To celebrate International Batman Day, we interviewed comic book legend and Curly Tale author, Alan Grant, about Batman and why this superhero is favourite among adults and children everywhere.
Did you enjoy reading as a child?
I loved reading. My granny taught me to read and write before I started primary school, using comics like The Beano and The Dandy as her textbooks. Perhaps that explains my lifelong love of comics. As I grew older comics weren’t enough; I started reading my mother’s library books (all romantic fiction) and my father’s (all cowboy stories). Then I discovered science fiction…
Why do you like Batman so much?
Because he’s not super – he doesn’t rely on being bitten by a radioactive spider, or come from a planet with super-gravity, or even having mutant genes. He’s just a man haunted by the murder of his parents, who vows to make the world a better place. In theory, Batman could be any of us.
Who is your favourite Batman villain?
I’d have to say Anarky, although I don’t consider him a villain. He has also vowed to make the world a better place. But several others vie for the title of Best Villain – among my favourites are Killer Croc, The Ventriloquist and Scarface, and Scarecrow.
Which Batman story did you enjoy writing the most?
I prefer short stories, so I’d choose Trash, which is (I think) Shadow of the Bat *17.
Who is your favourite Batman artist?
Head and Shoulders above all others is Norman Breyfogle – whose Batman always came across as a creature of the night, of mystery and intrigue.
You’ve written two books for Curly Tale Books, how did this come about?
I actually wrote both of these stories for my daughter when she was a babe in arms. She kept them for years, until she started Curly Tale Books and decided to publish them.
Do you have any more children’s books in the pipeline, and do they involve Superheroes?
Yes, I have two! A book in (slow) progress – but it has no superheroes, and a (secret) collaboration with Curly Tale Books which does have a superhero in it.
Lots of kids love dressing up as Batman without ever having read the comic or seen a movie – why do you think that is?
Because he’s the coolest looking of all comic heroes!