Almost a Show: GOTHAM HIGH Cartoon Concept Art Revealed!

In 2009 Jeff and Celeste did some concept art for a show that would have been the animated adventures of Bruce Wayne and the gang reimagined in high school. Think Clone High with a Dark Knight edge. I think I, and many others, would have devoured this show but alas it was never to be. However, now the concept art has been released and we can speculate in awe of what might have been.


Here's the synopsis of the show from their blog that accompanied the art:

"We all go through incredible changes as teenagers: growth spurts, bad skin, a sudden insatiable need to uphold justice and avenge your murdered parents…. Well, that is if you’re Bruce Wayne.

As if being a freshman at Gotham High wasn’t tough enough, Bruce’s insomnia and technological fascinations are taking their toll. Instead of spending his time studying, he has begun to obsess over an emerging personality trait: Batman. But under the watchful eye of his guardian and steward, Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce is forced to put his intelligence to good use: graduating high school. But given his classmates, can Bruce survive Gotham High?"



Spotted at io9 but orginally posted at the Jeff and Celeste blog.


  1. i would have watched this

  2. My heart weeps knowing it will never get to watch this show.

  3. This looks… bizarrely awesome!

  4. did not notice clayface and bane when i first looked the the cast picture

  5. Oh, man. I’d have loved this show. It looks amazing. The character designs? Great.

  6. the answer to why i hate network execs

  7. I’m depressed now that I know I’ll never get to see this.

  8. This looks HORRIBLE. Thank God it was canned.

  9. Single tear just rolled down my face. This would have been AWESOME. Sigh.

  10. @kennyg  It wasn’t canned, it just didn’t make it out of development like hundreds of shows you never hear about each year.

  11. This may be the greatest Batman story never told. Damn shame.

  12. The unexplored potential for awesomeness here kills me.

    DC or WB needs to greenlight this now, either as a cartoon or comic!

  13. The Catwoman and Barbara Gordon character designs are definitely my favorite.

    Shame we won’t see this, it looked cute.

  14. There’s a delightful little modern myth that the shows that DO get produced are the best.  They are of such a quality that they managed to slip through Dante’s nine rings of Development Hell (sometimes not completely unscathed, true), and eventually make it to us.

    This?  This kicks that myth in the balls and does the pencil trick.

    In some alternate dimension, every good show got made.  I’m going to find that dimension, and bring back DVDs.

  15. This seems a lot like a Batman musical.  Sure, it sounds awesome simply based on how utterly ridiculous the concept is, but after a couple episodes of it, the novelty would wear off and we’d all be like, “Oh, right, this is a stupid idea.”

  16. I’m getting a strong Juggalo vibe off that teenage Joker and Harley. That’s some epic win right there.

  17. this looks fun we need a fun batman show…to bad, there is still brave and the bold

  18. I’d be on board with this show if there was a completely rational prefect of discipline (what, you guys didn’t go to Catholic schools?) and guidance counselor pair in this school that slowly spiral into madness because they realize that choking each and every one of these children would do the world some good.

    Sort of a Technicolor “kill baby hitler!” series.

  19. @Tork  Maybe YOU would.

  20. That’s the most adorable Harley ever. In some alternate dimension this show is on the air and i am so jealos of that other me that gets to watch it.

  21. This looked really GREAT. It reminds me of lil’Bush in terms of concept….but y’know less political. Does Batman and the Joker and everyone sing about the moral of the story via songs in a band? Because that would basically kill…

  22. Ew.

  23. This looks like it could have been a lot of fun. Don’t know if it would have been my bag, exactly, but there’s no denying the potential here.

  24. Save Gotham High?

  25. This would work as a one-off episode on another series– Bat-Mite shows up and turns Arkham into a high school but a whole series of this would have gotten very old very quick.  Marvel Zombies couldn’t keep the novelty alive for more than one arc, I don’t think Breakfast Club Batman would fare much better.

  26. Now that looks like a kick, The character designs are awesome.

  27. This looks completely predictable and unnecessary. I feel like I’ve already watched this show about a hundred times before. I can imagine what many of the episodes surely would have been like. How many times do I need to see the same “hero high-school drama” reenacted the same damn way? This is why I stopped reading Ultimate Spidey: however high-quality something like this might be, I’ve seen the concept enough times not to want to spend my money and/or my time on it.

    When people in previous generations grew up, they stopped watching children’s programming. Now we’re a subgroup that’s forever obsessed with adolescence. Meanwhile the actual cartoon of this was cancelled evidently because the execuatives didn’t think it would connect with the ACTUAL kids of today. But it would connect with us 30-year-olds who are continually reliving teenager-hood. Bizarre.

  28. I can appreciate the work the creators put into this, but it wouldn’t have been for me.  The worn out premise of taking established characters and teen-ifying them or baby-izng them has run its course with me. Muppet Babies, Flintsone Kids, X-Babies, X-Men Evolution, etc.

  29. You couldn’t pay me enough money NOT to watch this.

    Looks idiotic. 

  30. I’d would have gave this a try.

  31. @TNC So no matter how much they paid you, you’d watch it?  Even for a $1,000,000?

  32. This reminds me of that movie Sky High. I can see why it didn’t make it out of development. Don’t get me wrong, this is something I probably would have ended up watching but I can see why execs didn’t think it would catch a mainstream audience. I’m still waiting for a Gotham Central show like the Witchblade TV series or a Young Bruce Wayne show like Smallville.

  33. A Gotham Central TV show would be awesome.

  34. I love, love, love the Clayface’s look. Hippy, dreadlock Clayface. Awesome!

  35. I would’ve watched the hell out of this.  Such a shame

  36. Anything works if written well. I would give it a try.

  37. I want a gotham high where Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damian go to the same school

  38. Oh… I would rather have never known this was even dreamed of. 

  39. Great. Now I’m imagining plot lines that will never happen for this series. Like, for instance, a local elementary school kid named Dick Grayson starts following high school junior Bruce Wayne around and begins to make an annoyance out of himself.

  40. So… it’s basically Batmanverse of X-men Evolution. Interesting. I would have watched this. Of course that isn’t saying much as I’ll try any animation for the nostalgia novelty.

  41. Oi, I don’t like the idea at all. I’m surprised everyone os going for it. The idea is not doing it for me at all.

  42. to you guys saying that its “been done” and looks “predictable”……well i guess you guys don’t read many comics…i mean sometimes thats the whole point! We like our capes and cowls showcasing muscles that don’t exist and monologging bad guys who never win and buxom heroines and chippy sidekicks, and all those classic formulas that keep us coming back for more. Yes characters as kids has been done a lot….and it gets repeated because its fun. Sometimes people want to have fun with their entertainment. 

  43. LOL I love how pissed off Conor is at this.  I think it would have been fun.

  44. this would’ve been so epic 🙁

  45. I think a lot of you folks think that it would be something to take seriously and not some funny show to catch when you flipping through channels kinda like Batman meets Beavis & Butthead. 

  46. Everything is different, but the same… things are more moderner than before… bigger, and yet smaller… it’s computers… GOTHAM HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!

  47. I’ve always wanted a Batman cartoon crossed with Dawson’s Creek.

    Guess I have to keep on dreaming… 

  48. I would’ve been very very happy if this had come to life. Seeing as how I missed hearing about it at all I can’t say I’m sad at least. But at least we got these awesome pictures!
    If this really had been done like Clone High then conjoined triplets Dick, Tim and Jason might’ve shown up. Or some other weird AWESOME stuff. TO THE MAX!

    @srh1son – Excellent! Party On!

  49. i’m definitely in the oh what could have been crowd :

  50. Just as this thread proves, some people would not have liked this but the majority would. I believe the same would have been reflected in the audience – thus (theoretically) making Gotham High a successful show……at least for a few seasons.

    But like anything else, concept is one thing – executing it would have been another. I think if the writing was strong enough this could have been a really good cartoon.

    I know I would’ve dug it. Too bad. 

  51. It was too beautiful for this world.

  52. I too had a juggalo for an arch fiend.

  53. My gut reaction was” pfft this is so stupid”. But i couldn’t stop looking at that cast picture and just wondering how they would of done this. And the more i think about it the more intrigued i am. Plus i love that almost every one of those characters would have been loners in high school.

  54. This does look like it would have been fun. 

  55. I think I would liked this

  56. Why does this not exist?

  57. Principal Gordon.  Gym coach Duccard.  Proffessor Al Gul, Philosphy.  And who would be the wise Janitor?

  58. @ myself.  Janitor: Fox

  59. @ed209AF  No way, Lucious would be the shop teacher, helping Bruce make a few gadgets. the janitor has to be that Harold guy that lived in the batcave for a few years.

  60. As someone who enjoyed the Clone High series, I think this would have been a lot of fun.  I think fitting the characters into the high school “roles” would have been interesting and to see how things play out.  

  61. @RoiVampire  very true
    This would be very reminiscint of Static Shock now that i think of it.  Baddie of the week, reoccuring villains here and there, at the end of the day, they are still just high school students. 

  62. @ed209AF  The real question is who would teach Home Ec?

  63. @RoiVampire  Grant Morrison.

  64. @drakedangerz  
    Grant: “today class, we will take some peyote…”
    Student: “and then?”
    Grant: “…”

  65. WTF!!!! is this for real… it is an insult to Batman!!!

  66. @drunkyoda  It’s a real set of concept drawings for a show that never made it past development. And it’s not an insult to Batman.

  67. @conor To me this sounds like X-Men Evolution, which was great don’t get me wrong, but that worked for them since it is in the realm of posibilities for the characters, doing that same thing to batman is like turning him into another spider-man cartoon. We don’t need a new young ‘hip’ look at the batman, he is great as he is, a dark gritty hero, and looking for a new way to turn him into a Teen just for the hell of it I think it’s an insult.

  68. @drunkyoda  The great thing about Batman is that he works in almost any context and in almost any style. There are great stories to be found in different interpretations. He hasn’t always been dark and gritty.

  69. @drunkyoda – the fact that he is “dark and gritty” is not the best thing about Batman, nor is it what defines him.

  70. @conor I’m not against new interpretations, hell I loved what they did to superman in earth one and the new wonder woman look, but what has worked, ratings wise, for batman has been the dark knight take and yes it might be cliched and over done but it works (just take a look at how many stories involve a nice guy batman and how many the dark and gritty). Why not take the approach of the legend of batman, the point of view of an average citizen who has never ever seen the guy or a GCPD cartoon.

  71. @drunkyoda  There are a ton of stories with a nice Batman. Decades worth, in fact. As to why pitch this version? Because it’s different? Because it’s fun? And I can tell you for sure that you’re not going to sell a GCPD cartoon or an average citizen cartoon to a network or a studio. That’s not something they’re looking for.

  72. @drunkyoda  Yes, because the Adam West Batman TV show wasn’t incredibly successful and still loved by fans today.

  73. Briliant!
    Simply brilliant.

    I love that clayface is an art kid.  Complete with dirty apron.  

    Ah.  My heart breaks a bit, but, I’m super glad I have a good imagination!!   

  74. The art style looks similar to what The Batman was.  Probably the concept before they went with The Batman instead.  I would of watched it but glad it didn’t happen.  The idea is off the wall crazy.

  75. @lantern4life  As you can see from the first line of the article, the concept art/pitch is from 2009, so one year after THE BATMAN ended.

  76. This would have been super cool! It should have sold and would have rocked!

  77. @drunkyoda  I think you’re missing the point that this show would mostly be a comedy

  78. I would never call anyone stupid for  liking something, even twilight, but this, to me, looks like the  dumbest comic related idea ever. I would watch a show about the X-babies before i’d watch this.

  79. Wow, I hate this!! I mean, this is really fucking terrible.

    Quit trying to copy existing ideas that are better than yours.

    Also, art is terrible. This style is beaten to death. Get a new style.

  80. @smartperson  have you noticed that over 80% of the comments here disagree with you? Everyone here (including myself) says this would have been a great show. I know I would have loved to seen it.

  81. Sigh, pity that nothing has still been done with this.