Saturday, February 16, 2013


Having the Li'l Gotham stories center around holidays makes a Valentine's Day themed story something to look forward to. It could've been very easy to have Batman out on a date with Catwoman or Talia. Bruce has had many loves in his life we could've drawn from. Or gone in the direction of having Damian with unwanted attention on this holiday. But ultimately it was decided to let the villains run the show in this story. And a chance for me to revise and rework an old idea.

This goes back almost 15 years ago. Even though I wasn't working in comics at the time, I was pretty ambitious wanting to break in. And I would write down ideas and even script out stories, in-between working on art submissions. And one of those was very similar to this issue. It was called "Poison Envy" and revolved around the idea of Harley and Ivy out on a crime spree with Harley bungling things up, as she is bound to do at times. Ivy getting annoyed for the last time and deciding to get back at Harley the only way she knows how…through her Mistah J. Ivy would use her alluring toxins to entice Joker under her control, to become the new Bonnie & Clyde crime couple in town. This would infuriate Harley to the point that she was planning to blow up the Gotham Botanical Gardens with Ivy and Joker as collateral damage. All until Batman showed up to save the day, and Joker once free of Ivy's control, could crawl back to Harley.

I always liked that story but like most ideas, it would be filed away, probably never to see the light of day. Then almost 15 years later, Li'l Gotham comes along, and a matter of coming up with a range of stories to fill in every month on the calendar. I could dust off the original idea and expand it. Have Joker accidentally pour that love potion on himself, and then have all of Gotham's femme fatales after him.

I think so far, most of the stories that Dustin and I have been able to do in Li'l Gotham, seem to fall under two categories… Capers and Sentimental Message. Damian learning about Halloween, Thanksgiving with the family, and Mr.Freeze experiencing the holiday spirit, can all fall under the sentimental area. New Year's Revolution and this Valentine's Day, turn into capers with the characters running around and getting into trouble. As we move forward, and double up stories each month, the idea is to expand on that. We'll have some more heartfelt stories, some wacky adventures and humor, and even some 2-part stories (one part at the beginning of the month and the other part near the end, as they relate to one another).

Some additional thoughts for this story…
I love writing any Harley and Joker scenes. There's a reason the fans love these characters and also why I enjoy seeing Dustin draw them. He gets a range of fun expressions and body language. Seeing Harl get Joker in a loving choke embrace, and seeing her devil-may-care dive into the back seat with the car still moving, are just a few of my favorites from this issue. And having the Hyenas take the wheel in her absence…too fun!
It's no secret that Dustin and I are huge fans of Batman The Animated Series. And there are so many interesting characters that were born out of that show. Some have made the transition to comics while others haven't. But something like Li'l Gotham gives us a chance to bring some of them back. Baby Doll is one of those characters, who is just such an odd ball fit and yet I always liked that character in the show to have her here.
How we made the jump from Baby Doll being tossed into a baby cart with Joker into this "Lone Wolf & Cub" homage…no idea. But thought it would be a funny visual. You get a brief visit to Japan Town in this story, but we'll be going to Gotham's China Town in the next one.


  1. Two issues a month!!

    I'm pumped beyond belief, I love this series.

  2. Thanks Bill. Poor Dustin has to crank away nonstop. I, on the other hand, get to sit back and watch the magic happen.

  3. Ha, well he has my sympathies and my praise too. You guys do fantastic work.

  4. I hope baby doll is used more in the comics.