Batman nemesis Bane urges mask use in newly-released outtakes

The always delightful Auralnauts have redubbed The Dark Knight Rises for 2020, with Bane urging all those he encounters to join him in wearing a mask. Read the rest

A comic book artist illustrates the visual differences between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne

On the surface, the civilian identities of Bruce "Batman" Wayne and Clark "Superman" Kent both look pretty similar. They're both generically handsome white dudes with dark hair and chiseled jaws. At times, they've even imitated each other, in order to help the other maintain plausible deniability around their respective secret identities.

Comic artist Greg Capullo, who's done some critically acclaimed work on books like Batman, Spawn, and X-Force, as well as numerous hard rock and metal album covers, recently shared his personal approach to differentiating between the two characters in their civilian identities:

Superman, he notes, has deeper set eyes, with a straight nose and thin lips as well as a cleft chin. Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, has more noticeable eyelids, along with a scooped nose, fuller lips, and a longer chin.

These are subtle distinctions, of course, but with enough artistic consistency, can really help to make a difference and bring these characters to life. Read the rest

Watch a documentary about Batman's Batmobile through the ages

From the stately and elegant Batmobile Cadillac seen in the 1943 movie serials to the latest militaristic models, this is the on-screen history of Batman's Batmobile. Of course the true high point was the 1955 Lincoln Futura tricked out by George Barris for the 1960s TV series.

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The new Batmobile looks like a vintage muscle car

Matt Reeves, director of The Batman, just tweeted images of the new Batmobile and it looks like a souped-up 1970s muscle car. Less military, more Mopar. Nice ride, Bruce.

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First look: Robert Pattinson is... The Batman

Robert Pattinson is The Batman in director Matt Reeves's take on the dark knight. Pattinson is best known from the Twilight series while Reeves was behind the lens on Cloverfield (2008), Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014), and War for the Planet of the Apes (2017).

The Batman's cinematographer is Greig Fraser with a score by Michael Giacchino. Costume design is by Jacqueline Durran, Glyn Dillon, and David Crossman.

Release date: June 25, 2021. Read the rest

TV's Robin had to take pills to shrink his genitals while Batman stuffed his underwear

Burt Ward, who played Robin on the 1960s Batman TV series, claims that the ABC television network insisted he take pills to shrink his genitals so they wouldn't be so noticeable in his green underwear. However with Adam "Batman" West, he says, "they put Turkish towels in his undershorts." From a Page Six interview with Ward who last week scored a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame:

The Caped Crusaders costumes were bright and tight-fitting to say the least, so snug that Ward incurred the wrath of the Catholic League of Decency...

The problem grew so tumescent that the studio had Ward see a doctor who prescribed medication “to shrink me up.”

Thankfully Ward quit taking the pills almost immediately.

“I took them for three days and then I decided that they can probably keep me from having children,” he said. “I stopped doing that and I just used my cape to cover it.”

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Kevin Smith reveals Joker's much darker alternative ending

(SPOILER ALERT)

On this episode of the Fatman Beyond podcast, Kevin Smith claims that Todd Phillips' Joker originally had a much darker ending written for it. From Hypebeast:

While the final release of the film ended with Arthur Fleck being locked up in a psychiatric hospital with a scene suggesting he killed his new therapist, Smith says around the 16:35 mark in the video above that a source close to the project revealed an alternative ending featuring a flashback at the hospital. The flashback would’ve taken the audience back to Thomas and Martha Wayne’s murder scene in the alley, and reveal that it was actually the Joker who killed them. Even more shocking is the fact that the Joker then also shoots Bruce Wayne, effectively killing Batman in that particular universe.

“Originally, the ending in the hospital was different,” Smith said. “He’s in the hospital and he laughs, chuckles, and he says, ‘I was just thinking of something funny.’ What was supposed to happen was you flashed back to the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne and it was him killing Thomas and Martha Wayne and the boy was screaming and crying and he turned to walk away and he turned back, shrugged, and shot the kid. Credits.”

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I chatted with Danny Elfman about his new MasterClass, and his ventriloquist dummy "Buddy"

You may remember I recently blogged about Danny Elfman's new "music for film" MasterClass (which launched on Halloween, naturally). A day or so after it posted I got an email from someone on his team asking if I wanted to interview him. My response, "Uh, who could say no to that...?!" I soon found myself Skyping with the founder of Oingo Boingo, the father of the Simpsons' theme, and one of the most prolific film composers of all time — Happy Mutant extraordinaire, Mr. Danny Elfman.

Here's what we chatted about:

Rusty: Hi there, Danny. I'm thrilled to speak with you today.

Danny: Hello, thank you.

Rusty: I wanted to share a couple of things we have in common real quick before we get into it. One... we're both redheads.

Danny: I was just going to say that. That's got to be the first thing.

Rusty: Right? Well, it's obvious. Two... we both collect strange and unusual objects.

Danny: Ooh...

Rusty: Just saw an article about your strange and unusual collection and they shared a picture of you with your creepy ventriloquist dummy.

Danny: Buddy!

Rusty: Yeah, Buddy! Well, I wanted to tell you, you must know Archie McPhee...

Danny: Yeah.

Rusty: So, a couple of years ago, they made my likeness into a product. I'm a creepy ventriloquist dummy toy, a finger puppet.

Danny: Really...?!

Rusty: Yes.

Danny: Wow... Oh my god, that's so cool. What an honor. You should be honored.

Rusty: Oh I am.

Danny: Wow. Well, you have to go look at my nine episodes of "Danny and Buddy." Read the rest

DC Comics kills Batman image because China insisted it was supporting the Hong Kong protests

The poster for "The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child" features Batman hurling a molotov cocktail in front of the words "The Future is Young," after DC Comics posted it to Instagram and Twitter, the image was copied into Chinese social media, where they sparked outrage among Chinese users who claimed that the subtext of the image was support for the Hong Kong protests. Read the rest

This $3.5 million mansion includes a replica of Bruce Wayne's study and so much more

Former Pittsburgh radio personality T.J. Lubinsky is selling his home, about a half-hour outside the city in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania.

I'll be honest, I've never heard of this guy. But apparently he has quite a resume. Which I guess is how he and his wife Wenday were able to build this absurdly palatial estate with 14 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a "waterfall poolside oasis" with a custom Lilliput playhouse for the kids, and—oh yeah, a two-story replica of the Heinz Chapel as well as a replica of the private study from the 1966 "Batman" show, complete with sliding bookcases, a red phone, and Batpoles.

It also contains replica rooms based on "the Queen’s residence next to the Ritz London" and "the Hotel Del Coronado in California." Did I mention that the whole design is based on Newport's Seaview Terrace/Carey Mansion, which was used as the exterior shots for Collinwood Manor in the classic vampire soap opera "Dark Shadows?"

While I personally couldn't afford the $3.5 million it would cost to buy this place, but all things considered, I think that's actually a pretty reasonable price for it.

724 Bristlecone Drive, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania 15044, via Berkshire Hathaway Real Estate

Image via Batman '66, duh Read the rest

Interview with the real Joker

 

Above, a 1966 interview with the best of all Jokers, the inimitable Cesar Romero who camped it up for the Batman TV series (1966-1968) and subsequent theatrical film. Romero famously refused to shave his trademark mustache for the role so they just slathered the white greasepaint right over his whiskers. (Interview with Romero starts at about 3:36, but watch from the beginning to catch an interview with Julie "Catwoman" Newmar.)

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Watch the soap opera inspiration for Harley Quinn

In 1987, Arleen Sorkin played a bizarre dream jester on the classic soap opera Days of our Lives. Watch above. Several years later, that curious character became the inspiration for Harley Quinn on Batman: The Animated Series. Naturally, Sorkin voiced Ms. Quinn.

From Vulture:

In 1987, Sorkin was a regular on the soap opera Days of Our Lives, playing the show’s comic relief: the ditzy, leggy, Noo Yawk–accented Calliope Jones. But unlike her flighty character, Sorkin was a skilled and experienced comedy writer. “I could never just come in and run my lines,” she told Vulture. “I was forever suggesting stuff, probably out of boredom!” So when she went to a screening of the faux-medieval The Princess Bride, an idea struck her: Why not do a fairy-tale dream sequence on Days? The producers were into it and aired an episode in which Calliope acts as a court jester, roller-skating into a throne room and doing some hackneyed borscht belt gags for a royal family.

(Writer Paul) Dini and Sorkin were college friends, and one day, she gave him a VHS tape of her favorite Days moments — including her jester bit. The tape sat idle for years. But in mid 1991, Dini was sick as a dog and popped the tape into his VCR. He was a budding television writer at the time, cranking out freelance scripts for the as-yet-unaired Batman: The Animated Series. He’d been struggling to come up with a female character to use as a one-off in an episode about Batman’s archnemesis, the Joker.

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Podcast: Occupy Gotham

In my latest podcast (MP3), I read my essay Occupy Gotham, published in Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman, commemorating the 1000th issue of Batman comics. It's an essay about the serious hard problem of trusting billionaires to solve your problems, given the likelihood that billionaires are the cause of your problems.

A thousand issues have gone by, nearly 80 years have passed, and Batman still hasn't cleaned up Gotham. If the formal definition of insanity it trying the same thing and expecting a different outcome, then Bruce Wayne belongs in a group therapy session in Arkham Asylum. Seriously, get that guy some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy before he gets into some *serious* trouble.

As Upton Sinclair wrote in his limited run of *Batman: Class War*[1], "It's impossible to get a man to understand something when his paycheck depends on his not understanding it."

Gotham is a city riven by inequality. In 1939, that prospect had a very different valence than it has in 2018. Back in 1939, the wealth of the world's elites had been seriously eroded, first by the Great War, then by the Great Crash and the interwar Great Depression, and what was left of those vast fortunes was being incinerated on the bonfire of WWII. Billionaire plutocrats were a curious relic of a nostalgic time before the intrinsic instability of extreme wealth inequality plunged the world into conflict.

MP3

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The best Joker is the woman Joker who snaps after a lifetime of being told to "smile, baby" by shitty men

Last week, Geraldine DeRuiter tweeted a short, sharp alternate character arc for The Joker: "The Joker should have been a woman. And she finally went insane because too many random dudes told her to smile, so now she perpetually smiles while terrorizing Gotham." Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 4, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 3, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

Part 1 here:

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

Batman Dark Knight Returns Issue 2, Kayfabe Commentary

No deep dive of this legendary comic exists online from a cartoonist's perspective, let alone 3 cartoonists! The boys, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and Tom Scioli continue to unpack the Frank Miller 1986 Batman classic over the course of 4 jam-packed episodes, one chapter at a time!

Part 1 here:

For more videos and deep dives like this make sure to subscribe to the Cartoonist Kayfabe YouTube channel 

You can support the channel by grabbing some stuff from our Spreadshop! Read the rest

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