Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A blast from the past,....or perhaps from BEYOND.

Like that joke? See what I did there? That's called being ironic. Now I am in my late thirties, (ugh), and I am of the classification of human male and that means I will exhibit a few behavioral constants while functioning as said male unit.
A few of these include an unhealthy obsession with The Godfather, secretly wanting to be as insane as the cast of Jackass, uncontrolled childish giggles at certain trigger words, (like "poop" and "boobs"), and last but not least, a deep appreciation for Batman.
Nuff' said!
Now I know it's fashionable for others of my kind, (ie: animation/storyboard artists), to participate in the backlash against this Warner House style but I have no problem admitting my absolute adoration of the original Batman: The animated series, ( as well as Superman that came later, and was, to ME a continuation of Donner's characters from the 1978 film).
I don't think there's many of my gender that would disagree that Bruce Timm and his crew, both in look and content, elevated that show to the pinnacle of those characters in their finest form, and hit the industry with a stylistic equivalent of an Atom bomb that, even today, is still spawning imitators and wannabes.
Show's like On leather wings, Clayface: part 2 and Two Face: part 2 and a host of others, blew my mind, ( and Hamill,...GOD Hamill as the Joker!), so much so that if someone came along and told me that if I bludgeoned a kitten by hitting it with a puppy that I would be able to board on the show I would have had to stop and think about it for a second.
Now eventually I DID make it out here and through the simple ebb and flow of the industry I became friends with a LOT of the amazing artists that worked on the original show. So when I got the opportunity to do a freelance board on Batman Beyond I dove at the chance.
Honestly, I wasn't that into Beyond. I watched it peripherally because I loved the original but it was kinda like watching Bewitched with "the other Darren",....it was kinda the same,...but not, (although their Return of the Joker special is an absolute masterpiece).
I wanna say I did this board for Dan Riba, who I remember being a sweetheart of a guy, and I must admit, (somewhat shamefully), that don't remember the name of the episode but I sure as Hell remember the FUN I had DOING it.
I was honored to have been afforded the ever so tiniest of places in the mountain of talent that birthed this whole craze and I think it shows in the work.
Interesting post script to this little story. A short while after I finished this freelance, I was in the comic store with my buddy who recommended me for the gig and Bruce Timm came in. My buddy introduced me as the guy who did the board and to my complete surprise, he commented on having really liked it and that I had done a good job. He left and my buddy turned to me and said, "He hardly ever does that."
I dunno if he was pulling my leg or not but I certainly appreciated the kind words. It was a little cherry on top of the sundae. A nod from the Godfather of Gotham. See that? It always comes back to The Godfather and y'know why?

Cuz I'm a guy. ;)

Thanks fer' lookin'.

1 comment:

  1. Batman:TAS was the amazing story telling. I loved that series also. Diane and I collected cels from the show. We've a great Joker, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze and a pencil sketch of Man-bat. We've also got a great piece of art signed by all the people who made the show: Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett, Tom Ruegger. Her office is decorated with this stuff.

    So yeah...I agree! :)

    Batman Beyond did a decent job bringing the story beyond Bruce Wayne's abilities and age. I love that they included him as an old man. Kevin Conroy voice was perfect.