Category Archives: Batman

Na na na na…Batman and Ty Templeton!

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The hardcover Batman ’66 Volume 1 is out TODAY at your Local Comic Book Store!! The Penguin issue I did is in there (written by Jeff Parker). (I think the Bookworm one, written by Tom Peyer will be in Volume 2 which I think comes out next month?) This was some of the most fun I’ve had working in comics (right up until my current gig, drawing a six issue Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet mini, written by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman, with covers by the one and only Alex Ross).

Batman_'66_Vol_1_1_Textless

I will be at a Release Party for the book THIS Saturday April 5 at The Comic Book Lounge + Gallery, 7-11pm. There will be copies of the book available and copies of the two issues I’ve done so far (#2 and #6).

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I’ll have some of my artwork with me, some prints, and sharpened pencils and fresh markers so I can do sketches and sign books.

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This is a party–so cosplayers are absolutely welcome! Pull out your Catwoman or Joker costume and join us!

The Comic Book Lounge + Gallery

587A College Street West 

Second Floor, Toronto

Saturday April 5 2014, 7 – 11 pm

(from The Lounge’s FB event page) “Put on your go-go boots and get ready to “Batusi” back to the Swingin’ 60s as DC Comics reimagines the classic Batman TV show! In this hardcover collecting issues #1-5 of the hit series, The Dynamic Duo takes on The Riddler, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, The Mad Hatter, The Joker, and more of the world’s most colorful Bat-villains!


Please join us for a special bat-party at a special bat-time at the Comic Book Lounge (and our neighbours the Temple of Toys) with the one and only Ty Templeton!

On display will be original artwork from Batman ’66 #2 and #6. Ty Templeton will have his Batman ’66 print available and artwork is for sale!

Feel free to come dressed as your favourite hero or villain! Come and do the Batusi — we’ll have someone there who can teach you how! Neil Hefti’s swinging jazz on the stereo, and some Batman ’66 on the small screen!

Libations will be available for purchase. A tall glass of milk helps build strong bones and teeth in case you need to catch the Bat-rope in your teeth!”

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Big Choice Bun Toons! YAY!

Changing shirts for the duration of the Olympics

Changing shirts for the duration of the Olympics

FISTFIGHT OF THE FORGOTTEN————————————————————————————————–

To be fair, Pete Best might not have made it to the Ed Sullivan performance, but he did make a couple of million dollars off his contribution to the Beatles’ Anthology albums, and he’s gotten to outlive a couple of his ex-band mates, so he wins in the end.

Bill Finger didn’t even get a Google Doodle on his birthday, so sigh.

Ty the Guy OUT!

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Your Bonus Batman vs. the Beatles moments are fun-

First up:

batman 222

Behind this gorgeous Neal Adams cover is a story by Frank Robbins about Batman and Robin solving the mystery of Paul McCartney’s murder…using clues found on album covers.    Well…the murder of Saul Cartwright…I guess the editor wouldn’t let ‘em use the REAL Paul, as he wasn’t actually murdered.

batman and robin 13

This is a cover I did for Batman and Robin Adventures #13.  It came out around the same time as Beatles’ Anthology, so…

batman robin 13 interior

…the story revolved around Scarecrow using the Anthology broadcast to piggy back a fear frequency to America…we still weren’t allowed to use their real names, so I named Paul McCartney “Mike McGear” (an in-joke for Beatlesmaniacs, anyone know why?).

Basically, this Batman meets the Beatles thing has been going on for a while…

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For last week's special tribute to Debra Jane Shelly click here

For last week’s special tribute to Debra Jane Shelly click here

For the Bun Toon that started all this Bill Finger attention last month, click here

For the Bun Toon that started all this Bill Finger attention last month, click here

For the Bun Toon Archive, click here

For the Bun Toon Archive, click here

Even More Of This Bun Toons! YAY!

FINGER TOONSHoo boy, did we see a lot of traffic this week.

My comic strip about Batman, Bill Finger and “what might have been”  viraled up more than any other Bun Toon I’ve done.  It was forwarded on facebook, touted on tumbler, tweeted and redditted, scrawled under the overpass in the bad side of town, chatted about at the important parties, passed along in secret codes to the people who needed to know, and talked about  amongst the un-contacted rainforest tribes in  New Guinea.

If you haven’t read it…here it is…

Click here and jump on a bandwagon!

Click here and jump on a bandwagon!

First –let’s get this straight:  I didn’t do it to bitch slap Bob Kane.  

That’s Steranko’s job.

And I didn’t do it as some anti-corporate comment about work-for-hire contracts, as it has nothing whatsoever to do with any or that.

I did it as a little plea for some attention on Bill Finger’s 100th Birthday (rapidly coming up on Feb. 8th of this year!).  My friend Marc Tyler Nobleman had this idea that Bill Finger deserved a Google-Doodle to mark the occasion, since Bill more-or-less/we-can’t-say-it-LEGALLY/no-one-really-argues-it-though, created most of what we know of as Batman an Robin, but his name almost never comes up around any of the movies, comics, books and TV shows that feature his characters….and Marc thought a Google Doodle would be a good way to celebrate Mr. Finger’s Dynamic Duo of contributions to 20th Century Pop Culture  (putting aside for a moment that Bill Finger also co-created Green Lantern and Joker and Catwoman, etc.)

Nothing catches on as a grass-roots movement unless there’s a mess of bumper sticker catchphrases summing up the complexity of the concept into worthless bite-size ideas chunks.  With that in mind, I give you the following images that you can right-click and use for your own facebook-tumblr-twitter worlds.  Help get the word out on Bill’s Hundredth Birthday, and our campaign to get him a google doodle.  

I’m tired of hearing that Bill Finger was the “unsung” hero of Batman.

Let’s  get him SUNG.

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right click any image and put it on social media today!

GOOGLE GIVE US THE FINGERo

PULL HIS FINGERo

My wife didn't care for this one...

My wife didn’t care for this one…

This might work on Spider-Man fans...every bit helps.

This might work on Spider-Man fans…every bit helps.

Clearly I've run out of ideas...

Clearly I’ve run out of ideas…

This is the week to campaign…the birthday’s only a couple of weeks away.

Ty The Guy OUT!

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finger batman logo

For many other Bun Toons past, some of which involve Batman, and many of which involve rabbits...click the archive here

For many other Bun Toons past, some of which involve Batman, and many of which involve rabbits…click the archive here

BILL WRITES A LETTERo

Giving Comics The Finger Bun Toons! YAY!

Dance the Bat-Toonsi baby.

Let’s give the comics industry the Finger.

We’re coming up on an anniversary on Feb. 8th of this year.

That will mark the 100th Birthday of Milton (Bill) Finger, the REAL creator of Batman.

Mr. Gotham City hisself...

Mr. Gotham City hisself..

Now according to the official story, Batman was created by Bob Kane (and no one else) but most comic fans know that’s not the true story.  While there’s no doubt that Bob Kane did contribute something to the character of Batman (apparently he came up with the name), the overwhelming creative force behind the super-hero we all love was Bill Finger.

Without Bill writing the scripts and shaping the visuals, we don’t have Robin, Bruce Wayne, the Bat-cave, the Batmobile, the Penguin, Gotham City, the Signal, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred the Butler, Wayne Manor, the Batarang, Catwoman, the basic look and color scheme of the Batman costume, the Joker, The Riddler, The Scarecrow (as well as Green Lantern, Wildcat and a host of other characters!)

But Bob Kane, did, in fact, come up with the name…so let’s see….

BATMAN WITHOUT BILL lettered

This Feb 8th, you can do something to give the comics industry the Finger and give Bill his proper due.

Send a note to: proposals@google.com    — and suggest that Google give Bill Finger a Google-Doodle on his 100th anniversary.  Holy Justice, Batman, it would be spiffy!

For more about this subject, check out my friend Marc Tyler Nobleman’s blog….  Marc is a bit of an expert on the story of Bill Finger….he literally wrote the book on it!

Ty the Guy OUT!

Some unseen pages from the book about Bill Finger that Marc and I did a while ago:  This two page sequence shows just a fraction of the stuff Finger created…

bills contribution

and here’s another unseen two page spread from the Bill Finger book…Marc didn’t like the image of Bill and Bob working together as his research suggested Bill didn’t hang around Bob Kane while Bob drew…and let’s be honest….Bob didn’t draw all that much.

batman vs toaster

You’ll have to get your own copy of the book “Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman”  yourself to see that pages we finally went with for these sequences…

And please, go pester the Google people about Bill’s doodle.  It would make Batman proud.  The real one with the pointy ears and the blue cape.

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For last week's Bun Toon about Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, click here.

For last week’s Bun Toon about Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, click here.

For the Bun Toon archive (going back decades, now!) click here

For the Bun Toon archive (going back decades, now!) click here

Holy Bat-Toons, Bunny-Man! YAY!

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-BUN TOONS!

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-BUN TOONS!

I am SO behind the deadline on my latest issue of Batman 66 that it would be immoral for me to devote any time to anything but drawing Batman today.  I love the Rabbit, but the Bat pays the bills.

So today, a few Batman themed Bun-Toons from yesteryear to bide the thronging legion of Bun Toons fans until I get a spare minute for this  year’s Christmas Bun Toon (coming soon!)

vs leviathan….of course, Batman can defeat any biblical creature, including Jesus.

dark knight rises….the one thing he cannot defeat is a second rate screenplay.

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elseworlds i'll doBatman Elseworlds was the very FIRST Bun Toon up on this site.  It’s been downhill ever since.

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batman at noon

 

From an idea by Dan Slott (name dropping bastard that I am).

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Sorry to be a re-run today, folks.  There’s a moment where I’d be cheating on my editor if I didn’t spend my day fighting the deadline.

Ya see, Mr. Chadwick?  I can be responsible?

Ty the Guy OUT!

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The Bonus:

I do kind of love my job.

I do kind of love my job.

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for last week's ACTUALLY original Bun Toon, click the brave astronaut above

for last week’s ACTUALLY original Bun Toon, click the brave astronaut above

For the Bun Toon archive (featuring Batman a few more times than today's offering might suggest!) click the fuzzy rodent above

For the Bun Toon archive (featuring Batman a few more times than today’s offering might suggest!) click the fuzzy rodent above

 

 

Batman Stuff! Plug! Plug! Plug!

On sale now!

Mad Magazine goes after the big summer movie.  Check.

Ty Templeton featured on a couple of pages of amusing Batman spoofing and high spirited satire.  Check.

And just in case fanboy outrage is more your style.  Remember “Bill The Boy Wonder:  The Secret Co-Creator of Batman” is on sale everywhere.  The first book ever written (and drawn) about Batman’s REAL father, is being well reviewed and is FLYING off the shelves.

Who’s giving it good reviews?  Check it out…

Bill Finger for the win. And Mark Tyler Nobleman, too. And me!

And that’s not even mentioning my ongoing Spider-Man work (tying into LAST week’s big Super-hero movie.)

If it turns out I’m working on the Hobbit or the next instalment of The Bourne Identity, I’ll let you know.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Batman Movie Moment:

I’ll help you sneak into your movie, if you help me sneak into mine.

Plug, Plug, Plug. Baby needs new size twelve shoes.

Plug.

Plug.

Spider-Man Plug.

On Sale Tomorrow.  I wrote it (Dan Slott helped).  Matt Clark drew it.  Marvel printed it.  You’re going to love it, I promise.  MOST. FUN. MARVEL. STORY. I’VE. EVER. WRITTEN.

Plug.

Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures #3.  Coming next week.  I drew one of this issue’s interior stories.   Two Spider-Man Comics in two weeks!  Plus:  Spider-Man in the movies, yo!  Spider-Man on the comics’ stands! I’m at pop culture ground zero, fellow babies.

Batman plug.

Plug.

On sale in July.  I drew this one.  The true story of Batman’s creation, finally giving due to BILL FINGER, the REAL creator of Batman.

Plug.

Some pages from Bill  The Boy Wonder.  This scene recreates the moment Bob Kane “created” Batman.

Plug.

Another scene from Bill  The Boy Wonder.  This the moment that Bill Finger explains to Bob Kane how to fix that first version of the character so that people will actually read it.

plug.

On Sale in July.  The Bat-Fan in you needs this book.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here, now your Bonus Plug:

naughty Halloween revellers ruin it for the rest of us.

Unseen Batman Art…unseen by me, at least.

A good number of years ago, I had the lovely privilege of getting to draw a McDonalds Happy Meal box (original art for sale HERE) featuring Batman, Robin and their supporting cast of villains.   I was sent a set of the toys available with the promotion…

And I still have the original artwork (which you can see for sale on this very blog…).  But I never got a chance to see the actual box itself as it was only part of an American promotion, and we didn’t get the boxes here in the Northern land of frozen igloos and French hockey.    But at a convention a couple of months ago, I was given a copy of the box in mint condition from a fan.  Very Cool!

That’s the “front” (if there is such a thing on a Happy Meal Box).

And that’s the back.  I’m delighted with how it looks in colour, and delighted that my copy is flat, and free of French Fry grease.  It’s one of the few things I’ve done that I never had a copy of, and though it was a long wait, I’m really happy to have the box.

Of course it turns out, I could have bought one off of ebay for two bucks.  But how was I to know?

As for today, I’m back to work drawing Batman doing something awful with a toaster, I’ll let you know when it’s coming out (soon, I hope).

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your bonus Gotham City/McDonalds moment.

Unseen Mr. Freeze Cover Artwork from Gotham Adventures.

The first appearance of our villain, from 1959, by Curt Swan. He was "Mr. Zero" back then.

George Saunders: The FIRST Mr. Freeze on TV.

I got an email yesterday requesting I return to my series of never-before-seen cover sketches for my blog, and I do what I’m told, so today we look into the cover for Gotham Adventures #5, which featured the frozen monster, Victor Fries,  vs. Batman on the rocks.

Otto Preminger. Freeze #2

I normally did three cover sketches for each one we used, but this cover got up a little higher, and the one that ended up being chosen was unique for a reason I’ll get to at the end.

Eli Wallach as the sub-zero bad guy. Clearly he went through a few versions as well.

I’ll start with the three cover sketches I sent in first.  Let’s see if you can play Armchair Editor and figure out what went right or wrong with these, as we play Rejection Roulette.

Okay, not bad.  A little too symmetrical perhaps, but all the elements are there.

Pretty well the same design.  I’ll be honest, I was padding the trio of designs because I liked the third one best, and felt if the first two were essentially identical, I’d make the third one look interesting to my editor.

Now we’re talking.  The interior  story was about the TWO Mr. Freeze characters locked in a duel, and this cover told the story well.  I noted that this was my favorite, and felt the editor would agree, and off I’d go to draw it.  But the response was cold.

(I know that was unforgivable, but that’s what happens when you start to write about Mr. Freeze.)

I am to blame for all the puns.

So I did another one later that day, featuring the disembodied head-spider that Freeze was sporting at that point on the TV show.  It was creepy and the cover featured Nightwing and Batgirl, just to shake things up.

Rejected again.

So the next day, I went for a cover featuring a big action scene from the story, where Robin has to free a suffocating Batman with a baseball bat to the ice-encased head.  I tried two different angles, to give the editor a choice.  But I was sure THIS time, I’d come up with a dramatic moment and we were good to go.

This one had Freeze in it, in case there was confusion as to who was the villain.  Never mind.  They were both still rejected.

Finally the JACKPOT!  It had the spider-head Mr. Freeze thing.  It had Robin smacking Batman with a bat.  It had Nightwing and Batgirl, and it had a lovely design.  This was, by far, my favorite of the covers, and I was happy that the editor made me keep going until I had a truly memorable image.  That’s an editor’s job, to push until you hit the zone.

So I was quite surprised to see it get rejected.  Instead the editor went with:

Number Two.

This marks the ONLY time of the fifty or so covers that I worked on for Batman Adventures, where my LEAST favorite cover was chosen.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t submit a cover if I didn’t think it had merit, but this one was as close to filler as I’d ever sent in.  Still, it was fun to work on, as I was really starting to learn how to colour on a computer, and I got to choose the trade dress colours as well as the image itself.

Here’s the cover, without the logos, etc, straight from my files.

I had this up on the wall over my desk as a really nice print for about six months, because I really liked the colours.   I wish I’d gotten to do cover #7 though.  Sigh.

Ty the Guy OUT!

HERE NOW, YOUR BONUS GOTHAM ADVENTURES #5 MOMENT:

Choosing sketch #2 affected someone else’s life FAR FAR more than it did mine.  Meet Craig Kandiko, or at least a small part of him:

Craig is one of the biggest Batman Adventures fans out there, and he has quite a number of tats all over his body featuring artwork by Bruce Timm, myself and a few other BTAS artists.  Craig liked the image of Freeze on Gotham #5 enough to burn it into his flesh, so maybe I’m not the best judge of what makes a good cover.  You can see a little more of Craig’s ink here, where you’ll also find a link to his facebook page.

Unseen Batman Gotham Adventures Artwork…Two-Face edition

Time for another installment of “How Many Cover Sketches Can be Rejected?” before we land on the right one?  Today’s contestant is Gotham Adventures #2, perhaps one of my favorite covers for a bunch of reasons.

Let’s start with the first round:

Rejected. Probably a little too complicated for an Adventures book.

For the time I was on the various Batman books, I tried to make sure all the #2 issues (including #12 and #22) were Two-Face stories.  Not just because of the obvious connection to the #2, but it allowed me to write a Two-Face story at least once a year.  Considering he’s one of the best characters in fiction, I’m no fool, and I wanted at him as much as I could.  Gotham Adventures #2 was about Harvey Dent meeting his father on the set of a live TV show, to steal his prize money and destroy his father’s life.

Rejected. Probably because it didn't give us Two-Face

That’s why there’s lotto machines in the background and money on the ground.  I was very interested in making sure BATGIRL was on the cover, since she was a new regular addition to the series at this point, I wanted to feature her as much as I could.

Rejected. Probably too passive an image.

  I usually give the editor three sketches as a rule, but all three of my first group were passed up and I was asked to do another sketch to get to the right one.  So back to the drawing board, I came up with a few more, focusing on the black and white element to the animated Two-Face design.

Going back to the big fight scene, this time with Two-Face more featured. Now we're talking....rejected.

In the same batch was the following image, which I strongly pushed to be the cover…but was leery, because it didn’t have Batman on it.  (Something I usually included in my group of sketches, as the editors often allowed it).

Despite my pushing for this one....rejected.

But I was on the right track, and this final sketch was the one that we all liked.  It still didn’t feature Batman, but it was striking enough to get that thumbs up.

Maybe it's because there's so obvious a "thumbs up" on the image itself.

Normally, I get a little testy if I have to do more than three sketches, but in this case, our fearless editor (Darren Vincenzo at this time) pushed me for the right reasons…as the final turned out GREAT.

And look, not a colour to be seen!

I LOVED that they let me play with the logo.  I loved that I was allowed to run a cover in black and white on a “kids book” which is usually VERY colourful on the cover.   And I love that it feels balanced between the black and the white, without being symmetrical.  A winner all around.

The best part was that the cover was so simple in its linework, that I penciled and inked it at print size…the size of the original sketch, in fact.  The original art for this was ten inches by seven inches…MUCH smaller than the average cover would be drawn.  Because if its tiny size, it’s one of the few Gotham Adventures covers I still own, as I can’t really sell something that’s so small to a collector.

I don’t recall why, but it’s one of the few covers I didn’t sign.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now:  Your Gotham Adventures #2 bonus moment:

When the cover ran in Previews and online, someone from the art department had added the yellow of his eye, believing that I meant for that “spot of colour” to give it extra oomph.  Fortunately, I happened to spot this before it went to print,  it went out without the yellow.

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Tune in later this week, I’m itching to start showing off the goodies that are coming up in the all-new Holmes Incorporated Comic that I edit for The Toronto Cartoonist Workshop.  You can check out the early, early previews HERE.