A new book from Crazy 8 Press is ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season One, edited by Jim Beard, with a cover designed by Sean Ali.
Rather than offer straight recaps and trivia, essays in ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! analyse each Season One instalment of the much-loved superhero show, first broadcast on ABC during the first half of 1966.. Contributors include Bat-experts such as SF author Keith DeCandido; ComicMix contributor Ed Catto; Batcave Podcast host John S. Drew; former Batman comics writer Chuck Dixon; 13th Dimension contributor and podcaster Chris Franklin; Dan Greenfield, editor-in-chief and publisher of 13th Dimension; author Rich Handley; Crazy 8 co-founder and comics editor Robert Greenberger; comics writer Paul Kupperberg; historian Peter Sanderson; novelist Dayton Ward; plus many others, including Ben Bentley, Joe Crowe, Pat Evans, Will Murray, Mark Racop and Steve Thompson.
“I was jazzed at the chance to dig in and yammer a bit about another fond childhood staple, the 1960s Batman television series,” says author Dayton Ward of his contribution to the book, working with longtime writing partner Kevin Dilmore.
“There’s still so much to say about this legendary TV series, and this book sets out to prove it,” said editor Jim Beard, who also wrote the opening essay examining the two-part pilot episode.
The worldwide Batman TV series phenomenon starred Adam West and Burt Ward as the Dynamic Duo, adapting the DC Comics series to the small screen, riding the Pop Art and Camp craze that were trends during the turbulent 1960s. The show spawned a feature film and a bonanza of merchandising the likes of which had never been seen before. Thanks to syndication, the show has rarely been off the air and in the last decade has spawned a fresh wave of merchandising.
Season one introduced viewers to Batman, Robin, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon, as well as iconic villains including Julie Newmar as Catwoman, Frank Gorshin as The Riddler, Caesar Romero as The Joker, and Burgess Meredith as The Penguin. And, of course, the inaugural season thrilled fans with the Batcave, Wayne Manor, and one of the most heart-pounding elements of the entire franchise – the Batmobile.
“Crazy 8 Press is always on the look-out for kindred spirits, given most of our roots in comics,” said Crazy 8 co-founder Robert Greenberger, who has spent more than 30 years as a comic book editor and contributor for DC and Marvel Comics. “Previously, Crazy 8 released Rob Kelly’s anthology Hey Kids, Comics, a look back at the joys of comic collecting. It was high time we added to that portion of our inventory. Jim’s book project seemed a perfect fit. And as we still see today, Batman never goes out of style.”
“I’ve never ceased in being amazed and delighted at fans’ appetite for a show that lasted barely over two years back in the 1960s,” Beard added. “It‘s a testament to not only the character’s overall appeal, but specifically the unique take on Batman offered up in the series.”
Jim Beard previously explored the Batman television series in Gotham City 14 Miles, published by Sequart in 2011, an anthology of essays covering the length and breadth of Batmania. He is a regular writer for Marvel.com, an essayist for pop culture collections, and made his Crazy 8 Press debut in 2019’s Thrilling Adventure Yarns with a short story co-written with his late wife, Becky.
He is already at work on ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! Volume Two, exploring the complete second season, to be released by Crazy 8 Press in 2021.
• ZLONK! ZOK! ZOWIE! The Subterranean Blue Grotto Guide to Batman ’66 – Season One edited by Jim Beard has been released by Crazy 8, both as a trade paperback and eBook | Web: www.crazy8press.com