Itty Bitty Hellboy #1 (of 5)
Written By:Art Baltazar, Franco
Illustrated by : Art Baltazar
Cover Art By:Art Baltazar
Itty Bitty Hellboy is the newest creation from Art and Fraco, originators of the very similar Tiny Titans and Superman Family Adventures series. Inspired my Mike Mignola’s desire to have child appropriate items to sell at his many annual comic conventions, Itty Bitty Hellboy trades in most of the street grit that has become a Mignola standard over the past 20 years and replaces it with a childlike mischievous spirit complete with practical jokes and refrigerator box
Set in Suburbia, America, the miniaturized versions of these fan favorite characters are intended for young readers and make Hellboy accessible to the portion of our population not yet acquainted with the adult notions of war, Nazis, or the many other worldly issues which exist outside their sandbox.
It’s a truly fun introduction to Hellboy for children who are too young to read the comics or even see the movies. More importantly, it’s a way to inspire a new generation of people who will invest in the endangered species comic books have become. With the proper marketing, it’s easy to see this and similar titles becoming additions to an early reader’s book arsenal stacked high alongside Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter and the omnipresent Golden Book collection every child really should have in their bedroom. Geek parents beware. Itty Bitty Hellboy might just be the gateway drug your kid needs to fall in love with the comic book medium and you’ll be the one funding the habit for the next 12 years. A worthy sacrifice to preserve the proud print media legacy.
The character designs are charming but sterilized for a much younger audience than the originals which obviously strips them of some of their personality. There are no bad guys, simply harmless neighborhood rivals who go back and forth in a symbiotic cat and mouse game. One can only hope future issues harness the ascetically pleasing and all around interesting Abe Sapien who doesn’t make an appearance until the very end of this first issue.
While these comics probably aren’t for readers without children, if you do end up reading these over and over as part of the often monotonous bedtime routines parents are blessed with, there are some Easter eggs thrown in for your enjoyment. Issue one even provides a well-placed pamcake reference.
With a lot less seriousness and a focus on just how funny Hellboy can really be, kids everywhere will be hoping to find out the monster under their bed is really the adorable yet devilish Itty Bitty Hellboy complete with horns, tail and his giant hand.
Written By Rachel Brandt