, but not for Thor. I get that the Thor movies aren’t as popular but trying to make it into something it isn’t doesn’t make anything better. Also, does anyone like Bruce Banner? Yuck. My son enjoyed Hulk’s fight with the giant wolf and the overall story was okay.

That’s about it for the past month. Most of it was class work, not much time for comics.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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