Jonathan Case Talks Batman ’66: Being Retro And Capturing The Actor’s Likeness
Batman ’66 was only announced a few days ago, but fans of the classic Batman series are already pretty excited about the comic based on the show. Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case will be teaming up as the new dynamic duo to bring readers the first several issues of the series that will see Batman and Robin tackling the shows famous villains as well as some of Batman‘s other rogues re-imagined in the classic series’ style. We were lucky enough to get a few questions in with writer Jeff Parker about the story a few days ago, and now we are honored to speak with the series’ artist- Jonathan Case. The artist touched on capturing the TV actor’s likenesses for the comic as well as how the project with Parker is coming along.
So the announcement about Batman ’66 got a lot of people excited. Could you talk a little bit about what you know about how that came to be and how you came on board to do art for the first three stories?
Jeff pitched it to me himself last summer, knowing I love all things retro. When I said ‘yes’, he was the one that promoted me to DC (I haven’t done superhero books before). A lot of my comics (Dear Creature, especially) are set in the same era as the Batman TV show, so it was a very natural fit.
The few pieces of your art we’ve seen showing off the series features Batman, Robin, and some of the baddies. You seem to capture the vibe of the show perfectly (down to Romero’s mustache). Have you been going back and watching episodes or doing anything else special to prep for the comic?
I have! Sometimes I’ll work with the show on in the background. And character reference for a project like this is a huge part of the job… You’re not just drawing the Riddler, you’re drawing the Gorshin Riddler, so you have to study his likeness and his Acting (capital ‘A’).
You have a great style and really nail the whole retro feel. Was that one of the big draws for you, to draw Batman and kind of put your own spin on one of the most retro things you can think of?
Retro is definitely in my wheelhouse. I also love comedy. I want to do more all-ages stuff, and Jeff’s the ultimate partner for that sort of thing: he loves retro, he’s hilarious, and he wants to share comics with his kids. I couldn’t say no to that.
I asked Jeff Parker this question and I want to put it to you: what are your thoughts as you start getting scripts from him? What’s the creative process like as you guys get cracking on the book?
It’s been really natural and easy so far. He knows my strengths, and I encourage him in the good ideas he puts out, so I think we’re working to please. It’s a happy situation. That’s good, because he sits one desk down from me at the studio. If this goes wrong I don’t know WHAT we’ll do.
He also said that the comic will have new things happening and will be as if the show had an unlimited budget. Is there anything you can tease about the story or how big you’ll be going with that “unlimited budget?”
Holy Unbelievable Bat-Stunts!
Will we get all the Kapow! Biff! Pow! action scenes? I bet you can have a lot of fun throwing those in?
We saw some of your work showing off Catwoman, Riddler, and the Joker, but are there any of the other TV series rogues that you’d like to get to use? Do you have a particular favorite?
Well, part of the fun is getting to inhabit these actors for a few days. I love Vincent Price, so Egghead would be all fine by me!
Our thanks to Mr. Case for sharing some insights on the art side of the book. Be sure to check out his website (by clicking here) to keep up with everything he is working on. From the character pieces we’ve seen from Case for the series, he looks to have absolutely nailed all the major players. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the book looks like and how well he handles all the Biff! Bam! Pow! action sequences. Seeing how egg-cited everyone has been about Batman ’66 really proves the show’s longevity and hopefully gets us closer to the long awaited DVD release. Plus it’s no secret that I’ve personally been really pumped for all the Bat-goodies DC and Warner Bros. have been teasing. What do you think about what we’ve seen so far?