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Backstage - Interviews - Landry Walker

The following interview was previously run on The World's Finest news page.

Landry Walker Discusses Writing For The "Batman: The Brave And The Bold" Comic Series
The World's Finest talks to writer Landry Walker about working on the hit Batman: The Brave and The Bold comic series, published by DC Comics, in this new exclusive interview.

The World’s Finest recently sat down with Landry Walker, one of the writers for the acclaimed Batman: The Brave and The Bold comic series, to discuss working on the title spun-out from the current fan-favorite animated series. Batman: The Brave and The Bold #12, Walker’s latest issue of the comic title, hits shelves this Wednesday, December 16th, 2009. Scroll down to read the latest “Q & A” from The World’s Finest.

The World’s Finest: To kick things off, care to give us a quick rundown of yourself and your works for those who may not be familiar?

Landry Walker: I've been working in the comics field for the majority of two decades, typically with artist Eric Jones. I'm best known for writing the recent all-ages mini-series Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade. Previous to that, I co-wrote the Tron: Ghost in theMachine series, wrote for Disney Adventures Magazine for a number of years, co-created the comic Little Gloomy, the comic Kid Gravity, and so on.

WF: Now, to get right into it, what attracted you to the Batman: The Brave and The Bold comic series?

LW: I've been a Batman fan since I could walk. I grew up on reruns of the 60's Adam West version. As I got older, while all my friends were gravitating towards the "darker" edge with comics, I was buying up comics at flea markets and discovering the 1950's work.

So while Eric and I were involved on our Supergirl book, we began looking for what we might like to do next. Batman, as envisioned in a 1950's/60's way was the obvious choice for us both, so we began putting together a pitch. This was just before SDCC 2008. When we got down to said convention, we saw ads for the show, and immediately dropped the concept. Minus the team-up aspect, it was almost identical to what we were planning.

Several months later, Michael Siglain approached Eric and I about working on the title.

WF: Do you watch the series the comic is based upon? Have you watched any of the previous animated interpretations of the Dark Knight and his DC cohorts?

LW: Eric and I both have watched the series closely since the premiere. I'm a big fan of the DC based cartoons. That said, I enjoyed the cartoon more when I wasn't writing the book. When you start working on something, you have to look at it from a different, less fun angle. You can imagine how Eric and I felt when, just after he finished drawing our Catman story, the episode with Catman aired. It was unfortunate for our long range plans that Catman was used in such a throw away manner on the show. We had big, big plans for him that are most certainly scrapped now.

As previously mentioned, I'm a huge fan of DC cartoons. I was always a DC kid. Marvel was never quite for me. So yeah... I watch all the shows.

WF: Do you have any favorite moments from the animated series in particular?

LW: Favorite moments... Any appearance of Ted Kord will win me over. Same with the Question. In the 70's, my grandmother took me to a thrift store and bought me a bunch of comics. It was a huge run of old Ditko Charlton stuff. It's still weird for me to see the characters integrated into the DCU. Weird, but fun.

I like the Gibble people. I like the performance and scripting of the modern Blue Beetle. I enjoyed when Batman took the characteristics of the other heroes while fighting Exquinox, it was reminiscent of my favorite Robin moment from the Superfriends where something similar transpired. I don't like that Robin is older and rebellious. I'd rather see him in his historic role. But that's a deep seated personal preference I simply can't shake.

WF: Is there anything from the show you'd like to see put into the comic (or perhaps vice-versa)?

LW: I don't think much in terms of what I would like to bring from the show to the comic, and certainly not vice-versa. They're two different creatures. My main goal with the comic is to capture the essence of the cartoon, without directly emulating it. You can't emulate it directly. The mediums are so different... as an example, I've been putting a heavier emphasis on Batman's internal voice. he doesn't really use it that much in the show. But it's a memorable aspect that many people take particular note of. So I play it up past the point of how it might appear in the show to evoke the feel of the show. If that makes sense.

That said, Eric and I made a decision early on that there had to be a significant break between the opening story and the main story. Hence our specific title page. When the two "chapters" blur together, it feels less like the show to me. There has to be a break there.

WF: You’ve also done work on other well-known kid-oriented fare, like Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eight Grade and The Incredible: City of Incredibles? Given this day and age of very adult-focused comics, is it difficult to write a comic that has to remain accessible for all-ages?

LW: Writing? It's not difficult at all. However, the work is a much harder sell to the modern comics audience. Anything out of continuity isn't "real" according to many people I have spoken with. Anything marketed as "all-ages" is automatically dismissed as "kiddie". I hate that word. It's an insult to our work.

WF: Are you the new regular writer for the Batman: The Brave and The Bold series, or will you be trading off with J. Torres and other writers in the future?

LW: That's a question only our editor could answer. Currently, we're not doing every issue. It's better for Eric to have a little buffer time between issues, as he's working alot of detail into the book. We're also working on a couple of other things...

WF: Returning to the Batman: The Brave and The Bold comic, care to drop any teasers about your upcoming issues?

LW:Teasers... Well, I should point out that there has been more than one reference made to our Supergirl series. That may or may not be a coincidence. Our editor is a fan of holiday issues. He thinks they're a lot of fun. He also likes to torture me into coming up with seasonal storylines. So... let's see. We have the complete destruction of Earth. We have Batman plummeting into the heart of a black hole. We have an Easter story that may have something to do with eggs. We have our Valentine's day issue... that's probably the darkest issue to date. Things go very wrong for Batman on Valentine's day. And not in a cute lovey-dovey manner.

The show has a really nice balance of fun and serious. Of cute and macabre. So some issues will be relatively light. Others will be very dark. That's basically what is coming up.

WF: As we wrap this up, care to let us in on future projects you have coming down the pipe-line? Where will we be seeing your name next?

LW: Well, I'm co-writing the ongoing The Incredibles series with Mark Waid for Boom! Studios. That's been a lot of fun. Very different from Batman. I'm hoping to branch into a bit more Disney related works. Disney publishing and I go way back, and so I jump at any opportunity to work with them. Eric and I are working on a very adult-oriented super hero series... it's really more crime fiction. Hard to describe at this point.

Our earlier, creator owned all-ages work, Little Gloomy, is being animated for TV right now, in conjunction with 1492 Pictures. I recently got news on the voice talent. Very exciting. That's all I can really say about that.

Otherwise, we'll be at many conventions. People should look for us at them and bring us pop-tarts. Eric provides sketches. I provide... well... nothing. But come and find us anyway.

The World's Finest would like to thank Landry Walker for both participating in this Q & A and providing the photo featured above. The cover art for Batman: The Brave and The Bold #12 is also featured above.

Batman: The Brave and The Bold #12, written by Landry Walker with art by Eric Jones, hits shelves Wednesday, December 16th, 2009. Additionally, a trade collection of Walker’s recent Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eight Grademini-series is scheduled to hit shelves a week later, on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009.

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