Free Comic Spotlight: FCBD Top Shelf Kids Club

If you dig deep enough you will find that there are lots of free comics out there. Sometimes it is just the first chapter, allowing you to get a feel for the series, while on the rare occasion it is an entire story.

In this edition I look into two comics that are a lot of fun for everyone of all ages in the form of FCBD Top Shelf Kids Club. Both these comics were originally available for free in print through Free Comic Book Day but are now available for free digitally.

Top Shelf Kids Club is an anthology style comic, aimed squarely at children under the age of 10, although some of of the stories can be appreciated by those much older. Both of these free issues contain 6 stories each – with a variety of entertaining characters from Johnny Boo, Owly, Pirate Penguin, Ninja Chicken along with many others – that children will definitely enjoy.

Top shelf Kids club Free Comic Book Day. All Ages

FCBD Top Shelf Kids Club 2011

Written and Art by: Chris Eliopoulos, Ray Friesen, James Kochalka, Andy Runton, Ann Slade, Christian Slade, Jess Smart Smiley

This was the 2011 Free Comic Book Day release and it was quite a lot of fun. Very young children will enjoy Owly and Korgi as they do not rely on dialogue or narration to tell the story. The Korgi tale, Creepy Finger Puppets, is a rather nice story that is clearly about peer pressure and would be a story worth sharing with your child. Johnny Boo and the Ice-Cream Hole is a story a story about the misunderstanding of how to store ice-cream that children will get plenty of laughs out of. Upside Down, a story about a vampire wanting candy, was not quite up my alley but is sure to amuse plenty of children. Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken is a story that older children will certainly enjoy, with the two characters visiting a comic book store to find treasure. Finally, Okie Dokie Donuts is pure fun involving donuts, children and a dog parade.

Each story has its own distinct art style which will appeal to its intended demographic. The only downside to it is that the comics are in black and white which I didn’t have a problem with, although some children might.

You can find FCBD Top Shelf Kids Club 2011 for free at Comixology.

FCBD Top Shelf Kids Club 2012. Free Comic Book Day. All Ages

FCBD Top Shelf Kids Club 2012

Written and Art by: Chris Eliopoulos, Ray Friesen, James Kochalka, Andy Runton, Ann Slade, Christian Slade, Jess Smart Smiley

If you and your child enjoyed the 2011 edition then this will be right up your alley. Expect more of the same with all your favourite characters returning in equally enjoyable tales. Yet again Top Shelf Kids Club 2012 will appeal to a variety of ages under 10 and will certainly generate some giggles from children big and small.

Just like the previous edition, it is presented in black and white but was still enjoyable all the same. Although, one thing that I liked about the 2012 edition was on the final page there was a presentation of all the Top Shelf Kids Club titles, which allows you to track down even more great stories of your everyone’s favourite characters.

You can find FCBD Top Shelf Kids Club 2012 for free at Comixology.

Will there be a 2013 edition?

There sure will be! Free Comic Book Day is quickly approaching on the 4th of May, so head down to your local comic book store to pick up a copy for free. You can even track down a comic book store participating in Free Comic Book Day with the handy directory that I have been building. And if you can’t make it on the day I am sure that a digital version will appear on Comixology soon after.

The Verdict

If you want to encourage your children to read then both editions of FCBD Top Shelf Kids Club are a perfect place to start. These fun stories and lively characters will be perfect for kickstarting your child’s imagination and they will be certainly be wanting more. For younger children most of these stories are suitable but might be best to read with them as some  stories are wordier than others. Finally, don’t worry that the art is in black and white as it  doesn’t take anything away from the presentation of these stories.

If your child is demanding more of these characters I highly suggest you visit the Top Shelf Kids Club website for more information on releases involving these cool characters.

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Trevor Van As

Head Writer at How to Love Comics
Trevor Van As is the founder and head writer of How to Love Comics and has been reading comics monthly since 2006. When he is not reading or not talking about comics he can be found illustrating and/or eating yoghurt.

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