"Itty Bitty Hellboy #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Dark Horse Comics
Written by Art Baltazar & Franco
Illustrated by Art Baltazar
25 Pages, $2.99
Comic released on August 28th, 2013
A sad fact of the current comic book industry is that it's geared towards adults. There are not many funny books made for children anymore, which is unfortunate. It is even more unfortunate when a great comic for kids comes around and is subsequently canceled. That was the case with Tiny Titans, a book featuring pint size versions of the Teen Titans (Robin, Beast Boy, Speedy, etc.) from Art Baltazar and Franco. Thankfully, Dark Horse Comics employ some very smart people who scooped up the creative team. The result is Itty Bitty Hellboy.
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Past readers of Tiny Titans will see a lot of similarities between that and Itty Bitty Hellboy. That's definitely not a bad thing, though. Baltazar and Franco brought the same innocent joy and pure fun to this title. Hellboy can be a real doom and gloom comic dealing with some pretty dark stuff, but this title focuses on a group of friends and their not-so-evil rivals as they all just try to have fun.
As with Tiny Titans, this comic is broken up into a series of short stories, each only two to four pages long. The topics range from missing underwear to who has the best fort. The humor is something that children will enjoy but adults can appreciate too.
Baltazar's art is beautiful and adorable. The entire B.P.R.D. gang is represented, including Liz, Abe, and Roger. Each looks like they were taken out of a cartoon. Holy crap, I just had a flash of what Itty Bitty Hellboy would look like as an animated show and now I want nothing more in this world. The artwork is pretty basic and is definitely geared towards a younger audience. This isn't John Cassaday or Alex Ross, but you're not expecting those kinds of images here. That's not to say that Baltazar's work is bad. It's quite the opposite. I want full size images from some of the pages to frame for my kid's room.
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Itty Bitty Hellboy is a great comic and one that I hope continues for many more issues. It's the kind of book you can read with your kid, which you can both enjoy. The humor works on several levels. The structure of the comic is such that you can easily pick it up at any time and dive right in. This can be the gateway comic for your child to the wide world of Hellboy that includes everything from killer frogs to the devil himself. This issue doesn't start with that, but who knows where it could go next?