Batman and Me, 30 Years On.


Last week a Detective Comics No.27, in good condition, published in 1939 sold at auction for $1,075,500.00. The reason the price was so astronomical? Detective Comics No. 27 was the first appearance of Batman.

As high as that number is, Batman is worth much more than that to me. Batman gave me a career.

The first thing my parents remember me drawing was Batman, the first thing I remember drawing was Batman. If you went to grade school with me, the first thing you probably remember me drawing was Batman.

I got caught up in comics and superheroes because of the Caped Crusader. The mixture of line, color and splashes of type fascinated me. The design of how a page flowed, the use of different fonts, the mix of visuals and the printed word had a profound impact on how I saw things graphically.

Then, I thought it was just cool. I learned all the artists by name: Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, Gil Kane, Gene Colan and too many more to mention. I could, and still can, tell you not only who drew the art, but who inked , colored and lettered the comic just by seeing just one panel of  it. Later my tastes grew to include Rembrandt, Leonardo, Durer and others as my favorite artists.

I knew I wanted to be an artist very early on, I also knew that being a comic book artist wasn’t for me. Why? I can’t draw vehicles, not great with machinery rendering, had no problem drawing Batman, the Batmobile is a different story.

So illustration and graphic design became my passion in college. I could still use my skill as an artist but also use my love of type and layout and how it communicates to an audience. Don’t get me wrong, I still had the burning desire to paint and live at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City and eventually get discovered by some snooty gallery and become famous… but hey, I’m a Greene, I gotta eat.

So this year marks my 30th year in business as Stilson Greene Graphic Design & Illustration, I look back and forward and am thankful for my family, friends and clients who believed and still believe in me. I do continue to paint and do art for myself, and am fortunate to have a gallery that shows my work, but my CAREER is using images and type and layout to communicate messages and feelings, and to that, all I can say is…”Thanks Batman.”

7 thoughts on “Batman and Me, 30 Years On.”

  1. Very good peace stilson, i do remember you drawing batman very well, and for some reason, i always remember your autographed picture of bela lugosi,i guess because i just love the old monsters.take care man.

  2. I never knew Batman was your inspiration! (If you told me, I do not remember.)

    My brother LOVED Batman. He would go up on our roof and fiddle with the antenna on our house until he could get a somewhat visible picture on the television. I would lean my head out the bathroom window and let him know he had accomplished the right signal!

    Great story! Thanks for sharing it. Sometime I would like to start a blog maybe. we’ll see.

    Love to Tammy Sue!

  3. Very good blog Stilson. In addition to being an artist, you are quite a wordsmith. Thank you for sharing.

    Off topic question: Did Larry Herndon ever thank you for keeping all of those blockers off of him and helping him to become a star middle linebacker?


  4. Don’t remember your batman phase — had you moved along already by the time you got to high school? Thirty years in the business, Stilson? Are you sure we’re that old? Congrats, my friend.


  5. Pam I was always a Batman and comic book fan, just in high school I kept the “fan boy” to the side, but Philip Raflo, Al Swain and others were all comic book lovers, but as I said the cool factor was a bit minus, so yep I was caping then.

    Nice to hear from you, you dug out yet?


  6. Great graphic art brings life to shape, color, line and font. A truly successful logo is an unforgettable character in our visual compendium. Thank you, Stilson, for the brilliantly conceived logos I see all around town, and even for your humorous doodles I remember from a lifetime ago in high school.

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