Posts tagged: Batman

Title Pages: The Batman Strikes #18

It’s time for another installment of Title Pages, featuring another title page from my run on The Batman Strikes! which was a tie-in comic for The Batman animated TV series. A Title Page is the page which features the story title and credits for the issue, and is often (but not always) a Splash Page, which is a full-page image, rather than a page broken up into multiple panels.

In The Batman Strikes! #17, Chief Angel Rojas was still the top cop in Gotham City. By issue #18, Police Commissioner James Gordon has arrived on the scene, and with him his daughter Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl!

Strikes #18 - pg 01 prev Batman_Strikes_18_Oroboros_ 002


Again the title page was page 2, so here’s the set up on page 1, where Commissioner Gordon  is working late an checking on the whereabouts of his daughter, who happens to be dealing out justice (with the help of a handy push broom) to some low-level street thugs trying to rip off a 24-hour laundromat. I’ve always seen Gordon as very blue-color and overworked, so I enjoyed drawing him illuminated only by his desk lamp in a darkened office. Seeing his name reversed and backlit in the window of his office door was another fun touch. The Gotham City Map seen on the finished page was not rendered by me, but was an existing map of Gotham I found online, and I sized and angled it to fit into the artwork and provided it separately to inker Terry Beatty for him to paste into place once the original art was inked. Note that we’re showing Batgirl on her cell phone here, but saving a good look at her for the big reveal on the next page.

Strikes #18 - pg 02 prev Batman_Strikes_18_Oroboros_ 003


So here’s the title page and our reveal of Batgirl as she doesn’t let being outnumbered intimidate her in the slightest, even in these early days of her crime-fighting career. If you compare the pencils to the finished page, you can see that she disappears into her cape a little bit. This was again due to the dark, saturated colors in combination with the cheaper paper used on this series as I’ve lamented about before. Consider it part of my ongoing crusade for DC to make digital editions of all the issues of this series available. So far they’ve only released the first three issues digitally!

While not appearing in this scene, the villain of the issue was Poison Ivy, and given the title of the story, I tried to give the title logo a decorative, floral approach. I like how it turned out.

I’ll have more installments of Title Pages soon, but until then you can check out previous installments! As always, questions and comments are welcome!

Title Pages: The Batman Strikes #17

It’s time for another installment of Title Pages, featuring another title page from my run on The Batman Strikes! which was a tie-in comic for The Batman animated TV series. A Title Page is the page which features the story title and credits for the issue, and is often (but not always) a Splash Page, which is a full-page image, rather than a page broken up into multiple panels.

The Batman Strikes! #17 featured a title page that was the payoff of a 2-page sequence with Gotham City Police Chief Angel Rojas and Detective Ellen Yin reacting to a message being projected into the sky via searchlight beam by The Riddler. What the heck kind of smog does Gotham City produce that they have such dense, concentrated cloud layers that you can project PRINT onto them without it diffusing into illegibility?

 

Strikes #17 - pg 01 prev BS_17_Oroboros_ 002

 
Both of these characters were fun to draw. Chief Rojas was the top cop in the first season of The Batman animated series for which this was was the tie-in comic series. Both Rojas and Ellen Yin were new characters created for The Batman, and brought some needed ethnic diversity to the pantheon of Batman characters. Rojas was unfriendly to the bat-garbed vigilante who had recently appeared in Gotham, especially in contrast to Commissioner Gordon who largely replaced him in the second season. I never heard if there was any reason to invent this character and not use Gordon in the first season other than trying to diversify the cast (a worthy enough goal). I wish they would have done more with him after Gordon came in, but the character kind of faded away. Yin also largely was pushed aside to make way for other supporting characters as Batgirl and Robin were added in later seasons.

On page 2 we see the payoff of this sequence as Batman swoops in front of the searchlight, foreshadowing the Bat-Signal. The story title and credits appear in this panel, and I made the “Q” into a question mark to reference The Riddler as the villain of this story.

 

Strikes #17 - pg 02 prev BS_17_Oroboros_ 003

 
Sadly I don’t have the inks-only versions of these pages in digital form to include in this post, but you can see how the pencils compare to the finished pages. I’d really love for DC to make digital editions of all the issues of this series available, as the lower-quality paper used on this title combined with the deep, saturated colors that were frequently used could make the pages look dark and muddy, and a lot of the contrast I was trying to create in the line art was diminished. I bet most of these pages would look MUCH better in purely digital form as opposed to what you see  here, which are scans of the printed comic.

I’ll have more installments of Title Pages soon (I promise), but until then you can check out previous installments! As always, questions and comments are welcome!

Harley Quinn and my first DC Comics Writing Credit

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Page 1 – The Corwin O’Dooley Show!

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Page 2 – The Obligatory Monologue

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Page 3 – Enter: The JOKER!


This was the opening sequence of The Batman Strikes #35 which I co-wrote!

Russell Lissau was one of the writers contributing scripts for The Batman Strikes and I met him and was chatting with him at Wizard World Chicago. He mentioned that he’d wanted to do a story with the Joker but hadn’t been able to think of a Joker plot that could be told within the kid-friendly confines of the Strikes title. I mentioned an idea I’d had to tell a story from the point of view of someone under the influence of the Joker’s nerve-toxin, since in this continuity is was a paralytic rather than instantly deadly. The whole story would be about The Joker and Batman playing hot-potato with the victim while they were a helpless, paralyzed observer. Russell loved the idea and offered to co-write it with me, which lead to issue #35.

The concept got watered down a bit. I would have loved to tell the story literally from the victim’s POV – seeing it through their eyes, but I wasn’t surprised when it was deemed too  high-concept for an animation tie-in title. I’d hoped that we could at least limit our story POV to that character – only seeing and hearing what they would be personally aware of. But even that was considered to be a little too much.

Still, the story was a ton of fun. It introduced the show’s version of Harley Quinn into the comic, and centered on a late-night talk show host who earns the Joker’s ire when he is dubbed “The Clown Prince of Late Night” by a Gotham magazine. The character was deliberately a cross between David Letterman and Conan Obrian.

That opening page took forever to draw, but I really wanted that big shot looking from behind our host out at his studio audience – letting us share the view he would have walking onstage. I think this was one of the pages I apologized for when handing it off to inker Terry Beatty. I wanted the sequence to feel like you were seeing it from the stage floor of the studio, not from the POV of the audience or the cameras, so that meant a few more busy shots of the studio audience in the opening pages, until the action eventually led us to a chase outside the studio confines.

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Page 5 – Harley Quinn’s big entrance.

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Page 6 – Bruce & Dick sneak away.

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Page 7 – The helpless host.


As a note of trivia, I should mention that I designed the Corwin O’Dooley Show logo and modeled the theater on the CBS Ed Sullivan Theater where David Letterman’s show is done, which is on the next block over from DC Comics‘ offices in New York. I replaced the “CBS” letters on the marquee with “GBS (aka the Galaxy Broadcasting System),” as a nod to the TV network where Clark Kent served as a news anchor during some of the Superman comics of the 1970s.

And here’s a look at how some of these pages looked in print, with inks by Terry Beatty and colors by Heroic Age.

BS_35_Truman_0002 BS_35_Truman_0004 BS_35_Truman_0007
BS_35_Truman_0008 BS_35_Truman_0014 batmanstrikesharl05

More photo silliness

Not all the stuff I’ve done in Photoshop lately has been Doctor Who-related.

Caped Crusader Rises

Atomic Batteries to Power…

I posted this one before but I thought I’d include it again here, if only to point out that if you click on the image to see the full-scale version you’ll see that I’ve cast Tor Johnson as a 1960s-era Bane. A neat trick given that the character wasn’t created until the early 90s.

BatSignal Facebook Photo

“I do know when we need him, and we need him NOW!”

I’m a huge fan of the Adam West Batman series and decided I wanted the Bat Signal image from the end credits as my Facebook Timeline image, but the image wasn’t wide enough and didn’t crop well, so I rebuilt the thing and extended it horizontally to the correct size. Feel free to use this on Facebook yourself, but if you do give me some credit and link to my Blog and/or my Facebook page, won’t you?

And finally, I’m not a huge Chuck Norris fan, so this is likely my one and only contribution to the whole Chuck Norris meme zeitgeist, but for what it’s worth, here it is…

Chuck Norris

“C.I.A.!” Get it? GET IT???

The Caped Crusader Rises… in the WEST!

The Caped Crusader Rises

The Caped Crusader Rises

I just made this for no good reason. It was in my head and it had to come out. I now return to actual work.