Tag Archives: matthew k. manning

Matthew K. Manning Discusses “Batman: A Visual History,” Animated Comics, And More

The World’s Finest caught up with writer Matthew K. Manning to discuss his latest project – the epic Batman: A Visual History tome – along with his thoughts on the classic DC Comics character and his storied past. Manning has a long history with DC Comics, particularly when it comes to the animated adventures of the World’s Greatest Superheroes, having written for some of the “animated” titles the last few years. And now, Manning is channeling all that history, along with his own love of the character and the mythos, into an epic hardcover release celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary.

Batman: A Visual History – now available to own – is a massive hardcover collection which offers something new even for the most diehard of Batman fans, Manning promises. He dives further into the book, his past work, and his own personal influences, in the Q & A below…

The World’s Finest: First off – tell us about Batman: A Visual History Why is this massive tome worth adding to the bookshelf? And, secondly, why are you the perfect person to write it?

Matthew K. Manning: This particular Batman books is about as thorough as you can get. We start in 1939, and tell the character’s history from a real-world perspective month-by-month up until 2014. Not only do you get a bit of behind-the-scenes history here and there, but it’s essentially a complete summary of all the Dark Knight’s important adventures throughout his entire career. There’s not a book on the shelves that’s ever attempted quite this level of detail.

As for why I’m a good fit for this book, well, I mentioned on my website that I’ve been training for this book since the 5th grade, and I really wasn’t exaggerating. The Tim Burton Batman movie hit theaters back then, and it forever changed my life. I’d always liked Batman when he appeared on Super Friends and such, but I never really sought out the comics until that movie debuted. Since then, I’ve read over 10,000 Batman-related comics, and really enjoy every era of his history. I’ve also been lucky enough to write a dozen or so comics for DC about the Caped Crusader, and plenty of books on the subject. But none quite like this. I co-wrote a book called The Batman Vault for Running Press, but that was more of a general overview with great little pull-out “artifacts.” My book The Batman Files for Andrews/McMeel was a faux scrapbook/journal written by Batman himself about his entire history, told through the character’s voice. It dealt with his fictional timeline, rather than the real world one. So this book is unique in that it shows how the character’s history has changed and evolved with the times.

WF: You’ve commented this is the book you were born to write. Can you expand on that and tell us about how influential the character has been on you and why he’s a pivotal part of your life?

MM: Like most kids, I grew up a fan of superheroes. I was also fascinated with newspaper comic strips, and really wanted to write and draw them. Back then I started reading a few Marvel Comics, but didn’t get truly immersed into the superhero world until the ’89 Batman movie. It was a great time to be reading comics, with recent hits like Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns still on the shelves, and I was completely hooked. From there I branched out to the Outsiders and the Justice League, and eventually back to Marvel to see what Spider-Man had been up to. But really, those hours spent reading the likes of Denny O’Neil, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison and the like really influenced my worldview and my own personal morals.

WF: Why do you think Batman has remained so enduring all these years, and has been able to amass such a history? There are many other comic character who have been around for roughly the same time, but what makes Batman so…predominant among them?

MM: Firstly, I think kids can identify with Batman’s origin. They understand what that particular pain would be like. And both kids and adults are fascinated with the idea of a person literally being as good as he can be. It’s something we all wish we had the willpower to do, and like Batman, we want to be our personal best without the use of powers. Plus, there’s the simple fact that he looks cool. He’s fun to draw, so he attracts the best artists. And that makes for some great looking comic books, which in turn constantly attract readers.

WF: Can you walk us through your process for creating this book? The research, the writing, deciding what stays and what goes … how big of a project was this for you?

MM: Unlike past volumes of DK’s chronicle series, I attempted to write this one solo, so that meant a lot more work. The hardest part was the outline. It was a process of going through every single issue of my Batman collection, and flipping through hundreds of issues I haven’t read yet. There was an attempt to record the debut of every new Batmobile, Batwing/Batplane and costume, as well as every major and minor villain and supporting character. After the outline was finished, the rest was just reexamining those stories and trying to fit in all the important details in the limited space available. As it happened, a deadline change caused me to have to give up writing the 1960s and hand that chore over to the capable Matt Forbeck. I would have loved to handle that one as well, but I was content with just supplying the outline for it. All told, the book took at least a half a year to write.

WF: When some folks see these types of books, the “ultimate guides,” etc., they usually scoff at them because they assume they already know everything that’s going to be in the book. How is this book different? Why is this book a must-read for fans?

MM: I doubt there are many people that will know all the information in this book. It’s more than a summary of a handful of major story lines, and even I learned plenty in the course of writing it. This covers everything from the debut of Batmouse to an obscure future Batman of New York City from the old Hex title. There’s plenty of new info for diehard and casual fans alike.

WF: The animated adventures of Batman have played a huge role in the character’s popularity? Can you give us an idea of how you handle their importance and role in this month-to-month breakdown of major Batman events?

MM: Unfortunately, because of licensing issues, we weren’t really able to get into the movies or TV shows here. Those would require separate negations between DC and DK. While they shows and cartoons are mentioned here and there, this book remains mainly about the comic books themselves. Which is probably just as well. It’s already 350 pages as is…

WF: Now, you’ve been a part of the animated comic lore, having contributed to some of the popular DC “animated” comics. Care to run through some of your favorites with us?

MM: I absolutely love writing those types of titles, so it’s hard to pick my favorite. I really enjoyed my first issue of The Batman Strikes (# 10), the tie-in title to The Batman cartoon. We were able to tell the story through flashbacks in an interesting way, really adding to the mystery of the issue. Also, my final issue of Beware the Batman (# 6) was a lot of fun, as the entire story was told from Alfred’s point of view, like a first-person shooter video game. It was an interesting experiment that I think really worked thanks to the very fluid and lively work of the artist, Luciano Vecchio. And while not an animated comic, I was really happy with how my Calendar Man story ended up in Batman: 80-Page Giant 2010.

WF: You’ll be appearing at New York-Comic-Con, starting up later this week. Can you give us a rundown of your schedule and appearances?

MM: I’m signing this particular book at the DK table on Thursday (October 9th) from 5-6 and on Friday (October 10th) from 5-6 as well. I’ll also be at the Insight Editions table on Saturday (October 11th), signing The World According to Joker from 3-4.

WF: Before we wrap this up, can you tell us about your next related project – The World According to The Joker?

MM: Insight’s new “World According to” series are essentially small “advice” books written by the title character. They include lots of great paper pull-outs and the like, and have been extremely fun to write. My first book for them is out now, titled The World According to Wolverine. The World According to Joker is out on October 30th, but I think they might have advance copies of it at the New York show. It’s written entirely in the Joker’s voice (except for a guest spread by Harley and notes from Dr. Arkham), and gives you all the twisted advice you can every need. You can even spin the wheel of death, to decide which way you can kill Robin. I’ve also written two upcoming “journals” for Insight, which are essentially blank journal pads, with a short Batman and Joker story starting each one off.

WF: Now, to bring this to an end, can you give us one last reason to run out and pick up Batman: A Visual History, now available online and retail outlets everywhere?

MM: Without this book on your shelf, you may never read about the most Earth-shattering team-up between Batman and Superman in the history of comics: the day they went to a bar and drank milk. That story actually happened and was even penciled by the great David Mazzucchelli. But you have to read the book to find out when…

Special thanks to Matthew K. Manning for his participation in this Q & A!

The massive Batman: A Visual History hardcover book is now available at retail and digital outlets everywhere for $50US. Published by DK Books, the visually stunning, definitive guide by Manning arrives in a slipcase featuring specially commissioned artwork by DC Comics artist Jason Fabok plus two original prints. Check out the The World’s Finest review for this book here.

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Details For December 2014 “Teen Titans Go!,” “Beware The Batman” DC Comics Titles

DC Comics has officially announced details for the new December 2014 issue of Teen Titans Go!, the bi-monthly all-ages comic series from DC Entertainment. The Teen Titans Go! comic book title, based on the Cartoon Network ratings hit of the same name, collects two 10-page stories per issue. Each 10-page story is initially released monthly exclusively through digital outlets, including the DC Comics’ online store and Comixology, before being published for print every two months. Details for the upcoming print issue of Teen Titans Go! can be found below.

TEEN TITANS GO! #7
Written by SHOLLY FISCH and MERRILL HAGAN
Art by BEN BATES and JORGE CORONA
Cover by DAN HIPP
On sale DECEMBER 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E

When Starfire develops a massive crush on the latest teen pop sensation, Robin will stop at nothing to recapture her attention – even if he must become a teen idol himself! Plus: Cyborg gets an awesome new jacket!
Boo-yah!

Teen Titans Go!, the animated program of which the bi-monthly title from DC Comics title is based, airs Thursdays at 6:00pm (ET/PT) on Cartoon Network, with rebroadcasts airing throughout the week on Cartoon Network.

Continuing, DC Comics has also released details for an upcoming Beware The Batman trade paperback collection. The new Beware The Batman, Volume One collection includes all six issues of the short-lived comic book spin-off based on the CG-animated Cartoon Network animated series of the same name. Official details can be found be found below.

BEWARE THE BATMAN VOL. 1 TP
Written by IVAN COHEN, MATTHEW K. MANNING, SCOTT BEATTY and MIKE W. BARR
Art by LUCIANO VECCHIO and DARIO BRIZUELA
Cover by LUCIANO VECCHIO
On sale JANUARY 21 • 144 pg, FC, $12.99 US

In this all-ages title based on the Cartoon Network series, Bruce Wayne and his butler, former secret spy Alfred Pennyworth, take on Gotham City’s worst evildoers! Batman’s skills will be put to the test against villains Professor Pyg, Man-Bat, Tobias Whale and more in stories from issues #1-6.

Beware The Batman, Volume One, a six-issue trade paperback collection from DC Comics, is slated to hit shelves come January 21st, 2015 for $12.99US. Beware The Batman airs Saturdays at 2:30am (ET/PT) as part of the Toonami programming block on Adult Swim.

Click here to view the The World’s Finest Beware The Batman subsite. The subsite features videos, images, and exclusive content not available anywhere else. The section is consistently updated with new content.

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Final Issue Of “Beware The Batman” Title Now Available From DC Comics

The final issue of the monthly Beware The Batman title from publisher DC Comics and DC Entertainment, issue #6, arrives in comic book and hobby stores today. A downloadable digital version of the comic will also be available through digital outlets including ComiXology and the DC Comics website. The Beware The Batman comic is based on the Cartoon Network animated series of the same name, which is currently on broadcast hiatus in North America.

Matthew K. Manning is the author for Beware The Batman #6, with Luciano Vecchio providing the art. The World’s Finest recently interviewed both Beware The Batman comic writer Manning and artist Vecchio. The interviews can be found here and here respectively.

Click on the images below to view a preview of Beware The Batman #6, along with additional details below.

BEWARE THE BATMAN #6

Written by: Matthew K. Manning
Art by: Luciano Vecchio

The Story: Final Issue. In a story told entirely from first-person perspective, Alfred Pennyworth searches for Batman, who’s in the midst of a fight for his life! Can Alfred get there in time?

The cover price is $2.99US. Beware The Batman #6 is now available through both comic book stores and digital outlets.

A statement from DC Entertainment concerning the cancellation of the Beware The Batman comic book can be found right here at The World’s Finest. Additional details on the Beware The Batman comic series can be found at the The World’s Finest Beware The Batman subsite.

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Preview For “Beware The Batman” Issue #6, Final Issue Of The DC Comics Title

DC Comics has provided a preview for Beware The Batman #6, the final issue of the monthly comic title. The comic hits retail and digital outlets this Wednesday, March 26th, 2014. Beware The Batman is based on the Cartoon Network animated series of the same name, which is currently on broadcast hiatus in North America. A downloadable version of the comic will also be available through digital outlets including ComiXology and the DC Comics website.

Matthew K. Manning is the author for Beware The Batman #6, with Luciano Vecchio providing the art. The World’s Finest recently interviewed both Beware The Batman comic writer Manning and artist Vecchio. The interviews can be found here and here respectively.

Click on the images below to view a preview of the comic, along with additional details below.

BEWARE THE BATMAN #6

Written by: Matthew K. Manning
Art by: Luciano Vecchio

The Story: Final Issue. In a story told entirely from first-person perspective, Alfred Pennyworth searches for Batman, who’s in the midst of a fight for his life! Can Alfred get there in time?

The cover price is $2.99US. Beware The Batman #6 will be available to own through both comic book stores and digital outlets starting Wednesday, March 26th, 2014.

A statement from DC Entertainment concerning the cancellation of the Beware The Batman comic book can be found right here at The World’s Finest. Additional details on the Beware The Batman comic series can be found at the The World’s Finest Beware The Batman subsite.

Stay tuned for further updates here soon at The World’s Finest

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Details For March 2014 Issue Of “Beware The Batman” Title From DC Comics

DC Comics has officially announced details for the March 2014 issue of Beware The Batman, the monthly comic title based on Cartoon Network animated series of the same name. Beware the Batman incorporates Batman’s core characters with a rogue gallery of new villains not previously seen in animated form. Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordstress Katana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City’s criminal underworld. The comic book will feature rotating artists and writers providing stories based on the continuity of the CG-animated cartoon, airing as part of Cartoon Network’s DC Nation programming block. Continue below for further details.

BEWARE THE BATMAN #6
Written by MATTHEW W. MANNING
Art and cover by LUCIANO VECCHIO
On sale MARCH 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E

In a story told entirely from first-person perspective, Alfred Pennyworth searches for Batman, who’s in the midst of a fight for his life! Can Alfred get there in time?

Issue #6 of the monthly Beware The Batman series hits shelves March 26th, 2014 from DC Comics. Details on other issues of the Beware The Batman comic title can be found here.

Additional images and content can be found at the The World’s Finest Beware The Batman subsite. Beware The Batman will make its Cartoon Network Canada debut on Saturday, January 11th, 2014 at 8:00pm (ET/PT).

Beware The Batman currently airs Fridays at 8:30pm (ET/PT) as part of the Superfan Friday programming block on Teletoon. Additionally, Beware The Batman is set to return to Cartoon Network in January 2014 with all-new episodes. Stay tuned for further updates Beware The Batman updates here soon at The World’s Finest, including exclusive content and more.

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