Wednesday, August 28, 2013

365 Comics...239: Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 (2013)

I still need to dive into Baltazar and Franco's "Aw Yeah Comics" over at Thrillbent (I'm still kicking myself for forgetting to support their Kickstarter, though they didn't need the help, really), but it's nice to see that DC's loss is someone else's gain.

Tiny Titans was an amazing comic for DC, both as a rare humour book and a rare younger readers book.  All the rumblings of late over DC is that they're not in the business of publishing comics for kids (and some could argue that they're barely in the business of making comics for anyone, rather than just being a concept and Trademark farm) and that kids books don't really sell well for them.  I believe it's a matter of priorities and focus.  Put any sort of attention into it and I'm certain they could sell, they just choose not to go after that market.

Baltazar and Franco were put onto the less appealing (though still enjoyable) Superman Family after the end of Tiny Titans, but that petered out after a year as well.  Itty Bitty Hellboy recycles the Tiny Titans formula of micro versions of the most famous Hellboy characters (good and bad) and puts them in a delightful backyard setting.  It's a structure they're obviously intimately familiar with and it feels like old hat to them.  Though they focus more on the bad guys than good guys, I'm hoping that in the coming issues they flesh out the personalities of wee Hellboy, Liz, Abe and company.  Roger the Homunculus as the weird kid is awesome.

Art Baltazar's style is becoming iconic particularly in the younger audience version of established characters.  With the Super Pets books on top of the other projects metioned above, it's only a matter of time before there's a critical mass of acceptance and appreciation of his work.  He's a truly unique talent worthy of Bill Watterson-level celebration.

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