Superman: The Animated Series title sequence, storyboard by Bruce Timm. Possibly my all-time favourite version of Superman, but when it comes to Timm I’m a fanboy, really.
Batman Adventures #1 (2003) comic cover, sketch and final version by Bruce Timm.
“Who can save mankind when the Lizard-Men attack?!”
The Monster Hunters in Marvel Universe #6, 1998, cover by Bruce Timm.
Yesterday I asked the awesome Comic Book Covers Tumblr if it would be possible to post a Bruce Timm cover I’d never seen before. I got two! (To be honest they weren’t completely unknown to me, though. But the cover of Batman Adventures #3 I had only seen in sketch form: so I was very happy with that one!)
I thought I’d repay the favour and share this BT cover I had never seen or heard of before I found it in a comic book store.
Two of a Kind, comic pages by Bruce Timm.
You know this story, of course. It was published in the first Batman Black and White. You might be thinking that these are pictures of the original pages as they were published, but you’d be wrong. These are layouts!
Batman B&W editor Mark Chiarello (who is an amazing artist himself, btw) actually mentions Mister Timm’s wonderful process in the book:
Although most comic artists work in a fairly straightfoward manner (thumbnail layouts first, followed by tight pencils and then inks), some choose to work in strange and mysterious ways.
Bruce Timm, for instance, does his loose layouts on typing paper and then blows them up to large original art size then inks them (with a magic marker). The inks are pretty tight and could at this point be reproduced from, but Bruce chooses to add another step. Using a lightbox, he completely traces the page onto another sheet of paper, refining the images to the point where he’s satisfied with the end result. If you compare this “layout” page with the finished page, you’ll notice subtle alterations and additions.
Via Comic Art Fans
There is much to like about the Mister Freeze that was seen on Batman: The Animated Series. The original design was done by Mike Mignola. He was first seen in Heart of Ice. To this day this episode is often mentioned as one of B:TAS best episodes. (Written by Paul Dini and directed by Bruce Timm, it won an Emmy for outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.) As you can see on this cover from the first Batman Adventures Holiday Special (1995), Mignola’s design works perfectly when executed by Bruce Timm.
Mister Freeze is an intersting villain. Doomed to live in a subzero environment, (after one of those chemical accidents that also created Two Face, Clayface andThe Joker; they sure seem to be having a lot of those in Gotham!) he is motivated by his passion for his wife, who he froze in an attempt to save her from a terminal illness. Stripped from emotions, his red hollow stare shows both danger and sadness.
Original cover art by Bruce Timm, via Comic Art Fans.
A pin-up from 100 Bullets, by Jordi Bernet. I really love the work of Bernet! (as I’ve said before)
One thing that I really like about Bernet’s work is that on one hand it is extremely realistic, while at the sime time being quite cartoony. In Modern Masters #3 Bruce Timm describes the style of Alex Toth:
That’s the weird thing: everybody thinks of his tuff as really cartoony and simplified, but deep down inside he has so much knowledge of how to draw that his drawings are really very subtle. They’re almost photgraphically solid. Everything he draws is absolutely solidly constructed. When he puts pencil and ink to paper, it is as if he’s tracing off a photograph or a statue that he’s seen in his mind.
I think the same can be said about Bernet. And it probably explains why he was the right guy to take over Torpedo from Toth, even though their style is very different.
This pin-up is a good example of this contrast between real and cartoony: when you look at it the first thing you notice is Augustus Medici, the guy with the cigar. He is drawn rather realisitcally, but when you look at the characters in the background you will see that they are way more cartoony. (He also snuck a Torpedo in there!)
For me the work of Bernet is all about this balance. His Clara de Noche comics for instance are drawn extremely cartoony but all the jokes are very sexual: definitely a comic for a mature audience. In Jonah Hex his cartoony style forms a great contrast with all the graphic violence. While the Chica series he did, was just plain pornographic but at the same time features some of the most beautiful artwork he has ever done. (I’ve left out links for Clara and Chica. Look ‘em up if you feel like it, but be careful: NSFW!)
This post is a reaction on this article from Mark Kennedy’s awesome blog: The Temple of the Seven Golden Camels. And, even though the contrast between realistic and cartoony is what attracts me in Bernet’s work, I do have to agree with Mister Kennedy on this one: those stars don’t belong in that world.
From 100 Bullets #26, also published in TPB #4; A Foregone Tomorrow. I believe I found this image via Comic Art Fans.
Storyboards from Legends of the Dark Knight, episode #105 from Batman the Animated Series; the legendary tv show designed and produced by Bruce Timm in the 1990’s . These storyboards were drawn by Darwyn Cooke and colored by BTAS art director Glen Murakami.
In this BTAS episode some Gotham kids tell each other stories about their different takes on Batman. As you probably guessed, this paticular take is inspired by Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knigt Returns.
Scans from Batman Animated; one of my favourite artbooks of all-time.