Monday, April 18, 2016

CBR:Quickies Li'l Dynamites

Time for some Art Baltazar goodness.

Tiny Battlestar Galactica, you say? Tiny Bionic Man? How about a Tiny Red Sonja? Aw, Yeah!!

Aw Yeah, Comics!!

After leaving DC Comics for Dark Horse Comics Art Baltazar and Franco where able to keep making fun All-Age comics elsewhere, since major publishers didn't seem interested in the genre anymore.

After making the very funny little Itty Bitty Hellboy at Dark Horse Comics, the duo went to Dynamite Entertainment to basically keep doing the exact same thing.

Li'l Dynamites!

Only different is that this time they're turning all kinds of licensed material Dynamite's currently publishing into Tiny Titans!

Well, actually only one of these one-shots was entirely done by the Art Baltazar and Franco duo. But don't let that detract you from the overall experience, they're all pretty fun all-age titles both long time fans and younger readers can enjoy!

Comic title: Li'l Ernie #1
Written and illustrated by Roger Langridge
Format: One-shot special issue Li'l Ernie #1.

Li'l Ernie sees the adventures of Ernest Fairchild, the most evil kid on the block!

Unlike is adult counterpart Evil Ernie, Li'l Ernie is not your usual evil monster, here's more of an annoying evil pest, but he's really a kid with a good heart.

He tries to terrorizes the other kids in town, but nobody is frightened by his antics. His "conscience" Mister Smiley tags along to keep in check. And his Daddy Fairchild is just a zombie.

Li'l Ernie is a fun zombie comedy read for readers of all age!

Overall: The first one-shot in the lineup, Li'l Ernie was released on December 2013.

This one was actually not illustrated by Art Baltazar himself, he just did draw the main cover like all these other comics covered here. Instead cartoonist Roger Langridge did the artwork and plotted the issue.

It's a really fun twist on the mature series Evil Ernie, covering over 30 pages of pure fun! It also works as a great entry point if you wanna discover these various ongoing series.

Like the rest of this "Li'l Dynamites" series would, this one-shot also contains some fun games and crosswords and labyrinths spread on a two-page activity sheet in the middle of the book!

I give this one a: 2 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Li'l Bionic Kids
Written by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Ian Mcginty 
Format: One-shot special issue Li'l Bionic Kids #1.

Meet Li'l Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers! After a tragic playground accident (it's not that bad, don't worry), Steven and Jaime were sent to the nurse office where they were rebuilt. Better! Stronger! Faster!... And smaller?!?

Steven and Jaime are enrolled as students at the A.S.I. - the Academy of Science Intelligence, a school for the unique and gifted!

They soon meet the other kids, but then some problems arise! See, the others are not only plain normal regular human kids, but there's also cyborgs and robots with all kinds of body part modifications!

Oh, and is that some alien invaders on track and field day!?

Overall: Published on January 2014, Li'l Bionic Kids was the following one-shot!

Like the other one above this one was also not illustrated by Art Baltazar and Franco, instead the interiors were done by the very talented Brandon Jerwa. His art is absolutely gorgeous and breathing full of life!

This was a fantastic read for someone like me who's only sort of familiar with the original vintage TV series. Great read!

Like the other one-shots it also contains some funny games.

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Li'l Battlestar Galactica 
Written by Franco & Art Baltazar
Art by Art Baltazar
Format: One-shot special issue Li'l Battlestar Galactica #1.

Aw Yeah, the search for Earth continues!

In the distant future humanity migrated into these spacial colonies. Now they're at war with a robotic race known as the Cylons. The only remaining colonial spaceship left is this giant battleship, the Battlestar Galactica.

The Cylons suddenly attack the BG! The only hope left to save the day ar Li'l Apollo and Starbuck!

You know, those Cylon dudes are kind of creepy, with that one big freaky eye that goes "Woo-Woo"!

Ok, so the Cylons are pretty scary, but can they keep that one baby Cylon? Pretty please? I don't care if he's just a head!

And they'll still be finding Cylon heads aboard the BG for days to come after this epic adventure!

Overall: Also released in January 2014, Li'l Battlestar Galactica was sort of the main feature of this Li'l Dynamites lineup.

With Franco & Art Baltazar being the actual creative team on this one. They used their usual story.-structure, if you read Tiny Titans or Itty Bitty Hellboy in the past, it will be pretty familiar to you. With issues divided in several standalone chapters covering one larger adventure.

It's a really fun idealized cartoony version of the show. Which works as a really fun companion or introduction to Battlestar Galactica.

Like the other issues it also contains some games and whatnot, they're pretty hilarious here such as putting a head back on a Cylon-labyrithn or also identifying two identical Cylons. Awesome!

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Li'l Vampi 
Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Agnes Garbowska
Format: One-shot special issue Li'l Vampi #1.

Our story takes place in Stoker, Maine. Home of Li'l Vampirella!

A pretty boring normal place. Well, I mean, usually. But today people seem to have been turning into all kinds of creatures all around town for some reason. Soon everybody is turned into ghosts, ghouls, goblins and other mummies! Why?! Well, it's up to Li'l Vampi to find out and put a stop to this curse!

She goes to the local public library and finds the answer in... the Necronomicon!!

Overall: The third Li'l Dynamites comic of January 2014, Li'l Vampi is a really fun take on the cult classic Vampirella character.

It works so well, I could see this an actual standalone on-going series. In fact, Dynamite did too since they've released a second issue later that year, the Li'l Vampi Holiday Special 2014.

Agnes Garbowska's art is simply gorgeous to look at. There's some really funny and creative scenes like that last chase playing off old school sidescroller video games!

This one also contained an additional Pantha comic strip, by Brandon and Orion Jerwa and Agnes Garbowska as well as the usual activity page. A funny bonus side-story featuring the Goddess-turned-pet cat of Li'l Vampi, Pantha - aka Sekhmet!

I give this one a: 3 / 3 Score!

Comic title: Li'l Sonja 
Written by Jim Zub
Art by Joel Carroll
Format: One-shot special issue Li'l Sonja #1.

This is the tale of the warrior girl Li'l Sonja! A fearsome warrior that likes to go from town to town, traveling the world, fighting monsters and bullies!

Our story begins when the Li'l She-Devil With a Sword found a town terrorized by mysterious bandits. Redhead children have disappeared. All sort of red fruits, red veggies, red clothes and even red peppers have also been stolen. Hey, waitaminute, they're all red!

And the thief turns out to be a dragon with a fixation on the color red!

Overall: Li'l Sonja was the last one.

This one actually follows a proper story instead of just relying on jokes! Jim Zub crafted a really nice more traditional enjoyable adventure.

Joel Carroll's art is wonderfully cute. Slightly less cartoony and "older" than the other Li'l Dynamites comics.

Also this one didn't have the usual activity page but instead a full-on "boardgame" you can actually play with some friends and a dice!

I give this one a: 2.5 / 3 Score!

And that is all for these one-shots!

They're all really funny and enjoyable. I could easily see these work as a great entry point for newcomers wanting to discover these various series.

I know Art Baltazar and Franco didn't do all these issues, but they're fairly similar in tone and style. On a funny note, if you put all these comics together you can  make a lovely pin-up by the duo!

With the success of these short lived comcis, Dynamites even announced they would follow--up some of these into actual regular comics!

Aw Yeah, Comics!

That's all for this time's Quickies!

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