Tag Archives: grant morrison

70 Aspects Of Batman: 32

JIRO KUWATA

From Wikipedia:

Jiro Kuwata (桑田二郎, Kuwata Jirō, alternatively 桑田次郎, born April 17, 1935 in Suita, Osaka) is a Japanese manga artist.

A gifted artist, Kuwata started out as a manga artist at the young age of 13, when he created The Strange Star Cluster (怪奇星団) in 1948. His turning point came in 1957, when he created Phantom Detective (まぼろし探偵) (which was adapted into a tokusatsu TV series in 1959). Since then, Kuwata devoted himself to creating science fiction/superhero adventures. His most famous was 8 Man, which he co-created with writer Kazumasa Hirai.

Unfortunately, in 1965, when he was to finish the final issue of 8 Man, he was arrested for possessing a handgun (he had contemplated suicide). With Kuwata in jail, co-creator Hirai got other manga artists to finish the final issue, but wasn’t satisfied with it. It was published in a manga magazine, but has never before been reprinted.

Nevertheless, Kuwata, released from prison shortly thereafter, continued his manga work well into the 1970s, but also ran into depression and alcoholism. In 1977, he had an epiphany and converted to Buddhism. He has since done beautiful art books about the life of Buddha. He also occasionally got back into manga work, and in 1992, he agreed to do his own version of the final issue of 8 Man, upon being asked by co-creator/friend Kazumasa Hirai.

Kuwata’s Batman work was published in Japan around the time of the huge hit TV show; like most manga adaptations of American superhero comics, its appeal seems to have been somewhat limited to the Japanese audience, and was largely unknown in the States until the publication of a compilation from a couple years ago, entitled Bat-Manga.

Bat-Manga was curated by Chip Kidd, noted graphic designer, author and Batman fan. There was a bit of a kerfluffle when the book was published because of the absence of a credit for Kuwata on the cover. While this was almost definitely an oversight, it remains an unfortunate error. Nevertheless, on its release, Kuwata finally received recognition for his work on the character; Grant Morrison even introduced the Kuwata characters Lord Death Man and Professor Gorilla to DC continuity in the initial Japan-centric arc of his Batman Inc. series.

And, since it’s from Japan, you get some amazing scenes like these:

– Greg

Thanks to the excellent ISB for several of the scans featured here.

10 YEARS AGO: 2001

MUSIC

The Strokes – Is This It

Weezer – Weezer a.k.a. The Green Album

Gorillaz – Gorillaz

Ryan Adams – Gold

The White Stripes – White Blood Cells

FILM

The Royal Tenenbaums (dir. Wes Anderson)

Ghost World (dir. Terry Zwigoff)

Mulholland Drive (dir. David Lynch)

Donnie Darko (dir. Richard Kelly)

Amelie (dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet)

COMICS

X-Men #114 marks the beginning of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s acclaimed run on the title.

Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Frank Miller’s sequel to his massively influential The Dark Knight Returns, begins its serialization.

X-Force #116 marks the beginning of Peter Milligan and Mike Allred’s acclaimed run on the title.

Marvel’s mature readers line Max Comics launches with Alias #1 by Brian Michael Bendis & Michael Gaydos.

Starman by James Robinson, Tony Harris and Peter Snejbjerg concludes with #80.

TV

The Office premieres on BBC 2, July 9, 2001.

– Greg

70 Aspects of Batman: 29

FRAZER IRVING

From Wikipedia:

Frazer Irving (born in the 1970s, Ilford, Essex) is a British comic book artist known for the 2000 AD series Necronauts. Since breaking into the American market he has worked on a number of superhero titles, including a number with Grant Morrison.


I love when artists who seem like they shouldn’t draw superhero comics draw superhero comics: I’d place Frazer Irving in that category. His art seems perfectly suited to atmospheric horror stories, so to see his style applied to Batman and Robin is to see two potent elements combine to make a much more potent whole.

Irving’s first work with Morrison was on Klarion, part of the latter’s Seven Soldiers megaseries. His first Morrison/Batman art appeared in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2, which saw the titular hero recast as a Puritan detective (see above) during his travels through the timestream.

He recently completed work on Morrison’s final arc of the Batman And Robin title he helped initiate. Irving was given ample space to display his gothic art on characters like Professor Pyg…

…Simon Hurt…

…and, of course, The Joker.

This may sound hyperbolic, but I think Irving’s Joker has for me quickly joined the highest echelon of Clown Prince depictions (Brian Bolland’s at #1). He looks so diseased and sinister. Let’s luxuriate in his Joker’s toxic glow:

– Greg

70 Aspects Of Batman: 25

CAMERON STEWART

From Wikipedia:

Cameron Stewart is an Eisner Award and Eagle Award -nominated and Shuster Award-winning Canadian comic book artist, who has worked for DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse Comics.

Stewart is best known for his work on Catwoman with writer Ed Brubaker, and Seaguy and Seven Soldiers: The Manhattan Guardian with writer Grant Morrison.

October 2006 saw the release of The Other Side, a miniseries about the Vietnam war illustrated by Stewart (and written by Jason Aaron), for which he travelled to Vietnam for research. The Other Side was nominated for an Eisner Award in the Best Limited Series category of 2007.

Along with Frank Quitely and Frazier Irving, Cameron Stewart has been one of Grant Morrison’s greatest collaborative foils over the last five years. In addition to their work together on  Seaguy and Manhattan Guardian, Stewart also recently drew an arc in Morrison’s Batman And Robin title. Stewart’s clean but kinetic style fit the three-part story like a glove, which detailed Dick Grayson’s efforts to resurrect Bruce Wayne with the help of Batwoman and The Knight & Squire, England’s answer to the Dynamic Duo.

Stewart also designed the Cowboy Batman that appeared in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4 and was set to illustrate the issue but was replaced, possibly due to the recent announcement that he will be the artist drawing Grant’s final Batman And Robin storyline.

I think Cameron’s a great artist…I highly recommend checking out his blog for more Batman-related stuff and other examples of his work. He’s also the artist and co-writer on the upcoming Assassin’s Creed comic which is coming out soon and may be of interest to some of the readers of this site (Matt).

G.

p.s. Sorry for the long gap between 70 AOB posts. I hope to get them going on a more regular basis. Thanks to everyone who stops by to read them. Meeting someone who actually reads them in person is what inspired me to get back on the horse. Thanks, Ronny!

p.s.s. Did I spell your name right?

DC launches new Earth One line of graphic novels

Speaking of Batman…

So DC’s giving the whole new reader-friendly line of comics another shot. This time it’s called Earth One. Can it succeed where All Star only partly failed (All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, I’m looking at you). Well, I don’t know either way, but find out more here!

G.

Wednesday Comics: 11/11/09

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This Wednesday there’s a lot of interesting stuff coming out, if you ask me. New comics by Morrison, Ellis and Azzarello. Steve Dillon’s return to the Punisher. And so forth. More details here.

G.

 

70 Aspects Of Batman: 10

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J.G. JONES

From Wikipedia:

J. G. Jones is an American comic book artist. Jones is best known for his work as cover artist on various comic book series, including a stint on Brian K. Vaughan‘s Y: The Last Man (Vertigo Comics), and, for DC Comics, the six-issue limited series Villains United written by Gail Simone, as well as all 52 covers for the maxi-series 52.

Jones’ interior art credits include: “Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia” (pencils only) written by Greg Rucka, Mark Millar‘s Wanted and Grant Morrison‘s (pencils and inks) published by Marvel Boy published by Marvel.

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J.G. Jones also provided covers for Wonder Woman over a lengthy amount of time, included the two Bat-centric ones pictured above. Below is one of his 52 covers featuring Bruce Wayne, actually the only one as that series was all about how the DC Universe handled the absence of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman over the course of a year.

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Recently, Jones reunited with his Marvel Boy collaborator Grant Morrison on the DC’s huge Final Crisis miniseries, handling both cover and interior duties (until deadline issues forced him to utilize fill-in artists starting with issue #4). Final Crisis featured pretty much every active DC Universe character, including Batman. It also featured…

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….Batman’s “death”. Spoiler.

But of course, Batman’s not dead. But the DCU thinks he is, so currently (as explained in the previous Frank Quitely post) Dick Grayson has taken up the mantle of the Bat. Jones has provided variant covers for all of the Batman titles for the month of June, two of which can be seen below.

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grant-morrison-introduces-batman-and-robin-variant-cover

JONES!!!

G.