With the witching hour close approaching and the kid in all of us begins to look ahead to Halloween this Friday, the big kid in all of us might be looking at other options for this special time of year. Not all of us can indulge in the sweet treasures of trick-or-treating. What better substitute than some good ol’ fashioned (new) comic books.
This past Saturday was Halloween ComicFest at comic book stores across the land. Marketed by Diamond Comic Distributors for the third consecutive year, patrons could go into their favorite hangout and pick up some cool free comics. Best of all, most of the comics are themed around horror and include some of your favorite characters.
I had the pleasure of visiting the friendly Nerdageddon store located in Brighton, Michigan where they had a few artists and authors on hand for signings or just to chat. Like most comic stores, I didn’t make it out the door without purchasing a few comics to go along with the free copies. Trick-or-treating just doesn’t get any better than that.
Thought store supplies varied, there were nineteen free spooky titles available in all, including twelve full size comics and seven “mini” comics. And the material was impressive for the price and there was something for all ages.
One of the comics my kids chose was the Scooby-Doo Team-Up #1 Featuring Batman and Robin. You can’t go wrong with those meddling kids, but when the dynamic duo join the amateur sleuths in the investigation of mysterious bat sightings, it turns out there is something a lot more villainous than a few petty thieves dressed as bats. The real Man-Bat is in town and causing havoc, and it is up the caped crusaders and their ghost busting friends to bring him down. Did I say my kids picked this one? Admittedly, Scooby-Doo was on my radar (unintended bat reference) so I didn’t mind this nice story written by Sholly Fisch and artwork by Dario Brizuela.
My personal favorite was Afterlife with Archie #1 which turns out to be just as creepy as it is sad. Though the storyline would have been interesting, this new angle has nothing to do with the demise of Archie in the July 2014 issue of Life with Archie. Written by Harvey Award winner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and with art by Eisner winner Francesso Francavilla, this new story (and probable series) takes the Riverdale gang into the dark corners of a zombie apocalypse. The comic also introduces another anticipated demonic series titled Sabrina by the same creative duo of Aguirre-Sacasa and Francavilla.
This is just a small sampling of what you would find at the free comic book event. If you missed it, be sure to mark your calendar for next year.
Halloween is the one time a year where everybody has the excuse to do a little cosplay. But to the fandom, you don’t have to limit your trick-or-treating haul to morsels of candy. Thanks to Halloween ComicFest, it’s free comic book day and you don’t have to wait until May.