Tuesday, January 08, 2008


A lot of people think they’re unimaginative, but I love gift cards and gift certificates. Love ’em to death, whether I get them for birthdays or for Christmas. So I got one over the holidays, redeemable at my local comics retailer, and it was burning a hole in my pocket. And after scouring the shop for something “special,” I came up with this new collection of illustrator Tim Sale’s early Batman stuff, Tales of the Batman. Amazingly, until now, I’d never seen any of it — and me, a big fan of Sale's work on the Batman graphic novels The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, and even the things he’s done for the Heroes TV series.

There are five great stories in Tales of the Batman, three of them lengthy three-parters. The writers are Alan Grant, Kelley Puckett, Darwyn Cooke, and James Robinson. But even though I know deep down that the story should be more important than the artwork, it’s Tim Sale's artwork that really triumphs here. This is all dark, gorgeous stuff. And each story is prefaced with a few words from Sale himself — and, you know, I really like this fellow. He’s kinda humble and thankful for his success and all, and he spreads the credit around. He seems like a good guy.

If you’re a Tim Sale fan, buy the book. If you’re a Batmaniac, buy the book. It’s a real goodie.

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