Yesterday, a book caught my eye at Powell’s Books entitled “Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight” by Ralph Cosentino. I loved the retro interior art and the simply told origin story that would be perfect for a 5 year old comic fan (or a 43 year old). I contacted the author/illustrator via e-mail and asked him what inspired him to create the book. Ralph was kind enough to respond and here is what he said.
“I’ve been a Batman and comic book fan since the age of 4 when I moved here from Argentina. Not having friends or being able to speak English I gravitated towards comics immediately, I guess because I felt I was in a strange new place and all these fantastic monsters and heroes filling the pages were in strange worlds as well. Not only did the comics teach me the English language but introduced me to something very important that would set the course for my entire life, my imagination. Becoming a father reminded me and reinforced how important it is for young children to read and be read to. It enhances their social skills, instills confidence in them and of course allows them to use their imagination so I wanted to contribute to that experience. I began writing, illustrating and even self publishing my own children’s books. After also having several children’s books published by Penguin, I realized there didn’t seem to be any accessible versions of Batman’s story for young readers so I began doodling a very graphic, less brooding Batman in a sort of Anime/Retro style, and thru a dear friend was able to show DC. Ultimately the book came to fruition and a dream came true. Penguin and DC have also signed me on to write and illustrate Superman and Wonder Woman versions next.” I’ll keep you posted when those books come to fruition, meanwhile you can order the beautiful Batman children’s book here.
Ralph is also looking into getting the rights to sell silkscreen prints based on the book art so I will keep you posted regarding future availability.