The holidays are right around the corner and every day brings us closer to Christmas. In The Batman Universe this will be true in less than two weeks with the release of Batman: Noel. Lee Bermejo wrote and drew the original graphic novel and spoke with Newsarama about the connections to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Newsarama: Lee, you'd mentioned in New York original idea for Batman: Noel came out of your desire to theme a graphic novel like a kids' book. But looking at the pages, this clearly isn't a kid’s book.
Lee Bermejo: No, no. My wife makes fun of me when I mention kids, because she says, "If you think this Batman story is for kids, you clearly don't know kids, and it's pretty obvious we don't have children." I don't think it's a children's book. But it has visual qualities and a narrative quality that mirrors that, purposefully so. I think there's also something very interesting about that juxtaposition. It's hard to imagine Batman in a children's book. I like contrast, and I like juxtaposing things like that.
When I was a kid, like four or five years old, I was obsessed with the Batman TV show in the '60s. And I took it totally seriously. At that age, I took it completely seriously. I didn't get the fact that it was kind of played for laughs. I didn't understand why my mom was rolling her eyes or chuckling. I think there's something kind of interesting there — to play the book seriously, but kind of wink and nod sometimes.
Newsarama: And this is a play on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Are there actually three ghosts?
Lee Bermejo: No, none of these characters are playing the actual Dickens characters. But you'll see characters in the story who are analogous to the ghosts. There are characters who fit in with the roles that those ghosts play in Dickens. The "Ghost of Christmas Past" is a sequence with Catwoman. The "Ghost of Christmas Present" is a sequence with Superman, and the "Ghost of Christmas Future" is Joker. The roles these characters play at that moment in the story help serve the same purpose that the ghosts serve in A Christmas Carol.
Newsarama: Does it take place at any certain point in continuity? Like between two certain issues?
Lee Bermejo: It doesn't necessarily fit into any particular continuity. It's hopefully something that any reader can pick up without having to know a ton about Batman. I think the neat thing about these characters now is that everyone knows who Batman is. They're familiar with the fact that he's Bruce Wayne, and that the Joker is his arch-nemesis. They even know about Robin.
For the entire interview, including a lot about the artistic approach for the graphic novel, head over to Newsarama. Batman: Noel hits stores November 2.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel