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Friday, November 19, 2021 

The career of a Connecticut artist

The Journal Inquirer interviewed a veteran artist in Connecticut named Jim Taylor, who's been in the business for nearly 4 decades, and is now working on his own indie comic titled The Wrap. He is, however, one of those kind of people who thinks Batman is great simply because he's a mortal human:
He began to idolize the work of comic book artists such as Neil Adams and Marshall Rogers, who are both known for their work on Batman comics in the 1970s.

During that time, the character began to take on a much darker persona opposed to the previously campy 1960s version of Batman famously played by Adam West in the live-action television series.

“I liked that Batman could actually get hurt. He’s not a superhero in terms of superpowers,” Taylor said. “He can’t fly and he was vulnerable. Through training and money, he was determined to not let what happened to him happen to other people.”
This also obfuscates that the Masked Manhunter originally did begin as darker in the Golden Age, before the Silver Age saw his stories mostly toned down to a point. In any event, a shame we have here yet another somebody who thinks this literally makes Batman better than other heroes like Superman, his past vulnerability to magic energies as much as Kryptonite notwithstanding. Why, come to think of it, if Taylor could cite Batman as a favorite read, why not Daredevil? Matt Murdock could also risk injury and pain in his career as Hornhead, and his radar vision/heightened senses offsetting his blindness didn't prevent him from getting hurt either. Why only Batman? I just don't get it.
Taylor recalled another story — this one from about 20 years ago — when he called DC Comics on a whim, which at the time was headquartered in New York, and inquired about illustrating for the company.

“I said, ‘I’d really like to come down and show you what I can do and just talk to someone,’ and I don’t know if they liked the whole brazenness of me just calling or what, but they said, ‘OK, we’ll see you next Thursday.’”

Taylor, still in awe that he was invited to the company’s headquarters, traveled to New York and met with an executive who gave him an unpublished script for a Green Lantern comic book.

“First of all, I was just amazed that I was actually at DC Comics. Who did I think I was? Who was I fooling?” Taylor said.

After illustrating the script and mailing it back, Taylor never heard back from the company.

“It was never about the money or anything like that. I was just happy that I got the opportunity,” Taylor said. “They were interested enough in my work to give me a script to work on. There was nothing negative about the experience at all.”
They may have welcomed him in respectably at the time, but if they never gave him any further jobs, that's honestly insulting; an example of somebody winding up treated like tissue paper. I do wonder what kind of GL script they gave him to illustrate, though? If it was something to do with the Kyle Rayner era, which is largely forgotten today, there's really no point to working on it, since it all tied into one of the most embarrassing stunts ever pulled, with Hal Jordan becoming a huge victim in the worst ways possible. As I've said before, this was something the GL title never really recovered from.

All that said, I do wish Mr. Taylor good luck with his indie projects, and I think, given the dire state mainstream superheroes are in now, he's much better off working at smaller publishers who aren't beholden to the same PC standards conglomerate-owned properties are now.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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