Earlier this month, DC released the first paperback collection of Gotham Academy, Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, and Karl Kerschl's fan-favorite series about Olive Silverlock, Maps Mizoguchi, and their fellow students at Gotham City's most prestigious prep school. We recently got the chance to chat with the entire creative team, and what ensued was a fast-paced and giggle-filled conversation, evidencing the same careful planning and casual camaraderie that has made the series itself such an immediate hit – audiences tend to sense when creators enjoy working on a project, and and it's clear that with Gotham Academy, this trio are having the time of their lives.
The return of the Joker and his latest rein of crazy over Gotham comes to an end in April with the concluding chapter of Endgame in Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman #40. The effects of the Joker's assault on sanity won't only be felt in the pages of that book, but in a series of one-shots spinning out of Batgirl, Arkham Manor, Detective Comics, and Gotham Academy.
In the case of Gotham's finest/spookiest/strangest private school, the endgame plays out on the dark and sinister night of a city-wide blackout, with Joker-infected crazies at large on the streets. Holed up at the academy, students Olive Silverlock, Maps Mizoguchi and their... "friends"... tell each other scary Joker stories --- and those stories come from a team of exceptional guest artists. Series writers Brenden Fletcher and Becky Cloonan are joined by Six Gun Gorilla artist Jeff Stokely, Adventure Time character designer Joy Ang, illustrator Clio Chiang, and Anya's Ghost author Vera Brosgol. Check out our exclusive preview... if you dare.
At this point, I'm not sure how Gotham Academy could get better. I mean, it's already exactly what I have always wanted in my life but never knew I could get, a teen drama with mysteries and secret passages, where Batman occasionally shows up and obscure villains from the TV show are running the library. That's a level of perfection that I could've only dreamt of a year ago.
But if I had to make a suggestion for how it might be better, I'd probably suggest getting Babs Tarr, the ComicsAlliance-favorite artist of Batgirl, to do a cover, or maybe getting Adventure Time designer Joy Ang to take a crack at the characters, or maybe have everyone spend an issue talking about how terrifying the Joker is. These are all things that are happening. We are living in a magical time.
Aside from the obvious, I don't usually like to refer to things as being my "favorites." I talk about so much stuff that I love all the time that every time I settle on a favorite, I almost immediately end up contradicting myself when I remember something else that I love, like when I went on and on about how Impulse #3 is my favorite single issue of all time right before I re-read G.I. Joe #21. There's just so much out there that's great that nine times out of ten, settling on a single thing as my favorite ends up being pretty limiting, and if there's one thing I hate, it's having to go back and admit that I might've been wrong about something. For me to actually settle on something as a favorite, it has to be so obvious that it's above and beyond everything else out there that it's self-evident.
So with that in mind, believe me when I say this: Gotham Academy is, without question, my favorite comic on the stands right now, and it just keeps getting better.
Boom Studios has a reputation in the comics industry for publishing an increasingly diverse group of books and creators. This commitment to diversity in genre and people is reflected in an all-new initiative the publisher announced today in Previews with a letter from founder Ross Richie. While 2015 is the 10th anniversary of Boom, the publisher wants to talk about what's next rather than what's come before. They call this discussion of the future Push Comics Forward and they don't want it to be only about Boom.
Push Comics Forward is Boom's way of focusing on the ongoing conversation about diversity and the future of the industry. To learn more about this initiative and what to expect from Boom for the next ten years and beyond, we spoke with Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.
Batman's 75th anniversary came during an incredibly eventful year for the Caped Crusader, and not just in terms of celebratory publications and commemorative events.
After former Vertigo editor Mark Doyle took over as Batman group editor in February, things changed, and not just for Batman himself. Supporting characters such as Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon shifted into new roles. The world of Gotham expanded with books that focused on unexplored corners, like the GCPD's supernatural unit, or the city's mysterious prep school. Even the mainline Batman titles, Batman and Detective Comics, told bold stories that weren't typical Batman fare. Creators pushed into new territory and took chances with their books, and as a result the Batman line looks much different than it did at the beginning of 2014.
Mark Doyle deserves the credit for steering the line and bringing in the creators who made these changes. Comics Alliance sat down with Doyle and DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras to look back on Doyle's first year as Batman group editor, and to look ahead to 2015, as DC relocates to new offices in Burbank, California.
Listen, Gotham Academy: I already liked you. You had me hooked from the very first promise of teen boarding school drama in a city full of supervillains with Batman showing up to try to reach these kids. That is exactly what I am into in virtually every way, and with the first issue being as good as it was, you didn't have to sell me on the series any harder than you already did.
But then you brought back Bookworm, and cemented your place as the single best comic on the stands today.
Gotham Academy is exactly the comic book I want to read.
That probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been reading ComicsAlliance for any significant amount of time. I mean, if you made a list of the things I like seeing in my comics, then Batman, teenage mystery solvers, and high school drama set in a superhero universe are all things that are going to land pretty close to the top of the list, and those three elements form the exact core of Gotham Academy's premise. It's so perfectly designed to fit my very specific tastes that you'd actually have to work hard to combine them into something that I wouldn't like.
Because of that, it might be tempting to write off anything nice I have to say about the book, but trust me: this first issue of Gotham Academy is great, not just because it's got a bunch of stuff I want to see, but because Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl, Geyser, and Dave McCaig, have produced one of the most solid starts of the year.
Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl's Gotham Academy is the comic I never knew I wanted until it was announced, and every moment since then has been an eternity of waiting for it to actually hit shelves. Now, with the book set for release this Wednesday, we are finally on the verge of living in a world where there is a high school adventure drama that also has Batman in it.
If, however, you can't wait, then I have some good news. Today, DC released a five-page preview of the new series, in which our lead characters, Olive SIlverlock and Maps Mizoguchi, take a tour of the ominous and imposing Gotham Academy, before immediately being caught in an equally ominous and imposing thunderstorm. Because of course there's a thunderstorm; heavy rain and blood-red skies are the only two types of weather allowed in Gotham City.
I don't think it's possible for the staff of ComicsAlliance to get more excited for Becky Cloonan, Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl's Gotham Academy than we already are, but if there's one thing that could do it, it's seeing the characters for the new book in a set of brand-new promo images drawn by Cloonan. Today, that's exactly what we've got, so prepare yourself, because they are fantastic.