The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl
Gotham librarian Barbara Gordon finishes her costume just in time for the masquerade ball.
Dark Knight on a Dark Night is Hub Comics' annual exhibition of Somerville/Cambridge artists' take on "Batman, his world, and any part of his 75-year history". This year's exhibit is covered by The Boston Herald. Like my 2011 contribution "Batgirl: Training Day", this one depicts the Yvonne Craig version from the 1960s Batman show. Unlike that contribution, this one also leverages her 1967 comic book debut and is completely G-rated.
"The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!" appeared in Detective Comics #359. Barbara made the costume to shock those who thought of her as a "plain jane". On her way to the party, she stumbled on a plot to kidnap Batman. The rest is history.
The furnishings are based on the comic, but had to be enhanced with photo reference of actual big-city public libraries. Barbara's thoughts are a condensed verison of Garder Fox's superfluous, redundant script. Mashing up the retro and modern worlds, Barbara checks herself out with an iPhone self-shot.
There's also a shout-out to popular comics writer Gail Simone, who turned New 52 Batgirl into a critial and sales success. If you count her Birds of Prey era, she's written the Barbara Gordon character since 2003. Earlier this month, DC Comics fired her from Batgirl, then rehired her after two weeks of fan backlash.
Like "Six-Year-Old Horse Thief" and "Bottle of Red", the original art is 12 x 18 inches (matching the most popular working size of silver age comics). The color adheres to the 64-color pallet of that era.
Tools and Materials
- 12" x 18" art on Strathmore 500 bristol paper
- Speedball Super Black India Ink
- Short-handle round #4 sable brush
- Ruling pen (borders)
- Speedball nib #512 (straight lines, details)
- Speedball C6 and B6 (lettering)
- Ames Lettering Guide (3.5 two-thirds calibration)
- Adobe Photoshop CS5 (production, color, Balloon Tales color dot techinique)