Dave Bullock’s Silent Film-Inspired ‘Batman: Black & White’ Looks Rad, Is Best Comic Book Trailer Ever Cut [Video]
One of my favorite cartoonists, Dave Bullock is well known to comics art collectors and the denizens of artist alley, and in comics has produced covers and illustrated short stories like the standout Deadman piece from Wednesday Comics. Most often he’s worked as a storyboard artist and director on such impressive animated titles like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Batman Beyond, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures and Justice League. Most auspiciously, Bullock directed the Warner Bros. Animation feature Justice League: The New Frontier, adapted from the work of Darwyn Cooke, who shares Bullock’s affinity for mid-century stylings.
Naturally, Bullock is an ideal candidate for participation in the enduringly popular DC Comics art project that is Batman: Black & White, which reunites the cartoonist with his Wednesday Comics editor Mark Chiarello for a story that plays to Bullock’s mastery of period style and dramatic storytelling. Written by longtime Batman associate Michael Uslan, “The Bat-Man In ‘Silent Knight… Unholy Knight!'” takes inspiration from the era and aesthetics of silent film. Given Bullock’s filmmaking background, it comes as no surprise that he put together a silent-film-style trailer for his story. What is a surprise is just how well it works, putting the traditional “comic book trailer” to shame.
“Whether in comics or animation I prefer to portray these icons as having high moral values, and unaffected by fashion and trends, which lends itself perfectly to the ‘retro cool’ silent films of the late ’20s and early ’30s,” said Bullock in a blog post about the clip. He continued, “‘Silent Knight’ is a homage to the greatness of the early pulp cinema serials many of us grew up with.”
Bullock even chose extremely specific music to compliment his vision of the Dark Knight. “I preferred it’s strings and horns over the typical piano accompaniment of the late 20’s early ’30s silent films. Only the strings bring the romance needed. Only the horns bring the urgency. This riff has a brooding vibe but then turns around into something uplifting and heroic!”