Tag Archives: Zellers Toyland commercials

Thinking Outside the Bat-Panel

Since my son recently alerted me to my old animated Batman commercials online, I figured it was a good time to look back on some other non-comic related Batman projects I did during my decades long association with the Batman (there’s still a Brave and Bold comic on the way, so the association ain’t over yet!)  I did T-Shirts, puzzles, Happy Meal Boxes, Colouring Books, DVD covers, magazine spot illustrations… I’d say over half of the Batman art I’ve done over the years was for sources OTHER than comics…

Let’s start with the HOW TO DRAW BATMAN BOOK, from the year 1998.

Copies of this book are still at a bizarrely high $140 dollars on Amazon, for what was a ten dollar book only a decade ago.  I’m as flattered as a drag queen at a Mardi Gras Debutante Ball that these books are at skyrocket prices, but I’m equally annoyed that Walter Foster has kept them out of print for so long.  They’ve repackaged parts of the book at least two different times, but each time cutting half of the original pages away, to add pages by John Delaney and Ron Boyd.  But now even those repackaged versions are out of print and also at sky-high prices.   They sent me a box of thirty copies when it was originally published, and I used to give ‘em away like candies, figuring I could always get more.  HAH!

In general, I’m very proud of the book, and the overall experience, as the final product turned out much how I wanted it to, and I got along with all concerned.  (Subsequent editions of the series caused me a little tsuris, and I famously got into a public internet tongue lashing, which I now greatly regret, and won’t dredge up at this point).  A bunch of the HOW TO DRAW BATMAN pages were drawn at a cabin in the woods, drawing it on my lap, or on the steering wheel of the car, parked under a street light out by the highway, where the light was better (and I may or may not have been nearly attacked by a moose, the family still debates this event…).  That was fun.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’ve planned to write a HOW TO MAKE COMIC BOOKS monograph and publish it.  Sort of a collection of my lectures from art college (that I’ve been giving for years), mixed with some comedy and original stories, exclusive for the edition.  I’ve also been meaning to climb Everest, wrestle a live shark and curse out Perez Hilton to his face, just to see what he’d do.  But there are never enough hours in the day to get this stuff done AND to sit around watching my kid play Mass Effect and eating cheese balls.

I’ve never offered the original art from this HOW TO DRAW book for sale, because the art from happy meals boxes, toy designs, posters, DVD covers and HOW TO DRAW BATMAN doesn’t seem to interest the public at a comic convention.  But I’m happy to dip a toe in the water and see if there’s any interest in these non-comic Batman art pieces online.

Ty the Guy

PS:  Get me drunk, and I’ll tell you the time I was swimming in the Atlantic with a live shark, but didn’t wrestle it at all.

Animation by Ty

We (he and I) have done posts before about animated projects Ty has been involved with (goodbye, months of our lives gone to Dexter Early Cuts!), but yesterday’s post made me think I should just quickly gather ’em all in one place.  So, here, with no fanfare whatsoever…


Zellers Law of Toyland commercials

featuring Joker

featuring Penguin

featuring Catwoman

featuring Riddler

(Ty did storyboards, layouts, full-animation for all the parts that repeat for each commercial and then, reveals for the Joker and the Penguin (coming out from the cash register.  He was less-involved in the latter two)



Jerry Seinfeld and Superman for American Express commercials

“Hindsight is 20/20”

“A uniform used to mean something”

There’s a third one I have to hunt down…

(Ty did the still images that transform into the live action…if you have an eye for it, you’ll recognize his lettering for the titles)



Dexter Early Cuts, “Cindy Landon” webisodes for Showtime

Dexter Early Cuts, “Cindy Landon”

(Ty did all the drawings–not for the credits–and the colouring for those drawings.  With an assist from Yours Truly. Animation was done by KTV Media.)

And Ty says this re-mix of the Batman commericals amused the hell out of him, so he asked me to put it up for ya (we’re still busy arguing about where it should go in this sequence…as I’m the one at the keyboard, I currently am winning, but at any moment he could shove my chair out of the way–it’s on wheels–and take over).

Holy Perplexity, Batman