Batman: Black & White, Vol. 1

Batman: Black & White, Vol. 1 - Neil Gaiman This is a very good comics anthology. The comics are drawn in black and white, which gives the collection a very classic feel and look that can range from noir to gritty. Mark Chiarello, one of the editors, wrote in the introduction about pitching the idea to DC: "Most everyone at DC tells me it won't sell. No one likes black and white comics. No one likes anthologies." The series did go on to be a success and win awards. I will write and add that some of us do like black and white comics when done right, and this series definitely does it right by bringing together a great group of artists. And some of us do like anthologies when they feature good stories. This collection does bring some pretty good writers. I did not give it that fifth star because, like most anthologies, this one did have a story or two that was just so-so. For me, it was often that the story may have been a bit short, maybe I wanted to see more. However, that little detail aside, this is a very solid collection of Batman stories that I think both hard fans and casual readers will enjoy. I will note that the anthology includes the Neil Gaiman story "A Black and White World," drawn by Simon Bisley, where Batman and Joker are waiting to go "on scene" (like in the old Looney Tunes cartoons). I had read that story elsewhere, but I can't recall where at the moment. Anyhow, it is a favorite of mine. If you have not read it, you should. I think Gaiman did a fun thing with that story. I also enjoyed the Two-Face story. Many of the tales deal with small scenes and vignettes rather than big battles with the big villains. This gives the stories an element of poignancy at times that is a nice and different look, maybe more humane, at the Dark Knight. I will certainly look forward to the second volume.