Cover versions

June 2nd, 2008

So, after a very quick web trawl I came across some of the images that’ve inspired Mr Grunt Morigund’s bat-novel.

The ‘Man Who Saw With His Fingers’ is clearly the inspiration for those ten-eyed ghost tribespeople guys. Sure the cover’s not amazing – although I do really love the Batman skin transfers on the finger-tips (why couldn’t I ever get those fuckers to work properly? Batman was always missing an arm or a bit of cape, or something…), there’s something very, very trippy about them – but I just love the idea that Morrison sat down with all these crazy images splayed in front of him like some zany mandala and just summoned his stories up out of them. I mean, this shit is just sooo pregnant with out-there ideas and possibilities, isn’t it?

In his last interview over at Newsarama, Tony Daniel revealed that the ‘weirdest’ thing he had to draw for RIP was something called the Rainbow Creature. And here it is, in all its glory. We’re in proper pink Batman territory now – it even turns the dynamic duo 2D, for Grudd’s sake! I love this mad stuff that seethes in the inbetween spaces of the batverse. It’s perfect for Morrison. I can’t help but wonder if, given that the cover’s all technicoloured up, the next ish of RIP will feature this fucked up beast.

The ‘Robin Dies at Dawn’ one just sings, doesn’t it? The tale itself forms the background for some of the RIP stuff and the cover sums up Grant’s whole approach to Batman really neatly. He mentioned somewhere (don’t ask me where) that the story inside represents the transitional stage between the Batman-on-acid sixties and the slightly-darker-with-chest-hair batbooks of the seventies. And it shows. There’s something of Death in the Family about it, what with Batman cradling a broken Robin, but the Batman’s an older, funner, model and the background, with its pink triffids and smoking craters, appears pretty unconcerned with the grittiness. Ah, but even though it’s ostensibly dawn, the sun could be setting on all that bug-eyed alien malarkey. Whatever, there’s two batverses vying for attention on one cover here and it articulates the point quite nicely: there’s nothing wrong with combining the adventures of the pink Batman with all that DKR-style, dark monologuing stuff. It can all work together: the bat-toys, the super-spy, the backbreaking, the JLA super-hero bit…. S’just most writers don’t have the creative gumption to juggle all these elements at the same time.


Hmm, I think there might be a whole post about bat-covers waiting, coiled inside me….

Anyway, if you like cover versions, listen to the Milkshakes!

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