Hope you didn’t miss one of the biggest days of the year for comic shops around the world, because FREE COMIC BOOK DAY (FCBD) 2018 is already in the books (you see what we did there?). The extravaganza — which takes place the 1st Saturday in May every year — is designed to get more comics into readers’ hands, and hopefully create some new fans!
Once again, we here at ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM HEADQUARTERS, produced a special, ALL-NEW, FREE edition of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! The ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2018 Edition was inspired by the realization that FREE COMIC BOOK DAY would fall on CINCO DE MAYO this year. The Mexico-themed celebration sparked the idea for an ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM FCBD storyline that was too good to pass up.
I came up with the character, RRRAPIDO, a while ago — A Latino character with speed powers (the three “R’s” indicate “rolling your “R’s”). He was one of a new wave of heroes I was working on who would all be introduced in a “try-out-themed” ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM storyline somewhere down the line. When I discovered the 2018 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY / CINCO DE MAYO connection, I started thinking about moving the try-out storyline to the top of the AFK schedule. I could introduce RRRAPIDO to the ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM Universe on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, and make him a hero specifically from Mexico. The more I thought about the synchronicity of the idea, the more I knew it had to be done.
I knew I was on to something when I came-up with the concept of presenting all of RRRAPIDO’S dialogue in the FCBD issue in Spanish, and utilizing ACROBOT as a translator throughout the story (the standard method used when a comic book character speaks another language, is to put English dialogue in parenthesis, which indicates it’s really another language). Having RRRAPIDO’s dialogue in actual Spanish, was more authentic, and combined with SPARKINATOR’s rudimentary understanding of the language, led to much of the issues humor. As a bonus, the “translation concept” is also somewhat educational — it certainly was for me! I was fortunate to have a friend in Mexico City who was willing to help me with all of my Spanish dialogue, and was also very pleasant to work with – Thank you Regina Sienra!
After writing the FCBD2018 script, and seeing I had a 12-page story on my hands, I realized I wouldn’t be able to finish the time-consuming finished pencils in time for a FCBD release. This is when I came-up with the idea to produce a “Sketch” edition instead. Besides being quicker to draw, the sketch version would also give AFK fans something different than a regular issue of AFK, and would also look pretty cool (the sketches always do). Thanks to this decision, I actually beat my deadline and had finished the 12-page story several weeks before FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. This is when AFK cover colorist — and the artist of the upcoming ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11 — Ziggy B, and I, came-up with the crazy idea of adding some of his pages from AFK#11 to the AFKFCBD2018 Edition. Not only would this give everyone a preview of the very NEXT AFK issue, but it would also give us the opportunity to showcase the “ACTION FIGURE” element of AFK, since ZIGGY’s pages would feature the AFK kids playing with their action figures – while my story was all “KINGDOM.”
A “kids playing with their action figures” panel from the upcoming AFK#11, by Ziggy B.
THE RACE WAS ON!
Once we decided to include Ziggy’s pages we were back under deadline. Ziggy increased his pace (he had a lot of the penciling finished, but he still had most of the inking to do) and I began lettering his pages (luckily we work well together). The end result is our biggest FREE COMIC BOOK DAY issue ever — 24-pages if you include the covers — 12 sequential pages and a RRRAPIDO pin-up by me, and 6 sequential pages plus a pin-up (the cover to AFK#11) by Ziggy. Thanks to a quick turn around by our printer, we had the issue printed just in time for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. – ¡Y el resto es historia! (and the rest is history!).
If you didn’t get a copy of the AFKFCBD2018 CINCO DE MAYO SPECIAL (handed out at FUNNYBOOKS on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, see below*), you can now read the whole thing right here at actionfigurekingdom.com.Simply go to the “comics” tab and scroll to the bottom of our “FREE READS” section — where you will also find last year’s “4th-wall-breaching” FCBD issue.
TO BE CONTINUED…
While you may have to wait a while for the rest of the RRRAPIDO try-out storyline, (currently scheduled to continue in AFK#13), you will be able to continue Ziggy’s story this summer in ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM #11. More on that in the next blog.
Thanks for reading! – Action Steve
*Did you know the creator of ACTION FIGURE KINGDOM, Steve Conte (A.K.A. the guy writing this) also owns and operates a friendly little New Jersey comic shop named FUNNYBOOKS (funnyrama.com). The AFK FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2018 CINCO DE MAYO SPECIAL was offered as a FUNNYBOOKS exclusive on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY this year. A limited number of copies are still available.