Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bill the Boy Wonder: The Unused Covers of Ty

Ty Templeton, artist magnifico of numerous stories including Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, permitted me to show sketches of cover ideas for the book.


 Including notes by Ty.

These were homages to early Batman comics. While I liked that idea on one level, ultimately I wanted our book iconography to stand on its own—to avoid referencing existing images. I also didn’t want to represent Bill as Batman himself. Though there are parallels (life in the shadows, namely), it seemed inconsistent with the tone of the story. Bill is the hero of the story, but not quite heroic; his fatal flaw is a lack of self-defense—emphatically not Batman-esque.


I loved the angled, almost subverted silhouette. But I felt the cover overall was too colorful for Batman. I specifically did not like orange. I also did not prefer vertical type treatment for our names.


Dramatic improvement in color. But I wanted my name and Ty’s to be on equal footing. And I wanted the subtitle, which contains the most marketable word on the cover, to be higher. Also, the bow tie seemed too twee; besides, several I asked said Bill did not wear them.


Names look much better. Bow tie gone but top-buttoned shirt not much less twee.


Finally we get a bat! And a loose collar! But the red is Superman, not Batman. For a replacement color, I suggested purple as a nod to the original color of Batman’s gloves.

The winner:


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