Comfort Food Comics of Zur-En-Arrh – Building a Better Batman Column by Dave Shevlin

Hi everyone, just like the lull between Batman Inc. Volume 1 and the New 52’s Volume 2, it has been a minute. If you remember in my intro piece for this article series, I said I was going to go issue by issue on this long run. I’m here to apologize. I’m here to tell you now things have changed. Comfort Food Comics has grown and evolved at such a progressive rate that just me writing everything is no longer necessary. Frankly, that is boring and nobody wants that, even me. I tried to do my original approach. I read and reread the opening arc “Batman and Son” and while I was writing my issue by issue breakdowns I realized I was spitting in the spiritual face of this whole run. It’s spelled out right there in the title of Batman #655 – “Building A Better Batmobile.”

This arc, this monumental run as a whole is about breaking the cycle and building something new and interesting. How could I go and do an article series that has been done before countless times?! It runs completely antithetical to the material. It was boring, uninspired work. I’m not afraid to admit that to you. If you’re taking the time to read my site, I need to do better, I need to BE better. So embarrassingly, this is an announcement to tell you I’m shuttering what was and pivoting to what will be. I’m trying to refocus to the core themes of the work we’re analyzing here. Anything else would be garbage. Here at CFC, if something isn’t working, it’s getting shut down or preferably changed into something that will thrive.

Doing this series as I was trying before was forcing it. I wasn;t being myself. I couldn’t bring anything new to the material. As I sat here writing and rewriting my own takes, the pieces contributed by everyone else wanting to join this Batman Incorporated team started spilling in. I had to relearn how to be myself, just like Bruce Wayne does in this introductory arc. Why bog down a project with my incessant blathering that frankly wasn’t working? In the comics Bruce fails when he tries to do everything his way without the people who surround him’s help. I don’t want to be him here.

There’s so many different themes to lift from Morrison’s Bat-epic, but one of the strongest for me is doggedly trying to do things that just can’t work will only end in failure. I’d like to think I actually learned something from these comics that saved me from failing here. So here’s the changeup. I will still be writing about arcs or moments or bits that resonate with me personally for this run, but I am going to zero in on specifically those, rather than the unwieldy monster that is every single issue. I will not be following a schedule or order. When inspiration strikes, the work will follow.

The work that has started to come in from other contributors has been amazing and special and worthwhile. THAT is the type of article series that honors this series and is fit to be published here. I will be easing back personally and allowing other voices to shine. The Comfort Food Comics of Zur-En-Arrh will absolutely now be FULLY influenced by the spirit of Batman Inc. Rather than an ongoing numbered article series anchored by my writing it will be a column focused on featuring the work of anyone and everyone that wants in. I will be trying to amplify other people’s work, rather than mine. It feels right. It feels like it matches the power of the actual run. I’m sorry if you did come here for only my writing (seriously??) but things need to change. I need to “build a better Batmobile”. I need to build a better comics website. I need to build a better Batman column. I hope you’ll like it.

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