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The Batman Slaps Robin Meme

August 26, 2013

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The comic book panel shown above, held by the cartoon version of myself (and yes, caricatures take off about 30 lbs.), appeared in an edition of World’s Finest around 1965. That’s what internet sources say.

I recognize Curt Swan’s artwork. In the early and mid 1960s, he was considered the quintessential Superman artist. As good as he was though, by 1969, with artists like Neal Adams and Jim Steranko leading a veritable comic book art renaissance, Swan’s art looked instantly dated. All this is just my opinion, as a comics aficionado who grew up during the silver age. While I was never a big Curt Swan fan, seeing a sample of his artwork, like the one above, gives me warm, nostalgic feelings.

Somewhere along the internet timeline, someone came across this panel, stripped the word balloons of text, flipped the image and made up different dialog—What’s-Up-Tiger-Lilly style. And thus, one of the web’s most famous memes was born.

Enter “Batman slap meme” in your search engine of choice, and you’ll see what I mean. There have been some pretty humorous efforts out there (as well as terrible, blasphemous and downright nasty ones too, so beware), some garnering thousands upon thousands of hits. There are even websites where you can create your own Batman Slap Meme—all with poor Robin setting up the gag, and Batman delivering the punch line, both literally and figuratively.

I’ve been cooking this idea up for awhile now. I decided to redraw the panel in, more, or less, my own style. And I thought I’d spend the week coming up with my own gags.

I invite you to stop by each day this week, and see what I come up with.

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