Turtle Club Newsletter # 11 - Batman Month
What is a Batman
Long time no see.
Things are hoppin’ over on urbaneturtle.com in case you are not a regular visitor there or a twitter follower! We have got BATMAN FOR DAYS!
Celebrating the release of the new Batman film THE BATMAN, starting Robert Pattinson and not Richard Kind as the Penguin, I have dedicated the site to ALL BAT CONTENT.
Here is the introduction to Batman month that I posted on March 1st. Then I’ll give a brief intro to each of the articles that have gone up so far this month!
Welcome to Batman Month here at Urbane Turtle dot com!
During my hiatus period toward the end of last year, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to write about and how I want to approach it. What is speaking to me, or that I think I have some insight into? What’s most important to me—churning out content on a regular schedule? Making regular columns that talk about the “industry” broadly? Focusing on regular comics reviews?
None of that really appealed to me. I like what I am doing here, taking a step back to look at books and media from any period as the mood strikes me. It isn’t good for building an audience or SEO but I have at least one other outlet for quick reviews and initial impressions on series. What I most enjoy is digging into books and media and figuring out what makes them tick, or what speaks to me, and to celebrate how those stories are told.
Taking comics seriously. Taking genre stories seriously.
What I found myself struggling with as I began getting into the thick of things was deciding what to engage with and wrestling with what I think makes my perspective or voice unique. This kind of idea paralysis continues to be my biggest mental block. As I began to consider what I wanted to write about, I looked at big milestones over the next few months, and one thing stood out to me, and that is the release of the new Matt Reeves directed, Robert Pattinson starring, The Batman.
I got excited about tying my writing thematically to Batman as a character and a franchise, both as an opportunity to produce somewhat timely content but also because it struck me that I have never written seriously about Batman or Batman comics. I engaged with the character a bit over the course of my DCAU Rewatch many years ago, and first approached serious themes with the character in my short-lived retrospective on Grant Morrison’s work with the character. But both of these things are quite old, the work of a younger person with less skill and perspective.
Truth be told, I have been quite burned out on the character for several years now, confusing my frustration with the Zack Snyder era of DC films with a general disillusionment with the Batman. Preparing for this series sparked something in me I had forgotten about…an abiding love for Gotham and its world. Batman is what brought me to comics, the bridge to my passion for the art form.
So, I invite you to join me as I celebrate what makes Batman enduring, what he inspires us to be, the challenges he empowers us to overcome, and the fears he helps us grapple with. The essays I’ll be sharing over the next few weeks range from the more analytical and academic you might be more familiar with if you have been a reader, to the more reflective and personal. I am trying to push myself over these weeks, to bring myself to the stories and you, the reader, and to share what Batman and superhero comics, mean to me, and how I think he speaks to something deep inside all of us who hunger for justice and hope in the dark corners of the night.
The Batman Essays
When I initially wrote this I presumed it would be about one thing but it ended up being entirely different. I thought Knightfall was about Bane and Batman overcoming his grievous injuries to face the man who broke. Turns out that doesn’t happen! At all! Instead this turned into an exploration of Batman as a light in the darkness, and how Azrael and Bane both illustrate the worst of who Batman could be.
This one is all about Detective Comics 606, the first comic I remember reading. It is the middle of a 4 part story. I talk about how it impacted me and my fandom and get a little personal and reflective. I like this one, and it gave me an excuse to finally read the full story after only having this one decaying, crumpling issue for years!
What must it be like to be Batman? That’s the question that begins this essay. This is a look at how Tom King and Lee Weeks deconstruct the myth of the Batgod. Tom King tweeted about it. I am proud of this one. I’m proud of the other two as well but I think this one really gets to the heart of my philosophy on Batman!
Random Comic Panel of the Week #61
WHY DO COMICS HATE ME?!
Gaaaaaawd did you people see what they did to Comixology? What a mess. I don’t have anything to add that smarter people haven’t. Read about the debacle on Sktchd and by subscribing to Graeme McMillan’s actual journalism newsletter.
I really need to figure out a way to get my digital library away from Amazon.
I don’t have much to put here but I am really trying to make this feature a Thing.
I could talk about the Ed Piskor controversy but, frankly, he’s not worth my time or yours.
Urbane Turtle Around the Web
Batman Month extended out to CBR this week as I reviewed the retro fueled and very fun WORLD’S FINEST #1. I’ve been reading Silver Age World’s Finest of late in prep for the final Batman month piece and this book really feels like a loving homage to the spirit of those books in all the best ways. Click the photo below to read it. This is one of my favorite reviews I’ve written in quite some time, from a quality of analysis and style.
The final Batman month post is probably not coming this week as I spent my weekend doing heavy research into Iron Man for a potential gig that seems like it could be a lot of fun. Hopefully I can share more about that in the near future if things work out.
I now have opinions on Iron Man. After reading all of the Gillen and Slott runs I have determined that the movie adaptation is better than the comics by every margin and maybe Iron Man should just stick to Avengers books? Just spitballing.
Finally, as I’ve said I’m anticipating one final entry on urbaneturtle dot com for Batman month before the end of March. It’ll be about the Silver Age and secret identities and forgotten creators. I hope I do them justice.
That’s all for now, turtle club faithful. Thanks for reading