27 May 2009

Neil Gaiman on Robin (well, a little—but not enough for Sunday)

DC Comics persuaded Neil Gaiman to write the script for a two-part Batman story called "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" Wired interviewed Gaiman about his inspiration:

When I was 5, I was in a car with my dad and he mentioned that there was this Batman TV show in America about a man who dressed up in a costume and fought crime. The only bat I ever knew was a cricket bat, so what I thought he looked like was rather odd, based on that.

Months later, the series hit the U.K., and I remember watching and being affected by it. Really worrying, genuinely worrying, on a deep primal level, "Will he be OK?" That is the way it was with every deathtrap. If I missed the end of an episode, I’d get my friends to tell me he was OK.

Because of the Batman TV show, my dad picked up Smash! comics for me, which reprinted a Batman cartoon strip, which were much more about continuity than the television program. Those were my gateway drugs into Batman. . . .

I wanted my comic to contain all of that, from the story to the art. I wanted it to have that love in there. I wanted to write the last Batman with honor and love. . . . The joy of this Batman story is that there were 70 years of Batman and I wanted to try and talk about all of it.
And as for working with artist Andy Kubert:
I kept asking Andy to do things that are impossible, and because no one told him they were impossible, he did them. Normally someone asks him to draw three panels, but doesn’t ask him to draw those three panels in the style of Brian Bolland or Jerry Robinson. I loved the fact that I could ask Andy for Robin when he’s 17, off to college and still wearing the costume, the Speedo and everything, which looks kind of stupid. But I still want it to be moving. And he did it.
DC will release Gaiman's Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? in a hardcover volume with his other Gotham City stories this July.

(Pointer from Batman Obviously.)

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