Unseen DC: Rejected Batman And Robin Adventures #6 Covers!

Before we get to the unseen goodies from B&R Adventures #6, I have to  follow up on the LAST unseen DC post about the cover for Batman and Robin Adventures #7.  I had originally published the set of rejected cover sketches that looked like this:

Before the final one that got accepted…

And I thought that was the end of it.  But while going through the files for this week’s post about a different B&R ADVENTURES cover, I found another  rejected Ventriloquist sketch, that I’d forgotten until I saw the art today.  I really like this one.  I wonder why it got turned down.

I like the movement, the crying the gun to the puppet’s head and the basic composition.   And no, I have no idea who Eric is, and why his name’s on there.


We move onto Unseen Batman And Robin Adventures #6

For reasons not worth going into, this issue required an eighteen page rewrite over a single weekend, and that required a sleepless 72 hours, and a clever, helpful wife to get the final script to the office that Monday morning.  It’s about a newspaper tabloid that makes up a story about Batman firing Robin, and a dozen kids show up to audition for the job, one of whom gets kidnapped and held for ransom.  With all the drama,  it ended up one of my favorite issues of the run, and I always wanted to return to some of the “auditioning Robins” someday.     Here are the proud, the strong, the rejected cover sketches:

I was going for a “Silver Age” type of image here…something that Carmine Infantino or Neal Adams would have drawn in 1968….That sweep of Batman’s cape as he exits towards the reader is a little like a Neal Adams cover of that period, where Batman tells Alfred to close up the Batcave…FOREVER!

Focusing on the kidnapping element of the story.  There’s no Batman on this cover though, which may have been why it was turned down…

Hmm…needs more Robins. Rejected!

And here’s the cover that was finally chosen:

Now, here’s how much of a knob I am.  When I was drawing up the cover, I wanted to make sure the photograph of Batman and Robin looked as much like an image that was printed flat and lying on an angle, so I drew the image up properly, and figured out a grid that would allow me to transfer the image into perspective.  Oh you kids today, and your Photoshop transform commands!  Back in the day, we had to use our brains to do this stuff.  Of course, I could have just freehanded it, but I mentioned; I’m a knob.

Enough looking at rejection and misspent youth!  I have new drawings to get back to!

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your bonus Unseen Batman Adventures Art:   The sign I used to tape up over our TV screen when I was out of the house during Batman time, in case one of my roommates was tempted to change the channel.

11 responses to “Unseen DC: Rejected Batman And Robin Adventures #6 Covers!

  1. And how many times was the VCR set for the wrong time zone?


    Steven Willis

    • This was back in the nineties…VCR timers didn’t have time zone options. It was a much simpler world then, when a man was a man, and a VCR was a VCR.

  2. 1) I really dig that last Ventriloquist piece! If I’m ever afforded the opportunity to time travel, I’ll go back and see about nudging that one into production.

    2) Even in draft form, the Silver Age vibe comes through. Love Batman’s cape and Robin’s posture.

    3) Kidnapped photos is a terrific concept. Not my favorite one here, but it’s a reminder that you guys didn’t take the easy and obvious route and just throw Batman and Robin fighting a thug on the cover every month like a lot of other creative teams would have been content to do.

    4) The hand drawn grid may be my favorite nugget you’ve put up on this blog yet. What a terrific insight into your work! I’m sure it was a tedious task, and as someone who bought and read that issue way back when, let me just say thanks for going that extra mile. It’s a testament to how much you and the rest of the Bat-Team cared about those books, and that was the key ingredient in why I as a reader found it so special. Still do.

    • It gets even goofier when you realize that I hand lettered the headlines and the copy to the side. That’s not computer lettering on “National Insider” “Extra” and “Batman Fires Robin” etc, but careful, careful hand done signage. Ah…

      This is one of the covers destroyed in transit that I sent to France some years ago for a Batman exhibit, and it came back soaking wet, with all the lettering (which was done with a marker) bleeding into the rest of the art. As I said before, I got an insurance settlement for the value of the covers, but I’d have rather sold them to a collector for the same amount of money. I’m always happier when the art isn’t destroyed.

      • “It gets even goofier when you realize that I hand lettered the headlines and the copy to the side.”

        >O_O< I knew you were crazy talented, but it wasn't until just now that I realize how much I've taken your work for granted.

  3. David Simpson

    I miss Batman Adventures

  4. Agreed! Although I think I did notice the hand-lettering, even way back when. Your efforts were not lost on me!

    I’d wager that the second cover with the ransom note was rejected because it seemed entirely too similar to the Robin ransom from The Demon’s Quest Part One, but then…I’m not entirely sure if that episode had already aired by the time this issue was being cooked up. In any case, you made Carrie Kelly a fun concept to someone who dislikes wacky alternate universes, so kudos to you on that one!

    Now, can we guess as to why it had to be rewritten? I’m thinking maybe DC didn’t want a character featured a certain way? Hmmm…did DC even do those kinds of things back then? The whole Bat-embargo from JL/JLU makes my mind immediately jump to that conclusion, even though such things may not have been the norm back in the 90s.

    • The original draft featured only one character auditioning to be the new Robin instead of a dozen. It was going to be a single private detective loosely based on Marlon Wayans, primarily because of a rumour at the time that Wayans was being offered the part of Robin in the third Batman movie. The rewrite was all about getting rid of that character, who was so integral to the original plot structure (which was about tabloid rumours of Batman and his new partner Marlon) that the story had to be basically re-imagined from scratch overnight when that character was excised. There were two set pieces from the original script that I was so reluctant to let go of, I used them both in completely unrelated scripts later in the series….including something in Batman Adventures Volume #2…many years later!

      • Hmmmmm! Veeeeeery Iiiiinterestiiiiing! What prompted DC to not want the Marlon parody in there after (I assume) signing off on it? I totally remember those rumors – what a hilarious concept for an issue!

        I wonder which set-pieces were pushed…you should make this a contest Ty. It’d be fun seeing people guess…

        • There’s no real contest involved, as there’s no way for anyone to guess the saved scenes…they both showed up in later stories…One of them as a five page back up story in Batman Adventures volume 2, with Robin switched out for Batgirl….it has to do with catching someone that Batman dropped off of the roof of a high building, and Batman not staying to watch to make sure the guy got caught (because he trusts his partners) and the other scene got used for a moment in Batman and Robin Adventures #10 or #12 (I don’t recall which number, but it was a Ra’s story) where Batman jumps from airplane to airplane in mid-air. The two scenes were more or less from the original story, but jutted into completely different stories.

  5. Wow! These are amazing Ty.
    Gives me such an old fashioned feeling looking at unsurfaced artwork for the best damn incarnation of The Bat. EVER!
    I really hope you release this kind of stuff this regularly!

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