The Dynamic Duo- More Then Just Partners in Crime-fighting

Posted on February 10, 2013


Batman Loves Robin

Batman Loves Robin by Mari Naomi

San Francisco is the first city I’ve actually read the paper regularly. I read The Guardian and SF Weekly every Wednesday when it comes out on my way to work. Reading the newspaper really makes you feel grown up, let me tell you. Any who, I saw an article about comics which peeked my interest naturally, being an uber comics nerd. It was even MORE interesting to see the article was about an art exhibit based on the idea of Batman and Robin in a romantic not just a working relationship. So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the opening of said exhibit on Friday night! Even dragged my poor husband along with me. Here’s my review of the work displayed there.

#1 having an art exhibit in a comic book store was AWESOME! Why does this not happen more often? It was a very well displayed and well lit setup, they had some of the artists there with name tags on. I didn’t get a chance to talk to any of them but I did over hear one of them talking to a group of girls. (What one of the girls said is the subject for another blog post.) They were offering people refreshments but nobody bothered to offer me any although I was obviously looking at the art and taking notes. In their defense I got there before the reception was actually supposed to start so they were still getting everything together. As for the art, some of it was… a bit strong for me, more literal interpretations of the subject matter. I can appreciate that all of the art was very well done and interesting. Here is a list of my favorites and a few thoughts I jotted down about them:

  • “My Sweet Romance” – Craig Bostick Cute, vintage style like the old Romance comics.
  • “Batman Loves Robin” – Brad Rader I love Robin’s pinup positioning. Reminds me of the gender swapped comic covers that get passed around the internet.
  • “Kiss the Night” – Andrew Guiyangco Gorgeous acrylic on canvas that is touching, but implies Batman as a pedophile, a little uncomfortable. Still moving though, which is the point of art.
  • “Batman Loves Robin” – Mari Naomi This is hands down my favorite. Adorable cartoonish style that shows Robin sending Batman a txt via Batsignal to pick up something at the store. A cute domestic depiction of a relationship between Bat and Robin. (Pictured above.)
  • “Bruce Entreats Dick to Coition” – Jamie Cortex Another strong one but I like that in this one Batman is the submissive and Robin is the “Master”. Interesting reversal of their normal power dynamic.
  • “Happy Father’s Day” – Ellen Wang Sweet cartoon strip style comic of Robin giving Batman a Father’s gift after Batman was staring sadly all Batlike at a picture of his parents. Sweet but not particularly envelope pushing to me.
  • Tattoo Design by Stephen Sadowski Love this very subtle depiction of the subtext behind Batman and Robin. I feel like this image in particular embodies the idea of the exhibition.
  • “1973” – Gabrielle Gamboa This one is an American Gothic style pose of Batman and Robin but as if they fell out of the Ziggy Stardust tree and hit every branch on the way down. Very fun interpretation but interesting as well since Bowie’s sexual orientation was always in question.

So! Those were the ones that jumped out to me in particular. If you’re a fan of comics and/or cultural criticism this would be a great exhibition to check out. I was glad I found out about it because of the paper and that I’m reminded every week from reading the paper just why I never want to leave San Francisco. Where else can you attend an art exhibition in a comic bookstore then while sitting outside waiting for the bus hear bass bumping coming down the street only to discover it’s coming from a bike blaring the Benny Benassi Satisfaction techno from a boom box inside a ice chest strapped to the back?