Catwoman, Death and the Riddler Swing Into the ’60s with Gene Gonzales [Art]
A great cartoonist and illustrator whom we’ve featured before, Gene Gonzales has been kicking out the jams lately with some inspired 1960s-inspired redesigns of Catwoman, Death and the Riddler. Gonzales couldn’t have picked a better time to publish these stylish images, what with Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men finally returning to AMC just the other night. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll agree that Gonzales’ Catwoman syncs up quite well with the new Mrs. Draper as portrayed by Jessica Paré, but the artist actually thinks his Selina Kyle looks more like Natalie Wood and Lisa Loeb. In any case, these are lovely and you can check them out after the cut.
Gonzales’ take on Mike Dringenberg and Neil Gaiman’s Death is my favorite of the lot. As he points out on his blog, the perky reaper’s appearance often changes to reflect whatever time period she happens to be, er, living in, and the artist rightly zeroed in on 1968 for this uncommonly cute re-imagining. “Death dressed in mod fashion in London is just too cool,” Gonzales wrote. “Psychedelic colors to come.”
Because the Julie Newmar catsuit from the 1960s Batman television series is so perfect, Gonzales chose to go with a more “real world” approach for this version of the character first envisioned by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. “Instead I went with a flat black. No shiny leather or spandex. Or latex,” he wrote. “I thought about her being agile like a cat or dancer. So the outfit ended up more like a dance unitard with a few open spots. Big belt and rope filled out the rest. I didn’t put ears on her head, since I was trying to keep this ‘real’ world. But the necklace works.”
And check out this Riddler. Has Bill Finger and Dick Sprang’s classic villain ever looked so dapper? Don Ameche himself couldn’t rock a cane like that.