Sometimes you get what you pay for on Free Comic Book Day: Giveaway titles can prove forgettable and crassly commercial. Occasionally, you can find a real gem, though, like 2007's Unseen Peanuts from Fantagraphics. The collection of 150 "lost" "Peanuts" comic strips from the '50s and '60s offered a fascinating perspective on the artistry of Charlie Brown creator Charles Schulz. Of the 33 titles listed on the official 2010 Free Comic Book Day site, the following are worth snapping up while supplies last.
Owly & Friends (Top Shelf Productions) Every year, Marietta's Top Shelf releases a charming family sampler, with Owly by Lilburn's Andy Runton as its centerpiece. A great "gateway" comic for youngsters.
ONI Press Free-For-All #1 (ONI Press) Along with a family-friendly tale from "The Crogan Adventures," this anthology features a story from Matthew Loux's "Salt Water Taffy" and a sneak peek at Ray Fawkes' "Possessions."
War of the Superman #0 (DC Comics) James Robinson continues an intriguing run on Superman. This kickoff to a typically cataclysmic event series sees the Man of Steel take on tens of thousands of renegade Kryptonians. One of those get-in-on-the-ground-floor books, which you can consider a recommendation or a warning.
Bongo Comics Free-For-All 2010 (Bongo Comics) Matt Groening's comics tie-in for "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" reliably taps into the spirit of old Mad magazines. The cover spoofs the first appearance of Spider-man, with "The Simpsons'" Comic Book Guy in place of the web-slinger.
Love and Capes 13 (Maerkle Press) Free Comic Book Day's the ideal time to discover titles such as Thomas F. Zahler's charming, pleasantly talky story about an ordinary woman's relationship with a costumed superhero.
Weathercraft and Other Unusual Tales (Fantagraphics) The prestigious publisher's free title this year showcases the hallucinatory work of Jim Woodring. It includes an excerpt from the new graphic novel Weathercraft, as well as never-before-published material from his best-known series, Frank.
Iron Man: Supernova (Marvel) With Iron Man 2 out next week, Marvel releases two different Tony Stark-related titles. Iron Man: Supernova features a lighthearted team-up with teenage superhero Nova in a battle with the Red Ghost's Super-Apes. It's got a droll sense of humor, as shown by the title, "There's An Ape For That."
The Tick #1 (NEC Press) This special edition reprints the first, 1986 issue of Ben Edlund's nutzoid superhero The Tick, who would go on to star in live action and animated TV shows.
Note: Not all comic book stores may carry all free titles.
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