Free Comic Book Day: Children's Highlights: Jellaby, Maddy Kettle, and Midnight Tiger

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Photo courtesy Top Shelf

Now that you’ve read Lisa Tate’s article on why parents should embrace Free Comic Book Day this Saturday,  I wanted to provide a preview of the stories that will be available, especially to kids.

I received nearly all the FCBD issues from Diamond Distributors last week and quickly divided them into three piles: all ages, young readers from about eight to twelve, and teen plus.

To my surprise, the comics available in the first two categories far exceeded those in the last category. Why a surprise? Because right now, the market seems dominated by DC and Marvel stories that are at least teen-rated.

But the selection available for FCBD shows that there are many great stories available for kids and tweens.

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Photo via Action Labs

These include familiar properties like Sonic the Hedgehog, DC’s Tiny Titans, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Rocket Raccoon, The Simpsons, Smurfs, Adventure Time, a preview of Fantagraphics collection of Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Hello Kitty, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Tick,  and a wonderful manga version of Les Miserables.

But it also included several lesser known titles that I’d highly recommend for all-ages or for younger children.

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Page from FCBD edition of Adventures of Jellaby (Capstone)

The Adventures of Jellaby (Capstone) by Kean Soo:

A 10-year-old girl rescues a lost monster, and adventures and humor result. So adorable that it reminded me of Owly. I want to hug the poor monster.

Suitable for adults too. The “aww…” factor is quite high.

The Adventures of Maddy Kettle (Top Shelf) by Eric Orchard: 

A preview of the fantasy series starring an eleven-year-old girl with a pet toad and two parents who have been magicked into kangaroo rats. The art style reminded me, in a good way, of Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother. There is a full volume of stories already collected for any children hooked from the free edition.

Skyward & Midnight Tiger (Action Labs) by (W) Jeremy Dale & Various (A) Jeremy Dale, Ray-Anthony Height (CA) Jeremy Dale

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Skyward is the adventures of Quinn and his dog Jack in a fantastic world that features a berserker enemy. The FCBD edition focuses on Quinn’s eventual enemy, the Midnight Tiger, and how he and the warring clans were created. I love this manga-influenced art style, and while there isn’t much of Quinn and Jack in the FCBD edition, the Tiger’s origin is compelling. As with Maddy Kettle, a full volume of Skyward is already collected and available for $10 at Jeremy Dale’s website.

These are my picks among the FCBD offerings but you may want to check out the full list of what’s available at the FCBD website and see what your kids like as well. Many of them have free download previews available, so even if you can’t make it to a shop, you might find some new favorites.

Writer, Mom, Geek and Superhero. though usually not all four on the same day. Author of the award-winning Phoenix Institute Superhero series and the steampunk novel, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract.