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DC Comics is expanding its digital-first initiative Wednesday with Li’l Gotham, a monthly serial featuring Dustin Nguyen’s popular chibi-esque renditions of Batman’s friends and foes. Nguyen’s frequent collaborate Derek Fridolfs will co-write.
The story, called “The Calendar of Small Events,” is holiday-themed, with the first installment tied to Halloween. Subsequent chapters will center around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
“This has been a passion project of mine for some time now, and for anyone that’s followed my work, I’m sure it’s more of an ‘its about time!’” Nguyen told DC’s The Source. “The look and style is a slight departure from my usual (think the exact opposite of serious), but the idea has always been the same — to take our favorite existing Gotham characters, place them in fun scenarios without having to be tied to just one continuity or look and feel. It’s basically a Batman book for fans, by two huge fans.”
While the artist’s pint-sized, and lighthearted, takes on the denizens of Gotham made their official debut in 2009’s Batman Annual #27 and Detective Comics Annual #11, they began years before as a hobby.
“At times in various platforms, Batman has been extremely dark and taken very seriously,” Fridolfs said. “So respectfully, we’re going in the opposite direction and having a bit of whimsical fun with a whole city of characters beloved by fans and especially ourselves. Li’l size … big enjoyment.”
Each installment is available for download for 99 cents from the DC Comics website.