*sigh* Goodbye, Batman.
I was ecstatic when it was announced that Adam West and Burt Ward (Robin) would be guests at this year’s Silicon Valley Comic-Con, then equally disheartened when I never found them. I wish I could have met both, especially now.
Adam West and his show literally influenced the rest of my life from the time I was three years old.
(Yeah, I know it’s deemed goofy and silly by today’s standards, but we’re not the intended audience. It was meant as an alternative to the turbulent tumult of a war-torn, socially-unrested country, when “brain candy” in the media was the exception rather than the rule. And despite countless clueless, lazy writers and so-called “journalists” who think “POW! BAM!” is still relevant, the show did help the comics industry’s popularity and kept sales strong for DC. It did a lot more good than harm.)
It was my first exposure to costumed heroes, do-gooders vs. evil-doers, the world of primary colors, über-cool custom cars (West’s Batmobile remains my all-time favorite), catchy theme songs and way-cooler-than-reality action, which led me to comic books and a lifelong passion and avocation. (Plus piles and piles of collected crap.) For years, I desperately wanted to grow up to be Batman (or Van Williams’ Green Hornet) and marry Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl.
When I was four, in kindergarten (no pre-school back then), I was admonished by the teacher for not coloring “inside the lines.” Frustrated, I’d turn the paper over and just draw Batman & Robin from my favorite TV show. (My Mom saved a couple, in a box somewhere.)
The attention I received from that led me to keep drawing. Soon I began to draw for other students, and after my Dad showed me how to make stickers using double-sided tape, I started my first “business,” selling them for a penny or a nickel to friends. So drawing could get me attention and some spending dough? Count me in!
Of course, I had no idea it would be an eternal struggle to make a real living from such endeavors, but as one of my bosses told me decades ago, a pencil is a lot lighter than a shovel. Still is.
So here I am, 50+ years after Adam West’s show began, still drawing Batman and his super-pals and getting paid for it. (Though now I charge a bit more than a nickel. Inflation, ya know.)
All because of Batman.
Thank you, Adam West.