Fade Out – Warren Skaaren


Episode 21 - Warren Skaaren's BATMAN with special guest author Alison Macor.

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9 responses to “Fade Out – Warren Skaaren

  1. Great episode. Interesting, informative and tragic. We can only image what else Mr Skaaren might have brought us.

    Thank you Alison Macor for shining a light on this man’s all to short life and career. Too often the contributions of some amazing people are lost to history simply because they get overlooked or overshadowed. It’s easy to find books and documentaries in Hollywood’s big names. They have the influence. (Much like Bob Kane)

    Mr Kelly, I’m in agreement with you over Top Gun. I’ve just never been a fan. I find it to be a dull movie with an unlikable lead character. I’ll watch Iron Eagle over Top Gun any day.

    I was at a sci-fi convention in Boston when I first heard the announcement that Michael Keaton would be playing Batman. I remember a man behind me shriek “Mr Mom!!! Is that a joke!?!” Fortunately for society that was the last and only time anyone questioned the casting of a Batman actor.
    Like you said, it’s hard for today’s audience to recognize just how impactful Batman was. Not just to us comic book nerds, but to filmgoers world wide. One of the biggest innovations was giving us Batman right at the start of the movie! It used to take until halfway through the movie before they’d get around to even becoming the hero. Sometimes we wouldn’t even get them in costume until the final act.

    1. Thanks Matt! In her book, Alison gets into specific scenes in BATMAN written by Skaaren, and it’s fun to consider how that movie was sort of pieced together from two distinct writers and how well it all fits together (or doesn’t, depending on your POV). I wonder, had he lived, if he would have been tapped to take a shot at RETURNS.

  2. Fascinating discussion! I will admit, despite being a huge Batman fan, I never knew much about Skarren. I don’t think I even knew he had died so young. I guess I just assumed he wasn’t involved in Returns because Hollywood tends to work that way, with folks who helped make a movie a success not on board for the sequel for one reason or another.

    So sad that he didn’t get to see how impactful his films were, not just at the time, but for all time! I will have to check this book out!

    Oh, and I still have a box of Batman cereal, sealed in celophane, with a Batman bust bank attached!

  3. What an amazing episode! Ms.Macor was a fantastic guest, but Rob, this was one of the best shows you’ve hosted. You really bring these movies alive. For most of these Fade Outs, I kind of know the names, but it’s mostly movies I haven’t seen and you make me want to seek these movies out. For this one, I’ve seen almost all of Skaaren’s ghost written movies but had no idea of the person himself and his involvement!

    And I agree with yourself and Matt, that “kids today” just don’t understand the cultural impact Batman ’89 had. It was huge (HUGE) for us comic nerds but it also was so different, I want to say “moody”, compared to other movies around that time. It was like Hollywood finally said, “Let’s let the emo, cinema nerd make the movie he wants.” and public responded by saying, “This is amazing!”. That movie blew me away and the music was something that I hold dear to my heart to this day.

    As an aside about Bob Kane, I remember, at the time, reading Comics Scene magazine, they made a big deal of Kane’s involvement in the film. It almost made it sound like HE was the visionary behind anything Batman. Even at that age, I couldn’t understand how this grandpa was involved in the film! I guess half of comics is making the thing, and the other half is how well you can promote your involvement in the thing.

    Thanks for the “man behind the man” history of Skaaren. It makes me really want to pop on Batman again (for the umpteenth time) and enjoy it, knowing he had a major role in bringing it together. Thank you Rob and Ms.Macor for an amazing trip into this man’s movie history! Keep up the great work!

  4. Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the episode.
    I knew nothing about Skaaren coming into it, so I learned quite a bit – and who better to talk about him than the person who literally wrote the book on the man. Needless to say, Macor was a great guest.
    Otherwise, I’ll just add that, yes: I very clearly recall what a huge thing the Batman movie was in 1989. I was 21 at the time, and I remember being amazed that so many ‘normies’ (whose sole experience of Batman would have been the ’60s TV show) had been infected by Batmania.

  5. Great episode as always, Rob, and Dr. Macor was an excellent guest. It was great to learn about Skarren; I’d never heard of him. My favorite part of all was Alison’s story of the screenwriter who buys ten copies of her books at a time and hands them out so people will understand the arbitration process. If you can’t get widespread recognition from the public, heartfelt appreciation from the people who truly know might be just as good.

    1. You know, I’m thinking everything that’s been said here about 1989 Batmania and the impact the film had. I don’t think I even fully grasped it at the time. It just seemed to me that everyone was finally talking about something interesting for once.

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