DFHC 8/16/2011

Cool Daddy Gets Asked

Dear Cool Daddy:  I always loved those goofy Batman comic books from the 50s and early 60s..with idiotic giant monsters, weird Batman variations, and the “Batman Family.” Then it all changed, got more “grown-up” or relevant or something. Bat Bummer! Was this due to the TV series?  …from Selena in Jokertown

Dear Selena: Many disgruntled bat-fans remember it that way, but “The New-Look Batman” actually arrived 2 years before the TV show. Strange as it may seem looking back on it, the Batman monthly comic was in danger of being cancelled due to declining readership. The fact that they were able to turn things around with this new direction probably lead to the feasibility of a Batman TV show, campy as it was…not the other way around. But yeah, gone was the Batman Family, seen here with Bat-Mite, Bat-Hound, Bat-Woman standing next to Commissioner Gordon, and Bat-Girl (the original one, not the Commish’s daughter) seated next to Robin.

Overnight, we went from this….

To this…that’s the Detective May 1964 issue, and Batman June 1964…altho the introduction of Elongated Man hinted that all was not lost…

…and Old Look stalwarts could still savor one last crazy bat-hurrah in the form of the June 1964 Batman Annual, which reprinted 4 classic adventures. 6 issues later, when it was clear the ploy had worked, the old cover logo got undated too…

Above right is DC editor Julius Schwartz, on whose orders the writer and artist were replaced, and all the wacky stuff deep-sixed. Bob Kane…who created Batman but was no longer drawing the book, only the cover…was also out. The change was signaled visually by the yellow oval around his bat-emblem…again, you may remember it as the comic following the TV show in that regard, but print did it first. And altho the Bat Family was banished, the new Bat Girl did crossover from the show into the comic book…God bless Yvonne Craig. But I’m with you…those old ones were the best…try these 4 on for size…

Owl Man? Who’s next, Pigeon Man? See, we didn’t know anything about mind-altering drugs in those days, we were just kids. And all for a measly 10¢…till they bumped it up to 12¢…handwriting on the wall, in retrospect…


All you could say was “Wha—?”

shameless rainbow bat-plugs II…

Podcasts at http://stolfpod.podbean.com  and   http://thewholething.podbean.com

Other Daily blog at http://stolf.wordpress.com  (the legendary Stolf’s Blog)

More bloggage at  http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com  and  http://www.examiner.com/retro-pop-culture-in-watertown/mark-john-astolfi

Resume at http://travelingcyst.blogspot.com/p/resume.html

Audio samples http://stolfspots.podbean.com/

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