EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Graham Nolan, Co-Creator Of Bane

The artist talks to us about the creation of Bane, taking us through the the design process as well as sharing his thoughts on Tom Hardy's upcoming portrayal of the villain in The Dark Knight Rises. He also discusses current projects, Rex Morgan, M.D. and Sunshine State.

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By Josh Wilding - 3/24/2012
Graham Nolan grew up between Long Beach, NY and Indian Harbour Beach, FL. For two years, he went to the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. Because he couldn't afford to graduate, he started working in advertising while waiting for his big break in comics. That break came at DC Comics when one of his teachers, Sal Amendola (who was the talent coordinator there) bought two of his school assignments to run in "New Talent Showcase." Soon after, he started picking up more assignments from DC, Marvel and Eclipse Comics eventually leading to a 6 year run illustrating Batman in "Detective Comics" and co-creating the villain, Bane. In 1998, he wrote, illustrated and self-published, "Monster Island." In 2000, he took over the syndicated comic-strip, "Rex Morgan, M.D." and the Sunday Phantom feature for King Features Syndicate. He has since dropped the Phantom to have more time to freelance in the comic-book field and continues to draw Rex as well as his humor strip, Sunshine State. [www.grahamnolanart.com]


Firstly, can you tell us about your current projects, Rex Morgan, M.D. and Sunshine State?

I've been doing the art for REX MORGAN, M.D. since 2000! Can't believe I've been on the strip for 12 years already! SUNSHINE STATE is my humor strip that is on line (www.sunshinestatecomics.com) as well as in newspapers. It is syndicated through Ink Bottle Syndicate. It's so enjoyable because it's such a departure from my other work.




Could you take us through your part in the creation of Bane?

I had done some fill ins on Detective Comics when I got a call (I think from editor Scott Peterson) to do this new project called Vengeance of Bane. At a Bat-Summit it was decided they needed a new villain to go toe to toe with Batman in the upcoming story arc: KNIGHTFALL. Chuck and I talked about who this guy was and where he came from so I designed him based on this Latin American origins as well the story needs. Chuck described him as the "evil Doc Savage" to used the James Bama Doc covers as a jumping off point for his look. When he has is mask off you will note he looks like Doc Savage with half his head shaved.


Did you ever imagine that the character would become as popular as he has?

We hoped he would take off for KNIGHTFALL. In fact we needed him to be accepted by the readers because he was the lynchpin to the entire story. The fact that he has been reborn for a new generation via ARKHAM ASYLAM and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, 20 years after we created him is pretty amazing.


What makes Bane such a good villain for a character like Batman to face off against?

Batman had never had an adversary that was both his intellectual and physical equal. Batman does what he does because he never wants another child to go through what he did. He works from a place of altruism, sacrifice and heroic ideals. Bane is a total narcissist. Bane does everything for the benefit of Bane.


Can you tell us what you think of Tom Hardy playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises?

He's a great actor and I look forward to seeing him as Bane. From the comments he and Christopher Nolan have made about Bane's character, it sounds like they "get" it.


As in his previous Batman films, director Christopher Nolan has gone for a slightly more realistic take on Bane's appearance. What do you think of the design?

I'm not as concerned with his "look" as I am in his character. Most comic characters looks have to be changed for film because what may look cool in a comic doesn't always translate to the real world of film.


How did you feel about the sillier take on Bane in 1997's Batman & Robin?

Haven't see the movie but the character looked cool. A perfect example of the importance of getting the character wrong and the look right. Proves my point.


The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises. Which are you most looking forward to seeing this year?

The Dark Knight Rises of course followed by The Avengers!


Anything else your fans should be looking out for from you this year?

If fans would like to read BANE'S origin they should pick up the BATMAN VS BANE graphic novel on sale now (currently #4 on the NY Times Bestseller List for graphic paperbacks). Also check out SUNSHINE STATE at www.sunshinestatecomics.com. And look for GRAHAM NOLAN'S: MONSTER ISLAND to be published by Pulp 2.0 later this year!


Many thanks to Graham for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking HERE.

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109 Comments
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PaulRom - 3/24/2012, 12:42 PM
Great interview Josh. Sounds like Graham knows what he's talking about.
RidiculousFanBoyDemands - 3/24/2012, 12:48 PM
Didn't another user get an interview with this guy a few weeks back?
Nemeres - 3/24/2012, 12:56 PM
This guy's art is too awesome for words. Hands down my fav Batman artist, even above Tim Sale, Jim Aparo and Jim Lee.
Supes17 - 3/24/2012, 12:59 PM
Nope, I would have to call myself a moron as well. Because I'm excited for the Avengers. Are you looking to start another Marvel/DC debate this early in the thread?


Supes17 - 3/24/2012, 1:00 PM
THE FIRE RISES
Irons - 3/24/2012, 1:02 PM
"Most comic characters looks have to be changed for film because what may look cool in a comic doesn't always translate to the real world of film."

Sometimes I feel like this needs to be this website's slogan because some people still amazingly don't get it.
Supes17 - 3/24/2012, 1:02 PM
I don't see any Marvel Supremacists either. Like I said, its too early for one of them Marvel/DC debates. Lol
Supes17 - 3/24/2012, 1:04 PM
@Irons:
Agreed. I think I'll copy and paste it on threads.
Followed by a pic of silly Bane from Batman and Robin
Dragon316ca - 3/24/2012, 1:07 PM
@Irons: I wonder how that youtube guy, HollywoodRape, feels about that comment. lol.
antonio - 3/24/2012, 1:10 PM
@Xenix then i'm a massive moron because i, too, highly anticipate Avengers.

@Azazel exactly!! They will NEVER get it.

Great interview.
nailbiter111 - 3/24/2012, 1:11 PM
I guess we'll have two interviews with Graham. This should be funny.
NeoBaggins - 3/24/2012, 1:12 PM
"Most comic characters looks have to be changed for film because what may look cool in a comic doesn't always translate to the real world of film."

I agree.
antonio - 3/24/2012, 1:19 PM
That is an epic pic, MoonKnight. I kind of have the urge to watch all those films again. :P
DCnerd46 - 3/24/2012, 1:20 PM
NOLANITES LISTEN UP: not EVERYBODY has to love Christopher Nolan. Just because someone doesn't care for his films, it doesn't mean they're a moron who doesn't comprehend them. It doesn't mean that they have no appreciation for good cinema. Cinema is art, & art is subjective. Some will like a particular film, some won't. Just because I was disappointed as a fan by The Dark Knight, that doesn't mean I'm some bumbling idiot. It isn't set in stone that TDK is the greatest comic book movie of all time. Not EVERYONE has to see it that way. If someone prefers the comic book movies of Donner, Burton, Snyder, Raimi, Favreau, or whoever, then that's FINE. If you bow to a golden statue of Nolan every night before you go to bed, then good for you. Just don't shove it down my throat. Understand the distinction between fact & opinion. You can't disprove somebody's opinion.
 
Irons - 3/24/2012, 1:20 PM
@Dragon316ca

Lol that guy is hilarious. He justifies so many stereotypes
antonio - 3/24/2012, 1:24 PM
@Dragon316ca are you from NolanFans.com? That name sounds so familiar. Just curious.

@Nemeres fantastic artist. I especially loved his work on The Atom. Very underrated.
Red187 - 3/24/2012, 1:24 PM
interview was already posted.
NeoBaggins - 3/24/2012, 1:28 PM
@DCnerd46 Dude, stop arguing with yourself lol
DCnerd46 - 3/24/2012, 1:31 PM
@NeoBaggins You're obviously too stupid to see the validity to my point.
TeamPancakes69 - 3/24/2012, 1:34 PM
Pancakes
RidiculousFanBoyDemands - 3/24/2012, 1:38 PM
MoonKnight likes to report people for no reason when he becomes upset lol.
RidiculousFanBoyDemands - 3/24/2012, 1:39 PM
I'm glad they changed Bane's costume, in my opinion he looks flat out silly in the comics.
95 - 3/24/2012, 1:40 PM
Graham speaks the truth.
antonio - 3/24/2012, 1:43 PM
I still don't get how Graham thought big foot with a mask looked "cool" in Batman & Robin.... maybe he was bullshitting around?
DCnerd46 - 3/24/2012, 1:47 PM
@Azazel1 Can you frigging read? If you read my comment from earlier, then my point should be pretty clear.
RidiculousFanBoyDemands - 3/24/2012, 1:48 PM
I don't bow down before a gold Nolan statue before I go to bed. Gold is way to expensive, and I have loans to pay back. I have a bronze statue.
RidiculousFanBoyDemands - 3/24/2012, 1:53 PM
DCnerd chill dude. We get it you don't like Nolan, normal people don't complain or discuss something they don't like. They move on and find other things to discuss that are more interesting to them. The fact the you feel the need to tell people how much you dislike Nolan constantly, makes me wonder if you are a closet Nolan fan. Either that or you are someone who is way too jealous and sensitive over the acclaim of The Dark Knight so you have to try to bring everyone that likes him down to your level.
RidiculousFanBoyDemands - 3/24/2012, 1:54 PM
Hey moonknight instead of reporting people for no reason like a coward how about you join the discussion?
OverlyManlyMan - 3/24/2012, 1:58 PM
I understand they had to change his look, but did they really have to change his ethnicity, come on, like there is not enough Latin villains out there in big budget movies. That's what really gets me. And dont tell me, we dont know what is ethnicity is cause with that accent, I KNOW he is not of Latin roots. SMH!
antonio - 3/24/2012, 2:07 PM
@Plain so....the studio gave their own film a standing ovation?
Giraffehead - 3/24/2012, 2:07 PM
@Azazel1

I always thought it was Batman fans that didn't like his suit, I didn't realize it was Marvel fans. I'll take your word for that, and honestly if it really is Marvel fans then why would it matter?

To defend Moonknight, I think he (like many of us) doesn't see the point of poking sleeping beasts. You may enjoy the debate, or trying to get under Marvel fans skin, but for some it is a tired debate filled with name calling that accomplishes nothing.

He may not make his views known in a way that you like (i.e. reporting you), but I don't disagree with them.

Before you get defensive, I don't believe it is wrong of you to debate this way, it's just a matter of it being a polarizing issue.
RidiculousFanBoyDemands - 3/24/2012, 2:14 PM
@Antonio

It is better than Mea Culpa's and whisperings of it not being cinematic enough. But yeah I agree, of course the studio is going to love what Nolan is showing them. They don't see him as a man. They just see him as a walking dollar sign.
BellHorneKing - 3/24/2012, 2:19 PM
Graham Nolan's work with Chuck Dixon on "Batman: Devil's Advocate" is probably the best Joker story since Moore's Killing Joke.

Supes17 - 3/24/2012, 2:52 PM
Come on guys! Grow the [frick] up.
@MoonKnight:
STOP reporting people who do not share your opinion. You can get banned for that shit
Christuffer - 3/24/2012, 3:07 PM
Just played "Arkham City" the other day...and now that I think about it, Bane's voice really does kinda match
Asterisk - 3/24/2012, 3:33 PM
God, this website can get hypocritical sometimes. XD

Yep, seeing as Nolan is my second favorite filmmaker (behind Quentin Tarantino), and the fact that this film got a standing ovation from the STUDIO...I CAN'T [frick]ING WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE.

And Avengers and Spiderman will be good too :D
antonio - 3/24/2012, 3:53 PM
@Asterisk just wait until the actual film comes out. I'm sure it will get a long standing O.
Asterisk - 3/24/2012, 4:03 PM
@antonio

And I'll be one of the ones whistling XD
batfan175 - 3/24/2012, 4:23 PM
@ChavoDel8: i don't know that they changed it. even if it turns out that he's been raised by ra's al ghul it does not mean that he's not an adopted latin-american person.
Alexandre - 3/24/2012, 4:57 PM
why do so many marvelites talk so much shit about nolan and his bat films when many of the directors and comic book writers from marvel's side share the same opinion that "nolanites" share. they all like the guy and his films.

i can accept the shit talking. i really can. but dont contradict yourselves when you talk shit. because then you're just showing to everyone that you are a pure dumbass.


i understand that most ppl just really hate the cult and that they dont hate nolan so much. they also hate that most magazines and critics have tdk ranked as the best cbm so far. before the tdk most magazines and critics had spiderman 2 in that spot. this is just pure opinion related and sometimes that opinion is shared by the mass.

but what we have to understand is that these opinions are organic. they are constantly changing. we're getting new cbm almost every year and any of them can change the status quo of cbms.

tdk is the best cbm is a an opinion. pure and simple. but it is an opinion shared by the majority of ppl and it is an opinion that can change, will change and continue to change. but until then, it is the best cbm by the majority of opinions.

accept that. u dont have to like it but accept that fact and allow for time to take its tow and change it. because if you cant accept that, then you're just uncivil to debate with and shouldn't live in a democratic country.


ok out of topic question here but does anyone know the amount of members this site has and the rank that this site is placed amongst other cbm related sites?
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