Looks like it’s Batman Week here at Literary Conceits, as we dip into the mailbag for a question from Rich in Ocala, Florida:
“Found your page through your review of the Ten Cent Plague, and I really liked your recent posts about Batman. As a fellow comics nerd, I’ve gotta ask: What do you collect, and how big is your collection? Any particular favorite Batman writers, artists, or stories? Always glad to read a fellow Batfan. Keep up the good work!”
Thanks, Rich. Let me see if I can cover all your questions:
The bulk of my Batman collection consists mainly of three titles: Batman, Detective Comics, and the first incarnation of Brave and the Bold. My Batman run is probably my most impressive, as I’ve got a straight run from issue #120 (December 1958) to #555 (June 1998), with a good number of issues from the 1940s and early 1950s, including this gem from 1957, featuring Batman Jones, who is not me:
My Detective run covers much the same period, though with a few gaps early in the run. As for Brave and the Bold, I was only interested in it once it became the regular Batman team-up book at issue #75 (October 1967). You had to love B&B — only there could you see such bizarre team-ups like this classic from March 1974:
As far as favorite Batman writers, artists, and stories, I’ve always been a sucker for the art of Jim Aparo, who did nearly every issue of Brave and the Bold (as well as most Batman covers in the late 1970s/early 1980s) and for the stories penned by Steve Englehart for Detective Comics in 1977-78. When I wrote for a Batman fanzine back in the late 1980s, I actually had the chance to interview Steve Englehart, and he was still pretty proud of his run on Detective Comics (though even a decade later, he was still annoyed that writer Gerry Conway had brought back the character of Hugo Strange after he had done a thorough job of killing him off).
What’s that you say? Geek check?