This was not the first time I met the artist behind The Batman Strikes!, Justice League Adventures and Dr. Blink, Superhero Shrink, but at the Motor City Comic Convention was the first time I got to pick his brain about his take on a few things. If the comics industry has experts on the elementary school market, Chris has got to be among them. Chris has been plugging away brilliantly at The Batman Strikes! for coming up on 50 issues now, not to mention all the work he has done with the Justice League and WB animation. Unfortunately for the fans, the TBS book is being canceled at issue 50, with the ending of the TV series. DC will be picking up a new Batman: Brave and the Bold monthly series that will be tied-in to a WB animated series coming soon.
Chris talked about the recent push by the big two (DC and Marvel) to have more books / characters directed at the younger crowd. While he thinks it is a great idea and praised DC for their ability to have great stories that are age appropriate, he has some fantastic insights about the format of these books. Your basic comic book design is not meant for the 8-year old to read it ten times… or at least it not designed to hold up to that kind of rough “reader love” that a younger reader might have. Chris brought up the notion of having these great kid-oriented books designed and marketed more like kids books and less like comics designed for older generations. It does make sense, while having The Batman Strikes and Teen Titans Go! available at your local comic book store, but to also have them available where you might find your normal disposable children’s literature (grocery lines, etc.).
With his series coming to a close, I wonder what DC will do with the talent they have in Mr. Jones. Obviously he has proven himself in the realm of animation-based art. But in my opinion he has a lot more going on than just that… taking a look at his work from the JLA 80-page special, UFO, Kolchak, SIlver-Age Secret Files, it’s my opinion that Christopher Jones could take on something beyond that which is attached to a Saturday morning cartoon. With the amount of one-shots and limited series coming out, I hope DC can find a place to have Mr. Jones shine! If you ever have a chance to see the man in person, please check him out! Here is a the link to his site.