Templeton, Ty

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Templeton, Ty

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Vertigo, DC Comics, 1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.

CAREER:

Writer, illustrator, comic book creator. Has worked variously as an actor, singer, and musician.

WRITINGS:


(And illustrator) How to Draw Batman, Walter Foster Publications (Laguna Beach, CA), 1998.

How to Draw Superman, illustrated by John Delaney and Ron Boyd, Walter Foster Publications (Laguna Beach, CA), 1998.

Batman: Gotham Adventures, penciled by Rick Burchett, inked by Terry Beatty, colored by Lee Loughridge, lettering by Tom Harkins, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2000.

(With Ron Boyd and John Delaney) How to Draw Batman and the DC Comics Super Heroes, Walter Foster Publications (Laguna Beach, CA), 2000.

Bigg Time: A Farcical Fable of Fleeting Time, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2002.

(With Dan Slott and Scott Peterson) Batman Adventures, DC Comics (New York, NY), 2004.

Creator of the "Stig's Inferno" comic book series; contributor to the "Justice League," "Superman," and "Batman" series, to comic books based on television shows, including Ren and Stimpy, Bob Newhart, and The Simpsons, and to collections; writer for television comedy shows and publications.

SIDELIGHTS:

Comic book writer and illustrator Ty Templeton's "Stig's Inferno" series was a cult favorite in the 1980s, and throughout his career he has worked on many of the classic series. In an interview with Alan David Doane for Comic Book Galaxy, he said that his influences included his father, who had been a professional cartoonist in the 1930s, but more particularly his grandmother. She bought comics for Templeton and his older brother, beginning in the 1950s. When his grandmother died, Templeton inherited the box of comics in good condition.

Among the established comic book series Templeton has written about is Batman. Fourth Rail critic Randy Lander reviewed the second issue of the "Batman Adventures" series that kicked off in 2003, noting that Templeton does not write down to a younger audience. While the characters are traditional, Templeton "isn't afraid to shake up the status quo," observed Lander appreciatively. "The election of Penguin to mayor is pure genius, a logical evolution for a character who has evolved throughout his time in the animated series, and the Riddler's attempt to go straight is another indication that Templeton considers these characters living characters, not just static icons."

Templeton has also worked on stories revolving around introducing new protagonist characters. Writing in Booklist, Gordon Flagg remarked that in Bigg Time: A Farcical Fable of Fleeting Time, a black-and-white graphic novel for mature readers, Templeton "combines alternative-comics attitude with mainstream-level visual slickness." Robot Fist contributor Matthew Craig wrote that "there isn't even the pretense of seriousness about this book. From the front cover to the back, Ty Templeton—a one-man comics army—goes straight for the gut-laugh. And he gets it. The story is a morality play disguised as a satirical journey through the shallow end of the artistic pool."

The graphic novel features Lester Bigg. He is nearly thirty and homeless, and has never recovered from his failure as an actor and the loss of a girlfriend several years earlier. He discovers that his bad luck has been engineered by a guardian angel named Stavros, who is drawn as a combination of insect and man, and who sports a ponytail and a goatee. Stavros has been a guardian angel thousands of years and has been slowly promoted to Guardian Angel, third class. He enjoys fouling up the lives of the living to relieve his boredom. Bigg blackmails Stavros into giving him fame and fortune. The entire cast of characters, including Lester, are shallow, selfish, and mean-spirited, and they include all those people with whom Lester interacts on his way up the ladder of success.

A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that Lester "is more than unlucky; he's a lout. Even Stavros can hardly bear to put up with him. In the absence of a sympathetic character, episode reigns supreme." But Templeton does endow the loser with enough good qualities to make him the most likeable character among the others who populate the world of music and reality shows. Lander wrote that Templeton "combines realism with cartoony features for the perfect comedy style, and though he throws in a few storytelling tricks, including a maddening rotating page view when a tornado hits and a set of ‘camera’ size panels for the reality show, in general he relies on solid panel construction for excellent storytelling. The book looks great, and all the work that has gone into it really shows in the art."

David Accampo reviewed Bigg Time for the Laughing Mad Web site, writing that "Templeton's take on angels and the afterlife seems familiar, but this mythology is still relevant in a country where the majority of people believe in angels of some kind. The book poses an honest question about how a guardian angel would work, and then answers with essentially, one long wisecrack."

In an interview with Jennifer M. Contino for Sequential Tart, Templeton said that he had the idea for the plot of Bigg Time while driving in his car in Toronto. As he listened to a radio show about religious beliefs, including of angels, he saw a homeless man sleeping on a sidewalk grate to keep warm. "I remember thinking to myself how completely incompetent this man's guardian angel would have to be to leave him homeless like that. It got me to wondering how people who believed in guardian angels could reconcile such an obvious flaw in their theory. If guardian angels protected us all, then there was a sliding scale of guardian angel ability cause a great whacking percentage of this planet lives in poverty, and fear and disease, etc. These are folks with guardian angels who just suck at the job."

Templeton also noted that his father had been an evangelist tent preacher, and said that he himself "doesn't believe in any of the versions of God offered up by any of the organized religions, but I think there are glimpses of ‘truth’ in the Bible, the Bagavaad Ghita, Buddhism, Taoism, and quantum physics." He said that "it's important to note, I don't poke fun at God anywhere in the book. I do poke fun at some supernatural and religious beliefs, which are a vastly different thing. George Carlin often says, ‘Religion is the bureaucracy between humanity and God.’ I tend to believe that."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:


PERIODICALS


Booklist, December 1, 2000, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Batman: Gotham Adventures, p. 701; November 1, 2002, Gordon Flagg, review of Bigg Time: A Farcical Fable of Fleeting Time, p. 467.

Library Media Connection, April, 2003, review of Batman: Gotham Adventures, p. 17.

Publishers Weekly, May 5, 2003, review of Bigg Time, p. 202.

School Library Journal, December, 2003, Douglas P. Davey, review of Batman: Gotham Adventures, p. 88.

ONLINE


Comic Book Galaxy,http://www.comicbookgalaxy.com/ (June 18, 2006), Alan David Doan, interview with Ty Templeton.

DC Comics Online,http://www.dccomics.com/ (February 17, 2004), interview with Ty Templeton.

Fanzing,http://www.fanzing.com/ (June 18, 2006), Michael Hutchinson, "Ty Templeton: The Interview."

Fourth Rail, http://www.thefourthrail.com/ (August 19, 2002), Randy Lander, review of Bigg Time; (May 19, 2003), Randy Lander, review of Batman Adventures, Number 2.

Laughing Mad,http://www.laughingmadscribes.com/ (February 17, 2004), David Accampo, review of Bigg Time.

Robot Fist, http://www.robotfist.com/ (April 9, 2002), Matthew Craig, review of Bigg Time.

Sequential Tart,http://www.sequentialtart.com/ (July 5, 2006), Jennifer M. Contino, interview with Ty Templeton.

Silver Bullet Comic Books Web site,http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/ (June 18, 2006), Tim O'Shea, "Clearly Having Fun: Ty Templeton."

Ty Templeton Home page,http://www.templetons.com/ty (June 18, 2006).

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