Browsing articles from "February, 2010"

A Little Faerie Magic

By Ted Naifeh  //  Sketchbook  //  3 Comments

Here’s a little taste of the Good Neighbors Vol. 3, the last chapter in the series. Enjoy.


Picture 1 of 7

PS: That little bit of big news in on the way. Stay tuned.


One More For Luck

By Ted Naifeh  //  Blog Post, Sketchbook  //  15 Comments

Babs Gordon will always have a place in my heart. I always hear the Batgirl theme song in my head whenever I see her, nd think about Yvonne Craig in her sparkly purple suit. Oh, and Yvonne had fabulous hair. She was our Audrey Hepburn. We won’t see the like of her again soon.

Stay tuned for some big news.


Today’s villian is Killer Croc.

By Ted Naifeh  //  Blog Post, Sketchbook  //  1 Comment

Croc is one of those Bat-villians that, if you’re not careful, can turn the modern, post-Miller Dark Knight back into the goofy fifties Caped Crusader who flies around the galaxy in a bat-rocket. Or worse, into the postmodern incarnation who refers to himself as “the Gaddamn Batman”, and seems to be the belligerent, testosterone-pumped version of the fifties Batman, fighting hulk-sized sewer mutants  and extra-terrestrial death gods.

Yet as Chip Kidd so eloquently put it, the Batman’s greatest appeal is that he can endure so many reinventions without breaking. Everybody has a different take, from the early creepy Bat-Man of Bob Kane, to Bill Finger’s Caped Crusader with kid side-kick, to the dorky pointy-eared Buck Rogers of the fifties, to Marv Wolfman and Neal Adams’ Dark Knight Detective, to Miller’s gritty street monster and beyond… and they’re all the true Batman.

My personal favorite take exists in a world that, if not possible, is not patently impossible. It’s a world without magic or science fiction, without Lazarus pits or aliens in red capes. And certainly no giant mutated crocodile men with super strength.

And so my Killer Croc is not the big green monster of the current comics and videogames. He’s just a guy who won the circus freakshow lottery, suffering from ichthyosis, AND gigantism, AND a harelip. The odds of someone getting so many rare disorders is probably next to impossible, but only for the given value of impossible. He COULD happen. And that’s how I like my Batman. He’s impossible, but only because he’s never happened…


Once again, I’m indebted to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm’s ‘Batman: the Animated Series’ for a much less outrageous, much more believable monster, with potential for very human pathos.


Happy Tuesday…

By Ted Naifeh  //  Blog Post, Sketchbook  //  4 Comments

Working hard on Good Neighbors, Mouseguard, and a mystery project that I won’t announce till I get the full go-head. Here’s the latest Bat-Villain.


The Penguin often struck me as a victim of the Batman world’s narrow focus. All the villains have colorful and various styles and methods, but in the end, they all ended up being robbers, and the story plots all followed the same formula, with different palettes painted over it. One themed villain, 3-5 henchmen, one elaborate caper involving the robbery of an object in keeping with the villain’s theme, etc. Even the 90s cartoons stuck with this formula, though the prodigious talents of Paul Dini managed to find new meaning in the tired old tropes by granting each villain a theme-appropriate pathos.

Yet only in recent years  has the formula started breaking up. Tim Burton’s version ran for mayor, which was a clever twist. But Burton, ever the stylist, felt the need to enhanced the visual aspects of the character to monstrous proportions, making a man who’s a bit short and homely with a funny walk into something barely human.

These days, the Penquin is Gotham’s premiere nightclub owner; a reasonably interesting change. Yet he’s still depicted as though he’s, well, a freaky Batman villain. And it seems to me that being short, big-nosed, and duck-footed doesn’t actually make you a freak, certainly not of the same caliber as the Joker. He’s not really a “new breed of criminal” engendered by the existence of Batman. But for a few belabored bird metaphors, the guy’s just a crook in a tux.

Anyway, my point is that I see the Penguin, potentially, as the Batman world’s answer to Goldfinger, so that’s how I approached him. He’s not a freakishly deformed outcast, just a short guy with a big nose trying to become the richest man in Gotham. It’s doesn’t have to be what he looks like that’s impressively horrible. It’s what he does to get rich that would make him a monster. He need not be all that different from any other mobster or ponzi-scheme crook. And wouldn’t it be nice to see Batman take down a guy like that? Why do they all have to be freaky outcasts? As a bit of an outcast myself, I take issue.

Oh, and the bird jokes are really tired. Is that the best we can do? His name is Penguin, because he looks like a penguin, AND he’s obsessed with birds? Really?



Get ready to loathe me…

By Ted Naifeh  //  Blog Post, Sketchbook  //  5 Comments

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ms. Harley Quinn.

I’m sure you’ll get along like a house on fire. There may be no survivors.


Today’s Villain

By Ted Naifeh  //  Blog Post, Sketchbook  //  5 Comments

I’ve based a lot of characters on David the years. Lucky for me that there are so many of him.