Denver Comic Con was a blast. If you’ve come to the site after finding us there, welcome! Please leave a comment and introduce yourself.
DCC’s final attendance count was about 61,000, which is over twice that of last year! There were some crowd control problems, especially on Friday, but I guess some growing pains are to be expected. I’m hopeful that next year will be even bigger, and will run more smoothly.
Big thanks to all the talented artists who sent us guest art for our hiatus! If you missed them, take a look at our guest and fan art gallery. Also, make sure you check out their sites:
And now, we return you to your regularly scheduled webcomic…
(By the way, in case you don’t remember it from… jeez, a year ago? Really? Anyway the Golem’s first line is a callback to this.)
In the 90s, there was an Uncanny X-Men annual that featured cloned, toddler versions of the X-Men called the X-Babies. This was an apparent response to a recent trend of releasing “baby” versions of popular properties (Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies, Baby Looney Tunes, and many others), and as a parody of those shows, it worked pretty well. It was kind of cute and kind of funny, and it was a fine one-shot diversion for an annual. The characters have made a handful of appearances since then, and though I haven’t seen them, I can only assume that they have produced diminishing returns. The X-Babies are a gimmick, and nothing more. It doesn’t take long for the joke to wear thin, and then what’s the point?
At a glance, one might think that Yale Stewart’s JL8 is simply the X-Babies concept applied to DC’s Justice League, but that’s not the case at all. JL8 re-imagines the Justice League as 8-year-olds, but that’s where the similarities end. While the X-Babies exist in the regular Marvel Universe, and fight super-villains just like their grown-up counterparts do, the kids from JL8 live the lives of ordinary kids, even if they do have superpowers and wear flashy costumes. Their days are filled with free reading, recess, and birthday parties, and yet these are the characters that you know and love, brilliantly and lovingly reinterpreted.
Little Bruce is undeniably the star. As you’d expect, he tends to be overly-serious, and never misses an opportunity to brood. But your heart will break for him when he drops his buddy Clark off at home. Also his reading of Sun Tzu leaves him ill-equipped to help Clark with his crush on Diana, or for Karen’s crush on him. Meanwhile, the Martian exchange student J’onn struggles to adapt to life on Earth, and finds Barry and Hal don’t make great role models.
Amid all these adorable goings-on, Stewart manages to take a couple of clever jabs at the over-designed costumes of the “New 52″ as well as Power Girl’s boob window.
I don’t think I’m doing this strip justice. It’s difficult to describe it without making it sound overly cutesy and saccharine, but that’s absolutely not the case. This is without qualification the best webcomic I’ve come across in quite a while. My only complaint is that I don’t think tumblr, its original home, is a very good platform for webcomics. Fortunately, there is an alternate site that is much easier to navigate.
But don’t take my word for it. JL8‘s strip format makes for a breezy read. Give it a look, and within five to ten strips, I bet you’ll be hooked!
Today’s spectacular guest art comes courtesy of good friend of The Specialists Cori Redford, and is the first to feature Lightning Lass. Until now, Dr. Smallwood had only been interpreted by one artist other than me, but this interpretation by Cori is a doozy. There’s so much to like about this piece, it’s hard to single anything out: the arc of electricity, the flowing tendrils of hair, the dramatic coloring. A fantastic job. It has a kind of Art Nouveau feel to me, and reminds me of the work of Alphonse Mucha in particular (which I intend as a big compliment).
Join with me in thanking Cori for such a wonderful piece, and for ending our guest art-filled hiatus in grand style. Thanks to all the artists who graced us with their drawings.
Be back here on Monday for a new page of The Specialists!
Today’s piece comes courtesy of TK James. When doing a drawing or story based on a particular place and time, it’s important to get the details right. The 1940s had styles of dress and hair and so on that were unique and indicative of the era. TK’s rendition of Lady Liberty rather nicely evokes the feel of the ’40s, from that wavy hairdo to the outfit and shoes. I doubt that Goetz and the Army brass would ever let Agnes be seen in such a racy outfit, but that’s kinda beside the point, isn’t it? It’s nice to see Miss Deveraux get some love, though. Raise that torch high!
Check out more of TK’s art here: http://tabikatpaws.deviantart.com/
Thanks again TK for the lovely artwork!
Today’s art is a sketch featuring a hopeful message of unity by Les Vosla. I don’t know if Max and Hartmann will ever find any common ground upon which to move forward as teammates, but Les’s drawing certainly gives me hope. I wish I had some more information to share about Les, but instead I’ll simply say I think the depictions of Max and Hartmann are just swell, and the evocation of a WWII propaganda poster is a great touch.
Thanks again, Les! Send us more sketches any time.