For many comic creators, writing and/or drawing Batman is a dream come true. But that dream comes with expectations. The list of Batman creators is long and venerated, with talent like Frank Miller having changed the Dark Knight (and the comics medium) forever. Rafael Grampá is also on the list, and he's aware of just how big a deal that is.
In an interview with Popverse's Chloe Maveal at San Diego Comic Con 2023, Grampá spoke about what it's like to tell new Batman stories, and the positive (but still intimidating) reaction he's been getting for his upcoming series, Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham.
"I’d posted the [Instagram] picture with a caption that said 'Frank is my hero blah blah blah' and all that," says the artist and writer, "someone said 'For some boys, you’re going to be their Frank Miller'. Just…oh my god, right? I had never thought about it until reading that."
Though we have yet to see if Gargoyle of Gotham will have the same cultural impact as The Dark Knight Returns, it's safe to say that, for some new comic readers, the Black Label series will be an introduction to Batman. Fortunately, Grampá is well-prepared to follow in Miller's footsteps; the two have worked together several times, and on Gotham's premiere vigilante, no less.
The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child was a series written by Miller and drawn by Grampá, transporting comic readers back to the Elseworlds story of an older Batman that Miller created in 1986. Though the story was only one super-sized issue in length, the relationship between the writer and artist seems to have worked out. Frank Miller is doing a variant cover for Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham featuring colors by another Batman vet, Jock. It's the first variant cover Miller has done for a Batman book since Batman #62 in 2019.
"I posted this picture of [Miller's cover] and I was like 'Fuck. This is just such a blessing. What a gift,'" says Grampá. "It’s just such an honor that he did a cover for my project."
Here's hoping (and betting) that some lucky Batman creator of the future will say the same thing when they get a Rafael Grampá cover in their inbox.
Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham comes to comic shops all over the US on September 16, 2023.
You can read more interviews with talent like Rafael Grampá by becoming a Popverse member.