Published in 1998, Batman Animated is a beautiful coffee table book which focuses on the phenomenally successful television show, Batman: The Animated Series. The book tells the story of the show’s development, from its inception, through to its broadcast, and features a stunning collection of artwork, including storyboards, character designs, and more.
In this post, I am taking a look through this book, which in my opinion is a wonderful companion to the series. The book details a great deal of the show’s early years, ideal for fans keen to learn more, but is also a treat for the eyes.
Before I begin taking a look at this book, I must put out a warning, just in case you want to buy one for yourself. Batman Animated is no longer in print and is very expensive to purchase.
The hardback edition was released in 1998, and later followed by a soft back edition. Both editions are now considered sought after items, and are not available in book stores.
If you wish to buy a copy of Batman Animated, the secondary market is where you will find a copy. eBay is perhaps your first port of call, but don’t expect to pay anything less than £100 – £120+ (unless you’re lucky).
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but thought it best to be clear from the start. Now, let’s take a look inside…
Arguably the most notable aspect of this book, is the beautiful photography from Geoff Spear. Batman Animated is loaded with fantastic imagery from the first page to the last and it is easy to get lost amongst the pages.
The book tells the story of Batman: The Animated Series, from its creation upwards, and does so surrounded by a treasure trove of pictures. Storyboards, background paintings, sketches, and photographs all bring the words to life, and collectively this makes for an eye-popping experience.
One of my favourite inclusions is a quadruple page pull-out, featuring all of the title cards that were used in the series. The title cards appeared at the beginning of each episode, so can be found on The Cat and the Claw, Harlequinade, House & Garden, and so on.
Further into the book, and a number of pages are dedicated to the characters of Batman: The Animated Series. Each major hero and villain is given anywhere from a half-page through to a double-page spread to show off their designs, and it gives them their time in the spotlight.
Outside of the villains, there are pages for Batman: The Animated Series merchandise, as well as sketches, an intro from Bruce Timm, and a brief bit of art from the movies, Mask of the Phantasm and Subzero. There is also a small episode guide, which includes the original US air dates for each episode.
Signed, sealed, delivered
Something which is unique to my edition is a small collection of autographs. These are unique to my book, because over the years I have met a few voice actors in person and I have asked them to sign my copy of Batman Animated.
I am aware that a number of fans have also had their books signed, to ensure their copy of Batman Animated is somewhat of a memento/keepsake. I am mentioning this here as some of the images in this post include signatures, and some sellers may offer signed copies, but as a general rule, the books are not signed.
My signatures include Adam West, Adrienne Barbeau, Helen Slater, Marc Singer, and David Warner. I met all of these actors at conventions, and I asked them to sign my copy of the book.
I did (and still do) want to add more signatures to Batman Animated, but life has got in the way. Oh, and many years ago, I did meet Kevin Conroy, but foolishly I didn’t have the book with me, so it is missing his all-important John Hancock!
I think my feelings about Batman Animated are fairly obvious, but to be clear I believe this book to be the perfect accompaniment to Batman: The Animated Series. It is visually striking, but also informative, providing a good understanding of all the hard work that went into making the show.
While Batman: The Animated Series is readily available to watch on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming, and still looks good, it is important to have a tome filled with backstage material that fans don’t get to see on screen. Batman Animated doesn’t just tell a story, it also acts as a small archive to preserve some of the show’s inner workings and I consider it a favourite part of my collection.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about Batman Animated on I’ll Get Drive-Thru. For more Batman-related posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
- 35 best episodes of Batman: The Animated Series
- The price of a rare Batman Forever SNES game?
- Isn’t it about time Lois & Clark was released on Blu-ray?