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.


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.

14 responses to “Unseen Batman Gotham Adventures Artwork…Two-Face edition

  1. One day, you should go back and complete all these rejected sketches and present them in a collected edition. I’d buy. And to be honest, as a fan, I’d have been happy with any of these ideas. I particularly like #2 with Batgirl prominently delivering a flying kick to a thug/goon/henchman (not sure what the preferred term is these days). Of course, I’m a longtime Batgirl fan anyway.

    It’s a good thing you perused that issue of Previews! Had the yellow been there all along I suppose I wouldn’t think anything of it, but it just seems like a perversion now. I much prefer the corrected, colorless image–which is in my top 10 images of Two-Face in any medium, ever, by the way. With just two eyes you conveyed the entirety of Harvey’s inner turmoil; the propensity toward destructive behavior, and the dispassionate withdrawal of the good within him that permits that behavior. His left eye is ready to go gangsta, while his right eye is passively hoping the coin falls differently.

    All too often, Two-Face appears as though he’s entirely villainous–even in a story panel in which he’s clearly conflicted–and as a fan of that guy, I dig that you infused the final image with the nuanced look that conveys what makes him so fascinating in the first place.

    Lastly, if you’ve got more unseen Batgirl art I can assure you it won’t go unappreciated.

  2. Beautiful and highly instructive work!

  3. Great to see these progressions; me likey very much.

    Ty, I wanted to make sure the following is “OK” with you. I figured it is best to see what I wanted to do rather than try to describe it:



  4. For a second there, I thought you were pitching a Holmes on Homes comic. Now that would be something for the pull-list!

  5. Aww Ty – you posted a Two-Face cover! Thanks man. Was excited to read this. Gotta say, I really like that full-body cover you proposed, as well as the one with the “eyes”. Have you ever thought of actually finishing any of these rejected covers?

    Can’t help but notice that it’s only the final version that features T-F in his “TNBA” style. I have to say, I much prefer his B:TAS look, though your cover is indeed quite awesome. Do you/did you also have a preference? How about “Spaceman/Jarhead” Mr Freeze?

    Lastly, do you know if you’ve already sold the cover to TB&RA #22? Is it possibly still hanging around somewhere, or is it one that you’re keeping? I know I keep pestering, but as Elongated Man said in JLU “…squeaky wheel, buddy. Squeaky wheel!”

  6. JG—If that’s the cover with the scarred quarter, with Batman and Robin on the rooftop, my original doesn’t match the printed cover. The original art for that one was much tweaked after the inked art was finished, and the issue was printed from a photostat of elements of the art re-jiggered into a (slightly) different image. In the original, the quarters were smaller, as was two face’s head, and Batman and Robin and the building were bigger. I still have the original photostat, and the elements that made up the image (somewhere) but there exists no original piece that mirrors that cover, sorry. There’s a few covers like that, essentially made as collage, rather than just drawn straight onto the board. When I get around to the unseen version of that cover, you’ll see what I mean. The Gray Ghost/Batman toy box cover is the same thing, with each element of the cover drawn separately and assembled in photoshop.

    • Oh, okay! I never would have guessed that. Still, I’m excited to see what that cover looked like originally. I absolutely loved how you drew Two-Face there, and with the Dynamic Duo beneath him…it’s just probably my favourite cover of yours. When you do come across it please email me. Rejiggered or not, I’d be very interested in owning it!!

      And what’s this now about a Two-Face sculpture? AWESOME🙂 I found, years ago, on Ebay, this rare Two-Face bust/bookend from the defunct WB store and purchased it on the spot. I never knew you were a sculptor as well, but I’d be VERY interested to see this model of yours.

  7. I was tipped off to this post by the great Michel Fiffe, who knows that I’m a huge Two-Face fan, enough so to start up my own fanblog dedicated to the character (where I just made a new entry linking to these posts: http://about-faces.livejournal.com/46623.html). As Harvey’s not a character who gets as much love as, say, the Joker or Harley Quinn, it’s great to read that you hold him in such high esteem, especially as I’ve always considered your Two-Face stories to be among the best ever written. As such, this post was a real treat, as are the others in this series. Please post more!

    As for the story itself, I loved what you did with Harvey’s father. Ever since Andrew Helfer introduced the idea of Two-Face’s roots being in childhood abuse, most subsequent writers seemed to shy away from the “alcoholic abusive father” angle, possibly because it can be so cliche for most other villains. Not only did you show it worked, but I loved how you tweaked it in such a way to make it unique to the TAS universe. It gave a whole new spin on Two-Face, and one which I absolutely loved. I’ve posted about it before, but you’ve inspired me to give it a new, proper analysis for About_Faces in the next couple of days.

    One more thing: Fiffe recalled that you once said that you built a little model of Two-Face in order to draw him right. Is that true, and if so, have you posted pictures? I would love to see it!

  8. Yup, I did a sculpt of Harvey’s face, and I still have it (it’s sitting on a shelf in my line of sight at the moment, actually). I’m more than happy to take a photo and show it off in an upcoming “unseen Batman”.

  9. Pingback: A look at the creative process: Ty Templeton’s Batman Adventures covers — Here in the Bonny Glen

  10. Pingback: Ty Templeton’s Batman Adventures… | The Forbidden Planet International Blog Log

  11. Pingback: Ty Templeton’s Batman Adventures… - Forbidden Planet Blog

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