Friday, November 6, 2009

From The Vault: The Batman Family - 1997

Deciding to post this odd little strip for this week's "From The Vault" installment was partly inspired by my pal Sean Tiffany, who frequently posts really vintage pieces of his work on his art blog.

When I got out of art school, I was doing a lot of collage work and even managed to get a few freelance jobs with that style. Of course, collage as an illustration method can be rather limiting, so I was searching for ways to expand what I could do with it.

One of the ways was this weird comic book/collage hybrid, which Sean once described as "South Park before there was South Park."

At the time, news of the fourth Batman movie was starting to leak out (in those pre-internet days, when great beasts roamed the Earth) and I took that as a springboard for this idea, where Bats takes you on a tour of all his supporting characters and makes a few comments about each.

Looking back over this, some of the jokes fall flat, but there are some I think are still pretty funny. Also, the juxtaposition of the collage elements behind each character also still work for me--my favorite being a little chunk of text behind Catwoman that says "Caution: Filling Is Hot!" that I cut off a McDonald's apple pie package.

With each panel filled with little bits and pieces and squiggly lines, these two pages took me a long while to put together. The upside to that is, twelve years later, these originals are still a lot of fun to look at and hold in my hands. Every so often I think about doing another two-pager like this, but I've yet to come up with a compelling idea that inspires me enough to devote all the time and effort. But who knows what the future holds?

I have other examples of this kind of work, so if you'd like to see more, let me know in the comments!


Sean Tiffany said...

Hell yes! I love these strips and they still hold up great! I find it funny that even the two minor characters you mention in the last panel showed up as villains in the new "Batman Begins."

I'm sure that makes the Mad Hatter even that much more pissed off!

"What, the Joker AGAIN??? When the hell are they going to feature me?!?!"

rob! said...



i never noticed it before, that i happen to mention the two villains from BB in the last panel.

i've always liked the Mad Hatter, but for some reason movie producers never seem to think of him for the movies.