MAGE: Storyboard Intro to Batman the Animated Series by Bruce Timm
Episodes: Old Wounds
After the successful 85 episode run of Batman the Animated Series, the story continued in 1997 with a follow up series. The New Batman Adventures, which ran from 1997 to 1999, is set approximately three years after the original series. It featured a pronounced change in animation style and a shift to an ensemble cast of characters, rather than a strict focus on a lone crusader or dynamic duo.
In this lecture, we'll examine the reasons for the changes in the series, both in-universe and behind the scenes. We will also explore the television phenomenon of the 'late-run retool', using contemporary examples like Roseanne, Angel, and The X-Files. We'll discuss some of the causes of dramatic changes to the format of TV shows near the end of their runs, and the possible effects that those changes may have on the audience. We will also analyze other entries in the DC Animated Universe that used the style that this series pioneered.
Old Wounds, the 17th episode of The New Batman Adventures, was written by Rich Fogel, directed by Curt Geda, and adapted into the limited run 'The Lost Years' title. It's a story told mostly through flashback, from one Robin to the next. Dick Grayson, the original Robin, narrates the tale of the dissolution of the the Animated Series' Batman and Robin team and the formation of the New Adventures' Gotham Knights, as well as his bitter falling-out with his former mentor. This episode, while highlighting the differences in the two series, acts as a bridge for the audience. As Dick says in the episode, 'things change, I changed.' Old Wounds is a chronicle of that change.
This event is FREE and open to the public and will take place in The Levy Gallery for the Arts in Philadelphia.
The Rewatch is a cultural phenomenon unique to television viewers of today. Prevalent primarily due to the accessibility of our netflix accounts and streaming internet. This lecture series is now in it’s third iteration which takes the rewatch, slows it down, highlighting specific episodes with a lecture and roundtable discussion. The Rewatch is meant to further critique and appreciate television for its ability to tell a story figuratively in a way which creates a portrait of American culture, time and place. Previously we have covered Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica. For the third installment we are excited to dive into Batman: The Animated Series. The lecturers range in backgrounds of expertise from art, history, writing, television and pop culture. We are happy to welcome back April Aguillard, Ann Cornell, Derek Jones and Jonathan McCabe.
Batman: The Animated Series aired weekdays on Fox Kids from 1992 to 1995. It is arguably one of the best animated television series to come out of American 90’s television. The series follows Bruce Wayne as Batman on episodic adventures chasing villains whom encompass complex psychological origin stories often paralleling Batman’s own PTSD originating with the murder of his parents at the age of twelve. The film noir aesthetics of the series reflect the psychologically dark narratives.
Each lecturer for the Rewatch are asked to select one to three episodes which support their lecture along with supplementary reading material for those who want to further engage with the topics of the lecture. Following the lecture we screen the select episodes and conclude the event with a 45 minute roundtable discussion. The roundtable discussions are split between topics where each lecturer including the moderator disclose in depth knowledge pertaining to the screened episode(s). At present, the focus of our discussions are as listed; animation, duality, mental illness and Gotham City landscape. We reserve the right to get really excited during the Rewatch and potentially add one or two more roundtable topics.
Cosplay is not only welcome, but encouraged. We will be screening the series in order of Seasons 1-4 as laid out through Amazon Prime.
Beth Heinly will be moderator of each event. Heinly is a multi-disciplinary artist honing the mediums of performance art, cosplay and comics. You can read her weekly journal comic on theartblog.org every Monday at 3pm entitled “The 3:00 Book”. Heinly’s artwork has been exhibited extensively throughout Philadelphia, once in Portland, OR, London and Paris, France. More of her artwork, comics and cosplays can be viewed on her website/blogs; domesticwildcatrefuge.com (an internet art website), the3oclockbook.tumblr.com and cosplaynhoes.tumblr.com. You can also follow her on instagram @bertheiny where she will be sharing select screenshots from her BTAS rewatching.