Who knew Riverdale was so close to the world of the Tiny Titans?
It turns out Sidekick City, where the Tiny Titans hang out, is right next door to Riverdale. In October, a mishap at the dry cleaners leads to a crossover of epic proportions when "little" versions of characters from Archie Comics meet the Tiny Titans.
Created by Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani, the Tiny Titans characters are smaller versions of the Teen Titans from the DC Universe. The comic, which was launched in 2008, has won an Eisner and has hit the New York Times best-seller list.
Now, in a three-issue crossover, the Tiny Titans characters meet Little Archie characters, bringing Archie, Veronica, Betty and the gang into the world of Sidekick City.
Newsarama spoke with Art and Franco to find out more.
Newsarama: Where did this crossover come from?
Franco: Out of the blue!
Art: Yeah, about a year or so ago, when Jann Jones was still working at DC, she asked me to come up with some Archie artwork. So I think they've been talking about this for awhile. We were only on Issue #3 or #4 of Tiny Titans. I hadn't thought of it for awhile. But then they told us at C2E2 that we were going to do it.
Nrama: And all the art and writing will be like what we read every month in Tiny Titans?
Art: Aw yeah! It's going to be what you're used to getting from Art Baltazar and Franco. When they told me to draw the Archie characters, I just did them in my style. And when they asked us to submit storylines, we just did what we do naturally. We wrote all the stories before we even had our meeting with these guys.
The moment we knew about the concept, and that it was going to happen, we wrote all three issues already.
Franco: We've pretty much written stories about every character you can imagine, so this way, if we ever go into a meeting about something, we already have stories written about it.
Nrama: So you've already got a story about the Tiny Titans meeting Darth Vader? Ready to go, just in case?
Franco: Yeah, we wrote that crossover already.
Art: You don't want to know what Yoda does. It's crazy.
Nrama: Let's talk about the stories that actually are getting published. What are the three issues going to be about? Do the Tiny Titans and Archie characters have a lot in common?
Art: Right away, we tied Robin in with Archie, because they both wear R's on their shirts. You'll see what happens with that in Issue #1. On Page 3.
Franco: We're giving you specifics.
Art: I'm coloring Page 7 of the first issue right now while we talk.
Nrama: So only three pages in, we'll already see the drama of what happens with the R's on the shirts?
Art: Yeah, you're going to see what problems it causes right away.
Franco: It has rippling effects throughout the two universes.
Art: You'll feel it across the multiverse.
Franco: You'll feel it all the way on Earth 53.
Art: It just means Veronica can't get away from those kids with the R's on their shirts.
Nrama: What causes these two universes to come together?
Art: Well, Riverdale and Sidekick City share the same downtown. You're going to see on Page 1, there's a map that shows where they live. And they could always meet the Archies. They're just the next town over. Riverdale's real close. They share a lot of the same stores that are in the same downtown, like the bank, and the dry cleaner and the burger place and the pizza place.
Franco: The dry cleaner is the one to keep in mind, Vaneta. That's what starts this whole thing.
Art: Yeah, it all starts with a mishap at the dry cleaners.
Usually, characters who cross over, there's always something that brings them together. But then they end up fighting, and they fight the bad guys. But in this one, we skip all the fighting stuff, and they just meet.
But there's something that happens in the first few pages that brings them together. And it has to do with the dry cleaners.
Franco: This is a crossover of historical, epic proportions.
Art: Of the millennium.
Franco: That's right. The Millennium.
Art: I wish there were falcons in it, so we could call it the Millennium Falcon.
Hey, we could put birds in it, 'cause birds are part of the Tiny Titans universe. We have some that follow Robin around.
Are we doing good? I just had dinner, then I chugged some Red Bull so I could do this interview.
Nrama: You're doing great!
Art: I probably should have let the other one wear off.
Nrama: Can you tell us some of the Archie characters we're going to see interacting with the Tiny Titans universe? And which DC characters might show up?
Art: Well, of course we have Archie and his pals, like Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Reggie. Moose will be in there. Mrs. Grundy, Mr. Weatherbee.
In the first issue, the Archie characters meet the George Perez era of Titans. They meet Cyborg, Beast Boy, Starfire and Raven and Robin. The guys from the cartoon.
And then Batman's in it, and Alfred's in it. I think Franco's in it. I think he's on page 1 or 2. Guest appearance.
Franco: I'm in the Archie/Titans universe.
Art: Yeah. And you'll see interaction between the two principals too: Mr. Weatherbee and Principal Slade.
Franco: There might even be an appearance of Pop's Chocolate Shop and an eating contest.
Art: There will be lots of eating. There's eating in every issue. This series will change your life, and it will change the way you view comics.
Nrama: I assume Jughead is in the eating contest?
Franco: There you go! You're getting it!
Art: It's Jughead and Cyborg. Cyborg likes to eat, but I would never challenge Jughead. He's pretty good. He's got cheeseburgers in his backpack.
Then in Issue #2, we'll have Josie and the Pussycats. They get invited to join the Pet Club.
Franco: Yeah, the Titans don't know they're people. They just think they're actual cats, and they're invited to join the Pet Club.
Art: Hot Dog, Jughead's dog, gets invited too, and he wants to join the Super Pets. So you're going to see him with a red cape on throughout the book.
And in Issue #3, Sabrina shows up. Sabrina and Raven have a magic challenge, like a magic contest, which is kind of cool.
Nobody's off limits. We're bringing them all in there for your reading pleasure.
And we have so many Titans to chose from. We'll put a lot of characters in there. We have to make sure Conner/Superboy is in there, and Kid Flash will be in there. And all the Super Pets, like Krypto, Streaky and Ace the Bat-Hound. And Batgirl will be in there. Or, wait, Barbara Gordon. Don't call her Batgirl.
Everybody's going to be in it. Everybody we can fit in there.
Nrama: Were you guys already familiar with the Archie Universe?
Franco: Aw yeah! We used to read them all the time when we were kids. I would let Art borrow my issues all the time when we were kids.
Art: Yeah, that's true. He would.
Nrama: What? You guys didn't even know each other when you were kids.
Art: [laughs] Yeah, that's true.
No, we did in a past life. It's when we met. We were babies.
No, but Archie was on the list of books I would get when I was a kid. I would get comics from the Polish deli. A whole pack of them with no covers. The deli was called "Hallo Hallo's," because every time we would walk in, the guy would say, "Hallo, Mrs.! Hallo!" And so she calls it Hallo Hallo's.
We used to buy comics, 10 for a dollar, and we'd buy a whole pack, and none of them had covers. There would be Superman and Spider-Man, and Archie would be in there too. They had a whole mix of comics.
So I was reading Archie since... since the dawn of time.
I really got to see Archie more on the cartoon. There were Archie cartoons and Josie and the Pussycats. And Sabrina was on there with Scooby Doo and stuff.
Franco: Yeah, I would buy those comics too. Archie and Betty and Veronica. I used to read them all the time as a kid.
Art: I buy them all the time now, because my daughter's four years old. She likes any comics with girls on them. She loves all those comics. So now I'm reading them all over again. And I get to see some of the guys I know writing the stories now.
Franco: And now we're writing Archie characters, so that's cool!
Art: Aw yeah! Don't miss it! Aw yeah, Titans!
Franco: And aw yeah Archie too!
Aw Yeah Josie and the Super-Pets!