Thursday, May 23, 2013

Free Comic Book Day - Reviews and Wrapup

It always takes me a while to decompress after any big event, and while this year's Free Comic Book Day doesn't match up to something like, say, Comic-Con, it was still a pretty big deal for me.  As with a lot of things of a similar nature, I spent a lot of time on the buildup to FCBD 2013, and the event itself flew by in a blur.  There are a lot of things I'll take from Saturday, May 4th, but overall I want to express how grateful I am for getting to be a part of it, because it was without question the most notice I've ever gotten in the field of comics.  I got to work on two books that people around the country (and, heck, the world) actively sought out and read not because I talked them into it at a convention or because they were being nice, but because they wanted to and had a genuine interest.  That's very rewarding and it's something I've worked toward for quite some time.

Beyond this, I was able to travel to Boston to meet comic fans and, specifically, fans of the Tick, all of whom were gracious and friendly.  Not only this, but the staff of New England Comics was generous and accommodating to the point that I felt like blushing on several occasions.  It was all very overwhelming, something difficult to put into words.  I realize that comic book careers, such as they are, can be fleeting.  Even if I fall off the face of the earth tomorrow (a distinct possibility, considering how close I live to the edge of the earth), I'll appreciate the time I got to spend in this alternate reality where what I do for fun actually means something outside of my small understanding of existence.

So what I'm saying is that I had a good time.  But enough of that junk.  Let's see what the world had to say about some of the stuff I did for Free Comic Book Day!

Probably the most positive review I saw of both The Tick and FUBAR came from the website "Geek Hard", which not only reviewed both of them, but reviewed both of them consecutively, as the image above displays.  It seems that the website staff enjoyed both books, and they enjoyed FUBAR enough to dedicate a specific review just to that book.

USA Today had several articles about FCBD, and both books were mentioned by the newspaper giant.  In their overall guide, FUBAR was highlighted as a suggested pick for people who like zombies (which seems obvious, I'll admit), with the author saying, "for something completely different, give FUBAR a spin."  In their list of 10 books to pick up, the Tick made it as the number four recommendation!

The websites "Fruitless Pursuits" and "Paradox Comics Group" also had nice reviews of The Tick, with Fruitless Pursuits saying that the issue was "perhaps the most complete offering overall", and PCG scoring the book a 7/10, saying the book "raises a smile", specifically mentioning the two short backup stories with art by Pietro.

Comic database websites were also quick to be updated with information from the two FCBD offerings, and, surprisingly enough, I genuinely had nothing to do with it.  Comic Vine even has a personal entry for me where before there was nothing (that I know of), and Comic Book DB has a fairly comprehensive list of the books I've worked on, as well as information birthday.  Did I put that in a long time ago and forget about it?  It''s possible.  But someone has updated the page, at least, to include several of my more recent books, including some of my lesser-known contributions to books like Hawken and Apes with Uzis.  Perhaps if my OCD gets the best of me, I'll complete the list...for posterity.  Yes, that's it.

Comics superstar (he's also a superstar in other areas of life) Neil Gaiman posted some FUBAR art on his Tumblr page!  Yippie!

"Earth 2 Podcast" did an audio review of some FCBD books, and the Tick was front and center, at about the eight minute mark of the program.  The guy doing the reviews HATED it!  I mean, really despised it.  This is pretty funny, and as strange as it sounds, it's an accomplishment in its own right.  If someone hates your work, at least they care enough to have an opinion about it.  When no one cares one way or another, it's a little worrisome.  But yeah, this guy liked nothing about the book at all.

Twitter was abuzz with reactions to Free Comic Book Day, and the Tick got a few mentions over the infosphere.  I even sent some copies to a few of the folks who couldn't find any for themselves.

One of the funniest things to come from the FCBD weekend was seeing issues of both books pop up on eBay, and especially this, pictured above - someone who stood in line to get an autograph on the 4th put their copy online to sell, assuming that someone would actually like to purchase a book that I both wrote and wrote on.  Furthermore, the person started the bidding at an exorbitant $19.99!  And to top it all off, someone actually bid on the damn thing!  This means that my signature is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 dollars.

Of course, that's absolutely not true, and it's kind of silly that someone decided to spend money on an autographed copy of the Tick FCBD 2013 special.  This book had a healthy print run, and I'm sure that copies of it will be floating around for just about eternity, and they'll be easy to find, to boot.  So if you're reading this post, and you've managed to make it all the way down here, take some good advice from your ol' pal Jeff: don't spend $20 on this book!  I'm sure you can find a cheap copy somewhere, and if you want me to sign it for you, heck, I'll accommodate for no charge.  Promise.

Free Comic Book Day 2013 was a pretty special day for me, and I'm happy to have been a part of it.  It's been very rewarding to read some feedback, and I'm relieved that most of it has been very positive.  There's more to come from both properties, I'm happy to say, so here's to bigger and better things in the not too distant future.  Thanks to everyone who made this a great series of events for me.


Dave said...

I love free comic book day! It seems to get bigger every year and I hope it continues to grow.
It was really great to see The Tick as a free comic. Issues of The tick are few and far between these days so I was pretty darned excited. And it was a satisfying read. I'm glad they picked someone capable of writing The Tick in a way that keeps the character true to his nature as we know it and also brings in a unique style of comedy and story telling. If you ask me, with you and Benito Cereno The Tick comic hasn't been this good since Sean Wang did them. I wish they came out more frequently. This is a major Tick drought going on here.
Anyway, I would like to have seen you on FCBD and have you sign my comic, but I was far away from where you were. I can't wait to read your new story in the BBD #1 reprint. And I hope you get to do more Tick work.

Jeff said...

Hey Dave,

It warms my heart and other internal organs to hear your kind words. I hope you'll consider sending a message to NEC telling them the same! I will say this about the "Tick drought" - I'm workin' on it and hope to have some more news to mention soon.

And if you'd like, I'd be happy to sign...well, anything, really, for you. If you want to send me your address, I can sign and put a copy of the FCBD special in the mail for you. My addy is