I apologize for not connecting up with our readership more often. It's a busy schedule thing. A monthly book will keep one on their toes, that's for sure. About a month ago, Jimmy Palmiotti and I were informed out of the blue that he and I were being removed from Catwoman. We were a little stunned to say the least. Editor, Matt Idelson personally broke the news.
Apparently, we didn't get the sales up to snuff although they had surpassed the previous team's efforts. The War Games series helped, but it wasn't enough. . This seems to be the case tradionally with most female lead characters including Wonder Woman and Electra as examples. Catwoman was a book among other title shake-ups and it's not uncommon for D.C. or Marvel to go this route. It's business and if the announcement of a new creative team can possibly garnish new readership, it's simply a case of getting the sales up. Leonardo Da Vinci would get the boot if the numbers stunk.
In the meantime, I must say I had a ball working with Ed Brubaker, Jimmy, and our rising star colorist, Laurie Kronenberg. For a couple of years, Laurie had sent samples of her work and I kept an eye on her progress. When they hired me as penciller on Catwoman, I twisted Matt Idelson's arm to give her a shot and it worked out terrifically. She's on her way to be one of the best. She's a very talented hard worker with intense drive. Persistence is the key. I always believed that it's not so much that you want to do something. it's that you NEED to do it. Laurie is case in point.
I like to refer to Selena Kyle as "everybody's darling". A great iconic character with beauty, charm, wit, intelligence and moral fiber. As you can imagine, she was a blast to draw. I was determined to breath life into her. Make her someone you wish you knew. At times I utilize photo reference and I used three different models to pose for me as the character along the way. I even had the whip prop.
I took it upon myself to tighten up the costume and make her a little more of the traditional sexy Catwoman the majority of fans prefer.
Everyone seems to favor a particular costume thru the years when I speak to the readers. Ed confided to me early on that the costume she was wearing before was designed by him. He said that he basically took Joe Kubert's Enemy Ace helmet and added the ears. The body suit was simply a retro 60's leather motorcycle outfit.
Most people I run into don't care for the goggles. Some people told me that they won't pick the book up because of the goggles. For me, it was neither here nor there. Frankly, if given the opportunity I probably would give her something new. Head to toe
Anyhow, we all had a good time. It was a pleasure to work with Ed. He's one of the best when he wants to be as you all know. I wish him much success with Captain America. Issue # 37 will be his last.
We all think the next team has a pretty tough act to follow. Personally, I feel it might be a good idea to get Catwoman out of the east end a little more often and bring her into Gotham. Break away once in a while from the street kids and the nurse. Keep Robert Mitchum. . ERRRR. . I mean Slam in there and Batman is definitely a must. Holly too. Utilize the classic heavy hitter villains.
Lame, uninspired wooden characters won't cut it. Keep the plots thick and refrain from the "Seinfeld School of writing" where at the end of the day it essentially adds up to a big bunch of nothing. Give the readers something, for God's sake. Strictly my opinion.
Good news on the horizon: "Holy sh__, Batman!"...
Next up, the GODFATHER, a.k.a. Jimmy Palmiotti and I team up with writer Devin Grayson for a 98 page prestige format Batman mini-series slated for spring 2005. We'll fill you in with news shortly but for the time being, all I can tell you is that it includes Batman's old nemesis, Ra's Al Ghul and a whole lot of zombies terrorizing Gotham.
Other exciting news is the "art of" book, also due out for an early 2005 release. Everything will be jammed in that book except the kitchen sink.
I want to thank my pal Matt, my webmaster and dear friend over in France where this site originates from. Matt is a heavy motorcycle enthusiast who loves to Buell bikes [made by Harley Davidson]. Matt rides everyday, flying around the streets of Paris at break-neck speeds. He's all excited because I recently sent him a shirt with the Buell logo on it. He told me "Man, if this shirt doesn't help me pull chicks, nothing will!" You go, matt.
Others that we need to give thanks to for keeping us chugging along include Gustavo over in Spain, my man, Dave Lemieux, Jan Bentzen from Denmark, Stuart, Henry and all the guys who once helped us sending stuff for the site.
Take care, everyone and happy holidays!