Skottie Young’s Little Marvels are back and bigger than ever.
In Giant-Size Little Marvels: AVX, Young is expanding his Little Marvels past the cover and into a full-length story. Taking place in the Battleworld territory of Marville, Giant-Size Little Marvels: AVX tells the tale of two rival gangs of kids in a cartoon-inspired town that just might not be big enough for the both of them.
Giant-Size Little Marvels: AVX is something of a dream project for writer/artist Young, who describes the book as his chance to “be the comic strip artist I always wanted to be.” Newsarama recently spoke with Young ahead of the book's June 3 release, talking about the project, discovering his influences and inspirations for Giant-Sized Little Marvels: AVX, and the genesis of the title as part of Secret Wars.
Newsarama: What can you tell us about the territory where Giant-Size Little Marvels: AVX takes place?
Skottie Young: It’s called Marville. I think of it like any town you find in a cartoon like The Simpsons, or Regular Show, etc, where each day something crazy happens and everything resets the next day. So you can have endless amounts of insane events and fights between the characters. The fun can go on forever.
Nrama: How did you get started doing the Little Marvels covers? Was it an idea you had, or did it evolve from somewhere else like Art Adams' X-Babies or manga's chibi style?
Young: I did covers for a short-lived X-Babies series around 09. Funny how much they’ve taken off now but then they came and went. But Shelton at HeroesCon liked them and asked me to do them on the badges one year. A few years later, Midtown comics asked for an AvX #1 cover and to make them all kids. I’m not sure who asked specifically. But I did that cover. The comic and the poster they made from it was a big hit and here were are 3 years and 100+ covers later, still going.
Nrama: What’s the process of expanding something like the Little Marvels to be a part of an event like Secret Wars?
Young: There really isn’t much of a process other than knowing the boundaries of the structure of the stories being told in Secret Wars and fitting in that. I’m pretty free to cut loose and have fun.
Nrama: Will Giant-Size Little Marvels: AVX tie into the main story of Secret Wars?
Young: Yes. All the main plot points will be revealed between the Food Cart battle and the Tree House Wars, haha.
It will tie into the landscape of Secret Wars but the story isn’t weaved into the main book, no. This is the story of my territory.
Nrama: We know why the big Avengers and X-Men went to battle – what brings the Little Marvels versions into conflict?
Young: They’re kids that have way too much power. Kids are always in competition mode. Who can beat who at this or that. That’s really all I wanted to do. Let them be actual kids. Most of the time that just means showing off and getting hurt in the process. Getting up and doing it again. And giving each other a fist bump and saying they’ll see each other tomorrow.
Nrama: Are the Little Marvels native to their own destroyed universe, or will we see their origins as part of Secret Wars?
Young: Marville just exists. We jump into a day that’s like any other day. These kids live in houses and have parents and go to school. There is no deep origin other than their parents all did grown up stuff and then they are all born and now blast each other with eye lasers and hand cannons. It’s as if the world has always existed this way and we get to step into a regular day.
Nrama: How did the Little Marvels get embroiled in Secret Wars? Did Marvel come to you, or did you pitch the concept?
Young: I’ve brought up the idea of doing a series since I started doing the covers but timing was always an issue for them and for me. Secret Wars seemed to make sense and they just asked me. The covers have been a great proving ground that people enjoy this take on their favorite Marvel heroes. From there, it was taking the same point of view I have on the covers and writing a story.
Nrama: What makes the Little Marvels so much fun to write and draw?
Young: It’s me getting to be the comic strip artist I wanted to be when i was young. Reading Mad Magazine, Calvin and Hobbes, and Farside left a pretty big impression on me. The covers have been telling mini stories in one image. This series let’s me do that in the long form. I get to draw any marvel character I want, as a kid, and make it funny. There’s nothing not fun about that.
Nrama: You’ve mentioned before that watching cartoons with your son provided inspiration for some of Giant-Size Little Marvels: AVX. Can you tell us how you draw on the experience of spending time with your son in creating comics?
Young: Kids are fascinating to watch. My son is five. He can be talking to you about something very real and with in 3 seconds he can be pretending to be walking through a secret door into a magical world where he starts talking to a dragon. Like right there in front you. He’s doing this. He doesn’t get embarrassed or worry about what anyone thinks of him. At that moment inspiration hit him and he followed it. As a storyteller, that’s an amazing thing to witness. It reminds you to have fun and follow those crazy notions. Who cares what people think. Just do it.
Nrama: What makes Giant-Size Little Marvels: AVX a must read even for those not picking up the main Secret Wars title?
Young: It contains the real ending to Lost. The one everyone thought they would get. Other than that, it’s a fun book for everyone. Really, everyone. You can have a blast with it and it’s great to give to a kid that might be ready for comics.