My first post here at C506 must begin with immense gratitude. MUCHAS GRACIAS, in my limited Spanish, to Communications Director, Johann Morales and everyone here at C506! Being included into a team of international geek press at this level is an honor to say the least.
My own podcast network, ComicBookIntl.com, is «Intl» for a reason. I’ve always been fascinated with other countries outside the US, and with traveling. In fact, my mid-twenties fascination brought me as far as Tuscany, Italy, where I lived and worked for 6 months. As my interests and experiences became more international, there’s one thing I quickly came to realize: news is news, local or not.
Pop-culture news, in particular, is something celebrated on most corners of the planet, just like here in the US (Who knew?!). I can’t tell you how many people I have from other countries that listen to my Above and Batman Beyond podcast, show their geek love on social media, and support the pod network. This is why I’m proud to report not just from a news team; but from an international news team like C506.
Honoring my honor, to now write/podcast/journalize for this news organization, I thought a perfect first post would include content made available to me by the prestigious C506! Meeting Johann for the first time in person at NYCC was a con highlight for sure. Even without all of his press connects, I would’ve been delighted to geek out on Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, or whatever other numerous interests Johann and I share.
But, legitimate press interviews with producers and voice actors of BTAS/Batman Beyond? Now, this is a guy I want to write for!
From our podcast main site, BatmanBeyondPodcast.com:
Shoutout BEYOND to C-506 for passing on their press interviews to Above and Batman Beyond!! The comic con line up for this pod episode (No. 34), and I can’t believe I’m saying this, includes interview clips from the following animated Bat family members:
- Kevin Conroy: VOICE OF BATMAN/Old Bruce Wayne (BTAS/Batman Beyond)
- Bruce Timm: CO-CREATOR/Executive Producer (BTAS/Batman Beyond)
- Tara Strong: Voice of Batgirl (New Batman Adventures); Voice of Harley Quinn (Arkham video games)
- Loren Lester: Voice of Dick Grayson/Robin (BTAS, Adventures of Batman and Robin); Voice of Dick Grayson/Robin (New Batman Adventures)
- Diane Pershing: Voice of Poison Ivy
- Eric Radomski: Co-producer/ HUGE early influence on BTAS
So, here’s where these BTAS/Beyond interviews really confirmed how much better our podcast has gotten, and will continue to get. All thanks to C506 and a TON of con networking/pod hustle.
For Episode 35 of ABB, not 2 weeks after con, we had the prolific and kind hearted DCAU Instagram superfan @alessandro.bottalico3. Wanting to see a return of the Batman Beyond animated series (1999-2001), Alessandro pointed out that neither Batman Beyond nor the OG BTAS got a definitive series finale.
(Skip to 27:01) In the BEYOND charming Canadian accent of @alessandro.bottalico3:
Batman Beyond falls into the category of the DCAU shows that didn’t get an ending. Like, for example, like when they did Batman, and Superman, and Batman Beyond, those shows did not get a true ending. It was when Static Shock ended, the DCAU shows started getting endings, to like a season, or a finale.
What does this fascinating finale talk have to do with the BTAS interviews from con? Well, Alessandro followed what he said above with some curiosity. Why were the pre-Justice League DCAU shows left without finales? Why give the later shows endings but not BTAS, STAS, or Beyond?
And, crazy enough, I, Benjamin David, was able to answer said question due to having Bruce Timm on my show!
(Skip to 38:55) From Bruce Timm on Episode 34 of Above and Batman Beyond:
Well, you have to remember: Back then, the show wasn’t serialized at all. It was like, every episode was a standalone. Unless the show was like a direct sequel to a previous episode, almost all of the episodes completely stood alone. So, we never really gave it much thought. We didn’t really think about, «oh, we need to come up with a series finale,» ‘cause we just didn’t think of the show that way back then. Nowadays, all the shows are made that way.
Amazing, to be able to answer a fan directly from the Timm of Timmverse. The timing of this episodic question is coincidental for me personally as well. I recently started rewatching the post-Beyond DCAU shows. Typically, my DCAU diet is about 90% Bat shows. The short films of the Bat vs. the serious and serialized Justice League. I’ll let my 9 to 1 ratio speak for itself, but before this most recent rewatch, I never attributed my preference nearly as much to the serialization factor as I do now.
A major strength and testimony to the pre-JL Batman shows was how powerful a story could be told in 22 minutes of TV animation. More specifically, how an Emmy Award winning short film like BTAS’ Heart of Ice, just happens to be a kids cartoon with Mr. Freeze in it. Paul Dini, the writer responsible, is just one of many astounding television writers that made the series as iconic as it is.
I do absolutely love the DCAU JL forward, but part of me misses anthology TV altogether. Why does everything have to be part of a gigantic, epic arc? Obviously, comic book characters by design thrive in story arcs. I’m not refuting that.
But, if the gigantic BTAS Blu Ray press event in NY is any indicator that a series really did work, then the standalone is something I submit needs a return. I don’t reject the idea of seasonal or story arcs altogether. There’s nothing wrong with season finales, even series finales. Though, I think modern day TV should take a page from the anthological short films of the animated Bat and Beyond. Perhaps, a healthy mix of serial with non-serial is the way to go.
A lot can happen on a single Saturday morning!
Beyond Shoutouts & Creds:
- BTAS Interview clips and a HUGE press opportunity: Johann Morales & C506.net (Obviously!!)
- BTAS/Beyond makers: Kevin Conroy, Bruce Timm, Tara Strong, Loren Lester, Diane Pershing, Eric Radomski
- Podcast Guest/Beyond fan: Alessandro Bottalico @alessandro.bottalico3 on Instagram
- Other NYCC pod guests: Beyond fan @iamnotpaulyang; Beyond cosplayer @holyace05 ; Cameron from Funko Toys, and, Zach Oat from Diamond Select Toys
- My inclination toward anthology: A short attention span and a high expectation for writing
- Why I’m alive: To meet Kevin Conroy
Follow Benjamin David/the podcast on social!