Around the World with Batman: The World - Part 1
"Comics are for everyone".
This is a creed that we at DC take very seriously and that we strive to keep in mind with everything we publish. And it's an easy principle to stick to because history and the world around us have demonstrated it demonstrably. Each culture around the world engages in its own way in the narrative medium of sequential art, with its own unique modes of expression. Wherever you go in the world, you will find comics. Those comics may look and feel different than what you may be familiar with, but each of these international traditions represents the limitless potential of what comics can do.
Insieme a Batman: The world, DC is bringing this idea to audiences like never before, uniting artists from fourteen different nations to offer their perspective on the world's most famous superhero, Batman. Over the next few days on DCComics.com, we'll be providing a complementary guide to the different countries you'll see represented in this anthology: their history with comics, their contributions to DC in particular, and some background on the creators you'll see on display in this anthology. new graphic novel. We hope you are ready to travel as it is a beautiful day to see the world.
The United States of America
Our journey begins with a taste of home: the birthplace of DC Comics and the nation that gave the “Justice League of America” its name. The pioneers of the comic industry as we know it such as Jerry Siegel, Bob Kane and Bill Finger, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Steve Ditko and Stan Lee all started in the American comic scene that emerged along with the bound magazine form that DC still uses in the 30s.
Like many products of the twentieth century American industrial boom, perhaps what defines American comics is the assembly line approach to manufacturing. Under major publishing houses, each stage of production often requires its own dedicated specialist: a writer, a draftsman, an inker, a colorist, a letterer, and an editor to ensure that the baton passes all smoothly. The genre of "superheroes" was born in the United States. And nearly a century after its inception, superhero stories that were first defined in comics have established a dominant presence in all forms of media. And it all started here, with four colors and twenty pages.
Representing the "home team" so to speak in Batman: The world is the creative duo pushing the boundaries of Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, whose work together on titles like 2008 Joker and the Black Label launch series Batman: Damned has constantly moved the needle on how we perceive Batman and his world. And as the authors of this ambitious anthology, they are an ideal team to take the Dark Knight globally.
One half of the Bands dessinées scene, includes some of the talents that France brought into the DC Universe You brought me the ocean artist Jul Maroh, the Superman: Metropolis The author of the Elseworlds trilogy Jean-Marc L'officier, DC Comics bombs artist Marguerite Sauvage, Injustice: Gods among us the inker Julien Hugonnard-Bert and co-creator of the timeless Vertigo series the man of sand, Mike Dringenberg.
Some of the greatest and most well-known comics of all ages have emerged through adventure and story-driven culture around the Franco-Belgian comics supply chain, a duality of comics published in France that has captured children's imaginations for generations. The adventures of Tintin, The Smurfs, Asterix and Obelix e Lucky Luca they are all products of French comic culture, legendary titles that continually grow over the decades under the auspices of a single creator or creative team. Desired bands, or "drawn stripes", first found popularity in French-speaking territories in the 60s and typically emphasize exploration and discovery of the unknown in balance with visual humor, in contrast to the more American battle good versus evil.
Representing France in Batman: The world is Thierry Martin, a Franco-Lebanese artist who gained notoriety through his serial work Dernier soufflé, a daily black and white western comic on Instagram. He is joined by writer Matthieu Gabella, perhaps best known for his biographical work on important historical figures such as Charles de Gaulle and graphic novel adaptations of great literary works such as the book by Jules Verne The mysterious island. Here, he will take on a different kind of literary icon.
Il comics Spanish culture has been very, very kind to DC, granting us some of the best artists of the current era. Name your top five active DC artists, and there's a good chance at least two of them have emerged from the Spanish scene. by Batman Jorge Jiménez, Nightwing's Bruno Redondo, Action Comics Mikel Janin, The Joker Guillem March, also dating back to José Luis García-López in the Bronze Age, who codified the entire look and feel of the DC universe with his internal style guide, Spanish artists have been among the leaders in the bullpen of DC for decades.
Although visual storytelling through art dates back to medieval Spain, comics as we know them were largely banned for most of the 1940th century as a product of the Spanish Civil War in XNUMX. To find an audience in a highly controlled culture, which comics existed in Spain emphasized historical fiction such as that represented by the Middle Ages Captain Trueno, or "Captain Thunder". The fall of Generalissimo Franco in 1975 eased cultural restrictions, allowing for a new wave of more mature comics, often horror-themed such as vampire e Negro Dossier, and even the occasional superhero title as absurd as Superlopez. Making up for lost time in the art form, the Spanish Ministry of Culture has made efforts to encourage the production of Spanish comics since 2007, but as in many territories, the most successful Spanish comics on the scene today are typically web-based.
Representing Spain in Batman: The world is the writer / artist Paco Roca, creator of the comic Wrinkles (or, Wrinkles) which was adapted into a big movie in 2011. His work is heavily steeped in Spanish culture, which suits him perfectly as an ambassador of Spanish comics for Batman readers.
Italian comics, or comic books, they are better known for incorporating photography into their work than hand drawn art, but that doesn't mean the culture hasn't produced some great comic artists as well. Starfire, Supergirl e Wonder Woman artist Emanuela Lupacchino, Vertigo-era Swamp thing e Hellblazer artist Giuseppe Camuncoli, Joker: Killer Smile's Andrea Sorrentino, and also Patrol of fate e Young Titans co-creator Bruno Premiani comes from Italy. The same was true of Vince Coletta, inker and regular partner of Jack Kirby, who was DC's chief art director in the late 70s.
Comic magazines in Italy are an even older tradition than in the United States, making their debut on newsstands as early as 1908. Aimed primarily at children, comics features parodic footage on topics such as math and language, which any schoolchild could relate to. For a while, comics the magazines featured Italian translations of popular American strips, but the rise of the fascist movement in Italy prohibited most foreign works from pervading their culture as comics were enlisted as a propaganda tool. Seething with political intent, the counterculture of Italian comics developed around harsh criticism of the fascist government and its figureheads. The postwar rise of the "spaghetti western" genre also left behind a trail of original Italian western comics, such as Coconut Bill e Tex Willer. But as a politically charged medium within Italian culture, comics in Italy were prepared for the underground comix boom of the 70s, which has continued to lead the direction of Italian comic feature films to this day. That is the rise of a certain cartoon mouse known locally as "Mickey Mouse" who had managed to maintain a significant presence in Italy throughout the XNUMXth century even in the years of Mussolini. (Out here, we call him "Mickey".)
Representing Italy in Batman: The world is — and trust me, it's not an exaggeration — the dream team of writer Alessandro Bilotta and artist Nicola Mari. The duo is best known for their work in the international blockbuster and long-running Italian serial dark fantasy series Dylan Cane, whose main character is a paranormal investigator and a kind of social critic whose closest DC analog is perhaps John Constantine. Hmm… now there is a crossover waiting to happen.
The German original comic market is not as large as that of other major European cultural centers, accounting for only a small percentage of the nation's printed material. Translations of American and Franco-Belgian comics are much more important in the Germanic territories. However, Germany has produced a number of incredible talent for DC, such as Silver Age artist Superman Kurt Schaffenberger, Golden Age artist Otto Feuer who helped define DC's "Funny Animal" period, Paul Reinman, who drew many of the early adventures of Wonder Woman, Wildcat and Starman, and Tajana Wood, the prolific and talented colourist of the DC Silver and Bronze Age who defined the wide DC color palette. (You can see some of his greatest works on display in the animal man it is original Swamp thing comics.)
It was difficult for the comic book boom to find a foothold in 20th-century Germany, due to a general ban on the art form by Nazi law enforcement. After the fall of the Nazi regime, "Funny Animal" comics of anthropomorphic creatures of the woods engaging in human misadventures became popular in the country, such as Fix and Foxi. Detective strips like Nick Knatterton they also began to appear in German newspapers. But political cartoons aside, comics remained the exclusive domain of German children until the 80s. It was then that the countercultural indie movement began to violate German cultural boundaries and magazines such as Moga Mobo and Switzerland Strapazin began dictating the terms of the mature comic movement, as it was, in Germany. Most notable in particular is Comicforum, a German platform for discussing comics that launched in the early 21st century and has done much of the heavy lifting to bring Germany into global comic book culture today.
Representing Germany in Batman: The world is writer Benjamin von Eckartsburg and artist Thomas von Kummant, the creative team behind the inventive post-apocalyptic graphic novel of 2019 GUNG HO.
As you read Batman: The World, We hope you take a moment to consider not only the talent of these amazing creative teams, but also the different cultures that have contributed to each of their perspectives. And we're not even close to the end. Please join us tomorrow as we continue our tour through Europe and Central Asia, and then finally we will shed some light on our teams from Latin America and East Asia. The world awaits us!
Batman: The World is now available in bookstores, comic shops, libraries and on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE. Purchase a free chapter at your favorite comic store or digital retailer on Batman Day this weekend!
Alex Jaffe is the author of our monthly “Ask the Question” column and writes about TV, movies, comics and superhero history for DCComics.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexJaffe and find it in the DC community as HubCityQuestion.