Hunt the Dark Knight
As of October 16, I’ve passed the halfway point for Chris Samnee’s Batober drawing challenge, completing a Batman drawing every day in October. I already shared drawings from the first three days in a previous post, so here are drawings #4–16 (along with some extra details):
Day 4: Batman vs. Killer Croc. 🐊
Day 5: this panel is a straight-up homage to Frank Miller, a reworking of a scene from The Dark Knight Returns #1. My theory is that the original is his own darkly humorous reference to the 1966 TV series.
Day 6: Batman vs. Catwoman, with a nod to Darwyn Cooke’s practical catburglar costume.
Day 7: Batman vs. Two-Face. 🎭
Day 8: Batman vs. The Joker. 🃏 I emphasized one of my favorite details of Heath Ledger’s definitive performance in The Dark Knight: The Joker always brings knives to a fight.
Day 9: I updated a panel from Batman: Year One drawn by David Mazzucchelli, who is my all-time favorite Batman artist. It compresses the sequence of Batman evading a SWAT team while activating a hypersonic bat-attracting signal in his boot (he’s a skilled multitasker).
Day 10: I’m a big fan of “dry humor” portrayals of Alfred the loyal butler/quartermaster/IT expert/medic. I borrowed Bruce Wayne’s pose from the Hellenistic sculpture Boxer at Rest at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme in Roma.
Day 11: An homage to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, specifically its pitch-perfect introduction of the costume.
Day 12: Batman vs. The Scarecrow (and his Freudian-nightmare-inducing fear toxin).
Day 13: Bruce Wayne, craftsman.
Day 14: Batman vs. Bane. Though not my favorite Bat-nemesis, I appreciate that Bane is one of the very few villains whose tactics constantly outflank Batman. I adapted this figure group from the Roman sculpture Lottatori at the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Firenze.
Day 15: Batman vs. Kite Man. 🪁 Tom King is one of my favorite contemporary comics writers, both for his serious dramatic arcs and his deft humorous flourishes. He not only refurbished the D-list villain Kite Man as a sympathetic and multi-dimensional character, he coined a fan-beloved catch phrase in the process: “Kite Man! Hell yeah!”
Day 16: Batman vs. Mister Freeze. 🥶 I “borrowed” another figure from the Uffizi in this one: Victor Fries’ beloved wife Nora strikes the pose of Voluptas, one of the Three Graces in Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera.
Sixteen down, fifteen to go!
Comic geek fun notwithstanding, I’m steadily building an efficient vector drawing technique for use in EXIT CITY. I’m learning to block in solid shapes of hue before adding the final defining lines, so I arrive at a compositional design more quickly. Keeping the palette limited to shades of gray (and the occasional accent color) further speeds that process along.
I’ll ultimately share the rest of my Batober drawings as a batch here. But if you prefer to follow my day-to-day progress, you can see each new drawing on Instagram and TikTok.