Friday, March 23, 2012

Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Comic Book Pages (MAD Edition)!

Hey, guess what - Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season Two, Part Two is now available for purchase at your local retailer (and Season Three will be available June 19)! Which is just the event I've been waiting for to post my final inside look at the making of Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases! Remember, in this post, I promised a spoiler-filled look at Batboy and Rubin? Probably not. Either way, now that it's available on DVD, I don't have to worry about spoilers, so here it is.

A bit of backstory first - when we first mixed this episode, Sam Register had concerns that the teaser (the part with Batboy and Rubin) played a little slow. So we chopped about a minute out of the teaser, which left us a minute-long hole to fill, since we're required contractually to deliver the show at a particular length. So we put a few scenes that had been cut back into the Scooby section (everything with the ticket girl), added a couple drifting pans to the manga section, and created a framing sequence for the teaser, featuring a fake comic book starring Batboy and Rubin, which looked a little something like this -

The cover is drawn by Lynell Forestall, over a background from the show painted by Bill Dunn. The lettering here, and in all of the interior pages, is by Peter Girardi.

Once we get inside, all of the panels are screen captured from the teaser itself, because that's really all we had time to do at that point. I certainly would've loved to take a month or two and draw 9 pages of faux-Wally Wood, but it just wasn't meant to be.

So I laid these pages out, which are all from the animation Lotto did for us, based on storyboards by Bret Blevins and myself. I tried as much as possible to emulate the page layouts from the original story...

...but we had a few panels that had to match the ratio of a hi-definition television screen, since those were the panels we were trucking in and out of to transition between the show and the comic.

And yeah, I know that guy should be strung up by his neck, but Standards and Practices had a problem with that.

Peter also added a layer of texture to age the comic up somewhat - I think the coffee cup stain was a nice touch, although I'm sure it lowers the value of our nonexistent comic to Fair or even worse.

The astute reader might also notice that our stand-in comic has some pacing issues - partly, it's a natural side effect of adapting a seven page comic into a nine page simulacrum thereof...

...partly, too, it's a result of not spoiling the vampire reveal at the end.

By the last page, the pacing is positively glacial - it's almost like we were planning a multi-part story to be collected in a longer trade. But of course, no one making a real comic book would ever let their pacing get shot all to hell just to pad a story out to six issues.

Any ways, there you have it - our fake Batboy comic. It doesn't work so great as a comic by itself, but flipping by for a few seconds, I think it works pretty well, and it was a lot of fun to make. And you can use it to read along with the episode, now available on DVD!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

In other news...

Today I just wrapped a project I still can't talk about, because it hasn't been announced by Warner Brothers. But rest assured that this unnanounced project, of unspecified length, will sooner or later be available for purchase or rental or viewing in some as-of-yet-undesignated format or medium. So look for it at an undisclosed store, network, website or theatre near or far from you!

Here's a sneak preview -

DC Nation

So here's what I've been doing instead of updating my blog - working on shorts for a brand new block of superhero shows for Cartoon Network called DC Nation.

The shorts with the cheerful little plasticine heroes are of course by the geniuses at Aardman Studios - in this case, the specific genius is director Rich Webber. Here's a peek at a short I directed myself, starring some some familiar faces (and voices) -

These "previews" are more than half the length of the actual shorts, so I guess they should have had spoiler alerts. Sorry! This next one, by Andy Suriano, has already aired, so check it out -

This short, which is actually cut from a longer short made years ago by David Production in Japan (directed by Toshiaki Hontani, produces by Koji Kajita and Taito Okiura), will be airing this Saturday, so if it's not already too late, spoiler warning!

So I'll try to be better about updating this blog with DC Nation stuff, but mostly I've been dumping it onto my tumblr or tweeting about it, so for the full picture, you might want to check those out too.