Aspen's Worlds of Aspen are previews and samples, as far as I can tell. Then again, the DC ones are either free issues - or previews and samples. Marvel gives us new short stories, two per issue, and other companies do any of these things. My point is that previews and samples aren't unheard of, and I know that I might get them in these freebies. Then again, I'm not disillusioned: Free Comic Book Day is not only a celebration of the love of comics, and a way to give back to the fans, but also something that the companies are using to try and sell more comics.
I've come to think of Aspen's FCBD like the samples at Trader Joe's. I might like what I get, and I might not, but I appreciate the free taste so I know what I'm buying. (Or not buying.) It's free, so I can't really find it in me to begrudge them choosing what to sample, and I know I'll be buying, well, more of the same, but I'm also usually happy to try something new.
Which is why I'm happy to read these, even when I won't continue on with the series. Damsels in Excess is a good example: I like the eventual reveal, the premise of this series, but its' also done like a princess reality show. And I'm not a reality show person. The execution is actually quite clever, but it's also something I don't enjoy. Since I'm getting into this publisher, I like knowing what I enjoy and what I don't. (And it's not possible for one publisher to pander exclusively to one person, or for one person to enjoy 100% of what they publish because of that first fact. I don't expect to love everything Aspen puts out, but this helps me decide what to continue with.)
I think I will follow up on Zoohunters, though. I love the main character, an interstellar poacher who has morals. She will get the animals, but not harm them in the process. When she sees an animal being abused by another poacher, she decides to buy it, even though the price is... bizarre.
I also like the world: it looks like a fun, space opera type adventure, and I had enough fun with the sample that I want to continue.
I do like the Soulfire story - part of Eternal Soulfire - and I especially like the new character they introduce, a magic user who is in danger just because of that fact. I do not care much for Miya, the old character who is apparently going to be in charge of guiding the newbie, so while I enjoyed the story in general, it wasn't great for me.
Fathom Blue also uses new characters, and while Maylander is a huge part of getting this team together, he has very little page time. I didn't like any of the new Blue characters here, so I'm going to give Fathom Blue a pass.
I'll end up doing other Soulfire series first, and look into Eternal Soulfire more before making my decision on that story.
From last year. I'm catching up on the Aspen ones since I've gotten into the company recently and trying to clear out some old Comixology titles I own.
This was fun: a quick peek at Fathom, Soulfire, and the first Aspen crossover event, called Revelations. There were some designs, mostly sketches although one or two cover pieces. There were also biographies of the main players, and I appreciated those.
Then there were the inevitable ads. I didn't mind these as much, because they were one page ads, a shot of the comic, and some descriptions. It left more pages to preview the main event. But this didn't feel like a great introduction to Revelations. Or not the perfect one. The way it ends, well, it felt a bit too abrupt. It does make me excited about the comic which came in the Humble Bundle: I have Revelations Volume 1.
So it was mostly successful. The crossover looks tense and plausible, and I was wondering how they would accomplish that given how different the series are in this case. Onto the next comic, and then I'm trying to get more sun, but my poor arms are about to get toasted again. I may stay inside until I go out: I've decided I want a burger for dinner, but I'm going to take it home so I can watch TV. A burger, fries - inexpensive burger but you order fries on the side - and a milkshake for while I'm walking home, maybe.
Stunning art. There's something about seeing Turner's art in pencil that really shows just how talented he was. It's obvious even with the colors, but strip that away and it's all Turner. I was talking a friend who hates the stripped down version of comics and how it's becoming a trend; I agree with him at times. Sometimes the art, because it's meant to be colored, just looks better that way. (This of course doesn't touch black and white comics: when it's meant to be just pencil and inks, that's a different category than putting them out in color then stripping them down to pencils and/or pencils and inks.)
Turner just gets better. While he draws the best to him - inkers and colorists - because he's such a star, I somehow like the stripped down stuff even better. Or maybe in a different way but I appreciate it more because there's so little of this out there.
It's issues that's I've already read, but I enjoyed reading them again just for this art.