Saturday, July 26, 2014

Batman Day!

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of America’s favorite brooding hero DC Comics has declared today Batman Day for libraries across the country.

You may have already seen some Batman Day festivities on Wednesday when comic book stores were giving away a free issue of Detective Comics #27 (the first ever Batman comic) and four iconic Batman masks.

But it’s libraries’ turn to celebrate, and we invite everyone to come down to the public library to explore and express all things Batman (which might be more things than you imagine).

Created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger to capitalize on the company’s other great success, Superman, the Caped Crusader distinguished himself early on from other superheroes by his purely natural abilities, his detective’s logic, and his decidedly grim look.

None of this exactly arrived out of thin air however. While Batman may stand apart in comics, he has predecessors in film and literature, high and low brow. Zorro, the Scarlet Pimpernel, and Sherlock Holmes all share a family tree with Batman. Furthermore, they are all characters housed in the public library. Definitely read all the comic books you can get your hands on--the main branch has batbooks by Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, and Alan Moore--but walk a few shelves down at the library and see where Batman came from.

In fact, don’t limit yourself to fiction. At a conference this summer one current Batman writer explained that back issues of Scientific American provided great inspiration for bat gadgets. You’d be surprised how many places there are in the library for you to celebrate Batman day. Consider this a bat signal shining up from First and Franklin.

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