A lot of people grew up with Batman: The Animated Series and now even their kids have fallen for this version of the Dark Knight. Online all the time we see debates on who is their definitive Batman of all time and the voice of Batman in this series, Kevin Conroy, is always in the conversation along with names like Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. But according to Conroy, because his contribution to the character is in a booth he has a hard time getting that connection with audiences.
Jace of The Comic Source Podcast on LRM Online had the opportunity to sit with Conroy at a roundtable discussion a few weeks back at New York Comic Con where he talked about this connecting with fans.
“When you’re working in a booth all the time, you never have that audience connection, so I never really had the realization, like when you’re on stage, and you get that applause at the end. That affirmation when you have that energy from the audience. You don’t get that in doing animation, so I was very naïve about the effect that the show was having culturally, until I started getting recognized places and people would say, ‘Are you that guy that does Batman?’ ‘How do you know that?’ And they’d say, ‘Well, everybody knows who’s Batman!” And I’d say, ‘No, I don’t even know who’s Batman!’ I was always so shocked by that. I still get kind of freaked out on the subway when someone goes … I’m like, you know, ‘Me, what?'”
Conroy comes from a theatrical background which is why he is used to getting immediate feedback from audiences. So it is easy to understand why it would be difficult for him to absorb positive or negative feedback on a platform that takes place mostly in people’s homes. Also in the time that the Batman series was first released comic conventions were not popular. But now we live in a time where there sometimes multiple conventions every weekend and voice actors like Conroy are very grateful for them.
“It still kind of surprises me, but now with Comic-Cons, the wonderful thing about them is you get to interact with the audience, you get that feedback. It’s almost a theatrical experience. That’s why I love doing the panels. And Bruce [Timm] knows that, that’s why he’s always asking you to do them. Because he knows I’ll give a really outrageous performance.”
Without a doubt at the panels that Conroy attends there are hundreds of fans of his work as the voice of Batman that are finally able to express their appreciation. Here at booths, he is even able to interact with some fans whose lives were, in some way, enhanced by the animated series due to their circumstances. A lot of times these voice actors, writers and artists don’t get a lot of feedback from their work face to face, so when attending conventions make sure to stop by and let them know what their work means to you.
Have you had any good experiences at conventions? Let us know in the comment section below!
Batman: The Animated Series can be watched on DC Universe’s streaming service.