Review - Itty Bitty Comics: Grimmiss Island #1

"Make it hot! Real hot!"

How do you placate a volcano god on the verge of erupting? Lots of hot peppers of course. Sometimes though, even that doesn't work, which means the residents of the area most likely to be impacted by an erupting volcano have to make secondary arrangements. Itty Bitty Comics: Grimmiss Island #1 from Dark Horse Comics is a good example of those alternate arrangements. The issue is written by Art Baltazar and Franco and illustrated by Baltazar.

The Volcano Goddess threatens the Mama Woogees’ tiny island! What can their creation Grimmiss do to stop this terror? Between an eye exam, a tough lesson in love and stopping the Tiki Monoliths, there are lots of things for a little guy with a skull head to do! Tropical drinks not included.

Living amongst the Mama Woogees is something of a chore at times, what with the impending volcano eruption and angry Tiki Monoliths waking up. Despite the hardships, Baltazar and Franco do a great job of making the island seem appealing, thanks to some very fast-paced writing and dialogue. The story moves along extremely fast, but that doesn't take anything away at all from the overall enjoyment. There's also a great deal of lighthearted humor peppered throughout the tale that doesn't let the reader get too worried about the predicament of the inhabitants of the island. Baltazar and Franco write in a way that adds a certain level of frenetic mayhem on par with the lifestyle of the characters on the island.

Baltazar doubles on artistic duties, adding a very vibrant touch to the already insane story. Characters and settings boast very clean lines of emphasis, adding a layer of cartoon appeal to the book. The extremely simple panel layout adds to the somewhat simple nature of the book, promising that the reader won't get lost in a straightforward story. There are also subtle illustrations throughout that help add emotion to the book; for instance, hearts floating in the background for love, little bits of lava popping up from the ground. Baltazar's approach is extremely relaxed and really works considering the context of the story.

Itty Bitty Comics: Grimmiss Island #1 is a comic with all-ages appeal and a certain sense of carefree spirit that makes it a very enjoyable read. There is a story in the issue, but it's clear that crafting some grand, epic universe is not in the cards at all. Baltazar and Franco's story is easy to read and promises happiness and foolishness on all fronts. Baltazar's art is equally as relaxed, presenting characters and colors that will definitely grab the eye of any reader. Itty Bitty Comics: Grimmiss Island #1 is--quite frankly--a lot of fun to read and wears its heart on its sleeve for all to see.

Itty Bitty Comics: Grimmiss Island #1 is in stores March 11 with interiors below.