ZLONK ZOK ZOWIE EXCLUSIVE Interview: GOTHAM CITY: 14 Miles' Jim Beard Discusses His New Book

ZLONK ZOK ZOWIE <font color=red>EXCLUSIVE</font> Interview: GOTHAM CITY: 14 Miles' Jim Beard Discusses His New Book

The sideways sequel to Gotham City: 14 Miles is Zlonk Zok Zowie: The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide To Batman '66 Season One. To celebrate this new release we spoke with editor Jim Beard. Check it out!

Writer and editor Jim Beard has never been shy about his love for Batman, especially the pop culture phenomenon series Batman '66, which starred Adam West and Burt Ward. He previously put together a collection of essays in a book called Gotham City: 14 Miles which featured a handful of writers sharing their thoughts on the series.

Today marks the release of a new book from Beard, and while it isn't a direct sequel to Gotham City: 14 Miles, it's being described as a sideways sequel, as it shares the same theme and many of the writers are returning to contribute again. These include Bob Greenberger, Will Murray, Dayton Ward, and Chuck Dixon, among others.

The new book is called Zlonk Zok Zowie: The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman '66 Season One, and this time each of the writers is focusing on a different episode and adding their own hook.

Take a look at what Beard had to say and see what you make of his comments for yourself.

Joe: Could you break down for me exactly what these books are going to look like? I understand there are different reviews throughout the titles, but could you give us an official description from your perspective?

Jim Beard: I’ve been calling it a sideways sequel to my book from 2010 called Gotham City: 14 Miles. That was a non-fiction examination of the show. And what we did is we had fourteen different writers come at every aspect of the show and each took a theme like the actors, the music, the visual design, and the stories which connected with the actual comic stories. They really took it apart and did a full examination of the show which had never been done before.

The book was very popular, I was very very thrilled with it, and everybody did such a great job with it. Over the years I was asked many times over the years to do a sequel to it. And I thought about it a lot and at one point I came close to doing a sequel but I realized more and more that to me it felt like a done in one book. It felt like anything I was going to do like that was never going to live up to that standard - it was kind of a perfect storm.

Two years ago as I was driving from Toledo to Atlanta for Dragon Con, I conceived of a way to talk more about the show and use some of the same writers but not have it be an actual sequel to Gotham City: 14 Miles. What I decided to do was have it about the episodes themselves and I did it in that same way where I got a fantastic list of writers and assigned each one of them an episode and just let them loose. The twist is gonna be that they all have a hook. I wanted some kind of unique entry point into them examining the episodes and encourage them to latch onto something and then run with that as the overall arc and theme for their essays. What i decided to do was do this in three volumes. It’s going to be a book for each season of the show and it had three seasons. I couldn’t be more thrilled with the first one. I thought I was happy when Gotham City: 14 Miles came out and to me this is even better!

Joe: What inspires you to put together these Batman projects over other Intellectual Properties? 

Jim Beard: For me Batman is my most favorite fictional character of all time. And that’s across any media, books, comics, movies, anything, Batman is the height for me. That was the first character I ever remember being excited about when I was very small, reading Bob Greenberger’s work. The show is probably the first show that I ever knew of as a child. I was nine months old when the show first debuted so I don’t have first hand memories of it’s original run, but definitely it’s first syndication I would have remembered.

It goes back to what I said about Gotham City: 14 miles. To me, there’s just not enough talk about the show. There definitely isn’t enough books about and I intend to fill that vaccuum. And I love it because it’s ten years after I did Gotham City: 14 Miles, and it feels like to me that the conversation needs to continue. There’s so much to talk about about the show even though it was only three years just because it’s impact and it’s influence on pop culture is immense.

I chuckle because it used to be very loathed out there in the world and now everybody seems to love it. And of course I’m sitting there like geeze, I’ve been there all along. And everybody’s been getting into it now, especially with the DVDs coming out. But that’s what it is, you know, it’s a love for the character and then an even greater love probably for the show itself.

Joe: Were you ever discouraged about putting this book together or were you always confident you would find a positive reception from fans?

Jim Beard: I wasn’t at all. My love for the character and the show is what gets me through and I’m so thankful that Crazy 8 has smiled upon this project and wants to help it reach greater heights. In a perfect world I’d love to write an officially sanctioned Batman project but I’m actually very happy to provide more literary and pop culture criticism to the ranks of talking about the character and the show. So no, never at all, not with Batman.

 Check out the cover art and synopsis below, and let us know if you plan on picking this book up in the usual spot!

Zow
 

Zlonk Zok Zowie: The Subterranean Blue Gotto Guide to Batman '66 Season One contains essays from Crazy 8’s Greenberger and long-time comic book writer Paul Kupperberg, in addition to frequent Crazy 8 contributors Keith DeCandido, Will Murray, and Dayton Ward. Other ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! contributors include long-time Batman writer Chuck Dixon, comics historian Peter Sanderson, ComicMix contributor Ed Catto, 13 th Dimension.com’s Dan Greenfield, the Batcave Podcast’s John S. Drew, Rich Handley, Alan J. Porter, Pat Evans, Steve Thompson, Mark B. Racop, Joe Crowe, and, Chris Franklin.


Zlonk Zok Zowie: The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman '66 Season One is now available in paperback for $14.99 and on e-book for $4.99 here.
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