Tuesday, February 25, 2014


It's been a little hectic around these parts as I've been juggling all sorts of jobs lately the last few months. Writing in comics and the computer game industry, back to inking fairly regularly again, and also found the time to draw an upcoming short story as well. Whew! But in the end, I've been neglecting to keep things updated here on this blog. Going to see if I can change that and update things a little more frequently.

Batman Li'l Gotham finally concluded what became an insanely fun ride. What started as Dustin pitching chibi characters for a line of snow globes, turned into a couple short backups in the Batman Annuals, and eventually to a full blown digital and print series. Out of all the projects I've written, it might've been one of the easiest to write for. Dustin always had the tough task of having to draw and paint it all on a tight schedule that never let up. But I got to kick back, brainstorm with him, and come up with some of the silliest ideas…and it somehow just clicked. Very little in the way of rewrites. Most of the stories were set to run as-is, which is a huge blessing in this industry.

For the very last Li'l Gotham story, I'd had the spark of an idea very early on. I think early in our run after the book had found a very excited and vocal audience, it sort of dawned on me that it would be nice to really think out a nice ending that would wrap our run. To really stick the landing. It's very rare for creators to have a chance to plan an exit long in advance. Usually a book gets cancelled prematurely or the creators pulled from a book with very little time to wrap things up to their satisfaction. So as we went along, I know I was always nervous about wanting to find out exactly when we'd finish. Was it going to be the original 12 stories, the expanded upon 24, or even possibly more after that? I wanted to have a story in the bag so when the time came, we could present it as the last one.

I don't know where I came up with the idea for having a family album look back, but it just felt appropriate. Li'l Gotham's cast actually grew very big over the year. Lots of friends and family for the Bats, as well as villains. And trying to fit in everything and everyone for a final bow would be a crazy task. At one point, we toyed with the idea of doing a 2-part Christmas story. Sort of a Batman ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. What life in Gotham might be like if Batman wasn't in it. So Bruce would be visited by an early version of himself as Batman (or possibly the Grey Ghost), a current version of Batman, as well as a trip into the future with Batman Beyond. Dustin and I even toyed with having our idealized version of the future. Superman and Old Bruce with kids carrying on the tradition. Have a brighter outlook than the darkness that permeates most of the current books. But as things got closer to Li'l Gotham finishing, we were running out of room with stories we'd already committed to. So we decided on just doing one 10 page story to wrap things up. And the family album concept would be a nice visual treat to look back on all the characters fondly. And of course, give me one more chance to toss in a song by rewriting the "12 Days Of Christmas" Li'l Gotham style. 

While finished, Li'l Gotham remains firmly on my mind with a smile. A chance to continue the collaboration with Dustin and see his vision of this project finally become a reality after taking years to get it greenlit. It helped open a lot of creative doors for me being associated with it. And it's just nice to have something I've worked on be so easily accessible to kids of all ages. I think the trick to how our book worked, was Dustin and I were just having a lot of fun. I don't think I ever thought of trying to write to fit a certain age bracket. I kind of just approached it with the mindset of the animated series with a lighthearted angle to it. To write something I'd enjoy reading. And I think the darker the main books got, the easier it was to go the opposite way and shine a light on the silly absurdity of these characters. But always in good fun.
So what does the future hold? Our first trade paperback collection is hitting stores, so all these stories will eventually be collected. I think the sales of these can help determine if there's enough demand to bring back the series. And we're going to get some Li'l Gotham action figures coming out this year as well. And hopefully those do well enough to continue past the initial four being offered (I totally wanna get a Li'l Gotham Mr. Freeze…make it happen)!
Out of the Li'l city and back into the big city again.

Thanks for everyone's support!

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