Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures (#1, Director’s Cut) – Matthew K. Manning

4 out of 5

The black and white pencil art and script pages for the first issue of the recent mini-series, plus some editorial extras.

Calling these Director’s Cuts always feels a little wrong when we’re not really getting any extra content that was, y’know, cut, but the inclusion of some process notes at the end give this a slight edge over similar books, and maybe moreso because Manning sounds truly pleased to be working on the book.

The black and white art – I mean, Red J (Jon Sommariva) is a pretty ‘clean’ artist, so it’s not really a stretch to imagine his pencils underlying the inks / colors: what you see is what you end up getting, but if you haven’t seen a bare comic page before, it can interesting to get an idea how the digital layers might work and what happens during inks and colors and whatnot (not to imply that that’s explicitly shown / explained, just that you can see what we start with and imagine where it goes from there).  Similarly, Sommariva is a script-to-page dude – he takes Manning’s directions exactly.  Which is still admirable, as he brings an amazing amount of zip to the page despite working from someone else’s design.

The few pages of backmatter are more the selling point here for me, with Manning giving us a couple pages of his background with the characters, and Sommariva including a few interesting notes / sketches for how he works.

An acceptable $5 spend (considering the regular issue is $4…).