Art Baltazar: The Conskipper Interview at Terrificon 2023

Anyone who is a fan of the Teen Titans is sure to recognize Art Baltazar as the co-creator of one of the best all ages comics of all time: Tiny Titans. Baltazar continues to constantly put out engaging all-ages comics from many different comic companies and we got a chance to interview the prolific and personable creator at this year’s Terrificon 2023.

Where did the original idea for Tiny Titans originate from?

Art Baltazar: I was doing work for Disney Adventures magazine at the time and I had just lost my job there when it went out of business. I was crushed and my editor at the time wouldn’t get off the phone with me until I stopped crying. That was on a Friday and by Monday, I got a call from DC Comics asking me if I wanted to do a series with them like my Patrick the Wolf Boy comic. They asked me what characters that I’d like to work on and I said Superman and Teen Titans and they were also thinking about Teen Titans.

A few years later you did get a chance to work on Superman in Superman Family Adventures.

Baltazar: Yes, I kept asking about it and Franco said “They’re never going to let us do Superman”, but eventually we had a meeting about it and we talked about him and after about 40 seconds, they said it’s obvious you know more about Superman than we do, and we were able to start the series.

Fans also have great memories of Itty Bitty Hellboy. How did you get to work on that character?

Baltazar: We had just launched an Aw Yeah Comics! Kickstarter and funded it in eight hours when we got an email from Mike Mignola about doing a kid’s version of Hellboy. They wanted us to shut down our Kickstarter so we could begin working on it immediately, but we were able to do both. We were also working on Superman Family so we asked DC’s permission to work on the Dark Horse project, and they said yes.

It’s been a rollercoaster, but for me, it’s been the same day for me since I was in 5th grade. I’ve never stopped making comics, whether they were my own that I self-published or working for one of the big companies.

You recently got a chance to do a Svengoolie comic, right?

Baltazar: Yes, that was a lot of fun. Dan DiDio, who I knew from his time at DC Comics, contacted me about doing Svengoolie: Lost in Time for Frank Miller Presents. I’m from Chicago which is also Svengoolie’s home town and we met and I showed him the artwork, and we’ve been able to hang out and now we’re friends. That’s the best way to do it; meet the people, meet the boss, and become friends.

What projects are you working on right now?

The Yahgz: The Craynobi Tales graphic novel from Papercutz is now in stores and online. It is a story that I’ve been working on for the last 30 years and is the first story I wrote when I first began my comic book career in 1992. It is available in hardcover or trade paperback. It is going to be a three book trilogy.

Franco and I have also been working on Tiny Titans Go to the Library which should be out in the near future. It is in the same digest format as Arkham Maniacs.

Check out all Art has to offer at his official website. If you are in the Chicago area, you can also check out his Yahgz party at the Aw Yeah Comics in Skokie, Illinois on August 5.

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