Welcome to the final post for WonderCon Anaheim 2014, we end it talking about Batman. The folks at DC were nice enough to let me sit down with several of their writers and artists. Since it was the 75th anniversary of Batman, that was the topic of discussion and I love hearing what everyone’s favorite characters and stories are so that’s what everyone got asked. Let’s get to it.
Who is your favorite member of the Bat-family?
Cliff Chiang: I’d say Robin. I wrote a Batman: Black and White story with him, Dick Grayson. While working on it I fell in love with the character. Robin’s had a pretty weird life and had to overcome a lot. I’m hoping to do something with him as Nightwing as well.
Ryan Benjamin: I wanna say Dick Grayson. Nightwing.
Brian Buccellato: I really like Damian. I really like his dynamic with Bruce. Loved that father-son dynamic.
Tony Daniel: Outside of Bruce Wayne? My favorite would have to be all of them. His family, his friends, and his allies. He’s just got some of the best characters surrounding him. Truly.
Kyle Higgins: Dick Grayson, because I wrote him for three years. He was also my favorite character since I was twelve years old. I knew I couldn’t be Batman but here’s this kid, I could be a kid who worked with Batman! Then when I was 13 and learned that Dick Grayson wasn’t Robin anymore and hadn’t been for about 15 years and was now this guy called Nightwing. There were all these questions like why did he leave Bruce and now he’s striking it out on his own. I wanted to be out on my own. It struck a chord with me. That plus how he is really defined by his relationships. He’s more sociable than Batman. He’s the guy who will buy you a beer. He’ll stop someone from mugging you and tie your shoes afterward. I love that.
CC: Two-Face, he’s probably my favorite. He feels like Batman gone wrong. He’s got a lot of that same justice but it got twisted. He and Batman are both characters that work so well in black and white.
RB: Joker, hands down. Joker is fun to draw. Love Bane too. The more I think about it the more the villains are my favorite.
BB: I don’t wanna say Joker, cause he’s so obvious. I like Killer Croc, he’s a badass and cause he’s scary too. He’s got this thuggish henchman side but also can take the lead in being a problem for Batman.
TD: Joker, has to be. I did draw the infamous defacing of the Joker, even though that’s my only writing or drawn the Joker but it’s had a lasting effect on people. He’s still got that look. He’s mine and I bet a lot of people’s favorites.
KH: First answer is the Joker, love the Mark Hamill voiced one the best. But everyone says him so I’m going to go with Andrea Beaumont, The Phantasm from the Mask of the Phantasm film. To me, she is the cautionary tale. The way Bruce’s life could have gone had he gone down the wrong direction. Watching her fall and Bruce struggling with that. The mask is so creepy and the design was amazing.
What was the thing that got you into Batman?
CC: Either the Adam West show or Super Friends. At a young age you just think it’s cool. You don’t get the humor but the colors are so strong to the mind.
RB: It’s Batman! When I was a kid I used to watch Super Friends. I remember coming home from church with my parents and there they were on TV, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the rest doing there stuff. I remember the Adam West show. I had a healthy dose of all that growing up.
BB: I believe I was four years old and on TV they would have Batman and Superman back-to-back. They had reruns of the Adam West Batman and the George Reeves Superman shows and I would sit and watch those as a kid.
TD: Growing up watching the Adam West series reruns. That opening cartoon in the credits was my absolute favorite. I always gravitated towards the art. The Batman movies in the 80s pulled me in. The modern movies are fantastic.
KH: The Adam West show but there was also the Michael Keaton movie. I remember my uncle would show me scenes of that movie, it was really dark so I was forbidden to watch it. So naturally that made me want to see it more. My parents would rent the Adam West movie and I’d watch it and like it but it wasn’t that dark one I’d seen glimpses of. Then Batman: The Animated Series came out and that was incredible.
Favorite Batman story?
CC: I didn’t really read a lot of comics as a kid but when I got older Dark Knight Returns was the first one to really grab me. Then it was Batman: Year One followed by the great Legends of the Dark Knight series.
TD: What kind of changed me was Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. When I was a teenager I kind of stopped thinking about comics but then some kid brought that in and it made me recommit to wanting to be a comic book artist. I thought it was so different and detailed. It had such an impact on my life.
KH: For me it’d have to be something from the Animated Series. Heart of Ice was really great. His Silicon Soul, always stands out to me. The Two-Face origin is probably number one. And the Clayface origin is pretty good too. When they force feed him the formula, it’s so creepy.
You’re off to save the day, what dinosaur do you ride in on?
CC: Stegosaurus, no! Triceratops, it’s got the big hood for protection but the horns in front too. Not a meat eater, so even better.
RB: T-Rex, I’m the kind of guy who stomps, crushes, and gets what he wants.
TD: I would say Brontosaurus. I would just go in swinging my tail around. I’d file its teeth so they’d be another weapon. Just stomp people like it was an elephant.
These were really fun interviews to do! I hope you liked hearing from these folks talking about Batman. I love the guy and his friends and enemies so it was awesome to spend time with some of the people who help make his stories happen. Great WonderCon, can’t wait til next year’s. Thanks for reading!
Dr. Alexander Bustos