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Free Comic Book Day
Picks and Reviews and even some lesson ideas

It is that most wonderful time of year again. Spring is here, the sun is shining longer every day and comic shops near and far are going to be giving away FREE comic books to all who show up on May 6.

Many comic publishers put out books in a number of different genres aimed at different demographics. Over the next month and a half we here at will be letting you know what is going to be available for your kids, good for you, and okay for everyone in between.

Also, for any teachers looking for new resources to get your students interested in reading and writing, I will be adding a few lesson ideas for many of the books because I know that free stuff is better if you can use it right away.

Here we go!

Coming this week - if they get to me in time:

The Archie and Donald Duck books are obviously all ages, and The Preposterous Voyages of Ironhide Tom is listed as all ages (what a great name for a book. You could spend a couple of classes brainstorming what happened on those voyages and writing stories about them.)

Bluff & Tales from a Forgotten Planet - by Yoshiko Watanabe, Giovanni Masi, & Ben Dunn - published by NARWAIN SRL

From th FCBD site: "Narwain celebrate Free Comic Book Day with two exciting stories from the worlds of Bluff and Tales from a Forgotten Planet ! First, see the world through the eyes of Bluff , a dog from a family that has gone mad after winning big in the lotto, in this charming animation-style comic. Then journey to the forgotten planet where a crew of astronauts finds their spacecraft overrun with the brain-sucking dead!"

The Bluff part of the comic is definitely classroom safe, but with flesh eating zombies and language like "cheap bastards" I don't feel the Forgotten Planet section is suitable for an early years class. You will have to decide for yourself if it is all right for older grades. I'm sure you could get rid of the pages you are not comfortable with them and leave the Bluff story intact for your class to enjoy.

Lesson ideas for early elementary :

  • Use it as a story starter. After your students have read it, have write about their first pet, or what it would be like if they got a pet.
  • Have your students create posters to support your local animal shelter - Social Studies / community project.

Star Wars/Conan Split issue - by various - published by Dark Horse Comics

The issue is recommended for all ages by Dark Horse, but I am not sure if I would consider it "classroom safe" for all grades. It should be fine for upper elementary.

For parents, if you let your child watch the Star Wars movies and the Lord of the Rings movies, then this book should be fine for your child. Parents and teachers should check it out first, just in case.

This book would be good as a story / journal starter. It would also be good just to give it to a child that likes movies, or games in the genres covered in the comic, but not necessarily reading.

Owly: Breakin' the Ice - by Andy Runton - published by Top Shelf

Recommended for All Ages classroom safe.

This is the first FCBD issue that I have read this year, and I am already pretty sure it is going to be one of my favorites. There is action, adventure, tears, anger and birds coming to the rescue all over the place. All of the Owly stories are wordless with some picture balloons to convey meaning (like a horseshoe and an exclamation mark means Good Luck!), but they are not just for non readers. Try it, you will like it.

Lesson ideas for early elementary :

  • Use it as a story starter. After you have gone over it with your students, make up an Owly adventure for your students to write about (How Owly and Wormy became friends; Owly and Wormy get lost, etc) You can use this writing template and contact Andy through if you want to send him your student's stories.

Can be used when learning about

  • Ice safety
  • Bird migration
  • Losing your temper
  • Friendship

Here is the rest of what is/may be appropriate (I have not read most of these yet).


I don't know if I will get an advanced copy of Amelia Rules, but if you read my earlier review of the series you will see how good (and appropriate) it is.





This GI Joe comic has the same sort of sensibilities of the 80's cartoon. Basically, lots of action and no one gets killed - like on the A-Team. No bullets this time though. Just lasers and that sort of thing.





This is not a comic. It is a How To book for comic artists. Last year's Impact University book was appropriate. I haven't seen this year's, so check it out before your young artist takes it home.




The first two will probably be okay for any kids, and the last one should be okay for your older kids. There is a Franklin Richards story in it though, so it at least has all ages portions. It should be a good one.



If your kids are alowed to watch the Simpsons, then they can read this. I read last year's and it was a lot like the show.




Let me know how it goes. Scott T.




The recommended web-resources included on this site have been scrutinized for their grade and age appropriateness; however, contents on links on the Internet change continuously. It is advisable that teachers and parents preview all links before recommending them to children.

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