|"Each character, no matter how incidental, seemed pretty well-crafted, from Flass to Skeevers to Selina(and even the cipher of Merkel... guy has a looong career finding the Comissioner's cigars for him). I'm surprised it took so long (15 years, i think) for any other Batman writer to play with them." |
Solid State, where have they appeared recently? I'm a little out of the loop when it comes to current funnybooks, though I am considering adding Gotham Central to my ever increasing list of monthly titles.
(good idea, moriarty).
"Isn't it more fun if the character is called Batman, id est is Batman?
Perse, I agree completely. In fact, a variation of this idea has popped up time and again in the various discussions on fanfic. Why else would fanfic and slash authors use copyrighted characters if not for the resonance that those characters possess?
"I love the Commissioner's office. I love how you can just make out Charlie Brown and Lucy on the lamp, and the statue of The Thinker sitting on a toilet...
The Commissioner disgusts me. That pasty, eucalyptus-gobbling troll surrounded by his kitschy, juvenile artifacts. It's like Gordon is workign for John Wayne Gacy. "So by the time I was doing Batman I was very interested in Chester Gould and Herge, and Alex Toth." - David Mazzucchelli. You can see the Gould influence on the freakish appearance of most of the corrupt characters in Year One. That lady in the black, strapless evening gown as an example(who you only really see in one panel, but is so ghastly with that grin of hers that it obviously remained with you, Perse). Even some of the better looking people have bad haircuts. Mazzucchelli seems willing to populate the whole city of Gotham with an ageing elite that seems to be sinking in its own inbreeding. It may be the beginning for Batman, but it seems to be the end for this brand of villainy and the beginning of a new era with the Joker, the Penguin and more overt types of freaks about to make an appearance. "Your Feast Is Nearly Over."
Speaking of which, one of the things I noticed on rereading the book is the influence Batman has on the creation of his own Rogues Gallery. I've read many comics where the populace blame the superheroed for providing a target for super villains, with the city getting caught in the crossfire. Catwoman dons her outfit in imitation of Batman. One gets the feeling that many of Batman's foes wouldn't have appeared with so much regularity if it wasn't for the proximity of the Bat himself. In fact, Batman may have been responsible for a large portion of the weird crime that has assailed Gotham.
"Who does that stuff, the illustrator or the colorist?
I have no idea, but it is a really nice touch. I wasn't aware that the print on the sheets were different from the newsprint edition to the collected work. I did know that the entire thing was recoloured by Richmond Lewis for the trade.
"But Richmond did colour the newsprint version that was published first. In fact, I recall people asking about that. "Is she using the same chart as everyone else is using? Did they give her some extra colours?" "No, she's using the same as everyone else. She's just making some choices that other people don't make." Richmond actually colored an issue of Daredevil that we did. The regular colorist was on vacation and I asked that it be given to me. It says that I colored it but that's only because i didn't want to go through the hassle of trying to convince people in one week that this woman who had never colored a comic book before was going to do a great job on it. So I said, "Let me color it." And apparently when that book was published I remember Jim Shooter walked around the office with it in his hand, showing the book to people as an example of good comic coloring. "Here's what I mean. All that stuff I've been telling you? This is what I mean." So when I was going to do Batman, my approach to drawing in general was changing, and for this particular project I knew I wanted it to look a certain way. By having a colorist who I could trust, it allowed me a certain degree of freedom to leave aspects of the rendering for the coloring stage that, when I was working on Daredevil, I would not necessarily have done. Newsprint being what it is, and the production line process of turning things over so quickly beign what they are, I did not want to leave anythign up to chance, as much as I could, so i tried to make sure the artwork for Daredevil worked in black and white no matter what was goign to happen in the coloring stage, although I think I got some good coloring in general. With Batman, I knew I'd have a greater degree of control over what would happen. And so, working with a colorist as good as Richmond, I wsa able to let the color become a greater part of the art." - David Mazzucchelli.
I haven't read the new DK2 book, I wonder if reading these together is complimentary or not?
I was thinking the same thing, Dan. But I'm too scared to find out.
"Panels that stand out for me are the one of bruce wayne, pre-badman costume, walking down a rain-soaked vice street. It just screams Taxi Driver. And there is an element of Wayne that very Travis Bickle - self appointed, and somewhat delusional guardian of the streets. In a single panel mazzuchelli has managed to convey more about Bruce Wayne than many other artists have managed in years.
The other is the large panel of Gordon sitting on his bed cleaning his gun while his pregnant wife sleeps. The isolation and sense of guilt/duty Gordon feels permeates the page. In his work and relationships he is alone, even his wife can offer him no comfort."
Upon rereading, I wasn't so sure that the emphasis on Gordon was such a good idea, but you may have convinced me otherwise, Sleaze. I love the way these two mix. Batman, driven by rage, freed by his status and delusions to bypass the law of the land and strike. Gordon, secretly envious of the Bat, grounded by his other responsibilities and a sense of duty as opposed to vengeance. Batman has wings while Gordon can only dream. What made Gordon take up crimefighting? Would Bruce have pursued his calling without the fire in his belly? Who's the greater hero?
Every once in awhile I'll pick up a random, stand-alone superhero comic to see what's happening. During that whole "No Man's Land" deal, I purchased Legends of the Dark Knight #125 by Rucka and Burchett. Good solid Batman/Gordon story, here. I later found out it was reviewed in the Comics Journal #219 by Rich Kreiner(take that, anti-TCJ folk). They sum it up better than I could.
"A kind of genre jujitsu is performed and an opposing tack from the usual hero fiction is taken: the book makes use of the trappings of the romance comic. Roses serve as a coversation starter, a garden as a metaphor for endured turmoil. Awkward silences constrict the the already tight quarters. Looks are meant to speak volumes. And when the couple does speak, they talk bluntly of their relationship - of reciprocal regard, difficult disclosure, and mutual commitment - using a language less often employed in funnybooks than within long-standing marriages. For several pages running, each successive speech balloon adds a cutting jab, opens up a new wound, reveals an unforseen feeling. Finally, when talk has demonstrated its limitations, Batman, driven to last resorts, decowls in Grodon's presence and bares his civilan identity. This for all the world is the superhero correlative to giving oneself up to one's lover, standing naked, dropping all pretense and guard, revealing all, offering all."
I highly recommend it.