Brian Bolland is a British comics artist. Best known in the United Kingdom as one of the definitive Judge Dredd artists for British comics anthology 2000 AD, he spearheaded the'British Invasion' of the American comics industry, in 1982 produced the artwork on Camelot 3000, DC Comics' first 12-issue comicbook maxiseries created for the direct market, his rare forays into interior art include Batman: The Killing Joke, with UK-based writer Alan Moore, a self-penned Batman: Black and White story. Bolland remains in high demand as a cover artist, producing the vast majority of his work for DC Comics. Brian Bolland was born in Butterwick, Lincolnshire, to parents Albert "A. J." John, a fenland farmer, Lillie Bolland. He spent his "first 18 years" living "in a small village near Boston in the fens of Lincolnshire, England," but has "no memory of comics" much before the age of ten; when American comics began to be imported into England, c.1959, Bolland says that it "took a little while for me to discover them," but by 1960 he was intrigued by Dell Comics' Dinosaurus!, which fed into a childhood interest in dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes.
Comics including Turok, Son of Stone and DC Comics' Tomahawk soon followed, it was this burgeoning comics collection that would help inspire the young Bolland to draw his own comics around the age of ten with ideas such as "Insect League." He recalls that "uperheroes crept into my life by stealth," as he sought out covers featuring "any big creature that looked vaguely dinosaur-like, trampling puny humans." These adolescent criteria led from Dinosaurus! and Turok via House of Mystery to "Batman and Robin were being harassed by big weird things, as were Superman, Wonder Woman." Soon, family outings to Skegness became an excuse for the future artist to "trawl... round some of the more remote backstreet newsagents" for comics to store on an overflowing "bookcase I'd made in school woodwork especially."As early as 1962, aged 11, Bolland remembers thinking that "Carmine Infantino's work on the Flash and Gil Kane's on Green Lantern and the Atom had a sophistication about it that I hadn't seen."
He would cite Kane and Alex Toth as "pinnacle of excellence," alongside "Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, Sid Greene, Joe Kubert, Ross Andru, Mike Esposito, Nick Cardy and the under-rated Bruno Premiani," whose influences showed in his "early crude stabs at drawing comics." The young Bolland did not rate Marvel Comics as as DC, feeling the covers cluttered and the paper quality crude. His appreciation of the artwork of Jack Kirby, he says, only materialised much "through the eyes of a seasoned professional." He did however enjoy UK comics, including newspaper strips such as "Syd Jordan's Jeff Hawke David Wright's Carol Day, " and Valiant which featured "Eric Bradbury's Mytek the Mighty and Jesus Blasco's Steel Claw " Despite such a variety of inspirations, Bolland credits his eventual pursuance of art as a hobby and vocation to a primary school art teacher, who "evidently said all the right things to me."Growing up as "and only child in a house without culture,", he embraced the late 1960s pop culture explosion of "pirate radio stations, drug taking, psychedelia, "peace and love," "dropping out," the underground scene, Oz Magazine," and other aspects of hippy culture epitomised by underground comix such as Robert Crumb's Zap Comix.
Having taken both O-Level and A-Level examinations in art, Bolland spent five years at art school learning graphic design and Art history. Learning to draw comics, was "more a self-taught thing," with Bolland writing a 15,000-word dissertation in 1973 on Neal Adams – an "artist had never heard of." He would recall: It was during this time that I discovered the sheer range of comics and their history. All the British stuff I'd missed was there to be discovered. I found the American greats, Herriman, Alex Raymond and Winsor McCay... Noel Sickles, Milt Caniff, Roy Crane, had all, I discovered, put down the basic building blocks of our "Art form", and there were the Europeans... Moebius, Breccia; the Filipinos—Alex Niño, Nestor Redondo, Alfredo Alcala, all were inspirational. None of this stuff was to be found in the art schools. During my five years in three art schools I never learnt a single thing about comics from any of my tutors. Bolland studied graphic design at Norwich University of the Arts.
While at art school, Bolland drew and self-published a couple of fanzines and his work was published in British underground magazines Frendz, International Times and OZ. In 1971, his friend Dave Harwood "took his first step into printed mass production with his RDH Comix," for which Bolland provided a cover." In 1971, Time Out – an underground magazine reinventing itself into "the biggest weekly listings magazine in London" – gave Bolland his "first paid job" producing an illustration of blues guitarist Buddy Guy. While in Norwich, Bolland produced the first episodes of an adult Little Nemo in Slumberland parody entitled Little Nympho in Slumberland, when he moved to the Central School of Art and Design in London in 1973, he continued to produce Little Nympho strips for a 50-copy fanzine entitled Suddenly at 2-o-clock in the Morning, he contributed a smaller, strip entitled "The Mixed-Up Kid" to the Central School of Art's "college newspaper... the Galloping Maggot." In 1972, Bolland attended the British Comic Art Convention at the Waverley Hotel in London, met "a lot of the people who were key in the comics scene of the ti
Neal Adams is an American comic book and commercial artist known for helping to create some of the definitive modern imagery of the DC Comics characters Batman and Green Arrow. Adams was inducted into the Eisner Award's Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1998, the Harvey Awards' Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1999. Neal Adams was born June 1941 on Governors Island, New York City, he is Jewish. Adams attended the School of Industrial Art high school in Manhattan, graduating in 1959. After graduation in 1959, he unsuccessfully attempted to find freelance work at DC Comics, turned to Archie Comics, where he wanted to work on the publisher's fledgling superhero line, edited by Joe Simon. At the suggestion of staffers, Adams drew "three or four pages of the Fly", but did not receive encouragement from Simon. Sympathetic staffers nonetheless asked Adams to draw samples for the Archie teen-humor comics themselves. While he did so, Adams said in a 2000s interview, he unknowingly broke into comics: I started to do samples for Archie and I left my Fly samples there.
A couple weeks when I came in to show my Archie samples, I noticed that the pages were still there, but the bottom panel was cut off of one of my pages. I said,'What happened', they said,'One of the artists did this transition where Tommy Troy turns into the Fly and it's not good. You did this real nice piece so we'll use that, if it's OK.' I said,'That's great. That's terrific.' That panel ran in Adventures of the Fly #4. Afterward, Adams began writing, penciling and lettering humorous full-page and half-page gag fillers for Archie's Joke Book Magazine. In a 1976 interview, he recalled earning "$32.00 for a full page. That may not seem like a great deal of money, but at the time it meant a great deal to myself as well as my mothers... as we were not in a wealthy state. It was manna from heaven, so to speak." A recommendation led him to artist Howard Nostrand, beginning the Bat Masterson syndicated newspaper comic strip, he worked as Nostrand's assistant for three months drawing backgrounds at what Adams recalled as $9 a week and "a great experience".
Having "not left Archie Comics under the best of circumstances", Adams turned to commercial art for the advertising industry. After a rocky start freelancing, he began landing regular work at the Johnstone and Cushing agency, which specialized in comic-book styled advertising. Helped by artist Elmer Wexler, who critiqued the young Adams' samples, Adams brought his portfolio to the agency, which "didn't believe I had done those particular samples since they looked so much like Elmer Wexler's work, but they gave me a chance and... I stayed there for about a year". In 1962, Adams began his comics career in earnest at the Newspaper Enterprise Association syndicate. From a recommendation, writer Jerry Caplin, a.k.a. Jerry Capp, brother of Li'l Abner creator Al Capp, invited Adams to draw samples for Capp's proposed Ben Casey comic strip, based on the popular television medical-drama series. On the strength of his samples and of his "Chip Martin, College Reporter" AT&T advertising comic-strip pages in Boys' Life magazine, of his similar Goodyear Tire ads, Adams landed the assignment.
The first daily strip, which carried Adams' signature, appeared November 26, 1962. Adams continued to do Johnston & Cushing assignments during Ben Casey's 3 1/2-year run. Comics historian Maurice Horn said the strip "did not shrink from tackling controversial problems, such as heroin addiction, illegitimate pregnancy, attempted suicide; these were treated in soap opera fashion... but there was a touch of toughness to the proceedings, well rendered by Adams in a forceful, direct style that exuded realism and tension and accorded well with the overall tone of the strip". In addition to Capp, Jerry Brondfield wrote for the strip, with Adams stepping in occasionally; the ABC series, which ran five seasons, ended March 21, 1966, with the final comic strip appearing Sunday, July 31, 1966. Despite the end of the series, Adams has said the strip, which he claimed at different points to have appeared in 365 newspapers, 265 newspapers, 165 newspapers, ended "for no other reason that it was an unhappy situation": We ended the strip under mutual agreement.
I wasn't happy working on the strip nor was I happy giving up a third of the money to Bing Crosby Productions. The strip I should have been making twelve hundred a week from was making me three hundred to three-fifty a week. On top of that, I was not able to express myself artistically, but we left under fine conditions. I was offered a deal in which I would be paid so much a month if I would agree not to do any syndicated strip for anyone else, in order that I might save myself for anything they have for me to do. Adams' goal at this point was to be a commercial illustrator. While drawing Ben Casey, he had continued to do storyboards and other work for ad agencies, said in 1976 that after leaving the strip he had shopped around a portfolio for agencies and for men's magazines, "but my material was a little too realistic and not right for most. I left my portfolio in an advertising agency promising. In the meantime I needed to make some money... and I thought,'Why don't I do some comics?'" In a 2000s interview, he remembered the events differently, saying "I took to various advertising people.
I left it at one place
The New Gods are a fictional race appearing in the eponymous comic book series published by DC Comics, as well as selected other DC titles. Created and designed by Jack Kirby, they first appeared in February 1971 in New Gods #1; the New Gods are natives of the twin planets of New Apokolips. New Genesis is an idyllic planet filled with unspoiled forests and rivers and is ruled by the benevolent Highfather, while Apokolips is a nightmarish and ruined dystopia filled with machinery and fire pits and is ruled by the tyrannical Darkseid; the two planets were once part of the same world, a planet called Urgrund, but it was split apart millennia ago after the death of the Old Gods during Ragnarök. The characters associated with the New Gods are collectively referred to as "Jack Kirby's Fourth World". Kirby began the "Fourth World" in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133; the New Gods first appeared in New Gods #1 and Forever People #1. Another "Fourth World" title Mister Miracle was launched in April 1971.
Various New Gods, notably Darkseid, went on to interact with other denizens of the DC Universe. Kirby's production assistant of the time, Mark Evanier, remarked that: Folks forget but the New Gods saga was intended to be a limited series... There was no intention. After Jack's books started getting good sales figures, DC demanded that we keep them going and use guest stars like Deadman, which we were much against doing. So Kirby had this novel he was forever stuck in the middle of – he could never get to the last chapter.... You can spot the issues where Jack kind of gave up trying to advance the story of Darkseid and Orion and was marking time. If those books had been intended from the start to run indefinitely, they would have been done differently. New Gods #1 marks the first appearance of Orion and Metron, among others; the opening sequence alludes to the presence of the "Old Gods" and the "New Gods". In a "Young Gods of Supertown" back-up story in Forever People #5, the explorer Lonar retrieves a helmet from the rubble of what represents the last battle of the Old Gods.
Issue #7, "The Pact", sought to explain the backstory of the New Gods. Eleven issues were published before cancellation by the publisher. Published during this time were the Forever People and Mister Miracle series written and drawn by Kirby. Comics historian Les Daniels observed in 1995 that "Kirby's mix of slang and myth, science fiction and the Bible, made for a heady brew, but the scope of his vision has endured." In 2007, comics writer Grant Morrison commented "Kirby's dramas were staged across Jungian vistas of raw symbol and storm... The Fourth World saga crackles with the voltage of Jack Kirby's boundless imagination let loose onto paper." In 1976, the New Gods were featured in the last issue of 1st Issue Special. The issue featured a new, more mainstream superhero costume for Orion, which he would wear for the next few years, but failed to lead to a relaunch; that same year, Jenette Kahn became DC's new publisher and decided to revive the "Fourth World" lineup in 1977. The New Gods series relaunched in July 1977, with 1st Issue Special still a recent publication, it picked up where the storyline of that issue left off.
Although the title remained "The New Gods" in the indicia and retained its original numbering, launching with #12, the covers used the title "The Return of the New Gods". Gerry Conway wrote Don Newton providing the pencils; the series introduced the character Jezebelle. It was cancelled with issue #19 prior to the "DC Implosion", where a variety of market-related factors caused DC to cancel all of the titles launched the previous year; the final chapters of the series were published as backup features in the Adventure Comics #459–460 featured a climactic battle between Darkseid's forces and the New Gods, culminating in Darkseid's defeat and apparent "death." Conway said that he felt the finale he provided for the New Gods saga was inadequate, though he enjoyed working with Newton on the series. The New Gods met the Flash in Super-Team Family #15. Darkseid's "death" would be overturned in the New Gods' next appearance in Justice League of America #183–185; the three part storyline would tell of Darkseid's return to Apokolips and his scheme to destroy Earth-Two and teleport Apokolips into its place, so that he could conquer a new universe devoid of the New Gods.
The plan would be foiled by the combined power of the New Gods, the Justice League, the Justice Society. A reprint series, this volume packaged two issues apiece per single issue of the original 1971 series; the mini-series' final issue was intended to include a reprint of New Gods vol. 1 #11 and a new 24-page story which would conclude the series and end with both Darkseid and Orion dead. DC editors prevented Kirby from using his original intended ending. Kirby instead turned in a one-off story called "On the Road to Armagetto", rejected, due to the fact that it did not contain a definitive ending to the series. A 48-page new story called "Even Gods Must Die" was published in the sixth issue of the reprint series instead, which in turn served as a prologue for the upcoming The Hunger Dogs graphic novel, which DC editors greenlighted in order to conclude the series. Published as DC Graphic Novel #4, The Hunger Dogs was intended by Kirby and DC to serve as the end to the entire Fourth World saga.
The project was mired in controversy over Kirby's insistence that the series should end with the deaths of the New Gods, which clashed with DC's demands that
Nelson Alexander Ross is an American comic book writer/artist known for his painted interiors and design work. He first became known with the 1994 miniseries Marvels, on which he collaborated with writer Kurt Busiek for Marvel Comics, he has since done a variety of projects for both Marvel and DC Comics, such as the 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come, which Ross co-wrote. Since he has done covers and character designs for Busiek's series Astro City, various projects for Dynamite Entertainment, his feature film work includes concept and narrative art for Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, DVD packaging art for the M. Night Shyamalan film Unbreakable, he has done covers for TV Guide, promotional artwork for the Academy Awards and packaging design for video games, his renditions of superheroes have been merchandised as action figures. Ross' style has been said to exhibit "a Norman-Rockwell-meets-George-Pérez vibe", has been praised for its realistic, human depictions of classic comic book characters, his rendering style, his attention to detail, the perceived tendency of his characters to be depicted staring off into the distance in cover images has been satirized in Mad magazine.
Because of the time it takes Ross to produce his art, he serves as a plotter and/or cover artist. Comics Buyer's Guide Senior Editor Maggie Thompson, commenting on that publication's retirement of the Favorite Painter award from their CBG Fan Awards due to Ross' domination of that category, stated in 2010, "Ross may be the field's Favorite Painter, period. That's despite the fact that many outstanding painters are at work in today's comic books." Alex Ross was born in Portland and raised in Lubbock, Texas, by his minister father and his mother, Lynette, a commercial artist from whom he would learn many of the trademarks of his artistic style. Ross first began drawing at age three, was first influenced by superheroes when he discovered Spider-Man on an episode of the children's TV series The Electric Company, he would be influenced by comics artists such as John Romita Sr. Neal Adams, George Pérez and Bernie Wrightson, attempted to imitate Pérez' style when he did superhero work, Wrightson's when he did what he calls "serious" work.
By age 16, Ross discovered the realistic work of illustrators such as Andrew Loomis and Norman Rockwell, envisioned one day seeing such styles applied to comic book art. At age 17, Ross began studying painting at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where his mother had studied. During his years there, Ross discovered the work of other artists like J. C. Leyendecker and Salvador Dalí, whose "hyper-realistic quality", Ross saw, was not that far removed from that of comics, it was during this time. Ross graduated after three years. After graduating, Ross took a job at an advertising agency as a storyboard artist. Ross' first published comic book work was the 1990 five-issue miniseries, Terminator: The Burning Earth, written by Ron Fortier and published by NOW Comics. Ross created all of the art, from pencils through coloring for the series, he performed similar work on a variety of titles over the next few years. His first work for Marvel Comics was to have been printed in the science-fiction anthology series Open Space #5 but the title was cancelled with issue #4.
Ross' story was printed in 1999 as a special supplement to Wizard's Alex Ross Special. In 1993, he completed his first painted superhero assignment, the cover of a Superman novel, Superman: Doomsday & Beyond. During this time, Ross met writer Kurt Busiek, the two began submitting proposals for series that would feature paintings as their internal art. Marvel agreed to a project that would tell much of the history of the Marvel Universe from the perspective of an ordinary person; that limited series, was released in 1994, chronicled the life of a photojournalist, as he reacted to living in a world of superheroes and villains. Busiek and penciller Brent Anderson created Astro City, first published by Image Comics in 1995 and by WildStorm Comics; the series features an original superhero world and continues the theme of Marvels, exploring how ordinary people and villains react to a world where the fantastic is commonplace. Ross paints the covers and helps set the costumes and the general look and feel for the series, published sporadically in recent years.
In 1996, Ross worked with writer Mark Waid on the DC Comics limited series Kingdom Come, which presents a possible future for the DC Universe, in which Superman and several other classic superheroes return from retirement to tame a generation of brutal anti-heroes. The work featured Ross' redesigned versions of many DC characters, as well as a new generation of characters. Ross co-created the original character Magog, patterning his appearance and costume on Cable and Shatterstar, two characters created by Rob Liefeld. DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz observed that "Waid's deep knowledge of the heroes' pasts served them well, Ross' unique painted art style made a powerful statement about the reality of the world they built."Ross followed Kingdom Come with Uncle Sam, a non-superhero work for DC's Vertigo line, an experimental work that examined the dark side of American history. Ross drew the lenticular covers for Superman: Forever #1 and Batman: No Man's Land #1. Between 1998 and 2003, writer Paul Dini and Ross produced annual tabloid-sized editions celebrating the 60th anniversaries of DC Comics' Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, as well as two specials featuring the Justice League, Secret Origins and Liberty and Justice
A penciller is a collaboration artist who works in creation of comic books, graphic novels, similar visual art forms, with focus on primary pencil illustrations, hence the term "penciller". In the American comic book industry, the penciller is the first step in rendering the story in visual form, may require several steps of feedback with the writer; these artists are concerned with layout to showcase steps in the plot. A penciller works in pencil. Beyond this basic description, different artists choose to use a wide variety of different tools. While many artists use traditional wood pencils, others prefer mechanical drafting leads. Pencillers may use any lead hardness they wish, although many artists use a harder lead to make light lines for initial sketches turn to a softer lead for finishing phases of the drawing. Still other artists do their initial layouts using a light-blue colored pencil because that color tends to disappear during photocopying. Most US comic book pages are drawn oversized on large sheets of paper Bristol board.
The customary size of comic book pages in the mainstream American comics industry is 11 by 17 inches. The inker works directly over the penciller's pencil marks, though pages are inked on translucent paper, such as drafting vellum, preserving the original pencils; the artwork is photographically reduced in size during the printing process. With the advent of digital illustration programs such as Photoshop and more artwork is produced digitally, either in part or entirely. Jack KirbyFrom 1949 until his retirement, Jack Kirby worked out of a ten-foot-wide basement studio dubbed "The Dungeon" by his family; when starting with clean piece of Bristol board, he would first draw his panel lines with a T-square. Arthur AdamsArthur Adams begins drawing thumbnail layouts from the script he's given, either at home or in a public place; the thumbnails range in size from 2 inches x 3 inches to half the size of the printed comic book. He or an assistant will enlarge the thumbnails and trace them onto illustration board with a non-photo blue pencil, sometimes using a Prismacolor light-blue pencil, because it is not too waxy, erases easily.
When working on the final illustration board, he does so on a large drawing board when in his basement studio, a lapboard when sitting on his living room couch. After tracing the thumbnails, he will clarify details with another light-blue pencil, finalize the details with a Number 2 pencil, he drew the first three chapters of "Jonni Future" at twice the printed comic size, drew the fifth chapter, "The Garden of the Sklin", at a size larger than standard, in order to render more detail than usual in those stories. For a large poster image with a multitude of characters, he will go over the figure outlines with a marker in order to emphasize them, he will use photographic reference when appropriate, as when he draws things that he is not accustomed to. Because a significant portion of his income is derived from selling his original artwork, he is reluctant to learn how to produce his work digitally. Jim LeeArtist Jim Lee is known to use F lead for his pencil work. J. Scott CampbellArtist J. Scott Campbell does his pencil with a lead holder, Sanford Turquoise H lead, which he uses for its softness and darkness, for its ability to provide a "sketchy" feel, with a minimal amount of powdery lead smearing.
He uses this lead because it strikes a balance between too hard, therefore not dark enough on the page, too soft, therefore prone to smearing and crumbling. Campbell avoids its closest competitor. Campbell has used HB lead and F lead, he maintains sharpness of the lead with a Berol Turquoise sharpener, changing them every four to six months, which he finds is the duration of their grinding ability. Campbell uses a combination of Magic Rub erasers, eraser sticks, since he began to ink his work digitally, a Sakura electric eraser, he sharpens the eraser to a cornered edge in order to render fine detailed work. Travis CharestArtist Travis Charest uses 2H lead to avoid smearing, sometimes HB lead, he illustrated on regular illustration board provided by publishers, though he disliked the non-photo blue lines printed on them. By 2000, he switched to Crescent board for all his work, because it does not warp when wet, produces sharper illustrations, are more suitable for framing because they lack the non-photo blue lines.
Charest prefers not to employ preliminary sketching practices, such as layouts, thumbnails or lightboxing, in part due to impatience, in part because he enjoys the serendipitous nature in which artwork develops when produced with greater spontaneity. He prefers to use reference only when rendering objects that require a degree of real-life accuracy, such as guns, vehicles or characters of licensed properties that must resemble actors with whom they are identified, as when he illustrated the cover to Star Trek: The Next Generation: Embrace the Wolf in 2000. Adam HughesThe penciling process that artist Adam Hughes employs for his cover work is the same he uses when doing sketches for fans at conventions, with the main difference being that he does cover work in his sketchbook, before transferring the drawing to virgin art board with a lightbox, whereas he does convention drawings on 11 x 14 Strathmore bristol, as he prefers penciling on the rougher, vellum surface rather than smooth paper, preferring smoother paper only for brush inking.
He does preliminary undersketches with a lead holder, because he feels regular pencils get worn down to the nub too quickly. As he explained during a sketch demonstration at a comic book
Batman is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, first appeared in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Named the "Bat-Man," the character is referred to by such epithets as the Caped Crusader, the Dark Knight, the World's Greatest Detective. Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy American playboy and owner of Wayne Enterprises. After witnessing the murder of his parents Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne as a child, he swore vengeance against criminals, an oath tempered by a sense of justice. Bruce Wayne trains himself physically and intellectually and crafts a bat-inspired persona to fight crime. Batman operates in the fictional Gotham City with assistance from various supporting characters, including his butler Alfred, police commissioner Jim Gordon, vigilante allies such as Robin. Unlike most superheroes, Batman does not possess any inhuman superpowers, he does, possess a genius-level intellect, is a peerless martial artist, his vast wealth affords him an extraordinary arsenal of weaponry and equipment.
A large assortment of villains make up Batman's rogues gallery, including the Joker. The character became popular soon after his introduction in 1939 and gained his own comic book title, the following year; as the decades went on, differing interpretations of the character emerged. The late 1960s Batman television series used a camp aesthetic, which continued to be associated with the character for years after the show ended. Various creators worked to return the character to his dark roots, culminating in 1986 with The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller; the success of Warner Bros. Pictures' live-action Batman feature films have helped maintain the character's prominence in mainstream culture. Batman has been licensed and featured in various adaptations, from radio to television and film, appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel and video games. Kevin Conroy, Rino Romano, Anthony Ruivivar, Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood, Jason O'Mara, Will Arnett, among others, have provided the character's voice for animated adaptations.
Batman has been depicted in both film and television by Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck. In early 1939, the success of Superman in Action Comics prompted editors at National Comics Publications to request more superheroes for its titles. In response, Bob Kane created "the Bat-Man". Collaborator Bill Finger recalled that "Kane had an idea for a character called'Batman,' and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, he had drawn a character who looked much like Superman with kind of... reddish tights, I believe, with boots... no gloves, no gauntlets... with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings, and under it was a big sign... BATMAN"; the bat-wing-like cape was suggested by Bob Kane, inspired as a child by Leonardo Da Vinci's sketch of an ornithopter flying device. Finger suggested giving the character a cowl instead of a simple domino mask, a cape instead of wings, gloves. Finger said he devised the name Bruce Wayne for the character's secret identity: "Bruce Wayne's first name came from Robert Bruce, the Scottish patriot.
Wayne, being a playboy, was a man of gentry. I searched for a name. I tried Adams, Hancock... I thought of Mad Anthony Wayne." He said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's popular The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic-strip character with which Kane was familiar. Kane and Finger drew upon contemporary 1930s popular culture for inspiration regarding much of the Bat-Man's look, personality and weaponry. Details find predecessors in pulp fiction, comic strips, newspaper headlines, autobiographical details referring to Kane himself; as an aristocratic hero with a double identity, Batman had predecessors in the Scarlet Pimpernel and Zorro. Like them, Batman performed his heroic deeds in secret, averted suspicion by playing aloof in public, marked his work with a signature symbol. Kane noted the influence of the films The Mark of Zorro and The Bat Whispers in the creation of the character's iconography. Finger, drawing inspiration from pulp heroes like Doc Savage, The Shadow, Dick Tracy, Sherlock Holmes, made the character a master sleuth.
In his 1989 autobiography, Kane detailed Finger's contributions to Batman's creation: One day I called Bill and said,'I have a new character called the Bat-Man and I've made some crude, elementary sketches I'd like you to look at.' He came over and I showed him the drawings. At the time, I only had a small domino mask, like the one Robin wore, on Batman's face. Bill said,'Why not make him look more like a bat and put a hood on him, take the eyeballs out and just put slits for eyes to make him look more mysterious?' At this point, the Bat-Man wore a red union suit. I thought that black would be a good combination. Bill said that the costume was too bright:'Color it dark grey to make it look more ominous.' The cape looked like two stiff bat wings attached to his arms. As Bill and I talked, we realized that these wings would get cumbersome when Bat-Man was in action and changed them into a cape, scalloped to look like bat wings when he was fighting or swinging down on a rope, he didn't have any gloves on, we added them so that he wouldn't leave fingerprints.
Kane signed away ownership in
A graphic novel is a book made up of comics content. Although the word "novel" refers to long fictional works, the term "graphic novel" is applied broadly and includes fiction, non-fiction, anthologized work, it is distinguished from the term "comic book", used for comics periodicals. Fan historian Richard Kyle coined the term "graphic novel" in an essay in the November 1964 issue of the comics fanzine Capa-Alpha; the term gained popularity in the comics community after the publication of Will Eisner's A Contract with God and the start of Marvel's Graphic Novel line and became familiar to the public in the late 1980s after the commercial successes of the first volume of Art Spiegelman's Maus in 1986 and the collected editions of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen in 1987. The Book Industry Study Group began using "graphic novel" as a category in book stores in 2001; the term is not defined, though Merriam-Webster's full dictionary definition is "a fictional story, presented in comic-strip format and published as a book", while its simplest definition is given as "cartoon drawings that tell a story and are published as a book".
In the publishing trade, the term extends to material that would not be considered a novel if produced in another medium. Collections of comic books that do not form a continuous story, anthologies or collections of loosely related pieces, non-fiction are stocked by libraries and bookstores as "graphic novels"; the term is sometimes used to distinguish between works created as standalone stories, in contrast to collections or compilations of a story arc from a comic book series published in book form. In continental Europe, both original book-length stories such as La rivolta dei racchi by Guido Buzzelli, collections of comics have been published in hardcover volumes called "albums", since the end of the 19th century; as the exact definition of the graphic novel is debated, the origins of the form are open to interpretation. The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck is the oldest recognized American example of comics used to this end, it originated as the 1828 publication Histoire de M. Vieux Bois by Swiss caricaturist Rodolphe Töpffer, was first published in English translation in 1841 by London's Tilt & Bogue, which used an 1833 Paris pirate edition.
The first American edition was published in 1842 by Wilson & Company in New York City using the original printing plates from the 1841 edition. Another early predecessor is Journey to the Gold Diggins by Jeremiah Saddlebags by brothers J. A. D. and D. F. Read, inspired by The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck. In 1894 Caran d'Ache broached the idea of a "drawn novel" in a letter to the newspaper Le Figaro and started work on a 360-page wordless book. In the United States there is a long tradition of reissuing published comic strips in book form. In 1897 the Hearst Syndicate published such a collection of The Yellow Kid by Richard Outcault and it became a best seller; the 1920s saw a revival of the medieval woodcut tradition, with Belgian Frans Masereel cited as "the undisputed king" of this revival. His works include Passionate Journey. American Lynd Ward worked in this tradition, publishing Gods' Man, in 1929 and going on to publish more during the 1930s. Other prototypical examples from this period include American Milt Gross's He Done Her Wrong, a wordless comic published as a hardcover book, Une semaine de bonté, a novel in sequential images composed of collage by the surrealist painter Max Ernst.
Charlotte Salomon's Life? or Theater? Combines images and captions; the 1940s saw the launching of Classics Illustrated, a comic-book series that adapted notable, public domain novels into standalone comic books for young readers. In 1947 Fawcett Comics published Comics Novel #1: "Anarcho, Dictator of Death", a 52-page comic dedicated to one story. In 1950, St. John Publications produced the digest-sized, adult-oriented "picture novel" It Rhymes with Lust, a film noir-influenced slice of steeltown life starring a scheming, manipulative redhead named Rust. Touted as "an original full-length novel" on its cover, the 128-page digest by pseudonymous writer "Drake Waller", penciler Matt Baker and inker Ray Osrin proved successful enough to lead to an unrelated second picture novel, The Case of the Winking Buddha by pulp novelist Manning Lee Stokes and illustrator Charles Raab. Presaging Will Eisner's multiple-story graphic novel A Contract with God, cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman wrote and drew the four-story mass-market paperback Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book, published in 1959.
By the late 1960s, American comic book creators were becoming more adventurous with the form. Gil Kane and Archie Goodwin self-published a 40-page, magazine-format comics novel, His Name Is... Savage in 1968—the same year Marvel Comics published two issues of The Spectacular Spider-Man in a similar format. Columnist and comic-book writer Steven Grant argues that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's Doctor Strange story in Strange Tales #130–146, although published serially from 1965–1966, is "the first American graphic novel". Critic Jason Sacks referred to the 13-issue "Panther's Rage"—comics' first-known titled, self-contained, multi-issue story arc—that ran from 1973 to 1975 in the Black Panther series in Marvel's Jungle Action as "Marvel's first graphic novel". Meanwhile, in continental Europe, the tradition of collecting ser