Last week we popped into our local comic shop (Piranha Comics in Kingston) on a hunt for collected Adventure Time volumes. While they didn’t have anything we didn’t already have, the fellow behind the counter reminded me to come back on Saturday for Free Comic Book Day, which is exactly what we did. Every year I either forget or seem to miss our on Free Comic Book Day, but I made sure to put in my calendar this time.

When we arrived yesterday, there was a considerable range of free comics to choose from, and it was great to see that there were plenty pitched at younger readers. There was a limit of five per customer, so I we got three for Tanooki and two for me (Bobs Burgers and TMNT). I also sprung for issue one of the new ‘[Dceased]’ book on a recommendation from the attendant.

Pokemon the Movie: I Choose You

Story and art by Roy Takamisaki. Rated A for All Ages

Tanooki is culturally aware of Pokemon, having played the free Pokemon Quest game on Switch, and seeing the Detective Pikachu trailer in the cinema. I missed the boat on the phenomenon – it came about when I didn’t have time to invest in the games or the cartoon, but I’m along for the ride if Tanooki takes an interest so that we can discover it together.

This book has two stories. The first is an adaptation of the Pokemon movie, and the second is adapted from Pokemon Adventures. Added bonus: it’s structured in Japanese Manga style, so the book is read from back to front, right to left.

My only beef with this book is that there are an awful lot of sound effects, which don’t exactly lend themselves to the reading experience, but that’s more an issue with having a very young reader than to do with how the book is written.

Lumberjanes: Shape of Friendship

Story and art by Lilah Sturges / Polterink. Rated A for All Ages.

I’ve heard good things about the Lumberjanes over the past years, so this was as good an excuse as any to read one of the comics.

The story is set in and around Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, a summer camp whose attendees are known as Lumberjane Scouts. The five scouts of the Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal and Ripley—witness a mysterious old woman transforming into a bear, and after following her into the woods, encounter a hostile pack of three-eyed supernatural foxes. As more three-eyed creatures start to appear, the girls task themselves with solving the mysteries surrounding the camp.

There are two stories in this book. In the first, the Lumberjanes are fighting off a hydra at the neighbouring boy’s camp and serves as a prelude to a graphic novel coming out this November. The second is a self contained story where one of the ‘Janes rescues their counsellor while encountering a mysterious Sphinx. Wonderfully chaotic in places without confusing panels, and mischievous in all the right places. I’m thinking we might take a liking to this in the long term.

Discover more about Lumberjanes on Wikipedia.

A Sheets Story

Story and art by Brenna Thummler. Rated A for All Ages.

This short story is spun off of Thummler’s ‘Sheets’, which follows 13 year old Marjorie and Wendell, her ghost friend. In this short story we follow
Marjorie, her father and brother on a trip to her grandmother’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day.

It’s a good read. Emotions expressed within the book are especially visually communicative, making great use of the medium.

Discover more about Sheets on Goodreads.

Thanks to Piranha Comics for being awesome and reminding me about Free Comic Book Day (and also for putting up with my Sonic the Hedgehog rant). If you didn’t get a chance to pick up any freebies yesterday, I’m sure that many stores will still have some available for pickup through the weekend.

Free Comic Book Day exists to raise awareness of many indie stores that thrive on brick and mortar business. Even if comics aren’t your bag, lots of stores have opened themselves up to other things, like hosting live events or role playing sessions.