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Geeky Parent Guide: Free Comic Book Day 2018 and Action Lab Comics

Free Comic Book Day is a fantastic tradition in the world of geekdom. It is not only a great way to encourage new readers to visit their local comic book store, but there are also amazing sales on trade paperbacks, discounted collectibles, games, and toys that support local businesses. And, if you want to still enjoy the wonderful day after the shops close (or perhaps if you can’t make it to the shop that day), there are plenty of opportunities to find what you’re looking for online.

Take an adventure with the Geeky Parent Guide as we explore Action Lab Comics and what you should be on the lookout for during your Free Comic Book Day adventure.

Action Lab Miraculous FCBD cover a86

Miraculous Adventures – FCBD 2018 Edition
Age Group: All-Ages
Creators: Thomas Astruc, Nolwenn Pierre, Bryan Seaton, Nicole D’Andria, Justin Birch, Cheryl Black (writers/adaptations to comic form), Angie Nasca (artist), Brian Hess (cover)
You’ll Like This If You Like: My Little Pony

During typical Adventures of Ladybug & Cat Noir, you’ll find the superhero pair of the self-titled comic dealing with individuals corrupted by the evil Hawk Moth. In this Free Comic Book Day issue, both self-contained stories involve Marinette (a.k.a. Ladybug) and Adrien (a.k.a. Cat Noir) as their non-superhero selves.

These fun stories are filled with vibrantly colored illustrations and revolve around characters in Paris being kind to one another and problem solving. This is a perfect issue to pick up on FCBD and let younger ones enjoy how superheroes solve problems when they’re not in costume. Miraculous Adventures is an all-ages comic adapted from the animated series, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir (Zag Entertainment).

In addition to the two Miraculous stories, there is also a sneak preview of Sami the Samurai Squirrel* with the art and story by Scoot McMahon. Sami is adapting to her new home, and like all woodland creatures, they must fight off ninjas and pirates. This blend of every child’s favorite Halloween costumes is a great way to have Sami show off fighting skills against recognizable villains and protect his village.

*See below for additional description.

Miraculous Adventures Volume 1
Age Group: All-Ages
Creators: Various for multiple chapters, not limited to Thomas Astruc, Nolwenn Pierre, Bryan Seaton, Nicole D’Andria, Justin Birch, Cheryl Black, Angie Nasca, Brian Hess, Darné Lang, Mélanie Duval, Fred Lenoir, Sébastien Thibaudeau, Ellen Cerreta, Tony Fleecs
You’ll Like This If You Like: The Not-So Secret Society

This television-inspired comic series brings to life the ingenuity of imagination, as Marinette has the ability to transform into a superhero – and she uses her friend, Tikki, who just happens to be a “Kwami.” Along with being magical, Tikki uses a charm to turn Marinette into the amazing Ladybug.

Miraculous Adventures is a fantastic opportunity for young readers to learn about dealing with emotions and depending on others for help. Marinette pines for Adrien, while Cat Noir pines for Ladybug. It’s an interesting back and forth that will make the reader wonder if they’ll ever find out the truth. The villain, Hawk Moth, uses his evil powers to take advantage of those feeling angry or slighted. It’s a wonderful way to show how anger can overtake people and become destructive.

Volume One has our heroes face off against an evil player at a lacrosse game, a twisted fisherman at the beach, and “The Trash Krakken” that’s looking to destroy an entire city. Each battle seems more difficult than the last, and our heroes eventually find themselves in New York fighting side by side with other superheroes. Despite Ladybug and Cat Noir being the youngest members of the fighting force, their youth does not prevent them from assessing the situation and leading the team toward victory.

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir Volume 7
Age Group: All-Ages
Creators: Based on Zag Entertainment Animated Series and created by Thomas Astruc; Matthieu Choquet, Fred Lenoir, Guillaume Mautalent, Sébastien Oursel, Sophie Lodwitz, Eve Pisler (writers); Cheryl Black and Nicole D’Andria (adaptations to comic form); Justin Birch (letterer)
You’ll Like This If You Like: PJ Masks (Television)
This edition collects Issues 19 through 21 and shines onto the pages as if you were watching the television series. As other comics in Miraculous, Ladybug and Cat Noir find themselves in tough spots because of a very unkind and jealous classmate, Chloe. She always wants to get her way, while throwing insults whenever she can. Although some classmates try to ignore her, the awful feelings resulting from such negative comments allow the power of Hawk Moth to take over, converting those feelings into blind rage and power.

During one of the chapters in this series, Cat Noir loses his abilities after being attacked. This is a very important lesson for kids, and everyone else, as it doesn’t prevent him from helping Ladybug in battle. This story gives the sense of helping others without any hesitation, giving it a solid theme to go along with wonderfully animated characters. If you venture into this comic series, there’s a pretty good chance you or your kids will want to check out the actual show that started it all.

Action Lab Sami the Samurai Squirrel Welcome to Woodbriar Cover 5c6

Sami the Samurai Squirrel: Welcome to Woodbriar, Volume 1
Age Group: All-Ages
Creators: Scoot McMahon (writer/artist), Franco and Art Baltazar (Bonus Story)
You’ll Like This If You Like: Adventure Time

Not only can you get a sneak peek at Sami and her friends in the FCBD edition of Miraculous Adventures, you can look for the entire trade paperback in stores and online. This edition collects Issues 1 through 4, and you’ll get a wealth of do-gooders and evildoers, with Sami always looking to protect his friends and their home, while finding exceptional ways at making friends of enemies.

Along with thoughtful moments of friends wanting to help friends, Welcome to Woodbriar brings plenty of puns to the table, with many being handed out to the villains. It’s definitely a classic farce when a pirate ship fires its first shot, only for the reader and Captain to find out together that it was the only cannonball – a laughable moment every kid would get a kick out of.

Sami the Samurai Squirrel is a wonderful, lighthearted tale of friendship, with characters dealing with grumpy attitudes positively, and, of course, a swashbuckling squirrel who is always ready for action. From vegetarian sharks to a “Cyber-Yeti,” which is literally a yeti with cybernetic arms, this story has a wide array of fun characters that makes it an easy pick on Free Comic Book Day for children of all ages.

The Ghost, The Owl
Age Group: All-Ages
Creators: Franco (writer), Sara Richard (artist), Marshall Dillon (letterer), Jesse Post (editor)
You’ll Like This If You Like: The Misplaced (15+ age group)

This is a beautifully written and illustrated story of love, self-discovery, and helping others regardless of the personal cost. The artwork in this comic swirl together masterfully as a variety of creatures assemble to witness the arrival of a ghost who seems to blend perfectly with the colorful background.

Owl takes charge to find out who she is, and after the realization that she does not remember anything, he does what he always does – he helps. He helps her understand that she is an apparition and reaches out to his friends to find out if anything can be traced back to her.

The Ghost, The Owl goes well beyond the typical engagement between characters. Both titled characters have important moments of self-discovery, and they are absolutely astounding to watch and read. Like the amazing artwork merging together characters and backgrounds so well, the story combines with the artwork, making it a powerful story to take in – and an instant classic to reread in the future.

I would like to say THANK YOU to Nicole D’Andria and Action Lab for taking time to participate in this year’s Fanbase Press coverage of Free Comic Book Day. If you are interested in any other comics from Action Lab, check out their online selection for more geeky goodness.

S.T. Lakata, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor



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