Tiny Tyrant by Lewis Trondheim & Fabrice Parme

Categories:  Reviews

Tiny Tyrant
by Lewis Trondheim & Fabrice Parme
First Second

tinytyrant.jpgWith the recent Fantagraphics’ reissue of Gene Deitch’s long-lost Terr’ble Thompson strip, it’s tough not to notice the parallels between Deitch’s pint-sized hero, and his equally alliterative modern day counterpart, Ethelbert, the six-year-old tiny tyrant.

Financially, however, Ethelbert has more in common with Harvey’s Richie Rich, with a sense of financial indulgence more akin to a Paris Hilton, without all of the questionable film productions—in other words, exactly the sort of money-fueled jags one might expect from a monarch under the age of ten: genetically engineered super dinosaurs, lifelike robot replicas, and trips to foreign lands, whirlwind trips to foreign lands.

Tiny Tyrant’s visuals also evoke his forbearers, like something of a cross between the Pink Panther and the work of Jay Ward, complete with stylized vehicles and style cues, taken directly from that bygone era.

The stories themselves play out like cartoon shorts, with the plot of a full episode developed and quickly wrapped up over the course of a few pages, perhaps the most suitable format for these light-hearted tales, which might otherwise wear out their welcome, and help the reader develop a dislike or the spoiled brat protagonist, who isn’t the type of character who really ought to be idolized.

As it stands, however, the vignettes contained in First Second’s Tiny Tyrant are a lot of fun—a welcome change in an industry shockingly devoid of family-friendly stories—and are the potential animation series fodder the execs at Cartoon Network ought to be praying for.

–Brian Heater

4 Comments to “Tiny Tyrant by Lewis Trondheim & Fabrice Parme”

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