ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Batman Anime

I've worked on several Batman properties for Warner Bros Animation, and when they announced that this japanese style anime version of Batman was coming out to bridge the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight I was both excited by the idea and disappointed that I wasn't asked to help at all.

I really wanted to like this.

BATMAN GOTHAM KNIGHT is actually a series of six short films which tell a single longer narrative, and as stated above, drawn in a definite Manga/Anime style.

The first story was my favorite, but I can hear the fanboys crying out over this art style. It's got a very European flair to it much like The Triplets of Belleville. It's written by Josh Olson and it is a story we have seen twice times before this, a group of kids tell what they think Batman is really like after each has an encounter with him.

It was done first in the comics in the 1970s as a short story by Denny O'Neil and Dick Giordano, then adapted into the Bruce Timm Batman TAS in which they strayed from the original and presented different comic book styles of Batman.

This time they stayed truer to the source material, as one kid sees Batman as a monster, another as a guy in Iron Man gear and the third as some kind of Man Bat. The art is quirky and interesting and the animation is fluid and beautiful.

Batman Begins and Blade writer David Goyer's contribution "In Darkness Dwells", where Batman takes on the Scarecrow and Killer Croc was enjoyable and well done and Brian Azarello's "Working Through Pain" looked beautiful but had very weak storytelling.

The remaining adventures are Anime drek; and probably examples of why those of us who hate most anime hate it. Bad art and weak animation. Beautiful backgrounds do not a good piece of animation make.

Look at Howls Moving Castle or Spirited Away for examples of Anime which works.