Spotlight on: Nerdsync Productions!

While the properties are everywhere in the 21st century, comics are still one of the hardest mediums to get started with. Especially if you want to dive into the mainstream stuff, such as Marvel and DC. With the use of the internet, you can make the job a little easier for yourself. You can look up character history, cool stories, and maybe get an idea of what you want to read. But it can still be over whelming, with nearly 100 years of comic book history. Enter, YouTube! Through YouTube, it’s never been easier for you to stumble across great comic book content. There are countless Comic Book channels, giving you brief histories of key characters. Run downs of major or recent storylines. Tips on collecting and preserving. Even channels doing fun comic related games, and dares. All you have to do is quickly type ‘comic book’ in the YouTube search engine, and there you go! However, these channels can start to blur together after a time. The same brief histories, of the same characters, feeding back the same information till you can recite it from memory.

Enter Nerdsync.

Since launching their first Comic Misconceptions video on March 26th, 2013. Scott and the Nerdsync crew have worked hard to deliver quality, fun and informative videos for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a well-read veteran, who can recite ever single Lantern oath from memory. Or a movie going fan, who wants to break into the source material. Nerdsync breaks down their material to be completely accessible to even the newest of readers. Beyond that, their choice of subject is far and wide. Giving nice little twists on the now stable Comic Book/YouTube formula. You want a history of Superman? Not only will they give it to you, they will go through the real-life reason for his creation, and the story behind that. When a film comes out, and every channel is scrambling to bring you a funny story or origin relating to the characters involved. Nerdsync proves their nerdy worth by talking about science, history, mythology and psychology. There is a reason why the Nerdsync slogan is ‘helping you grow smarter through comics’!

The show’s host, one Scott Niswander, brings a fun, passionate and energetic feel to the show. Encouraging his audience to get involved, create their own content, and start discussions. The show prides itself on its community of ‘loveable nerds’, banning together to help pool together resources, create on going jokes, and sometimes, just taking to the internet to spread their love of comics. Over the 4 years since Nerdsync burst on to the scene. Other shows and creators have taken to the channel, and added their own little segments, connecting to their own work. Giving us an even greater variation, to an already wonderful channel. We have Hass with Comicana, bringing us insightful looks at how comic pages work. Exploring the flow of panels, pacing and tone, using recent books, and well-known classics. We are given a dose of legal history with Joel in Super Suits, breaking down the insane history of comic book lawsuits. Not to mention the fantastic cameo and cross over appearances from the like of Auram, Ricky of Stewdippin, and Mike of PBS Idea Channel.

What makes Nerdsync stand apart, is its dedication to education through comics. In the world of academic, comics have a surprising and glorious history. They have been the subject matter when talking about so many real-world events. Including politics, genetics, physics, mythology, and pseudoscience. While these concepts, books and papers, may seem dry and none accessible to outside readers. Nerdsync delivers compelling, interesting, and outright fun material, that inspires and entertains the audience. It’s hard to deny the number of comics, characters, theories, and principles you will be exposed to, without realising it. And, you will enjoy every second of it.

“Holy here we go again Batman!”


Batman & Bill (2017)

Batman & Bill poster ad - borderlessIn the 70 plus years since his creation, you would be hard pressed to find someone on the planet, who does not know the name Batman. For over 70 years, we have been transfixed and inspired by the Caped Crusader. Spreading fear into the hearts of the wicked, and comforting all the lost, good souls along the way. His accompanying cast of characters are just as memorable, entering pop culture on the same level as the Batman himself, Robin, Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, The Joker, Catwoman, Two-face, etc. For 70 plus years, the legendary being known as the Dark Knight, has been credited to one man. Bob Kane.  However, despite years of it being believed, and beaten into public consciousness, there is one other. Denied credit, and publicly ignored for years, the forgotten Bill Finger was finally given his dues on September of 2015. However, the long journey to this breakthrough, came with its own heartache, sweat, and tears.

Directed by Don Argott (The Art of the Steal (2009), Last Days Here (2011)) and Sheena M. Joyce (Awkward Sexy People (2015) The Atomic State of America (2012)), Batman & Bill explores the long and tiring research of Marc Taylor Nobleman (Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman (2008), The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra (2017))  for his 2012 book, Bill the Wonder Boy: the Secret Co-Creator of Batman. Including interviews with those that knew the lost creator, admirers of his work, and his discovered family. Batman & Bill is a fantastic journey through the early creation of Batman, exploring the creation of his costume and iconography, the life and sad death of Bill Finger, a brief and entertaining look at copyright law, and the quest to find ‘The Heir to Batman’. The documentary follows Nobleman’s research, showing just how limited the information on Finger was, despite his monumental contributions. Following every scrap of information available, digging deep through archives, obituaries and birth records, Nobleman acts as the Dark Knight Detective himself, seeking to bring justice for the forgotten creator.

Including interviews with veterans of the comic industry, such as Roy Thomas (Batman #336 – 338 (1981), Star Wars #1 – 10 (1977-1978)), lawyers, the few surviving friends and family of Finger, and celebrity comic book fans and writers, such as Kevin Smith (Clerks (1994), Tusk (2014), Yoga Hosers (2016)). The documentary has a very well rounded nature to it, providing multiple opinions, as well as various accounts of events, backed up with phenomenal amounts of research. Utilising footage from previous documentaries, interviews with Bob Kane himself, and all strung together with fantastic comic book style animation, by the end, you’re left questioning how much we thought we knew about Batman’s lineage, but with a profound appreciation and respect for a man who has greatly impacted the lives of everyone who has ever felt a connection with a Batman story. We begin to understand Bob Kane far better through these revelations, as well, with these new perspectives, and the countless boasts he had in life to being the sole creator of Batman, and the life he ended up leading. It’s hard not to see him now, as a real life counterpart to some of the villains portrayed in the early Batman stories. Taking the money for himself, and never once helping a man he once called his friend, even in his final days. It’s amusing, though down right cruel, to note that the only time Kane publicly admitted to Finger’s involvement was over a year after Finger’s death, provided yet another sad twist to his life.

At moments, both heart-breaking and triumphant, Batman & Bill is a must see for any fan of the Caped Crusader, seeker of justice, or just those interested in learning about the marvellous genius that was Bill Finger.