Though perhaps not celebrated as widely as some of his peers, penciller, inker and editor Dick Giordano is one of the key figures in the history of superhero comics.
Richard Joseph "Dick" Giordano was born in Manhattan on July 20, 1932. He attended the School of Industrial Art in Manhattan, and at the age of 20 he got a job pencilling for Charlton Comics. He drew for Charlton for over a decade, and one of his panels from a 1964 Strange Suspense Stories issue was used by Roy Lichtenstein as the basis for his Brushstrokes series of paintings.
Despite every attempt I've made to stop it, there's still a discussion that crops up every now and then about Batman's methods. There are people out there, people that I will never understand, who for some reason think it would make for a better story if Batman gave all of his money to charity instead of spending it on bat-shaped airplanes and rocket cars, as though there are problems that can't be solved by owning a bat-shaped airplane.
But even though I definitely don't agree, I will concede that the Dark Knight's crimefighting methods are occasionally a little dubious. Like, say, that time that Batman investigated an attempted murder by pretending to be a ghost and then yelling at someone about a bad review in the latest issue of Consumer Reports. That one was pretty weird, even if it's hard to argue with the results.
Last week, one of the questions that came in for my Ask Chris column came from someone who was curious about how Batman celebrated New Year's Eve, and really, that's a pretty interesting question. I mean, we have plenty of comics, cartoons and even one goofy-ass movie about how he spends Christmas, but stories that address whether or not he watches the ball drop and toasts a cup of kindness are significantly harder to come by. Fortunately, we have Batman #247, a classic from the Bronze Age that addresses exactly this question.
As it turns out, Batman spends his New Year's Eve punching out criminals. What the hell did you think he was going to do?
For the most part, mainstream comics don’t care about fashion. But sometimes, something sneaks through and reminds us all of why this matters. Sensation Comics #7, illustrated by Marguerite Sauvage from a script by Sean E. Williams, is that rare, trembling shaft of light into the dank, Dragon Ball Z-print-button-downed basement that is the state of fashion in comics.
This week marks the premiere of Gotham, the new Fox television show focusing on Jim Gordon's first year as a cop in Batman's hometown, and the origins of young Bruce Wayne and the people who will one day become the greatest enemies of his war on crime. That the show exists at all is a testament to how strong Jim Gordon and the rest of the Gotham city Police Department are as heroes in their own rights.
So if Gotham has you in the mood to read about Gordon, Harvey Bullock and the rest of the GCPD -- or if you just want to dive into some solid Batman comics where the spotlight isn't entirely on the Dark Knight -- then I've got some suggestions for great comics about Gotham's top cops!
Based on a 1976 Detective Comics story by Dennis O'Neil and Dick Giordano, "Appointment in Crime Alley" is a memorable and heartfelt episode of Batman: The Animated Series. Gritty and sorrowful, the episode is centered around the anniversary of Thomas and Martha Wayne's murder in Park Row 30 years ago, and Bruce Wayne's annual appointment to visit the site of their death. We also learn more about Dr. Leslie Thompkins, the longtime friend and colleague of Thomas Wayne who consoled young Bruce on the night his parents were murdered. We realize Leslie's life was also greatly affected by the tragedy, and the two share a unique bond.
Are Bruce and Leslie enacting a healthy coping method by commemorating the Waynes every year in "Crime Alley", or is this a sign of prolonged grief and their inability to move on? In this episode of the Arkham Sessions, we discuss how some people who experience trauma and negative life events can get "stuck" on bad thoughts which keep them from overcoming the tragedies in their lives.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.
Before he became Co-Publisher of DC Comics -- before WildStorm, Batman: Hush, Image Comics, and an immensely successful run on the X-Men -- Jim Lee was a kid from St. Louis who wanted to draw comics. He worked hard to break into the industry and, all things considered, you could say his efforts worked out okay for him. But like nearly any other aspiring young artist, Lee had his share of hurdles to climb, as evidenced by the old rejection letters from Marvel and DC that he recently posted on Instagram.
If you've been down to the comic book store over the past couple of weeks, you've probably noticed that for DC, it's Villains Month, where a tie-in to the big Forever Evil event has led to the bad guys headlining the monthly comics instead of the heroes. As a result, we're getting comics with names like Batman #23.1/Joker #1, which I think we can all agree makes things easy to follow. The thing is, while this definitely isn't the first time the villains have stepped into the spotlight, it's not even the first time we've gotten a comic called Joker #1.
That happened way back in 1975, when somebody at DC figured that it was a good idea to give the Clown Prince of Crime his own ongoing series that managed to last a mere nine issues -- and it's actually even stranger than it sounds.
We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we've created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it's new, some of it's old, some of it's created by working professionals, some of it's created by future stars, some of it's created by talented fans, and some of it's endearingly silly. All of it's awesome. In honor of this year's 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman and this weekend's release of Man of Steel, we present for the second time a compilation of some of the coolest portraits of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's brilliant creation that we've highlighted in this feature over the last few years. We know it's cheating but we didn't count on going away for a month and then coming back in the middle of a big media event. All-new next week evermore.
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