Friday, September 7, 2012

The Joker's Crime Costumes

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"The Joker's Crime Costumes" from Batman vol.1 #63 (National, 1951) by Bill Finger, Dick Sprang and Charles Paris

Where to go for a Batman splash? Volume 1 lasted a good 715 issues (I'm counting numbers 0 and 1M) and 26 Annuals, after all. So how about Dick Sprang, who, as you can see, had to sign Bob Kane through much of his career (I don't know how much of an honor it was to be Kane's "favorite ghost"). But as primary artist on Batman over the character's first 20 years, his contribution is huge. Redesigned the Batmobile to something we'd equate with that car today, designed the Riddler, and plenty more besides. This splash is also a reminder that Batman stories used to be like this, silly and strange and pop art. Certainly, the Brave and the Bold cartoon show owed a lot to Sprang and to this era of Batman comics.

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