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.
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 is awesome.
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.
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, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.
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.
In case you haven't been keeping up on the anniversary celebrations of your favorite Japanese cuteness icons, this year marks the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty. To celebrate the occasion, Sanrio -- which has recently been pretty cagey about whether or not Hello Kitty is actually a cat -- put out a hardcover featuring artists from all over the world, with comics celebrating 40 years of adorability.
One such creator was Karl Kerschl, the artist of the upcoming Gotham Academy, who contributed a sci-fi-inspired three-page strip that is absolutely delightful. There's just one problem: The third page was rejected by Sanrio for implying that Hello Kitty is actually a cat.
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.
Between three monthly titles, a spot in the Justice League, an ongoing weekly series in print and an ongoing weekly digital-first series, you might be under the woefully mistaken impression that there were enough comics about Batman going around to satisfy everyone's needs. If you are, then you, my friend, are wrong. We always need more Batman. And apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so.
Today, DC Comics announced not one, but three new Batman comics, set to be released soon: Arkham Manor by Gerry Duggan and Shawn Crystal, Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, and a digital-first collection of Jiro Kuwata's Bat-Manga, translated and reprinted in its entirety for the first time since it was originally published in Japan in 1966.