EXCLUSIVE: DC in 2010 — Andy Clarke Next Artist on ‘Batman and Robin’
Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne haven't always seen eye-to-eye in their never-ending war on crime, but so far the duo have managed a mostly-effective partnership. This spring, however, their fragile alliance will be put to the test in a storyline billed as "Batman vs. Robin." Fortunately for fans, a Dark Knight alum is on duty to capture the pending clash of the titans.
Fresh from his celebrated "R.E.B.E.L.S" run, artist Andy Clarke makes his triumphant return to Gotham City, working alongside writer Grant Morrison beginning in March's "Batman and Robin" #10.
The artist is in good company, joining an elite list of creators who have depicted this particular incarnation of the dynamic duo that includes Frank Quitely, Philip Tan and Cameron Stewart.
Clarke's experience illustrating titles such as "Detective Comics," "The Joker's Asylum: Two-Face" and "Batman Confidential" have demonstrated his cape and cowl skills, paving the way for a smooth transition back into the belly of the Batman.
ComicsAlliance had the opportunity to chat with Clarke and Batman Group Editor Michael Marts about the artist's upcoming run. Continue reading for a glimpse of what's to come for the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder in 2010.
ComicsAlliance: Having drawn Batman and Robin in their previous incarnations, what are the differences between your approach on Bruce and Tim and Dick and Damien, given the entirely new dynamic of the new duo?
Andy Clarke: I think the main thing is that Damian to me seems full of attitude, so I try to play that aspect up more than anything else. The differences for Bruce and Dick I think are more subtle - especially when they're in the suit.
Michael Marts: And Dick is still learning the ropes on how to "be Batman." Bruce had many years worth of a head start on Dick-and even though Dick has been a costumed crimefighter all these years, he's still learning that to be a hero and to be Batman are two completely different things.
CA: Obviously Frank Quitely has made a big splash on the book, followed by Philip Tan (and soon others) -- how will your approach for the title differ or compare to theirs?
AC: Difficult to say really, I'm just approaching it as I always do, trying to do my best and hope it all works out.
CA: Any teasers on what twists and turns readers can expect from your three-issue arc with Grant?
AC: I haven't seen all the scripts yet, but I'm sure there'll be things that will shake things up a bit.
MM: As far as teasers go, the title of the storyarc--"Batman vs. Robin"--might be the biggest teaser of all. And expect to learn quite a bit more about the mysterious history of Bruce Wayne's family tree.
CA: You've been handling a lot of futuristic elements in "Rebels." Do you like coming back into a more "street-level" scenario on "Batman and Robin"? How do you approach the difference in tone?
AC: Well, I always felt I could've done better with Batman on the stories I did before - so B&R is a good opportunity to have another crack at the character. How successful it will be isn't for me to say, but Batman is a lot about mood, so that's how I'm trying to approach it.
CA: Like a lot of city-centric comics, Gotham City is almost its own character in the Batman books. What's your take on the aesthetic of the city in B&R?
MM: Grant Morrison's take on Gotham City in this series is that it's a city of extremes-one that ranges from the lows of intense crime, costumed super-villains and gang warfare on one side to the highs of grandiose skyscrapers, the wealthy elite and a real sense of culture on the other. Each of the artists working on this series-whether it's Andy or Philip Tan or Frank Quitely-have done an outstanding job of exhibiting that dichotomy.
CA: Aside from who you've drawn already, are there any specific DC characters you'd like to take a stab at?
AC: Nothing really comes to mind - but Bats is always up near the top, so it's amazing that I get to continue having chances to draw him.
MM: Plus, Andy will have the opportunity to illustrate a few surprising guest stars over the course of his three-issue run.
CA: What's your favorite way to unwind after drawing costumed heroes kicking criminals in the face? Or is that how you unwind period?
AC: Hah! It's usually work then bedtime, but I'll read the odd biography/real crime book to try to relax (which doesn't come easy to me - hence the medication : )