Resize text+=

Free Comic Book Day: Archaia (‘Mouse Guard,’ ‘Rust,’ ‘Cow Boy,’ ‘Labyrinth,’ and ‘Bolivar’) – Comic Book Review

Archaia FCBD 2013


Archaia FCBD 2013Let’s touch on another of those fantastic Free Comic Book Day issues. The folks at Archaia packed a lot of content from their different properties into this single issue. If I had to review the product as a whole, I’d say they nailed it on introducing their characters and properties and providing everything a reader needs to know about the premise; however, they do so at the cost of cramming too many different comics into a single issue, which leaves many of these stories feeling too short and cut off before a comic is able to become a must read.


Mouse Guard: The Tale of Thane & Isla

If you haven’t fallen in love yet with the art of Mouse Guard, then nothing I say will persuade you otherwise, but this FCBD entry looks great and tells a heartwarming romance story. Petersen has a gift for hitting certain points and lessons, especially on FCBD, and this entry does not disappoint. What this story says about love and real courage is something to take note of and a lesson that felt much more universal than the others this issue attempts to share. As a huge fan of the Mouse Guard world, I also loved the new map of the Territories at the front, which took away towns and added others, making me wonder just how much the Territories changed in such a short time.


This is a short story of Jet, our resident hero, helping some girls acquire eggs that have been laid on top of a giant robot. While Rust is on my short list of books I need to read, this introduction told me everything I needed to know about the premise. No one comments about the oddity of getting eggs from atop a giant robot, but Jet is the sort of guy who helps out others even with a menial task, and is considered to be strange by the locals. Oh, also Jet owns a sweet jetpack. I like the charm of this story and all of Jet’s facets it introduces. I’m also a big fan of the art direction, especially its sepia-toned filter, which gives the story both this pulp and this middle of nowhere town feel.

Cow Boy: Flip

This is the story you have to read in a physical book to make it work, as it involves literally flipping the book in order to get the complete story. This gimmick is used incredible well, and “Flip” is short enough to keep the extra work to read the comic from growing tedious. Like Rust, Cow Boy introduces everything needed to know about that character and his point of view on life, and the art is adorable.

Labyrinth: Sir Didymus’ Grand Day

This is a day in the life of Sir Didymus as he recounts the day’s events from his own point of view. For fans of the Labyrinth world, this is a great place to see some familiar faces, but overall it’s short and the basic message it delivers is more aimed at kids than adults. The story makes use of fading out art elements and applying filters to achieve certain feelings in each of the panels, which I found interesting, and the characters look fantastic.


This is one of the shorter offerings in this issue as a girl seeks advice on identifying dinosaur breeds. In some ways, it’s setting up a single gag, but there are some neat dinosaur introductions, if that’s your sort of thing. The art in this also felt a little more comic stripey, though I dug the textures on everything, which gave it a warm, if rough, feeling.

Three Chicken Eggs on Top of a Giant Robot out of Five




Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


Favorite Comic Book SeriesAtomic Robo Favorite D&D Class:  Wizard Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Cookies N' Cream


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top