I’m going to take a chance that you haven’t heard about this week’s webcomic today, because if you haven’t there is a HUGE gaping hole in your life. That hole is in the shape of JL8. Often fans of mainstream comics will get a little burned out from the intensity and the grandiosity of their favorite franchises and need a good dose of their favorite characters diluted into their purest forms. Traits such as Superman’s nobility and his naiveté, Batman’s cleverness and his ego, and Wonder Woman’s loyalty and her poise. Distilling and scrunching these character traits into adorable costumed preschoolers complete with super powers, author Yale Stewart tells short stories of justice and friendship in the format of old-fashioned newspaper superhero strips.
JL8 is adorable and sweet but it doesn’t shy away from conflict. The kids in another class room are a familiar bunch of villains and ne’er do-wells, led by a mini Lex Luthor, although younger Lex still has lustrous shampoo commercial hair. Behind the scenes comic heroes such as Jules Schwartz and Neil Gaiman make unnamed appearances and many comic tropes are lampooned and lamp-shaded with abandon. The series thankfully never tries to explain why a bunch of super-powered children go to the same school and why they all live within flying and walking distance. For the sake of your enjoyment, please take your logic and put it in the back of your closet with your cynicism and the roller skates you never use.
The Author and his Other Works
Yale Stewart is creating JL8 as a true labor of love. It’s unfortunately impossible to earn money with JL8 since he does not have legal permission to use DC Comics characters. He even had to abandon the series’ original name, Little League, since the Little League baseball organization is extremely zealous in it’s protection of their trademark. Fans have been rabid to support him, so thankfully Stewart recently released the semi-autobiographical comic Gifted on the pay-what-you-can model.