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Christian Ward Excavates the Asylum in 'Batman: City of Madness'

We chat with the cartoonist about his latest DC project and why he's spent years willing it into reality.

Christian Ward Batman City of Madness

A particular story has rattled around Christian Ward's imagination for years. It's been there since childhood, really. Since he first encountered Grant Morrison and Dave McKean's Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth. Last year, he sent out a Tweet, taunting the universe to grant his wish - to tell his cosmic Batman saga. Now, we're weeks away from the cosmos' answer.


Batman: City of Madness #1 lands on shelves from DC Comics on October 10th. It's a real humdinger, a comic that feels unlike any other Bat-book that has come before but is absolutely in conversation with the stone-cold classic mentioned above. Christian Ward explores the questions that probably nag every artist who tackles the Bat, but he does so in ways that spark new ideas and new queries.


After catching a sneak preview of the first issue, we were eager to get the writer/artist in our Love Nest Zoom room. We discuss his relationship with Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth and how it evolved into Batman: City of Madness. We consider Bruce Wayne's relation to his rogues and what does and does not separate him from so-called villains like Joker and Two-Face. As we do every time the caped crusader comes up on the podcast, we challenge his role as Gotham's vigilante while also addressing how much fun it is to watch him punch punks in the face.

However, before we dig into City of Madness and the terrifying Batman Below that lurks underneath our favorite wretched city, we reflect on our Baltimore Comic-Con/Small Press Expo double-header weekend, including the world premiere of Married to Comics. We review these events and consider what makes each con so unique and why we could never give up one for the other.


This podcast continues our year-long partnership with Omnibus, the Digital Comic Store and Reader. Each episode from now on will feature our new "Referrals" segment, sponsored by them, where we recommend other comics titles for those wishing to explore this week's themes and concepts further. CLICK HERE to learn more and explore Omnibus' unique, browsable space.


Also, make sure that you keep abreast on all things Christian Ward by visiting his Website and following him on Twitter and Instagram.


In a few weeks, Christian Ward will appear in our Patreon feed, conducting a page-by-page breakdown of Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth. Join now for just one dollar, and listen to the previous entry in our comic creator series where artists celebrate their favorite single issues - Daniel Warren Johnson on The 'Nam #9.


If you missed our previous conversation with Christian Ward, talking about Blood Stained Teeth, you can find it HERE.


Don't forget to grab your tickets for our September 17th Alamo Drafthouse Winchester screenings of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, co-sponsored by Four Color Fantasies.


Don't forget! Watch the latest episode of The B&B Show, where Brad and Bryan Review the Hottest Cinematic Releases.


And, of course, follow Comic Book Couples Counseling on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter @CBCCPodcast, and you can follow hosts Brad Gullickson @MouthDork & Lisa Gullickson @sidewalksiren.


Send us your Words of Affirmation by leaving us a 5-star Review on Apple Podcasts.


Continue your conversation with CBCC by hopping over to our website where we have reviews, essays, and numerous interviews with comic book creators.


Podcast logo by Aaron Prescott @acoolhandfluke, podcast banner art by @Karen_XmenFan.

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