The Grizzly’s Spotlight: Yale Stewart’s ‘JL8’

*Since publication, the comic has been retitled: JL8

Welcome back to the Grizzly Spotlight. For this edition we are going to take a look at one of my favorite webcomics, Little League. It’s no secret I’m a fan of comics, comic strips, and the internet. So obviously I’m going to enjoy a well written amalgamation. Here’s a bit more on the comic:

“Little League” is a side project of “Gifted” creator Yale Stewart. A weekly webcomic, it follows the adventures of popular DC comic characters as children in elementary school. Mostly funny, with a dash of pathos, it should be an enjoyable read for any fans of DC Comics characters as well as people who enjoy the traditional syndicated comic strip.

There’s a lot of greatness to this comic. First of all, it’s the Justice League in elementary school. That alone sounds impossible to beat. We join Bruce, Clark, Diana, Hal, Barry,  J’onn, and Karen as they deal with the trials and tribulations of the hardships experienced. After all, it can never be easy for the Caped Crusader to deal with the daunting decision of what to wear to school. (Click the pics for bigger versions)

Little League

I’ve heard it described as Peanuts-esque, I like to think of it with a bit of a Calvin & Hobbes flavor to it as well. but really, Little League is an organic series that gains strength from its multiple inspirations. And its easy to see that Stewart is a fan of the DC characters with the many nods to continuity as well as a great look at these characters. Stripping down the heroes to this age level works perfectly and defines the various relationships as well if not better than the comics they are based off of.

Little League

The class is presided over by Mr. Schwartz, after Julius Schwartz, who the guiding force behind the DC Universe for numerous years and heralded the start of the Silver Age of DC. Kind of like Marvel’s Stan Lee, but less hype and more honest to goodness work. Anyways, Mr. Schwartz is but one small piece of nerd goodness amongst a series of great moments.

The personalities of the characters are explored and redefined in very humorous ways that fit the setting perfectly. Whether its Bruce discovering how much he enjoys ‘time out’:

Little League

or Bruce trying to inoculate Clark with his Anti-Cootie Bat-idote, these are still the characters we all love put in the situations we’ve all been in. I especially love some of the team dynamics that develop, like the relationship between Bruce, Clark, and Hal after they all help stop a mugging and are labeled as kids. They are then set upon by the rival class. Enter the villains of Little League.

Here’s another moment of pure nerd greatness. A perfect ensemble of Little Legion of Doom’ers, and the best part is the Red Hood. For those that don’t know, before Joker was Joker he was two-bit criminal Red Hood. What an awesome touch to add to the strip when it would have been as easy to throw in a Little Joker there instead. And I just had to show you this one as well:

I honestly couldn’t get enough. I started at the beginning of the series and din’t stop until I was all caught up. a continuing storyline that brings you in and keeps you there with humor, nostalgia, and a huge amount of heart. A perfect example of how Stewart truly does understand these characters and how they would react and feel in any of these situations are the next 2 strips:

It’s a poignant and thoughtful look at the different upbringing of these two iconic heroes, which adds to their relationship. The whole series is full of great moments like this, blended with some really hilarious scenes.While there are a few characters I would love to see join the class (As Dr. Kronner said I’m a little bummed there is no Aquaman yet) the class is a solid set of Leaguer’s who react well together.

I just realized I haven’t shown much of Barry, who I think is a shining light of the series. In this strip he’s dealing with his jealousy after Bruce, Clark, and Hal upgrade their costumes:

Here are a few more strips that literally made me laugh out loud.

I really could just keep posting all the strips for your enjoyment, but I really must encourage you to check out the Tumblr and give them a read. Plus the site updates with a new strip every Monday and Thursday, so its really win/win. You can start at the first strip here and I highly recommend it. Very highly. Like do it now or else don’t come back here. Okay, come back here. But go there first.

You can also check out Little League on Facebook. While you’re there you might as well like Grizzly Bomb on Facebook as well. Just saying. It saves time.

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