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The heartfelt suffering of Sensitive Batman.

§ July 29th, 2008 § Filed under adam west Comments Off on The heartfelt suffering of Sensitive Batman.

“BOO, Batman!”

“Gosh, Bruce, did you hear that?”

“Nothing has ever cut me so deeply to the quick — no blow ever struck by any arch-villain — has ever hurt me so acutely…”

“…As that little boy’s ‘boo.'”

BONUS: Costume idea for next Halloween:

The many faces of Pink Batman.

§ October 18th, 2007 § Filed under adam west Comments Off on The many faces of Pink Batman.











The end of Bat-week.

§ January 9th, 2006 § Filed under adam west Comments Off on The end of Bat-week.

The 1960s Batman TV show still remains one of my favorite media translations of comic books, as well as possibly one of the most accurate transitions from page to screen. A live action version of pretty much any random Batman comic from the ’50s or ’60s would almost have to turn out something like this show. The only way it could have been more accurate is if the TV show had aliens in it.

The primary difference between the comic and show is that while the comics were mostly simple adventure stories aimed almost solely at children, the TV show applied a more adult sensibility to the proceedings. The adventure aspect, the bright colors, the odd camera angles and odder villains…the elements of the comics that were so attractive to children still existed. But for adults there was the parodic subtext, the straight-faced acting of West and Ward, the pop-art live action recreation of the genre’s excesses…in a way, it reminds me of the “Real Live Brady Bunch” stage shows, in which the original stories from the TV series are given an additional comedic value by being performed in a new context, forcing the audience to reinterpret familiar elements in a new setting. Reading the adventures of Batman on a printed page is one thing; seeing those exact same story elements performed by real adults in oddly-fitting costumes is another altogether. One could make the argument that the Batman TV show preceded the 1980s trend of superhero deconstruction, by holding up and emphasizing the cliches of the genre for examination, criticism, and mockery.

The show’s immense popularity had an impact lasting even until today. The primary result of the show’s existence is that it now provides a convenient vocabulary for speaking about comics to the general public. More often than not, a space-filling article on comic books in your average newspaper will have a reference to the “POW! ZAP!” sound effects that used to fill the screen during the TV show’s fight scenes. Perhaps a reference to Robin’s oft-used “Holy [whatever], Batman!” exclamation would appear as well. I’ll admit to having been a bit irritated by this myself, more for its implicit laziness than for any reminder of the program.

The other impact was on comic fans themselves, where some felt that the Batman TV show maligned their hobby, causing irreparable damage to the public perception of their superhero stories. As a result, there is a heightened sensitivity to anything that even seems like it may be taking a less than serious approach to comic books. Not in “in-joke” comics like, for example, What The, which was there for superhero fans to laugh at themselves. It’s when the characters and situations appear to be opened up for examination and parody by those not “in the club” (i.e. the general public, or even certain comic creators) that the nervousness begins. And when it looks as if that these fans themselves may be the object of a some minor tweaking…well, forget about it.

For example, when it was announced in the late ’80s that Tim Burton (a director of comedy films) and Michael Keaton (a comedic actor) were to be involved in a new big-budget Batman film, there was, unsurprisingly, a huge outcry from these fans, fearing yet another “camp” interpretation of their character. (As it turned out, the bleak and dour Burton Bat-films that resulted could have used a little comedy, but that’s a topic for another day.) However, that fear was mostly unwarranted…even when the fourth, and reportedly worst (haven’t seen it, sorry), Batman film in that particular series was released, it didn’t become in the public’s eyes synonymous with comic books: it was just seen as another lousy film. When the recent Batman Begins film was released, despite apparent initial resistance prior to its debut, the movie ended up doing good business.

The reason behind all this rambling, today and in the last few days’ posts? Other than defending the Batman TV show and trying to put lie to the claim that all comic fans hate it, I suppose that what I’m trying to say is…relax, man. Batman is one of those characters that is open to widely varying interpretations for a variety of purposes, be it straight adventure, comedy, parody, pastiche, farce, horror, science fiction, or whatever…the occasional clunker ain’t gonna do any harm, and the occasional out-there Bat-comic ain’t gonna kill you. And while the TV show may cast a long shadow, there are worse things to be shadowed by.

Additional linkage:

Booksteve has some personal memories (and a good pic or two) of the show.

“Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb!”

"Holy hot links, Batman!"

§ January 8th, 2006 § Filed under adam west Comments Off on "Holy hot links, Batman!"

The 1966 Batman TV Tribute Site.

Another Batman TV show fan site, with an interesting Shockwave interface. I could just sit here and stare at the home page for hours.

The 1966 Batman message board.

Where are the TV show DVDs?

A review of the 1966 movie’s DVD…a must-buy, by the way.

Lyrics for the theme song. Yes, really.

This NPR page about the history of Batman includes a Realaudio file of the theme.

Dolphins made to sing Batman theme, swear vengeance on humanity.

Nostalgia Central on our favorite Bat-show.

This Is Pop gives us a nice selection of photos.

A highly-detailed scale model of the TV show’s Batcave.

The Original 1966 Batmobile website, with specs on the car, custom models, and much, much more! Here’s another Batmobile site.

A brief discussion on which ’60s Batman villain was tops.

“BATMAN!!!! The TV Show: The Play” – finished its run a few months ago, but here’s a Flickr photo set celebrating the event.

The Museum of Broadcast Communications has this to say about the show.

So, when do you think Batman jumped the shark? “Batman surfs?” “Robin battles the Green Hornet?” “Alfred dons the Batsuit?”

YTMND-palooza: When Picard Attacks Batman, Batman versus Shark, Bomb over Batman, Batman Raps, Groove It Extreme Batman, and Batman’s Drug Freakout.

An examination of which movie/TV show Batman (including Adam West’s interpretation) would win in a fight. Comes to a shocking conclusion.

Do the Batusi, you magnificent bastards.

Some choice quotes from the show.

“Batman hit on my sister.”

The infamous Siamese Human Knot Web Site, celebrating the most nefarious trap ever faced by the Dynamic Trio. Includes fan art, fan fiction, video of the event in question, and more info on this subject than you can ever possibly imagine.

On a similar subject, the Batgirl Bat-Trap Homepage, including fan art, photo manips, and cosplay.

The Return to the Batcave reunion show’s official site…here’s a brief photo gallery, and a review or two as well.

And now, official sites, fan sites, and the occasional merchandise site, for the actors: Adam (Batman) West, Burt (Robin) Ward, Yvonne (Batgirl) Craig, Frank (The Riddler) Gorshin, Burgess (Penguin) Meredith, Eartha (Catwoman) Kitt, Julie (Catwoman) Newmar, Victor (King Tut) Buono, Cesar (Joker) Romero, Roddy (Bookworm) McDowall, Art (The Archer) Carney, Vincent (Egghead) Price, Otto (Mr. Freeze) Preminger, and Neil (The Composer of The Show’s Theme Song) Hefti.

The Wikipedia entry includes (for the moment) the following passage:

“Comic book fans who know Batman as a grim ‘masked avenger of the night’ speak of the TV series with a near-universal revulsion and hatred. The series is seen by fans as a black mark on the medium of comic books, as it cast comics as silly, light-weight entertainment meant strictly for young children….”

“Welcome to Hell” image courtesy the mighty Mr. Dan Kelly.

The Dark West Returns.

§ January 7th, 2006 § Filed under adam west, freak out Comments Off on The Dark West Returns.

“Eyes gleaming, untouched by love or joy or sorrow…breath hot
with the taste of fallen foes…the stench of dead things, damned things…

“Surely the fiercest survivor..the purest warrior…glaring, hating…

“…Claiming me as your own.”

dialogue from The Dark Knight Returns (1986) by Frank Miller

(post updated 8/2016)

Batman, BWS, Comic Books, and You.

§ January 6th, 2006 § Filed under adam west Comments Off on Batman, BWS, Comic Books, and You.

One of my favorite parts of the ’60s Batman was when the Dynamic Duo enlisted poor Alfred to take a more active part in their crime-fighting. Please note that Alfred is wearing his glasses over his mask. Combined with the hat and tie, that’s one natty crime fighter…kinda like an older version of this fella.

Comic Book Galaxy has an exclusive preview of Barry Windsor-Smith’s long-awaited Thing graphic novel. The preview is a multi-page extravaganza, with art a’plenty (including some heretofore unseen pieces) and several appreciations of BWS and Ben Grimm by such writers as Steve Bissette, Jog, and somehow I managed to sneak one of my own in too. Go, check it out, demand its release.

New comics day:

Astonishing X-Men Saga – Oh, look, it’s Marvel Saga, with pasted-up excerpted panels and text summaries. Who is this aimed at, exactly? Most X-fans will already have it, and those who don’t would probably just buy the trade paperbacks. For completists, and X-fans who don’t look closely at what they’re buying, only.

So the new issue of Witchblade (#93) has a great quote on the cover: “Yes, this is an ‘A+’ comic. It has it all and then some.” It has it all…everything you could ever possibly need, it’s in each and every issue of Witchblade. I guess I should have bought it, then.

When pal Dorian dropped by the store to pick up his weekly funnybooks, he started poking through the new Teen Titans (#31), and wanted to talk to me about a certain plot point in the story. I said sure, go ahead, which is unusual since I prefer to avoid any spoilers until I go home that evening and read the comic myself. However, when Dor starting laughing at something in the Captain Carrot pages in that same comic, I refused to ask what he was laughing at. I took the spoiler on the main story, avoided the spoiler on the Captain Carrot story…kinda tells me something about how I’m feeling about this comic, I think.

Interiorae by Gabriella Giandelli, from Fantagraphics, features a ghostly rabbit floating through an apartment building, observing and commenting on the lives of the people who live there. It’s moody, and spooky, and it’s the beginning of an ongoing series, apparently, though it works as a stand-alone graphic novel as well. It’s an impressive physical object as well…it’s a staplebound magazine, printed on very heavy stock (with a dustjacket!) for $7.95, easily half the price of what it would have been had it been released as a squarebound book, I think. That low price point will make me more likely to follow the series, which is good as this opening has me intrigued.

Looney Tunes #134: Naked Tweety…I may never recover.

Bat-words of wisdom.

§ January 5th, 2006 § Filed under adam west § 1 Comment

“Of what use is a dream,
if not a blueprint for courageous action?”

Cleansing the palate.

§ January 5th, 2006 § Filed under adam west Comments Off on Cleansing the palate.

Something we can all agree on…the best Batman ever:

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