Looking back at a FCBD Special
Free Comic Book Day is an annual event that is celebrated and participated in many comic book stores throughout the United States and Canada. Done for the first time in 2002, FCBD helps in not only bringing in new readers but is also used as a way to promote their most popular comics, especially if they are part part of huge storylines or events.
Of course there are issues from Free Comic Book Day that are more standalone, either just being a one shot or being an anthology telling multiple stories. The Tick: Free Comic Book Day 2018 from New England Comics is a great example of a free comic with an anthology format.
Created for, then becoming the mascot of, NEC by Ben Edlund in 1986 Tick and his stories are parodies of the superhero genre. Always wearing a blue full body suit with antennas no matter where he goes, Tick’s backstory has never been revealed or how he got his super strength and durability. The best explanation thus far is that he may be an escaped mental patient, but his identity is never revealed. Tick saves The City while making big, bombastic, and over the top speeches with the help of his meek sidekick, Arthur, who wears a suit resembling a moth as well as other heroes. Three shows have been done about him, the first was an animated series in the 90s, then a short live action series in the early 2000s with Patrick Warburton, and most recently an Amazon series that ended in 2019.
Telling 3 Stories of Ridiculousness
The free Tick comic tells three different stories all with their own styles of artwork and written by different people, though all three still being very similar to each other in tone. Prophecy of Peril, the first story, has the larger than life superhero take part in a medieval prophecy involving kings and dragons. In it, Tick is somehow in an ancient civilization where he is prophesied to rule over it once he has vanquished evil and obtain a crystal. Once he does defeat monsters and grab the crystal, Tick either ends up back to his own time or imagined all of it next to a renaissance festival.
The second story, 30 Minutes Or Less, has Tick and Arthur help a pizza delivery guy get to his next destination. In typical Tick fashion, he does this by jumping from rooftops while holding on to the delivery guy.
In the last story, May the Best Man Win!, Tick is asked to become the best man for another hero’s wedding while protecting him from his past. As he is fulfilling many of his best man duties for Rubber Ducky, Tick learns about the elastic hero’s past as a former criminal. Ducky gained his powers after working as a receptionist for people making black market vials of super powers, and as they were arrested he ingested one of the vials. As the criminals have recently been released, he fears they will be going after him hence making Tick best man for protection. Turns out, Ducky was right as the criminals use a giant robot to try and kill the heroes.
Perfect for fans of The Tick TV Shows
If you have seen any of the shows, this comic is just as funny as those adaptations. The writing from Jeff McClelland, writer of the first and last story, and middle story writer Tony Sedani all capture the fast paced and clever wit that perfectly embody Tick’s world. They’re written so perfectly that if they were made into episodes, they’d fit in perfectly.
Even when the three stories have different artists with their own styles, they’re all really good and in keeping with some similar aesthetics to the animated series like Tick’s size and the colorfulness of the universe he inhabits. Ian Nichols’s work on Prophecy is the one that very much resembles the 90s show. 30 Minutes is done by Sedani whose art is very crude which helps with Tick’s over the top-ness. While Nichols does return for the last story, there are some slight differences from the first such as adding more lighting and shadows, character designs are a bit more detailed, and the color is darker.
The Tick: Free Comic Book Day 2018 is a perfect example of what makes the title character so fun to watch or, in this case, read.
How did we rate The Tick FCBD 2018 Special? 6 Sodas
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