DC Comics announces BATMAN: EUROPA, an upcoming fully painted miniseries spearheaded by Jim Lee and featuring both U.S. and continental European contributors.
Lee, fan-favorite artist and Editorial Director of DC's progressive WildStorm imprint, recently returned from a year living with his family in Italy and immersing himself in the Italian comics community.
Says Lee, "I had the chance to meet some fantastic creators throughout Europe, so it was just natural to try and set up projects spotlighting some of them who have never worked on DC characters before."
BATMAN: EUROPA will be cowritten by Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS, SUPERMAN) and Matteo Casali (Bonerest, Quebrada). Each issue will be illustrated by a different artist, showcasing their distinctive styles as Batman - and his unexpected ally the Joker - track a mysterious foe through Paris, Berlin, Prague, and, finally, Rome. The debut issue's illustrator is Lee, followed by Giuseppe Camuncoli (THE INTIMATES, SWAMP THING). Gabriele Dell'Otto (Secret War) will provide art for the fourth issue. The third issue's artist will be announced as soon as the choice is finalized.
Lee added more on the genesis of the project. "Giuseppe (or Cammo as he is better known) and I shared studio space for a year in Reggio Emilia, and we would sit around and talk about projects at our informal second 'studio' - the brasserie - and over drinks, we would talk comics with Matteo. Out of those talks came this idea to do something involving a diverse and eclectic group of creators. After several late-night phone calls to Brian Azzarello, we came up with a storyline which would pit Batman against his greatest villains and best showcase the individual talents coming together for this unique project.
"What's also cool is that this will be Cammo's first published painted project. For years, fans have seen his incredible line work on SWAMP THING, HELLBLAZER, ROBIN and, in November, THE INTIMATES from WildStorm. What they haven't seen is his painted work, which is just as fantastic."
Lee continued about his collaborators, "Another great 'first' to come out of this project is that it will give Gabriele Dell'Otto his first chance to work his magic at DC. I have been a big fan of his stunning work on Secret War and gave him an open invitation for him to do something... anything for us after his commitments on that project were complete. His renditions of the Marvel characters are incredible and I look forward to his take on Batman and his Rogues Gallery.
"There is going to be a friendly one-ups-manship on this project that is going to bring out the very best in all of us."
BATMAN: EUROPA will be coedited by Scott Dunbier, WildStorm Executive Editor, and Mark Chiarello, DC's Editorial Art Director and an acclaimed painter himself (BATMAN: HOUDINI). It is currently scheduled from DC for the third quarter of 2005. DC's international publishing efforts will be offering this project throughout the world.
Dell'Otto will discuss BATMAN: EUROPA at Comic Action 2004 in Essen, Germany on October 21-24. Lee and Camuncoli are attending Wizard World Texas in Arlington, TX, November 5-7.