October 31, 2008
We all remember the now classic "Teaser Promo" Movie Poster from The Dark Knight that was a brick wall with graffiti of 2 dark circles for Joker's eyes & a red Bat-Symbol for the mouth. It made a crazy "Joker Face" that let us all know The Joker was coming soon & it also gave a hint that something terrible was gonna happen to Batman ( the "red mouth" looked kinda bloody because the spray paint was running a little bit ). Well, a friend named Paul, who's an avid reader of the Bat-Blog, decided that this was the image he was gonna use for a Jack O'Lantern Halloween Pumpkin this year. So, here's what he made! He drew the design on with some sharpies & then carved a beautiful piece of ART! The finished pumpkin looks great. Thanks Paul for sharing these photos...and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
October 30, 2008
A new friend to the Bat-Blog, named Jessica, sent us this wonderful photo of a BATMAN HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN she had made! She carved "I Love Batman" on the side & the great thing is she used the vintage 1970's style logo...I love it! Jessica, you did a great job on this & thanks for sending the cool pic! The photo of this super-excellent Jack O'Lantern design was so BIG I decided to make it a Desktop Wallpaper you can use as a background in a MySpace layout or just to decorate your computer's desktop for the holidays...BATTY HALLOWEEN!! ( Please click on it for the larger version, it looks way cooler that way! ).
Our friend Chris Haley sent us this amazing portrait of Batman ( Adam West style ) he did recently & I love it. The expression on his face is pretty funny! Chris is a Graphic Designer working in Memphis, TN. If you're a fan of ART like I am then you might check out his blog sometime...good stuff! Here's a link:
Over at MySpace I have a friend named RUSS who was kind enough to allow me to use this vintage family photo he had. It shows him on his birthday with a very cool Batman Birthday Cake that I guess his Mom had made. This cake pattern is actually a very popular one made with a famous "Wilton Cake Pan" from that period. ( You could also use the same pan to make a Superman Cake, but who cares, ha ha ). I also noticed he's sporting a Bat-Symbol Logo T-Shirt too! The original photograph was time-dated Dec 80 so I'm guessing this is around 1980. Thank you Russ for letting me post this! I appreciate that because the main focus of the Bat-Blog is to share the love of the Batman character. Plus, you look so happy in the pic!
October 29, 2008
OK, anyone who's been reading the Bat-Blog for the last year or so knows how excited I have been about the gossip of a brand-new Batman book titled BAT-MANGA: THE SECRET HISTORY OF BATMAN IN JAPAN. It was being done by Chip Kidd who, a few years ago, came out with another great Batman book titled BATMAN COLLECTED. That book was amazing, so I knew this one was gonna be great too! Well, it has finally come out & it's even better than I dreamed about! It was released on October 28th, 2008. All I can say about BAT-MANGA is that it is extremely well-designed & a total delight to read! But, I can't just say that because that would be a totally lazy book review, ha ha! So, here's why the book is so awesome. First, for people totally unfamiliar with this title, in the 1960's there was a magazine in Japan for kids called Shonen King . During the crazy hype of the 1966 Batman TV Show ( Adam West & Burt Ward ) this company reserved the rights to do Batman stories. They did them for about a year & then they were gone. For years these wonderfully written & beautifully drawn stories were lost...until now! To do this book Chip Kidd teamed up with the photographer Geoff Spear & Super-Collector Saul Ferris ( Japanese translation by Anne Ishii ). Both Chip & Saul had a few issues of this super-rare magazine & while doing research found out that the artwork was done by Jiro Kuwata, the artist responsible for creating "8 MAN", a very popular Japanese character. Anyway, Kidd hired a Japanese translator & actually found the guy! To his regret he found out that all the original artwork had been lost to time. But, a neat thing about getting in touch with him was that they got to do an exclusive interview about his "Batman experience". So, working with Geoff & Saul, they photographed every issue they had their hands on. This actually turned out to be a "wonderful accident" because looking at the original magazines is pretty cool. Geoff did an amazing job photographing all the pages. The neat thing is that the photography is so extremely sharp that you can actually see the texture of the newsprint & it sort of gives you the experience of reading the actual magazine that children got to view in the 1960's. One other thing that's kinda neat too is that, back then, Jiro Kuwata was given total license to write anything he wanted. So, the stories are very unique & have a nice Japanese sensibility to them. Now, please keep in mind that this is manga so ya gotta "read it backwards". But, don't worry about that because after about 5 minutes you totally get used to it & the stories are really enjoyable. Jiro Kuwata was given permission to do anything he wanted so many of the villains ( except Clayface ) were created by him. They are really well thought out & have great names like Lord Death Man, Go-Go The Magician, Dr. Faceless, Professor Gorilla, & The Man Who Quit Being Human! Now, another great thing about the book is that it features some very sharp color photography of many Vintage 1960's Batman Toys...a total bonus! This is kinda where Saul Ferris came in. He has an amazing collection of super-rare Japanese Batman Toys. The photos are sort of sprinkled every few pages so while you're reading the stories you get a small break. Plus, You get to enjoy these lost pieces of Bat-History. It gives the book a nice rhythm & each time they popped up it was a very pleasant surprise! The book is created in 2 formats, hardback & paperback. The hardback has about 32 extra pages. It mainly has a few more toy photos & a section in the back that covers some stories written in Chinese! But, don't worry because everything has been translated into English so you can enjoy the whole experience. The retail price for the hardback is $60.00 while the paperback is $29.95. Right now Amazon is offering them as new releases at a cheaper price & I seriously recommend the hardback, just for the extras. Well, I hope this has been a decent review & it's a book I can highly recommend for ANY Batman Fan!
For "Wacky Wallpaper Wednesday" I thought I would post these 3 promotional Batman Desktop Wallpapers that were created by the Danix Company to hype The Dark Knight movie! Danix make cookies in Brazil & they recently did a promo with Warner Bros. The artwork is pretty awesome, so enjoy!
The Cartoon Network will start the new animated series BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD on November 14th ( Friday, 7:30pm ) & there are major plans for a ton of new Batman merchandise tied into the TV Show. Which, is extremely awesome because it gives us wacky toy collectors a lot of new collectibles to drool over, ha ha! Here are just a few examples of what to expect. Shown up above are a few action figures & a bat-vehicle made by Mattel. From what I have heard they are gonna go totally crazy making toys with this property & have plans to release a ton of new figures. The next photo is actually one of my favorites. It's a Batman Play-Set Costume that looks really great! I love how the cowl design sort of looks like the one worn by Adam West in the 1966 TV Show...very cool! The 1st wave of figures is expected around January 2009 but if they come out any earlier be sure to stay tuned with the Bat-Blog because we will report it here!
October 28, 2008
Mattel has an Official Hot Wheels Fan Club website online called RED LINE CLUB. If you become a member you can buy a special 1966 Batmobile Car 1:64 Scale ( small, regular-size Hot Wheel car ). It's the George Barris design from the 60's TV Show. This one is an improved version where the black paint is a little more glossy, the tires are different, & the windshield is clear plastic. It's made sort of like how they should have made it in the 1st place, ha ha. I forget the exact details on pricing but to buy the car you have to be a member of the club. The membership is $24.99 & I think the car is around $15.00. Now, here's a link down below if you want to join but you'll only be a member for a few months because it starts over on January so I would wait until then & maybe hunt the car on eBay.
Last night I picked the first name out of the hat for the current Bat-Blog Contest. Of course I'm talking about where we are giving away 4 sets of the new BATMAN ARCHIVES Trading Cards. There will be 4 winners, one picked every few days. The 1st set goes to ZACH F. of North Olmstead, OH!! Congrats Zach, please send us an e-mail to confirm your address & I will be mailing you this awesome set of cards. Now, for everybody else who has entered, and people who have not heard of this contest yet, there are still a few more chances to win so stay tuned. Oh yeah, if you have not entered yet then click on the button down below for details. Thanks.
October 27, 2008
There's a good friend to the Bat-Blog named Charles who has a special focus within his Batman Memorabilia collecting & that is to hunt down ALL of the Batman Coloring Books that have ever existed! So far he doing a really great job & he was kind enough to send us some photos of his recent collection. Shown up above is a good sample of which Batman Coloring Books are out there. Of course my favorites are the 1966 ones but I also love the Batman: The Animated Series ones too. He also has a lot of the ones made during the many different Batman movies & those are great also. OK, ALL of these books are awesome! To be honest there are even a few I have NEVER seen so that's great! I wanna thank Charles for taking the time to photograph these ( good job ) & sharing them with the readers here. Thanks Charles. The main focus of the Bat-Blog, really, is to share the love of collecting Batman stuff so this set of photos proves that. If you have a special collection of Vintage Batman items ( or even new stuff ) then please send us some pics, we love that!
Along time ago, while hitting garage sales, I came across a paperback book titled "Justice League of America : BATMAN The Stone King". It was a trade paperback book written by Alan Grant. The cover had a painting by Alex Ross. It looked pretty cool so I bought it to add to my crazy collection. I mean, it was only 50 cents so I HAD to get it, ha ha! But, the deal is, I never got around to reading it...too busy with the Bat-Blog, I guess. Well, the other night I thought I would get on the web & track down a book review on this story to see what people thought about it. Like, if it was worth reading or not. All the reviews I was able to find said it was pretty good so, in the near future, I plan on reading it. Now to get to the Batman Audio Book shown here. While surfing the net I came across this company called GRAPHIC AUDIO that has this same book but in the audio book format. Basically you can listen to a group of actors playing out the story of this book with sound effects & everything. Sort of like "hearing a movie or play". The part that I think is kinda crazy is that it is SIX HOURS long!! Yeah, 6 full hours of Batman-entertainment...WOW! Now, I have not been able to buy this yet but at their website they have an audio clip sample to hear & it sounds like a pretty cool concept. The set comes with 6 CDs & priced at only about $19.99 it's not a bad deal. You can also download it as a MP3 for $12.99. Personally, I'd rather own the CD set because it's something I could add to my collection...we'll see. Here's a link button for their page. Be sure to check it out sometime but please remember too BOOKMARK the Bat-Blog before ya go!
October 25, 2008
October 23, 2008
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Yes, you read the title correctly, a... LP RECORD ALBUM! WOW, this is extremely weird! Hot Topic has published a "Picture Disc" LP Record Album for THE DARK KNIGHT movie. It's not the full soundtrack but just 2 songs & it looks pretty cool! One side features a photo from the movie where Batman ( Christian Bale ) is standing in some rubble. The other side has the now-classic Joker Portrait of Heath Ledger's face. I think this is a pretty unique collectible to find because since when was the last time you ever saw a "new" LP record? Ha Ha! If you don't believe me just click on the link button down below & search "Batman".
Here's a photo from a recent Mattel Toy Company meeting where they present the prototype blueprints for a New 1966 Batman TV Show Batmobile ( George Barris style ) Hot Wheels Car to be released in 2009 as a part of a Collector Series. This will be the small 1/64th scale size ( like a regular Hot Wheel car ). The only difference I can see, from this pic anyway, is that the rims for the tires will be more modern. But, we'll have to wait & see.
Here's a nice assortment of action figures to look for...next year! DC Direct plans on starting a new line of figures called "THE HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE" based on the book & classic artwork of George Perez. Included in Series 1 will be Batman, Green Arrow, Manhunter, & Blue Devil. They will be released on June 10th, 2009.