Benjamin Franklin said only two things in life were certain: Death and taxes. I think he could’ve added that there will always be a Batman cartoon on the air, though Franklin died 149 years before The Dark Knight debuted in Detective Comics No. 27.
My contention that there’s always a Batman cartoon on the air doesn’t quite hold up either. The last one was Beware the Batman, a computer-animated series which Cartoon Network pulled off its schedule in 2013. (The series, including seven episodes that were burned off on Adult Swim’s Toonami, can now be seen on HBO Max. I’m catching up on that someday.)
But with a new Batman movie set to be released in 2022, WarnerMedia is launching a new animated series as well. And this one has some star power behind it. According to DC, Batman: Caped Crusader has been ordered for HBO Max and Cartoon Network, going straight to series. No pilot episode and series order necessary.
Monday is Frank Miller’s birthday. Whether you’re a comic book fan or not, if you’re at all familiar with Christopher Nolan’s Batman films (Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher’s Bat-movies were influenced as well), Netflix’s Daredevil series (and the Ben Affleck film), or the Sin City movies, you know Miller’s work.
The legendary comic book creator turns 63, and he’s still producing work. As could be expected, he’s no longer the prolific illustrator he once was, but is still writing Batman and Superman stories for DC Comics, and illustrating stories in his 300 mythology for Dark Horse Comics.
The Dark Knight Returns is one of my favorite stories throughout all of the movies, TV, and books I’ve enjoyed and studied in my life. An aging Batman’s regret over allowing The Joker to continue his murderous reign of crime was one of the most powerful elements of that story.
Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 4, and we talk to Scott Russell of Pastimes Comics and Games in Asheville, North Carolina about the business of running a comic book shop, how Free Comic Book Day affects it, and the overall health of the comics industry.
Scott is also The Podcass’s first interview! Hopefully, the first of many that eventually become a key part of the podcast. I want to talk to friends, colleagues, contemporaries, and others who I admire and make for compelling conversation. Thanks to Scott for his time, especially after an attempt to interview him for The Amusement Park Podcast fell through last November. I guess I have to keep giving him my money.
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If you hadn’t already heard (or read) the news, today (March 30, 2019) is the 80th anniversary of Batman’s debut in Detective Comics #27. To commemorate the occasion, DC Comics published the 1000th issue of Detective Comics.
Typical of comic books these days, a whole bunch of variant covers were released for the landmark issue. This is the one I ended up buying, a retro-style cover by Michael Cho.
Surprising myself, I passed on the Frank Miller cover. As much as I love Miller’s work — and the heavy influence he’s had on Batman — that illustration was messy and dark. I wanted something more fun. Cho’s cover also alludes to how versatile Batman is as a character. He works in any genre, any style, something I wrote about five years ago.
A few months ago, my nieces stopped over for a visit. With their mother around, watching TV or playing with the iPad wasn’t an option. So the kids went to Uncle Ian’s room to find some toys to play with or books to read.
While we were doodling on sketch pads, Junior Niece asked me, “Why do you like Batman so much?” What do you mean, kid? Why do you ask think I like Batman?She then took some Blu-rays from my TV stand and set them down in front of me. Hmm, the kid had a point.
Ask me to name my favorite TV shows of all time and Deadwood would be one of the three I list. Yet with each passing year, my memories of the series fade. I could go back any time and watch the show on HBO GO, but haven’t done so. There’s too much other TV to watch now, and I can’t keep with it. Adding an old favorite to the mix would just complicate matters.
But now, Deadwood fans are finally getting the ending we were deprived of 13 years ago. Unfortunately, it won’t be the finale we really wanted. It’s not a full fourth season. It won’t even be the two movies that series creator David Milch and HBO once agreed to. This will be whatever Milch (with the help of True Detective‘s Nic Pizzolatto) could distill into one two-hour movie which takes places years after we last saw Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, and so many other residents of Deadwood, South Dakota.