60s TV Batman Examined

Every jaded fanboy, such as yours truly, must agree on two things: the unparalleled awesomeness of Watchmen and the cringe inducing embarrassment that was the Batman TV series in the 1960s. Knowing it was such a departure for the character but still such a huge boost of awareness at the same time was always frustrating. Thankfully Burton and Nolan undid most of the damage decades later. However even I must admit that there was a period in the ’50s comics when Batman was as far from his pulp roots as possible, with zany adventures that even the TV series would consider to be too “out there.” In that vein, is this new book from the fine folks at SequArt, makers of this month’s Grant Morrison documentary Talking With Gods. Below is the official description.

Sequart Research & Literacy Organization’s Gotham City 14 Miles: 14 Essays on Why the 1960s TV Series Matters is now available for order through comic shops (use Diamond order code OCT101262). The book, edited by Jim Beard, is currently listed in the books section of October’s Previews catalog (page 332) and is set to hit stores in late December.

Gotham City 14 Miles offers 14 essays that examine the equally celebrated and derided show from varied, sometimes surprising viewpoints:

*Bats in Their Belfries: The Proliferation of Batmania, by Robert Greenberger. (Covers the genesis of the show and explosion of Batmania.)
*Batman: From Comics Page to TV Screen, by Peter Sanderson. (Delves intoBatman’s comic-book roots.)
*Such a Character: A Dissection and Examination of Two Sub-Species of Chiroptera homo sapiens, by Jim Beard. (Compares / contrasts the 1939 Batman with Adam West’s.)
*Notes on Bat-Camp, by Tim Callahan. (An effort to answer that age-old question, “Was Batman truly camp?”)
*Aunt Harriet’s Film Decency League, by Becky Beard. (Weighs the caliber of the show’s most significant guest stars.)
*POW!: Batman’s Visual Punch, by Bill Walko. (Looks into the impact of the show’s visual design.)
*Known Super-Criminals Still at Large, by Chuck Dixon. (Compares / contrasts TV versions with comic-book portrayals.)
*May I Have This Batdance? by Michael S. Miller. (Looks at the most famous TV theme and the songs it inspired.)
*The Best Dressed Women in Gotham City
, by Jennifer K. Stuller. (A compelling argument for its female denizens and their place in Batman.)
*Holy Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor! by Michael D. Hamersky. (Addresses the topic of youth culture as presented in Batman.)
*Gotham City
R&D, by Michael Johnson. (Examines Batman’s gadgetry.)
*Theatre of the Absurd: Batman: The Movie, by Rob Weiner. (Discusses the 1966 feature film.)
*Jumping the Bat-Shark, by Will Murray. (Delves into the third season of Batman.)
*Some Days You Just Can’t Get Rid of a Bomb, by Paul Kupperberg. (The show’s legacy beyond its original broadcast.)
*Afterword, by Jeff Rovin, co-author of Adam West’s Back to the Batcave. (Offers a few personal anecdotes about the show and working with West.)
*Episode Guide, by Joe Berenato. (A rundown of episodes with airdates and fun facts.)

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