When I was four years old I discovered and fell in love with comic books. One of the characters that I worshipped in those wonder years was Batman, probably in part due to the Adam West-Burt Ward Batman television show which, though off the air by the time I came along, was still burning up the airwaves in syndication to the delight of kiddies everywhere.
I can remember…casting my mind back, I can remember the thrill I would get when, after watching the show in the afternoon after I had escaped school, my cousin and I would each don a purple and yellow bath towel and run around playing crime fighters, a barrage of safety pins fastening the cheap de facto capes to the back of our shirts. Being a year older than my cousin, I mercilessly pulled rank and insisted on being Batman to his Robin. Forty two years later I still harbor guilt over my ruthless game of ageism, especially now when, in hindsight, I kind of think Robin is cooler than Batman.
All of the above is preface to my sheer joy at today’s press release from DC Comics and Warner Brothers which, to my way of thinking, is a clear indicator that, yes, dreams do come true.
To help celebrate the annual Batman Day (yes, there is such a day and why are we surprised?) and the 80th anniversary since ol’ Bats made his first appearance in Detective Comics 27, DC Comics and Warner Brothers announced today that on Saturday September 21 they will be lighting up the dark night (see what I did there?) by projecting the legendary Bat-Signal in seven major cities throughout the world. Yes, you read that right, the world. Batman has come a long way since 1939.
As the sun sets in Melbourne, Australia, London, England and New York City (always the acknowledged de facto Gotham City stand-in), get your Batman underoo’s out and your Batarang a-swingin’ because this promises to be a night to remember.
The official schedule according to Warner’s and DC’s press release for all of the Bat-Signal fun is as follows:
– Tokyo at MAGNET by SHIBUYA109 at Shibuya Scramble Crossing – Berlin at Potzdamer Platz 11 – Paris at Galeries Lafayette – Barcelona at Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – London at the Senate House – São Paulo at Itaúsa – LMB – New York TBA – Montreal at Complex Dupuis – Mexico City at Torre Reforma – Los Angeles at City Hall
The Bat-Signal which in the comics and in various movies and television shows projects the image of a giant bat in order to contact Batman will be illuminated on skyscrapers and landmarks on all of the above listed sites
“The Bat-Signal is easily one of the most recognizable images among all superhero iconography and this is going to be a remarkable sight as we transcend borders, languages and cultures to bring us all together with this single experience,” explained Pam Lifford who is the President of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences. “We are proud to send up the Bat-Signal on Batman Day because it is an important beacon of inspiration that makes us all believe that it’s possible to take hardship and turn it into something good. Batman Day is a global celebration for all the fans.”
According to the press release today, Bat fans the world over can keep track of the festivities with a new interactive Batman Bat-Tracker which was just launched by DC this very day. Makes you wonder what Santa Claus might do with Warner funding, doesn’t it?
The Batman Bat-Tracker will mirror the real-time projections as each of the seven cities flip the well-known switch that illuminates the Bat insignia. Got more questions than ye olde intrepid reporter can possibly answer? Just head on over to Batman80.com to get all of the batty details.
If you’re one of the rare types who can stand to leave behind their technology for more than a few minutes, you can view the Bat-Signal in person by going outside (sorry, Poindexter, that’s nonnegotiable) just before 8 PM local time in the designated cities.
If this novelty isn’t enough to scratch that particular Batman itch, then head on over to the Barnes & Noble in Union Square in NYC. DC Comics is setting up shop there for one evening for a talent signing and panel discussion which will be moderated by DC head honcho Dan DiDio. Come and watch as Dan quizzes the award winning Batman and Detective Comics writing crew of Scott Snyder, Peter J. Tomasi, James Tynion and Brad Walker (what about Batman writer Tom King, Dan?). Not enough? There will also be special activities planned for families and kids.
New York’s more fit West Coast cousin, Los Angeles, will be teaming up with DC and Warner’s to host a Batman 5K night run (naturally!) and fan celebration. Physical fitness isn’t just limited to the USA, however. Batman runs will be taking place in such far flung locales as Asia (Shanghai, Manila and Bangkok), Latin America (Sao Paulo and Mexico City) and Australia (Brisbane).
The global nature of Batman Day is proof positive that two kids – Bill Finger and Bob Kane, thank you very much – created a character eighty years ago with universal appeal.
Now go buy a Batman comic ASAP! The character began there and, though we all love the movies, television shows and cartoons based off of the Dark Knight, his real magic takes place monthly between two covers in beautiful four colored brilliance. Tell your local comic book shop Vents sent ya!