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It’s hard to believe that after the 2005 miniseries Batman/Scarecrow: Year One, Sean Murphy hit a rough patch where he couldn’t land work at DC Comics. Since then, he’s cut his own path through the publisher beginning in 2008 with two issues of Hellblazer and then continuing with Joe the Barbarian, Hellblazer: City of Demons, American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest, his creator-owned Punk Rock Jesus, Batman Beyond and now his collaboration with Scott Snyder, The Wake.
On Wednesday, Murphy returns again to the Dark Knight with a story (written by John Arcudi) in the debut issue of the revived Batman: Black and White, which was preceded last week by the release of his Batman: Black and White statue, the 50th in the DC Collectibles line. That’s quite the turnaround.
However, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing recently: Murphy recently revealed roughs for an eight-page Batman story he pitched last year, but was ultimately rejected. “… To be honest, I was 90% sure it was going to be rejected,” he writes on his DeviantArt blog. “And you can see why. The editor is a friend whom I respect greatly, so I took a chance and sent him this.”
“The editor’s reply was priceless,” Murphy continues. “He said something like, ‘Brilliant. But you know I can never publish this. Also, what’s the matter with you?’ That’s when I grabbed Arcudi to write something for me, because each time I tried to write something else, I ended up thinking, ‘Bruce would be WAY happier if he just offed everyone in Arkham!’
See a page from the pitch below, and all eight pages at Murphy’s DeviantArt page.