First off, apologies to my loyal PopCult Bookshelf readers for our absence these past two weeks. June is a ridiculously busy month here at PopCult with two Wheeling toy conventions, ten days of FestivALL, and the RFC Mini Show eating up a lot of time that would otherwise be spent reading. So this week, we’re bringing you a quick rundown of some comic books that we meant to bring you last Thursday and again over last weekend, but didn’t. June just isn’t a good month for reading.
Rather than do a straight review, we’re just going to update you on the latest works from one of our favorite creators of kid-friendly comics, Art Baltazar, and his steadfast collaborator, Franco. We ran into Art at Mego Meet in Wheeling a couple of weeks ago and caught up with the latest cool stuff of his that’s been published lately.
We’ll start with the latest publications from Art’s own company, Aw Yeah Comics! If you go to the Aw Yeah Comics! website, you can order the latest issue of his flagship title, Aw Yeah Comics!, starring Action Cat. In issue seven, Action Cat encounters Eez-el, a hipster cat who dances, makes pottery, and chugs coffee and who also has an art gallery devoted to Action Cat. This book also includes strips with guest creators telling their own Action Cat stories such as “The Case of The Stolen Comics,” written and drawn by Scoot McMahon. The entire book is yet another delightful all-ages-friendly comic book title that is indeed fun for the whole family.
While at the Aw Yeah Comics! website, you can also pick up a one shot comic where former TNA wrestlers Christopher Daniels and Kazarian wrestle Action Cat, Adventure Bug, and Awesome Bear. They all team up to do battle with the Genius Marquaid before the wrestlers end up flung back into their native dimension. This story is written by wrestler Christopher Daniels and drawn by Art Baltazar.
Other work by Art that you might find entertaining includes Captain Action Cat, published by Dynamite Comics, which features a mash-up of Balthazar’s Action Cat with the classic superhero action figure, Captain Action. These are great, fun filled adventure tales with a few superhero guest stars thrown in the mix and they’re a great way to get kids familiar with the character of Captain Action in the months leading up to his return to toy store shelves in time for Christmas.You can also find this commic book and collections of Art and Franco’s “Itty Bitty Hellboy” at the Aw Yeah Comics! website.
Art and Franco have also returned to DC Comics where a new Tiny Titans six issue mini series is currently being published. This again is a very funny, fun filled take on DC’s sidekick heroes depicted quite a bit younger than they are normally seen.
I’m including a lot of samples of Art’s work with this piece because as I said, it’s more of a “heads up” than a review.
You might also want to touch base with your local comic book shop because Dark Horse Comics will be releasing a trade paperback collecting the first four issues of Aw Yeah Comics! which is due out in September.
Art’s work is a reminder that comic books can actually be comic. His books are fun, very well crafted, and suitable for all ages. Not a lot of comic books these days can make that claim.