SpongeBob Comics is an ongoing comic book series published by Bongo Comics and based on the television series SpongeBob SquarePants. It was published every two months in the United States beginning in February 2011 and has been published monthly since June 2012.
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The SpongeBob SquarePants characters had appeared before in comic stories within Nickelodeon Magazine and Tokyopop's Cinemanga series, but they never featured in their own comic book until SpongeBob Comics, which was announced by creator Stephen Hillenburg in November 2010. Debuting in February 2011, the series is published by United Plankton Pictures in association with Bongo Comics. Along with Hillenburg, independent comic creators who contributed to the first issue include James Kochalka, Hilary Barta, Graham Annable, Gregg Schigiel, and Jacob Chabo. Issue number 13, a Halloween special, was released in October 2012 featuring the work of such writers and artists as Stephen R. Bissette, Tony Millionaire, Al Jaffee, and Derek Drymon. Another Halloween-themed issue was released the following year featuring cartoonist Michael T. Gilbert.
In June 2013, United Plankton released SpongeBob Annual-Size Super-Giant Swimtacular #1. Managing editor Chris Duffy said the annual was "specially tailored" for superhero fans, with a cover by artist Jacob Chabo that was influenced by the Marvel Comics annuals of the 1960s. Collaborators for the book included Drymon, Kochalka, Barta, Ramona Fradon, Chuck Dixon, Jerry Ordway, and Vincent Deporter. A second superhero-inspired annual was released in June 2014.
In a review of the premiere issue, Chad Nevett of Comic Book Resources wrote: "SpongeBob Comics is effective at capturing the tone of the show and allowing the creators to present their own takes on the characters at times. It suffers sometimes from not being able to rely on the strengths of animation and, hopefully, will take advantage of the things that comics can do that animation can't."
Brigid Alverson of Comic Book Resources described SpongeBob Annual-Size Super-Giant Swimtacular #1 as "48 pages of pure summer vacation fun that is goofy enough to be fun for kids and smart enough to entertain adults as well." Writing for School Library Journal, J. Caleb Mozzocco said that although the longer page-count and higher price tag of the SpongeBob annual might make it a "less-than-ideal" jumping-on point, he added that "the superhero parody content ironically makes it an even easier comic for comics readers with no experience with the cartoon to enjoy."
Free Comic Book Day (Freestyle Funnies)
- SpongeBob at Bongo Comics
- SpongeBob Comics at the Comic Book DB