Jim Aparo

In the January 1976 issue of Brave and the Bold, Writer Bob Haney included artist Jim Aparo (and himself) in the story of Batman and Sgt Rock against a terrorist group called "The 1,000."


What's that crazy writer done now?

Jim Aparo Batman art detail from Brave and Bold 124

About Brave and the Bold #124, January 1976

Artist Jim Aparo and writer Bob Haney enter the story of "Small War of the Super Rifles" and have to risk their lives to extricate Batman from certain death. The terrorist group 'The 1,000" have managed to get a hold of the script for issue #124 and don't care for how it turns out (their group defeated) and so they edit the text to make it certain that Batman and Sgt. Rock are killed by an explosion, among other efforts to destroy them.

In the story, comic book artist Jim Aparo returns from a break for coffee and cigarettes and finds the script changed, and then discovers he is a captive of the hooded terrorists who have invaded his studio. Using an excuse to enter his supply room, Aparo excapes and contacts the writer (a bearded Bob Haney) and the two are soon forced to keep altering the script while they stay on the run from the would-be political revolutionaries.

Putting the artist and writer into the tale

Though it's been done before in many comics, it is a rare thing for mainstream superhero comics to experiment in this fashion, and was probably approved by DC editorial (editor Murray Boltinoff also makes an appearance in the tale) because Brave and the Bold was consistently doing well in sales under Aparo and Haney.

An interesting aspect of the book is that it allows for a brief insight into the lives of comic book professionals, not just Aparo's studio, but how late-night phone calls are used to patch up a script, and how isolation seems to be the number one element needed to concentrate on comic book making. In the course of the story, writer Bob Haney is eventually shown living in the woods with a gun in one hand, a phone in the other, and a trusted dog his only companion. Aparo is shown hidden in his basement studio, and before the story is over, he is hiding in an old lighthouse in order to finish the tale on time, compounding the sense of distance (and the pressure of deadlines).

Jim Aparo Batman art detail from Brave and Bold 124

Summary

The issue could have been just another team-up between Sgt Rock and Batman, but the experiment in dual "realitites" makes for one of the most unusual DC Comics' yet made.

Jim Aparo Batman art detail from Brave and Bold 124


Various pages - click to view enlargements

Brave and the Bold 124 Batman artist Jim Aparo appears Brave and the Bold 124 Batman with artist Jim Aparo drawing Batman on page Brave and the Bold 124 with writer Bob Haney and artist Jim Aparo appearing Brave and the Bold 124 Batman fighting terrorist Brave and the Bold 124  artist Jim Aparo trying to save Batman Brave and the Bold 124 Batman splash page

Jim Aparo on the cover of Brave and the Bold 124


Original Page June 7, 2013 | Updated Oct 22, 2013

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