I didn’t grow up reading comic books – still don’t. My introduction to most of the classic DC and Marvel characters came through movies or cartoons, but I’ve grown a fond appreciation for comics as a storytelling medium. Obviously, the poor fella stuck in Out of the Box doesn’t get to enjoy a grand multi-panel comic, but I have wanted to create a classic comic like that for years – it’s just such a fun mix of the written word and visual illustration, a bridge between books and movies. This isn’t about me, though. No, this post is about one of the most charming, lovely little comics I’ve ever come across.
I’m late to this party, I know, but on the off-chance that I can illuminate someone else in the same way I was illuminated just the other day, I’m here to tell you about a comic called JL8. The author, Yale Stewart, does it as a side-project, which I find pretty astounding given his ability to have such a quick turnaround on something so nice. Haha, that’s the real reason I’ve kept from any regular comic work 😉 . As you might have guessed from the image above, JL8 is basically a Muppet Babies for the Justice League and other DC characters. The comic follows these characters as young kids in elementary school, already with the powers and character traits we know them to have as adults but also still very much kids. They’re all there – Batman, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman – but, of course, in this world, they’re just Bruce, Clark, Barry, and Diana. I found myself going through the whole archive in two sittings (would’ve been one if I didn’t have other things to attend to), and there were so many wonderful moments that were extremely creative artistically, emotionally touching, or laugh-out-loud hilarious. Yes, I LOL’d. The relationships are rich and engaging, and it’s all just a wonderful blend of in-jokes based on who the characters are and original humor based on childhood.
Stewart posts his work on tumblr at JL8 Comic, but there is an alternative, author-blessed site that provides for easier viewing, especially when going through the archives (start at #1, and simply right-arrow your way through).
I hope I’m turning someone onto this charming comic for the first time, and if at least one new person can fall in love with JL8 even a fraction as much as I have, I’ll be happy. I didn’t want to post a comic that gives away too much (including some very entertaining cameos and other fun character-introductions), but if you’d like to see the rest of the comic segment above, click below for the full image – and then go check out JL8! I really can’t recommend it enough.