Batman: Noel is one week away from releasing everywhere and marks the unofficial start to the holiday season for The Batman Universe. Lee Bermejo talked with Comic Book Resources about some of the story elements we will see.
CBR: The preview pages show that the pages seem to be centered around one big image each time out, and the lettering floats around instead of being held in standard captions. Was that part of the conception of the whole book?
Lee Bermejo: The whole time this was pitched as a storybook kind of project. It was pitched as a graphic novel that would definitely be less traditional in terms of its storytelling. And again, that was just something I wanted to do at the time – an avenue I wanted to explore. And this story felt like it was perfect with that look. I think everybody's familiar with "A Christmas Carol" at this point, but the great thing about that – and I think the reason for that – is that thematically it's got something universal. I thought that it would be interesting to play with those classic ideas but use DC characters.
And I think it's important to note too that this isn't an adaptation. You're not going to see top hats and canes. [Laughter] It's its own story that mirrors the structure of "A Christmas Carol," and you have a narrator that's telling you the story of "A Christmas Carol" almost as if he was telling it to someone else. There are elements where he leaves things up to interpretation. He forgets part of it. He moves through the story in a disjointed way. He lets himself go on tangents from time to time, but essentially the story you're following in the book is the story of a father who tried his hand at the criminal profession because of desperation, but he quickly realizes it's not for him. He gets a job working for the Joker, and Batman uses him as bait to try and capture the Joker.
CBR: "Joker" got a lot of press as a book that sold big in bookstores around the time "The Dark Knight" came out as a comic that non-Wednesday readers could come in and pick right up. With this hitting during the holiday shopping season, do you have similar hopes for "Noel" being a comic that a lot of people who know the characters from film or TV might want to give a try?
Lee Bermejo: I want anyone to buy it at any time of the year. I think that it's obvious that this is the right time to put it out. But the thing I found with "Joker" that steered me in the direction I've been going in professionally is that I'm amazed at how many people who have at least come up to me and said they liked "Joker" and they weren't regular comic readers. These are people who are maybe casual comic book readers. They don't follow the continuity as strictly. I see it as my responsibility to maybe try and get those people who don't read comics on a monthly basis to pick up these books. It's a lofty goal. [Laughter] But at the same time, these stand-alone graphic novels tend to work well for that audience who don't need to know a bunch of continuity to get into it.
For the entire interview, including some brief talk about Bermejo's past graphic novels, head over to Comic Book Resources. Batman: Noel hits stores next week, November 2.