HOT PICKS: Free Comic Book Day Edition!

All sorts of goodies are available at your local comic shop this weekend — and we pick out our faves!

The regular HOT PICKS crew is here — and I’m joining in on the fun too!


Scott Tipton, Co-Owner, Blastoff Comics, North Hollywood, Calif.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Prelude to Vengeance, IDW Publishing. It’s that rare FCBD book that provides a perfect jumping-on point for new readers. If you’ve been hearing about TMNT because of the recent big storyline, but don’t know where to start, this will get you right up to speed.


Aimee LoSecco, JHU Comic Books, Manhattan

This year was tough.  I’m passing over both Bongo AND Bob’s Burgers for Boom! Studios’ 10th Anniversary Special!  Why? Among other stories you get Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, Mouse Guard, Peanuts and Lumberjanes! LUMBERJAAAANES!


Ted Alexander, manager, Midtown Comics’ Downtown location, Manhattan

Bob’s Burgers, Dynamite. I came across the television show Bob’s Burgers and was lucky enough to score tickets to Bob’s Burgers Live at the Beacon last month. I immediately became a fan of the smart and funny show. It has something for everyone. The comic splits into three stories that include Tina’s Friend Fiction, Louise’s Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities and Gene Belcher Presents: The Musical. I can’t wait for this one!

Tim Finn, Hub Comics, Somerville, Mass.

Comics Festival 2015, Beguiling Books. Teen-and-up comics from Canada’s best? Yes! This single issue has work by Kate Beaton (Hark, A Vagrant), Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Jen Wang (In Real Life) and Faith Erin Hicks (Friends with Boys) and more. It’s like it was made for Hub Comics. But personally I’m more excited about that new Avengers FCBD issue with Miles and Kamala by Mark Waid, but someone’s already picked that, I’m certain. Neither really matter, though. Free Comic Book Day is hyped as a day to get new and lapsed customers into stores. That does happen, but only on that one day. It’s really just a holiday, a shopping holiday, where people who shop at Hub — whether often or not — will come in and buy something. And for that we’re grateful. But this thing where we’re getting people into Secret Wars because of an “important” zero issue? That’s not significant. I’m more excited about giving away to kids a huge stack of Carl Barks albums (that we got for free) and all-ages Marvel superhero comics (that Marvel liquidated at 25 cents), because we can actually do some good there — outreach for kids, teach them to like comic books. Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s might get me there that one day, but it doesn’t magically remind me that I need ice cream every week.


Dimitrios Fragiskatos, manager, Midtown Comics’ Grand Central location, Manhattan

Hip Hop Family Tree 3-in 1, Fantagraphics Books. I loved the Hip Hop Family Tree books. They remind me of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s Comic Book Comics. Highly informative and extremely well drawn, Ed Piskor‘s books are simply some of the best comics I’ve read and I will look forward to any installments of it. The fact that this one is free should be an unneeded reason to pick it up.


Menachem Luchins, owner, Escape Pod Comics, Huntington, L.I.

While there are a lot of great offerings this year (as always!), Drawn & Quarterly wins my spot with their wonderful preview book of not just one but TWO exciting projects. Not only will you get Jillian Tamaki‘s (award winning co-creator of Skim and This One Summer) Super Mutant Magic Academy, you also get Kate Beaton’s latest: a preview of her upcoming collection, Step Aside, Pops! featuring the same hilarious comics about history, literature, and life that made Beaton famous.


NOTE: Instead of Saturday, Escape Pod Comics is hosting Free Comic Book Day on Sunday. Click here for the details.

Dan Greenfield, editor of 13th Dimension

Since I’m not a retailer, I don’t have the same reservations about Free Comic Book Day that Tim does. I just dig it all the way around. For me, the two big books are from the Big Two: DC’s Divergence, which will give us a taste of what July has in store, and Marvel’s Secret Wars #0, which I hope is accessible and interesting enough to get me excited for the event.



For more info on FCBD, click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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