2014 marks the 75th anniversary of Batman, and what better way to celebrate it then with a brand new Souvenir Book cover of the Dark Knight by Jim Lee?
Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27, back in 1939. Created by Bob Kane with an invaluable assist by Bill Finger, the Caped Crusader went on to become one of the greatest superheroes ever, not only conquering the comic book world, but also TV, movies, animation, toys, action figures, and much, much more. Batman is one of the most recognizable fictional characters in the world.
But 2014 also marks three other separate notable anniversaries in the Batman legend:
• It’s the 100th birthday of writer Bill Finger who wrote many of the character’s adventures, from the earliest stories through the 1960s, and is responsible for such additions to the Bat-legend as Commissioner Gordon, the Batcave, the Batmobile, Gotham City, and Alfred, plus some of the Dark Knight’s most infamous villains. Finger is the namesake of the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing, given each year at Comic-Con since 2005;
• It’s the 50th anniversary of the “New Look” Batman, which started in 1964 under editor Julius Schwartz and including artist Carmine Infantino’s interpretation of the Caped Crusader, which saved Detective Comics from possible cancellation;
• And it’s the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman movie, which brought the character back to a whole new audience, in a new—and much darker—form.
DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee, known for his work on Batman: Hush, both penciled and inked this year’s Souvenir Book cover, with coloring by Alex Sinclair. It’s a rare pencil AND ink piece by Lee, and it showcases the Dark Knight in one of his most iconic poses, on a dark and stormy night, high over Gotham City. And if you’re thinking this would make a great T-shirt, you’re right! Stay tuned for more info on that coming soon.
This year’s Souvenir Book—a 224-page full-color trade paperback given free to all Comic-Con attendees, while supplies last—features a long section devoted to the Caped Crusader, and includes articles by Michael Uslan (executive producer of all the Batman films since 1989), Paul Levitz (writer/editor and former DC Comics president and publisher), Marc Tyler Nobleman (author of Bill the Wonder Boy: The Secret Co-creator of Batman), Todd Klein (Eisner Award-winning letterer and designer), and more. The book also features salutes to Marvel Comics’ 75th anniversary, Daredevil’s 50th, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ 30th, Usagi Yojimbo’s 30th, Hellboy’s 20th, and much, much more. It’s the kind of keepsake book you’ll want to take home with you to read again and again. The CCI 2014 Souvenir Book is available only onsite at Comic-Con to registered attendees.