Subscription Box: Comic Bento, November 2014
Comic Bento is a monthly graphic novel subscription box to which my husband subscribes. Each box claims a minimum $60 value, and subscriptions start at just $20.00 per month (plus shipping) so it's a pretty good deal. The boxes are mailed out at the end of the month, so the November box arrived in mid-December.
”Justice is easy. Comedy is hard.”
When I was a little kid, the only section of the newspaper I wanted to read was the funny page. My first graphic novels were compilation books of Calvin & Hobbes and Garfield comic strips. I’m not the only one with fond memories of those days, even though I have since moved on to “real” comics. As Comic Bento Project Manager Costello writes:
There was a time when the funny pages and graphic novels didn’t get along. Graphic Novels were all like, “Yes, sir! Good ol’ Funny Pages…How I hate them!”
Good grief, Graphic Novels! Is it because Funny Pages beat you to print by 30 years? Or because you find laughter as hard to grasp as a greased up rubber chicken? Or are you still hurting from your plots going from “Superman needs to adopt Jimmy Olsen then be a jerk to him” in the Silver Age to “everyone dies” in the 90s?
The good news is that Graphic Novel’s war on fun is over and the fandom won. Now Calvin and Hobbes is respected as literary art, The Flash streaks red and yellow across the small screen, Big Hero 6 has introduced movie-goers to San Fransokyo and the internet offers enough variety of webcomics to match up to every reader’s sense of humour. We here at Comic Bento are happy to let you in on the joke with this month’s selection.
Well, let's go!
Archer & Armstrong Vol. 1 by Fred Van Lente & Clayton Henry (Valiant Entertainment): It's history in the breaking! After years of meditation and training, 18-year-old Obadiah Archer has been dispatched to New York City to carry out the sacred mission of his family's sect - locate and kill the fun-loving, hard-drinking immortal known as Armstrong! But as this naive teenage assassin stalks his prey, he'll soon find that both hunter and hunted are just pawns in a centuries-old conspiracy that stretches from the catacombs beneath Wall Street to the heights of the Himalayas. And Archer & Armstrong will have to work together if the future is to stand any chance of surviving the past's greatest threat! From the New York Times best-selling creative team of writer Fred Van Lente (Marvel Zombies) and Clayton Henry (Incredible Herc), this volume collects Archer & Armstrong #1-4! $9.99
Secret Midnight Duck Party Book (Gunshow Collection) by KC Green (TopatoCo): Collecting comics from January 2010 to Early November 2010, this Gunshow collection has favorites like The Farm House, Fight Gang, Let's Wrassle Again, and more! Contains extras such as a brand new 13 page intro story for the book, extra and unused comics, and different versions of some comics already in the archive. $15.00
Because I Can: The Third Least I Could Do Collection by Ryan Sohmer (Blind Ferret Productions): "Because I Can " brings a full year of Least I Could Do strips to print with this exclusive publication. In addition to bringing together all 320 strips of our third year in full color, bonus material includes original artwork, sketches, strip by strip commentary and a never before seen look at what goes on behind the scenes with bloopers and outtakes. $19.95
The Most Dangerous Game: A Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Collection by Zach Weinersmith: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (SMBC) is at heart a geek comic, but it nevertheless addresses a broad range of topics, such as love, relationships, economics, politics, religion, science, and philosophy. It is one of the fastest growing comics online, having sextupled in readership since 2008. SMBCappeals to many different groups, as evidenced by the fact it has been featured on a variety of important websites and blogs, including The Economist, Glamour, BoingBoing, Bad Astronomy, Blastr, Blues News, Joystiq, The Washington Post, Freakonomics, and more.
Breadpig donates its profits to Khan Academy, a not-for-profit organization with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere. $18.00
Rabbids Vol. 1 by Thitaume & Romain Pujol (Papercutz): As if the American farmer didn't have enough problems, things get really out of control when the Rabbids invade several farms creating their own trademarked brand of Rabbid-speed lunacy. Whether the Rabbids get bored or just want to move on, after creating untold devastation in the Heartland, they go to where everyone hopes to hit it rich-- Las Vegas! The Rat Pack was nothing compared to these jibber-jabbering creatures! They literally pop out of a slot machine in a big casino and continue to have fun Rabbid-style in Sin City! Can anyone or anything hope to contain the chaos and end this maniacal misery tour? $7.99
This box definitely targets my husband more than me. He loves SMBC, and he’s familiar with some of the other webcomic compilations included here. I will try them, since we have them, but the fact that most of the collections are not the first volume in the series is disappointing because I feel like I’ll be missing out if I don’t go back and read from the beginning. Granted, most of these webcomics are still available online for free, so I can go back and do that with no extra cost. That’s nice, at least.
Both of us cringed when we saw the Rabbids graphic novel, though. Neither of us has any interest in the video game or its creatures, but we know that there are a lot of readers who will enjoy this book, and I appreciate the variety.
Not my favorite Comic Bento, but not a bad one, either.
Peeking into the archives...today in:
2013: The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen
2012: Other Ologies titles
2011: Fashionista Piranha on hold for a few weeks!
2010: Mental Floss: 10 Works of Literature That Were Really Hard to Write
2009: Fashionista Piranha going on hiatus…
2008: News: Almost half of the Coraline boxes have surfaced!