Friday, April 30, 2010

Original Art Stories: Alan Kupperberg's 1992 Batman Submission

Clearly 1992 was a busy year for DC and Batman, and rightly so.  Tim Burton was releasing the second (and his last) in the relaunched Batman series, Batman Returns.  While not as good as his first effort, it as, well, interesting, and easily far superior to what came after until 2005's Batman Begins.  But what DC were doing was to approach a range of artists with the idea of redesigning Batman, obviously to keep the character more in line with the all black costume design that Burton had realised.

One of those artists was none other than my pal, Alan Kupperberg.  Says Alan, "Interesting to see Norm's Bat re-designs. I worked on that project too. Though I was happy to get the work, I could never understand why DC asked ME to pencil several pages featuring the black bat costume in action. I didn't have any serious professional connection to the character. And since any personal connection to the character was with the classic Batman, the assignment wasn't as much of a thrill as it might have been. But as I said, work is work and I was glad to get it and enjoyed doing it. And when DC was through with whatever they were doing they returned the artwork."

So, what you're seeing here are the two sample pages that Alan submitted to DC, and you're seeing them for the first time anywhere. Say what you will about Alan, and frankly a lot of what is said about him is not only unfair, but it's just plain inaccurate, but these pages show that a Kupperberg pencilled Batman book wouldn't have been a bad way to go really, and it'd have been a damn sight better than some of the material that's been published since.  Paired with the right inker it could have been a blast.  Certainly Alan captured the feel of the all black costume perfectly.  But, alas, it wasn't meant to be.  Still, it's never too late really.

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