Tag Archives: #Bat75

The Unauthorized Batman Films of the 1960s

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Batman as played by Philippine actor Dolphy in JAMES BATMAN

Over the years, filmmakers have depicted Batman in a variety of films unauthorized by the character’s publisher, DC Comics.  These unauthorized films offer different artistic interpretations of the character, ranging from fan homage to comedic spoof to commercial ripoff to pornography.  In the 1960s, both before and after the success of the camp Batman television series which debuted in 1966, several unauthorized Batman films were made in the United States, the Philippines, and Mexico that depict Batman and Batman-related characters in a comedic manner that fit well with the tone of the Batman television series.

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The Origin of The Joker

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How did a villainous psychopath like The Joker get his own comic book series? (THE JOKER #1, cover art by Ernie Chan)

Batman’s archenemy The Joker has had various origin stories over the years, and there have also been conflicting testimonials from his creators about their inspiration for the character. But this article isn’t about any of those origin stories. This article is about how declining comic book sales, less censorship, bad business practices, and the success of a horror comic paved the way for a psychotic super-villain character to star in an eponymous ongoing comic book series in the year 1975. This article isn’t about the origin of The Joker; it’s about the origin of The Joker.

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Our Reflection in The Black Mirror

         DTC_Cv871_ds.indd Hello friends, this week at the Banana Stand the topic is Scott Snyder, Jock, and Francesco Francavilla’s fantasic run on Detective Comics with The Black Mirror.  This is one of my favorite Batman stories, and there are a few reasons why that I’d like to discuss.  The story and it’s structure, the rotation of two amazing artists, and the bittersweet aspect of it being Dick Grayson’s last great hurrah under the cowl.  I think those three aspects really separate this tale in my mind, and are the biggest factors in making it easy to go back and re-read it after it ended nearly three years ago.   As an added bonus and a nod to Pull List Playlist use THIS LINK to get my choice for a soundtrack to this entire 11 issue run provided by Arcade Fire Continue reading Our Reflection in The Black Mirror

Batman’s Adventures on the Radio

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Batman uses the radio to foil “The Carbon Copy Killer” in BATMAN #38 (art by Jim Mooney, script by Bill Finger)

Almost two years after Superman debuted in Action Comics #1, Superman starred in his own radio program, The Adventures of Superman, beginning in February 1940.   In the 1940s, television was an expensive, rare luxury, but over 82% of American households owned a radio.  The Adventures of Superman was broadcast in fifteen minute episodes, and reached millions of American households; the radio program was listened to by both kids and adults.  Given the commercial success of The Adventures of Superman, it is surprising that Batman and Robin – two popular superhero characters also owned by Superman’s publishers – never starred in their own radio program.

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Before Batman: What the First Twenty-six Covers of Detective Comics Reveal About the Early Days of Comic Books

“Vin Sullivan conceived Detective Comics not as a brochure for newspaper syndicates but as a comic book equivalent to pulps, with self-contained stories in a single genre.”  – Gerard Jones, Men of Tomorrow:  Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book

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The first issue of DETECTIVE COMICS features a sinister-looking Asian villain on the cover. The cover artist for the first issue was editor Vincent Sullivan.

First published in 1937, Detective Comics was the foundation of one of today’s largest and most influential comics companies. Comics pioneer and businessman Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson was broke, and needed money to publish his new detective anthology comic book; he entered into a business partnership with pulp magazine publisher and distributor Harry Donenfeld and Donenfeld’s accountant, Jack Liebowitz, and the corporation Detective Comics, Inc. (which eventually evolved into the present-day DC Comics) was born.  Without Detective Comics, there would be no DC Comics.

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