INTERVIEW with ANDY FISH @ THE BATMAN!
Starting Tomorrow and running every Friday right here on the ol' UCF site will be a new strip called THE BATMAN-- we caught up with creator Andy Fish who's doing the whole thing and asked him to fill us in on what this is all about.
SO, ANDY, TELL US ABOUT "THE BATMAN"
It's my take on Batman. Most of it is based on a pitch I sent in to DC Comics a few years ago. I liked the concepts then and I still like them, so I'm going to publish them here on the site so that others can see what I would have done.
OK SO THIS IS NOT SANCTIONED BY DC COMICS?
No not at all-- I'm listing it as (c) DC Comics and publishing it not for profit as fair use. I think I'll be OK here but they can certainly send me a Cease and Desist if they feel the need. I am treating the character the way I would handle it if they had green lit the pitch.
YOU'VE WORKED FOR DC IN THE PAST...
Yes I have. I have nothing but respect for them and characters who are modern mythology. What disappoints me is the dark nature all of their heroes have taken, especially Superman. I'd love to see a superhero comic a kid could read and maybe even look up to, and I think that can be done without it being too corny.
UPSTANDING BUT YOUR BATMAN USES A GUN DOESN'T HE?
At first he does, just like he did in 1939.
SO IS THIS SET IN THE 1930s?
Yup. I think Batman works best there among his pulp mentors. I'm not going to make it blatantly 30s, or any time period. I want the freedom to have an element out of place like a TV or something. So it's 1939 by way of today.
WILL WE BE SEEING ANY OF HIS VILLAINS?
Right off the bat, no pun intended. Batman is Batman because of his rogues gallery.
HOW LONG WILL THIS STRIP RUN?
One page a week on Fridays-- it'll run until I get that Cease and Desist letter. I don't know how to say this without coming across as bitter or arrogant but I'll try anyway;
Batman has been around for 75+ years and he's been done a lot of different ways. My favorite versions of Batman was the earliest Detective Comics by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, the square jawed crime buster of the 40s by Dick Sprang and the Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers collaboration in 1977 . Other than that, with few exceptions, "my" Batman hasn't been around much.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY 'YOUR' BATMAN?
The version of Batman I see when I think of the character is a dark avenger, a frightening force to the underworld, but he's also a business wiz by day, a father figure to Dick Grayson, a friend to Alfred and Clark Kent and the kind of hero who knows right from wrong. The story is going to start out with him still learning his way, he makes mistakes, he's not the pure perfect hero he will become later. But most of all he's not the dark friendless psychopath he's been since the 80s.
CAN WE ASSUME YOU WEREN'T A FAN OF FRANK MILLER'S DARK KNIGHT RETURNS?
No I loved it when it came out. It was an operatic Batman story. It's the watered down versions that have come since, some by Miller himself. If you read TDKR he's driven but he's not a psycho. He uses intimidation but he has a genuine affection for Robin, and not the creepy kind. He's at heart a good man in that story and it ends in an optimistic way with him creating an army to fight for Gotham.
YOU MENTIONED CLARK KENT, DOES THAT MEAN WE'LL SEE SUPERMAN HERE?
You betcha-- if I can get to that part of it. Honestly I expect to get to Chapter Six and then get shut down, but since this is essentially Fan-Fiction and I have a really good attorney I think I might be OK.
WHY DON'T YOU PITCH THIS TO DC?
There was a point where I pitched something like this and it got green lit, then it got delayed, then editors changed and they eliminated the Elseworlds Series and it got jumbled into their Batman Pulp experiment that failed and now I get voicemail when I call. I'm not getting any younger and this is a story I want to tell.
BUT YOU WON'T MAKE ANY MONEY AT THIS RIGHT?
None at all. I've got other gigs to pay the bills. This is for me and for the six fans who keep asking when this will come out. Here it is, FREE.
GREAT, WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO IT.
Me too, thanks for coming by.
Posted by Andy Fish