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Hey, when it's good, it's good. You gotta give it up. And that's exactly what I had to do with Cartoon Network's Batman: The Brave and The Bold.
When I first heard that there was gonna be a new, new Batman animated TV show, I was like, "First of all, it's gonna have huge shoes to fill coming behind the incredible Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. And second, the tone is gonna be that campy, over-the-top Dick Sprang vibe? That's gonna suck."
Of course, I was dead wrong. And I told James Tucker, the producer of Batman: The Brave and The Bold, as much in my interview with him. Thing is, he said the potential Silver Age campiness was partially why he agreed to help develop the project in the first place.
Apparently, the 1950's era DC comic book of the same name was one of James' very first comics as a kid. It was geek providence that he got offered the chance to bring some of that flavor to animated life. When Sam Register approached him with the idea a few years ago, James says he liked the fact that this cartoon incarnation of Batman would be very different from Batman: The Animated Series.
I knew Tucker's name and face from the behind-the-scenes extras on my other Warner Bros. animated DVDs. Superman, Justice League, Batman Beyond — he worked on all of them— either in the art department, or as he did on BTBaTB, as a producer.
And he mentions in our talk that he learned much of the craft of producing under the wing of animator extraordinaire, Bruce Timm. Timm, along with Alan Burnett, Glen Murakami, Paul Dini, and Michael Jelenic, are just a few of the talented collaborators that James has worked with since he got his start at Warner Bros. Animation.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold debuted back in November of 2008, and the series just ended with its triumphant final episode on August 1, 2011. It was a delightful show that captured all the adventure and whimsy of those old Silver Age comics without ever slavishly paying homage to them. Tucker and crew cleverly pulled classic elements together, and then pushed them through a modern day filter — thus, making their show very much its own thing. Well done, folks!
**It's just me asking the questions on this one, but I had a ball. Hope you dig it.