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Tales of the Tiny Titans

Tales of the Tiny Titans
The creators of ‘Patrick the Wolfboy’ jump headfirst into superhero territory for the Johnny DC line
By Kiel Phegley – Posted August 13, 2007 –

For one hour at Wizard World Chicago on Saturday, Franco Aureliani and Art Baltazar were rock stars. The co-writer and artist of the acclaimed indie kids’ comic Patrick the Wolfboy were announced as the new creators of Tiny Titans, a Johnny DC comic presenting a young-readers take on the teen team, and as the panel wrapped up, a flood of fans and well-wishers rushed to the stage to shake their hands and congratulate them.

Still a little starstruck by the whole experience, the creators took a moment to explain what fans of the original Titans comics can expect from their series and why their kids are going to love it too.

WIZARD: So you guys just got the call out of the blue to do this comic?

BALTAZAR: [DC Coordinating Editor Jann Jones] just called us up and asked.

AURELIANI: Apparently she’d been a fan of our stuff for years, but we didn’t know she was related to DC at all. When she approached [DC Executive Editor] Dan [DiDio] about the kids’ line she said, “This is what I want to do.” And Dan was kind of into it, so she said the first call went to us.

BALTAZAR: I was feeding my kids and talking to her on the phone. She said, “Do you want to do this?” I said, “Yeah!” A few days later they said, “We want you to go monthly,” and I said, “YEAH! OKAY!”

You guys have been doing kid-friendly comics for so long independently, what’s it like to get a gig with distribution like DC has?

BALTAZAR: So overwhelming! I’m shaking right now, but I’m controlling it. [Laughs]

AURELIANI: It makes you feel really good inside to know that these guys who are industry people read our stuff, which is independent, and we’ve been trying to get it out there for so long. And these guys give us a platform to put it all out there.

BALTAZAR: We’ve been doing it all along, but now it’s bigger and better. And they said that they want what we’re already doing but with their characters, which makes it so easy. It’s so natural.

Were either of you guys Teen Titans fans growing up?

BALTAZAR: Yeah. I read them since #1 with George Pérez and Marv Wolfman. I got them all.

AURELIANI: Actually, when they called I said, “Dude! I got all the issues!” And I started rifling them up.

BALTAZAR: A lot of the villains in Tiny Titans are from the Pérez-Wolfman stories. The Fearsome Five are in there, and Blackfire’s showing up.

But Jann had said on the panel there weren’t going to be big fights and buildings falling over because it’s for the kids. What will the conflicts in this series be built around?

BALTAZAR: There’s no fighting and no violence.

AURELIANI: It’s like when you were a little kid and you went out in the summer to start a lemonade stand. What would it be like if superheroes did that?

BALTAZAR: All the bad guys are like the bad kids in school—the bullies who are starting trouble, but they’re not fighting anybody or hurting anybody.

Lastly, what is one thing for people just seeing the preview art that you’re excited to put into the book?

BALTAZAR: The slogan: “Aw yeah, Titans!” [Laughs]

AURELIANI: Right now, when we see kids read our Patrick the Wolfboy comic, we see their reaction, and they come back with their parents. They tell us stories like they read it over cereal, and it makes them laugh as a family unit together. That’s what it’s always been about for us. It’s for the kids and taking characters that they know and putting them in that platform.

BALTAZAR: I’m really excited to draw the original Titans like Kid Flash and Speedy and Wonder Girl. We try to sneak in the real characters too. Like, the Flash is Kid Flash’s dad, Batman will be Robin’s dad and we got Green Arrow in there. There’s one joke in the first issue where you just see Green Arrow from the chest down like the old “Tom and Jerry” cartoons. And apparently all the Tiny Titans are in love with Wonder Woman. I sneak her in there in the first issue.


End of transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author