Monday, 31 January 2011

Jock's Batman

Real nice to be reading the latest Detective tale with Jock doing the interiors. Love the solid helmet design and the use of this mid grey for the suit.
Back at Dreddcon in 2003 it'd just been announced that he'd be taking on a run of Bat covers so thought i'd ask him if he could show me what we'd have in store.
So here's what he did.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Batman on the telly, 1977

Real mixed feelings about this back then and still now.
While it was a good idea to have Adam West and Burt Ward voice their characters for this, and the Batmobile was neat, it was offset massively by:
The usual Filmation crudeness,
the toning down of violence so much,
Batmite - he was a product of the 50's SF silliness, and that's where he should've stayed. Okay, go for the younger audience but, c'mon.
The Riddlers puce outfit,
But, worst of all for me was the smug, effite Joker with that jarring, flamin' annoying speech and laugh.
Teeth are gritting right now as i type.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

This month in... 1984

Thought it might be nice to pick a year at random occasionaly and see what was happening with Bats at that time.
So, dipped me finger in the back issue box and struck 1984. Found the Januray issue and this lovely cover was pulled up.
And lovely it is too, with a real neat idea of having Batman and the logo immersed in the Ivy. Which kind of makes the title redundant, and guessing there wouldn't be one if done now, but there you go.
Turn the page and it rapidly becomes clear that the covers the best thing about this issue.
I loved Don Newton's take on Batman but here, inked by Alfredo Alcala, its just not working. Alfredo was FAR more suited to the horror and supernatural titles, bringing some incredibly moody effects to them, but here he's inking a tale that could've been from the sixties - Poisen Ivy's creating moss people as her slaves while embezzling businessmen.
Oh dear. Ditto oh dear too her rather fetching plant swimwear.
Seems odd to re-read now after 25 years, with Jason Todd only just taking up the mantle and patently a complete Dick Grayson clone.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

A new Catwoman

So Christopher Nolan has chosen to go with Ann Hathaway for the latest take on Selina Kyle.
Bit surprised, as i've always thought of her a a bit wet and unmemorable. But Nolan's got a track record of going for using good talent, so we'll see.
Visually, i couldn't see it, what with her being so young and not exactly striking. But this portait shot sure does bode well if done properly.
She'll have a heck of an act to follow though, what with Michelle Pfeiffer's spot on take and Julie Newmar's definitive portrayl for me.
I'll be coming back to Julie's take at a later date, my first ever boyhood crush

Favourite piece

Having a look round at all the Bat-stuff i have, my favourite out of all my modern things is this whacking great take on the fella.
Thinking he's 1/6th but, being based on The Dark Knight, is much, much bigger than a regular figure at that scale and really dominates the room.
Got him on up high, looking over us. Which is how it should be.

Monday, 24 January 2011

The ABC Bubblegum Cards

Figure this will be my last chronological posting - afterwards it'll be all over the place. In every sense of the word.
Okay, so there's me having each months Batman comic bought me by my sisters, i'd seen the movie at the cinema but, apart from that, the only other fix i was getting of the Bat were the bubblegum cards from the local shop (don't think my region started showing the show until the early 70's).
The cards were attractive in that they were easily affordable, they were of Batman, and they had fantastic, almost photo realistic painted art. How did i know the show couldn't possibly live up to what was being depicted on them?
Tell you a true story:
Such was my passion for the them that a "friend" called Christopher Deadman, who lived the other side of a busy road from me, would let me have one of his spares each time i'd run from my side of the road to his, if i RAN IN FRONT OF A CAR. Two if it was a near miss.
True story and i did it because i wanted the cards so much. Would like to know where he is right now (last i heard, he was done for burgulary). Would be tempted now to make him a dead man for sure.

My second exposure

Running right alongside the comics in the mid to late 60's for me was my obsession with the TV show. The often cited appeal of it working on one level for the kids and another for the parents is so, so true. At least for me.
Watch it now and there's tins of stuff there that would've gone way, way above the tot me.
Far too big a show with far too much going on of course to comment on in one post, so there'll be repeated returns.
For now, back in the brilliance from the year i hold dearest from this period of the Batman's incarnation

The love of this Batlogo

Let's start at ground zero shall we? I was 4 in 1966 and, according to my big sisters, learnt to read with Batman comics rather than the books i should have been using.
Of course, looking back at those tales now they're pretty silly and pretty camp - riding fully on the wave of the newly launched TV show.
As much as they were like that though, this logo - and especially when it has the checkerboard background as here - still now, after all these years, sets off a massive emotional response in me. Can't explain it, its just something about the hunched shoulder and the face peering out, along with the font used. No matter what colour it was for that issue, or what daftness was going on below it, it ticks all the right boxes.