By Devin T. Quin
Apart from the summer of 2008 when Iron-Man was (briefly and strangely) the king of cool, Batman is the A-#1 comic-book bad boy that every living creature on Earth wants to be. Even actual bats! FUN FACT: do you know why the Dinosaurs went extinct? They all committed suicide when they found out it would be another few 100-million years before they could read “The Dark Knight Returns.”
Unfortunately very few of us will ever get to actually BE Batman, and the responsibility of wearing the famed cape and cowl of Gotham’s resident demigod takes its toll on those who do. For example, after filming “Batman and Robin” George Clooney was so Bat-Guano in the cabeza he lent his voice talents to South Park to play a gay dog, and after “Batman Returns” poor Michael Keaton was never heard from again.
No, better to live out our intrinsic need to be The Bat through art therapy. That’s right: in just five easy steps YOU TOO can draw Batman!
STEP 1. Preparing
One needs to be in the right frame of mind in order to draw this caped crusader, this flying-mouse of the underworld, this mythic man that, were he to look into his eyes, would make Chuck Norris implode like that baboon in “The Fly.”
Take your deepest and darkest fears, memories and anxieties, and visualize them as a human head. Imagine that head laughing at you, always laughing, as it guns down your parents in a seedy alleyway in a bad part of the city. Now imagine that your pencil is a fist, and that the paper IS that laughing face of crime. Realize that you and your pencil may be the only thing stopping that face/paper from killing again.
NOW you’re ready to draw Batman.
STEP 2. The Head
Draw a sort of house with two windows where the roof has caved in. This will be Batman’s head and pointy ears. The doorway to this house will be the exposed “face” part of his mask, the only telltale sign of humanity on this otherwise demonic tank made of vengeance. About Batman’s mouth: draw it closed. He only opens it for sardonic banter with Alfred, and The Bat never, NEVER smiles.
Don’t forget to draw his brains in his skull. Batman’s got lots of those.
STEP 3. The Body
It might help for you to draw a thin stick figure below this head to serve as a guideline for Batman’s cool poses, though I urge you to draw the figure not out of sticks but unbreakable iron rods. Feel free to pose him swinging through the air, or dangling a perp off a building, or crying in the rain on his parent’s grave. You know, Batman stuff!
Pile on lumpy slabs of muscle and self-recrimination, every sinew poised at a moments notice to strike like a bag of pouting snakes! Don’t overdo it, however, or your Batman will end up looking like that green grinning goofball, The Hulk. Batman’s no gym rat. I mean, even for a man who dresses up like a bat and spends millions on cars that turn into motorcycles, there is such a thing as “over-doing-it.”
STEP 4. The Costume
Now erase all those muscles and snakes and things I just had you draw and just leave the outline. Get a black magic marker and color it all in black, making sure to violently depict the sharp, jutty Batspikes on his gloves that would REALLY sting if they got in some drug-pusher’s eyes! KER-POW! If you like your Batman old school then you know what to do: Cape and undies blue, everything else gray.
IMPORTANT: Leave room for the Batsymbol! If you forgot it then you’ll just have to do what the professionals do: go buy some Batman stickers and put one of those on your drawing.
Finally, draw on his handy-dandy utility belt, brimming with Batmace, Batbrass knuckles and Batanti-histamines! Batman is always prepared for every challenge, so make sure to draw in a few random gadgets, like a Batyo-yo, Batsnuggie or a Batbadminton racquet to keep the criminal element guessing.
STEP 5. Finishing Touches.
If you did anything right your Batman should be looking like a lean, mean underworld thumping machine. Now for the coup de grâce! Get a Bachelors Degree in Architecture and draw tons of fully realized buildings for him to brood on.
DONE! Now do that millions of times in slightly different poses and make yourself your own bootleg animated Batman feature film! For inspiration, just steal from the comics that precede you like everybody else. OOH, wait! Have him fight the Fonz! I’d buy that for a dollar!
And there you go! Now whenever you are feeling inadequate you can draw yourself a perfect Batman and pretend that YOU are the Dark Knight. REMEMBER: placement of your art can be as important as its quality. For the maximum awesome factor I recommend you draw your Batman with a tattoo gun on the shaved scalp of a criminal you’ve just beaten up and tied to a lamp-post for the cops to pick up. TAKE THAT, SOCIETY!