Comfort Food Comics of Zur-En-Arrh: Intro

“Batman and Robin will never die!”

Welcome to Comfort Food Comics of Zur-En-Arrh, a new ongoing long form article series written by me, your CFC head honcho, Dave Shevlin, about Grant Morrison’s seven year Batman run. Now, before you stop reading, YES, I know SO MANY people have covered this run extensively. From David Uzumeri’s wonderful annotations to Sequart’s The Anatomy of Zur-En-Arrh book, a whole host of EXTREMELY smart people have jumped into the deep end of this run and analyzed just about everything there is to know about it. For years now I’ve wanted to break it down issue by issue and write all about the book. Unfortunately that attempt didn’t work for me. Instead I’ve decided to focus on the pieces that mean something to me. This run is one of my top ten favorite runs of all time and easily my favorite chunk of Batman comics ever published. It’s a titular Comfort Food Comic for me. I knew I had to get my feelings out there about this legendary epic. It’s taken years for me to properly get to a point I feel ready to tackle this MY WAY. So, how do I do that when I’m nowhere near as talented as all of these other writers?

So what’s my angle? What’s my thesis statement here? Well, I’ve decided not to go the text book route and analyze every single little bit of continuity. Don’t get me wrong, that will still happen here or there, but for the most part this article series is going to be about ME as much as it is about Batman. This website’s main purpose is to always explore that special personal connection to comics and THAT is the angle I’m bringing to this one.

My main observation about these books: I know that I am not singularly special with that personal connection. Of all the comics ever published, this material tends to yield some of the strongest emotional responses. Everyone who reads it has SOMETHING to say about it. I’ve yet to encounter someone who just quietly enjoys it and never thinks about it again or doesnt then feel the urge to share their opinions on it. Just like Bruce starting up Batman Inc., I am going to recruit literally everybody I can to join me. Everyone has their own story to tell with this book. Examinations of certain issues, themes, characters and many other personal life stories – it’s going to be a wonderful cornucopia of Batman thoughts. I aim to supplement my own pieces with a wide variety of voices that aren’t just me, the privileged, straight white dude who runs the site. I aim to offer many opinions that vary from mine. Deep dive analyses. Scholarly opinion pieces. Relevant comparisons. Scathing criticism. Adoring appreciation. An article about Bat-Cow. I want it all. I want every single type of person’s viewpoint in between my own personal musings. If you’re reading this and think you want me to pay you for your thoughts, immediately DM me here or hit up I don’t care if you don’t consider yourself a writer or you think you have a weird idea, I want it all. Join my Batman Incorporated, be a part of the Comfort Food Comics of Zur-En-Arrh, PLEASE.

This run is special and personal to me for countless reasons. First of all, it was my first Batman book I started buying monthly. It starts in Batman #655, released July 26, 2006, a month after I graduated high school, a month after turning 18, and continues up until September 2013 when my life finally started to settle into what it is today. It encompasses the most formative time period in my entire life. As it grows, as it continues, so do I turn into the man I am today. I grew up with this run. It helped inform my development and choices in life. As I embarked on the biggest changes in my life, as I battled depression, as I finally started making decisions of my own, this run was there with me. College, dropping out, love lost, a new college enrollment, a second drop out, a move, love gained again and so much more in between – this run directly mirrors the life I’ve led. I aim to examine every issue alongside myself – what I can remember of what I was going through at the time of every issue, the things I love, the things I hate, what works, what doesn’t, and all types of DC Comic diversions along the way. This will be an extremely personal series, an open book diary of my life and experiences as I grew up all through the lens of Batman. I hadn’t even realized the profound effect this had on me until I started prepping to write all this. I was there for it! I lived it! All the things that are cool! All the things that sucked! I want to share all of that with you. I think this will be a unique, experimental ride that sets this series apart from all manner of other G-Mo Batman examinations. And I think it will be fun!! I hope you will be kind and join me on this journey.

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