The main point of Free Comic Book Day seems to be to get people into their local comics stores, but the free comics serve another purpose as well: It’s a way to check out new work you might not otherwise see. So now that FCBD is over, here are a few of the freebies that I found online, all of which are worth at least a look.
The FCBD people have put short samples of six titles online using ettitude’s reader: You click on a corner of the page to turn it. The best of these is Fantagraphics’ Unseen Peanuts, because it crams so many strips into such a short space. I really thought this comic was the best of the bunch, and the six-page online sampler has enough of Charles Schultz’s “lost” strips to be satisfying. Thom Zahler ladles out a generous eight pages of Love and Capes, the funny and very amiable romance between a superhero and a bookstore owner. If the FCBD sample tickles your fancy, you can read the first 36 strips online and order more here.On the other hand, the online snippet of Eddie Campbell’s The Train Was Bang on Time is beautiful but way too short.
Wide Awake Press put their entire sampler online: Eats showcases 13 artists with nary a dud in the bunch. The stories, all of which are loosely based around food, are witty and well drawn. Cleverly, Wide Awake’s reader displays a link to the website of the artist responsible for the page being displayed, so if you like what you see, more is just a click away.
Finally, if you’re late to the party, the 2005 Comics Festival offers thin slices of comics from a variety of creators, including Chip Zdarsky, Dave Sim, and Hope Larson. And it hasn’t gone a bit stale in two years.