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CBR has a interview with writer/artist David Finch on his upcoming Batman work:
Wall Street Journal
and the AP has a story on the news here.
(Source: DC The Source)
Wired.com: Is there a connection between your series Batman, Inc. and the corporatism that's running a bit wild in the 21st century?
Grant Morrison: Yeah, there's a little bit of that. I got the idea looking back through my Batman research, and suddenly there was the Batman symbol from Tim Burton's film. And I found it interesting because it was one of the biggest merchandising symbols in history, and it really sold that movie. But it also looked like a gaping mouth. [Laughs] It made the Batman symbol a giant, gobbling capitalist. So I wanted to take that branding and put it in the hands of Batman himself.
Wired.com: What inspired this approach?
Morrison: It's partially influenced by the 1970 Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr movie The Magic Christian, which is about a rich guy who sets up all these bizarre psychodramas to make a point and change the world. So I wanted to play with that concept: What would you do if you were a rich person and decided to do the right thing with your riches? I'm filtering that corporate approach through Batman to see what we get.
Wired.com: Iron Man is popularly regarded as the first quintessentially capitalist superhero, and the egotistical film Iron Man 2 seems to be successfully backing up that claim. But Bruce Wayne was a billionaire capitalist decades before him.
Morrison: The way I see it is that Batman is a lot more Protestant. He doesn't drink; he's a pretty straight-edge guy. Tony Stark is a real playboy, which makes him dangerous and easier to corrupt. Bruce Wayne is much more disciplined in his approach to the world. But there is a little Tony Stark in him, because everyone wants to be a billionaire.
Check out the entire interview here.
DC: The Source has a preview of Batman Confidential witch hit stores today:
In “Super-Powers” part 1 of 5, we join Batman as he faces a foe who had once tangled with the Justice League of America, and the odds are not in his favor.
Check out the preview here.
There are two interviews first is with Newsarama and the second is with CBR
IGN Comics: I figure you've probably covered this a lot in your earlier interviews, but maybe now that you've had some time to dig into the series you have a better idea. How would you describe the process of collaborating with Hayden Blackman? What sort of challenges or benefits does that arrangement bring to the table?
J.H. William III: Basically what's good about it is that you have two sets of eyes and two minds on solving story problems and trying to come up with interesting situations and interesting dialogue instead of just relying on yourself. As a matter of fact, in some ways it makes things get done faster, too. If there's something that's not necessarily coming together, you have a partner you can pose questions to. So things can get done pretty quickly. I really like working like that.
IGN Comics: As far as your plans or just your general conception of the series, how much has that changed since bringing Hayden on board?
Williams: Hayden was on board from the beginning of creating the direction for the series. He's been there from the outset, as soon as it was decided for me to sort of take over things.
IGN Comics: You guys are starting the book off with a #0 issue next month. How does that issue play into the main series, and how representative is it of what readers can expect from Batwoman in general?
Williams: What's interesting about issue #0 is that it's not really going to be a direct lead-in to the series or be a full representation of what people can expect from the series, because we had actually already started at writing and drawing issue #1 before issue #0 was decided to be done. And at first Hayden and I had some reservations about doing an issue #0 because we had already put a lot of effort into issue #1 being the starting point for the series. We were pretty reluctant about the whole thing and were afraid that we couldn't come up with something that had as much punch as the first issue would have. It was kind of a tricky balance to find a way to do something interesting that didn't dissolve the intensity of the first issue, but yet was strong enough that it could be its own thing as well.
The #0 issue is more like a little bridge of what came before and what is coming up next. It's pretty much a standalone tale in a lot of ways, but it has connecting threads to what came before and what's going to be coming up. But at the same time, it's pretty autonomous as well. So I think it works as an interesting little primer for the series, even though it's not direct plot points – except for one little element – that will carry through into the series.
IGN Comics: I imagine a lot of Batman books over the next few months are going to be focusing on how the various members of the Bat family are impacted by the return of Bruce Wayne. How would you say Kate is affected by the news, if at all?
Williams: It's definitely going to play a role in our series, but at the same time, we don't want to lose the voice of the series. I think each of the Bat titles probably has a struggle ahead of them as far as that same mentality and in regards to what they're doing. Each book needs to be autonomous, but also reflect the bigger events going on. That's how it's going to affect our series, really. We're doing our thing. The things that Kate Kane has to face are relatively separate from the bigger picture of things going on with Batman, but at the same time, what's going on with Batman sort of encroaches on Kate's life in interesting ways. Because of those events, we'll see her have to make some interesting choices about her position in Gotham City.
Check out the entire interview here.
DC: The Source has posted some variant covers to some upcoming Batman books:
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by Andy Clarke:
DC: The Source has more with Grant Morrison on bringing in new characters in Batman and Robin:
I introduced the new Squire and Knight in the pages of JLA back in 1998 and I’ve been slipping them into stories like JLA CLASSIFIED #1-3 and BATMAN #667-669 ever since. For some reason I’ll never be able to explain, this pair have developed a complex, intricate backstory and web of relationships that so far exists solely in my head and is only hinted at in these brief appearances.
My redesign of the Squire was intended to reference the British comics characters Beryl the Peril and Minnie the Minx (these tomboy anarchists headed their own weekly humor strips in the venerable UK titles Topper and Beano respectively), as well as the character “Monkey” from the film Quadrophenia, as played by Toyah Willcox.
I was a huge fan of Greg Rucka and JH Williams’s Batwoman stories in DETECTIVE COMICS and wanted to get the two new characters together as soon as possible. Simple as that.
The Beefeater is an old-time DC hero who once represented the UK in the international Global Guardians hero team. He appeared as the butt of numerous Keith Giffen jokes in JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL and here makes a comeback as the Queen’s Jailer. Beefeater mentions a number of British super-criminals, many of whom were created for an imaginary SQUIRE AND KNIGHT series that’s been growing in the damp undergrowth of my imagination for the last ten years.
The Pearly Court of Crime
Pearly Charlie English and his son Eddie are the only two members of the Pearly Court of Crime, but we can assume there’s a Pearly Queen and some Pearly Princesses too.
I must point out that the real-life Pearly Kings and Queens of London are firmly on the side of the angels and are famous for their contributions to charity.
The Coals From Newcastle
King Coal was based on a combination of influences, including Arthur Scargill, the miners’ union leader who was Mrs. Thatcher’s nemesis in the 1980s. His henchmen were based on the gang of dancing chimney sweeps led by Dick Van Dyke in Walt Disney’s film of Mary Poppins.
The Metaleks are weaponized, intelligent construction machines from another world on a mission to “xenoform” our planet, starting with London.
Like the Pearly King, the Morris Men belong to the world of tradition and folklore. Remnants of some unspeakable pagan fertility business, they pin jingling bells to their clothes and hop around hitting one another with sticks. The whole thing is a kind of stylized sword dance which ends when the dancers lock their “swords” together in a star-shaped configuration and “behead” their kneeling leader, who is then restored to life by a comic doctor. Readers familiar with the original film version of The Wicker Man starring Edward Woodward may remember seeing the Morris Men there.
They may seem jolly and bucolic, like a sun-dappled afternoon at a pub next to a canal in the South Downs, but as any British child can tell you there’s something screamingly weird and abnormal about the Morris Men that demanded to be absorbed into the Batman world.
The criminal version of the Morris Men are violent, ninja-like assassins who worship the Horned God.
Stand and deliver! I saw the Highwayman as a cross between Adam Ant and Russell Brand: a dashing gentleman bastard who plies his devilish trade on the motorways of Britain. He rides his big black stealth cycle alongside tourist coaches, delivery trucks and especially security vans before robbing them blind and making off with the loot.
The Wayne Ancestors
The portraits of the Wayne patriarchs in BATMAN AND ROBIN #10 were all drawn from Batman’s long publishing history, but as usual I missed a couple of established characters.
I missed Lancelot Wayne, one of Bruce’s earliest known ancestors, and Sir Gaweyne de Weyne, who was introduced into the bloodline in 1998 by Alan Grant and Frank Quitely in BATMAN: THE SCOTTISH CONNECTION, as well as a third Revolutionary War hero, General Horatio Wayne, who appeared in BATMAN #120 and takes his place alongside the fictional Darius Wayne (created, I believe, by Alan Moore for a SWAMP THING story) and the real-life “Mad” Anthony Wayne, who was absorbed into Bruce’s family tree by Batman writer extraordinaire Bill Finger.
As for the others, Alan Wayne appears in BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #4, while the stories of Alan’s father Solomon and uncle Joshua were covered in BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #45 and BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #27, and were also alluded to in Christopher Nolan’s film The Dark Knight.
(Source: DC The Source)
When Batman is on call, Gotham is kept safe by his squad of trusty Bat-Robots, but when Black Mask reprograms the unstoppable soldiers to do his bidding, Batman must blow the dust off "Proto," his bumbling (but good-hearted) beta-test robot to help him stop the villain.
“Batman: The Brave and The Bold” © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. “Batman” and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.
CBR has a preview of the final installment of Red Hood Lost Days which hits stores tomorrow:
Check out the preview here.
IGN has posted a couple of pages and a quick interview with Jock about his and Scott Snyder's new direction with Detective comics.
A Quick Chat With Jock
IGN Comics: You're continuing your work on Detective Comics as Scott Snyder steps on board. What convinced you to stay with the series?
Jock: Scott called me out of the blue and convinced me is the short answer! It was a very direct approach and it worked a charm. His hook for the story was so original i found it hard not to get excited about the idea of working on it. He's a great writer with fresh ideas and that's really what drew me back to the title.
IGN Comics: When you're working on a series, how much of the story do you want to know ahead of time? Do you want to know the ending so you can properly evolve a character's emotion or physical portrayal? Or do you rely more on the writer to convey what is necessary at the time?
Jock: I've been thinking about this recently funnily enough - I think I tend to work as I go along... I'll read a script through first and obviously lay it out with a good sense of the larger picture of the story, but beyond that I tend to take each page as it comes, or, at least each scene.
I find that so long as I've done my work in the layout stage, I can keep it fresh and surprise myself if I work on the pages a little 'blind' from then on in. Little character moments and subtleties can come out that may have been lost by constantly regurgitating the same images over and over again. Some guys can lay out a page, do loose pencils, then tighter pencils, then ink. I'm not like that. I like to draw with the ink and keep it fresh. I have great admiration for a much more formal approach, but it doesn't seem to work for me at all.
IGN Comics: Every artist has a different preference when it comes to scripts. How much description and guidance do you prefer? How much non-visual, character background is ideal for you? Is there a moment where it becomes too much? Where's that balance for you?
Jock: I tend to like condensed scripts, but I love reading a more detailed panel description too - when the writer is really into it you can tell by the words they use and that can really help set the scene. But I grew up on 2000AD, and when I started working for them I worked with John Wagner on Judge Dredd, and his classic panel description is "Dredd. Headshot. Grim". Tells you everything you need to know with no fluff! I love that. So I guess, like anything, it's a balance.
IGN Comics: Are you planning on being aboard Detective Comics for the foreseeable future? Will you be alternating with any artists?
Jock: That's the plan - we're aiming to make a nice trade collection at the end of this that will last. Hopefully readers will dig what we're trying to do!
Read the full interview and see more pages at IGN.
(Source: DC The Source)
The second hardcover volume of Batman and Robin hits stores this week and DC: The Source gives us a look of behind the scenes with the covers and with commentary about each cover by Grant Morrison:
Issues 7 to 8 of BATMAN AND ROBIN were a loose tie-in to DC’s “Blackest Night” event, written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Ivan Reis, in which a host of dead DC superheroes returned to wreak vengeance on the living as cruel zombies.
Rather than tie directly into the main event, we chose to reflect it in a more thematic way with this story of walking dead men.
At that time, no one knew when Bruce Wayne might be returning as Batman so we wanted to make it look as if this might be the moment.
For this one, I had in mind a classic “mystery” cover like some of the Neal Adams compositions from the 1970s showing Batman investigating while some threat crept up behind him. In this case the threat was Robin himself, setting up our Batman vs. Robin storyline with what I hoped would be an intriguing image.
(Source: DC The Source)
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