Free Comic Book day is coming soon. With, comes hundreds upon thousands of free comics for everyone. Many who go will be experiencing comics for the first time, and that gives me a great amount of joy. Potential comic book readers and fans. All waiting to experience the joy of comics.
With that in mind, and in honor of Free Comic Book Day, Comic Matters is going to be dedicated all April to looking at a multitude of new comic book series that are just starting. I’ve called it: April 1sts. I never meant for the pun, I promise you. These are new series, many only in their first or second months, are perfect to pick up when you go down to your local comic shop, whichever one it may be, and grab your free comics.
I personally recommend all of these.
First off, Peter Pan!
Peter Panzerfaust, Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe, Drawn by Tyler Jenkins
The story of Peter Pan is one many people are familiar with. A young, adventurous boy in a far off land. Leading a gang of Lost Boys against invading pirates. Adventures. Action. Heart. These are all the elements of any good Peter Pan tale.
What Peter Panzerfaust brings to the world of literature is the difference that it’s set in World War II. Yes, this wonderful homage to one of the oldest, modern classics sets our characters against the backdrop of World War II.
The story set up is as follows: In modern day France, a reporter interviews a much older man. This older man reflects on the hard times dealt by the war. The fear. The panic. The unknowing of whether you were going to live or die. As I begin to get into this unit with my students in 5th grade, it surprises me that they never quite comprehended how the regular people lived their lives with bombs falling every night.
This older man, whose nickname was Tootles, tells them that at the beginning of the war in 1940, when the Germans took Calais, he resided in an orphanage with other boys who were abandoned. As the German stampede is brought to the orphanage, killing many in the process, they are shown a savior. Someone to guide them out.
“He loved a grand entrance. That was Peter’s way.”
The boys are rescued by a young American named Peter, there with a purpose. He brings the boys along with him and keeps them two steps ahead from the German tanks and foot soldiers. Wielding a classic, Thompson machine gun, World War II era, Peter is a boy of charisma. Suddenly, these orphans become his Lost Boys. Hiding out. In World War II.
This story keeps excitement pounding until the very last page. As the Germans approach on foot, we are shown the true, courageous side of Peter amidst the bombs falling on France.
The author and writer of this story are new names to me. However, they are names I will be mentioning. Author Kurtis Wiebe has a good handle on the terror that set over Europe, as the newly minted Lost Boys are shown, up close, what the awfulness of war can bring. He has a great handle on his characters voices and distinguishing between them all. The characters are older than, say, they’re Disney counterparts but I think that works a lot better in the wartime setting. Artist Tyler Jenkins gives the world a gruff, dark setting. Suddenly, though, the colors become more explosive and responsive when Peter is on the scene. Leaping across buildings, standing heroically, or crowing in the spirit of the character.
One to check out? Definitely. Unless you don’t love adventure or being young at heart.
Issues Published: 2, with #3 Coming out Today! April 11th! Get it now!
Next Up! Vampires vs. Zombies! In London!
The New Deadwardians, Written by Dan Abnett, Drawn by I.N.J. Culbard
Sold to the masses just like it was above, a tale of zombies versus vampires takes a turn down fancy lane and becomes a tale of different classes and societal taboo.
Our tale begins in London, 1910. Our dead hero, if we can call him that, Mr. Suttle is unable to sleep. He misses sleep. He wishes he could have it. Just the act of sleeping.
He is drawn out from his bed at 5 a.m. to a sound downstairs. His human butler is worried and comes to his side. As they investigate the kitchen, they discover his maid Mrs. Hedley being devoured by a Restless.
Restless is what they call Zombies.
What author Dan Abnett establishes in the remaining story is a world divided. The city of London has been cordoned off into different Zones. Some where the rich and wealthy live. The Vampires of the city. They dress, act, and behave in a manner befitting the English higher-class they represent. In the lower-class zones, the Restless reside. In all of their filth and poverty, the Restless are looked down upon.
As the story advances, Mr. Suttle is revealed to be one of the great detectives in the city of London. As he is called out to a murder, he finds that all is now well in the city of London. Someone or something has found a way to do the unthinkable.
Dan Abnett presents his characters with a class and posture all their own. Even though they are the undead, the vampires are still well versed in the life of the living. Artist I.N.J. Culbard is another new name that I’m not familiar with, but he draws his characters in a clean style. This makes all the gore and blood of the Restless and the Vampires that much more horrifying.
When the vampires consider zombies lower class, what is the world coming to? What makes them so much better than the Restless? If Mr. Suttle can solve this murder of one of his own, he might figure out the larger conspiracy at work.
Issues Published: Just 1! Definitely a wagon to hitch on to!
So, two issues for you guys to check out. Remember, these are brand new series worth checking out and getting into.
If you’ve never read comics before, this is your month to.
Next Week: Aliens in New Mexico? Unheard of, right? Well, not when the future, female Hispanic presidential candidate of the United States is involved. A race war heats up, and it’s not involving the aliens you’re thinking of. Also, more modern Fairy Tales.
Days Until Free Comic Book Day: 24 Days!
- In addition to writing for the column “Comic Matters” for the Tucson Citizen website, Bobby Acosta is also a 5th Grade Elementary school teacher, frequenter of local comic book shop Heroes & Villains, and explorer of the importance of comics. He recommends each and every comic he writes about. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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