Saturday, May 3, 2014

FCBD 2014

Well, today was Free Comic Book Day. Given that I work for a comic book store, this is a big deal. The idea is that hordes of people come in to pick up sampler titles from various publishers, fall in love with said titles and feel inspired to visit us every week for their fiction fix. The retailers have to outlay lot of money to buy these "free" titles, but hopefully get the balance back in extra sales.

For the most part, this probably works. The kids titles are especially creatively presented. Bongo comics (Simpsons), Mouse Guard, Smurfs, Avatar, Spongebob were all snapped up by our visitors, and rightly so. Even Marvel put out a fun Rocket Racoon preview.

and then there was this:

Futures End #0 FCBD Special Edition
various (8!) writers and artists credited
Now, I'm not a squeamish guy. I love Cronenberg movies. Crossed and Neonomicon are two of my favorite comic books. But this preview grossed me out. You know all those "warning signs" that school counselors look for when deciding whether a student is just being rebellious or actually needs some form of therapy before they shoot up the entire school? Well, the DC editors have probably crossed that line.

What is this constant need to tear everything apart? The first time these gargantuan storylines appeared, they were fresh and featured heroic sacrifices, moments of valor, and hope for the future. Now we get a constant state of Ragnarok.

The kids know how to interpret these characters. We had one young man dressed as a lucha version of Thor, all shiny with tin foil and swirling a cape. I'm sure he doesn't fantasize about the God of Thunder having his limbs torn off by nightmarish robot hybrids. He probably dreams of flying through the air and keeping bad people at bay with his hammer. A better world, not a dead one.

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