Thank You, Paul Dini – You’re an Inspiration and We’re Lucky to Have You


(This post originally appeared on GeekDad.)

This year at San Diego Comic-Con, I was fortunate enough to have several amazing opportunities and experiences. A few (such as having drinks with Neil deGrasse Tyson and sitting front row center for the Star Trek press conference with William Shatner, Scott Bakula, Bryan Fuller, and so many more) stand out above the rest. But if pressed to name a highlight, my answer might be surprising: shaking Paul Dini’s hand and telling him, personally, what an inspiration he’s been.

Though I don’t write creatively for film and television, I do make a living (out in the real world and – to a much lesser extent – here online) wrangling words together, so most of my creative idols are writers. And Paul Dini is pretty darn near the top of that list.

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Batman’s Dark Secret


  • Batman’s Dark Secret
  • written by Kelley Puckett
  • illustrated by Jon J. Muth
  • published by Scholastic (2016)
  • Roar Score: 5/5

In 2016, another retelling of Batman’s origin story wasn’t high on the list of things I thought I needed to see…even in a children’s book. But Batman’s Dark Secret came out of nowhere and showed me how wrong I was.

This gorgeous hardcover picture book is a new edition of a book that was originally published in 1999 as a leveled reader. That book is not in my library (so I’m not familiar with it), but I think it’s safe to say that this is the preferred version. The oversized pages let the story breathe and do right by the art — watercolor illustrations that deserve a bit more of a “deluxe” treatment.

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5 Questions with Kevin Conroy


(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Kevin Conroy, voice actor best known as the voice of Batman on Batman: The Animated Series.

For my money, Kevin Conroy is Batman. Pure and simple. He’s the best Batman that ever was and probably ever will be. It’s his voice that defines the character for me—and for many, many other people. Not Christian Bale’s ridiculous growl. Not Michael Keaton’s ominous tenor. No.

Through 85 episodes of Batman: The Animated Series (and the renamed The Adventures of Batman & Robin), Kevin Conroy and his impressive baritone delivered not only the seminal Batman voice but also one of the classic Bruce Waynes.

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Lego 76000: Arctic Batman vs Mr Freeze: Aquaman on Ice

Lego 76000: Arctic Batman™ vs Mr. Freeze™: Aquaman™ on Ice / DC Universe™ Superheroes

Otherwise known as Attack of the Trademark Symbols.

This was Zoey’s second set in the Superheroes line. It had been a while since we put together the first, so she had forgotten about the difficulty jump between these and the Friends and Disney Princess sets. The latter sets of comparable size and piece count are usually much easier to assemble. Still, she was up for the challenge.

It has a white Batman, which–let’s be clear–is what really attracted her to the set. Aquaman and Mr. Freeze were really just bonuses. But, in my opinion, they’re all stellar minifigures, and I want to say that Aquaman is exclusive to this set.

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Batman Rewatch: Nothing to Fear

  • Season 1, episode 3
  • Writers: Henry T. Gilroy & Sean Catherine Derek
  • Director: Boyd Kirkland

It took me a lot longer to post this episode than I had planned. Zoey simply wouldn’t watch it. She saw it once before, and the Scarecrow scared the bejeezus out of her. I just couldn’t convince her to watch it again. So this “rewatch” recap will be light on the Zoey commentary. I’ll let Bruce show you how that makes me feel.

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Batman Rewatch: Christmas with the Joker

  • Season 1, episode 2
  • Writer: Eddie Gorodetsky
  • Director: Kent Butterworth

One of the very cool things about Batman: The Animated Series is that they didn’t feel the need to start off with anyone’s origin story. Episode 1 was just a story about Batman hunting down the Man-Bat. There was no Batman origin. Here, in episode 2, we meet Joker, but it’s not his origin story. And they introduce Robin (Dick Grayson), but it’s not his origin either. I love this.

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Batman Rewatch: On Leather Wings

Batman: The Animated Series is, for my money, the best animated show ever made. Hands down. End of story. It was a staple of my weekday afternoons in the mid-90s. My daughter just discovered it. She’s watching it for the first time. And I’m just along for the ride. We’re watching it again, for the first time.

  • Season 1, episode 1
  • Writer: Mitch Brian
  • Director: Kevin Altieri

Right off the bat, we get a taste of what’s to come. Darkness. Art-deco Gotham. And police blimp. Awesome.

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