Superman and Batman Magazine

The wife mentioned in the last post that it’s impossible to find stuff online about SUPERMAN AND BATMAN MAGAZINE.  And, surprisingly, it IS.  This magazine, which came out at the end of the nineties, was, for its entire run THE BEST SELLING COMIC BOOK IN NORTH AMERICA, and no one remembers it.  It sold more than HALF A MILLION copies per month, ALL by subscription, and all to younger readers, so naturally, the biz ignores it, and it was canceled after less than ten issues.  (Actually, the company that published it, WELSH PUBLICATIONS, was purchased by Marvel, and the magazine was pulled as an obvious conflict of interest.)

The above issue (5) was where the HAWKMAN poster (seen below) is originally from.

If anyone could explain to me why DC was willing to cancel its BEST SELLING comic magazine, rather than move it “in-house”, I’ve always been willing to listen.  I did TONS of art for the series, including a pin-up poster inside each issue…a couple of covers, and a fully illustrated 20 page story starring the Justice League Adventures characters LONG before they had a show.   I’ll look around the studio for copies of the mag, the posters, and any original art I still have left from the book.

Ty the O.G.

11 responses to “Superman and Batman Magazine

  1. Hi Ty!

    I have a giant blow up of that cover and the rest of the poster it connected to in my office here at DC! We LOVED having you working on the mag – along with other greats like Mike Parobeck, Bruce Timm, etc.

    A lot of the reason the Welsh magazines did so well was that they were offered through Publisher’s Clearing House. They were cheaper than most other PCH subscriptions, because they only published 4-6 issues a year, they made good gifts for kids, and a lot of people thought your chance of winning the sweepstakes improved if you bought a subscription. I don’t think DC had the PCH connection that Welsh did, so it got dropped, unfortunately.

  2. Yeah, I’ve heard it was about DC not being connected to PCH lists the way Welsh was…but you’d have thought the magazine could have switched publishers and stayed on the list with a half million subscriptions already in the bag, that’s where I get confused. I could see why you might not start UP a new magazine with a new publisher, but to continue one should be a no-brainer. A half million readers out there would have eventually become DC junkies if we’d only gone to twenty five issues instead of eight or nine.
    And you still have that poster up? Wow, that’s very cool, I appreciate it. I’m also assuming it’s been there for a while at this point, and is probably buried in notes, thumbtacks and shelving, which would also be very cool. It’s a pleasant feeling to know I’m still part of a wall somewhere at DC.

    Ty the Guy. Hoping never to be the floor.

  3. I remember those quite well, I bought them at the local Target stores off the magazine shelf. They were good size and a lot of fun. I didn’t know they were that big of sellers or why DC stopped making it though, so interesting to learn.

    • I was utterly unaware there were newsstand versions of those magazines. Soon, I’ll be doing a post about the entire series.

  4. It was a really pleasant surprise to see them there, given that back then comics anywhere but comic shops was a rare sight. They were a lot of fun, with stuff for my young nephew and nieces, but enjoyable for me as well.

    Good to find this blog too, I remember you stopping by the comics chats on AOL I used to host for DC way back when. Good to be able to keep up with what you’re working on these days now too. (plus I may buy my first piece of art ever, since you have a page of my fav. comic couple Ralph & Sue)

  5. I’m a bit late to the party here, but I had to chime and say that I’ve been collecting this eight-issue series for years now! It’s taken me that long to find all the issues. My grandmother bought me my first issue – ironically, the last of the series, the JL special – and over time I sought out the others.

    As someone who loved the original The Batman Adventures title (which I know you worked on Ty!), it was a really big treat to finally see the traditional origin of Batman – as illustrated by Parobeck, no less – in issue #1 of this series.

    I have to ask you a question though, Ty – why did you opt to shade Wonder Woman’s bracelets black in that awesome pull-out poster you drew? They’re silver!

    • Because Wonder Woman had appeared somewhere with black bracelets on a design sheet from Warner Bros that I got sent as part of my job. Timm and Murakami and a few others folks did design sheets for Superman and the Justice League YEARS before the shows were finalized, and an early design sheet included black bracelets. The lovely design pack for Superman was substantially different than the final ones they used. It was in colour too! I wish I could put ‘em online, but it’s Bruce Timm’s art, and not my place to do so.

  6. Thanks for the reply! That’s interesting to me…because (and forgive me if my timeline is a little off) wasn’t Bryne the one doing the main WW book at the time of the publication of S/Bm? His mainstream WW design was “Adventures”-ized (or “animated”) and showed up in a lot of places, with silver bracelets. I remember it appearing on the front of Kraft Mac and Cheese boxes, and in this illustration, which became a litho in the WB Studio Stores:

    http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryPiece.asp?Piece=421226&GSub=4372

    Even the Maquette later created based on the never-used WW design from S:TAS sported the silver bracelets. I’m not picking on your image (which is brilliant, honestly) as much as wondering at what point Diana’s bracelets were being thought of as dark like that. I guess you already answered the question…it’s just odd that at Timm and Murakami, for one moment in what ended being up years of the bracelets being silver, chose to make them dark. It’s just such a part of her lore, isn’t it – the bullet-proof silver bracelets? Carter had them…

    Okay, I’ll stop being the WW Detective. Maybe one day I can ask Timm and Murakami what they were thinking, LOL.

  7. You know, it’s possible the image I was working from was in black and white and the shading made ‘em look dark. Or I’m simply recalling it wrong, it was quite a number of years ago. If everything you’ve ever seen had ‘em silver, I’m more than happy to take the bullet for the mistake (even though the right bracelets would have deflected that bullet!) I don’t know why I would have miscoloured them either, so I THINK I saw something that made me think they were dark.
    But as my lovely wife often points out, I can’t remember my kid’s birthdays, so I’ll just give up and say the mistake was likely mine.

  8. :) Oh dear, I’ve gone and made you feel like you have to apologize. No, I’M sorry Ty. I promise not to bug you or Glenn or Bruce about it again! It’s still probably my favourite piece of WW art you’ve ever done (though I also love that splash page origin contained within the last issue of S/B – dark haired Hippolyta! Amen!) Wish you’d gotten the chance to do more with her in print. Maybe one day, it’ll happen.

    Do you have that WB studio store maquette by any chance? I finally got mine this year through Ebay and I just love it.

    (Also, I forget birthdays too! You are not alone!)

  9. I’m LOLing a bit right now at the last line of my previous post, and the fact that it’s so so true!

    HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY TY! (see what I mean?)

    I didn’t get you anything, but I CAN offer an apology for questioning your choice of black bracelets on Diana. I just picked up the trade of Dennis O’Neil’s controversial run on Wonder Woman, and sure enough, she’s got black bracelets. Which then got me thinking about the Carter bracelets, which were, at one point, gold I believe. So there you have it – a precedent set during the pre-crisis days for various colours being used.

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