Sunday, December 4, 2011

# book review # comic book review

Comic Book Review: Christmas Fire

Little known fact. I like comic books. More known fact. I know nothing about DC comics or any other big name comic book company. Don't ask me who an artist is or who wrote what. I won't know the answer. I suppose some might consider it impressive that I'm so uneducated about these things, but it's really not. Comic books have always been a form of literature that I've appreciated but not one that I've had a lot of exposure to. My earliest memory of comic books is the box of them that my grandma always had at her house. In fact, that box is currently residing in my barn. The comic books aren't worth much but I want to board and bag them just to protect them since they're old and they're from my grandmother.

Now, I know you guys. You're wondering what the heck all of this has to do with the title to this post or the really adorable dragon up there. Well, consider it back story. No good piece of writing can stand on its own without back story being in there somewhere.

Now, for more current content. Back on my birthday..Ok, technically, it was the day after my birthday...I got to tag along with Chris and Lauren to a comic con in Detroit. Thanks to Justin and a few others, my interest in comic books had been growing for some time. While there, I met some very nice people (and some not so nice people but we're ignoring them) and got interested in a few comic books. I can almost hear you now..interested? That's not how you work... Ok, ok..I admit, I became really interested. (This is where I stick my tongue out at you, but you can't see it.) One of those comics was the Grimm Fairy Tales comic and one of the writers/editors of that comic is Raven Gregory. Through his Facebook page, I found Ross and that led me to Asbestos.

By this time, you're probably going nuts. I know I would be if I'd had to read all of that and still there was no review. So, before you pull all of your hair out (seriously, this is a bad time of year for that. It's cold outside!), that adorable little dragon up there is Asbestos and he's the star of one seriously cute comic called Christmas Fire. I confess. I fell in love with Asbestos weeks before I ever bought the comic. In fact, if they ever made a plush version, I would be first in line to sign up for usability testing. *

The summary of the story (totally stolen from the back of the comic) goes something like this:

Something's amiss in the Land of Possible, can anyone help? Join a dragon whelp named Asbestos on the journey of a lifetime as he tries to get the one person who can help him: Santa Claus. 

Between the story line, the fact Raven bought it for his daughters and the fact that I was in love with the main character, I gave in and ordered the comic. In fact, I was the very first person to order it from the Etsy shop where Ross is now selling this comic. Thank goodness Ross takes fast shipping seriously because I was practically twitching by the time this comic got here. In fact, I was on my way out to do some Small Business Saturday shopping when I found the envelope on the front porch. I made Jim actually wait while I opened it and squealed. Yes, dear readers, I know this comes as a huge shock...or not...but I squealed out loud. I squealed again when I saw that Ross had included two signed pieces of art just because I was his first Etsy customer. This is one of the pieces he included:

This was especially cool since I also happened to be his 200th fan on his Facebook page. I have to tell you that there's nothing more cool than an artist/author making an individual fan feel like she's someone special and that's just what Ross did for me by including that artwork.

Sadly, it was a few days before I found the time to sit down and read this little gem of a comic book. When I did, though, I have to tell you that I wasn't disappointed. The story was great. It was written at a level that both kids and adults could enjoy it. Honestly, I'm looking forward to having the boys check it out. If I had any complaints, it would be two really little things...

1. I would have loved to have seen the pictures done in color. Other than the front cover, all of the pictures are black and white drawings. While I can appreciate that it would most likely be more expensive to produce the book in full color, this was advertised as a comic not a coloring book and the black and white drawings made me think, "Where are my crayons?" Perhaps 2 versions could be produced..kind of a cross platform marketing campaign.

2. I'd have loved for this to be just a tad longer. I think it's mostly because I love this character so much. I'd love to know his backstory. I'd love to see where he goes next. Honestly, I'd love to write an Asbestos story. This reminded me so much of the stories I used to make up for the boys at bedtime.

In closing, because I know this has been one heck of a rambling post, I'd just like to say a huge thank you to Ross for allowing me to tell people about Asbestos. I'd also like to point out to all my parental type readers that Christmas will be here before you know it and this little comic book should be under every Christmas tree. At $7, it's far less than a lot of us pay for books and your child will delight in seeing Asbestos on his journey to save the Land of Possible and to find Santa.


* This is a sad geek joke. Usability testing isn't done on stuffed toys.

I actually bought this comic book myself. I received nothing in exchange for this review. It was all my idea and my money and clearly my rambling opinions. Have you bought the book yet? If not, go the know you want to and Santa is watching...

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