We are currently living in the middle of a renaissance of interest in the 1966 Batman TV show. With licensing deals that have taken decades to work out falling into place, we've got action figures, clothes, and DVDs are finally on the way, and at the leading edge of it all is DC's digital-first Batman '66comic, written by Jeff Parker with art by Jonathan Case, Ty Templeton, Joe Quinones, Sandy Jarrell, Ruben Procopio and Colleen Coover.
This week, the first hardcover collection of the series is out in print, and to mark the occasion, I sat down at Portland, Oregon's Periscope Studio to talk to Parker (and special guest Colleen Coover) about their work on the series. In the first half of the interview, we'll discuss the competitive relationship between Batman and his villains, the addition of big stunts to the show, and why Parker doesn't think it's necessary to be a fan to write a good comic.
Lorenzo Semple Jr. arguably did more to popularize Batman than anyone else in the character's 75-year history. The man who created the beloved 1960s Batman TV show died Friday of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
From the It's About Darn Time Department: In the midst of a renewed push that includes licensed toys and comics, Warner Brothers has confirmed that Batman, the 1966 television show starring Adam West and BurtWard, will be released on home video some time this year. To say that this is pretty welcome news around here at ComicsAlliance is understating things quite a bit, since some of us have been waiting decades for a complete series set of Batman.
It's not entirely surprising news, though. With the licensing we've seen from the show over the past year, it felt like it was only a matter of time before everything was sorted out between Fox (the producers of the TV show) and WB (who own DC Comics and, therefore, Batman) to get the actual show back in the hands of fans. What is pretty surprising, however, is that the news was broken by Conan O'Brien on Twitter. Really.
Q: Do you think that, for all their superficial campiness, the Adam West Bat-villains are actually the least likely to reform or even feel bad about the crimes they've committed? -- lego-joker
A: I'll be honest with you, folks: I got this question on Tumblr a few days ago, and while I wrote a (relatively) brief answer over there, it's something I've been thinking about ever since. Fortunately, it's my column, which means that the only rule is that there are no rules. And, you know, the weekly deadline. That is a pretty serious rule if I intend to stay employed.
Point is, there's a very simple answer to this question, which is that it's absolutely right. The arch-criminals of Batman '66 will never, ever reform, mostly due to the fact that nothing is ever meant to change on that show. There's a status quo that has to be maintained, one that's even more strict than the one in the comics. But at the same time, that lack of momentum says a lot about how those characters and the world in which they live are constructed.
One of the more unfortunate side effects of living in modern society is that we're expected to wear pants whenever we're in public. Seriously, they want you to do that every time you leave the house, even though that is clearly an unrealistic proposition for a society that has already perfected pajama technology. It's an undeniable hassle, but this month, Mattel released something that helps make it a little more awesome: a recreation of the classic Batman '66 utility belt, complete with a folding Batarang.
It's the latest entry in the tidal wave of merchandise that's been hitting shelves in the truly wonderful Batman TV series revival that we've been seeing over the past few months, and unless you're willing to get creative with your "Surf's Up" Batman action figure, it's the first one you can actually wear. Check out a video of the belt in action below!
The comic book, animation, illustration, pinup, mashup, fan art and design communities are generating amazing artwork of myriad styles and tastes, all of which ends up on the Internet and filtered into ComicsAlliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week). These images convey senses of mood and character — not to mention artistic skill — but comic books are specifically a medium of sequential narratives, and great sequential art has to be both beautiful (totally subjective!) and clear in its storytelling (not so subjective!). The words and the pictures need to work together to tell the story and create whatever tone, emotion and indeed world the story requires. The contributions of every person on a creative team, from the writer to the artist(s) to the letterers, are necessary to achieving a great page of sequential storytelling.
It is the special nature of comic books that we’re celebrating in this all-new recurring feature: Best Sequential Art Ever (This Week).
The Mego-meisters at Figures Toy Company have been making 8" action figure waves with their faithful recreations of vintage Batman toys, but this week's image rollout hits like cartoonish onomatopoeia reading "Rad!" A new line consisting of Batman, Robin, Riddler and Joker figures is set to arrive in April, sporting all of FTC's Mego-like style and some very modern touches -- and that's a good thing. After all, these Adam West, Burt Ward, Frank Gorshin and Cesar Romero likeness seem a bit more accurate than what Mego might've manufactured four decades ago.
When it comes to the holiday gift-giving season, comic book readers are notoriously difficult to shop for. I mean, most of us are down at the shop buying our favorite stuff every single week, so when the time comes for people who like us to get us something we want, well, a lot of times we already have it. That’s why we’re stepping in with a public service, bringing you comics-related items sure to make the season brighter, whether you’re browsing for a gift or just looking for something to drop hints about so that you don’t get stuck with a random assortment of back issues again.
We can all agree that the 1966 TV series is, of course, the One True Batman Above All Others, and recent developments in licensing have finally given us the toys we've (I've) wanted for years, but today, you can get them super cheap. I'm talking Surf Jams Batman for five bucks cheap.
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