After a long run writing and drawing “The Flash”, Francis Manapul and creative collaborator Brian Buccellato have turned their attention to “Detective Comics,” heralding a new direction for the title and for Batman, as they focus in on the overarching mystery and detective skills inherent in the title.
Manapul stopped by the CBR Tiki Room at WonderCon 2014 to discuss transitioning from “The Flash” to “Detective Comics,” the pressure of writing and drawing Batman opposite Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, collaborating with Buccellato, the importance Manapul’s Filipino heritage as a creator and more.
On crafting the pivotal moment in “Detective Comics” #30: At the beginning, this is actually the pivotal moment of the story; this is when the deal is struck. Once that deal is struck, everything goes to hell — literally. It was one of those things where we needed to have what would normally be a static moment; for there to be a lot of motion. Because a lot of times, you have a walk-and-talk scene, and those kind of scenes feel like it’s more there just to get stuff out of the way; exposition, I guess. We don’t really like to do that. We wanted things to really pick up. It was one of those things where we’re strongly hinting at the abilities of a certain daughter that is in the background. … We want to reveal some of who Annie is and what she can do, while at the same time get across another message, so you’re getting two things at the same time.
On the importance of his Filipino heritage as a comics creator: You still want to keep your identity, and it’s weird because it’s not so much like Filipino pride, it’s more, this is who I am, this is how I grew up. They say that the work that means something is tied directly to who you are, and I think that’s kind of how it comes out, hopefully.
On the pressure of taking on Batman at the same time as Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo: It was a lot of pressure, but the pressure was sort of taken off in that Scott and Greg are doing suck a kick-ass job that we’re not going to dethrone them. They’re the Batman team. Me and Brian are just trying to create our own little pocket. Once we realized that, all of that pressure went away. Working with Brian, we’re best friends. Once we were able to put aside the, “Oh! Damn, dude, we’re doing ‘Detective Comics’!” everything was just business as usual.