Tuesday, December 25, 2012


First a word of thanks. We can't thank the fans enough for their support of Li'l Gotham, which has turned into a nice success. It's not often that you get a chance to work on something you enjoy for yourself as well as sharing it with others. And while most people reading the stories are currently enjoying their holidays with their families, the work actually still continues for us. It takes quite a bit of time for the art to be drawn and painted, the stories finessed, and the lettering and editing applied. And even with the DC work offices closed for the holidays, our home offices are very much burning the midnight oil to keep things moving ahead. Time away from friends and family, with some of us foolishly working to the wee hours (I know how Santa must feel). All that said…it wouldn't be worth it without our fan support. We read your comments online and your enthusiasm is very much appreciated. Our gift to you is nothing but our best. And your gift back to us is your love for the material. Thank you!

I can't recall who came up with it, either our editor or Dustin, but the idea was to try something different with the credits this time around. To have Dustin paint "Li'l" versions of each of us. A fun idea that definitely brings a more handcrafted approach to putting these stories together. Since I'm usually never without wearing a cap, it made for an easy painting for Dustin to draw.

As far as the story itself, Mr.Freeze has always been my favorite Batman villain, in no small part due to Paul Dini's reinvention of him as a tragic character in the animated series. After his wife contracted an incurable disease, he froze her in a state of suspended animation to work on a cure, but an accident resulted in his cold living condition and loss of emotions. The best villains really are the tragic ones. The ones that we can relate or empathize with. The ones doing the wrong things for the right reasons. And therefore, also one of the hardest characters to write. It's not a shock to know there are very few great Freeze stories written out there. Some see him as very one-note in his longing for his wife. He isn't used that often. And while I've always wanted to write more of him, I also feel he's one of those that really needs a compelling story to be used to its fullest. When the Christmas issue was discussed, he became our villain of choice for obvious reasons associated with the holiday…snow and cold. But how could he be used to pull at our heartstrings?

With Freeze always carrying around a figure skater snowglobe related to his wife, we thought it would make for an interesting visual to have a giant snowglobe used to hold children. Victor sees it as a way of protecting the kids from the harsh cruelness of the world, but everyone else would see it as him holding them hostage against their will. And it is that differing opinion that throws Batman and Nightwing into battle with Mr.Freeze over the fate of the children. And plenty of cute little forest animals for Dustin to continue to draw into the story.

Something I always look forward to is anytime there's a chance to come up with song lyrics or clever puns. It probably never calls for it in most mainstream "serious" comics, but we get away with it to reckless abandon in Li'l Gotham. I wanted to take the popularized "Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, Robin Lays An Egg" lyric, and do a different version of it. The funny thing here is the mention of Batman falling into the ice. That was originally in an earlier draft of the script, where Batman (fighting solo) would fall into the ice lake while dodging Mr.Freeze. But rewrites later would add in Nightwing and allow Dustin to rework the fight choreography. The falling into the frozen lake bit was gone, yet wasn't changed in the song. Still works regardless.

And on that note….happy holidays to everyone out there! And make sure to check out our next issue, which actually goes on sale today. It's the gift that keeps on giving.


  1. Merry Christmas, Derek...love the new Li'l series...and of course, JLB!! Keep up the good work and all the best to you this Christmas.

    1. Thank you Scott. Thanks for the support. And hope you're enjoying the holidays!