Saturday, October 16, 2010
Bat-Maloy & Robin Jr. In What’s Left of Bob Kane Issue #1
By Rv. Xen
I spend a lot of time thinking about the design and physical aspects of my zines. What size do I want them to be? How do I want them to open? Do I want to give them ridiculous fold outs (some of my map zines require way too much folding)?
So with this stuff running through my mind all the time one of the things I think about when I read other people’s work is their design choices, and when I come across books like this I’m just confused. I’m actually willing to give a lot of leeway on these things (“Hahaha,” you say. “Pull the other one you egotistical, judgemental person.”), and in this case the way the book is stapled and the fact that none of the pages are the same size would usually turn me off. But the art is full of ink blotches and is purposefully scratchy and weird looking, so the fact that the book is kind of haphazard actually fits quite well.
The thing I don’t get, however, is that all the pages are single sided. I don’t get it. The stapling? Yeah, sure, Xen just didn’t have access to 11 x 17 paper to cut into the size needed for this book. But printing things on both sides of the page isn’t that hard. (Do you need help? Ask me!)
Onto the contents! Bat-Maloy is just Batman. He dresses like Batman, he drives a Batmobile, he has a sidekick named Robin (though in this case they appear to also be lovers). There’s not really anything in the way he acts in this comic to differentiate him from the regular Batman. Sure the art does, but there are a million different artistic impressions of Batman, and when Bob Kane’s disembodied head shows up it even mistakes Bat-Maloy for Batman.
(Bob Kane, for those that don’t know, is credited as the sole creator of Batman. He’s really not, here’s an insanely long piece I haven’t read all of on the other people involved in Batman’s creation.)
The art style here sort of reminds me of Ralph Steadman (though maybe it’s just the ink splotches), while the huge, pointy cowl ears and massive cape really point towards Kelly Jones as the inspiration for the Batman-like character’s costume. (I’m a little depressed that it is only when a comic is a Batman parody can I talk about the art influences. Oh well.)
By the end of the issue the story hasn’t really gone anywhere and I’m left wondering what the plot is even about.