Dragoncon 2015: Interview With Brenden Fletcher


Dragoncon 2015 has come and gone, but we’ve still got plenty of content coming your way! I had the opportunity along with a couple other journalists at Dragoncon to ask a few questions of Brenden Fletcher, the writer of both Batgirl & Gotham Academy!

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On the pontential for Batgirl or Gotham Academy to be adapted into a TV Series or Movie:

"Absolutely, Yeah. I mean, why aren’t they movies yet? I think we have always felt that we were creating series that should be good for new readers. You should be able to pick up Batgirl at #35 and feel like it’s a clean start, it was the whole point of it. So we built this little world for Barbara Gordon, and I think that is way more easily adaptable to other mediums… film, television; then if you’ve got like a character in just a larger DC universe. We created this little bubble for her and that’s a great lace to start out as a TV show or as a film. Gotham Academy’s the same. It’s a closed-off area of the DCU that can be it’s own thing, that should be a cartoon, who’s with me? There’s so much going on with that in DC & Warner. There’s different divisions and stuff going on behind the scenes, the time that it takes to kickstart those and make it happen is years. So you never know, keep those fingers crossed and keep emailing DC!"

Describing the pitching process for Gotham Academy:

"The story of Gotham Academy is really a Becky (Cloonan) & Mark Doyle story. Mark Doyle is the group editor of the Batman world. He took over from his predecessor and was like “ok, how do I see the Batman world working, who do I and reach out to?” And he worked with Becky on some Vertigo projects, so he called her up and said “Sooo, there all these books, do you want to do any of these books?” And she was like “not so much, but I would love to do my own thing with Batman. Maybe something with kids, maybe like a boarding school?” Gotham Academy was name that had been thrown around, and it had existed as an institution that people had spoken about, it was in a few episodes of Young Justice as a place that the kids went. But it wasn’t established what kind of school it was, there was no story around it. Mark immediately thought it was a great idea. Becky got off the phone and was like “I don’t have time to do this on my own, I can’t write and draw this on my own.” And Karl (Kerschel) and I were with her in the studio in Montreal, so she asked me to co-write it and asked him to draw it and that was it. We had to go through the formal pitching process, but that was the genesis of it, the concept of wanting to do something for younger readers involving younger characters in a corner of the Bat-universe we hadn’t really spent any time in."

On deciding make Killer Croc a kid-friendly character in Gotham Academy:

"We are influenced by Batman: The Animated Series, just his (Karl’s) design of Killer Croc alone harkens back to Kevin Nowlan’s initial animated design. I think you go back to those episodes and see the way the character was handled there, there is some pathos in Croc’s portrayal, he is good with kids. We felt he would be a good companion for the children. And weirdly less creepy than having the kids go around with someone like the Riddler."

On Babs Tarr being the “perfect” Batgirl artist:

"Babs was on the list early on, but we knew that she had never done sequential (art), and that was a thing, that’s extra commitment from him (Cameron Stewart), it’s like, “if we go with this young lady, who would be perfect for it, I have to do layouts for every one of those books and I’m already drawing a comic monthly.” We coul’ve just found another artist who could do sequential, but Babs was the right look. There’s no one else who can draw Black Canary better, the book is built around her in a lot of ways. How she wants to work, how she wants to draw, the stories she wants to tell. If I’m doing my job correctly, I’m just guiding a plot in a way. The amount of story she wants to tell, the gags she wants in there, the way she wants to render, I’m trying to facilitate her book in a lot of ways. There’s literally a list of stuff that she wants to draw. Comics are great when that harmony is there, we are trying to have that harmony and and knowing what the artist wants to render on the page is a great starting point for us as writers."

We’d like to thank the Dragoncon staff for allowing us to interview Brenden Fletcher and of course also thank Brenden Fletcher for giving us his time. Look for more articles coming out of Dragoncon 2015 including an exclusive interview with voice actor Dino Andrade in the coming days!

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