As news spread of Typhoon Haiyan, which has displaced 800,000 people, left 2 million without food, and caused at least 1,700 deaths in the Philippines, comics creators began to organize to help. Actually, some were already poised to send aid to the devastated nation, as Haiyan is its second catastrophe in the past couple of weeks: A 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattled the region on Oct. 15, leaving a reported 222 people dead and 976 injured, and destroying 73,000 structures.
We do love a good GIF here at Robot 6. I could make all sorts of bold claims for the format, like it’s one of the first great digital native art forms. I could quote the nerds at the Oxford American Dictionaries who, after making it their 2012 word of the year, announced “the GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace.” Or I could just point you to the Tumblr blog of the pseudonymous GIF creator ABVH, clearly someone who loves comics.
In the last few weeks he’s posted animated versions of images by Kevin O’Neill and Yale Stewart, but the clear winner is this unsettling adaptation of Jock’s instant-classic cover to Detective Comics #880.
Yale Stewart, creator of the popular “Justice-League-as-kids” fan webcomic JL8, has created some wallpaper that he’s selling to benefit victims of Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. There are three versions: the one above, a reversed image with the Flash running toward the left, and a left-running one sized especially for Facebook covers. A $1 donation (or more, if you like) gets you all three in a zipped file. Stewart will divide all proceeds equally between Boston Children’s Hospital and Red Cross of Boston.
We’ve mentioned it before, but if you haven’t yet had a chance to check out Yale Stewart’s awesome, completely charming webcomic about grammar-school versions of the Justice League, now is a perfect time to start. The strip has recently been re-named JL8 (for reasons having nothing to do with DC Comics) and moved to a new URL, but even better: Neil Gaiman has shown up as part of a story in which Batman is helping Superman pick out a birthday present for Wonder Woman.
I often look at fan art and wish that it was from a real comic. But sometimes — rarely — the artist goes right ahead and makes a real comic out of his fan art. That’s what Yale Stewart’s done with Little League, his webcomic featuring the grammar-school adventures of the Justice League of America.
There are obvious similarities to Tiny Titans, but Stewart’s has a slightly different tone from that series. Like Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani’s wonderful comic for kids, Little League is cute and funny and occasionally references events in the regular DC Universe (like the current storyline in which some of the heroes get new costumes in order to appear grown-up). The differences have to do with format and probably with the characters themselves.