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A Tiny Milestone

Doing something for twenty five months straight is admirable. Beyond admirable. That’s over two years of meeting a goal, and that’s exactly what Art Baltazar and Franco have done with Tiny Titans.

For a time there seemed to be a sentiment around comics that no one wanted books aimed directly at kids. All Ages really meant teenagers. Anything else meant the market was too narrow. Then DC decided to go ahead with their revamp of the super hero titles under the “Johnny DC” Imprint. Gone were older teen focused titles of “Teen Titans Go!”, “The Batman Strikes,” and Justice League “unlimited.” In were such titles as “DC Super Friends,” “Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam,” and “Tiny Titans.

I’m having a hard time remembering the exact history, but I believe Tiny Titans was the first book out of the gate. In my eyes the book was a roaring success from the very beginning. It is a shining example of how narrowing your focus can work. This is not to say that broader focused titles are not bad, just to say that a narrow focus can work to your advantage. Tiny Titans, as a book, is not at all ashamed of what it is. What it is, is the best comic book for young children on the Market. Yes, it includes jokes that only us older readers can understand. There are references to characters that the people who write the DC Encyclopedia books can’t remember, but its never distracting. It makes the hardest ideas of the DC universe palatable. The book has explored time travel, continuity, and the idea of parallel universes as well as anything else DC has trotted out. It’s also tackled teamwork, friendship, chores, and cliques better than some children’s books aimed squarely at those topics.

My absolute favorite thing about the series so far has been the humor. It’s a funny funny book. All credit goes to Art and Franco for making me smile on every page. It’s close to a work of magic, what they do. It’s hard to get over how not dumbed down the series is. I’m repeating myself here, but it’s the thing to say. When you have fervent focus on a goal you can succeed beyond it. I don’t feel as if I’m reading a book that’s meant for parents to think it’s aimed at small children. I feel like I am reading a book genuinely designed to make kids laugh. Just so happens that I laugh right along with it.

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January 21, 2010 - Posted by | Comics

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