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Batman: Earth One

2012 will bring the highly anticipated release of BATMAN: EARTH ONE, an original graphic novel retelling the Batman legend in a contemporary setting.The collaboration between New York Times bestselling author Geoff Johns and critically acclaimed artist Gary Frank, BATMAN: EARTH ONE also marks the first original graphic novel for Johns – who is best known for his work on fan favorite ongoing series for DC Comics.

Together, they will present a new vision of Batman – a flawed and fallible hero who isn’t yet the master of Gotham City’s shadows.

“Gary and I are tackling BATMAN from the beginning, before he knows what he’s doing and with a very different ultimate goal in mind,” said Johns. “He’s never left Gotham. And our Gotham and the people in it are very gray. Our heroes unlikely. Our villains hidden. Our story is only beginning with volume one.”

“It’s essentially the first piece of the jigsaw,” said Frank. “He’s not the Batman people know, but he might be one day. He’s certainly not yet a superhero. The fun is to watch him piece the persona together drawing on his experiences and the influences of those around him and, at this stage, the idea of becoming a ‘superhero’ hasn’t even entered his head.”

via DC Universe: The Source » Blog Archive » DC COMICS IN 2012 – BATMAN: EARTH ONE.

Jerry Robinson, Joker Creator and Comics Ambassador dead at 89

DC Comics icon and Joker creator Jerry Robinson Pictured with original covers and concept artThe comics world was saddened yesterday as the last of the real creators of the iconic superheroes passed at the age of 89.  Jerry Robinson helped Bob Kane and Bill Finger truly create the Batman mythology.

Jerry Robinson, a pioneer of the comics form best known by fans for creating the Joker but also praised for his work as a comics historian and creator rights advocate, has died at age 89.

First word of the creator’s passing came from Christopher Irving’s Graphic NYC blog, which learned of Robinson’s death via a Facebook message from “Batman” film producer Michael Uslan.

Robinson was born in Trenton, New Jersey on New Year’s Day in 1922. At only 17 years of age, the aspiring artist was hired as an inker by Batman creator Bob Kane, and over the next several years, Robinson offered as much visual input into the character’s world and cast as his originator. Robinson co-created Robin, the Boy Wonder and is often credited as the primary influence for arch-villain the Joker, though Kane and Robinson would clash over credit for the villain’s creation in later years. The artist was soon hired away from Kane’s shop by “Batman” publisher DC/National Comics, for which he served as a staff artist, drawing many of the most striking covers of comics Golden Age.

Over the course of his early years in comics, Robinson proved a creative and social dynamo, moonlighting as a comics artist on projects such as the infamous “created in one night” issue of “Daredevil” while taking classes in Journalism at Columbia University. “I was always a political animal,” Robinson told CBR News last year . As the production of comic books wound down near the end of World War II, Robinson moved primarily to newspaper comic strips where he remained for the late ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, becoming known for Editorial illustration, political satire strips such as his long-running “Still Life With Robinson” and lush cover paintings for Broadway’s “Playbill.” The artist also served as President of both the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) and the National Cartoonists Society (NCS), and remains the only person to receive both honors.

In the 1970s, Robinson returned to the national spotlight as a comics historian and advocate for the rights of artists. “Starting in 1972, I curated the first comics at a fine art gallery. That was, I think, the year after, or almost simultaneously, with a show at the Louvre on comics, which I went over to see. I think that started it,” the artist recalled in a conversation with CBR earlier this year. “The following year, I was a guest curator at the Kennedy Library in Washington, where we did I think the largest show ever held on the comics. Certainly in the US. It was the size of a couple football fields and had all the genres of the comics. So it’s been a long time, but more and more universities and colleges have taken it on as a course of study, serious scholars and so forth.” That renewed interest in the medium combined with Robinson’s curatorial interests to create “The Comics” — one of the first definitive books on the strip comic artform as a whole, written by Robinson in 1974 and recently published in a new edition by Dark Horse.

Shortly thereafter, Robinson became a key figure along with artist Neal Adams in the fight to get Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster proper credit and pay for their hero from DC Comics. Robinson himself saw the benefits of a corporate culture at DC and Warner Bros. become arguably more appreciative of its original creatives in recent years as he served as a paid creative consultant for the company on projects including Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” which drew heavily on Robinson’s original stories in its portrayal of the Joker.

In recent years, Robinson rode a wave of publicity and public appearances surrounding not only the books by him and about his life, but also for his contributions to comics as a whole. He curated more exhibitions of original comics art, and last year auctioned off some of his most acclaimed original cover artwork from the Golden Age.

via R.I.P.: Jerry Robinson, Joker Creator & Comics Ambassador – Comic Book Resources.

Written by Gotham Trending

12/09/2011 at 7:59 am

DC Retroactive: Batman – The ’80s

DC Comics Retroactive Batman of the 80s

Cover for Batman Retroactive - The '80s by Jerry Bingham & Carlos Badilla.

This is the cover for Batman Retroactive from the 1980s by Jerry Bingham and Carlos Badilla.

Retroactive is a play on “RetCon, short for Retroactive Continuity, a fan idiom for rewriting the history the comics have established thus far.  It is something DC Comics is in dire need of if they are to continue.

Retroactive is a limited series DC Comics will be running this summer with old writers and artists telling “lost tale” of the earlier eras and continuities.  It is part of a reboot of all characters and relaunch of all titles, using old writers and artists to reconnect with their past and address the massive loss of readers in time to take advantage of The Dark Knight Rises next summer.

DC’s inability to take advantage of the unprecedented popularity generated by The Dark Knight and its viral in 2008 is widely speculated to have brought about the restructuring which placed the comics division under Warner Bros. control rather than the Time Warner publishing arm. A second failure could well mean a permanent shutdown of print comics, rather than allow the rogue division to go on damaging valuable corporate properties. More »

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DC Retroactive: Batman – The ’70s

Cover for Batman Retroactive - The '70s by Wes Hartman and Tom Mandrake

Cover for Batman Retroactive - The '70s by Wes Hartman and Tom Mandrake (via IGN)

The cover for Batman Retroactive from the 70s (Wes Hartman, Tom Mandrake), a limited series DC Comics will be running this summer with old writers and artists telling “lost tale” of the earlier eras and continuities.

Retroactive, from Retroactive Continuity, is fan parlance for rewriting the history the comics have written thus far.  It is something DC Comics is in dire need of if they are to survive.  Retroactive is part of the DC Comics reboot attempting to reconnect with their past, addressing the massive loss of readers resulting from long-term mishandling of Batman and related characters in time to take advantage of mainstream interest that will be generated by Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman outing The Dark Knight Rises.

DC’s inability to take advantage of the unprecedented popularity generated by The Dark Knight and its viral in 2008 is widely speculated to have brought about the restructuring which placed the comics division under Warner Bros. control rather than the Time Warner publishing arm. A second failure could well mean a permanent shutdown of print comics, rather than allow the rogue division to go on damaging valuable corporate properties. More »

Related
Retroactive: Can DC Comics Win Back Lost Readers?

DC Reboot Catwoman #1 – Wrong costume is a warning sign to fans but characterization sounds like an improvement

DC Looking To Relaunch Everything In September

DC RETROACTIVE: BATMAN – THE ‘90S #1

Retro-Active and Reichenbach Falls

RIP Gene Colan: 1926-2011

While Gene Colan was best known for his work for Marvel Comics, where his signature titles included Daredevil, Howard the Duck and The Tomb of Dracula, he was also a Batman artist at DC and drew the Gotham City characters including Batman and Catwoman during one of its most influential periods:
Batman and Detective Comics covers by the late Gene Colan, DC ComicsBatman and Detective Comics Covers by the late Gene Colan (DC Comics)
Batman and Detective Comics covers by the late Gene Colan, DC Comics