You might be familiar with Inktober, an annual drawing challenge that artists of the internet join each October. For every day of October, there is a corresponding word prompt that artists are encouraged to interpret in varied and creative ways. But comic book artist Chris Samnee, currently the artist for the jaw-dropping Fire Power written by Robert Kirkman (writer and creator for Invincible and The Walking Dead), put a bat-twist on it — 31 days of Batman-themed drawings, Batober!
Batober seemingly started in 2017, when Samnee used the Inktober prompts, but made them Batman-themed. Now, Batober is a tradition, and other artists have jumped in on the game, leading Samnee to have official prompts for Batober. When it comes to black and white drawing, Samnee puts on a masterclass every October. The pieces range from action-packed to grand displays of emotion, diving deep into the Batman mythos.
Now you might be thinking — there’s a lot of Batman media out there, why should I care about more Batman? I’m a big Bat-fan. Out of anything Batman I would choose, Chris Samnee’s Batober art makes the top of my list. I have not seen a better understanding of the Batman character and world than Samnee’s Batober display. It is a crime that Samnee has not been an artist for a Batman-book yet.
Don’t know where to start looking from years worth of Batobers? Here are some of my favorite pieces from the years of Batobers.
Batober 2020, Day 12 — Space. Your mind might jump to outer-space for this prompt, but Samnee jumped to an emotional gut punch on this representation of Batman and Robin’s father-son relationship. The only light offered in this piece is the entrance to the Batcave and computer light, leaving the black to display the emotional distance between Batman and Robin. This piece sells the saying a picture is worth a thousand words.
Batober 2020, Day 20 — Suffocate. Terrifying is the word that comes to mind. Clayface seems like a silly villain, but this piece is a raw exercise in why he should be in your nightmares, as Batman tries to claw his way out of Clayface drowning him in clay. Gives me the shivers.
Batober 2017, Day 22 — Trail. Batman’s a detective, he detects. This piece throws the detective on display in an eerie forest following a TRAIL of blood. It’s a cinematic depiction of the World’s Greatest Detective.
Batober 2021, Day 14 — Slug. POW. BAM. THWACK. SLUG. Batman punching out the bad guy with an homage to the Joker’s beginnings as the Red Hood? Yes please. For something that seems so simple, it feels so alive.
I could go on and on, but here are some of my favorites from this year! The problem is, I have too many.
Batober 2022, Day 20 — Crash. Get the shark spray as a wave crashes into Batman’s back. You never know what you are going to get from Samnee, and this is unexpected but everything I could wish for from these pictures.
Batober 2022, Day 10 — Spent. Crime Fighting is a rough job, and this image shows the cost on the body and the true hero of the Batman stories, Alfred Pennyworth.
Batober 2022, Day 13 —- Spark. My favorite character is Barbara Gordon, or Batgirl. This one is brilliant. Spark can be interpreted in so many different ways in this one. From the sparks off the batarang, to Barbara’s personality, or maybe Killer Moth sparking Batgirl’s career.
Batober 2022, Day 15 — Air. Chris Samnee knows his Bat-history with a throwback to 90’s skater Robin in this one. An amazing exploration of “air” as Robin throws some on Gotham’s rooftops.
Batober is always a refreshing take on a character who is over 80 years old. Samnee shows an enormous love and respect for the Dark Knight by flexing a wealth of knowledge of the character through his inventive prompts. I hope this is finally the year I win the Ebay auction for one of these batastic pieces of art.