Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Free Comic Book Day

It's Coming!! Only 4 days away now. We're crazy busy here, between getting ready for Scott McCloud last week and then FCBD this week, plus the new Magic: The Gathering set releases on Friday and there's New Comics Day tomorrow. (We're getting MORE new action figure toys - I've got NO IDEA where to go with these anymore.)

I like to read some of the FCBD books in advance, so I can help people choose. But with everything going on I've only had time for a couple.

"The Blue Diamond Detective Agency - The Train was Bang On Time" started slow, especially since the art was really a black & white sketch style that made it hard for me to figure out who was who at first. But once I got that sorted out and the mystery started to unfold, it got good - just in time for the book to end. The full version is a graphic novel that should come out sometime this summer.

"Writing the Unthinkable Activity Book" is kind of interesting if you are looking for a how-to-write book. Not even so much how to write comics, but more just how to write. There are a bunch of exercises to guide one in writing and lessons to help writers keep writing. Plus it has lots of weird art too (all black and white).

"The Legion of Superheroes" is very similar to the episode of the cartoon I watched a few weeks ago. It's a cute kids book based on the cute TV cartoon - kids will love it and adults who like the Legion or cute stuff will like it too.

Now that's all I've read so far. But, lucky for me, Kelly - who works at our store - happened to read a bunch. Click here to read her reviews.

One thing she pointed out that really made me scratch my head - Devil's Due paired Hack/Slash, a fairly adult comic of a violent and sexual nature with Family Guy, a comic book that a lot of tweens and teens would like. I thought last year's pairing of Star Wars and Conan was bad, but this one is even worse. I'm half tempted to rip the two in half! I have even told a couple of kids who were looking for Family Guy comics that there will be one for FCBD - but now when they ask for it I'll have to explain that it might not be for them because of the Hack/Slash comic it's attached to. Family Guy with G.I. Joe would have been fine, even pairing it with one of the Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms books would have worked, even Buffy or Hellboy. Sure, Family Guy isn't really for kids - and we tell parents that. But many parents are fine with the comic if their child is already watching the TV show. I could see kids 12 and up reading it. But pairing it with Hack/Slash now makes it more of a 16+ item. Who runs that place?


Tim Seeley said...

I'm sorry you were upset by that..but we always intended for Family Guy to be for 15-16 years and up. Hack/Slash as well. Family Guy, at least to us as publishers, was always intended for older teens and adults. It's dirty, which usually offends parents more than the violence of a book like Hack/Slash. I apologize if this caused you troubles.

Lisa said...

Tim - that might be part of the problem - making a comic book based on cartoon characters on Network TV during prime time into a book for older teens. It's the same thing we have to deal with when it comes to the Simpsons. Parents don't always realize what their kids are watching, but if it's in print and they see it they could potentially sue. Making a comic book geared to that age while having a mass appeal to kids younger than that, especially for Free Comic Book Day, a day when stores get tons of kids in, now makes it MY job to be the ratings police. I'd prefer not to have to do that - especially on a day when comics are free for the taking.

But thank you for coming here and explaining what you guys were thinking and apologizing. I do very much appreciate that!

Tim Seeley said...

No problem. I just think as publishers we did everything we could. We marked it 14+ on both sides of the book, we solicited as mature readers...all we can do at that point is leave it up to the eyes of the parents who, if they've ever seen Family Guy should know that content wise, it's not a show, OR a comic book for young kids.

Lisa said...

Tim - one of my employees did bring up a good point though - should teens be reading comics that show women being tortured? And an F!#@ you? I'm not so sure that its even appropriate for 14 year-olds. The adult themed humor in Family Guy isn't the same as seeing a woman being tortured in Hack/Slash. I don't think we'll ever see a Hack/Slash cartoon on network TV during prime time.