Comic Shots #9 with Chris Neseman: Butt Naked and ‘Batman Confidential’

September 19, 2008

Each week Chris Neseman drops by to pass along a tasty drink recipe and an even tastier comic book recommendation. The cocktail and the comic can both be enjoyed independently, but they have a common theme and when served together they can make for the perfect reading experience.


Bourbon Month came to a close last week, so it’s time to leave my favorite spirit for a time and focus on some different offerings. This week’s recommendation proves that you can find a drink for any occasion on the internet. The comic I picked for this week has a hilarious scene involving public nudity, and low and behold, I found the perfect drink to match the moment. I know it’s hard to believe that I was able to find a drink with the word naked in the title, but in reality it was hard to narrow down the list to just one “snicker”. The deciding factor was to find a drink that was both tasty and had some character to it, and I think this concoction delivers both. I’ve always been a fan of what Amaretto can bring to a cocktail, and Southern Comfort is a good whiskey for people that usually don’t enjoy whiskey due to SoCo’s sweetness. Mixing these two with some tart and lively Cranberry Juice makes for a perfect nightclub mixer or a dinner party cocktail. I have a feeling that the name is a warning as to what might happen if you’re not careful with your moderation. Without further ado, I present to you the Butt Naked.

Butt Naked
• 1 oz. Amaretto
• 1 oz. Southern Comfort
• 1 Fill Cranberry Juice
• 1 piece Cherries/Maraschinos
• 1 wedge Lime

Once you have the ingredients together, this cocktail couldn’t be easier to make. You don’t have to worry about a shaker or any sort of complicated prep. Just fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice and pour in your Amaretto, SoCo and Cranberry Juice. Stir the drink and garnish with a Cherry and Lime Wedge. Done. Kick off your shoes, or whatever else you feel is appropriate, and sit back while you enjoy this drink and this week’s comic recommendation.


Batman Confidential #17-21
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artist: Kevin Maguire

Batman Confidential just wrapped up a five issue story that brought the fun back to comics. I absolutely love DC’s ability to mine it’s rich history and turn out new stories with with big helpings of nostalgia. “The Cat & The Bat” story line in Batman Confidential takes us all the way back to Batgirl‘s first month on the job as the newest member of Batman’s group of Gotham vigilantes. Fabian Nicieza gives the perfect voice to the Barbara Gordan Batgirl. She is young and inexperienced, but full of ambition and the raw determination. She’s out to prove herself to Batman, but more importantly she is proving her value as a costumed crime fighter to herself. This all begins when she “borrows” her father‘s notebook to find out how much he knows about the identity of Batman. Everything seems to be fine until the notebook is lifted by Gotham’s sexiest cat burglar, Catwoman. This starts an exciting and often hilarious chase on the rooftops of Gotham with Batgirl and the shall we say, more seasoned Catwoman. For three issues they match wits, determination and physical prowess against each other. The high point of the chase happens when Catwoman finds temporary refuge in The Gotham City Hedonist Society. If she is to keep pace and recover the Police Commissioner’s notebook, Barbara Gordon must continue the chase Butt Naked. So there’s your drink tie-in, and over the top cheesecake moment in the book. When I first read this I was afraid that Nicieza and artist Kevin Maguire were just looking for an excuse to show Catwoman and Batgirl in the buff. This may be true to a point, but it fits the story and how Catwoman’s free spirit could be the winning advantage in the chase. Batgirl overcomes the situation and discovers that getting the job done is going to take her into some uncomfortable places. If she is to be a true hero she has to be prepared to see things through to the end. And hey, I’m not dead, the pages were damn sexy. Of course Catwoman and Batgirl join forces for the unavoidable team-up, and Batman joins the group to make things truly interesting. The sexual tension between Catwoman and Batman is as good as ever, and Batgirl’s quest for approval from both of them creates a bizarre comic love triangle.

While this is very much a Batgirl story, Catwoman is just as important. She is the older and more experienced woman and she uses that advantage at every opportunity. Even so, you can read between the lines and tell that she is almost jealous of Batgirl’s exuberant youth. Catwoman is a thrill seeker, and there may be no greater thrill than your first month of flying around the rooftops of Gotham in a skin tight costume. From Catwoman’s perspective, the chase starts as a playful game and quickly changes to a major annoyance. Batgirl just won’t quit, and the stakes of the Cat and Mouse.. er Bat game are quickly raised as Catwoman’s need for the notebook is revealed. The entire series centers around Batgirl trying to be Catwoman’s equal and the two characters measuring each other up. Their inner thoughts are the main narrative throughout, and their insights into each other’s motivations are the heartbeat of the tale. In the end, Batgirl must not only prove herself up to the task of equaling Catwoman, she must face off against the worst of Batman’s Rogues. She comes through with flying colors, and we get to see a young Barbara Gordon mature into a Super Hero fit to patrol the streets of DC’s darkest city.

I’ll be totally honest and tell you that I probably wouldn’t have picked this up if it wasn’t for the Kevin Maguire art. I’m usually a writer guy when I’m looking for a new comic to pick up, but the allure of Maguire was too much to pass on. Quite simply, he draws people that look like people. His pages are filled with odd looks, eye rolls and true emotion. His characters ACT! I often find myself thinking of candid yearbook photos when I’m reading a Kevin Maguire drawn book. I get so used to seeing expressionless images in comics that the difference in Maguire’s characters is almost shocking. His ability to capture the humor or uncomfortableness of a situation is almost unique in mainstream comics. Ultimately his art accomplishes what should be the goal of all comic art, it tells the story. Nicieza’s scripting hits every note, and the two collaborators obviously knew when to let the art tell the story when it would have more impact. Maguire also shows that he can use the medium in ways that rarely occur to other artists. One fantastic two page spread uses a city building and a silhouetted  chase scene to frame interior panels. That spread made me stop in my tracks and admire it, and that happens way too infrequently. This was a perfect marriage of writer, artist and source material.

These five issues were full of fun and excitement. For those of us who are looking for a break from the dark and moody air of modern comics this was a blast of fresh air. DC’s Year One stories and stories like this one are able to offer something to old and new readers alike. They return to a simpler time where new readers can jump in, and veteran fans have a chance to walk down memory lane. I’ve always been a fan of the Barbara Gordon Batgirl, but I know that she belongs in the past. The awesome thing about comics is that you can make new stories about old characters and not upset the apple cart. Between this series and her recent appearances in Booster Gold, Batgirl fans have had a nice year of old school Batgirl love. I hope DC continues to produce these type of stories where they can.



I have every confidence that DC will release this as a trade, but if they don’t, you’ll want to track down these issues if they’re still on your Comic Store’s shelves. I hope you enjoy my silly little drink recommendation this week and check out one of my favorite stories of 2008 in Batman Confidential: “The Cat & The Bat.” Thanks for reading and drinking, and see everyone back next week for another round of Comic Shots!


Chris Neseman is the host of The Around Comics Podcast and a co-host of the 11 O’Clock Comics podcast. You can contact him at and suggest a cocktail or comic of your own, because good drinks and good comics should be shared.

Please obey the law and only drink if you are of age. Drink responsibly and never drink and drive. Buy the comics that make you happy, and when they do, pass them on!


  1. I read the "naked" issue and quite enjoyed it.  Though I did come out feeling a little dirty.  Not Conor’s Eros stash dirty or Ron’s Devil’s threesome dirty or other relevant joke but this time about Josh dirty.  But dirty nonetheless.

  2. Damn.  Forgot about Remender.  There was my dirty Josh joke.  Win some…

  3. I’m on a hot streak when it comes to having the needed ingredients for these articles.  Does that make me prepared for a party or an alcoholic?   


    @YoSoyJu: Meh, take the bow anyway.  I laughed.  

  4. I love this arc. . .Fabes and Maguire should be on Birds of Prey.

    Drink sounds good, too.

  5. I got away from Batman Confidential real early. From the discussion about this story on Around Comics, and this write up here, I feel like I’ve missed something good. Really looking forward to seeing this traded.

  6. Um, I was telling the guys at work about the issue when Catwoman and Batgirl get nekkid in that "adult" club and they suddenly became very interested in this particular story arc. 

    Is it just me, or did anyone else find Batgirl’s back and arms a bit too masculine in some panels? Look at the second picture above, lady looks like a dude!

  7. @Qyentin – I dropped BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL in the middle of the first arc, but came back for this arc and the one before it which were fantastic.

    @Garrett – She’s have to have muscles to do what she does. Superheroes aren’t dainty.

  8. Drink sounds really tasty, and fairly simple to put together.  Might have to give it a shot.  And start actually stocking alcohol in my house.

  9. Damn! I called it, that’s the 3rd time I’ve guessed what your Comic Shots article was about based on the drink you’ve chosen. WOOT WOOT!


  10. This might be the tastiest thing you’ve recommended since the column began, Chris.

    The drink’s not bad, either. HAH! 


  11. I dunno where I was…but this is a GREAT idea for a column…that drink sounds perfect…what a great excuse to bust some SoCo…


    right on! great stuff!