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Literature

November 16, 2016

Yale Stewart’s Little League

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Written by: Brianne Glover
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One day while perusing the Facebook news feed, I came across a post by a friend. Sometimes when I see these things I only look at the thumbnail and continue on. But this time I decided to click the link of the chibi-style caped crusader I saw on that page. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, when I say “chibi” I mean tiny and cute, when I say cape crusader, I mean Batman, and when I say I immediately fell in love with this comic strip, I mean the works of Yale Stewart.

Little League is, dare I say it, a very adorable portrayal of the Justice League, had they all met as tiny tikes. But it’s not a cutesy comic strip about nothing. It touches on some pretty deep facts about the characters involved. Who could take a seemingly old concept and make it new again? Well, you’d have to ask Yale about that. He seems to have perfected the ability.

Better yet, why don’t I ask him. I set up a phone interview and picked his brain a bit about his craft and why he does what he does. This is what I found out.

ME: Let me just begin by saying I am a big fan of your work. In all honestly, I just recently came across Little League, Gifted, and who you are, but you’ve made quite the impression on me already. Why do you do, what you do?

YALE: Because it’s fun? That’s actually a really good question. It just boils down to the fact that I always liked comics and cartoons. I was fortunate to always have been around other people that draw. I just decided to make living out of it. It’s in my blood I guess.

ME: When did you start drawing comics?

YALE: I’ve always been drawing comic book characters. The first time I ever drew a comic… that’s a tough one. The first time I ever put stories and pictures together was in was first grade. It was more like a book than a journal. The first time I started doing comics was in high school.

ME: I read from your Tumblr page that you graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). What made you decide to go to that art school in particular?

YALE: That is the most stupidly answerable question ever, meaning it’s a dumb answer. Basically I didn’t know what I wanted to do for college. My mom found one of those SCAD news week articles and she said, “You should apply.” So I applied and got accept, and then that’s where I was going.

ME: So how did you come up with the idea for Little League?

YALE: Again, I wish I had a fascinating story to tell about this but I don’t. My dad runs a vintage and recycled clothing store. Over the summer I was working for him. I was standing over the conveyor belt and I was thinking about my story arc for Gifted. I didn’t have a car to go take photos at school (for research), and I kind of just had this idea about what it would be like if Clark (Kent) was to push kids on swings. It was just one idea after another and then I sat down and started doodling a little Batman, and it just kind of went from there.

ME: Talk to me about Gifted. What is that about?

YALE: It’s basically just a way for me to make sense out of things that happened in my life I guess. It’s first and foremost a comedy, but I always thought about it like it was Futurama or Scrubs; that it’s a decent comedy, but it has some deep felt drama. I want Gifted to be what people know me for.

ME: Does DC know you are using their characters?

YALE: They do actually. Well some of them do. John Lowe is the Dean of Communications Art at SCAD. That’s why I moved back down here (to Georgia). I really enjoy Little League. My buddy Tradd contacted Will (Dennis) and Will enjoyed it, and he’s also a Vertigo editor. Scott Snyder saw it and tweeted about it. So he knows about it. My buddy Tradd contacted one of his guys at DC to tell them about it. I’m lucky I haven’t received any cease or desist.

ME: What is your advice for aspiring comics and comic book writers and artists?

YALE: I’m still an aspiring comic book artist. Best I could give is keep doing what you do. I know it’s been played to death, but I did nothing special with Little League. It’s kind of a “if you build it, they’ll come” mentality. As long as your doing something worthwhile, people are going to find it. By no means just read comics, my God, don’t just freaking watch anime and read manga. That is the worst possible thing you can do for yourself. I don’t know any friends of mine that are in one genre. When you broaden your horizon and make yourself more eclectic, it comes through in your art and gives it a personal touch. When we are so saturated in art, it really helps to set yourself apart; and you will never set yourself apart if you are copying the art of other artists. Which sounds ridiculous coming from a guy who is drawing things based on someone else’s comic.

ME: Now the fun stuff. What’s your favorite food?

YALE: Man, that’s a really good question. If there is one thing I could probably eat together (it would be) my mom’s pink vodka pasta and my dad’s ribs. That’s pretty high up there. That would be my last meal–and peas. Gotta have peas with it and a glass of milk.

ME: What are you playing right now?

YALE: Not really much of anything. All I really have time for any more is MW3. Hop on, play, and leave.

ME: Are you single? Can I take you out sometime? Seriously, I want to pick your brain.

YALE: I mean as long as that’s as far as that goes I don’t think my girlfriend will have a problem.

ME:… Burn… Any Cons I might be able to see you at?

YALE: Yes actually! I was recently invited to Acme Comics, which is not a convention, May 4st through 6th in Greensboro, North Carolina and Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina this June.

*****

If you would like to learn more about Yale and his awesome comics visit his Tumblr at http://littleleaguecomic.tumblr.com.



About the Author

Brianne Glover





 
 

 
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