It’s Not All Punching Clowns and Penguins…
I am very pleased with how the art for today came out. Beyond pleased…it makes me very, very happy. It puts me in mind of a conversation that I had with a friend, years ago now. He had asked me, “Don’t you want to learn cross hatching?” I had replied, “No, because it looks like a @#$%ing chore.”
I was right. It looks @#$%ing great, but it is a @#$%ing chore.
Last night, Mayor Garcetti, with the chief of police, lit a Bat Signal in honor of Adam West, reflecting it off of City Hall. The turn out was huge, with people celebrating the contribution that West had made to their lives, and with a ton of good humor. The crowd sang the Batman ’66 theme song, there were people in costume, and two Batmobiles on hand.
Drawing this, I was thinking about the days where the Batphone DOESN’T ring. With a conventional Robin or sidekick, you might train at martial arts, or how to fall, or hang around the cave lifting weights. You might run the treadmill, for cardio, and give athletic pointers. The thing is…Cap, being an Alien American, just can’t profit from working out in the Batcave, since she has super speed, and can bench press the mansion.
Even chores like filing all the Bat Dossiers into the Bat Files, and then alphabetizing them, can be done at super speed. The fact is, having a sidekick with Silver Age Superpowers gives you a ton of free time, that if you can’t fill, seems like it would be a bit of a drag.
I wanted to draw some “quality time”, since this is the Batman that Cap likes, and respects. I didn’t really see what they might have to talk about, or do together though…it was a pretty tough call. Roasting marshmallows with the atomic power plant of the Batmobile seemed okay to me…kind of wholesome, and just fun enough. Kind of like a really, really lame camping trip, that everyone meant well about.
A whole lot of being Batman and Robin seems like it’s a bit of a chore, really. Why can’t the Commissioner just read you the stupid riddles over the Batphone, right? You’ve got to drive all the way down there, open the damn riddle, solve it, and then drive to a crime already in progress. Just a big ol’ chore, that. When the Cat’s Eye Diamond is in town, you KNOW that Catwoman is going to go after it. You KNOW that. Why not actually post a ton of Gotham’s cops, and O’hara, on site? That would be smart, and would at least save you the trouble of having to look for a hideout later, after the diamond is stolen, and Catwoman gets away. A cop could just say, “They went that way” and narrow your whole detective thing immensely.
With all of that said, Batman ’66 had a whole lot more free time than the current versions of Batman. Bruce Wayne used to hang around swanky events with Dick Grayson, doing the whole “millionaire playboy” thing. Like, he would actually hang around, shmooze, talk to people, dance, and be charming. He went to concerts and such. Modern Bruce “is the mask,” meaning that somehow everyone believes that he is a rich playboy, but he never DOES anything as such. All of his time is spent training, working cases, lurking in shadows, and being glum.
So yes…being Batman and Robin, without superpowers, is a bit of a chore. However now…it’s much MORE of a chore, and seems a lot less fun. No surfing, no sixties dance parties, no going to “sit ins” and trying to understand hippies…none of the stuff that I miss.
And you can be sure that the modern, sullen Batman would never use the Batmobile to make s’mores on a slow day in Gotham City.