"New Look" vs Tv Show

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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Keith Mayo
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"New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by Keith Mayo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:05 pm

I've often wondered why Dozier and company went with a Batsuit that was so different than what was then current in the comic books. The Infantino "New Look" was only a year or so old when production on the show began in 1965. We know that Dozier and Semple had studied the Batman comic books prior to beginning production so they knew full well they were taking the Batsuit in a different direction. Aside from the tights going from a dark to lighter grey and the cape, cowl, gloves, shorts and boots going to a darker blue, the main difference was the chest emblem. According to Michael Uslan, the DC legal department added the yellow oval for trademark/copywrite reasons (https://batman-on-film.com/4263/history ... n_9-13-18/).

Why then did Adam's Batsuit look so different? The comic book utility belt would have been much easier for the costume designers to fabricate.
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TBolt
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by TBolt » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:09 pm

I'd say its a fair representation of the New Look look. The belt needed to give the feeling of practicality for the show with pouches and the added on rope and batarang speciality pouches that were used occasionally. The cylinders on the Infantino design would have been useless in live action for larger items.
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Keith Mayo
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by Keith Mayo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:12 pm

TBolt wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:09 pm
The belt needed to give the feeling of practicality for the show with pouches and the added on rope and batarang speciality pouches that were used occasionally. The cylinders on the Infantino design would have been useless in live action for larger items.
I agree but I can't give Dozier that much credit.
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TBolt
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by TBolt » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:16 pm

give the prop designers the credit then. The screen tests were using costumes based on the pre yellow oval look so they definitely changed it to reflect the current comics.
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AndyFish
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by AndyFish » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:52 pm

It's closer to the comics than any suit before or after. It even has the black face.
I think they just took Infantino's designs and translated them into 3D/real world. While the show later got ridiculous I think they were trying to have things make sense like the pouches on his belt actually holding things.

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BATWINGED HORNET
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:31 pm

TBolt wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:09 pm
The belt needed to give the feeling of practicality for the show with pouches and the added on rope and batarang speciality pouches that were used occasionally. The cylinders on the Infantino design would have been useless in live action for larger items.
But that's the thing--the comic book use of cylinders was forward-thinking--if you've ever seen the diagrams of the utility belt from the comics. Each held some tool or device that was sufficiently advanced enough to fit in the cylinders. Film indistry prop mkers of the era were certainly skilled enough to create whatever was needed that would fit in the belt, so it was not a necessity to have the larger pouches. Further, Batman's Batarang pouch was used so infrequently that West and Ward--more often than not--just reached behind their backs to produce the rope and Batarangs, so comic-styled belts would not have presented a believability issue.
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Keith Mayo
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by Keith Mayo » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:39 pm

All great comments, but none address the color change. It's not even close. Don't get me wrong though as I love the Adam West Batsuit. Just wondering why they changed the color.
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by SprangFan » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:53 pm

From the earliest days, Batman's cape was supposed to be black with blue highlights. Same with Bruce Wayne's hair (and Clark Kent's): it's not blue hair with shadows, it's black hair with blue areas "cheated in" to denote texture and depth.

Over time the blue got brighter, but you can tell even in the (awesome) Infantino image in your post that the cape and cowl are, if not black, at least a blue dark enough to appear black in certain areas. I think the costumers picked up on this and found a color and material that did in the real world what was so much simpler to do with a pen and ink: look very dark in shadow but show distinctly blue highlights under lights.

Why the lighter gray? Maybe to play up the contrast, or to work around some technical limitation of camera technology. It's also not strictly gray, but slightly purple, so they probably did a lot of experimenting to find a shade that achieved something they wanted, something a darker gray wouldn't give them.

The belt was probably a practical thing. Notice Robin got Batman's comic style cylinders, and to my memory never does anything with them. Probably because it was too hard to engineer.
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Therin of Andor
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by Therin of Andor » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:17 pm

SprangFan wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:53 pm
Why the lighter gray? Maybe to play up the contrast, or to work around some technical limitation of camera technology. It's also not strictly gray, but slightly purple, so they probably did a lot of experimenting to find a shade that achieved something they wanted, something a darker gray wouldn't give them.
Also for colour TV, of course. Why have black and grey when you can have dark blue and slightly-purple grey?

When the colours where being chosen for the "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" costumes, Robert Fletcher deliberately chose hues that were not quite one colour. Kirk's admiral's uniform was "loden green", a greenish grey. The regular uniforms were grey, but photographed bluish grey. Spock's Vulcan robe appeared black, but was a deep purplish black in natural light. Etc.
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John Mack
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by John Mack » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:38 am

I say the dress was gold and blue
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TBolt
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by TBolt » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:35 am

BATWINGED HORNET wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:31 pm
TBolt wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:09 pm
The belt needed to give the feeling of practicality for the show with pouches and the added on rope and batarang speciality pouches that were used occasionally. The cylinders on the Infantino design would have been useless in live action for larger items.
But that's the thing--the comic book use of cylinders was forward-thinking--if you've ever seen the diagrams of the utility belt from the comics. Each held some tool or device that was sufficiently advanced enough to fit in the cylinders. Film indistry prop mkers of the era were certainly skilled enough to create whatever was needed that would fit in the belt, so it was not a necessity to have the larger pouches. Further, Batman's Batarang pouch was used so infrequently that West and Ward--more often than not--just reached behind their backs to produce the rope and Batarangs, so comic-styled belts would not have presented a believability issue.
I'd love to see a prop maker get the TV show Batarang to fit in a cigar tube.
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by BATWINGED HORNET » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:53 am

I mean the comics managed to create plausible, compact devices that would fit in the cylinders. which were not out of range for prop makers. As I mentioned, the TV show's Batarang pouch was infrequently used, with the actors just reaching behind them, so the pouch really served no purpose, nor would it raise questions if it was never produced for the series (meaning no expectation).
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Keith Mayo
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by Keith Mayo » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:17 am

The many wonders of the Utility Belt.
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Scott Sebring
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by Scott Sebring » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:45 am

I think the colors of the costume landed more on the shoulders of costume designer Jan Kemp. Wally consulted him back in the early 90s and I believe (third to fourth hand account of this?) that he went with the dark blue satin so it could highlight blue and yet mimic the black inked areas of the comics. If the blue was lighter, they would have lost that darker depth of the "inked" shadows. Also, Jan decided to make areas of the cowl that were matte against areas that were satin. The overall form is satin with the iconic front face shadow a black matte (changed over the years in finish depending on the paint job) and the outside facing part of the ears a flat dark blue.

From my ancient Wally interview:
" I was thinking about this a lot what I was talking to Jan Kemp (the original costume designer for the series). I think the fact that he went with a light reflecting material like the satin as opposed to like a matte finish material just made that thing sing. The sheen of it was so attractive to the eye and the color worked really well with the TV lights. But yet he chose points to matte, so it wouldn’t have worked if it was dull and it wouldn't have worked if it was all shiny. But the fact that he chose his places to go matte, that just gave a thing that was two-dimensional in the comic books a third or fourth dimension to where it looked just so cool looking."

The color of the tights fluctuated in lightness and depth many times over the course of the run of the show. Sometimes going even darker than the comic. Heck, the grey on the tights on the covers of comics were often different form the colors you'd find inside the comic. It would sometimes have the lavender tint of the series and sometimes it was a more neutral dead grey. Personally, I think Jan tried to capture the comic book look of Batman's costume with real world fabrics more than anybody before or since.

The Infantino image Kieth used (LOVE IT) as an example of that design is a little bit of an oddity in that the bat on the chest emblem has more points on the bottom (7) as opposed to the traditional 5 points used by him and virtually everybody else who drew the new look. I always loved that illustration but the bat always read "wrong" to me. It's the only time I recall seeing him use that many points.

Also, that illustration itself went through a number of color changes during the 60's and going into the 70s.
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Here's another classic Infantino image (note the bat emblem)
carmine infantino batman art 06.jpg
The bat emblem even fluctuated in shape and placement with the new look. Starting with straight edges on the bat wings and a more circular shape rather than oval shape to eventually the curved edges of the wings and the classic oval shape.
carmine infantino batman art 07.jpg
It was also common in this period for the chest emblem to be nearly half hidden under the cape and cowl area
carmine infantino batman art 08.jpg
carmine infantino batman art 09.jpg
Certainly one of my personal favorite Batman artists of all time.
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Scott Sebring
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Re: "New Look" vs Tv Show

Post by Scott Sebring » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:13 am

Of course the tights varied in shades of grey from scene lighting and dye jobs. At least one must have matched a comic at one point. lol.
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