FCBD: What About The Books? Part Seven

Just a reminder: You may want to go back to Part One for an explanation of my grading system for Free Comic Book Day titles.

KIZOIC PRESENTS: PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR FCBD 2010 / KIZOIC PRESENTS: SHREK FCBD 2010 (flipbook format, Ape Entertainment)www.apecomics.com

Aside from Disney's stable of copyrighted characters, some of the more recognizable cartoon characters among today's kids audience are those created through Dreamworks Studios and Nickelodeon Cartoon TV Network. So to put both the Penguins of Madagascar and Shrek together in a flip book is a sure draw for young audiences. I saw many copies of this FCBD title in the hands of younger children while attending the FCBD activities at Captain Blue Hen comics in Newark, DE on May 1st. COVER APPEARL = 3 POINTS.

The Peguins are featured in two separate stories, and Shrek gets the same two-story treatment on the flip side of this book. I have to confess that I have never watched a Penguins of Madagascar television cartoon and knew very little about them before reading this issue. I'm assuming it's true to form (because the Shrek material certainly was spot-on!). The stories and art are entertaining enough but I find it hard to like these penguins. They appear to have a mean streak as well as a darker sense of humor. But maybe that's exactly what today's generation is looking for.

Story and art improve dramatically on the Shrek side of this FCBD title. When I read a comics adaptation of familiar movie characters and as I read I can "hear" the dialogue as if the actor was speaking it, then I realize that the writers have done an exceptional job of staying true to continuity. This just recently happened when I read the TOY STORY FCBD issue and it happened here again with SHREK. That familiarity with the format is sure to make it appealing to the very youngest readers (who may actually end up having this book read to them). In the first very short story, a funny situation occurs when both Shrek and Donkey go picking some strange berries and come down with the same malady. In the second story, Shrek's parents visit and worry that Shrek's children aren't acting enough like true ogres and try to influence his parenting. STORY = 2.5 POINTS. ART = 2.5 POINTS. YOUTH APEAL = 3 POINTS. NEW READER APPEAL = 3 PONTS. PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS = 3 POINTS. EXTRA BONUS POINTS = 2 POINTS.

TOTAL POINTS GRADING = 19 POINTS . . . HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Those pesky penguins cost Shrek a perfect score!

OWLY AND FRIENDS FREE COMIC BOOK DAY (Top Shelf Productions) www.topshelfcomix.com

This book is especially great for the youngest of comics readers.
Writer-artist Andy Runton has won many awards for his series of OWLY graphic novels featuring a little owl and his forest adventures. The black-and-white drawings are very friendly in nature and appealing to younger audiences and the format is user-friendly for any age. All OWLY adventures are told without captions or dialogue. The eight-page complete story here illustrates why these tales are so warm and inviting. Owly gets a mail delivery with a kite-flying kit that has to be assembled. A conflict arises with some birds over some components of the kite, but Owly uses negotiation and compromise to keep everyone happy when the kite finally takes flight.

The JOHNNY BOO story from writer-artist James Kochalka featuring a day when nothing at all happens for Johhny and his pet mini-ghost Squiggle is funny and has that type of childlike irreverance that makes it very amusing for this age group.

The last story in this FCBD title has the most detailed and premium art of all. KORGI as told by Ann & Christian Slade centers around a young girl, Ivy, and her adventures with friendly animal companions in an enchanted woodlands. Also told without captions or dialogue, the panels guide the reader through an amusing tale of Ivy's dog Sprout and a dream caused by over-eating. The tale ends in an appropriate fashion and also reveals how Sprout has learned from the incident and won't act like a glutton in the future. Very well done. The expressions on the dog's face throughout this story convey a variety of emotions.

COVER APPEAL = 3 POINTS. STORY = 3 POINTS. ART = 3 POINTS. YOUTH APPEAL = 3 POINTS. NEW READER APPEAL = 3 POINTS. PROMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS = 3 POINTS. There is a lot of information in this book guiding new readers to further young childrens books from Top Shelf with information on how to get them also provided. EXTRA BONUS POINTS = 2 POINTS. I would not hesitate to recommend this to any young reader (toddler through elementary school).

TOTAL GRADING = 20 POINTS . . . . Just absolutely PERFECT for its intended audience.


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