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Michael Uslan: The boy who Loved Batman

Interviewed and written by Aaron Robinson - Editor

When the name of the superhero Batman comes up in a discussion, it’s impossible to escape the dialog as we often perceive the crime-fighting vigilante with his side kick, Robin. Over the years, Batman has been a hero to many children as well as adults who took interest in watching the films, collecting action figures and comic-book series - whether past or present.

At a young age, New Jersey native, Michael Ulsan, took an interest in collecting comic books and comic writing, looking to someday bring the dark and serious character Batman to the silver screen. As one of the most respected top ranking gross paid film and television producers, it’s no doubt that Michael Uslan is a genius at his craft.

Michael Uslan has been responsible for producing and having an executive role in modern Batman films such as, Batman, Batman Forever, Batman Returns, Batman Begins, Batman and Robin, The Dark Knight (one of the second highest grossing films of all time), and so on. Some of his television films include Three Sovereigns for Sarah, Swamp Thing, and Catwoman, just to name a few.

Over the years, the super-producer has been recognized for his works, receiving a People Choice Award for the movie Batman, an Annie Award for his animated movie Batman Beyond: Return of The Joker, and an Emmy Award as Executive Producer of the children series Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego.

I am honored and privileged that Mr. Ulsan considered an interview with Consciousness Magazine, as we are grateful to shed light on his career, endeavors and far most, he as an individual, in hopes to inspire many readers around the world.

Aaron Robinson: Looking back over your career as a film producer, how does it feel to be one of the highest grossing movie producers of all times?
Michael Ulsan: What feels great is to be doing something I love that I’ve made into my work in life. My job can be summed up thusly: Every day, I report to a sandbox and play with my favorite toys.

AR: As a well-known and respected film producer and writer, are there any struggles or challenges that you face in regards to the film industry?
MU: Yes. Don’t believe them when they tell you how bad you are and how awful your ideas are, and then don’t believe them when they tell you how wonderful you are and how great your ideas are. Just believe in yourself and your work and you’ll do just fine.

AR: Is there anything in particular that you want readers to take with them or remain with them after reading your memoir, The Boy Who Loved Batman?
MU: Anyone can make their dreams come true if they just do what I did: Get up off your butt; discover your passion and pursue it with vigor and with a high threshold for frustration; doors will slam in your face and just knock on them again and again until your knuckles bleed. The dark and serious Batman franchise of movies was built on my bloody knuckles.

AR: You’ve written a number of comic books and have numerous syndicated comic strips. What inspired your writing background for comics?
MU: Not “what,” but rather “who”… Stan Lee, Julius Schwartz, Otto Binder, Bill Finger, Denny O’Neil, and Gardner Fox, my favorite comic book writers growing up.

AR: What captured your interest to collect comic books when you were a youth?
MU: Escapist fantasy fare embodying wish fulfillment with a modern day mythology as told in a colorful and beautiful graphic story-telling format.

AR: What was the thing that fascinated you about the batman character?
MU: He had no super-powers. His greatest super-power was his humanity and I so identified with him! Plus, Batman had the greatest super-villains in history, the coolest car, and an origin story so primal and powerful that it made Bruce Wayne unforgettable.

AR: What advice would you give to an aspiring film producer who is looking to further or build on to his career?
MU: Persevere. “Go West, young man or woman,” as L.A. is where the action is in this industry. Network like mad. Never lose touch with your childhood. Never lose touch with the people in between New York and LA so you have a feel for what types of films they would love to see.

AR: Does “The Comic Book in America” course at Indiana University still exist? If so, what is the main thing that you would like students to leave with after completing this spectacular course?
MU: My course still exists at Indiana University! The most important things I wanted my students to learn were: Comic books are a legitimate American art form, as indigenous to this country as jazz; Comic books comprise our modern-day American folklore and are our contemporary mythology. (The ancient gods of Greece, Rome and Egypt still exist… only today they wear spandex and capes.); and comic books reflect a changing American culture over the decades and they mirror our society.

AR: Do you have anything that you would like to add before we close the interview?
MU: THE BOY WHO LOVED BATMAN (theboywholovedbatman.com) is the story of my journey to make my dreams come true even though I was just a blue collar kid from Jersey with no money to buy my way into Hollywood, with no relatives in Hollywood, and not knowing anyone in Hollywood. If I could find the way to make my dreams come true, so can anyone else who doesn’t feel entitled and as if the world owes him or her something.

Mr. Uslan,thank you so much for your time and for considering this interview!