How Far To Gotham City?

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It seems only appropriate that on the eve of the release of perhaps the greatest Blu-ray box set the world has ever known, I come clean about something Bat-related. Namely, that it took the Caped Crusader’s snubbing of my daughter to find out my Bat Library was missing an essential book.

The book? Gotham City: 14 Miles. And put it this way, if you know what the book’s title is in reference to, you need a copy. Don’t even give it another thought. Just click here and order your copy through Amazon.

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How did I come to have my eyes opened to this book? Well, one of the lovely people who wrote to express their sadness over my daughter’s inability to meet Batman was Ms. Becky Beard. Becky sent me an IM saying that she found Courtney’s story very upsetting. The only thing she found uplifting about the whole thing was Courtney’s addiction to the 60s Batman TV show. Several IM exchanges later, Becky said she was sending Courtney (and me) an autographed copy of “a book”, Gotham City: 14 Miles.

Not having heard of the book before (go ahead: pelt me with rocks and garbage. I deserve it), I did a quick search and found that it was released in 2011 and consisted of a collection of essays edited by Jim Beard. Beard? Hey, wait a second!

Yup, that’s right: Jim is Becky’s husband (something she failed to mention until I came right out and asked about it). What Jim has done with Gotham City: 14 Miles is put together a collection of essays from different writers, including his wife, Becky, all centering around “why the 1960s Batman TV show matters.”

Simply put, this book is a gift from the Bat-gods! Almost 300 pages and I was done with it in under 24 hours. It’s that good. Nestled among the essays which touch upon the phenomena that was the 1960s TV show are deep-dives into such topics as the show’s music, visuals, and, of course, all those Bat-gadgets. Even 1966’s Batman: The Movie is covered.

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Courtney’s a bit too young to appreciate Gotham City: 14 Miles just yet, although she totally digs the pictures of all the guest villains out of their costumes. She did, however, ask that it be placed on her bookshelf next to the dog-eared copy of The Official Batman Batbook that she absconded with from her father’s collection.

OK, enough reading: go get your own copy. And for the record, no, I’m not getting any kickbacks off  any sales of the book. It’s just a damn good book that no Bat-fan should be without.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Courtney and I need to stock up on snacks, get our mail forwarded, and make sure our matching Bat-PJs are clean: there’s 120 fully remastered (in HD) episodes heading to our house as we speak!

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Check out Gotham City: 14 Miles on Facebook, here.

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