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 Posted:   May 10, 2010 - 8:22 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

THE SECRET OF THE LAUGHING FISH is considered a late 70's Batman classic. I believe it's reprinted in the softcover BATMAN IN THE SEVENTIES.

It's also included in the GREATEST JOKER STORIES EVER TOLD, which I also have.

I loved Batman in the '70s...early '80s--up to '84 wasn't bad, either.

I started reading BATMAN in mid 1963 as a first grader when he was on the verge of cancellation; I saw the 1964 NEW LOOK appear (and I loved it) in second grade, and was there when the 1966 TV series turned the character into a buffoon in fourth grade. I was a stout fan, though, followed the character through the Neal Adams rebirth well into the late 70's.

My Batman artist of choice is Jim Aparo, but there have been so many great ones...

In the 1964-1966 early NEW LOOK I was crazy about Carmine Infantino's take on the character. I had always loved his work on THE FLASH and ADAM STRANGE. By the early 70's, Adams and Aparo were the best.

 Posted:   May 10, 2010 - 8:24 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

The distinctive way Aparo drew Bats' head is the giveaway to his style:

 Posted:   May 11, 2010 - 12:26 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Speaking of Fairly Unanimous Acclaim

(not hollow hype)

Did these two

deliver the ‘definitive’

take with this unforgettable tale?

[ By the beautiful bye, Gent, ya got your wish – ol’ Patch is now truly well and accounted fer! wink ]

 Posted:   May 12, 2010 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

In 1989 or thereabouts, in a teenaged bout of childhood nostalgia, I purchased a second printing of THE KILLING JOKE and I knew that this tale was an instant classic. There's a line by the Joker that goes something like "We're all just one bad day away from being just as crazy as me." The line's sentiment stuck with me...

BTW, anyone who was an avid comics reader in the late-'70s/early '80s will no doubt remember T.M. Maple aka "The Mad Maple" who was a prolific letter writer in both DC and Marvel books:

 Posted:   May 12, 2010 - 10:32 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Oh, and speaking of

It’s 1967 run, courtesy of the classy kick-ass kreative collaboration between writer Gardner Fox

and artist Murphy Anderson

was one of the few DC outings of the tyme that not only rivaled but equaled the best of the Marvel Bullpen.

Mr. Fox’s conceptual intelligence was always of a high order where DC’s most venerable writers were concerned, and here he really went to town (and the galaxy), admirably aided and abetted by Mr. Anderson’s always-striking artwork.

It’s a high priority to retrieve those coveted issues (for the first time in well over 40 years) – not least because it’s a continuing testament to the definitive behind-the-scenes editing wizardry of someone else too long overdue for titled tribute,

 Posted:   Sep 3, 2010 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Their Most Influential Comics of the 1980s Department:

 Posted:   Sep 3, 2010 - 9:45 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

My buddy Jerry Ordway! He lives pretty close to me, even goes to the same comic shop I do.

 Posted:   Sep 3, 2010 - 10:58 PM   
 By:   Odlicno   (Member)

My buddy Jerry Ordway! He lives pretty close to me, even goes to the same comic shop I do.

Jeez, flashback. I remember reading this when i was 13 and on a family holiday in Wales!

 Posted:   Sep 6, 2010 - 12:20 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

The DC "Implosion" of 1978---remember?

 Posted:   Sep 6, 2010 - 2:03 PM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

One of my all time favourites for Batman:
Ernie Chan who used to be Ernie Chua, changed it legally when he became a US citizen in 1976.

He more than anyone else brought to life that which fascinates me in 70s US stuff. It breathes the atmos of "Kojak" and "Kolchak". The brick buildings, the mix of 70s with Victorian imposing class.
He also drew for the most interesting stories of the entire Batman existense. All new opponents instead of that endless fearsome foursome drivel. He stands very very very highly in my significant contribution to the best things of my youth.

Jose Garcia Lopez

Together with Ernie Chan, he made the ultimate magic.
He draws the most beautiful Batman of all; full stop; period; no discussion; hands down. Jose is to Batman what John Romita Sr. is to Spider-man.

Dick Giordano

To me he's also very important. I got in contact with his work in the 80s and I really love his fresh well defined drawing style. It has great class.

Finally Don Newton and Gene Colan.
Their work is associated to me with very special times in my past. Not necessarily the most beautiful drawings but they have a special place.

To me Batman never was better than the 70s and the first half 80s.

The last 15 years it's just pretentious dross one imitating the other and all doing the same.


 Posted:   Sep 6, 2010 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

To me Batman never was better than the 70s and the first half 80s.

So true, Disco Stu! cool

It's amazing the quality of artists that made their mark on Batman in the 1970s-early '80s. I've already gone on record as saying that Jim Aparo is my all-time favorite, but Dick Giordano, Marshall Rogers, Newton & Alcala and though a bit before my time, Neal Adams, have all been tremendous. You could even say that Batman has as many great artists in his history as he does notable members of his rogues gallery.

Didn't know that Don Newton died in 1984. frown

As for Batman scribes, Doug Moench, who also spent ten glorious years writing Master of Kung-Fu (which I've been posting about at length), is another Batman talent whose work was an inspiration to me.

 Posted:   Sep 6, 2010 - 3:42 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Speaking of Marshall Rogers:

 Posted:   Sep 6, 2010 - 7:23 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

If you like DC, check out this video.....

 Posted:   Sep 7, 2010 - 5:02 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

If you like DC, check out this video.....

That's Mark Hamill-as-The Joker, isn't it?

The plot reminds me of an early series of Grant Morrison-written JLA issues, only it was Darkseid, not Brainiac.

 Posted:   Sep 7, 2010 - 7:25 AM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

Yep. Hamill also did Joker for the Arkham Asylum game.

 Posted:   Sep 7, 2010 - 8:24 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

In Appreciation: Department:

Le, give him our admiring best, wouldja? smilewinksmile

 Posted:   Sep 19, 2010 - 6:29 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

In 1995, Batman got ghoulish.

1985: I quit buying comics.

1997: I come back, albeit briefly, amid the wonderfully bizarre and downright ghoulish run (#515-552) of Doug Moench--there's that man again--and Kelley Jones, whose twisted vision of The Dark Knight and Gotham got me interested in contemporary comics--briefly--once more. By mid 1998, there were too many crossover storylines and I bowed out of new comics...for good but not before collecting the entirety of this period of Batman history.

Yet I still enjoy the Moench-Jones run on BATMAN. It's as dark a vision of the legend as we ever got this side of Frank Miller. Issue #539 is my favorite, where Batman's case of a graverobber who constructs works of "art" from the remains he steals. It manages to be creepy and in the tradition of great horror tales, yet it all comes down to Bruce Wayne's origin and it's my favorite Batman story.

"It is a mark of DC’s criminally insane policy of collecting series that none of these issues are in a trade paperback. That will probably never change, but the issues shouldn’t be that hard to find nor too expensive. This is the kind of comic that looks like it will be too bizarre for the average superhero fan but because it’s Batman, the fans of “cooler” books won’t pick it up. That’s unfortunate, because even though it stars one of the pillars of the DC Universe, it gets under your skin and takes you places most superhero books won’t go. Jones’ utterly unique vision of Batman and his world, along with Moench’s twisted take on reality and what it means to have power and abuse it, make this a series of comic books that makes you think and makes you ponder and stays with you long after you have read them."

 Posted:   Sep 24, 2010 - 4:29 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Something else I enjoy in the Kelley Jones-drawn Batman comic is the coloring process. Just read the Scarecrow two-parter (#523-524) and I like how panels are often dominated with a single color. There's a sequence at story's end, as Bats is putting away the Scarecrow, colored in a brilliant yellow. There's also a red series when the villain is terrorizing his victim, a chldhood bully...hard to blame the poor guy for lashing out. How's that for sympathy for the devil? wink

Back in '97, I thought that this run of the book would eventually be held in high regard. I'm sure it'll at least garner cult-like status.

 Posted:   Sep 26, 2010 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   Will-EL   (Member)

Great to see some comic book fans here!.

Some of my favourites Batman: Bloodstorm, The Watchmen, The Death Of Superman, World Without A Superman, The Return Of Superman, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One, The Knightfall books havent read them in years, V For Vendetta also a great read.

I have always wanted to read Hellblazer and Swampthing.

Superman Godfall one of my favourites, Superman In The Name Of Gog and Superman Wrath Of Gog also awsome reads.

Frank Millers 300 also a must for any Miller fans!.

 Posted:   Sep 28, 2010 - 6:23 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I continue my '90s Batman reading with "The Deadman Connection", a three-part story that has Bats and Deadman--whose sense of humor makes this a lot of fun--heading to Peru to take on modern-day Conquistadores who're pillaging descendants of the Inca.

It's much better than I describe it. wink

Kelley Jones and John Beatty are a formidable art team. The sequences with Batman and the Incan wise man are both profound and funny with a fantastic coloring job--gold for the mystic with a sense of humor. He's kind of a Chief Dan George type from Outlaw Josey Wales. Moench was concerned that the experimental full-page with dialogue down the middle would be oft-putting to some readers but I thought it was clever and inspired.

Considering the gothic approach of this run, there's some wildly-humorous content--and it's intentional.

I hope this run eventually earns its place as one of the most interesting Batman eras. I loved it from the get-go and am pleased that it's gaining some fans. Hard to believe it's been nearly fifteen years since this one started. It dawned on me that these books might qualify as childhood nostalgia for some FSM posters! Man, even I'm getting old...

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