12 September 2012

"The Batman Adventures" Comic Book Box

Remember in May, I had such a fun time illustrating a short comic book box? Well, naturally I wanted to do another. This being the 20th anniversary(!) of Batman: The Animated Series and its comic book tie-in, The Batman Adventures, I decided that would be an appropriate theme for my second box.

Planning is important, kids, and I this box proves it. I made the mistake of thinking I had such a comprehensive library of usable reference material, and such love for the subject matter, that I could more or less wing it, throwing together one side after the next. I had learned from the first box that there's a lot less space to work with than is readily apparent, so I had expected to only get about a dozen characters in the box anyway. I instantly had a mental list of about 20 worthwhile characters: Batman, Robin and Batgirl; The Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy; Two-Face and Mr. Freeze; Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler. I had thought about The Terrible Trio (Mr. Nice, The Perfessor and Mastermind), a group of characters created for The Batman Adventures who (to date) have appeared in no other incarnation of the Batman mythology. Killer Croc, Clayface, Man-Bat, Roxy Rocket, Ra's al Ghul and Talia, Scarface and The Ventriloquist...I had envision a jam filled in a frenzy.

Instead, what I discovered was that there were surprisingly few source images that easily lent themselves to the purpose of being replicated on a comic book box. Despite all the Batman Adventures comics in my library, all four volumes of the TV series on DVD (plus the handful of related movies), numerous trading cards and even the terrific Batman: The Animated Series book by Chip Kidd, I found myself not particularly drawn to very many images at all.

Also, there are two parts of this box that greatly dissatisfy me: The Joker and Batgirl. There's too much black around the former's face and it looks like he's got a beard or something, and the latter just came out sloppy and elongated. I was simply impatient with Batgirl and I didn't take the time to stand back and really look at the pencils before I began inking.

Materials
  • Comic Book Storage Short Box ($3.75 on sale from $5.00 at The Great Escape)
  • General Pencil - Sketch & Wash #588BP ($2.99 at Michael's)
  • Craft Smart Paint Pen - black, broad line ($2.29 at Michael's) 

References
  • Robin & Thug - The Batman Adventures #14 cover by Mike Parobeck & Rick Burchett
  • Mr. Freeze - The Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1 cover by Bruce Timm
  • The Joker - The Batman Adventures Annual #1 cover

References
  • Batman - The Batman Adventures #8 cover by Mike Parobeck, Rick Burchett and Rick Taylor
  • The Penguin - Batman & Robin Adventures #4 cover by Ty Templeton

References
  • Batgirl - The Batman Adventures #18 cover by Mike Parobeck, Rick Burchett and Rick Taylor
  • Two-Face - Batman: The Animated Series "Two-Face" title card

Reference
Harley Quinn - The Batman Adventures: Mad Love cover by Bruce Timm

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