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  • August 2011
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Batburgh: The Dark Knight Rises rolls into town

I work at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main in Oakland. Right outside of our great old library is an area called “The Bosque.” It’s the area full of London Plane Trees between the library/museum buildings and Schenley Plaza. The bosque is full of picnic tables and features a fountain by great American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Most days you can find library employees, patrons, and others hanging around out there eating lunch or grabbing a little sunshine.

But right now the bosque is covered with tents full of extras and crew for Christopher Nolan‘s third and final Batman film The Dark Knight Rises! For two weeks, sweltering Summer-time Pittsburgh will be transformed into chilly, Winter-time Gotham City, and I’m pretty excited about it. Just now, I came back from lunch and walked up the street along with a bunch of movie cast and crew. There were a ton of Gotham City Police and a whole bunch of punk thugs, pierced, bedraggled, and carrying Kalashnikov rifles and various kinds of improvised weapons. Totally cool.

They were on their way up to 5th avenue for more shooting at the Mellon Institute building, which is doubling as Gotham’s City Hall for Dark Knight Rises. Last week, fans caught some intense footage of Batman fighting the films villain, the hulking Bane!

It might look like violent chaos to the untrained eye, but we know it’s Hollywood movie magic, featuring The Caped Crusader–easily the coolest superhero around.

This Saturday, my friends and I will be taking part in the filming of a giant scene at Heinz Field. The script is so hush-hush that we don’t know exactly what will happen, but I expect the Gotham Rogues football game we’re supposed to be seeing is going to be interrupted by some baddies. Hopefully The Dark Knight himself will show up and save the good people of Gotham. Pittsburgh & Batman, a great combination!

Have you seen any cool Batman-related stuff around town? Post a comment and let us know.

To put you in a Batman kind of mood, here are some Bat-recommendations, all available at the library, of course (just click on the item and order it online!):

Batman R.I.P. by Grant Morrison–(Originally published as Batman 676-683) The Dark Knight finds himself at the hands of the diabolical Black Glove in this intense chapter of the Batman story. Batman buried alive? Check. The Dark Knight poisoned and driven nearly nuts? Check. After this one, Bruce Wayne had to go away for a while (it’s that serious!). If you like your Batman gritty and fantastical, you’ll love Morrison’s take on the character. (This is also the conclusion to Morrison’s first act with The Bat, so do yourself a favor and read Batman & Son and Batman: The Black Glove first.)

Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn by Grant Morrison–(Originally published as Batman and Robin 1-6) After Bruce disappears (I would explain how and where he goes, but you wouldn’t believe me) the original Robin, Dick Grayson reluctantly takes over with Bruce’s petulant assasin-trained son Damian as the new Robin. It’s totally wild! Morrison himself described Batman & Robin as a combination of Twin Peaks and the 1960s Batman TV show. Pretty apt, really. Very cool to see how a different personality works behind the cape and cowl (check out his posture on that cover–really neat).

Batman: Knightfall by Doug Moench–In the early 90s Batman nearly met his match when Bane stepped onto the scene. A Mexican strong-man with brains to match his bulk, Bane wanted nothing more than to test himself against Batman. This story arc hasn’t been republished in a while, but we still have some copies. (Expect them to repackage this whole thing as the movie release date nears.) A modern classic for anyone from my generation featuring Azrael’s Batsuit (which I thought was very very cool at the time).

Batman: Year One by Frank Miller–The story of The Bat’s first year fighting crime. Written in the 80s (the peak of the “comics should be gritty and more realistic!” phase), Frank Miller found just the right way to bring out the realism, dedication, and street-level fun of Batman. All of the best movie versions of Batman cite this comic as an inspiration, and rightly so. (Also see his classic The Dark Knight.)

 

– Corey, CLP-Main

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